Posts Tagged ‘aubry bracco’

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Power Rankings – Round 2: Sexual Healing Edition

October 9, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com 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 Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

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 Ryan is voted out this episode, Aubry will receive five points and Gordon will receive three points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Aubry had Simone in spot 14. Gordon had her in spot 11. The current score is Team Aubry 14, Team Gordon 11.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.​

Aubry Says: The game is on, folks, and the beaches ripe with power couples. Here’s where our fair castaways stand after Week 2…

Aubry’s Score = 14

Any questions for Aubry? Drop her a line on Twitter: @aubrybracco

Gordon’s Score = 11

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

1. Ali: Ali is the total “Survivor” package. She: A) understands and sees the value of people on the bottom? Check. B) is aware of emotional vampires who require attention and will sap her energy in The Game down the line? Check. C) gives a little bit of side-eye when warranted? Checkmate. 1. Ben: Thankfully, things calmed down a bit on Hero beach. And after Chrissy crunched the numbers, and had everyone complete the 250-question personality test, she decided that Ben is her perfect eHarmony partner.
2. Ben: He’s smart, savvy and a king of chaos management. Plus, he’s got the even keel charm of Tom Westman blended with the charm of Tocantins’ JT. This guy isn’t going anywhere any time soon. 2. Devon: I only smile when I’m talking strategy with you…or thinking about killer waves…or literally doing anything. It’s fine though, everybody likes Devon and he’s the strongest member of his tribe. He ain’t goin’ nowhere.
3. Devon: Devon is a Brains in Woo clothing. There’s more to this surfer dude than meets the eye. This guy could ride this wave to the end. 3. Ryan: A little bad news for Ryan as Simone was well aware that he was running the show. That shouldn’t cause any problems in the near future, but he should keep an eye on that.
4. Chrissy: She’s making a list, she’s checking it twice — Chrissy’s got her head on straight and is wisely taking stock of her observations. This kind of decision-making ability will only help down the line. 4. Ali: Well, the Gordon-picked-me-to-win curse hasn’t taken you out yet! And, you proved you’re a cool, calming operator. Question is; is Patrick too abrasive to keep around?
5. Ryan: Why is everyone so surprised when nerds are likable and have social game? Ryan, like many before him, is proving that some of “Survivor’s” brainiest brainiacs have the ability to use their less-than-threatening image as a weapon. 5. Chrissy: Scanning…scanning…scanning… Truthfully, I loved Chrissy’s breakdown of her Hero tribemates. And being Ben’s right hand seems like a great place to be.
6. Cole: We know his looks, smile and personality have Jessica swooning, but now the Second Coming Of Tony is giving him an idol clue too? Cole’s got that special “Survivor” magnetism that just draws people into his orbit. 6. Desiree: Miss Virginia, huh? That’s pretty cool. I’d love to watch you play “Survivor” sometime.
7. Jessica: She’s getting into a power couple which could spell danger. The good news? Jessica has the kind of upbeat personality that will neutralize that, and nobody seems to care. If anything, she and Cole have some hangers on. 7. Roark: Social worker, huh? That’s pretty cool. I’d love to watch you play “Survivor” sometime.
8. Mike: Mike already has his archenemy Joe admitting he’s likable. This guy will be safe if the Healers go to Tribal, and he has the chops to integrate in the event of a swap. 8. Alan: You needed a nice, calm episode after the premiere’s flaming dumpster fire that crashed into a trainwreck. And, you got it. Now, how do you build a new foundation?
9. Desi: Desi is opening up to people about her Miss Virginia past, which is good! She’s making personal connections. I’m positive we just haven’t seen what Desi has brewing yet. 9. Ashley: From “core four” to “potential power couple without benefits” is not what you want from your first few of days in the game. I think you’re smart enough to steer out of it though, even if that means cutting JP loose.
10. Roark: Roark is quiet, but she got some blur in for a sassy mouth at the challenge. What that tells me? She’s comfortable enough on her tribe to run her mouth a little bit but, smartly, lying low. 10. Joe: Did you really think the idol was buried underneath a moving item? It’s OK, we all make mistakes. Now, you have to lock Cole down. I think cutting him loose would be way too mysterious at this point.
11. Alan: Alan is a little more low-key. However, he still believes spreading suspicion is the best way to keep out of trouble. If he can spread a little chaos and paranoia without letting it get to his head, he may have a point. If Alan makes it past next week, his sins of the first 3 days may be absolved. 11. Cole: “Gee, Joe…I have no idea what that water well-shaped icon is supposed to represent. See ya later.” Rookie mistake. Hope it doesn’t cost you.
12. Ashley: Chrissy already sees Ashley as a threat, and she’s already been doomed with the title of one half of a power couple that’s been in the middle of some shenanigans. Not the greatest place to be in the “Survivor” universe. 12. JP: Are you really only talking to Ashley? Even after Alan called you two out as a couple? Poor form.
13. JP: JP doesn’t like drama and pulls lobster dinners out of the ocean. That’s great and all, but he needs to spend these early days connecting with his tribe too. The early feedback from others on JP confirms he isn’t making those lynchpin relationships. Not. Good. 13. Patrick: Everyday can’t be “The Patrick Show starring Patrick and featuring the Patrick Dancers.” Hopefully Tribal was a wakeup call for you to tone it down.
14. Patrick: Oh, Patrick, you wild banshee you! He’s got so much energy, I’m afraid he’ll start generating heat and burst into the flames. At least the tribe won’t need to trouble themselves with the flint anymore. 14. Mike: I’m not convinced you’re safe. It’s very possible that this Joe/Cole dust up is much ado about nothing. But, if you’re see signs of it, you need to stoke that fire.
15. Lauren: Lauren’s steadiness makes her an attractive ally for someone willing to put in the work. That said, she needs to be building relationships and quickly. That doesn’t seem to be her forte. 15. Lauren: I think your tribe likes you and wants to keep you around, but if they lose again they’re going to want to keep Patrick’s strength. Unless he starts with Pauly Shore impressions. Then he’s gone, buuuuuuddy.
16. Joe: Joe has an idol, which is a seemingly good thing, but there’s a whole lot here to worry about. He’s running around in the woods — never a good thing. Worse, he says he likes Dr. Mike despite wanting him out. Mike and Joe are the power couple we actually need. 16. Jessica: You don’t want to be half of a flirting power couple if Joe is worried about Cole knowing about his idol. If Joe sends a message, it’s going to be through you.


