Archive for the ‘General’ Category

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Round 1 – “Hey, Do Stuff Around Camp” Edition

October 2, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Dan is voted out this episode, Bradley will receive one point and Gordon will receive seven points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank players based on how safe you think they are in the upcoming vote.

Bradley’s Score: 0

Any questions for Bradley? Drop him a line on Twitter: @bradley_r_k

Gordon’s Score: 0

Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

1. Dan: If he can manage to keep it in his pants socially and idol wise then he is in a great position. 1. Jeremy: I’m thinking we’re about to see some kind of Natalie/Natalia battle for the heart of the Goliaths. Natalia has the numbers and a buddy with an idol. Natalie…has…life experience? At any rate, Jeremy has options. He isn’t going anywhere soon.
2. Gabby: Gabby is in a good position right now because she is making alliances but not rushing to align with every single person. This shows social awareness and thought in who she wants to work with and who will help get her deep into the game. She was also shown nurturing Jessica in the shelter which in miserable conditions can go a long way to curry favor with the tribe. 2. Davie: Social game for miles and he can bring home some calamari? Team Blerd FTW!
3. Christian: Like the puzzle whiz he showed himself to be in the opening challenge, Christian appears to be sliding his social game into place to build a solid foundation for himself within the David tribe. Gabby should be a great moderating force for his nerdiness and Nick will help defuse the attention allowing Christian to keep the target off his back. 3. Christian: There was some debate about the difference between a “nerd” and a “dork.” My take has always been; a nerd is smart, a dork is socially awkward. Christian does not come across as a dork at all. To hear Dan tell it, he’s funny and well-liked. He’ll be fine.
4. Alec: We didn’t see much of Alec in the premiere, but he seemed to be capable in the challenge and perfectly docile at camp. 4. Kara: You’ve got a idol-packing meat shield in your pocket and you’re smart enough to stay out of a showmance. You’re doing super, girl.
5. Kara: She is in the enviable position of having other people coming to her. She seems charismatic and personable. Hopefully she has some strategic chops too. 5. Alec: Hey, bro.
6. Davie: The hunger is tough the first couple of days as everyone gets used to eating basically nothing, so Davie did himself a real favor in the game by catching an octopus. Aligning with Carl is smart too as Carl is older and has a different vantage point with which to read people. Put both of their perspectives together and they could be a powerful duo. 6. Carl: You had a rough time in the challenge, but I don’t think that’s going to come back to bite you. If Dan is to be believed, you’re in the majority alliance and you’re a hard worker.
7. Carl: Had a pretty unexciting first episode. Made a couple alliances. Seems to have gotten roughed up on the boat ride that took Pat out of the game. Hopefully for him he wasn’t banged up too badly otherwise that could be a good excuse to boot him. 7. Dan: Trying to start a day-one showmance, telling people about your idol…why not dump the rice on the ground and go for the vote-me-out-early trifecta? Lucky for you there are a handful of trainwrecks on your tribe. You’ll be fine.
8. Jeremy: Didn’t get a ton of Jeremy but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Better to be quiet in the first episode than to stick out for rubbing people the wrong way. 8. Jessica: Nobody wins “Survivor” on day one, so in my book, you’re doing a fantastic job. If someone wants to view you as their daughter, go with it. If someone wants to be your shoulder to cry on, let them.
9. Elizabeth: Elizabeth’s enthusiasm is really quite something, but it didn’t seem to be bothering any of the other Davids. Bringing the hat was her real power move of the week, that puppy looks to be keeping her head nice and dry in all the rain. 9. Gabby: Being the nerd whisperer is a good place to be on a tribe of misfits. (Or are they underdogs? People whose parents weren’t doctors?)
10. Natalia: Drawing attention to herself by arguing with Natalie over the shelter isn’t the best move. However, I’d be shocked if the rest of the tribe didn’t side with her over Natalie if it came down to it. 10. John: I know way more about professional wrestling than I do about “Survivor.” And I’ll say this; John is designed for “Survivor” immunity challenges. Aside from his obvious physique, strength, and stamina, he’s crazy agile. Like a parkour wizard. And for his social game, aside from Trish Stratus, you don’t hear many negative words about him in wrestling circles. He should be fine for a while.
11. Lyrsa: Is she the Puerto Rican Chris Noble? She came into that opening challenge with more confidence than Noble has when he is rapping. It worked for her this time but not having to go to Tribal may have been a good thing for her to continue building her social game. 11. Bi: We didn’t see much of Bi last week, but what we did see seemed to point toward a very solid social game. And on a “David” tribe, being an athlete should be a big asset in challenges.
12. Angelina: The look she gave the Davids said everything you need to know about Angelina. She is never going to win because she is a patronizing elitist but she is also probably safe enough, for now, within the Goliath tribe. She should be living in fear of the swap. 12. Alison: So…everybody knows you’re a doctor. That’s different. Some people (my Power Rankings competition included) have gone to great lengths to disguise their high-paying gigs. Probably not a game-ender, but a definite stumble coming out of the gate.
13. Jessica: If people are talking about how they’re excited to take you under their wing, you’re not in a power position. 13. Angelina: I truly don’t remember much about you outside of your “fairytale” life comment.
14. Bi: We don’t know anything about Bi’s game yet besides the fact that she is working with Jessica. Hopefully that is not the extent of it. 14. Elizabeth: You’re my winner pick, Elizabeth. The bale of hay thing really sold me. But, I’m worried that you and Lyrsa might be on the wrong end of what’s going to go down on the David tribe.
15. John: Is rattling off your nicknames, including “the George Bushy of Tushy,” supposed to be charming? It isn’t. 15. Lyrsa: See “Elizabeth.”
16. Alison: I’m surprised we didn’t see Alison taking the lead on building the shelter back at camp because it wasn’t two minutes into the game and she was showing everyone how much experience she has with being sheltered, as a doctor in a family of doctors. Hopefully this was just a poorly executed strategic move. While this blunder may not put Alison in a powerful position, I am very excited for the villainization of Alison! 16. Mike: You want to survive the first cycle of “Survivor”? Keep your ears open, your mouth shut, and work around camp. Someone else is gonna make a mistake…let them. I expected more from superfan Ned Schneebly.
17. Mike: Mike, you should know better than to be the first to obviously look for the idol. But, that target probably isn’t even the biggest one on his back because Mike already has what all these reality TV whippersnappers want, fame, so they’re probably going to hate him anyway. 17. Natalia: I think you’ll be fine. You seem well-liked, your buddy has an idol. But, you’ve made yourself the target of whatever kind of maneuvers Natalie might be planning.
18. Nick: Nick may have the background and story to be on the David tribe but he sticks out like a sore thumb on the David beach with his law degree, jacket, and slacks. Add not helping out enough around camp and Nick might be hollering “objection” as Jeff reads the votes next time he is at Tribal. 18. Natalie: Telling people what to do, not working, and buddying up with the person who was caught hunting for idols? If you weren’t on the superjock tribe, you’d be on the bottom of this list.
19. Natalie: I love Natalie, she probably hasn’t been camping a day in her life and yet she knows exactly how to build the perfect camp. Great TV, terrible gameplay. 19. Nick: In the Bible, David eventually became a king. But Nick’s probably gonna end up more like Redemption Island’s David. A lawyer without a million-dollar check.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Premiere Recap: Rain-Soaked Episode Has a Scary Ending

September 26, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Getting to Know You…

First we meet up with the David tribe as they jet along the Fijian coast in a boat…not a jet. Probst lets us know that Davids are always the underdog.

