Posts Tagged ‘Amazing Race’

Olympic Medalists, New Kid on the Block to Try ‘The Amazing Race’

January 20, 2015

'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

Note: XFINITY is the perfect pit stop for “Amazing Race” fans. Every Monday after an elimination leg, we’ll have an interview with the team that was sent packing and the most recent episode. And, you’ll be able to watch all of the previous episodes. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for immediate updates.

As if racing through foreign countries while competing in grueling challenges wasn’t stressful enough, now some players are going to have to do it while on a blind date. For the 26th season of the Emmy-winning juggernaut “The Amazing Race,” five of the game’s eleven teams will be made up of people who have never met before. To add to the fun, the teams will have a chance to win a special “Date Night” reward that will allow them to enjoy a special one-on-one activity.

CBS announced the cast for this unique new edition this morning and it includes a professional wrestling promoter, a pair of Olympic medalists, and a member of the legendary boy band New Kids on the Block.

Name: Aly Dudek
Age: 24
Hometown:Milwaukee, WI


Current Occupation:Athlete and Global Spokeswoman

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Winning an Olympic bronze medal and competing in two Olympic Games.

Name: Steven Langton
Age: 31
Hometown:Boston, MA

Current Occupation:Olympic Athlete

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? I’m most proud of winning two Bronze Medals at the Sochi Olympic Games in Russia and double Gold at the 2012 World Championships.

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: 7 months

Name: Harley Rodriguez
Age: 41
Hometown: New York, NY


Current Occupation:Group Fitness Trainer

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Uprooting my life on the West Coast and starting a new chapter with work on the East Coast.

Name: Jonathan Knight
Age: 46
Hometown: New York, NY

Current Occupation:Entertainer

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Being fortunate to have the same career for 30 years that I started when I was 16.

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of relationship: 7 years

Name: Jeff Magee
Age: 57
Hometown:McCall, Idaho


Current Occupation: Airline Pilot

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Finishing my experimental (kit) airplane. (It took me 10 years!) Now I love flying it.

Name:  Lyda Grawn
Age: 49
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Current Occupation:Flight Attendant

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? I am most proud of my family and trying to be a good daughter! We are all very close!

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: We’ve known each other for 20 years and been dating for 4 years.

Name: C.J. Harris
Tuskegee, AL


Current Occupation:Information Technology

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Being the first male in my family to graduate from college in 4 years and being only the second male period to graduate from college in my family.

Name: Lebya Simpson
Age: 25
Hometown Tuskegee, AL

Current Occupation: Medical Support Assistant

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: Known for 15 years, dating for 10.

Name: Matt Cucolo
Age: 30
Hometown:Scarsdale, NY


Current Occupation:Master Hairstylist

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Being a very successful hairstylist. It’s much more than just hair. It’s an amazing feeling making people happy.

Name: Ashley Gordon
Age: 28
Hometown:Scarsdale, NY

Current Occupation:Hairstylist

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: Known for 10 years, dating for 3.

Name: Rochelle Nevedal
Age: 29
Hometown: Kalkaska, MI


Current Occupation:Contract Engineer

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Raising an 8-year-old son who is creative, unique and absolutely amazing!

Name: Michael Dombrowski
Age: 26
Hometown:Traverse City, MI

Current Occupation: Pro Wrestling Promoter and Truck Stop Manager

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Booking WWE Hall of Famers Mick Foley and Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall in my hometown of Kalkaska, MI. It was front page news here.

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: 8 months

Name: Bergen Olsen
Age: 23
Hometown:Sunnyvale, CA


Current Occupation:Human Resources Project Manager

3 Words to Describe You:Energetic, driven and empathetic.

Favorite Hobbies:Watching and playing sports, especially volleyball. I love to cook and bake – my favorites include chocolate chip cookies, meatballs, pasta and mashed potatoes!   So naturally, I love eating all of my favorites! I also love to travel, even though I haven’t done much of it!

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Not to sound cliché, but coming out and being proud of who I truly am to my friends and family, especially in a conservative Minnesota county, was one of my proudest accomplishments.  I’m also really proud of where I am at with my career at only age 23.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? I can’t date anyone that smokes, does drugs, has poor personal hygiene or has a tendency to cheat and lie.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? A good personality, has a good sense of humor and someone who makes me feel special and loved.  I love nothing more than for my partner to make me laugh and smile each and every day!

