Archive for the ‘Reality’ Category

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap: The Brad News Bears

October 9, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs Water' (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: Colton threw in the towel, Marissa threw out some obscenities, Tyson threw out his shoulder, and Brad threw John out of Tadhana…

39 Days (well…technically 39.5), 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Galang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Aras – Musician, 31
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Kat – Full-Time Student/Sales, 23
Laura B. – Merchandiser, 44
Laura M. – Co-Owner of Morett Construction, 43
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tina – Motivational Speaker, 52
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

The Tadhana Tribe (wearing red)
Brad – Attorney, 44
Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Vytas – Yoga Instructor, 33

Our evening’s fun starts off at Redemption Island where we learn that Candice can’t recognize her husband’s voice in the dark.

John is bummed that Brad would turn on him. Dude, you married Candice Woodcock. Anyone who’s watched her play should know that sometimes you’ve got to switch allegiances.

Back at Tadhana, Brad thinks they need to start focusing on an alliance that has loved ones on the other side. For some reason this worries Caleb which is weird because Colton wasn’t voted out.

Wait…nevermind.

Next, we’re off to Redemption (Still Not an) Island. Candice greets Brad with a one-finger salute. Nice to see that her and Marissa have found so much in common during their time together.

Monica tries to defend Brad saying he’s not the only one who’s voting. Candice responds to this by accusing Brad of shushing all of the women. John says he never saw that, but Tadhana should consider knocking the king off of the throne.

Redemption Island Duel (ahem…Truel) Time: The players will have to maneuver a key through a ladder bridge. Once they get to the end they’ll use the key to unlock a bag of puzzle pieces. The first person to complete the puzzle gets to stay and give away an immunity idol clue. The second person just gets to stay. The last person will be out of the game.

The challenge starts and Marissa and John are neck and neck. Candice is only slightly behind them. John eventually releases his bag first with Marissa only a second or two behind.

Candice eventually catches up and all three are working on their puzzles. Brad starts giving John advice in the hopes of someday winning him back.

John pulls away and completes the puzzle first. Marissa grows frustrated and this allows Candice to sneak by for the win.

Candice tells John he should give the clue to Monica so Galang will turn on her. Oh…that’s evil. I like that.

Brad tells Monica to burn the clue…and she does! Brilliant! This season is insane!

Also…and sorry for thinking this…with a married couple alone on Redemption Island (or Camp Cody) this could be the first time there’s some…uh…funny business during the game.

If this shelter’s a rockin’…

Sorry, I’ll stop.

Over at Galang, Monica has a bit of a breakdown because of the abuse Brad is taking. Her tribemates are cool though and try to cheer her up. Gervase puts it in a good context, reminding her that it’s a game and somebody has to run the show. That’s actually an excellent example of how solid Gervase’s social game is. He’s funny and personable, but he can be real when he needs to be.

At Tadhana, Brad is considering getting rid of Caleb because he doesn’t have a loved one on the other side who’ll be mad about it. However, we then learn that Hayden, Caleb, and Vytas are tight and Brad is on the bottom. Man, that Five Guys alliance really is out the window.

Later on, we meet up with Tyson and Gervase as they’re sneaking off to drink coconuts. C’mon guys, that’s a serious breach of banana etiquette. James would be livid.

Apparently the “Coconut Bandits” have bonded over this deception and are now an alliance.

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will take a boat out on a mission to retrieve some huge crates. Once they have them all, they’ll return to the beach and build a staircase. Then two players will complete a puzzle to get the combination to a key. First tribe to climb the steps, use the key, and raise their flag wins immunity and their choice of coffee and treats or fishing gear.

Tina and Kat will sit out for Galang. Look at Tyson toughing it out.

The challenge starts off and Galang reminds us that they still suck at rowing boats. Things eventually even out and Laura B. is really proving that she’s a heck of a challenge competitor. Rupert must be beaming.

Tadhana retrieves all of their crates first, but their boat tips over and Galang takes the lead.

During the stair-building portion, Tadhana manages to regain the lead. But Laura M. and Tyson tear through the puzzle much quicker than Ciera and Vytas. Tyson retrieves their key, raises their flag, and sends Tadhana to their fourth straight Tribal Council.

