Archive for the ‘RealityTV’ Category

“Survivor” Castaway Jessica – “I’m Still Rooting for Them…I Want Them to Pull Out a Win”

October 4, 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.

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

Gordon Holmes: It’s seemed like Nick was a goner last week. Why was the decision made to target Lyrsa instead? Was it strictly a challenge strength decision?
Jessica Peet: The reason why Lyrsa became the target was she didn’t do as much work around camp as we would have liked. It was her and Nick, every time we were doing work she was off doing something else. And then, my name came up, long before the chatter of me actually going on the chopping block, it came back to me that she had said my name. So me, and Bi, and Davie, and Carl were like, “Heck no. You’re not going to put my name up.” We actually had a conversation about it. Lyrsa was apologizing and in my head I’m thinking, “No, you’ve already said my name once, I’m not going to let you vote me out.” And Pat really wanted Nick out, so once he was gone Lyrsa became the one.

Holmes: Lyrsa and Elizabeth claim to have a secret alliance. Did anyone know that was going on at the time?
Peet: (Laughs) Everybody knew! It was kind of funny to watch it.

Holmes: In hindsight, were there any clues that Gabby, Nick, and Christian were going to flip?
Peet: I remember sitting at Tribal and I’d say something and then Jeff would ask Gabby, “What’s your take on this?” And she’d say, “Oh, I agree…but…” She kept doing it. And I was thinking, “Why is she doing this? She’s supposed to be in my alliance.” She was contradicting what I was saying. I didn’t get a lot from Christian or Nick that I should be worried. But, when they were tallying the votes I remember looking around and trying to get visual confirmation and the only people who were giving me that were Bi and Carl. So, I started to get a little bit nervous.

Holmes: Christian and Nick are now the Mason Dixon alliance. Have they done a good job keeping that a secret?
Peet: I knew Nick had a relationship with Christian, but I didn’t know to what extent. Watching it back, it doesn’t shock me.

Holmes: A lot has been made about David vs. Goliath and what makes someone a David. Is that something you talked about a lot at camp or did you just go about your business?
Peet: During the first couple of nights where it was raining all the time, we were forced to sit there and keep each other warm, we took that time to bond. We were all upset, we were devastated because we were wet and cold. We really dug into the theme of the show and why we were put there. So, to unpack that and really dig in and talk about why we were viewed this way as a David, that was really good for us. And we got to learn so much about each other and that bonded us so much quicker than I would have expected. Leaving those people? It’s hard because I’m still rooting for them. I want them to pull out a win for everybody.

Holmes: Davie found an idol last night. Does anyone else know about it at this point in the game?
Peet: I believe Carl knew he had the idol. Davie approached me and said, “We found a clue.” I asked what it was, and he showed me a blue piece of string. I remember being like, “…that is not a clue. A piece of string? Really?” (Laughs) So, watching it back and knowing there was a string involved, but it wasn’t blue it was orange. I’m almost positive Carl knew he had the idol.

Holmes: OK, word association time.
Peet: (Laughs) Oh lord…
Holmes: There are no wrong answers here, Jessica. Let’s start with Gabby.
Peet: Smart.
Holmes: Pat?
Peet: Hard working.
Holmes: Davie?
Peet: Hilarious.
Holmes: Christian?
Peet: Savvy.
Holmes: Bi?
Peet: Competitive.
Holmes: Elizabeth?
Peet: A lot.
Holmes: Nick?
Peet: Chatty.
Holmes: Carl?
Peet: Caring.
Holmes: Let’s finish off with Lyrsa.
Peet: Passionate.

Holmes: Let’s jump back into that. How is Elizabeth “A lot”?
Peet: She has a very big personality. Whenever we’d be at a challenge and Jeff would be like, “Let’s get it on.” She’d go, “Woooooo!” and scream. She always had her hands in something at camp. She’d have this project going on and that project going on. She’s a lot. Not in a bad way, she’s a great person. She’s got a great personality, it’s just a BIG personality.

Holmes: Was there anything you did out there that we didn’t see that you wish we had?
Peet: I wish they’d shown more of Carl and I chatting. We had a very good relationship. He’s an amazing guy. He’s a great father, he talked a lot about his daughters and his wife. We bonded a lot. Bi and him were my number ones in the game. I understand it’s only an hour show, but I wish it would have been highlighted more.