Name: Blair Townsend
Hometown: Amelia Island, FL


Current Occupation:Physician

3 Words to Describe You:Versatile, brave and inventive.

Favorite Hobbies:Ironman competitions, sailing, scuba diving and golf.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Being a good son to my parents and a good brother to my sisters.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship?Lack of curiosity in the world, complacency and dishonesty.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Razor-sharp wit, bold confidence and a contagious smile.

Name: Hayley Keel
Age: 28
Hometown:St. Petersburg, FL


Current Occupation:Registered Nurse

3 Words to Describe You:Genuine, witty and passionate.

Favorite Hobbies:Going to the beach, anything active (biking, paddle boarding, working out), cooking, traveling, attending Cleveland/Tampa Bay sporting events and exploring new places (cities, restaurants, local attractions).

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Becoming a registered nurse. It is simply amazing to be able to help people and make a difference in their lives.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship?Poor communication, lack of goals, no motivation, boring, bad attitude and laziness.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Confidence, loyalty and happiness.

Name: Jackie Ibarra
Las Vegas, NV


Current Occupation:Professional Dancer

3 Words to Describe You:Passionate, positive and adventurous.

Favorite Hobbies:Dancing, working out, cooking and traveling.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Other than being on “The Amazing Race,” when I was 18 years old, I headed out to Miami and auditioned to become a Miami Heat Dancer. Went up against about 300 women for a spot on the team and I made it!

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? Deal breakers for me would be a man who does not want marriage or children, who is disrespectful or dishonest, or who does not take care of their appearance and body. Also, if they smoke cigarettes, stay away from me.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? I am looking for a respectful gentleman who is passionate, motivated and confident, with a good sense of humor. Being attractive with a great body doesn’t hurt either!

Name: Jeffrey Weldon
Age: 26
Hometown:Tampa, FL


Current Occupation: Account Executive/Sales

3 Words to Describe You: Outgoing, charismatic and intelligent.

Favorite Hobbies: Fitness, professional networking, spending time with family/friends and anything outdoors.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Launching a startup company with colleagues – Internet marketing/consulting firm.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship?Dishonesty, communication issues and cheating.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Great sense of humor, a woman who has passion/drive for success and a great-looking face.

Name: Jelani Roy
New York, NY


Current Occupation:Lawyer

3 Words to Describe You:Loyal, intelligent and fun.

Favorite Hobbies:Playing/watching sports, cooking and bar hopping.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Passing the New York bar exam the first time I took it.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? They have to be compassionate.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Pretty, laid back and fun.

Name: Jenny Wu
Los Angeles, CA


Current Occupation:Blogger/lawyer

3 Words to Describe You:Feisty, bubbly and adventurous.

Favorite Hobbies:Photography, attending music festivals and hiking.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Coming to terms with who I am and what I want in life while letting go of my fear of being alone.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? Selfishness, laziness, settling for the status quo and aversion to desserts.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Excellent banter skills, quick wit and a striking resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio.


Name: Kurt Jordan Belcher
Age: 24
Hometown:Butler, KY


Current Occupation: Pageant consultant

3 Words to Describe You: Gifted, abrasive (sometimes) and funny.

Favorite Hobbies: Karaoke, volleyball and pageants.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Honestly, probably coming out as a gay man in high school. I’m from a very small town.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship?Controlling and lazy! I want somebody that’s loving and a hard worker.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Family oriented, funny and stability.

Name: Laura Pierson
Los Angeles, CA


Current occupation:Talent Booker

3 Words to Describe You:Outgoing, ambitious and positive.

Favorite Hobbies:Cooking delicious and healthy meals, going on adventures (hiking, exploring and traveling), yoga, DIY crafting projects and anything that has to do with fashion.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?That I don’t snooze through my alarm clock on Monday mornings for my big girl job.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? Unmotivated, emotionally inept, selfish, untrustworthy and cheap.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Loving, genuine and optimistic.