There’s a serious Ulonging going on here.

Once again, Mama Morett laid the smack down on her daughter. Will this be the one that sends Ciera packing?

After the challenge, Brad tells Ciera and Katie that they’re going to target Caleb. But after Caleb’s gone, it will be “nut-cutting time.”

Uh…

Caleb, Vytas, and Hayden are all ready to vote for Ciera, but the way Brad was talking to the girls has Caleb nervous.

That night at Tribal Council, Brad throws Ciera under the bus for being bad at puzzles.

Ciera admits that she isn’t as good at puzzles as she thought, but she’s not going to whine about it.

Brad admits that it’d be great to vote out someone without a loved one so he wouldn’t get heat at Redemption Island. Caleb didn’t love that comment.

Caleb feels like he’s the low man on the totem pole and didn’t like that Brad was campaigning against him.

Brad says it was just a discussion, not a campaign.

Caleb tells Ciera that he’s going to write Brad’s name down and everyone else is welcome to follow suit.

Brad tries to save face by saying he’s not going to vote for Caleb.

Voting Time: Caleb votes for Brad, Brad votes for Ciera, and the rest of the votes are lost to the magic of editing.

JPro tallies, then returns.  We’ve got one vote for Brad, two votes for Ciera, one vote for Brad, one vote for Ciera, and…one vote for Brad.

A tie! This season is the greatest train wreck ever!

Voting Time Again: Katie votes for Brad, Hayden starts voting for Ciera….then scratches it out! And that’s all we get to see.

Note: Hayden, buddy…just grab another piece of parchment.

JPro tallies, returns…and we’ve got one vote Brad, one vote Ciera, one vote Brad, and the sixth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Brad!

Oh his way out, Brad tells everyone that he isn’t mad at them. That’s actually a very smart strategy in this game.

Verdict: So basically, with his first strategic maneuver ever, Caleb made a better move that Colton did in two whole seasons. Good times.

This season is delivering in a big way. I’m hoping Jeff Probst isn’t the kind of guy to say, “I told you so.”

And who isn’t psyched to see Camp Cody square off against Big Bad Brad next week?

Who’s Going to Win? Buh…Vytas? Who knows…this season is nuts.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm had Brad in spot 13, I had him in 12. Malcolm had both of the Codys surviving at Redemption, I only had Candice. So, the score for this round is Team Malcolm 15, Team Gordon 13. The current total score is Team Malcolm 56, Team Gordon 55.

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

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‘Survivor: Philippines’ Recap: Is Lisa Whelchel’s Secret Out?

October 31, 2012

Lisa Whelchel (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Philippines”

Last Week: A reward challenge ended in a way that was lame, Carter slipped up and said the wrong name, and poor Miss Delaware was kicked out of the game.

Oh, and Jeff Probst put on a fake beard and wig and pretended to be a psychic. (OK, that wasn’t last week, that was earlier today on “The Jeff Probst Show.” I just wanted everyone to know.)

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Kalabaw Tribe (wearing red)
Carter – Track Coach, 24
Denise – Sex Therapist, 41
Jeff Kent – Former MLB Player, 44
Penner – Writer, 50

The Tandang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Abi-Maria – Business Student, 32
Artis – Computer Engineer, 53
Michael – Professional Speaker, Author, and Coach, 50
Lisa – Former ‘Facts of Life’ Star, 49
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Pete – Engineering Graduate, 24
RC – Investment Banker, 27

We meet up with the Kalabatians after Tribal Council. Penner points out that Denise has been to every Tribal so far in the game. That has to be a record, right? Some kind of consecutive Tribal streak?

Penner is also wondering why Katie voted for him. He thinks it was a wake-up call that people could be lying to him. C’mon Penner, you’ve been around too long to need that kind of warning.

Kent knows that he’ll cut Penner’s throat or vice-versa, it’s a just a matter of who does it first. That might be the best way to approach an alliance in this game; assume you’ll have to turn, but hope you never have to.