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

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‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Power Rankings – Round 1: Super Idle Edition

October 2, 2017

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com 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 Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

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 Ryan is voted out this episode, Aubry will receive two points and Gordon will receive three points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.​

Before we head into this week’s fun, Aubry has a special message for this season’s cast…

Aubry Bracco: Congrats, “Survivor” 35 cast! Your journey has begun. My best advice? Don’t listen to the armchair quarterbacks (I guess that includes me). Remember what the experience meant to you and enjoy the ride for all its ups and downs.

Aubry’s Score = 0

Any questions for Aubry? Drop her a line on Twitter: @aubrybracco

Gordon’s Score = 0

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

1. Ben: I love everything about the way this guy is playing. He’s in the dominant four, but he’s not ruling out working with Chrissy. If there’s a surprise swap, this guy, who’s a proclaimed “Teddy and Grizzly Bear,” seems like he’ll be able to use both his fire and awareness of emotion to find the space in the cracks. 1. Ben: Wow…what a mess. Probst tosses your tribe six buffs, so you know you’ve got to get a majority quickly. You make it happen and then Alan…Alans. Pulls a total Alan. But, you played it the best you could and are now the person in the tribe will all of the options.
2. Ryan: This guy has already found (1.) A super idol (2.) A BFF to downplay his nerd archetype (Devon) (3.) a way to get a jump on making allies on the other tribe (Chrissy by way of gifting her the idol). Ryan’s creating a solid foundation quickly AND quietly. 2. Devon: You’re the most athletically gifted member of your tribe and you’re partnered with the dude who doesn’t have mystery crabs in his pants. Well played.
3. Devon: He’s mild-mannered in a very Woo-like way. I’d love to have him around camp — it seems like his presence would have an anti-anxiety effect on any tribe of deranged lunatics. 3. Ryan: I can’t think of a better way to play the super idol. You got the benefit of using it to make a partnership with a meat shield, it has the potential to help you after the merge, and it didn’t put any heat on you.
4. Ali: I love Ali’s mentality — she’s got the Julia Sokolowski blend of smarts and super social skills. I see her being a chess master or a sorority president depending on the day. Time will tell, but from the little I’ve seen, this girl seems to have a deep toolkit of life experience to pull from even though she’s a youngster. 4. Cole: Ugh…why did I crop these photos so high? A waste of perfectly good abs.
5. Desiree: She’s working hard to be even keeled. It’s always good to see someone who has that control early in the game. Desi seemingly has a spot with the younger members of her tribe but doesn’t seem like she’ll easily get tied up in promises she can’t keep off the bat. 5. Ali: Alright, Ali…you’re my winner pick. That means there’s no possible way you’re going to walk away with the million-dollar check. But, maybe…just maybe your considerable tools can overcome the classic Holmes curse.
6. Roark: Like Desi, Roark is in a good spot — between a budding showmance and the craziness brewing between Joe and Mike. Stay like a rock, Roark, and I think you might cruise for a bit. Easy does it. 6. Desiree: You’ve got a showmance on one side and Joe and Mike having awkward jungle throwdowns on the other. You’re going to have plenty of room to maneuver.
7. Cole: Jessica tells us Cole is working hard not to seem like the “tough guy.” It’s clear people see this guy’s heart — they see his abs too. Right now, if he’s able to keep playing down his threatening persona, which it seems he’s taking actions to diminish, he’s in a decent spot so long as a showmance doesn’t knock him down. 7. Roark: See Desiree
8. Jessica: Jessica is a “Survivor” powerhouse — she’s got the brains, brawn and the beauty. Her future could be bright. I’m worried, though, that she might be spotted as the second coming of Andrea Boehlke. Finding a Romeo to her Juliet on Day 1 won’t help either. 8. JP: A right-hand lady that you click with? Awesome! A four-person alliance full of challenge threats? Awesome! Alan freaking out over non-existent idols? Less awesome. The good news is, they’ll come for Ashley before they come for you. The bad news is, you can trust one person on your five-person tribe.