Holmes: “Survivor” has a tendency to change people. Have you taken anything from the game that you apply to your daily life?
Peet: It has changed things. You grow an appreciation for the things you don’t have. I remember thinking, “I wish I had a blanket. I wish I had a towel. I wish I had a toothbrush.” So, there’s growing in that way. But, I feel like I’ve matured a lot. I was only out there for six days, but I was at Ponderosa and then the trip. I had a lot of time by myself and I’m usually around my loved ones. So, it kind of made me more of an independent person and since I’ve been home that independence hasn’t gone away. I think this experience has helped me to grow as a person.

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

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Episode 2 Recap: These Are the Daves I Know

October 3, 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.

Last Week: For the first time ever, a season premiere ended with someone being boat-ed out instead of voted out. Poor, Pat.

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

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

Weather Woes

Both tribes are getting absolutely hammered by crazy rain. The Davids in particular are in a bad place without Pat the morale-booster. At this point they might even have to come up with their own “Pregnant Nun” jokes.

The “Survivor” gods show some some uncharacteristic mercy by gifting both tribes a fire-making kit. I can already hear the classic “Survivor” players screaming at their TVs.

Power Coupling

The Goliaths are starting to whisper about Kara and Dan’s showmance with the popular opinion being that he’s soooper into her, but she’s just playing him. I mean, he named his dog after her before he even knew she existed! Stalker…

At any rate, this is a very real cause for concern for Kara. She tries to smooth things over with the others and finds herself in an odd three-way alliance with two other women who each seem to be controlling a man; Natalia (with Alec) and Angelina (with John.)

Line in the Sand

Christian decides to throw Nick a lifeline and partner up with him. Nick loves this because he was going to go home if Pat’s accident hadn’t happened. He then compares the new duo to Tocantins BFFs JT and Stephen.

Hmm…yeah…JT was a country boy, but he was also a super charismatic challenge god. Win a challenge first, Nick.

Since Nick is from Kentucky and Christian is from Maryland, they go with the nickname “Team Mason Dixon.”

Fun Fact: I went to Space Camp with a kid named Mason Dixon.

Immunity I-dolt

Dan has been hiding his idol in his jacket, even though Kara advises him against it. She encourages him to bury it. You know, like everyone does…ever.

Sure enough…Jeremy finds it. (Face palm gif.)

Immunity I-con

My new favorite person Davie manages to locate the David immunity necklace. How is it not shaped like a sling?

I’m thinking of referring to Davie as “Bae-vie” from now on. And all of us are in his “Bae-liance.” Thoughts?

Natalie vs. Goliaths

Natalie is not pleased with the shape of the shelter…but she doesn’t do anything about it, she just tells everyone else to do it.

Aaaaaand…she doesn’t seem to understand why they would target an older woman first. Oh goodness. I don’t know what to say except…WATCH….LITERALLY…THE FIRST EPISODE OF THIS SHOW EVER.

She claims that her plan is to play under the radar, but she’s pissing everyone off. Everyone, that is, except for John. He likes the idea of them working together because nobody would expect it.

Jeremy tries to give her some advice, but she barely lets him talk. It was rough.

Immunity Challenge Time: One player from each team will have to create a ladder using only two rungs and climb to the top of a tower. They’ll release a key that will be used to unlock a boat. The team will then row out to retrieve puzzle pieces. The first team to complete the puzzle (which is on a teetering platform that must be held up using ropes) will win immunity and fishing gear.

Sitting Out: Natalie

Quick Aside: Holy cow, this balance puzzle looks hard.

Result: Bi took a looooong time doing the ladder portion, but the puzzle took over an hour, so what does it matter? Oh, and the Goliaths won.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

It seems like a pretty clear decision with almost everyone targeting Lyrsa…but Gabby’s paranoia seems to be getting the best of her. When Elizabeth makes a move to target Jessica, Gabby jumps at it.

This puts Christian and Nick in the swing position. Dun dun dun…

Tribal Time

The Davids claim that the weather has brought them together, but Lyrsa knows she’s on the chopping block.

Jessica thinks you shouldn’t wait until the first Tribal to start making moves. Well, she’s not wrong.

The rest is non-committal blah blah blah.

Voting Time: Jessica votes for Lyrsa, Lyrsa votes for Jessica, Davie votes for Lyrsa, and the rest of the votes are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Lyrsa, one vote for Jessica, one vote for Lyrsa, one vote for Jessica, two votes for Lyrsa, two votes for Jessica, and the second person eliminated from “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” is…Jessica.