The next morning at Tandang, Skup points out that it’s the day he fell in the fire. Happy Anniversary, Skup! The festivities are interrupted by a boat and a letter.

Psychic Jeff holds the letter to his forehead and says…

Sorry, couldn’t help it. I like to think that’s how Jeff would look after 39 days on the island.

Tandang is given a couple of minutes to gather all of their stuff. Fortunately, Malcolm didn’t forget where he buried his idol. That’d be embarrassing.

Same deal over at Kalabaw island. Penner hopes they can sway some Tandang folks over to his side. With Skup and RC on the outs, he might have a shot.

They all arrive at what I think is the old Matsing beach and are greeted by a feast. Ooo…and they get black buffs. Very slimming.

Later, Abi approaches RC with the idea of becoming a spy, but RC isn’t comfortable with that due to the unrest at the old Tandang camp. Gah…might’ve been smart to go along and be a double agent.

Uh oh…while Lisa was doing Malcolm’s laundry she accidentally stumbled upon his hidden immunity idol. Denise sees it happen and lets Malcolm know.

Malcolm takes Lisa aside and she instantly fesses up. She apologizes up and down, but he takes this as an opportunity to bring her into his alliance with Denise. Lisa agrees to join them, but lets us know that she thinks she might be being played. Dun dun dun…

Quick Aside: People groan when they see celebrities on “Survivor,” but Kent and Lisa both came to play. Go them.

Later that afternoon, Penner asks Lisa if anybody has recognized her from her popular ’80s sitcom. Wow…busy day for Lisa.  The two bond over the connection, but don’t discuss strategy. Penner promises not to out her, but that’ll last only as long as Penner feels safe in the game.

Then Penner plants the seed in Skup’s brain that they could both be targets because they’re returning players. Smart. RC’s interested in joining up with Kalabaw because Pete and Abi forgot the Survivor 101 rule of taking care of the people on the bottom of your alliance.

Back at camp, Kent’s making moves to get rid of Penner. What’s interesting is Kent doesn’t tell anyone that Penner has the idol. Apparently even Carter doesn’t know this piece of information.

Negotiating around camp has Tandang (minus RC and Skup) and Kalabaw (minus Penner) splitting the vote between Penner and RC in case Penner plays his idol. We haven’t even had an immunity challenge yet!

Oh wait…

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto a handle that is attached to a bucket. The bucket holds 25% of the person’s body weight inside of it. Last woman and man with a bucket in the air win a chic immunity necklace.

Skup’s the first to go, he’s followed by Pete. Next up we lose Penner. Probst makes a point of saying that Penner will be in trouble at Tribal. Whoa, maybe he is psychic…

Lisa and Malcolm go next. There are three men and three women left.

RC and Abi both drop out. Denise finally wins something!

We’re down to Artis, Jeff Kent, and Carter. Artis drops out quickly.

Carter and Kent hang on for another ten minutes. Kent tries to make a deal with Carter, but he isn’t having it. Kent drops…Carter wins.

On the way back to camp, we learn that the tribe’s new name is Dangrayne. Seriously, I plant the idea of a cool merge name every time I visit the set and it never happens. Dawson was my best hope.

RC lets us know that her and Skup are going to side with Kalabaw against Tandang. Skup’s a little weirded out because he’s never felt threatened before. I’d say that fire was pretty threatening.

Skup says he won’t team up with Artis, Abi, and Pete without some kind of divine intervention. Well, Coach isn’t playing this season…

Skup discusses the plan with Kent, and for the third time this episode, Kent says that he doesn’t want Penner to get farther in the game than him. That’s kinda strange. Getting to the end with a jury that likes and respects you should be the goal.

Kent’s concern is that on one side he’s teaming with returning players who he doesn’t want to win and on the other he and Carter are on the bottom. Quite a conundrum.

That night at Tribal Council, Tandang finally gets to see their torches. That’s just odd.

RC thinks Tandang fought each other a lot, but it’s cool because families fight some times. Good spin. Now let’s vote out Grandma.

Abi thinks that RC betrayed her by hiding the clue, so she moved on to another alliance.