Fun Fact: Alternate titles included; “Survivor: Rocky vs. Apollo,” “Survivor: LaRusso vs. Lawrence,” “Survivor: Little Giants vs. Pee-Wee Cowboys.”

Anywho, here’s what we learn about these folks…

  • Christian thinks people might view him as a nerd, but he totally understands why they would do that. Agreed.
  • Elizabeth could throw a bale of hay higher than anyone when she was twelve. But what about now? Who has eclipsed her?!
  • Pat never judges a book by its cover. He doesn’t clarify how he judges books.

Next up, we meet the Goliaths who have spent their lives capitalizing on their advantages to succeed.

  • Natalie says that everything she touches turns to gold and she’s a natural leader and people will “literally” take bullets for her. Literally?
  • Angelina breaks down her impressive collegiate resume and claims to have led a fairy tale life. You probably shouldn’t lead with that at Tribal.

The two boats arrive at JPro’s mega boat where he says something along the lines of…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at these tribes as they currently stand…

The David Tribe (wearing orange)
Bi, 28 – MMA Fighter
Carl, 41 – Truck Driver
Christian, 32 – Robotics Scientist
Davie, 30 – Social Media Manager
Elizabeth, 31 – Kitchen Staff
Gabby, 25 – Technical Writer
Jessica, 19 – Waitress
Lyrsa, 35 – Flight Attendant
Nick, 27 – Public Defender
Pat, 40 – Maintenance Manager

The Goliath Tribe (wearing purple)
Alec, 24 – Bartender
Alison, 28 – Physician
Angelina, 28 – Financial Consultant
Dan, 27 – S.W.A.T. Officer
Jeremy, 40 – Attorney
John, 38 – Pro Wrestler
Kara, 30 – Realtor
Mike, 47 – Filmmaker
Natalia, 25 – Industrial Engineer
Natalie, 56 – Publishing CEO

Aboard the Mega Boat

Jeff immediately lays out the season’s theme, even unveiling a banner that reads “David vs. Goliath” in George Bush “Mission Accomplished” style.

Quick Aside: I wonder if it’s “David vs. Goliath” because there’s no such thing as an “overdog.”

Other things…

  • David grew up in a trailer and is the first person in his family to go to college. He also makes the point that David became the King.
  • John agrees that he’s always been a Goliath. He also busts out a few of his wrestling nicknames including “The Mayor of Slamtown” and the “Friday Night Delight.” C’mon dude, don’t leave out “Shaman of Sexy!”
  • Dan thinks Goliaths set a high bar of excellence and go after it.
  • Alison admits that she comes from a family that is very supportive, but she’s worked for everything she’s received.

From there, Jeff runs a very…weird…experiment where he asks Alison and Pat to compare their upbringings. Alison describes a upper-middle class life where her father is a physician, while Pat tells us about how his family lived paycheck-to-paycheck and his mother being paralyzed.

So…are we talking privileged vs. non-privileged? Cause that doesn’t quite roll off of the tongue.

Reward Challenge

The Goliath tribe is asked to identify the two weakest members of the David tribe. They go with Christian and Lyrsa. Mike hilariously describes Christian as “Big Bang Theory.” I’m sure the higher ups at CBS were high-fiving over that bit of corporate synergy.

Then the Goliaths must choose the two strongest members of their own tribe. They decide on John and Alison.

The challenge will involve both tribes racing through an obstacle course with multiple paths and then completing a puzzle. The first tribe to reach the end will win a shelter-building kit.

However, the Davids will get to choose which path and puzzle the Goliaths must complete. The Davids smartly pick the most difficult path and puzzle for the Goliaths.

WHAT IS THE LESSON? That weak Davids can beat strong Goliaths if the Goliaths are forced to make bad decisions?

Result: The Davids win because Christian is good at slide puzzles.

With that, Jeff gives them their maps and sends them on their merry way.

At Goliath Beach

  • People recognize Mike as a Hollywood writer and a former contestant on “The Amazing Race.” However, this does not save him from scrutiny when he’s caught hunting for idols. Also, as a famous writer who goes on to play “Survivor,” he’s officially Reverse Cochran.
  • Dan and Kara immediately discuss starting a showmance. On day one, guys? Is this “Big Brother”?
  • Natalie isn’t doing much around camp, but is still barking out orders. Keep that up and people will “literally” vote you out.
  • John unveils some more of his wrestling nicknames, finally calling himself the “Shaman of Sexy.” He reveals a new one that I’ve never heard before, “The George Bushy of Tushy.” That’s gonna be my new fave.
  • Alison and Angelina want to find an idol because men have traditionally found more idols. That’s true.

At David Beach

  • Pat takes control of building the shelter, and true to “Survivor” form, immediately starts bossing people around and rubbing them the wrong way. His jokes about “Sweating like a pregnant nun in confession,” aren’t doing him any favors either.
  • Jessica is 19 years old, but she’s telling everyone that she’s 22. It seems like she’s bonding with Bi, Carl, and Elizabeth.
  • Other pairs seem to be Carl and Davie, Christian and Libby, and Lyrsa and Elizabeth.
  • Nick is actively avoiding work and playing too fast. It is not going unnoticed.

Idol Threat

The Goliath camp comes down with idol fever. Apparently everyone is hunting for it at the same time.

And the lucky winner is…Dan. He discovers a rock with a string tied around it and IMMEDIATELY tells Kara and Natalia about it. C’mon, dude. Do you watch this show?

Oh wait, he tells us that he’s stoked to have found the idol with the two most beautiful girls on the show. Well, at least your priorities are terrible.

Lawyer Changes Tactics

Nick picks up on the fact that he’s really taking the wrong tone with the crowd. Later that night, he decides to open up to everyone and tell them an emotional story about losing his mother to drugs.

Immunity Challenge Time

The two tribes will run through an obstacle course. Then one person from each tribe will dig under a log. The first person through will chop a rope to release their ladder. The other tribe will be penalized and will need to untie knots to release their ladder. From there, the teams will pole vault across a chasm and then complete a numbered puzzle. The first tribe to complete the puzzle will win immunity and flint.

Result: Alec smoked Carl in the digging portion and the Goliaths were able to maintain that lead and pick up the win.