Verdict: Much better this week with the focus on the personalities and not what makes someone a David or a Goliath.

  • Christian – Gabby and Nick both owe you at this point. Not a bad place to be.
  • Elizabeth – You could’ve gone with the flow and saved yourself for a while, but you stuck your neck out and cemented your alliance with Lyrsa. Well done.
  • Kara – Good on you for staying on top of this showmance thing.
  • Davie – Yeah, you were on the wrong side of the vote, but that idol must feel pretty good.
  • Lyrsa – Fight, fight, fight until Probst invites you to meet him at his podium.
  • Nick – A complete 180 from last week’s debacle. Way to right the ship.
  • Jeremy – Good job fishing out that idol, but it feels like you’re on the wrong side of the numbers.
  • Mike – It seems like all is forgiven after last week’s idol fiasco.
  • Gabby – One of the most under-appreciated “Survivor” challenges is paranoia.
  • Carl – Oh man, you were on the wrong side of the vote and Lyrsa thinks you were the one targeting her.
  • Dan – Your shirt? Yup…right in your shirt.
  • Natalie – I am trying to come up with a single positive about your game at this point.
  • John, Alec, Bi, Angelina, Natalia, Alison – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Bradley Kleihege had Jessica in spot thirteen. I had her in spot eight. So, the current score is Team Bradley 13, Team Gordon 8.

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

“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

Eliminated “Survivor” Castaway Pat: “I Don’t Have a Memory of it Happening…I Woke Up on the Heli”

September 27, 2018

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.

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

Gordon Holmes: What are you doing to me?! That was terrible! I was a wreck.
Pat Cusack: Oh man, trust me…I’d rather not be in this interview.
Holmes: And how are you feeling?
Cusack: I’m good, rehab is good. At this point I’m doing good. Obviously my emotional character is probably worse than my physical character, but that’s part of the game, I guess.

Holmes: This all happened off camera. They don’t film the transportation from the camps to the challenges. Fill in the blanks, what happened?
Cusack: We finished our challenge and we’re on the boat to head back to our camp and the seas were rough. There were probably 15-20 feet seas. And you’re in this little boat. Captain Travis…I think it was him…he told us, “We’re going to be in some rough seas so everyone scoot to the back of the boat. Just try to stay stable.” Well, when the water is that high you get waves from the north, south, east, and west. From what I gather from everything we took a big wave and that’s pretty much the extent of my memory of it until I woke up on the heli.
Holmes: When it was all said and done, what was the diagnosis?
Cusack: I have some spinal deterioration in my second and third vertebra.
Holmes: But you’re doing better now?
Cusack: I’m good, I’m better. I’m back 100%. It’s just one of those things where I guess it wasn’t in the cards for me.

Holmes: Who did you watch the show with last night?
Cusack: I was with my wife, my kids, and all my closest family and friends. There was about 400 of us at the premiere party.
Holmes: They’re all there, obviously you’re fine and in one piece but that still must’ve been quite a horrific shock. What happened at the screening?
Cusack: I knew when it was coming. Everybody was in great spirits. I was walking around and meeting everyone and having a good time. When that part came around I was sitting at the table with my wife and kids all around me. I was ready for it, but I wasn’t because I don’t have a memory of it happening. Everyone who saw it on national television is seeing it as I see it. My wife and my kids, they’re so happy and proud that I got a chance to do it. Their love and support drives me every day.

Holmes: If the David tribe had gone to Tribal last night. Who would’ve gone home?
Cusack: Not me. (Laughs) It definitely wasn’t me. In the days leading up to the challenge I’d gained relationships with Carl, Davie, and Jess. We had a strong alliance and we were going to bring in Christian and Bi. Nick was going to go home. That was the game plan. Obviously I don’t know for sure because it’s a game of deception, but I was pretty confident.
Holmes: The impression I got from Nick was he wasn’t helping around camp, he was playing fast, and it took him a while to make an emotional bond with people. Is that accurate?
Cusack: Yes. As soon as we arrived at camp, myself, Davie, Carl, we started making a shelter. You’ve got to have a roof over your head. Nick was walking around, cutting coconuts…not really putting an effort forth. We have to protect ourselves, we have to get out of the elements. And he wasn’t doing his part. It seems like he didn’t have the initiative to find something to do. He had to be led like a sheep to water. He was more worried about finding Tree Mail. Look dude, we’re not getting Tree Mail for a few days. We know we’re not going to a challenge today.

Holmes: Your name was tossed around a little bit. Was that surprising to you?
Cusack: It was. At the time I didn’t know. But, watching the show, I was a little surprised. In everyday life, I am a go getter. I take charge, especially with my construction background. I was kind of the GC on the job. I was making the effort to secure our bed and it came off a little stern or rough to people. Hey, it’s a game of social politics.

Holmes: Were people searching for idols? Did anyone find an idol?
Cusack: I was searching when I could, so I’m sure everyone else was. You see somebody dart off and your first instinct is “Where are they going? Why isn’t someone with them?” And if you see two people go off you think they’re working together. Your head is on a swivel.

Holmes: Alright word association time. Let’s start off with Carl.
Cusack: Awesome family man. He’s a cool cat.
Holmes: Elizabeth?
Cusack: She’s a mom, she’s from Kentucky. She’s eccentric. She’s out there.
Holmes: Gabby?
Cusack: She’s a nerd. (Laughs) She’s the “Ferd” as we called her, “Female Nerd.”
Holmes: (Laughs) Jessica?
Cusack: She’s a sweetheart. Same age as my daughter, so we took a liking right off of the jump.
Holmes: Bi?
Cusack: She’s kick ass. She’s a tough girl, she ran away from home at a young age and caught herself up in the MMA world. She’s a tough cat.
Holmes: Davie?
Cusack: He’s the comedian. He’s a clown. He’s the life of the island. He’s always having a good time.
Holmes: Lyrsa?
Cusack: The language barrier was a little difficult. She’s got different color hair, she’s always got that sassy language.
Holmes: Nick?
Cusack: He’s a good dude, don’t get me wrong about saying he’d be first out. He’s good, he’s all about family, he’s had a rough life.
Holmes: Let’s finish up with Christian.
Cusack: He’s my nerd. (Laughs) He’s my robot. He’s funny, he’s super cool. You look at him and you can tell he’s a nerd, but when he opens his mouth he’s a comedian. I tell him he needs to go to an open mic because the things that come out of his mouth are so darn funny.

Holmes: You mentioned that your evacuation has been worse mentally. You went out in a terrible way, but there must be some solace in how well you did. Your tribemates seemed fond of you, you built an incredible shelter, you were begging to stay in the game. Nobody would ever accuse you of quitting.
Cusack: The positive things I can take away are I got to play the greatest game in the world. Unfortunately the cards didn’t fall the way I wanted them to. You’ve got to wake up every day and move on. Sitting in the hospital, knowing that the dream I worked so hard for was taken away…it was ripped from my grasp. All of the sudden now I’m in a helicopter? It’s very emotionally and mentally draining. I was in a very dark place for two or three days until I got the call from Jeff. That kinda settled me. Knowing that I did leave my mark on the game as short as it was. I built relationships with the people I was there with. Even today we’re so close, we’re like a family. Everybody who plays this game has a story, and season 37 is the prequel to my sequel.
Holmes: There you go! Hope to see you again.

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’ Jurors Sebastian and Donathan on Dom’s Aggressive Play and Finding Love

May 24, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of the finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Gordon Holmes: Last night when Dom outed your plan to vote him out at final six…it seemed like that was a turning point for him. He seemed to come off as a bully. Was that the impression you two got?
Sebastian Noel: Totally. They didn’t show much of it, but he was outright bullying Donathan. Right?
Donathan Hurley: Yeah, as Sebastian knows, I sat there in silence through most of it because I was like, “Wow…this sucks…”
Holmes: Some casts will reward big, aggressive gameplay. Whereas this cast seemed to hold Domenick accountable. Do you know if other jurors were impressed by it or were the majority turned off?
Noel: I don’t know if it was an impressive move for the jury. I think it backfired. Maybe a few people were on his side. But at final Tribal when we talked about that move, it seemed like he had nobody on his side.
Hurley: Maybe Chris or Michael liked it…they didn’t show it but, Kellyn didn’t like it at all. Chelsea didn’t. I could tell that Libby and Jenna didn’t like it. Des…I don’t know her position on it. It didn’t do Dom any favors because everybody knew that they had those idols. Everyone was kind of over them at that moment.

Holmes: Sebastian, did you know that Angela was the one who spilled the beans about your extra vote?
Noel: I had a pretty nice conversation, just me and Donathan about that second vote. We were locked and loaded. So when we brought in Angela, she sat there and agreed. I thought she was with us. But, we figured it almost immediately once Dom said he knew I had an extra vote.
Holmes: Tell me when you got to Ponderosa that there was a big bowl of candy waiting for you.
Noel: (Laughs) They had a bunch of bags of gummies.

Holmes: Donathan, before the game started you mentioned that you had hoped to make an African American friend out of all this. And you did!
Hurley: (Laughs)
Holmes: You and Laurel were very close. But in the end, you voted for Wendell. What was behind that decision?
Hurley: I was trying to make a move the whole time and she would never make a move. I wanted to vote for someone who was willing to play the game and she did play the game, but it didn’t really shine and those guys played great games. She was kind of their goat and I couldn’t vote for her.
Holmes: Do you think she thought she had a chance at final Tribal or was she settling for third place?
Hurley: I think she could have pitched that she was the final Malolo. But, it was hard to go against them because they ran the game. She didn’t have a chance at all.

Holmes: We don’t have a Sprint Player of the Season anymore, but we do have Sia. And that was you!
Hurley: (Laughs) It was awesome. It blew my mind. I’ve always been a huge fan of her and I love her music. It was the greatest thing ever.

Holmes: Wendell made it sound like everyone thought Dom had the advantage going into Tribal. He said that Dom thought he would win 8-2. Angela said she didn’t know which way she was going to vote. Did you know going in or did you make up your mind there?
Noel: I knew from the start that Dom was not getting my vote. He nudged me off the rock from day one. He was verbally commanding people around camp. He was that first-day guy that told people how to do things. He rubbed me the wrong way. But he continued to do that. He’d get under your skin and piss you off. He was a conniving little bastard. Wendell had my vote. He was a good friend out there. We were always doing things out there. We created this brothership that they didn’t really show.
Hurley: For me, I got voted out at 37, so I had 38 to really think about it. I’ve always been a superfan and I didn’t want to be remembered as a bitter juror. I wanted to really sit and evaluate both of their games. What I liked about Wendell is he was playing the game that I really wanted to play out there. I did want to be second in command and be at the end and say, “Hey, I let this person do this.” Wendell played a great social game. He was always taking care of the shelter life. It was so great the set-up he built. He let Dom run the show, but he was making his moves too. You can see in the edit they were making decisions together. And I worked with them, so I saw that more than most people. And Wendell was so much more reasonable. I always thought he was a great player.

Holmes: The fire-making challenge is a real game changer. You’ve got Laurel and Angela lobbying to get to the end and you have Wendell saying, “Let’s make fire.” Is being the person who is taken to the end being set up for failure?
Noel: I don’t know if it’s setting up for failure…but everyone gets to focus on the fire winner. Everyone knew Laurel was coat-tailing. So, it was just more proof that she needed a cushion.
Hurley: It is a negative. I think so. The person who wins fire gets a great moment. And the immunity challenge winner has that track record of winning too. It’s like what happened to Ryan, you’re going to look like some kind of dope.

Holmes: Sebastian, I don’t know if you read my pre-game interview with Jenna but she looooooves you.
Noel: (Laughs)
Holmes: And lookit you guys now.
Noel: (Laughs) We hit it off immediately. When you fly out, you’re not supposed to talk on the plane. I was in the very last seat of a big old jumbo jet. And this beautiful lady sits right down next to me. We hit it off right from the start. We talked the whole way. We were secret friends at pre-Ponderosa.

Holmes: Donathan, you found love in a very different way. Coming from an upbringing where people treated you differently due to your sexual orientation. And now the fans seem to have rallied behind you…as well as Sia. This had to have been an incredible experience.
Hurley: It’s been amazing. It’s something I never would have dreamed. Being able to be in the whole season and the love and the support. I have such a great following and I love them all.

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

‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Domenick – “If I Could Do It over Again, I’d Just Throw the Final Four Immunity”

May 24, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of the finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Domenick Abbate: How’s it going, handsome?
Gordon Holmes: Oh, stop. Last night’s episode went so long that it went past my bedtime. Did I miss anything interesting?
Abbate: (Laughs) I’m not even sure anymore. You tell me.
Holmes: Here’s the thing, after Wendell won the fire-making challenge, I said, “We’ve got a strong argument for the best second-place player ever no matter who wins. And the Internet was like, “What about Parvati, “Boston” Rob, Ozzy?” And you know what? They didn’t tie. They didn’t come a half a vote away from winning.
Abbate: (Laughs)
Holmes: Now, you’ve probably had this in your brain since last summer.
Abbate: Eight months.
Holmes: What’d you come up with? Where is your head now?
Abbate: My head is fine. If anything, I was really tired because we partied Tuesday night. I didn’t get much sleep. But mentally I’m fine because I’m one of the few players to play the game and know that I immediately lost. Most people have to wait for the finale. For me, I knew in that moment…back then I was in shambles. Last night for me, I knew it was coming. It was still emotional to me. To see it play out and see the fan reaction…even just in the hotel now. People are like, “Oh man, that was yours.” It means a lot to get that feedback. I never realized that. I thought I played a good game, but to see everyone’s reaction? I can’t have the million, but at least I have that consolation prize of people giving me recognition of playing a great game.

Holmes: You did play a great game. But that fire-making challenge decision is a (expletive deleted). I’m watching it last night and I’m thinking, “Does it make sense for Domenick to just take Wendell to the end?” He proves that he’s not afraid of him and Wendell doesn’t get that bad ass moment in front of the jury.
Abbate: We never saw the fire-making challenge play out on television. So, we didn’t anticipate the repercussions of how it could play out. It’s a huge moment in the game now. If they keep the twist in, and I think they will, I’m a huge supporter of it. It’s a great way to separate the great players from the poor players. And now that people have seen it air and how it affected my game, future players have to think about it. If I could do it over again, I’d just throw the final four immunity challenge. I’ll sit on my butt and let Wendell send me to fire. Look at the two things that happened by me winning; Wendell got a notch on his belt by winning at fire. But also, the jury had a bad taste in their mouth because it looked like I was sending Angela out to her death. It was almost like, “Really? You’re putting Angela out to die against Wendell? Another one bites the dust to Dom.” At the same time, Wendell got this heroic moment.

Holmes: In “Millennials vs. Gen-X” big, aggressive moves were appreciated where it seems like this jury had a real problem with what happened between you, Sebastian, and Donathan.
Abbate: I knew going into final Tribal that I was going to have to address that situation. I know after the Sebastian Tribal that people were thinking, “This guy is a piece of garbage.” The problem is, there were two things I was trying to sell. The first was; can I turn Sebastian’s mind around? Can I get him to go for the original plan of voting Donathan out? That was never going to happen, but that’s what he had been told. I needed to make sure that nobody was going to ask Jeff to validate the relic. The way I needed to make those two things happen was to really aggressively sell the story. I knew I had to come off assertively and say, “What you’re doing isn’t going to work because I’m covered so don’t even think about it.” The problem with that is Wendell started breaking out his jewelry and it screwed me up. And I think what he was thinking was that Dom’s trying to put on Tribal Council theater again and he wanted to get in on the action. But now it turns into Dom and Wendell are teaming up on the weaker players. So, at Final Tribal I knew I had to calmly articulate the story. I knew in the moment that they hated me. I think I did a good job, but Sebastian…I couldn’t get through. And Kellyn thought I was a really terrible person…in life.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Abbate: (Laughs) I just couldn’t get through to her. But I did my best, I really tried to articulate my point. I think it worked on some people, but not her or Sebastian.

Holmes: Wendell said you thought you were going to win by a vote of 8-2. Is that accurate?
Abbate: At final Tribal?
Holmes: Yeah.
Abbate: I don’t know if I ever said that. But more realistically I thought that Laurel would get Donathan’s vote and the other nine…I’d be happy with 6-3. 8-2 is pretty steep, but I don’t remember saying that.

Holmes: When Jeff starts reading the votes, I’m thinking, “Oh…Jeff forgot how this works.” And then quickly it was, “Oh crap, it’s a tie.” And then, “Laurel has to decide.” And finally, “Wendell’s going to win.”
Abbate: All that is exactly how it went for me. That’s a moment that I’ll remember forever. We’re happy it’s over. We’re exhausted. We’ve put our blood, sweat, and tears into this game. He’s going to get the votes and he’ll read them in the states. High five, let’s go grab a beer. And he goes, “I guess I’ll just read the votes.” (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs)
Abbate: Wendell and I are like, this is going down. It’s fun and it’s exciting because it culminates the story of us, but it was literally two or three seconds later that my head just dropped. For me it was this huge roller coaster of emotions in just a minute or two. It sucks because most people don’t know their fate in the moment besides Richard Hatch in season one. So, I had this moment where I was one of the few finalist to know my fate. It was overwhelming. I cried for like an hour.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with the Noble One, Chris Noble.
Abbate: Competitive.
Holmes: Morgan?
Abbate: Ray of sunshine.
Holmes: Wendell?
Abbate: Cool and collected.
Holmes: Jenna?
Abbate: Hysterical.
Holmes: Sebastian?
Abbate: Chill.
Holmes: Libby?
Abbate: Sweetheart.
Holmes: Desiree?
Abbate: Surprising.
Holmes: Kellyn?
Abbate: Passionate.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Abbate: Warrior.
Holmes: Bradley?
Abbate: Brilliant.
Holmes: Michael?
Abbate: Impressive.
Holmes: James?
Abbate: Articulate.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Laurel.
Abbate: Warm-hearted.

Holmes: One of my favorite moments of the season was the loved ones visit with your wife Kristin. She might be in my top five favorite personalities this season.
Abbate: My wife a huge ball of energy. She runs the ship at home. She makes sure the kids get on the bus. She’s super independent. She’ll let me know when I ‘m getting out of line. She really is the perfect balance for me.

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

‘Survivor’ Finalist Laurel and Juror Angela on Breaking Ties, Spilling Secrets, and Gorgeous Juries

May 24, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of the finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Gordon Holmes: Angela, what kind of mean trick is that you jurors decide to make Laurel cast that tie-breaking vote?
Angela Perkins: (Laughs) I don’t think it was a mean trick. It was part of Ghost Island, everything is haunted, nothing is going to come easy. It’s for a million dollars.
Holmes: Sure. Now, I know you jurors chat at Ponderosa. Had you gone over the numbers and realized it was going to be a tie?
Perkins: No, at least not me. We all felt the way Donathan looked. He didn’t shut his mouth, his jaw dropped to the ground.

Holmes: Laurel, when Jeff started reading the votes, my first thought was…he’s messing with us. Then it clicked that there was a tie. How much time did you have to process not only the thought that you had lost, but that you were going to have to decide the winner?
Laurel Johnson: I think I blacked out for a while there, honestly. First it registers, “Oh my, God…I lost.” And then “Oh my, God…it’s a tie.” And then, “Oh my, God…I have to cast the deciding vote.” It was awful. I don’t know, Ang…I have no sense of time at that point. Wasn’t it a couple of minutes?
Perkins: Yeah, didn’t it seem like a lifetime though?
Johnson: Yes! I sat on the stump thinking, and then in the voting booth for four or five minutes.

Holmes: I spoke with Wendell and asked him what percentage he would put on you voting for him. He started at 100% and then came down to 99%. Was there a second where you were leaning toward Dom?
Johnson: No, I think you saw that they both played a great game, so it crushed me to vote against Dom. He would have been a deserving winner also. I thought Wendell played a slightly better game and putting our personal relationship aside, I had to give it to Wendell.

Holmes: Let’s go back in time and say that Dom decided to take Angela to the final three. Laurel, would you still have voted for Wendell as a juror?
Johnson: Yeah, I would have still voted for Wendell.
Holmes: So, if the rest of the votes stay the same, we still have a tie vote. Angela, who would you vote for in this situation knowing that Dom had taken you to the end?
Perkins: I’d like to say I would have voted for Dom, but I went in with one mindset and came out with something totally different. I thought I knew who my vote was going towards, but when Wendell was pleading his case, he brought up the family connections and that was extremely important to me. And, Laurel…did it seem like I was in the booth for a very long time?
Johnson: Yeah, you were in there for a long time.
Perkins: So, it was a huge mental battle. And at one point I said the only thing that’s going to sway me is if I look back at them and make eye contact and that will tell me who my vote needs to go towards. I looked back and Laurel looked so defeated and Dom was looking off and I made eye contact with Wendell. And it was a quick, intimate moment. And from there I knew my vote was going to Wendell. So, I don’t know how I would have voted if I was sitting next to them.

Holmes: When players like Wendell and Dom dominate, I feel like the jury wants to punish the people who helped them dominate. Did you ever have a plan to take them out?
Johnson: I think you saw me wrestle with it every week. You saw the Des vote, when she brought me that plan I thought, “Why am I going to jump to the bottom of an alliance?” It didn’t make sense. I tried to work with Kellyn, by blowing up the Des vote, I saved her. And then when she cast both of her votes for me, that burned that bridge. It seemed like every time I thought about jumping ship, there was something that told me I was dead if I went to that side if I flipped.

Holmes: The fire-making challenge is a new-ish twist. And it struck me last night that it is not a good look to try to avoid it. Is the person who is taken to the end being set up for failure?
Johnson: Yeah, watching Ryan on season 35, I watched the same thing happen to him. I thought, “Holy crap, the person that gets taken at four is screwed.” I could make fire, but the three people left in the game were the three people who were the best at making fire. I was dead. I’d love to say I could challenge him, but I would be dead if I did that.

Holmes: We all have gifts in this world. I’m pretty good at skee-ball. Ang, who knew you were so good at eating gross things?
Perkins: (Laughs) Nobody! I didn’t know going into the game that I was good at that.
Holmes: Another big moment for you was Jeff Probst breaking down during your family visit.
Perkins: Jeff said he’d never felt that way before. And as a viewer watching it, you’re thinking, “How can it be that bad? It’s only 39 days.” I’m used to being away from my family for 12 or 15 months. It can’t be that bad. I used to roll my eyes. You’re out there with these other castaways, but you’re out there alone. That is the first piece of love that you’re getting from someone who is on your side. I buckled at the knees. I was like jello. It was an amazing moment to share.

Holmes: Laurel, the challenge where Wendell forgot to call Jeff over to check his slide puzzle, what’s running through your mind at that point? I could see it being tough to argue the point with someone you’re aligned with.
Johnson: I celebrated like I had won. I didn’t know that Wendell thought he had finished first. When he said something, it took 15-20 minutes of them looking at the tape, but Wendell gave in pretty quickly. We both wanted it, but we weren’t going to fight over it.

Holmes: Angela, when you told Dom about Sebastian’s vote, he made it sound like you were giving up secrets all the time.
Perkins: (Laughs)
Holmes: Were you tossing out secrets left and right or was this a move to get into Dom’s good graces?
Perkins: I don’t think I was throwing secrets out there or was a loose cannon. But, for me moving forward with Dom and Wendell was a better choice. I don’t think the 19 other cast members would have won against Sebastian. He’s likable, he provided, he gave us blue lobster on the first day. It was hard to be a part of that plot. In the green room he was extremely emotional. He was so angry at me, and then we finally hugged it out. He started crying and then I started crying. It was just gameplay. It was wise for me to do that.
Holmes: Laurel, if Sebastian had gotten to the end, what do you think his chances would have been against you, Dom, or Wendell?
Johnson: Based on how the final Tribal went, I think Dom or Wendell would have beaten anyone. People love Sebastian, but I think the jury wanted big moves. We all love Sebastian, but he didn’t have that.

Holmes: Angela, we didn’t get to see much of you. Was there anything you did that you wish we had seen?
Perkins: No, I’m fine. There are some things they missed, but there’s a reason why this is the #1 show. Overall I’m pleased with it.

Holmes: Watching the final Tribal, Laurel, I felt like you were composed and making excellent points. But, it seems like the jurors just weren’t having it. Is that the sense you got?
Johnson: Thank you, I thought I was making a good case, but everything I said was batted down by someone else. Even if what they were saying was untrue. I think Michael at one point said, “Honestly, I’m voting for Dom and Wendell, so it doesn’t matter what you say.”
Holmes: That must be so hard to hear such rough words out of such a pretty face.
Johnson: (Laughs) Right?! All of those pretty faces over there!
Holmes: Not to be out of line, but Angela looked like a million bucks when she came out.
Johnson: Yeah!

Holmes: Laurel, you’re a big “Survivor” fan, so I’ll put this to you. Was that the sexiest jury ever?
Johnson and Perkins: (Laughs)
Holmes: You’ve got Michael and Angela and Chris and Chelsea…there are some lookers up there.
Johnson: Every time someone would show up after they were voted out of the game…they were stunning. To see them all cleaned up and looking gorgeous…that was a gorgeous group. Ang was killing it, I’m glad you noticed.
Perkins: Thank you, it’s funny you say that, because when we first got on that boat I was thinking, “Oh great, I’m on an island with the bold and the beautiful.”
Holmes: That’s not a bad twist for season 38.

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

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