RC denies hiding the clue. (Reminder: Pete totally moved the clue.)

Lisa argues that an alliance of flippers can’t be trusted.

Pete thinks there’s always a “mutiny feeling” around returning players. Yeah, that’s why those players always get to the end.

Pete also thinks there are two idols in the game because Matsing’s idol is gone. Dun dun dun…

Jeff Kent says it’s very likely there will be a blindside. Probst resists the urge to ask if it will be a “Major League” blindside.

Voting Time: Abi votes for Penner, RC votes for Pete, Artis votes for RC, Penner votes for Pete, Pete votes for RC, and the rest are secret.

Psychic Jeff tallies the votes, even though he already used his powers to see how everyone voted.

He asks if anyone would like to play their idol. Penner steps up. Blam!

Three votes for Penner, one vote for RC, one vote for Pete, two votes Penner, one vote for RC, one vote for Pete, one vote for RC, and the eighth person to leave “Survivor: Philippines” is…RC.

Skup voted for Penner?! Was there divine intervention and we missed it?!

Verdict: Well, so much for tribes always sticking together after the merge. That’s a welcome change.

This was a good, solid episode. It was nice to finally see Tandang get down and dirty in the voting cubicle. Can’t wait to see how all these weird alliances and sub-alliances and side-alliances work out.

Who’s Going to Win: My boy Malcolm’s in a good spot. Denise and Lisa too. When the Dangrayne hits the fan after tonight’s Tribal, they should be the least splattered.

Power Rankings Results: Kat is on a roll. She has picked the last six eliminated players perfectly. Kudos. She had RC in spot eleven, while I had her in spot ten. The current score is Team Kat: 91, Team Awesome Thunder: 95.

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

‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Picks the Show’s Grossest Challenge Ever

October 8, 2012

'Survivor: South Pacific' (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Philippines”

This Week’s Question: What is the most disgusting challenge in ‘Survivor’ history?

Gordon Holmes: Alright, I’ve got this one. You know me; I love it when they eat gross stuff on the show. But, as far as the most disgusting challenge in “Survivor” history, it’s got to be the pig roast challenge from “Survivor: South Pacific.”
Jeff Probst:
I’d love to disagree, because I thoroughly enjoy disagreeing with you, but alas…I agree.  
Holmes:
For those of you who don’t remember, the two tribes could only use their mouths to rip meat off of this huge hunk of what used to be a pig. The tribe that got the most meat into their bin won. The disgusting combination of flesh tearing, spitting, barbecue sauce, and ripping bits from each other’s teeth did a wonderful job of making me want to never eat anything ever again. High fives for everyone involved.  
Probst:
The back story is that when it was first presented at our test block it was an entire pig…the whole thing.  It was simply too much to put on the air at 8 pm. So, I asked the guys to remove some of the more recognizable body parts (I know that’s a rough visual in and of itself) so it wasn’t so apparent what it was they were attacking.
Holmes:
Ugh…and for that I thank you.

What Is Your Pick? Send your answers to me on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Shares His Pre-Season Picks

September 18, 2012

Jeff Probst (CBS)

XfinityTV.com sent me deep into the wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of “Survivor” stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

DVR the “Survivor” Premiere

Holmes: Alright, we just got back from the…the launch? That’s not the right term.
Probst: The marooning.
Holmes: That’s it. Who’s your favorite so far?
Probst: I’m a little biased because I like all three of our returning players a lot. Penner’s one of my all-time favorite contestants and he reminded me why in the opening moments. I said you’ve got to be off this boat in ten seconds and in the scramble of him trying to get stuff he said, “Or what happens?” He lips off at every possible opportunity. It’s almost wrestling and he’s a foil. It’s this unscripted relationship we have in that whatever I say to him, he will challenge me. And sometimes I don’t know how to reply. Sometimes he wins, and I love that.
Holmes: How do you keep from pushing him into the water? Professionalism?
Probst: Yes, professionalism. Thank you.  I’m really excited to see Skupin back. He’s really the most famous memory of early “Survivor.” The guy who fell in the fire, that’s how people remember him.

Meet the New Castaways:

[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/tv/Survivor%3A-Philippines/177925/2273586881/Sneak-peek%3A-Meet-The-Castaways/embed 580 476]

Holmes: I’ve been nagging you about bringing back Skupin for years. I just want to take this time to say, “Thanks.”
Probst: We’ve tried. We wanted to bring him back so many times and have talked to him so many times that when we finally brought him back he didn’t believe us. I’m surprised he came on a plane to come out here. But he’s old school “Survivor,” I’m really curious to see if Skupin will be able to keep up with the game the way it is now. If he sits around and waits for a week to make an alliance, he’ll probably be in trouble. And then Russell Swan, it’s great to see him back because that was, no lie, no hype, that was the most afraid I have ever been. I seriously thought he was dying.
Holmes: Absolutely. I was watching it on TV and I knew he was fine and I’d be speaking to him the next day, and I was still pretty freaked out. I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like to see that live.
Probst: He was so pissed at us. He was so frustrated that we pulled him from the game, for months. I finally called. I said, “How are you?” He said, “I’m not happy with you guys, you pulled me out. You took away my shot at a million dollars.” I said, “Russell, you have no idea what happened. Your heart rate dropped like 30 beats in like half a second.” He really wasn’t having it. So, after the episode I called him and he was crying. He said, “I’m here with my wife. I have no recollections of that happening. And my wife just went through this near-death experience with me on the couch and I get it.”
Holmes: I talked to him yesterday. He said if anything happens to him his wife is going to kick your ass.
Probst: (Laughs) My ass!
Holmes: She’s holding you responsible.
Probst: (Laughs) Oh wow!
Holmes: That’s a lot on your shoulders.
Probst: I have no fault in this at all. I have no fault insurance.

Holmes: Which of the new players are in trouble?
Probst: Angie is going to fall into the unfortunate, young, attractive blonde who has no business being out here and has no idea that she shouldn’t be out here. Clueless. Beautiful tan though.
Holmes: Lovely young woman.
Probst: During the marooning I asked, “Who out here seems the most out of their element.” And, one girl turned around and said, “The blonde girl.”
Holmes: I believe that was Katie, Miss Delaware.
Probst: Yeah, Miss Delaware. Who else is in trouble? Dawson. Where the (expletive deleted) she came up with the name Dawson I have no idea.
Holmes: It’s her last name.
Probst: Oh…there you go.
Holmes: It’s better than G.C., I’ll give her that.
Probst: Who’s G.C.?
Holmes: G-Cizzle from “Survivor: Gabon”?
Probst: Oh my God…G.C… Dawson could last because she’s on a really good tribe. But if her tribe has to get rid of someone…she’s a nutcase and I don’t think Penner will have any time for it.

Holmes: Who are your favorites thus far?
Probst: I like Abi-Maria a lot. I hope she lasts. She could be a great winner, she could win.
Holmes: I think she could be in trouble.
Probst: Oh yeah?
Holmes: When they were paddling away she was just sitting in the middle holding stuff down and barking orders.
Probst: Oh really? She does have that little…Brazilian flame. And she’s probably used to getting things her way. But, I really like her. I think she’s charming and funny. And she brings a point of view that I don’t think we’ve had from a woman. I also like Zane. On paper he seems like he should be a total fish out of water here.
Holmes: I like him a lot.
Probst: Yeah?
Holmes: Absolutely.
Probst: But his personality is so engaging and he’s so funny and it’s so hard to understand him that I think he’ll be a very memorable character. I also like Malcolm a lot. He’s sort of the “Survivor” prototype Ozzy (Lusth) kind of guy. If he gets off to a good start he could really last for a while.

Holmes: How do you feel about Lisa?
Probst: Lisa is one of the people this season that I genuinely hope gets the full experience. I know she wants it, she’s so enthusiastic. She has a great attitude. But, she’s fighting one big obstacle in this game in that if you’re over 40, you’re like a fossil. And so, her biggest challenge is going to be, how do I prove to them that I’m worth keeping around?
Holmes: Especially in three tribes of six people, it seems like there’s much less wiggle room. Also, it seems like challenge strength is going to be a huge asset early on.
Probst: Yeah. But Lisa’s enthusiasm is contagious. I love it. I loved it the minute I met her. I’m so glad she’s out here and I really hope she lasts. Pete, I’m not sure about. He’s a little bit of a lost puppy. And, I think he knows it. He doesn’t want anyone else to know it. So, I don’t look for him to be a strong player and win. But, his bulk might keep him around. RC is a big question mark for me. I root for her. She’s the kind of woman I would align with. I’m not sure that’s going to be the case with anybody else.

Holmes: Who has villain potential?
Probst: Good question. Jeff Kent could be a villain. I like Jeff because he’s a no (expletive deleted) kind of guy. But he could rub people the wrong way. This is a dude who played in the Major Leagues for two decades. He’s used to playing at a certain level and if you can’t keep up, I imagine he’ll be the guy saying, “You know what, I’m going to cut you lose.”
Holmes: Jeff came really close to guessing the twist.
Probst: Did he? So did Carter. Carter is another guy I love.
Holmes: Really? Great kid, but he seemed kind of low-key to me.
Probst: Love him. He’s super smart. He looks and sounds like Jeff Spicoli, but in my interactions with him he plays at a much different level.

Holmes: This isn’t my first rodeo being out with you guys. But, this is the first location where I look around and everything screams “Survivor.” The water is beautiful, there are jungles to run through, and a million tiny islands.
Probst: You came in the period of time that we were inland so much. “Survivor” in the Philippines is really back to the roots of the show, which is being abandoned in the middle of the ocean. You’re going to have a lot of water challenges. People fishing, hopefully finding clams. This is where we like to be, it’s just, you can’t always find water in places that don’t have political unrest, or places you can afford with the shrinking dollar. So, the Philippines has been a very welcoming spot for us both financially and crew-wise. The area we’re in here, we’ve got somebody from every family working here and most of the entire community. And they couldn’t be nicer, they couldn’t have a better work ethic. If we could take them with us and have them be our crew everywhere, we probably would. They’re that good.

Holmes: Remember that show “Temptation Island”?
Probst: Yeah. I do.
Holmes: I remember when I first started watching that show, I was in a very good place with my then-girlfriend.
Probst: (Laughs) OK.
Holmes: I’m watching this show, just having a good old time laughing at these crazy people.  Then, in no way related to the show, things start to turn bad in my relationship. I start watching the show differently. They’re all jerks, why can’t they just be happy? The point is; the show didn’t change. I changed. You’ve been doing this for twelve years?
Probst: Thirteen.
Holmes: As your life has changed, you’re happily married, you’ve won Emmys, has your attitude toward “Survivor” changed at all?
Probst: Probably. I never thought about it. I guess it would have to. Yeah, because I’m pretty much myself out here, so when I’m asking questions they’re skewed from my viewpoint of human behavior. I think, despite what a lot of people who watch this show would say, I think I pick on people a lot less. I look for opportunities, but I feel like if you’re clever you’ll get out of it, if you’re not, you’ll sink. That’s your problem, not mine. I think that’s changed over the years. I think earlier on I was looking to make moments happen. I think that’s maybe because I was trying to prove myself and now I don’t feel like I have to prove myself as much so I’m more relaxed and ready to see what happens. And, I ask way less questions at Tribal Council than I did in the beginning. Now I’ll just stare you down. And I’m pretty sure I’ll win, and usually I do.
Holmes: That’s a trick of the trade, if you could go back and talk to Jeff in Borneo…
Probst: Well, I didn’t have any respect in Borneo, and rightly so. I had no (expletive deleted) clue of what I was doing. We were making the show up at lunch. OK, what if we give them a reward of…we have spaghetti here, what if we give them spaghetti. Richard Hatch was making the show up with us as much as we were making it up with him.
Holmes: Where’s his producer’s credit?
Probst: (Laughs) Good point. I still remember Richard Hatch in the middle of a challenge that he was sitting out basically telling me about an alliance with Sue (Hawk). I said, “Richard, I don’t want to know about this.” There was this idea that I shouldn’t know anything at all. And he looked at me and said, “I’m in an alliance with her and we’re going to stick together and always vote the same way.” It was mind-blowing. Oh my God! Two people are going to vote as one. We never had any idea there was going to be an alliance.