Name: Tyler Adams
Santa Monica, CA


Current occupation: Co-Founder HORSE

3 Words to Describe You: Enthusiastic, adventurous and a dreamer.

Favorite Hobbies: Fishing, surfing, traveling, reading and cooking.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? This year I won Startup Weekend LA and decided it was time to quit my job and venture out on my own. Trying to start my own business has been incredibly challenging yet rewarding.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? If a girl has a negative/pessimistic attitude it is an automatic deal breaker. Life is too short – enjoy it!

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate?  I’m looking for a girl that approaches life with a positive attitude. She must be up for any adventure and confident and comfortable in her skin.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “The Amazing Race” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Amazing Race’ Champs Amy & Maya: ‘(Jim) Didn’t Think We Were Worth Much’

December 22, 2014

'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

Note: XFINITY is the perfect pit stop for “Amazing Race” fans. You can watch every episode from this fun-filled season online. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for immediate updates.

Maya Warren: I’m sorry, Gordon. My voice is shot. So, I apologize.
Gordon Holmes: Were you excited about some recent event? We’re you screaming in joy too much?
Warren: (Laughs) Yeah, I partied a bit too much and screamed a lot. I don’t sound very sexy.
Holmes: Well, I told CBS I only want to talk to people if they sound sexy.
Warren: (Laughs) Well physically speaking, yes. But vocally, no.
Holmes: OK, I’ll make an exception this time.

Holmes: Amy, let’s start with you. The delivery challenge really took it out of you physically. You thought you were done. When Phil told you to keep racing, was your first though, “Awesome!” or “Oh no.”?
Amy DeJong: First of all, I was shocked. I was standing there and I didn’t know what to say or do. I was wrecked physically. I was dead. But, I was so excited to still be in it. We did not see that final twist coming. Just to know that we were still in it was indescribable. I knew I had to suck it up.

Holmes: I know the final challenge always seems to involve some grand recap of the entire season. Had you two been taking notes and studying?
DeJong: We had notebooks that we took with us through the entire race. We were taking very diligent notes on every single thing that had happened. When we were on the last leg at the airport we made lists of all of the memory challenges that we thought could happen and studied them.
Warren: We actually thought it was going to be like an island or water challenge. In our notebooks we had little countries drawn, bodies of water, we probably went overboard.
DeJong: Capital cities…you name it. We were ready for that last challenge.

Holmes: Maya, you might be the best judge of this. How much time passed from when you arrived at that final challenge to when you left? Because Jim had said something about it feeling like four hours.
Warren: It probably took a little over an hour from the time we got there to when we got in the taxi to go to the finish line. It didn’t seem that long. I was talking to Jim and Adam. We knew at that point that Brooke and Rob were gone. We were just recapping the whole season and reminiscing. And we were encouraging our teammates.

Holmes: Well, now that you’ve got that big check and you can sit back and look at your future, any thoughts of giving up science for stuntwork?
Warren: (Laughs) Why can’t I do both?
Holmes: Follow your dreams, Maya.
Warren: I wanted to do that. I was saying, “I love heights!” And then you see me stuttering up there. I did that jump about five times, but the first time I did it I got whiplash and my neck was throbbing. Those mats don’t take your impact like the boxes do. When you jump on the boxes, they collapse on themselves. But, maybe I do have a future in that. It was pretty cool.

Holmes: What was the time difference from when you arrived at the mat and the dentists and the surfers arrived there?
DeJong: Between us and the dentists it was a little under an hour. And then the surfers it was like an hour and a half.
Warren: It was like an hour and twenty. The dentists were like 40ish. We had a huge lead over them. I would’ve paid to see Jim’s reaction of us getting in the car. I would’ve loved to have seen that. He didn’t think we were worth much on the race.
DeJong: And another thing with the challenge, it took like five minutes for them to get the crane with the clue. So, we knew even if Misti had finished immediately, that they’d still have to wait for it.
Warren: And, their taxi driver wasn’t as good as ours. They got lost on the way to the crate challenge which is how we got there at the same time as them. Adam and Bethany had taxi problems too.