9. Ashley: Ashley has seen a lot of drama 3 days in. The good news is the dysfunction is prepping her for the harder stages of the game. In Ashley, I see Cydney — she used her crazy days of Scot and Jason vs. Alecia to silently plot out her long game. 9. Alan: Oh Alan, based on the game you played you should be so, soooooo much lower on this list. But, you’re still a former professional athlete and it seems like Ben is going to stay loyal to you.
10. JP: JP is on the wrong show. This isn’t “Naked And Afraid.” With so much chaos, I’m afraid he and Ashley could become victims of a Ben, Chrissy and Alan team-up. 10. Jessica: Yes, the pull of Cole’s dashing looks and endearing life choices are hard to resist. But, as JP and Ashley taught us, you don’t want anyone to think a showmance is going on.
11. Patrick: I’m not sure about Patrick. It’s great he has an ally lined up in Ali, but there’s something kind of big about his personality that makes him bouncy and very noticeable. It may be wise to turn it down, though that feels somewhat unfair to say considering Ryan told the lion share of the Hustlers story. 11. Simone: Hey there, buddy. Hope you had a good premiere. Were you up to anything? Starting alliances? Finding idols? Crafting a Swiss Family Robinson treehouse?
12. Chrissy: Chrissy and I are kindred spirits. Our karmic path: let’s see how many highs and lows we can experience in a premiere episode. I’m concerned Chrissy is on the outs of her tribe, but it gives me big hope someone on another tribe (Ryan) has already identified her as a potential ally. 12. Joe: Oh…Joe. I love me my Russell-esque…Vlachos-esque game manipulators. Are you one of them? Because that little get together in the woods with Mike did not go well. If you were trying to bring him under your wing, you failed. Hoping for more from you in episode two.
13. Mike: I love you Mike, but you need to chill a little bit on the wooded excursions. Between the yellow attire and the scurrying about, I’m getting major Tai vibes! Will you start kissing Cole next too? We can only hope! 13. Chrissy: I think some editing trickery made us think you were closer to Katrina than you were. That’s fine. There’s no way editing can hide the cracks in the dominant alliance. Find them and exploit them!
14. Simone: I want to hear from Simone! What concerns me is, like Lauren, the rest of her tribe is already locking in. That said, she could be playing silent but deadly, waiting for the perfect time to sneak out of the grass and attack. 14. Patrick: Hey, eating bugs worked out for Mike in “Worlds Apart.” But, be careful that you don’t come off as too-weird-to-predict. It’ll make people like Ali second guess working with you.
15. Lauren: We didn’t hear a thing from her, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing for Lauren. With the other members of her tribe hustling for numbers, Lauren better start fishing for a connection or she’ll be cast out to sea. 15. Ashley: Yeah, you and JP probably aren’t a showmance, but at this point it doesn’t matter. More often than not, breaking up a power couple involves sending the woman packing. You’re in real danger.
16. Joe: That beach must reserve some kind of ancient curse for men in law enforcement from the New York/Jersey metro area. I love you Joe, but don’t start the interrogations on Day 2! 16. Lauren: You’re the oldest person on your tribe by over ten years. That’s going to be tough to overcome, especially with everybody else making friends and influencing people.
17. Alan: In “Game Changers,” I had a paranoia so badly on Day 2, I thought I woke up in the middle of the night and people saw me idol-hunting. In reality, I hadn’t even moved from my sleeping spot on the ground. Alan has the paranoia I had times 100. If he can get himself in check, he could have a Mike Holloway level recovery, and I’m here for it. 17. Mike: Oh boy…getting caught on an idol hunt by the guy who has Hantzian or Vlachosian ambitions? Bad news. And turning him down when it looked like he was trying to bring you on board? Extra bad news. Hopefully the others aren’t fond of Joe’s aggressive gameplay.


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

Aubry Bracco Accepts the ‘Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers’ Power Rankings Challenge

September 25, 2017

Aubry Bracco (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com 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. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The XFINITY “Survivor” Power Rankings committee is thrilled to announce that “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” and “Survivor: Game Changers” star Aubry Bracco has agreed to accept the Power Rankings challenge. When asked how she felt about this undertaking, she said, “I’m ready to take on the Power Rankings for Season 35 with Gordon. It’s nice to be back as a fan (FINALLY) and not a player. I promise I won’t be too much like the armchair quarterbacks I couldn’t stand during my seasons, but don’t worry, I’ll still play it straight.”

To kick things off, we’ve asked Aubry to rank the players based on how likely they are to win the game.

1. Alan: I don’t know what it is, but he had me at “Hello.” Sure, he might get hangry, but he’s aware of it. When you know your weaknesses and are vocally aware of them, that’s a “Survivor” superpower I call vulnerability, and it can nab you the win. 2. JP: Be still my heart — this man loves animals, understands the power of being yourself and has his ego in check? Ladies and gentleman, we may have met our Tom Westman Jr. I’m concerned the rest of his tribe will notice it before he gets to the end, but there’s something about this guy I believe in.
3. Roark: Someone call Beverly Cleary (yeah, she is alive and kicking at 101) — I want Roark to be a female heroine in a young adult novel. I love her pride in her intelligence and assertiveness, but I’m just not sure how that’s going to play out in the context of the game. The good news? She’s aware of how she’ll be perceived. 4. Ryan: Stop the presses, everyone. I have a new “Survivor” boyfriend, and his name is Ryan Ulrich. Physically, he reminds of an unstretched Stretch Armstrong version of Neal. But, most importantly, his personality is that perfect mix of vulnerable, self-deprecating and genuine that I love about John Cochran. His awareness that he needs to play under-the-radar for awhile will serve him well, but he has the risk of going out in David Wright style.
5. Desiree: I really like Desi. She’s authentic. She’s smart. She’s vulnerable. I hope they don’t see her as a threat too soon, because she’s got something triple-threat special about her — Brains, Brawn and Beauty. It’s almost Spradlin-like. 6. Cole: Cole is going to need to make some strong relationships and fast, because he’s going to be on the run like Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive” if he makes the merge. He’s very visibly a threat, but his flexibility and personality will help him go far, especially if he pulls a Jeremy Collins and goes for the meat-shield strategy — there are certainly plenty to choose from.
7. Jessica: Jessica definitely has a fierceness and emotionality to her that smacks of a certain player who fell in love with me on “Survivor: Game Changers” (Ahem, Andrea). I think she’ll do well, but she’ll get pinned as a threat. 8. Ali: If Ali doesn’t get swap-screwed, I see a bit of Julia Sokolowski in her. That’s good, but “sometimes the guy in the middle of the road gets run over.”
9. Mike: Mike, you’re a gem. I love how you own your oddness, and I think you’ll be able to parlay that into something for a bit. But please, for the love of all things, keep that super-fan status and those pee jokes under wraps or “urine trouble.” (I couldn’t help myself). 10. ChrissyAwww, Chrissy — you remind me of me. I see a fellow hardworking achiever there, eyes alight with an earnestness and desire to play. I’m concerned, though, that you might be forcing it too much. Remember, “Survivor” is just as much about being easygoing as it is working hard.
11. Simone: At first glance, I’m concerned Simone is coming in a little too calculating and hot like my fellow Brains tribemate Liz Markham. Thankfully, she seems like she could be self-aware enough to adjust on the fly. But no matter what she does, this girl has “threat” written all over her. 12. Devon: I think Devon’s super-chill Ozzy-like personality and good looks will keep him safe…for a little while. When this guy gets to the merge they’ll be caring less about his looks and solid personality and more about his physical prowess. You seem like a cool dude, Devon, but I fear you’re a classic merge boot.
13. Patrick: Everytime I see Patrick, I think I’m looking at a Kennedy. Then, he talks, and I couldn’t be more off-base. He seems like a hard-working, down-to-earth dude, but he says he’s a talker. Hopefully, his personality isn’t too strong off the bat. 14. Ashley: When people meet this surfer chick I think they’ll expect the sweetness of Hali Ford or Woo and get the feistiness of Kaoh Rong Alecia. I want to see her go deep, but I’m afraid an intoxicating laid-back personality that makes people comfortable paired with fierceness will make people perceive her as a threat.
15. Ben: This guy’s got me intrigued in a Jason the Kaoh Rong bounty hunter meets Cody from “Big Brother 19” sort of way. It looks like we don’t know if he’ll be as docile as Paddington Bear or the second coming of ‘The Revenant’ grizzly. “Life is like a box of chocolates,” Forrest Gump once said, and this seems to be the case with Ben — “you never know what you’re going to get.” 16. Joe: Oh Joe, I love you, but I’m afraid your vibe is screaming “Tony.” King Spyshack The Great can only happen once, and based on the reception my lovely Mana tribe gave him, I’m not sure it’s going to go well. I hope I’m wrong.
17. Katrina: I’m concerned this Olympian will swim off into the sunset very early. A very intense personality + need for a daily time-out = imminent drowning. 18. Lauren: Lauren, I respect your hard work and unwillingness to bend to others. That said, do you know what game you signed up for?

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” this Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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

‘Survivor’ Aubry: “I’m Not Going to Change Who I Am. I’m Proud of the Game I Played”

March 7, 2017

Aubry Bracco (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: The good folks at XFINITY sent me deep into the Fijian wilderness to bring you an exclusive look at “Survivor: Game Changers.” While I was there I conducted interviews with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and the entire 20-person cast. I also captured exclusive photos and other behind-the-scenes tidbits. So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Name: Aubry Bracco
Age: 30
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Previously Played On:
“Survivor: Kaoh Rong” – Runner Up
Best Known For: Almost quitting early, then rallying to make it to the end.

Gordon Holmes: The popular opinion seems to be that you should have won “Survivor: Kaoh Rong.”
Aubry Bracco: I get that a lot.
Holmes: And you’ve had to live with this for a year before the world knew.
Bracco: (Laughs)
Holmes: The jury awarding the game to Michele over you…does that affect how you approach this second go-around?
Bracco: I’m not going to change who I am. I’m proud of the game I played. I’d never say I was robbed. Michele gave that jury what they needed at that moment. I’d never say she didn’t play a great social game. She had relationships that were deep enough, but not so deep that it really hurt when she turned on people. That was a great read on her part. But, there are many layers to it. It was a wild year. When I first got home I was staying at my parents’ house and I would wake up and I would be like, “Where’s Cyd? Where’s Michele?” And I knew the vote when it happened. I knew that it was five to two. I could tell by the body language of the jurors. I could let it bury me or I could make changes for the better. I decided to try to look at the positives and what I learned about myself. And when this second chance came along, I could really try to ground myself and realize how I was perceived. I did get a lot of conflicting messages from a lot of people. I was told to be confident by Nick at the final Tribal, yet Scot, Jason, and Julia in their final videos before Tribal said I played a fear-based game. They said they didn’t see my game. But, Scot and Jason also said they recognized my game when I was in a position of power. So, it really taught me how dynamic “Survivor” is. I always said when I watched the show, “I wish people would take responsibility for their actions.” And I always take responsibility for my actions. I don’t blame the end of the game on anyone but myself. Yes, there were factors, but the biggest lesson I got was the opposite of what everyone else got. You can’t control everything. You can play your cards as hard as you can and it still might not work out.

Holmes: Are you worried that people might not align with you for fear of getting injured?
Bracco: That’s my strategy. If I want someone gone, I’ll align with them so they’ll be med-evaced.
Holmes: Probably the unluckiest player of all time. Well, the people who got taken out were probably less lucky.
Bracco: Yeah, Neil wasn’t dealt the best hand.
Holmes: Caleb almost died.
Bracco: Yeah, that little detail. That was horrifying. And Joe ate too much meat.
Holmes: That’s how I want to be med-evaced.
Bracco: He gorged himself. He was like a Roman emperor. He just gunned that meat like it was nothing. And he hadn’t eaten meat in twenty years. His girlfriend, I don’t remember if she’s a vegan or vegetarian, but they don’t eat meat.
Holmes: The lesson is; you need to babysit your alliance members.
Bracco: I love Joe and Tai is wonderful, but I did spend a lot of time and emotional energy with the people I was with last time to keep them in line. You can’t control people, I understand that. But, there was a lot of effort put into having a balance between someone being on my side and not thinking I’m in control of them. I think this time I’m going to look for people who are stable threats to pad me. Like a Cydney. She was my rock out there.
Holmes: I would never think of the energy expended keeping someone who is wishy washy in line.
Bracco: You have to have a mix of stable and erratic and it has to be the right combination. And after my last season I think I know the kind of erratic I can work with and the kind I can’t. There’s very different kinds of erratic. There’s Debbie erratic, there’s Tai erratic, there’s Joe erratic. You have to know which ones you can work with.

Holmes: What was your first thought when you heard the subhead “Game Changers”?
Bracco: I was totally flattered. To me the experience was so deeply personal and I grew with the game. So, it was really cool that a game that so profoundly changed me, I was considered someone who changed it. It was awesome. And the reason I was a game changer is that I brought an authenticity to the game. I played with an emotional intelligence. I think other people play social games, but I think there was a different level to what I was playing where I think sometimes the best strategic move isn’t an emotional one. I don’t think people always get that. When I voted out Debbie, and I can finally say this now because it isn’t coming out until after this game is played, I made the move to vote out Debbie because emotionally I knew that Tai would never work with her. I knew that Tai held all the power in the game at that moment. I had to get rid of her to break things up so I could get to Tai.

Holmes: How do you feel about this cast?
Bracco: This is a killer cast. I’m flattered to be with some of these people. It’s like the Hall of Presidents at Disney for “Survivor” players. I can’t believe I’m sitting here and Tony is sitting next to me. And he’s exactly how he is on the show. I’m like, “Is this guy real?” There are players I really respect. I have a lot of respect for Malcolm’s game. Sandra, she’s won three times. She’s doing something right.
Holmes: Two times.
Bracco: Oh yeah, sorry. We’d be idiots to let Sandra win again. These people are powerhouses in different ways.

Holmes: Is there anyone you’re looking forward to working with?
Bracco: I could see myself working with Malcolm. I really respect Denise as a winner.
Holmes: I love me some Denise.
Bracco: Me too. And I think Malcolm is kind of a well-rounded player in the social, physical, strategic sense. I think of myself in a similar way. We’re different, but we’re rounded the same. I think it’s cool that Sarah is here. I think she had a lot of potential as a player, but she found herself in a funky situation in Cagayan. It isn’t very different than what happened with me. I got lucky that it didn’t completely bury me.

Holmes: Any early targets?
Bracco: I’m wary of Sandra because she’s won twice. She has a formula that works. I already see her scoping the room, looking for tension in between people that she can pick at. She’s good at identifying where there’s a weakness. She’s scary. Debbie is always going to be a wildcard because there’s history there. I don’t hold a grudge. I’d be open to working with Debbie. But, we know each other very well and that can sometimes be difficult.

Holmes: You’re one of four Kaoh Rongers…
Bracco: I know.
Holmes: That’s a fifth of the cast. Does that concern you?
Bracco: Yeah. I’m flattered to be here. When opportunity knocks, you have to take it. But, this is right after our finale and a lot of people say I was screwed at the end. The other thing is, there are four of us here. I’d be psyched if I was the only one. I’d much prefer that. But, once we get out there, people will see that we’re all incredibly different. Debbie is Debbie, Tai is Tai…he truly loves all human beings. I think he’s going to have that inner turmoil again because he’s such a wonderful person. Caleb…I don’t know. And then there’s me. I’m hoping people see that even though we’re from the same season, we’re not playing together.