A Freak Accident

Quick Aside: They sometimes make it seem like the contestants have to hike or row to the challenges and Tribal. In reality, the camps are so far away that it would take days for them to get there. So, they’re actually transported on motorboats.

When we come back from commercial, you can see the medical team carrying Pat from the boat to the beach on a stretcher.

This must be really bad.

Apparently, the boat hit a big wave on the rough sea and it may have caused some serious damage to his back.

Probst shows up to assess the situation and Pat says, “I’m scared.” Oh man…this is terrible.

The medical team is worried that the impact could have caused a fracture and insists on pulling Pat from the game.

Pat begs to stay, but there’s just no way. Pat’s doesn’t want to quit, but Probst assures him that he’s a strong guy and nobody will ever accuse him of quitting.

A helicopter is brought in and Pat is taken away.

Later, Jeff addresses the Davids and lets them know that they won’t be attending Tribal that night.

Verdict: Oof…what a terrible way to start a season. The theme doesn’t work for me, we lost an interesting player for a crappy reason, and with no Tribal, we didn’t get to see any lasting strategy.

Here’s hoping things pick up next week.

Winner’s Pick: This episode didn’t reveal much. We don’t even really know who’s really working together. But, and this is a hunch, I’m going to go with Elizabeth. That bale of hay thing is just really impressive.

  • Natalia – Natalia seemed to be in the middle of all the action at the Goliath camp. She’s one to watch.
  • Jessica – The first few days are for making friends, not waves. She’s going to go a long way.
  • Christian – Who doesn’t love this guy? He should write an idol-finding algorithm.
  • Carl – He didn’t look good in the immunity challenge, but he’s making some good connections.
  • Elizabeth – She seems like a vital component to her tribe. I don’t have a lot to base that on, but she seems well liked.
  • Lyrsa – It looks like she’s in on whatever is going on with the Davids.
  • Nick – You stumbled coming out of the blocks, but you were able to course correct.
  • Dan – Hooray! You have an idol. Boo! Everyone is going to know about it in short order.
  • Mike – Don’t feel too bad, Cochran made a lot of mistakes his first go-around too.
  • Kara – When showmances are split up, the women tend to go first. Tread lightly.
  • Natalie – Not working + telling people what to do = pre-jury trip.
  • John, Alec, Jeremy, Davie, Alison, Angelina, Bi, Gabby – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor: Ghost Island” Fave Bradley Kleihege Accepts the “David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Challenge

September 24, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” Fave Bradley Kleihege (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps.  So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The XFINITY “Survivor” Power Rankings committee is pleased to announce that “Survivor: Ghost Island” star Bradley Kleihege has agreed to accept this season’s Power Rankings challenge. To kick things off, we’ve asked Bradley to rank the players based on how likely they are to win the game.

 “Survivor: David vs. Goliath,” Begins Wednesday September 26, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET.

1. Lyrsa: Impressed with her. In pre-game she is coming across just quirky enough to everyone that she is not being thought of as a threat but rather someone they all want to get to know. If she actually is as socially-savvy as she claims to be then she should find herself in a great position. She also noted she could connect with Elizabeth because Elizabeth had a Bible and she used to go to church. This is a great insight and awareness. Threat to win. 2. Jeremy: His past growing up in the south should come in handy for him navigating through the personalities. I think that Jeremy is going to be really fun to watch on TV. Unfortunately that doesn’t always translate to surviving deep into the game. He could be a train-wreck or he could be a great player who is a threat to win. I’m guessing late-merge.
3. Elizabeth: Elizabeth has the attitude to win this season. Whether she has any chance of accomplishing that will depend on how well she gets along with the others. If she can hang and not annoy, she is a serious threat to win. If she is overbearing and not motherly in a selfless/do-more-chores-than-the-others kind of way, she could see herself headed on the rejects’ (pre-merge) trip. I’d bet late-merge — gets close but comes up short. 4. Carl: He could get in to trouble extolling his strong work ethic with younger tribemates. However, he is older and has a ton more life experience which is usually helpful in making a run at winning. As a truck-driver I would imagine he is good at interacting with a whole bunch of different types of people. I guess pre-merge or winner threat.
5. Kara: I’m leery of the chances of any contestant that states they will win because they “have what it takes mentally, physically, and socially.” Since that is about as creative as painting the walls in your house beige. But, Kara does seem to have some life experience and is a bit older, both of which I think are extremely helpful. Plus, in pre-game, her own tribe appears to be distracted by her looks which could allow her to fly under the radar (in a good way.) 6. Gabby: Gabby, much like Christian will need to have a strong first few days. In pre-game she is being pegged by her fellow contestants as nerdy and quiet. If she breaks out of that stereotype, people will not only be intrigued but I think she will last a long time. However, if she cannot break out of it she could be headed for a short stay in Fiji. I think she seems younger than she is which could result in her being underestimated, which is probably good for the first part of the game.
7. Alec: I am guessing the ego is bigger than his slicked up hair! I think he may struggle on a tribe full of accomplished people. His chances would be better if he were on the other tribe since he pegs me as more of a David than a Goliath, but maybe he can use that as an advantage at a swap or the merge. No reason to expect anything other than a standard surfer-bro placement for Alec, mid to late merge. 8. Dan: Dan comes across to me as someone who before the game even starts is already acting like a “Survivor” contestant whose season is airing— insufferably obsessed with their relevance and public persona. He does, however, come off as entertaining so I am cautiously optimistic about this one. But I wouldn’t bet on him winning because he isn’t a fan and it is possible he could lack some social awareness, which gets annoying real quick. (Further, the recent pandering he has been doing on the “Survivor” subreddit has been delightful. I can only hope the “Survivor” subreddit turns on him like a pack of hungry wolves.)
9. Natalia: She is coming in with little “Survivor” knowledge and admittedly no strategy. Not off to a great start there, Natalia. I am really skeptical of how anyone that doesn’t have a good base knowledge of the game is a winners threat in the era of idols and advantages. Possibly first boot or somewhere forgettable in the merge. Wouldn’t be shocked if her edit was the color of her buff. 10. AlisonSpeaks in her CBS bio as to why she will win, not that she could win. Mindset going in is important. Pre-game impressions of her seem to be positive. Her bio and interviews don’t stand out to me much so she may be able to fly under the radar. Alison seems inoffensive enough to make it to the end but does she have the charisma?
11. Mike: I thought my cast picture was squinty until I saw Mike’s. If it weren’t for his previously being on “The Amazing Race” and his work in Hollywood, I would plunk him down into the David Wright archetype and finish position. But he isn’t going to be able to play the underdog like David which may very well hurt his chances. 12. Nick: As someone that knows a bit about playing the game as a lawyer, a lot of Nick’s fate will be determined by how well he can adapt to “Survivor” where everyone is not a highly educated professional, but oftentimes closer to the opposite of that. He has a good chance of being able to adapt since he is a public defender. Nick says that his dream was to get on “Survivor,” notably he didn’t say to win “Survivor.” I didn’t believe it until I played but that difference in mindset is very often what separates the winners from the jurors. He will survive 20 days give or take 5.
13. John: I’m at a loss as to where I think he will finish. But I think that will be cleared up within the first episode. I need to see how he interacts with people in the game. He hits me as someone who is always playing up the persona he has created for himself in his professional life. In “Survivor,” will he be able to maintain that, will people find it phony, or will he shed that persona and come across genuine? I haven’t a clue at the moment, ask me in a week. 14. Angelina: She touts her social skills and how quickly she can connect to people but I am curious to see how well she does with less-educated people and people not working for a tip from her. I think she could be in trouble with the simple folk of season 37. Also worrisome for Angelina is how some contestants have picked up on the handlers at Ponderosa avoiding her, not good if people who haven’t been able to interact with her are picking up on this. I see her going premerge or early-merge, depending on whether or not those social skills are 10% as good as she thinks or 50% as good as she thinks they are.
15. Pat: Oh lord, are we about to get another “Survivor” growth narrative about the person who gets to see the world and experience only previously dreamt about things thanks to “Survivor”? Puke. He sticks out to people in pre-game which is not good if his demeanor in the game confirms the opinions already forming about him. Pat does have a blue-collar managerial position which is probably beneficial. However, I sense he may be about to get the full “Survivor” experience, including the pre-merge trip. 16. Davie: He wants to be a big character which could backfire for him depending on how well he can execute it. There is a fine line between your castmates finding your antics endearing and finding them as entertaining as having the swine flu. Is he self-aware enough to know how he is being perceived? He won’t be the first boot, since in pre-game he seems to be regarded highly enough by the others, but I would guess mid-premerge, maybe ala Patrick!
17. Jessica: Her standing in the game may come down to whether she can convincingly lie about her age. I don’t feel that she needs to lie about her age because to many of the older players 19 and 22 seem pretty similar— similarly young. Will the lie fly or will it come across as a poor veneer? Will she have the social skills and awareness to keep her superfandom to a minimum? That along with her age could put an early target on her back. Pre-merge or late-game finish as a goat is my guess. 18. Christian: Right now in the evolution of “Survivor” is not the time to be the nerdy superfan. It puts a target on your back. The first few days will be critical for Christian. Will he come across as a gamebot or will he be able to keep his chill about his game knowledge? Contestants in pre-game all seem to have sniffed out his superfan status. Not good. I’m betting pre-merge, but probably not first boot?
19. Natalie: I like what Natalie has to say and I like that she is admittedly argumentative, unfortunately I can tell you from experience that being argumentative isn’t the best trait to bring to “Survivor.” Although, she seems to understand that certain social and strategic skills have been handy in getting her to her current position of CEO, while also not listing them off as if she were bragging like some of her other Goliaths. This could go a couple of ways, she could be fantastic or she could be toast. I’m very sadly going to guess toast. I don’t see where she fits in on the Goliath tribe and “Survivor” generally boils down to a popularity contest, especially in the first couple Tribals. 20. Bi: Seems cool but just started watching the show. While it isn’t good to be the know-it-all superfan, it is also not good to be new to the game. Even more detrimental to Bi’s “Survivor” longevity is that others in pre-game are questioning her ability to hack it. It is not good to stand out in that way. The first boot is usually someone that people had already started singling out in pre-game.