Holmes: Everyone I talked to said Jim was a very intense, very competitive guy. I’d have to imagine he’s got to be thinking, “We would’ve won if the Candy Girls had been eliminated at final four.”
DeJong: Probably! (Laughs)
Warren: It’s like we said to Brooke, we don’t make the rules.  It was about racing with the best, we didn’t need to bring anyone down. So, he might be saying it, he might be invited back for All-Stars. But we won fair and square.
DeJong: And we did it with integrity. We didn’t backstab. We didn’t talk bad about others.

Holmes: I actually wanted to talk about that. The wrestlers really tried to throw you under the bus that one time where you had to go to the five different locations. What was it like to learn about that after the fact?
DeJong: We knew that they had lied to us. It just wasn’t going to do us any good to fight with them. We had to stay focused and it was a new leg. We learned from our mistakes, we couldn’t trust them anymore.
Warren: It was our mistake, but it made for some great television. I’m very gullible. I trust until you give me a reason not to. They gave us a reason.

Holmes: So now that you guys are co-millionaires, what’re the plans for the check?
Warren: For me, I’m going to invest the money, be smart with it. I may not be a stunt person, I may open up an ice cream shop.
DeJong: I’m not sure yet, but I still have years left till my PhD, but it’ll be nice to not have to eat Ramen noodles. I have a lot of time yet where I’m making grad stipend money.
Holmes: Well, with my money I’m going to Maya’s ice cream shop.
Warren: Woop woop! (Laughs) We’re going to have “Amazing Race” inspired flavors.
Holmes: Like Keoghan chip?
Warren: Probably something with Detours, traveling the world…hopefully I’ll have an ice cream that looks like the world with blue and green and a little bit of white. We’ll see!

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

‘Amazing Race’ Host on Natalie’s Possible ‘Survivor’ Win: ‘What an Upset, Right?!’

December 17, 2014

'Survivor'/'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” This Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the season finale, and starting Thursday you’ll be able to watch the finale and read interviews with the new champion and the other castaways. Be sure to follow Gordon Holmes on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6034085997813089112″ program_type=”series”]

Former “Survivor” players have been ripping open “Amazing Race” clues for years.  “Boston” Rob and Amber, Jenna and Ethan, and Keith and Whitney have all traded in their colored buffs for giant backpacks. And while their journeys were very different, they all ended with “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan telling them that they were the last team to arrive and that they have been eliminated.

No team had ever gone the other way until “Race” favorites Natalie and Nadiya, “The Twinnies,” signed up for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water.”

I spoke with Keoghan on the eve of the “Survivor” finale and had a chance to get his thoughts on what could be an “Amazing Race” win if Natalie can make it to tonight’s Tribal Council and get the votes she needs…

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor:  San Juan del Sur” and “The Amazing Race

Gordon Holmes: The “Survivor” finale is tonight and Natalie of “Amazing Race” fame is in a decent position to win the whole thing. If she pulls it off, are you going to give Jeff Probst some grief?
Phil Keoghan: (Laughs) No.
Holmes: Cause I love to give Probst grief.
Keoghan: I think it’s amazing. It’s the first time, if I’m not mistaken that an “Amazing Race” player has gone over to another franchise like that. Goodness knows we’ve done it a few times. She’s representing and she’s there. What an upset, right?! Nobody saw that coming.

Holmes: I was debating this with some friends; Probst gets to go to one location for 39 days while you get to go to many locations for 21 days. He gets to know one place better, while you see a wide variety of places for shorter periods of time. Who has the better gig?
Keoghan: I’m sure we’d both have our arguments. I love that he owns his gig, he has a passion for “Survivor” and he’s really made that show his own. I can’t imagine that show without him. I was up for that show and now I can’t imagine having done it because I’ve been so involved in “Race.”
Holmes: But is it better to see many places quickly, or to take your time and get to know one place really well?
Keoghan: Well, what I like about my gig is I do get to see more and that it’s this frantic…I love the pace of the shooting. It’s without a doubt the toughest job I’ve ever done in my life as far as trying to stay on top of my game. It’s not easy. But, I feel really lucky that I’ve had this opportunity. I feel like it came in my career at the right time. There are very few gigs that would appeal to me like this. I think “Survivor” would be a fun thing to do, I was very excited about it when it was a possibility. But, ultimately it’s worked out for the best.