Don’t miss the premiere of “Survivor: Philippines” – Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 7 Recap: Boston Creamed?

April 1, 2010

Fun Fact: My backup headline was “Boston Robbed.”

Last Week: We were treated to a special double elimination episode. The Heroes chose the depressed cowboy over the injured grave digger while Russell did his best Buster Douglas impersonation by shocking the world and knocking out Tyson.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Hero Tribe (wearing noble blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
Colby Donaldson – 35
Amanda Kimmel – 24
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe (wearing devilish red)

Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
“Boston” Rob Mariano – 33
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28

We meet up with the Villains the morning after Russell’s tribal council jaw dropper and Boston Rob admits that he’s shocked for the first time in his “Survivor” career. He senses a tremor in the force.

He isn’t concerned with Danielle because she’s “Dumb as a bag of rocks.” However Parvati and Russell worry him. He’s also worried about Team Russell’s confidence. Surely, somebody in his alliance must be flipping for them to be so giddy.

Courtney gets a chance to finally talk some smack referring to Russell as a “Bandy-legged, little troll.” I missed you, Courtney. Welcome back.

Meanwhile, Russell gives the female members of his alliance their orders: get to Jerri. Russell’s minions achieve their objective getting Jerri alone. Russell lets us know that Jerri now respects him due to his bold move.

Jerri worries that her fear of commitment is keeping her from joining with Team Russell. I’m not touching that one.

Parvati thinks Jerri is jealous that no man has ever saved her at tribal council. I’m trying to figure out where immunity idols rank on the “How to Impress a Lady” scale. I’m assuming it’s higher than flowers and lower than ironing.

Over at Casa de Heroes, Rupert lets us know that Colby needs to step up in the next challenge. Colby vows to prove that the Heroes made the right decision.

Reward Challenge:
Three members of each team will race into the water to get a ball. They’ll try to shoot the ball into a basket while members of the other team try to tackle them. First team to score three baskets wins. Winning team gets a romantic picnic by a tropical waterfall. Wow, that’s probably ranked higher than ironing…

The Villains will sit Courtney, Sandra, and Parvati.

First Round: Rupert, JT, and Colby vs. Rob, Russell, and Coach – Colby misses two wide-open shots. Coach follows that up by throwing the ugliest air ball ever. That’s bad news for someone who gives athletic advice for a living. Colby eventually score for the Heroes.

Second Round: Colby, Amanda, and Candice vs. Danielle, Coach, and Jerri – Jerri and Colby have a bit of a back and forth which was nice for old-school fans. Candice eventually wins the point for the Heroes.

Third Round: JT, Rupert, and Colby vs. Russell, Rob, and Coach – Russell and Rupert are really throwing down, but that’s all the excitement there is as Colby scores quickly. Heroes win reward.

We meet up with the Heroes at their picnic. Candice finds a clue to a new immunity idol, but they all decide to read it later.

Rupert is upset because they weren’t thinking about the game until the clue was found. Apparently they were the “Fantastic Five” until the unveiling of the clue.

The “Fantastic Five” can’t concentrate on the meal, so they break down and read it. I take it the Heroes are allowed to open at least one present on Christmas Eve too.

Back at the Villains camp, Russell continues to work on Coach and Jerri. He even offers them a top three spot with him.

Jerri seems sold, but she wants the Dragon Slayer on board. Coach says he’s “Honor bound” to stay with Jerri and he’ll go the way she goes. However, Coach is hurt that Jerri said she trusts him and Russell equally.

Oddly enough, Jerri brings up the issues she had with Boston Rob during “All Stars.” Boston Rob should have taken that into account six years ago. A true strategist would have known that would come back to bite him in 2010.

Immunity Challenge:
A member of each team will race across a net and up a rope ladder to retrieve a bag. When they return, another member of the tribe will go until six bags have been returned. In the bag (say it with me) are puzzle pieces. First tribe to finish their puzzle wins immunity.