Don’t miss the 90-minute season premiere of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath,” Wednesday September 26, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

Former WWE Champion, Star of “School of Rock” Join the Cast of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

September 5, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps.  So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The cast for the 37th season of the legendary reality show “Survivor” was revealed by CBS on Wednesday afternoon. This collection of 20 all-new players will be divided into two teams; the Davids (who have had to overcome some form of adversity) and the Goliaths (who have capitalized on the advantages they were given in life).

Name: Christian Hubicki

Age: 32

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Current Residence: Tallahassee, FL

Occupation: Robotics Scientist

Name: Nick Wilson

Age: 27

Hometown: Williamsburg, KY

Current Residence: London, KY

Occupation: Public Defender

Name: Davie Rickenbacker

Age: 30

Hometown: Orangeburg, SC

Current Residence: Atlanta, GA

Occupation: Social Media Manager

Name: Jessica Peet

Age: 19

Hometown: Lakeland, FL

Current Residence: Lakeland, FL

Occupation: Waitress

Name: Gabby Pascuzzi

Age: 25

Hometown: St. Augustine, FL

Current Residence: Denver, CO

Occupation: Technical Writer

Name: Lyrsa Torres

Age: 36

Hometown: Puerto Rico

Current Residence: Boston, MA

Occupation: Airline Agent

Name: Bi Nguyen

Age: 28

Hometown: Houston, TX

Current Residence: Houston, TX

Occupation: MMA Fighter

Name: Carl Boudreaux

Age: 41

Hometown: Beaumont, TX

Current Residence: Houston, TX

Occupation: Truck Driver

Name: Elizabeth Olsen

Age: 31

Hometown: Dallas, Ft. Worth, TX

Current Residence: Longview, TX

Occupation: Kitchen Staff

Name: Pat Cusack

Age: 40

Hometown: Cohoes, NY

Current Residence: Watervliet, NY

Occupation: Maintenance Manager

Name: John Hennigan

Age: 38

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Occupation: Pro Wrestler (Former WWE Intercontinental Champion)

Previous Reality TV Experience: Won the third season of WWE’s “Tough Enough”

Name: Natalia Azoqa

Age: 25

Hometown: Irvine, CA

Current Residence: Irvine, CA

Occupation: Industrial Engineer

Name: Alec Merlino

Age: 24

Hometown: San Clemente, CA

Current Residence: San Clemente, CA

Occupation: Bartender

Name: Angelina Keeley

Age: 28

Hometown: Sparks, NV

Current Residence: San Clemente, CA

Occupation: Financial Consultant

Name: Jeremy Crawford

Age: 40

Hometown: Clover, SC

Current Residence: New York

Occupation: Attorney

Name: Kara Kay

Age: 30

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Current Residence: San Diego, CA

Occupation: Realtor

Name: Dan Rengering

Age: 27

Hometown: Lake Butler, FL

Current Residence: Gainesville, FL

Occupation: S.W.A.T. Officer

Name: Alison Raybould

Age: 28

Hometown: Leawood, KS

Current Residence: Chapel Hill, NC

Occupation: Physician

Name: Mike White

Age: 47

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Occupation: Filmmaker/Actor (“School of Rock”)

Previous Reality TV Experience: Twice competed on “The Amazing Race”

Name: Natalie Cole

Age: 56

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Occupation: Publishing CEO

Don’t miss the 90-minute season premiere of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath,” Wednesday September 26, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Power Rankings Final Round – It’s In the Bag Edition

May 22, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: For the final round, each player will rank the remaining Survivors in the order in which they think they will finish. The first contestant is the winner, the second received the second most votes at Tribal, etc. Each correct placement is worth two points. At the end of the round, the person with the most overall points will be named the “Survivor: Ghost Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Last Week: Roark and Gordon both had Kellyn in spot seven. The current score is Team Roark 132, Team Gordon 135.

Roark’s Score: 132

Any questions for Roark? Drop her a line on Twitter: @roarkstweets

Gordon’s Score: 135

Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

1. Wendell: This may sound random, but I can’t forget that Sea Bass confessional from when he reunited with Wendell via a swap. Sea Bass is so enamored of Wendell because Wendell remembered to bring him a shell. What I’m saying is, I think Wendell is insanely likable. Likability is insanely pertinent. 1. Wendell: I’ve gone back and forth trying to figure out which way the jury will go in the inevitable Wendell/Dom battle. And, I think I’ve let Kellyn’s word association talk me into a Wendell win. She referred to Wendell as “intuitive” and Domenick as a “reckless dictator.” They both ran the show, but Wendell did it with a smoother touch.
2. Domenick: The other member of the dynamic duo. Domenick is the other obvious power player – but he is also more outspoken and brash. Wendell’s charm may give him the edge. 2. Domenick: I also think your feud with Chris could come back to bite you. But, I’ll probably change my mind five minutes from now. Either way, both guys are worthy champions.
3. Laurel: Laurel has played a quiet, loyal game that has upset many fans and will probably not impress the jury. I am a big Laurel fan and will defend her at all costs so come at me. 3. Laurel: When people are as dominant as Domenick and Wendell, the jury tends to want to punish the person who allowed them to become so dominant. Unfortunately, that’s you. I think your legacy for this season is that you waited too long to take your shot.
4. Angela: To be fair, I have no idea what these people’s fire skills are. I’m just going to make a leap and assume hers aren’t good. Congrats Angela. You did fine. 4. Donathan: Yeah…you caused a pretty big stir last week. But, I think they have bigger fish to fry. Better start working on those fire-making skills.
5. Sebastian: If Dom/Wen/Laurel stick together to the end, I could understand cutting Sea Bass here. Angela probably has a minimal chance to succeed in fire, win immunity that isn’t related to guzzling….you know, or get a single jury vote. 5. Angela: Can you imagine a situation where Angela wins? Maybe if she gets to the end with Sebastian and Donathan and they personally insult each of the jurors’ mothers?
6. Donathan: Donathan is starting to fray at the edges and it couldn’t be more obvious. Sea Bass is a solid vote, and Angela appears to also still be on the show, so I think Donathan will be the first finale sacrifice. 6. Sebastian: Can Sebastian still win “Survivor”? Absolutely. I think he can make it happen against any combination of Angela, Donathan, and Laurel. That’s why I think he’s the first to go. Wendell and Dom don’t want to give him a chance to compete in the fire-making challenge.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

Jeff Probst and the Contestants Pick the Stars of “Survivor: Ghost Island – The Movie”

May 14, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

In the days leading up to the beginning of “Survivor: Ghost Island,” I had a chance to ask Jeff Probst and the contestants who would play them in the inevitable movie adaptation of this season…

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Power Rankings Round 9 – Double Trouble Edition

May 1, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Donathan is voted out this episode, Roark will receive four points and Gordon will receive three points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Ghost Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Last Week: Roark had Des in spot nine. Gordon had her in spot ten. The current score is Team Roark 98, Team Gordon 102.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank players based on how safe you think they are in the upcoming vote.


Roark’s Score: 98

Any questions for Roark? Drop her a line on Twitter: @roarkstweets

Gordon’s Score: 102

Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

1. Domenick: Dom was so great in this episode. He handled that Kellyn conversation like a champ, then snaked her perfectly. Need more Dom. 1. Domenick: Sooo…two people are going home, but it doesn’t look like we’re getting two smooshed together episodes. I’m thinking with a big twist, the idol holders are going to be more likely to make a move if they feel threatened.
2. Laurel: I think Laurel did the right thing here – while I do like the spirit of Des’ move, the long game did not make much sense – I’ll assume Laurel saw that fact and decided to stay the course for now. She seems to be in a good crew. 2. Wendell: See Domenick.
3. Wendell: Depending on how this double boot goes, we could end up in a weird situation. Is it the same tribal or two tribals? My guess is it is two tribals where each one of those necklaces we saw in the preview protects a different person within each one. Regardless, things could get wonky with the double boot and the idols and the challenge immunity. All of this is to say Wendell may have to bring out that idol. All of them might. 3. Donathan: See Domenick.
4. Donathan: Let me make sure I have this. Donathan, Wendell and Dom all have idols. Kellyn has an extra vote? Or is it a vote steal? Donathan strikes me as someone who is going to pull the trigger on his idol if he feels the least bit uncomfortable. So odds are he is safe for this double round. 4. Laurel: Ugh…this double elimination/double immunity thing has me nervous. Right now, I think Laurel is relatively safe because all three of the idols are with her allies. It’s like an Infinity Gauntlet of immunity.
5. Angela: Another no cry Ghost Island visit. I would really enjoy seeing someone tell their alliance that they don’t have a vote. It would be fun if that came into play. 5. Kellyn: I feel like you’re in the same boat with Kellyn. Obviously Domenick valued enough to tip you off last week.
6. Kellyn: Oh boy did Kellyn ever play this wrong. Moving forward – how will she bounce back? Odds on her playing from the bottom and becoming the new Cambodia Wentworth? I would take those odds. 6. Sea Bass: C’mon! Who doesn’t love Sea Bass?
7. Sea Bass: Sea Bass is on a different planet. The way he spelled “Desiree” is classic. I love it. 7. Angela: Desiree thought Angela would go along with her plan to get rid of Kellyn. But, we have no proof of that. We also don’t know which way Angela was told to vote due to her losing her vote. I’m not sure which side she’s on, but I’d assume she’s low in the pecking order on either side.
8. Chelsea: This poor girl. She just won individual immunity and hasn’t had a confessional since episode 2. (Do not fact check this as I have 0 confidence in it, I just know it’s bad). With this kind of edit, we are just counting down her limited days. 8. Chelsea: They did not trust you to vote with them last week. That can’t be a good sign. I hope you have some more immunity wins up your sleeve.
9. Michael: I’m not sure how *safe* Michael actually is, but he is in a great position game / TV audience perception wise. He’s on the absolute bottom of the totem pole, so he can’t do anything wrong. Enjoy! 9. Jenna: Naviti is going to stay Naviti strong for a little bit longer. It probably won’t matter how well you can braid hair.
10. Jenna: Just reading the preview, I am concerned that Jenna saying she’s lying to Donathan so easily is a bad sign. 10. Michael: Kellyn was not subtle about wanting you gone last week. She went along with Domenick’s plan and this week it’s time he pays the piper. The only thing that’s going to save you is an immunity win.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Episode 7 Recap – Sticky Situation

April 4, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: The fifteen players were divided thrice, Wendell and Chris finally made nice, and James was put on ice…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

The tribes as they currently stand…

The Naviti Tribe (wearing purple)
Bradley, 26 – Law Student
Chelsea, 24 – EMT/Professional Cheerleader
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
Libby, 24 – Social Media Strategist

The Malolo Tribe (wearing orange)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Desiree, 21 – Student
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Michael, 18 – Real Estate Agent

The Yanuya Tribe (wearing green)
Chris, 27 – Male Model
Jenna, 23 – Advertising Account Executive
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

A (Expletive Deleted) Stick Story

The stick never asked for any of this.