Don’t miss the finale of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” tonight at 8p ET on CBS.

And, don’t miss the finale of “The Amazing Race” this Friday, December 19 at 8p ET on CBS.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Amazing Race’s’ Scott & Michael: ‘We Kept Fighting, You Never Give Up’

October 15, 2014

'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

Note: XFINITY is the perfect pit stop for “Amazing Race” fans. Every Monday after an elimination leg, we’ll have an interview with the team that was sent packing and the full episode. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for immediate updates.

[xfinity-record-button id=”4975744712465744112″ program_type=”series”]

Teams on “The Amazing Race” have come to expect almost anything. Ponies that lose their minds, compasses that are nearly impossible to work, and marker-stealing realtors are pretty much par for the course.

But something as innocent as a low curb on a poorly lit street? Nobody goes into the game expecting to get hurt. “The Amazing Race’s” Boston Strong firefighters were able to overcome a freak injury but fell victim to some bad advice.

I had a chance to speak to Michael and Scott  in the days following their elimination and asked about their wrong step, their wrong turn, and markergate…

Gordon Holmes: First and foremost; Scott, how’s the ankle?
Scott Strazzullo: My ankle’s hanging in there, Gordon. It’s been a little bit sore. It’s like a high-ankle sprain. I’ve been doing some exercises and physical therapy with it. It’s been better.
Gordon: I guess they didn’t get footage of the actual accident. What happened?
Scott: Mike and I were running down the street at a good pace. We were really on a comeback. And the area we were at had a lot of cobblestones and high curbs. We were taking a peek at the map. I played a lot of football and I never got injured, then I get injured on a curb. I stepped on it and rolled forward and my own body weight went over the ankle. It blew up very quickly.
Gordon: Michael, did you give any thought to hoisting him up on your back?
Michael Ward: (Laughs) Gordon! I’m a strong guy. But a man’s got to know his limitations. I got a good view of it all and ironically the other times we had no problem. We were running from the start line to the train station. We wanted to get their quickly because if you miss it by a few minutes it could put you hours behind. We didn’t see anybody else out there. If you miss a train, you’ve got nobody else to blame. There was not much light, and he was running sideways and reading the map trying to read the light. There was a little curb and he caught his ankle the wrong way.
Gordon: So, no fireman’s carry? I watch wrestling, I know all about that.
Scott:  (Laughs) I think he was more likely to drag me.
Michael: We were actually going to use a wheelchair at one point, but we couldn’t get it off the boat.

Gordon: It seems like you guys still ran a really solid leg. No pun intended. You were even in the lead over Tim and Te Jay before you ended up getting some bum advice with identifying the pendant.
Scott: We got out of there and we were moving at a good clip. What tied us up is we couldn’t run and go look for things like we normally would. We went to a hotel and they didn’t know what we had there. People said we shouldn’t have gone to a bar. But it was the afternoon and people weren’t drinking. We thought the locals would know what they were talking about. People ask why we didn’t go to the museum, well we didn’t find it initially.

Gordon: To rewind a little bit, I spoke to Lisa and Michelle after they were eliminated, and they claim they were at the board first and that’s why it was OK for them to heartlessly tear the marker from your hands. What’s your take on that?
Michael: We love Lisa and Michelle. They’re sweethearts. If America had gotten to see them, they would’ve had a different impression of them. Nobody wants to get knocked out early. There’s a battle to survive. It’s understandable.
Scott: We had no malice towards them at all. I think we were first at the pole. We were there first and Mike definitely had the pen in his hand. I admire their moxie. You go all out. We went all out.
Michael: We had a pen first in our hand that we brought with us, to make notes. We had the pen ready. It was a grease board so that pen wouldn’t write. I had already written an “M” and an “I.” When I was writing, I then grabbed the grease pen because I saw they were going to dive for it. They pulled it out of my hand. It was all instantaneous.
Scott: It seemed like a cheaply done thing, but we weren’t going to cry over it.