Holmes: How about the newbies? What do you do with Michaela and Zeke?
Bracco: They have an opportunity to duck early bullets. But, there’s also a way to make people paranoid about them. As much as people think they don’t have beefs or connections, but it’s a chance to say, “Well, this person told me that. And now they’re gunning for you.” And because these people don’t know Zeke and Michaela, who are they to say what their tendencies are?

Holmes: Even though you’re not allowed to do Power Rankings, which I’m furious about…
Bracco: (Laughs)
Holmes: I came up with a game to help you. I’ll give you a reason someone might use to get rid of you. I need you to counter it.
Bracco: Oh, this is cool.
Holmes: Aubry was a part of the Brains tribe. I saw her on Kaoh Rong. I don’t want someone smarter than me around.
Bracco: You don’t want someone smart around here? There are a lot of wild cards around here. And if you want to get to the end you need someone who is stable and will play in a strategic way.

Holmes: Aubry turned it on at the end. She won rewards, she started fires, better to get rid of her early while we can.
Bracco: I think people are going to see me as a physical threat, but I didn’t win immunities when they were clutch.
Holmes: Weren’t you the second to last person standing a lot of the time?
Bracco: Yes, but it doesn’t matter unless you win
Holmes: Fair enough.
Bracco: So, maybe I’m a choker. I’m not the best at puzzles.
Holmes: They don’t lay down for you like lovers?
Bracco: No, they don’t lay down for me like they do for Debbie.

Holmes: I’m a big believer that the last season a cast saw before they head out sets the tone for their season.
Bracco: I agree.
Holmes: The popular opinion of the last season we saw was that Aubry was robbed. I don’t want to get to the end and have this jury reward her for Kaoh Rong.
Bracco: Yeah, people might think I was robbed, but just because my season aired doesn’t mean that these other people didn’t have seasons. We all have stories. I might get jury sympathy, but I’m not the only threat here.

Holmes: I don’t want some big four-person Kaoh Rong alliance after the merge.
Bracco: You think those people are going to merge together? Spend five minutes with them and you’ll see that that’s not going to happen. Tai has an axe to grind with Aubry because he feels like the wool was pulled over his eyes. Debbie went up there at the end and said, “Aubry, you were amazing, blah blah blah” and then didn’t vote for me. Tai went to Caleb’s wedding. They get along like peanut butter and Jelly.

Holmes: Talking about “Survivor” being a product of the last season the cast saw; the jury is going to vote for their reasons. The perception could be that the Kaoh Rong jury voted based on social game over a strategic game. Whether that’s true or not, do you think that’s something that could carry over?
Bracco: I think people will be looking at the Sierras and Halis and not underestimating them. I’m going to use that as an argument. You can’t take all the threats out, because if you’re at the end with someone who’s kind of chill…those people can win. It happened to me, it can happen to you.
Holmes: It can’t happen to me. Because I’m not on this season. And then I couldn’t do the Power Rankings.

Holmes: Are you a part of any pre-season alliances? Have you heard any rumblings?
Bracco: I have heard rumors that my name is on the block.
Holmes: How so?
Bracco: I’m not going to get too into it, but I’ve heard that people want to put my name before them. But hey. I’ve had some people reach out to me and I’m staying chill. For someone who has a sixth sense like I have and a gut feeling about people, as you saw on 32, there’s something to be said for getting on the beach and figuring things out.
Holmes: Are specific people putting your name on the block?
Bracco: Yes…perhaps…
Holmes: Liiiiiike?
Bracco: I’m not going to say who.
Holmes: Fair enough, but how does that change your approach to those people?
Bracco: It’s a little bit scary. But, there’s a lot of chatter. And you can tell in pre-game that certain things you thought were true are going to unravel in a different direction. It’s just not that simple. A name is easy when the person isn’t in the room with you. In 32, I knew if I could work with someone based on how I felt sitting in silence with them. My senses calm down, and my sixth sense picks up.
Holmes: Your Spidey sense.
Bracco: It really is a Spidey sense.

Holmes: You’re in lockdown now, you’re not allowed to talk. But, people smile and nod. Are you doing any of that?
Bracco: There are certain people I feel comfortable around.
Holmes: Do they have names?
Bracco: (Laughs) Well, it kind of changes based on the day. When I first got here Malcolm and Ozzy seemed kind of stable. Sarah seems like she could be someone I could work with. It’s really cool to be in Cirie’s presence. I’m not sure which way she’s going to go. She’s got a game face on. Ciera has a really good game face on, you can’t read her. Hali is cool. I get a good vibe from her.
Holmes: Have you caught anyone else trying to communicate?
Bracco: Oh my gosh, JT with the winking. JT is such a flirt with everybody. Brad Culpepper can’t keep it in his pants…with the wanting to play.
Holmes: I wasn’t sure where you were going with that.
Bracco: (Laughs) No, I mean with the wanting to play. I have to be careful with that analogy. Certain people, I’m trying to see if they’re trying to undo something they did on their season or are they trying to get revenge? What are you trying to do? Ozzy was kind of America’s hero when he played, but in South Pacific he wasn’t the same Ozzy. I’m wondering if he wants to align with a Sophie to undo that. Or, is he wary of a girl like that.
Holmes: Are you a Sophie?
Bracco: I think Sophie is an easy person to jump to, but I’m my own beast.
Holmes: There’s no shame in that. I adore Sophie.
Bracco: Me too. She is whip smart. She’s got great observations. And when she said “Coach played like a little girl.” Oh my God.

Holmes: Alright, all of your opponents are in this deck of cards except for Michaela and Zeke, because we don’t know anything about them. I’ll give you three at random. You tell me who you vote out first, who you work with and eventually eliminate, and who you take to the end.
Bracco: This is amazing.
Holmes: Right? They’re laminated and everything.
Bracco: I’m impressed.

Round One: Tai, Sarah, and Caleb
Bracco: Align with Sarah…because she’s that kind of person who’s a stable strategy sounding board. She’s like a Cydney. Take Caleb to the end. He’s loyal to a fault and I think I could verbally beat him. I love you Tai, but I’m voting you out. I think you have a bone to pick with me.

Round Two: Cirie, Debbie, and Malcolm
Bracco: I’m voting out Debbie because the same thing as Tai. She has a bone to pick with me. I’ll align with Malcolm because I think he’s well-rounded. This is hard.
Holmes: Good, you need to flex those strategy muscles.
Bracco: Taking Cirie to the end, although we’re kind of the robbed goddesses. One of my regrets in 32 is that I had two people sitting next to me and neither of them were like me. They didn’t have the same strategic drive. So, when I spoke it came off as abrasive. I think Cirie is like me in a lot of ways.

Round Three: Troyzan, Ciera, and JT
Bracco: Voting out Ciera…I have a lot of respect for her as a strategic player. She’s scary. Aligning with JT, I think I could be his Stephen, but Stephen is going to beat him this time. I’ll take Troyzan to the end because I think he’s going to rub some people the wrong way.

Round Four: Brad, Tony, and Jeff
Bracco: (Laughs) Voting out Jeff because I don’t trust him not to flip. He’s acting like he’s very zen. And I love Jeff as a person. He’s trying to be yoga chill, but when he gets hungry he’s going to lose it. I don’t want to get Shirin’d. Align with Tony, then I’m going to beat the master at his own game before it’s too late. Go to the end with Brad. He’s going to piss people off. This is so fun!
Holmes: Good. It’s bad enough you have to talk to me, you might as well get some enjoyment.
Bracco: It’s like going to therapy. I couldn’t talk about it for a year, and in the interviews I knew I was coming back so I had to watch what I said. And, it was as dual interview.

Round Five: Sandra, Ozzy, and Andrea
Bracco: I’d vote Sandra out. But, part of me wants to align with her. OK, I’m going to vote out Andrea. She has a lot of game in her. I’ll align with Sandra, then smoke her post merge. I’ll take Ozzy to the end. We’ve both been to the end and I think I could verbally make a better argument than he could.

Holmes: Alright, we’ve got two left. Work with one and boot the other. Oh, and look who it is.

Round Six: Sierra and Hali
Bracco: That’s weird. I think these are the two most terrifying people in the game. I’m going to kill you. Not really.
Holmes: Oh, not really?
Bracco: (Laughs) I’ll vote out Sierra. I think she’s less predictable. I felt like I got less of a vibe on her game. I’ll work with Hali because I think she’s smart and will be a strategic sounding board.

Don’t miss the two-hour season premiere of “Survivor: Game Changers,” Wednesday March 8, 2017 at 8 p.m. ET.

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


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