Having fallen off a branch a few years prior, the stick was content to spend the rest of his days as most Micronesian sticks do; laying on the ground, being moved about by wild animals…maybe even floating off to sea. Who knows where he could end up?

One day, he was plucked from the ground by a handsome man in a straw hat. The stick was a bit nervous, but he was excited to have a new friend. That excitement quickly turned to horror as the man cruelly carved away at his bark with a knife, wrapped him in a cloth, and buried him under a rock.

Terrified, the stick laid there not knowing what to think. Finally he heard the man whisper, “Do your job now, buddy.”

His job?

Those words rattled around the poor stick’s head. What could that possibly mean?

He’d have his answer soon enough. A few days later, a second handsome man came to retrieve him. And with that, the stranger exclaimed, “I guess this is the hidden immunity idol.”

Wait…the carving, the wrapping, the burying…was this how someone becomes a hidden immunity idol?

If so, it had all been worth it.

The stick was brought back to the tribe’s camp. He eventually learned that the person who had created him was named Ozzy and the person who now wielded his considerable influence was Jason.

He waited, in the shadows, eager for the moment where he’d get to display his new-found power.

And that day finally came. Jason had won an individual immunity challenge and had promised the stick to his alliance member, an attractive young woman named Eliza.

The stick was ecstatic as Jason handed him over. But Eliza didn’t share his enthusiasm. Instead of being overjoyed by Jason’s generous gift, she became enraged.

They argued back and forth, the stick didn’t know what to think. But he knew he’d never forget the look of disgust on the New York attorney’s face when she said, “It’s a (expletive deleted) stick.”

“A (expletive deleted) stick?” he thought. “Well, I’ll show you what this (expletive deleted) stick can do.”

That night at Tribal Council, the stick waited patiently for his opportunity to shine. The back-and-forth debate didn’t seem particularly heated, but it was clear that Eliza would need his assistance.

Votes were cast and then Jeff Probst asked if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. The stick was so excited he felt like he was about to burst.

Eliza stood, crossed the Tribal Council set, and handed her prize to the show’s host. The stick beamed with pride as Probst explained that a hidden immunity idol would negate all of Eliza’s votes and the person with next highest amount of votes would be asked to leave the game.

It was at that moment that the stick saw something he’d never forget…Ozzy was laughing.

Why would the man who had granted him such immense power find this humorous?

This thought was quickly put aside when Jeff Probst proclaimed, “This is not a hidden immunity idol.”

Disappointment, disbelief, shame, anger…all rushed through the stick’s tiny body. And before he had a chance to fully compute any of these complex emotions, he felt his body hurtling through the air.

Had Jeff thrown him? Why would he throw…?

Then fire…all around him. White hot flames licked at the tiny stick’s body.

The final indignity? Hearing Ozzy’s faux protest, “C’mon, that took hours to make.” Followed by the raucous laughter of his cohorts.

And then darkness.

The stick awoke days later in the possession of “Survivor” Executive Producer Matt Van Wagenen. Matt had asked a production assistant to fish the stick out of the fire. And honestly, a few scorch marks aside, the poor stick wasn’t in that bad of shape…physically.

Mentally, the past few days had taken quite a toll. To go from regular Micronesian stick, to powerful immunity idol, to kindling? It was too much of an emotional rollercoaster for the little guy to bear. After it was all said and done Eliza was right, he was just a stick.

Just a (expletive deleted) stick.

Matt had considered keeping the stick on his desk as a souvenir. But, as the game played out, Eliza was sent home, followed by Ozzy and Jason, both of whom had real idols in their possession.

All three of the players who’d handled the stick had met embarrassing ends…was it possible this stick was…cursed?

And was Matt himself now cursed? Sure, as a television producer, he didn’t have to be worried about being voted out of a reality show, but he had a full life and a family to think about.

So, he did what any sensible person would do. He sent it far away.

Matt had purchased a small Fijian island a few years prior. He thought it’d make a good vacation spot for some time in the future.

He gathered up the stick, along with a few other dubious “Survivor” mementoes he’d acquired over the years, and left them there.

Matt sent quite a few failed items there over the years; legacy advantages that had backfired, extra votes that were misplayed. He considered it to be his “Island of Misfit Toys.”

But, the stick and the other inhabitants began to refer to it by a different name…“Ghost Island.”

For ten years the stick lived there, and while the majority of the game’s discarded advantages were polite enough, there was one inhabitant who seemed to delight in making the stick’s life difficult.

“My season of ‘Survivor’ was one of the most popular ever,” he’d boast.

“You could trade me for a bucket of water in an immunity challenge,” he’d crow.

“I’m a shiny medallion and you’re just a (expletive deleted) stick,” he’d chide.

That last jibe was the one that would always get to the stick. He knew his place in the world, he didn’t have to be reminded.

The funny thing about this story is that old sticks tend to be like Guatemala cast members…they don’t get second chances. But that all changed the day Matt Van Wagenen and several production assistants returned to pay the misfit toys a visit.

The island’s inhabitants assumed he was just dropping off more disappointing trinkets, but the look on his face told a different story. The crew slowly started gathering the items. They even overheard Matt telling the staff members that the advantages would have a chance to return to the game and “reverse the curse.”

All of the items were overjoyed with this news. Well, everyone except for the stick. An idol can be replayed, an extra vote can be recast. What can you possibly do with a stick?

“Oh, don’t forget that one,” Matt said as he reached down to claim the stick.

One of the crew tilted his head and asked, “What’s that?”

Matt smiled and said, “Oh, this might be the most cursed item of them all. All three of the players who touched it met horrible fates. Eliza Orlins spent her entire time on the jury with a shocked look on her face. Ozzy Lusth would go on to be voted out four more times. And Jason Siska? Well, nobody ever saw him again.”

“So,” Matt continued, “We’re bringing it back and making it a real immunity idol.”

If the crude face Ozzy had carved into the side of the stick was capable of movement, it would have been grinning from ear to ear. The stick was simply elated knowing that his life’s dream had finally been realized.