Gordon: What’s the reaction been like back home?
Scott: They know us very well. I think a lot of people thought we were going to do better. But I also think it was one of those things where they saw what happened and they saw that we kept fighting. You never give up. You never know what’s going to happen. We were in the back of the pack, and I think if some of that stuff didn’t happen, we were going to take the lead. We were a fast team, even if you didn’t get to really see that.
Michael: We actually pulled into the parking lot at the museum. We were not stupid players.
Gordon: I never got that impression.
Michael: There was one team behind us. We didn’t know if they were 10 seconds behind or what. You have to assume they’re on our tail. For Scott to get in and out of that car was a lot of work. We pulled into the lot that said, “Museum Parking” but then we saw the hotel. You have to go with locals. You have to rely on people in each area for information or you don’t succeed. The woman didn’t know. We appreciated her honestly. It’s not like we could run up these hills. We didn’t have that option. So, the next building we saw was the bar. They were locals. They gave us the history of that brooch. He knew all about it. He said they make them up at this store. The store we went to sold them. They made them there.

Gordon: You guys always seemed to be at the back of the pack. But I think you’re going to leave behind a legacy of staying positive in the face of some bad luck.
Michael: We tried to find the good in things. We work under a lot of pressure. We see a lot of bad things.
Scott: Keep moving forward no matter what.
Michael: There were several teams that don’t get along so well with each other. Scott and I, we always try to encourage each other. Negativity breeds negativity.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Nadiya on Rocker: ‘I Had No Idea Who That Fool Was’

September 25, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6034085997813089112″ program_type=”series”]

Conspiracy Theory: Last night’s “Survivor” results were some kind of Emmy revenge.

Think about it; “The Amazing Race” has been scooping up Emmy wins for years and the folks at “Survivor” felt the need to put them in their place. Natalie had better watch her back.

Or, a tribe of generally likable people didn’t have an obvious reason to boot anyone, so Dale fabricated a reason based on what he knew of Nadiya’s past. Either way, when the votes were read, Nadiya was the first one eliminated from a CBS reality show…again.

I spoke to the unfortunate Twinny (Twinnie?) the morning after her blindside and had a chance to ask her about my conspiracy theory, Rocker’s attitude around camp, and what Natalie should do now that she’s gone…

Gordon Holmes: First one voted out? Tell me this isn’t some weird revenge the “Survivor” crew was pulling on “The Amazing Race.”
Nadiya Anderson: Oh yes, I believe it. I cosign. I think Phil (Keoghan) got on the phone, and Phil and Jeff (Probst) had it out, and then they were like, “Get that bitch off.” (Laughs)
Holmes: It’s awful that you were stuck in the middle of it.
Anderson: It was! (Laughs)

Watch the Premiere of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur”

Holmes: Did you know your tribe was targeting you at all?
Anderson: It was a total blindside. I overlooked that. We had a tribe full of numb nuts. I figured with so many fools on my tribe that I’d be safe at least for the first voting.
Holmes: What kind of numb nuts behavior was going on around camp?
Anderson: Alec did our puzzle. Alec and Jaclyn…I knew we were doomed. And the fact that I was one of the strongest people in our camp, not just among the girls, I did so much more work than all the girls. I’m stronger physically and mentally, but that’s not saying much because I was voted off the damn island. But seeing who the competition was on my tribe, I figured they wouldn’t get rid of me.

Holmes: One of the things that was pointed out last night was you referring to Josh as one of the girls. Was that actually a big deal?
Anderson: It wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t say he is a girl. I needed him for the numbers of the girl alliance. That’s the only reason I categorized him with the girls. I didn’t know Josh felt some kind of way about that. If I did I would have laid off. Me and Josh, he came up to me, we were good friends around camp. He was the one I had the most in common with.
Holmes: Any idea why Josh would vote for Baylor when it seemed like she was in his pocket?
Anderson: I think it was a mistake. I had no idea he was going to vote for the guys instead of us.

Holmes: It was odd to me that Val admitted to looking for things on Exile Island. Was Val trying to lead you guys to believe that she had an idol?
Anderson: She told me she had a clue and she showed me the clue. I knew when Val came back that we needed her. I told her as a tribe we weren’t going to vote her out because there’s a huge divide between the girls and the guys. I told her, “We need you. We’re going to keep you around.” But, we didn’t have time to look for the idol.