Jerri, Danielle, and Russell will sit out for the Villains.

Rupert and Parvati start off and are neck and neck. They return with their pieces and Courtney (her first challenge in forever?) and Candice head out. Candice drops her bag, giving the Villains a bit of a lead. Coach and Colby are up next with Coach maintaining the team’s advantage. Parvati and Rupert are back out, with the Villains still winning. Courtney and Candice take their second turn with Courtney having serious problems climbing the ladder and Candice charging ahead for the Heroes. Colby and Coach finish up, with the Heroes enjoying a large lead.

During the puzzle portion, Boston Rob’s celebrated puzzle skills aren’t enough to overcome the Heroes’ head start as Amanda and JT are able to finish the puzzle first. The Heroes win immunity.

Coach lets us know that Courtney was the weak link and she should go home. Well that hardly seems fair, she might not remember what a challenge is.

Back at the Villains camp, Russell tells us that their challenge performance was one of the most pitiful things he’s ever seen. He even tells Boston Rob that they should take out Sandra or Courtney…with Sandra and Courtney sitting right there!

Russell’s right. He is the king.

For some reason, Courtney and Sandra take offense to this.

Coach and Rob sit down to discuss strategy. He wants to blindside Parvati or get rid of Courney. Boston Rob makes a case for getting rid of Russell.

Next up, Team Russell is discussing strategy. Russell wants Rob gone. This isn’t shocking. All of Team Russell is down with this except for Coach. Coach eventually relents and agrees to vote with the alliance.

Rob lets us know that the way to get someone to do something is to find out what they hold dear and to use it against them. For Coach that’s his loyalty. Coach proves Rob right by telling us that he feels terrible because he thinks he was forced into giving his word to Russell.

That night at tribal council, J-Pro tells the Villains that they used to be dominant but the Heroes have found five players that will get things done. Mercifully, he does not refer to them as “Fantastic.”

Coach isn’t concerned because “At the dawn of every morning, hope springs eternal.” He’s like the Villains’ poet laureate.

Boston Rob doesn’t think the tribe is working well together and that voting out Tyson was a mistake. Russell disagrees; he could’ve taken anyone out of Rob’s alliance but chose Tyson because he was bad for tribe chemistry.

Russell and Rob have a bit of a back and forth. Boston Rob thinks his version of loyalty is different than Russell’s. Russell agrees because he doesn’t think Boston Rob would have the guts to put his neck on the line like Russell did for Parvati. Nice to see them agree on something.

Meanwhile, poor Jerri is sitting between them, trying not to make eye contact with either of them.

J-Pro puts Coach on the spot asking where his level of trust is with Russell and Rob. Coach smartly dodges the question, begging the guys to put their egos aside and become a team.

Voting Time:
Boston Rob votes Russell, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.

J-Pro tallies…and reads; one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Rob, one vote Russell, one vote Courtney, and the eighth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” is…Boston Rob.

Coach stands up to get a farewell hug from Rob and is DENIED! Boston Rob says, “You’re a little man,” but it’s unclear if he was talking to Russell or Coach. Maybe it was Coach, because I’m sure Russell knows he’s little.

Verdict: Kind of expected more fireworks from the final Russell vs. Rob blow out, but it was still a good time. This season has been great so far, but I’m a little concerned there might be a post-Rob lull. Here’s hoping the goodness keeps coming.

Who’s Going to Win? Russell’s on a roll, but judging by Courtney and Sandra he might be making the same mistakes he made last season. If Russell’s alliance is going to make it to the end, the most likable member might take the million. Right now that’s Jerri.

Power Rankings Update: Bad news for the All-Star Team. Samoa’s Russell Swan had Boston Rob in the second slot while I had him in spot eleven. The score is now All Stars 56, Team Gordon 82. Hoping to get the All Stars back into the game next week is the man Jeff Probst once called “The smartest player never to win,” Rob Cesternino.

What Do You Think?
Did the Villains make the right choice? Can the Heroes stage a comeback before the merge? Was Rob talking to Coach or Russell when he said someone was a “Little Man?”


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