Matt placed the stick into his bag along with the Medallion of Power and several other items. The arrogant Medallion, upon seeing the stick, asked, “Where do you think you’re going? You’re just a (expletive deleted) stick.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, Medallion,” he replied.

“I’m the (expletive deleted) stick.”

All of the items were taken back to the “Survivor” production facility where they were repackaged and eventually hidden in the game.

The stick found himself placed by a tree on Malolo Beach. From the little he overheard from passing contestants, he knew this tribe was in dire straits. Yeah…the stick could relate.

Finally, he was plucked from the ground by an attractive young man named Michael. “Huh,” the stick thought to himself, “Everyone on this show is good looking.”

Michael was overjoyed with his discovery, telling the camera crew that he couldn’t wait to do some damage with the stick.

The stick agreed. He couldn’t wait to be presented at Tribal Council.

He couldn’t wait to save Michael’s skin.

And he couldn’t wait to shove Jeff Probst into the fire.

Reward Challenge Time: The players will hold up a platform using ropes. One by one, they’ll place blocks on the platform to spell the word “Reward.” The first tribe to complete this will win a barbecue with all the fixings. The second place tribe will enjoy kabobs. The winning team will also send someone from the second or third-place team to Ghost Island.

Domenick will sit for Naviti, Laurel will sit for Yanuya.

Result: Naviti took first place even though Bradley was doing his best to rub Donathan the wrong way. Then Yanuya claimed second place. Naviti unanimously decided to send Kellyn to Ghost Island because they wanted to keep the secrets of Ghost Island…er…secret.

At Ghost Island

Kellyn was offered an opportunity to play a game. She had to wager her vote at the next Tribal against a two-in-three shot of getting an advantage. Kellyn decides to “risk it for the biscuit” and is rewarded with the “steal a vote” from “Survivor: Game Changers.” However, now it’s just an extra vote.

And no, you don’t get a whole story about Michaela’s vote.

At Naviti Beach

Bradley is just driving everybody crazy. They’re trying to celebrate their big victory, and he keeps cutting them off.

Bradley admits to having no patience in his normal life…so that’s different from your in-game life how?

Sure enough, Bradley manages to turn the majority of Naviti against him. The four other members agree to vote him off if they go to Tribal, but Domenick seems like he’s on the fence.

At Yanuya Beach

Wendell goes on a little idol hunt after the kabob feast. He manages to locate a clue which leads him to the individual immunity idol that Erik gave away in Micronesia.

Holy cow, this is like Micronesia’s gritty reboot.

At Malolo Beach

Frustrated at being one of the most losing tribes in “Survivor” history, Desiree, Angela, and Michael decide to reverse the curse by burning their tribe’s banner. That should do it.

Immunity Challenge: The tribes will retrieve rings and then…do a ring toss. Wait, that’s it? The first two tribes to put all of their rings on their target will win immunity.

Chelsea sits out for Naviti, while Jenna rides the pine for Yanuya.

Result: Yanuya claimed first place, while Malolo’s banner-burning worked, earning them a second-place finish. Naviti will go to Tribal Council.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Back at camp, Domenick apologizes for his challenge performance, but Libby assures him that they win as a tribe and they lose as a tribe.

Bradley is back to his old tricks, with Domenick feeling like he’s constantly talking down to everyone.

Later on, Bradley pitches Libby as the vote. Domenick, Donathan, and Chelsea all seem cool with it.

On the other hand, Chelsea and the others are telling Libby that they’re voting for Bradley.

Huh…it’s got to be Libby, right? Ever since Special Agent Philip, people are happy to bring annoying players to the end.

Tribal Time

This was really a low-key affair with neither Libby or Bradley fighting for their lives. That leads me to believe that they both genuinely feel like they’re safe.

However, Bradley is saying that he thinks everyone is a big happy family. It seems like a few people would disagree with that, but nobody does.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…nobody does. We’ve got one vote for Libby, two votes for Bradley, and the seventh person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…Bradley.

Wow…another blindside. Total E-lib-ination!

Verdict: There’s got to be more to that vote other than, “Bradley is bugging us.” If not, it’s very short-sighted in a season where classic Naviti has been sticking together. If anything it sends a signal that all bets are off.

Anywho, I’m prepared to say that I’ve really enjoyed this pre-merge.

  • Libby and Donathan – If James is to be believed, there was no split with the Malolo four. Good on them for keeping each other alive.
  • Wendell – Do it, Wendell. Win this game. You’ve got this.
  • Michael – You probably are too young for this reference, but “Goonies never say die,” and neither do you.
  • Chelsea – Hmm…well look who’s worked her way into becoming Domenick’s right hand. Well done.
  • Kellyn – Boom! The only thing keeping you from an A is the fact that you guys left Michael alone.
  • Domenick – I don’t know how I feel about this move. Bradley would have made a phenomenal goat.
  • Angela and Desiree – See Kellyn.
  • Jenna, Sebastian, Laurel, and Chris – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Roark had Bradley in spot twelve, I had him in spot eleven. The current score is Team Roark 65, Team Gordon 67.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Episode 5 Recap: Braiding Places?

March 21, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Michael played an idol that was owned by James Clement, most of his alliance stayed, but sadly Michael went.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

The tribes as they currently stand…

The Naviti Tribe (wearing purple)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Chris, 27 – Male Model
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
James, 24 – Business Analyst
Libby, 24 – Social Media Strategist
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

The Malolo Tribe (wearing orange)
Bradley, 26 – Law Student
Chelsea, 24 – EMT/Professional Cheerleader
Desiree, 21 – Student
Jenna, 23 – Advertising Account Executive
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Michael, 18 – Real Estate Agent
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Stephanie, 34 – Yoga Instructor

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Michael, Stephanie and Jenna immediately try to mend fences with the classic Naviti folk. That’s always a strong move in my book. A lot can happen in the three/six/nine days until they have to vote again.

However, Michael’s big move has alerted everyone to the fact that he’s not just a pretty face. And, his “double idol” lie shows that he can think outside of the box. He’s in trouble.

Reward Challenge Time: The teams will race over a series of hurdles and then uncover a lever that’s buried under a pile of sandbags. The level will release smaller sandbags that will be used to hit targets. The first tribe to hit all three targets and open their flags will receive coffee and pastries.

Result: The Noble One destroyed this challenge for Naviti. It wasn’t even close. Apparently being a pitcher in college has its benefits. His WAR is through the roof. However, the highlight was Donathan jumping up and down and screaming “Cinnamon rolls! Cinnamon rolls!” How wasn’t Cinnabon a sponsor for this?

The Malolo-lows pull rocks to decide who gets to visit Ghost Island and Stephanie is the odd woman out.

On the way out, Chris lets us know that he was “pretty hot” today. He follows that with “I’m a diamond in the rough, do you see me glow? This ain’t pay-per-view. It’s a free show.” Then he does a mimed mic drop.

No, seriously.

At Ghost Island

Stephanie is not given the opportunity to play a game…which should put to rest any questions of the game being fixed. If anything, you’d think the producers would want to see her come back with an advantage.

Instead, she eats some rice and tries to figure a way out of her predicament.

Pastries and Pleasantries

The coffee reward reminds Donathan of being back home which makes him a little emotional. He shares his story with Laurel, telling her that he feels a little guilty being on the show because he’s a caregiver for his grandmother. They hug and it’s adorable.

Later, Chris and Donathan discuss the similarities with their situations. Chris’s mother suffers from MS and he’s been taking care of her. The duo seems to bond over it.

And…that’s all we get before the immunity challenge. So, we’re not going to spend any time with Malolo-low? Does that telegraph a Naviti win?

Immunity Challenge Time: One member from each tribe will run out to a floating platform. They’ll untie a bag and ride a bodyboard back to the shore. Once they’ve retrieved all three bags, they’ll use the pieces in the bag to figure out a combination. The combination will release a slide puzzle. The first tribe to complete the puzzle wins immunity.

Result: Domenick and James get the best of the all-star puzzle team of Kellyn and Bradley to win it for Naviti.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Michael, Stephanie, and Jenna are all on the chopping block, and it doesn’t look like there are any cracks in classic Naviti alliance.

Jenna realizes that she is hard to get close to because she puts walls up. She tries to cozy up to Sea Bass. He seems into it, but not as into it as he seemed during last week’s preview.

Sea Bass Moment of the Week: Jenna offers to braid Sebastian’s hair, but he claims that she doesn’t know how. He hopes she can figure it out because he “needs braiders on this tribe.” Ah…never vote Sea Bass out.

Some people want Stephanie out because she’s clearly a threat, but they’re worried she might have gained an advantage at Ghost Island. Desiree digs into Stephanie’s bag and doesn’t find anything. You guys have seen people burying idols for years, right?

Bradley seems torn on Michael because he wants to win some challenges, but Michael clearly has some social and strategic chops.

Tribal Time

There isn’t much drama, but Kellyn admits that their voting plan has changed several times throughout the day.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Desiree, four votes for Stephanie, and the fifth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…Stephanie.

Verdict: I don’t want anyone to think I’m calling this episode boring, but everything was pretty much by the book. The stronger tribe took both immunities, there were no twists or advantages, and the dominant alliance didn’t break ranks. It seems like a long time since we’ve had an episode like this.

And that being said, nobody made any terrible moves this week, so all the grades are pretty decent…

  • Chris – It’s fun to tease the guy, but what can I say? He killed the reward challenge and made inroads with Donathan.
  • Michael – He picked up the pieces and moved on. Now he has to cross his fingers and hope for a swap, merge, or idol.
  • Laurel – You were just what Donathan needed, right when he needed it.
  • Bradley – It seems like last week’s Tribal was the kick in the pants Bradley needed. He was much better around Stephanie and Michael this time around.
  • Desiree – Something about Desiree digging into Steph’s bag and then reporting back to Bradley made me feel like she was his right hand. Not a bad place to be.
  • Jenna – You survived this week because you were considered the least threatening, but you were making moves.
  • Sebastian – Please, please, please make all of your decisions based on how it effects your hair.
  • Donathan – You’re gonna need to pick a side here, buddy.
  • Chelsea, Kellyn, Libby, James, Domenick, Wendell, Angela – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Roark had Stephanie in spot fifteen, I had her in spot sixteen. The current score is Team Roark 39, Team Gordon 44.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Host Jeff Probst Breaks Down the First Tribal Council

February 28, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: Whispering at Tribal Council has become more and more common at Tribal. Do you like it because it adds an air of mystery, or are you worried that we’re going to miss something important?
Jeff Probst: I like it…it’s funny…I’ve never thought of either of the two things that you just said. I don’t worry about it all because I trust that they’re going to do what they want to do anyway. And in terms of the mystery, it’s cool because it adds doubt to what you think is locked in. But mainly, I like that it’s what I would do. You don’t get a second chance. I like that Gonzalez stood up. I was shocked. When I asked if we were ready to vote, she shot her hand up. My first thought was, “Wow, this is a real thing that’s going to happen from time to time.”
Holmes: She did not consent.
Probst: No, she didn’t.

Holmes: On the other hand, you’ve got Donathan who wasn’t privy to any of the whispering. He’s just sitting there. How can you possibly do that at this point?
Probst: Yeah. I think Donathan told you his story. He’s lacking self-confidence. His self-esteem is so low from the friends in his world that he doesn’t have the constitution to stand up and say, “I’ve got a voice too.” So, maybe he’ll last long enough that we can watch that voice grow. Wouldn’t that be cool to see him come in as quiet as a mouse, then leave roaring like a lion.

Holmes: Jacob was done for. We were at tribe camps yesterday and he was desperately searching for idols. You can’t script “Survivor,” but if you could, wouldn’t he be the first person you’d send to Ghost Island? Was there a silent little fist pump going on?
Probst: Yes, you’re always looking for good moments. But, I trust the game. What I thought was more interesting was him saying that he predicted it and it was all part of his plan. That made my jaw drop. Either he believes it or he believes that we believe that he laid it out so he’d be the guy.
Holmes: Has anyone ever pissed off all 19 other players in the first three days before?
Probst: (Laughs) That’s a good question. It’s rare air.

Note: Andrea Boehlke was sitting nearby.

Holmes: Settle a bet with me and Boehlke. In the beginning of the game, when you introduce people and say, “You in the red shirt, what’s your name?” Do you do that in case they want to use a different name?
Probst: Yeah.
Holmes: You hear that, Andrea?
Boehlke: No it’s not!
Holmes: He just said it!
Probst: Whatever you want to do, I don’t say, “Hey, Andrea.”
Boehlke: I thought it was so they could introduce themselves.
Probst: Why does nobody ever believe me when I give an answer?
Holmes: Just let me be right for once.
Boehlke: Fine, you’re right about something. But, we’re fighting.

Holmes: Michael is lying about his age. And you asked him how long he’s been watching and he quickly responded with the correct fake age.
Probst: That was awesome.
Holmes: You should’ve drilled him with some more. “When did you get your driver’s license?”
Probst: (Laughs) He’s a sharp man. I have to remind myself he’s eighteen. He doesn’t look eighteen. He’s saying he’s 23 and I don’t want to blow it. It’s pretty impressive.
Holmes: Who else impressed you tonight?
Probst: Brendan is a legit threat. He’s gifted. He can answer a question in a way that keeps him safe but lets other people know he’s still strong. He’s complimentary to other people. He seems like a natural leader. I thought James…really like James. He’s such a contrast to everyone on his tribe. He really does analyze every little thing. And he does it so fast that to him it must seem normal. I like Libby a lot. I think she’s a sleeper. You can miss what she’s doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns two or three times.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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