Holmes: Did you recognize John Rocker.
Anderson: No, I had no idea who that fool was. I watch cricket, not baseball. So, I had no idea who he was. That wouldn’t have deterred me from liking him or working with him. I probably would have tried to work with him more if I knew who he was.
Holmes: Was he doing foolish things around camp?
Anderson: He was so bros before hoes. He was not giving the time of day to talk to me. I remember I said, “John, let’s take this log back to camp.” And he was like, “No, Nadiya. I’m waiting for the guys to take the log back.” And I said, “Dude, I can carry this log with you, trust me.” He was aloof with the girls. And he loved the attention he was getting from the younger guys.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Josh.
Anderson: Queen. (Laughs)
Holmes: Val?
Anderson: Tricky.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
Anderson: Air head.
Holmes: Dale?
Anderson: Annoying.
Holmes: John Rocker?
Anderson: Fool.
Holmes: Alec?
Anderson: A pothead. (Laughs)
Holmes: Baylor?
Anderson: Thirsty.
Holmes: People who call you Natalie?
Anderson: Everybody. That’s fine, I don’t care.
Holmes: Wes?
Anderson: Corny, a redneck.
Holmes: And let’s finish with Natalie.
Anderson: Bestest Twinnie ever!

Holmes: What has the reaction been like from the “Amazing Race” community to you guys being on the show?
Anderson: We’re the first crossovers from “Amazing Race” to “Survivor.” People have been supportive, but people like Dale are like, “How come those bitches got the chance to be on ‘Survivor’?” (Laughs) It’s mixed, I think. And I think me getting kicked off first; some people are like, “Haha, Twinnies!” But, Natalie is still in it, so she gets to kick ass, while I did not.
Holmes: I hope Probst’s conspiracy doesn’t take her out as well.
Anderson: (Laughs) We’ll see. I think me getting kicked off is going to be the best thing to happen to her game. I hope she forgets about the million and she just goes for blood. She’s going to be going balls to the wall now.

Holmes: Now that you’ve done “Survivor” and “Amazing Race,” are you prepared to say that “Survivor” is way better.
Anderson: It’s definitely way harder. And if I had to choose between them, I’d want to do “Survivor” again.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Big Brother’ Star Jeff Schroeder to Host Two CBS Reality TV Recaps

September 24, 2014

Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6034085997813089112″ program_type=”series”]

OK, “Big Brother” is ending tonight and “Survivor” is beginning. Also, this Friday marks the premiere of “The Amazing Race.”

Wait, “Amazing Race” isn’t on Sunday anymore? And why are “The Amazing Race’s” Twinnies on “Survivor”? And why are “Survivor’s” Keith and Whitney on “The Amazing Race”?

So confusing. Fortunately, CBS’s new reality maven (although he doesn’t like that title) Jeff Schroeder will be able to clear up all of these mysteries and more when he takes the reins of’s “Survivor Live” and the new show “CBS Reality Remix.”

I spoke with the former “Big Brother” and “Amazing Race” contestant shortly after the announcement of the new shows and had a chance to ask him about his new gig, his hosting style, and what the “Big Brother” house really smells like…

Gordon Holmes: Now what’s this I hear about you having a big announcement today?
Jeff Schroeder: Well, I have two big announcements, actually. I’m going to be doing two shows on, one the “Survivor Live” show which is awesome because I’m a huge fan. And then, we’re going to be doing, kind of like a best-of thing for “Survivor” and “Amazing Race,” kind of like what’s viral for that week and the hot topics. I couldn’t be more excited.
Holmes: “Survivor” Hall of Famer Parvati Shallow was the previous host of “Survivor Live,” so you’re stepping into some pretty big shoes. What new things do you bring to the table?
Schroeder: I’m definitely not trying to fill any shoes. She was a master of the game, one of the best to play ever. And she brings a different angle than I do. I’m bringing more of a fan’s perspective. I’m a fan of the show; I’ve never played that game. I have an interesting perspective having played “Big Brother” and “The Amazing Race.” I think the questions that I have are going to be closer to the fans’ questions as opposed to being inside the game. I’m going to be more of a fan, which is great because we want interaction with the fans.

Holmes: What’re your early thoughts on the return of the “Blood vs. Water” twist?
Schroeder: The first thought that goes in is the layers to the voting. I’m a recent fan to “Survivor.” I watched the last five or six seasons and “Blood vs. Water” one with Hayden (Moss) from “Big Brother” was one of them. And I was a huge fan. But the voting process from “Blood vs. Water” to regular “Survivor,” it’s a lot different to have your loved one there. I could relate to that, because every reality show I’ve done with CBS, I’ve had my loved one there. I can relate to the thinking process.
Holmes: Say you’re out there with your new fiancee Jordan…you think you could vote her out?
Schroeder: (Laughs) No matter what happens she’d make it further than me. I don’t know if I could vote her out.
Holmes: Who do you like from the new cast?
Schroeder: I was a big fan of John Rocker. I’m an older guy, so I want to see his antics. That’s the big thing I’m looking forward to. I’m hoping he stays in the game a little bit longer and gets crazy like John Rocker does.
Holmes: As a Cardinals fan, you won’t catch me supporting John Rocker.
Schroeder: (Laughs) It’s reality TV! You want to see the outbursts. And I think John Rocker is going to bring those moments. And a younger audience, who may not know who John Rocker is, hopefully this gives them a bit of a surprise.

Holmes: Now speaking of Jordan, not everyone gets to propose on national television. What was that process like?
Schroeder: It was a couple of months coming. We had this idea floating around for a while. And working with CBS, and Fly on the Wall, “Big Brother,” and, it was a team effort for sure. We finally whittled it down to a date and that last week was just craziness. It was a total surprise. Jordan thought we were going to host a competition. I had her family fly in, my family fly in, I was juggling all that. People are texting me, it was a super stressful day. And Jordan had no clue. I had no idea how she didn’t find out. Then the day of was just amazing. The yard looked awesome. She was totally shocked. Everyone did a great job. Then we had Brett Eldredge come in and sing that song. It was just a perfect song. It was the perfect day. We’ve watched it 100 times at least. The way it happened, we were so blown away that we almost missed the moment.
Holmes: I’m picturing the biggest day of your life. You’re very nervous. You enter the house for your special moment…and you come face to face with that smell.
Schroeder: (Laughs)
Holmes: Did that almost ruin the mood?
Schroeder: They’d just made lunch and they’d been in there a long time. The smell was a combination of sandwiches and feet. I’d been in there twice, I feel their pain. Other people have told me, “When you guys leave, it stinks in there.” I was giving them a hard time. Cody was mortified. But, it lightened the mood.
Holmes: This is perfect for you. “Survivor” players are used to smelling bad.
Schroeder: Exactly! The more I grow, the more I learn.

Holmes: Alright, break out your crystal ball. “Big Brother” finale tonight. What’s going to happen?
Schroeder: Derrick’s going to win that final HOH challenge. And I don’t think he’s going to take his boy Cody. He’s going to take Victoria and they’re going to be the final two. Cody is going to be bitter, but Derrick is going to reveal his inner workings in the house. He’s going to reveal that he’s a police officer. I don’t think Victoria has a chance against Derrick…or even Cody. So, I think Derrick wins the money. Cody will be upset that he takes third. Victoria will take second. And Donny takes home America’s Favorite.
Holmes: When it’s all said and done, where do you think Derrick will rank amongst the all-time champs?
Schroeder: In my eyes, in getting to know the game and watching him play. His moves were so calculated.  He’d walk into a room and someone would be thinking one thing, and he’d make them think what he wanted them think. I’ve never seen anything like it. Maybe the closest is Dan or Dr. Will. So, I’d put Derrick definitely in the top five of game players of all time.

Holmes: So, now that you’re the go-to guy for CBS reality, do you get an official title? Like a reality maven?
Schroeder: (Laughs) Just Jeff works for me. I’m a regular guy and I think that’s why I can relate to these shows and the people who watch these shows are like me. I can speak for them and ask the questions they want to ask. And with social media I can get their exact questions. And if the people have any questions for the “Survivor” castaways they can use the hashtag “#survivorlive.”

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” and the 90-minute finale of “Big Brother” starting on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

%d bloggers like this: