Posts Tagged ‘coach wade’

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2015 Inductee – Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade

December 15, 2015

2015 "Survivor" Hall of Fame Inductee Benjamin "Coach Wade" (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY is the place to be for “Survivor: Second Chance” finale coverage. We’ll have finale Power Rankings with “Worlds Apart” faves Jenn Brown and Max Dawson, a recap of the finale and the full episode on Thursday, and exit interviews with all six of the remaining contestants. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for full details.

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consists of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Co-Executive Producers Jesse Jensen and Matt Van Wagenen, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes. The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

The Class of 2010 included Parvati Shallow, Russell Hantz, Rob Mariano, Richard Hatch, and Sandra Diaz-Twine…

The Class of 2011 included Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, and Tom Westman…

The Class of 2012 included Amanda Kimmel, Rob Cesternino, and Ethan Zohn…

The Class of 2013 included Kim Spradlin, John Cochran, and Jonny Fairplay…

Monday, Jerri Manthey joined the Class of 2015…

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct Benjamin “Coach” Wade as the second member of the Class of 2015.

We had a chance to speak with the newly crowned Hall of Famer to get his thoughts on this honor…

Gordon Holmes: The fans, production, the press, your peers…everyone came together to honor you. How does it feel to be considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history?
Benjamin “Coach” Wade: Well I would say that I am not one of the greatest players in history…one of the biggest characters? Yes. One of the most controversial? Yes. But hey, three times and I still haven’t figured out how to win, just not in the cards.

Holmes: What’s this we hear about you not coaching anymore? What are we supposed to call you?
Wade: (Laughs) Well I am trying to retire from college coaching, for the sake of my family…however there is a professional team that is after me and I have already turned down other college jobs in the past few weeks. Coach will always be coach, and of course I will always be involved with coaching club soccer in my hometown of Susanville.

Holmes: Have you been watching “Survivor: Second Chance”? If so, what are you hoping to see in Wednesday’s finale?
Wade: Is that even a question?! Once a fan, always a fan. This has been a very unpredictable season, which now I see as I am finally learning about the game, is the most enjoyable for the fans. I thought Ciera was going to win, then I thought Joe was going to. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen and that’s the best part.

Holmes: What are your thoughts on Stephen’s time in the game?
Wade: The Wizard’s biggest challenge going into the game was being able to contribute in challenges, excel at the social game, and not be someone’s doormat. He exceeded in all of those things, so I am very proud of him. I wanted him to go all the way and win it. It’s always an honor to go out if you are a threat like Joe physically or strategically like Stephen, so I am all around chuffed that he did what he did.

Holmes: Finally, since they’re giving out Second Chances, any way you’d accept a fourth?
Wade: I’m retired. (Laughs) But, just like with soccer coaching #NeverSayNever.

What the fans said about Coach…

“I still think Coach could’ve won ‘South Pacific’ if he’d done a little better at the final Tribal.” – Annette

“I’ll talk to my parents who haven’t watched ‘Survivor’ in 10 years and they know who Coach is. My roommates, who get annoyed with my obsession with ‘Survivor,’ know who Coach is and they haven’t seen a single episode. He is one of the most iconic people to ever play the game of ‘Survivor’ and he needs to be inducted. ” – Zach

“The sensitive slayer is one of the greatest characters in the show’s history. Induct him!” – Kim

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Coach…

“In my eyes Coach had a great human development over his three seasons, a huge loving personality, and gave us a never ending supply of great entertainment.” – Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer

“You can’t have a  Hall without one of the most entertaining players in history! I learned a lot from the Dragon Slayer before I played season 19!” – Russell Hantz

“He rose to the occasion his third time around, becoming a father figure to his flock and securing a spot in the final three. Sadly, Coach missed out on winning the game, but he still wins at life.” – Parvati Shallow

Be sure to check back Wednesday to meet the third and final member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

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

Watch the ‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Finale this Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Power Rankings: Dragon Slayer Edition!

March 26, 2013

Benjamin "Coach" Wade vs. Michael Skupin (CBS)

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

Special Guest Star Alert: Pinch hitting for Gordon Holmes this week is three-time “Survivor” star and Power Rankings favorite Benjamin “Coach” Wade!

The Rules: Each week Michael and Gordon (or his designated pinch hitter) 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 two players will earn. For example, if Dawn is voted out this week, Michael will receive 8 points and Gordon’s team will receive 6 points. The person with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the ‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Power Rankings champion!

Last Week: Michael had Matt in spot six while Gordon had him in spot eleven. So, the current score is Team Skupin 71, Team Lightning Punch 92.

Before we kick off this week’s rankings, let’s check in with our competitors…

Gordon Holmes: Mr. Wade. Thanks a ton for pinch hitting this week. What’ve you been up to?
Ben “Coach” Wade: I have a new book out that I wrote called “No Turning Back, the South American Expedition of a Dragon Slayer.” Pass the word because if it sells well then I have a deal to publish the Amazon adventure, and I know that’s what everyone wants to hear.
Holmes: Nice, everybody buy this book.

Holmes: Do you guys have any parting words for our buddy Matt the Beard?
Michael Skupin: So long, Matt… the “as long as it’s not me” strategy may work for a few days but will likely never get you to end game. As Cochran put it, your game of likeability got read as a game that reeked of desperation. As one of the most likable characters out there, I’m saddened to see you leave the game. I misjudged you at first and had you going deep into the game; sans the painted-egg twist, you just may have.  I could almost hear a groan across the country when your torch was snuffed for the last time.
Wade: He kept it real. I loved his genuine attitude towards the game and life, but the tribe swap mucked him up like it does so many. He was playing a great game until then.
Skupin: Once again, a castaway falls greatly due to the fact that in his naivety of playing the game he found comfort after the swap in hanging out with Michael instead of having any real plan.  Although most people get into one or more of them, an alliance is the most threatening position to be in. Maybe the t-shirts Michael and Matt should have been wearing is “I’m with him” with the arrow pointing at the other guy.

Holmes: Neither of you guys really had to deal with major tribe swaps. What strategy would you utilize if faced with that twist?
Wade: Scramble.
Holmes: Well played. Skup?
Skupin: On S25 Philippines, we were prepared for a swap or merge any day and we knew exactly what we were going to do in the event that happened.
Holmes: That’s very smart. It never hurts to have a plan to cover any possibility. Especially one that’s been done in the past.
Skupin: The “fans” were down in numbers and were so caught off guard by the swap. Tribal swaps are not new to “Survivor” and seem to be becoming more commonplace as we’ve now seen a trifecta of them on the last three seasons. If I was on the power-side of the swap (Bikal) as it appeared I was on S25 Philippines, it’s critical not to play your hand too early.  It was there that I began my stalk of Malcolm but ever so slightly because we were winning; there was no reason to cement anything until the merge. If I was on the losing side (Gota), I’d become the hardest worker around camp, become necessary in challenges, and wouldn’t start any wars.

Holmes: Alright, you gentlemen have both played with some of the current castaways. What are your mid-season grades for them?
Wade: Dawn and Cochran both get a B+. Cochran’s weakness coming into the game was his physical strength and awkward sallies towards other contestants. He seems to have strengthened both. Dawn’s weakness was her emotional discharge every other day. She is stronger and more focused.
Skupin: My mid-season grade for fellow castaway, turned tribemate then alliance Malcolm is also a B+. He is smart and so likable and has done so many things right. I’m just afraid the physical and emotional toll of back-to-back seasons could certainly cloud his judgment.
Holmes: Excellent, a round of B pluses. Sounds like they’re all doing well with some room for improvement.

Skupin: Because the newly swapped Bikal team is at such a disadvantage both physically and mentally (puzzles, strategies, etc.), I’m predicting that Gota will not lose another challenge. So my Power Rankings will reflect all Bikal members at the bottom, not necessarily based on their gameplay or strategy thus far but based on the fact that they will be the only ones to meet Probst at the now infamous torch-snuffing ceremony.
Holmes: Risk taker, I like it. Alright gentlemen, you know the rules…

Set Your DVR to Record ‘Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs Favorites”

Michael’s Current Score: 71

Any advice for Michael? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mikeskupin

Team Lightning Punch’s Current Score: 92

Any advice for Coach? Drop him a line on Twitter: @the_real_coach

 1. Brenda: If Brenda was at the Wonka Factory, she’d go down the “good” egg chute. Her mistake-free game continues.
 1. Cochran: A smooth operator who is leading his tribe through meditation and DS rules.
 2. Malcolm: Malcolm joins Reynold out there as the man with a bulge and it appears the bulging brothers are forming an alliance that may be the end of the game for both of them. Signs of Malcolm being out in the Philippines for way too long are appearing as he confessed on national TV his expertise at lying to women. As the runner up for fan favorite last season, I’m betting he lost a few female votes with that comment.
 2. Reynold: Idol after idol he has found, days in the game for him abound.
 3. Andrea: Andrea drew the right colored egg last week. Her “dream” that Malcolm had the idol may actually have been strategy as I believe she has seen Malcolm’s bulging wrist and she may have been offering him a chance to “fess up.”  3. Malcolm: Not taking the lead in the game might decrease his female popularity fame.

  4. Erik: We are left to guess at what your game is out there while it doesn’t appear you’re doing much. At this point you don’t really have to and your relationship with Brenda and Andrea only gets stronger.
 4. Andrea: Much more aware of the game this time, you are becoming a player in some people’s minds.

  5. Sherri: I’m surprised there seemed to be no strategy whatsoever in Sherri “spilling the beans” to what could end up as the “Victoria’s Secret Alliance” of Sherri, Brenda, and Andrea.  I still believe she has game left in her and fortunately for her, Reynold and Eddie will likely “used-car salesman” themselves out of what appears to be a second chance for them.
 5. Phillip: Much to the audience chagrin, Phillip is here this time to win.
 6. Eddie: Good thing you’re on the “good-looking tribe,” Eddie! That matters so much out there. I think Eddie needs to make a break from Reynold and form other bonds as well. Putting all your eggs in one basket only works once out there.
 6. Dawn: Middle of the road most of the time, once the merge hits I think she will then shine.
 7. Reynold: Teaming up with Malcolm was a smart move, but be very careful, you may be shocked that he lies to men too! You’ll be a force in individual immunity challenges, so fortunately you’ll have no problem making it to the merge. Drawing an orange egg is eggs-actly what your game needed to give you hope but it seems like you’re forgetting that the “favorites” have played this game before.
  7. BrendaQuiet and shy her heart must be elsewhere, hang in there though there’s much more to bear.
 8. Dawn: She better pay her dues into Stealth-R-Us as her only hope of making the merge now is winning and Phillip not Hantz’ing.*

*Hantz’ing is now an accepted reality-TV term describing extremely erratic behavior.

 8. Eddie: I think he’ll be first to go once the tribes merge, better scramble fast when you have the urge.
 9. Cochran: His under-the-radar game may have to shift a bit as it looks like he’s going to become a regular at Tribal Council much sooner than he anticipated. Since winning could be a long shot, he has to adjust his game. Fortunately, he’s smart enough. Funny, Tarzan from S24 One World said the game is afoot, Cochran chose the game is anew…since when did a knowledge of Shakespeare become a prerequisite for island living?
 9. Sherri: Tried to exude too much control, now your power is slipping your ship is near the shoal.
 10. Phillip: I’m in the minority but when you’re on the down tribe, making new alliances and securing flippers is critical. A+ Phillip!  Your bullies-R-us strategy is great for early and mid-game but will fall on rocky soil come the merge and end game…if you make it that far. Phillip’s name problems continue. It began with “Franchesqua,” continued with “Aun-dreah” and now he refers to Julia as “the girl.”
  10. Michael: Once strong and smart the swap has you on the run, but you are astute beyond the game and a ton of fun.
 11. Michael: His biggest mistake was the same as Matt’s, he was just less believable in regards to the Hidden-Immunity-Idol lie which the answer should always be the same unless your name is Abi, Reynold, Peter, and Penner.  You seemed to be the only fan with a strategy! Last week you described camp-life as a “long strand of hell”…you have no idea my brother, things just got worse.
  11. Julia: Riding coattails will only get you so far, time to pick things up if you want to rise above par.
 12. Julia: Julia barely escaped elimination…fortunately for her, she didn’t have an alliance and didn’t seem as much of a threat as Matt did. As odd as it appears, not having an alliance and not really playing hard is an advantage to her now as her torch will stay lit for another three days, and although we haven’t seen it yet, for whatever it’s worth, Phillip thinks you are “extra-ordinary.”
  12. Erik: A challenge warrior you may be, your head needs to be more game savvy.
 13. Corinne: I think you picked a fight with the wrong favorite (Phillip), and it may cost you a spot. Your support of Michael will likely be seen as flipping and a new trust issue has been born.
  13. Corinne: Although the B word comes to mind, look for an idol for hope to find.

‘Survivor: One World’ Power Rankings – Sophie Clarke vs. Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade

April 18, 2012

"Coach' Wade vs. Sophie Clarke (CBS)In honor of “Survivor: One World’s” men vs. women theme, it has been decided that XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” guy Gordon Holmes should lead a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” guys against a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” gals.

The Rules: Each week a representative from each team 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 two players will earn. For example, if Troyzan is voted out this week, Sophie’s team will receive 9 points and Coach’s will receive 7 points. At the end of the season, the team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: One World” Power Rankings Challenge Champions.

Last Week: Gordon managed to prove that he’s smarter than a coffee mug. He had Jay in spot ten, while the mug had him in spot seven. Gordon must be so proud. The current score is now Team Salani 72, Team Manono 52.

Before we get into this week’s battle, let’s check in with Power Rankings fave Benjamin “Coach” Wade…

Gordon Holmes: Great to have you back, Coach. What’ve you been up to since we last saw you on “South Pacific”?
Benjamin “Coach” Wade: I’ve been up to Dragon Slayer Radio, conducting symphony concerts this week…i.e. Musica De Espana including a Latin Symphony I wrote. Working on finalizing things for hosting my own show, coaching college soccer, etcetera.

Holmes: Are you enjoying “One World”?
Wade: Yes. Good cast (not great, but good) and great twists and turns. It’s been a fun ride

Holmes The guys just got steamrolled this season. Was there anything they could have done to prevent it?
Wade: For every hayseed “Survivor” casts, 10 I.Q. points = 1 dumb move. Therefore, if someone has the I.Q. of 120 (below average) and they are a country bumpkin, then you take away 10 points=110. Because a smart player has a game I.Q. of say 145…145-110=35=at least 3 bad moves.

Hayseed #1: Jay
Hayseed #2: Michael
Hayseed #3: Troyzan

Q.E.D.

In answer to your question; stop casting hayseeds on the male side. There is nothing they can do now except charm, win immunity, and make a case for dumb moves = a lame duck in the final three.

Note: Assisting Coach with his rankings is “Survivor” blogger extraordinaire Brenda Porter!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

Current Score: 72

Got any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter.

 

Current Score: 52

Got any advice for Coach? Drop him a line on Twitter.

 

1. Kimpossible, Kimsanity, Kim.goddess. Anyone with this many nicknames is a frontrunner. 1. Hands down the best female player since Parvati Shallow in my opinion. She has it all: strength in strategy, challenges, highly competitive, she also has a subtle style that she employs around people that she can get them to do whatever she wants and people trust her. Case in point: Jay and Troyzan and even Tarzan. She can handle herself at Tribals and state her points without those points coming back to bite her. People know she is strong but no one (except Troyzan) wants to take her out. She is unruffled when plans are going amok and can stay cool under any tough situation. She will take it this season, I feel.
2. Sabrina is tough. She seems to be at the top of her alliance and, unlike Kim who saw some votes at Tribal Council last week, she hasn’t drawn any attention to herself. 2. She is very smart strategically but I am not seeing a lot of the social game except from just within her circle. She has shown herself fair in challenges but she has common sense and good game judgment and Kim trusts her. She’s also shown leadership characteristics in old Salani. She seems good strategically and is strategically better than Chelsea.
3. Kim’s lackey was a bit too reluctant to vote out her boy Jay last week. She did eventually vote him out, but her wishy washyness makes me question if she has what it takes to actually win this game. 3. Chelsea is smart but lacks the killer instincts that are needed to win in the game. She reminds me of Amanda (Kimmel) who is someone who made the Finals in back-to-back seasons due to her social game and challenge strengths but struggled with the character decisions she would have to make in order to succeed in the game. Chelsea is wishy washy at times and leaked info to Jay that she shouldn’t have. Her alliance with Kim will take her to the Finals. She has a very solid social game and reminds me of both Natalie White and Amanda. She does seem to be developing the killer instinct more though, more so out of greed for the money.
4. Kat is safe this week. I don’t think anyone on the island sees her as a threat to win the game and she is a member of the seemingly unbreakable girls alliance. Then again, maybe once the girls find out that Kat is actually just Fabio with a haircut, they will cut her loose. 4. Kat comes across as rather unsure of a lot of things but has a lock in within the power alliance and knows she will need to tread water to stay in. She is on the outer rung of a power alliance. She has strength in challenges and can step up and play hard but she lacks in some of the social aspects and strategies.
 
5. Alicia is the odd girl out of the girl’s alliance and, unlike the other stragglers Kat and Chelsea, Alicia isn’t one to be content taking the backseat. If Alicia wants to make a move for more power, she needs to do it sooner rather than later. 5. Whereas she is very observant she can make waves and has done so at Tribals and in camp. This almost cost her before and even Jay recognized this. It can cost her again.
6. Whatever hatred your tribemates had for you has been replaced by a belief that you are in no way a threat. That’s good for keeping you around, but not so good for your bank account when the game is over. You might make it to the end, but there’s no way the jury is giving you this game. 6. She has intelligence but has not found a way into the power alliance and I feel will exit early due to not having found it. Socially she is quiet and gets along with people but she has played both sides before and that can be dangerous especially if you have two people fighting for control and one possesses the absolute control (Kim).
7. The girls are picking off the challenge threats, and Tarzan is not one of them. Plus, they need to keep around the eye candy, right? 7. He made and allowed too many poor decisions early and will have to stay in because of an immunity. He is strong challenge wise but like Ozzy his arrogance will cost him. If he could get his act together he could easily be what he is, which is Kim’s counterpart on the island. Instead, like Ozzy, he is allowing some arrogance to seep through because he realizes that Kim has him cornered. If he would just calm down and use his natural honed abilities he could flip this game still on its head but instead he is letting Kim get under his skin.
8. Leif performed well in the challenge last week and if Troyzan wins immunity this week, he is next on the chopping block. 8. Though a funny character to watch, his tendency to rub people the wrong way and lack of social etiquette makes him a perfect “goat” for the Finals. I think he lacks a solid game but will be taken deeper as an extra vote and as a backup goat if needed for Kim. Thing is I doubt she will use him and take Chelsea to the Finals and if a F3 Sabrina also.
9. Troyzan is likeable, a great challenge competitor, and idol-less. He was lucky to survive last week but I doubt he will be so lucky again. 9.  Leif  is too trusting, too nice, and voted against Kim last Tribal even though I am sure he knew Jay was going. Leif is not playing the game and seems to just be out there for the adventure perhaps. Earlier on he spilled info to Bill while on the Manono side and I think he doesn’t realize that to stay in the game you have to make numbers with people and play as you go. I don’t think he understands the game fully.

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Castaway Interview: Edna Ma

December 15, 2011
'Survivor: South Pacific' (CBS)

'Survivor: South Pacific' (CBS)

Quick Note: We’ve already inducted two members into the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011. Click here to find out who and come back Friday to meet the third member.

“Survivor” has a long history of people who have played “Under-the-Radar” games and managed to walk away with the million-dollar check. In many seasons Edna Ma could have snuck her way into the finals and been viewed as a winner when paired up with kooky Coach, brazen Brandon, or ambitious Albert

But this wasn’t that season.

The Upolu five stayed strong to their first-night alliance and rode it all the way to the end. Good news for them, bad news for Edna. I spoke with the doomed sixth person the morning after her elimination and found out where she thought she stood in the alliance, how she feels about the way religion is being tossed around, and why my “Survivor” word association is so darn intimidating…

Gordon Holmes: Last night was…uh…something. How do you feel about the way Upolu was using religion to justify their decisions?
Edna Ma: I find it was much more heavy-handed then I realized when I was inside the game. I mean, obviously there was a lot of praying in the game when I was present, but I didn’t realize that there was all this other praying that was going on when they were by themselves. I think that when you’re in the game of “Survivor” there’s not really much you can hang onto except for your spiritual thoughts. But, that being said, historically in the thousands of years of humankind, religion has been used to control people and their behavior – for good and bad reasons. But, it’s not an uncommon tool that people have used.
Holmes: Do you consider yourself to be religious?
Ma: I’d consider myself to be more spiritual than religious.
Holmes: Did it bother you to see things like Coach praying for an idol that was in his pocket?
Ma: It was very disappointing to see Coach praying for an idol that was in his pocket. And then to see that he said something like he prayed three times and each time God gave him the same name. Wasn’t he saying Brandon’s name before he started praying? It seems so hypocritical in that instance.

Holmes: What was your relationship with Coach like? Obviously you two got along before the merge, but did he continue to be someone you trusted?
Ma: He’s very much a coach. His name is very much how he is. He was trying to coach Brandon on how not to be so disruptive and he got along very well with Sophie and Albert because they all played sports and Albert was a coach himself. I think later on after the merge my relationship with him became a little more unpredictable. It wasn’t as strong. That’s why I refused to believe I was sixth in the alliance.

Holmes: You were criticized for seeming to be OK with being on the bottom of the Upolu totem pole. Was that how you saw your standing during the game?
Ma: The game of “Survivor” is very dynamic. Everything changes on an hourly basis. So, I didn’t think people would be holding onto that first-day, five-person alliance when it was day thirty. And I actually thought they’d be a little more fluid.
Holmes: Once it was out in the open that you were the next to go, were there any cracks that you could have tried to manipulate?
Ma: I knew that my leverage in the game would be obliterated once Cochran was gone. So, I did my best to try to save him and try to engage Albert and Coach in a vote to save him. I knew if we saved Cochran that I’d have more control over the game. And Cochran really made a big sacrifice. I tried to get people to evaluate what their plan was after I was gone. It was going to be an Upolu implosion. It was very frustrating to get people to try to think differently.

Holmes: Now, this is a family site, but I wanted to discuss a point in the game where you’d promised to eat Coach’s…fecal matter if things didn’t go your way.
Ma: (Laughs) I think that was technically blurred, so that could have been Coach’s toenail or something like that.
Holmes: OK, good. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t forced to live up to that.
Ma: Of course not. Most verbal contracts in the game of “Survivor” cannot be enforced.

Holmes: I know you’re an accomplished inventor with your BareEase & Cream and Numb Nuts numbing creams and your sweet Tree Mail hat. Were there any other “Survivor” innovations you were responsible for during your time in the game?
Ma: I sewed up Albert’s trousers which he broke during the weights challenge. He was walking around with his pants open…um…it was not a family show. But I helped fix his trousers with some fishing line.

Holmes: Alright, we do a word association here…
Ma: I’m familiar.
Holmes: Excellent!
Ma: I’ve been anticipating it. But, I do have a question for you…
Holmes: Shoot.
Ma: I have been omitted for the last two weeks.
Holmes: What?! Oh…that’s embarrassing. But know going forward that you’ll totally be included in the finale interviews.
Ma: (laughs) I just wanted to tease you a little bit.
Holmes: God told me to leave you out. Alright, let’s start with Sophie.
Ma: Sophie is a very confident individual.
Holmes: Rick?
Ma: He’s a bit of a mystery. It was hard to engage with him regarding the game. If it didn’t involve his ranch I didn’t know what to talk to him about.
Holmes: Cochran?
Ma: Cochran is very endearing.
Holmes: Ozzy?
Ma: Free spirited.
Holmes: Brandon?
Ma: God fearing.
Holmes: Albert?
Ma: A paper tiger. Idle.

Holmes: Now if I remember correctly; getting on “Survivor” wasn’t your first goal.  
Ma: Getting on “Survivor” was an accident. I’m friends with Mick Trimming (“Survivor: Samoa”), he and I took residency together and I was trying to inquire on how to get on “Shark Tank” so I could bring more awareness to my business. And he suggested that there was a final casting for “Survivor.” I figured I’d try it out, what’s the worst thing that could happen? I could get cast on “Survivor.” And that’s exactly what happened!
Holmes: What was it like to end up with this totally different experience?
Ma: I think I surprised myself and my entire family when I got as far as I did. I thought it’d be smooth sailing once you get to the merge because usually after the merge you keep the people who are physically less threatening. What I did learn is that you can’t control everything around you and you can’t control the actions of an individual or the system. But I also did learn that I’m capable of more things if I just put my mind to it.

Holmes: Thanks for your time; I can’t wait to see how you do on the jury this Sunday.
Ma: This interview was actually not so painful. I was afraid of yours actually.
Holmes: Really? Why?
Ma: The word association.
Holmes: Understood. I’m very intimidating.

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

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Power Rankings – Week 12

December 13, 2011
'Survivor: South Pacific' (CBS)

'Survivor: South Pacific' (CBS)

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 two players will earn. For example, if Albert is voted out this week, Andrea will receive 4 points and Gordon will receive 3 points. Also, each player will pick who they think will win at Redemption Island. If they choose correctly they will receive a bonus point. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: South Pacific” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Andrea picked it again last week. Both players had Edna going home. However, Andrea had Ozzy winning at Redemption Island while Gordon chose Cochran. The current score is tied; Team Boehlke 152, Team Holmes 152.

Wanna Play? Tag Gordon (@gordonholmes) in your own Twitter Power Rankings. If you do better than Gordon does, (like @SherriErwin, @the_timgilmore, and @JohnSActon did last week) he’ll give you 25 “Survivor” Points*.

* “Survivor” Points have no cash value and cannot be redeemed for anything, ever.

teamboehlke . TEAMHOLMES
Current Score: 152 Got any advice for Andrea? Drop her a line on Twitter.
. Current Score: 152 Got any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter.
COACH . COACH
#1 Coach: And then there were five! Not just any five.  The CRABS alliance has prevailed and Coach appears to be a lock for the finals. So far nobody has brought up targeting him, he seems to have everyone buying into the ‘loyalty’ gig, and he also has an idol. Although I give him props for keeping his CRABS intact, I’m very curious to see who he thinks he can beat in the end. . #1 Coach: When I interviewed Coach before the season started, I told him I didn’t want to interview him again until after the finale. It looks like he has accomplished that feat. There’s no way he’s going home next unless he does it Ozzy-style with an idol in his pocket. But speaking of Ozzy; why would Coach make him a final-three promise? To sway Ozzy’s vote if he doesn’t make it back from Redemption? Seems risky.
SOPHIE2 . SOPHIE2
#2 Sophie: Sophie has done great this season and has been a consistent Power Rankings Goddess. She seems to be pretty aware of her surroundings and may just slip into that Final 3. I have been a Sophie fan the entire season, so I’d be satisfied if Sophie was the ‘winner, winner, chicken dinner.’ . #2 Sophie: So, if Cochran is to be believed; Albert keeps coming up with ways to shake up the game, and Sophie keeps shooting them down. I think when it’s all said and done, Sophie’s going to be remembered as the silent manipulator of this game. And if she can get to the end, she can win if she convinces people she wasn’t a coattail rider.
BRANDON . albert
#3 Brandon: At this point, I can’t see anyone on the jury voting for Brandon—I actually don’t see a scenario where he could win. Who wouldn’t want to bring him to the Final 3? His FTC speech would be epic; I’d bring him there just to see what he pulls out. . #3 Albert: I have to admit, I have this Ozzy-to-the-finals thing stuck in my head. Is Coach determined to take the best to the end? Does that mean staying loyal to Sobert? Is he willing to cast Brickdon aside and incur the wrath of Lil’ Hantz on the jury? Well, let it never be said that the Dragon Slayer is dull.
albert . BRANDON
#4 Albert: As much as a SAC final three would make my day/season, I don’t know that anyone would want to bring Albert to the finals over Brandon/Coach/Rick. However, Albert is smart and aware and he also could go on an immunity run. . #4 Brandon: In any other season, Brandon would have been a shoo-in to make the finals. But who knows what’s going to happen with Coach getting all noble. However, you do have to admit that Brandon as a jury member would be five-star hilarious.
RICK .
#5 Rick: All we have gotten from Rick this season are a few comments about Prince Albert and a butt grab, so I’m not really sure how to rank him anymore. My instinct is telling me that his days are numbered. Maybe he will have a break out episode and we will hear him talk, maybe even yell? I don’t know if I could handle that, I might faint. . #5 Rick: What does it say about someone when their biggest move all season is groping their own wife? Oh well, at least he was entertaining…for once. Good luck at Redemption where you’re sure to face…Edna?
OZZY .
Redemption Island Pick – Ozzy: I have faith in Ozzy. I would personally rather have a Final 6 of the COBRAS than the BRACES. Let’s be real. . Redemption Island Pick – Edna: Um…did last week’s preview really show Edna winning? That can’t be right, can it? Editing tricks? Hollywood magic? (Man, if I lose this season by one point…)

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Castaway Interview: John Cochran

December 8, 2011

In the “Survivor” pre-game interviews several people said they wanted to win the million dollars, Brandon Hantz said he wanted to clear the Hantz family name, and John Cochran said he wanted to make the show better.

Well, we don’t know who’ll win the money and Brandon is still trying to keep his word. But, one thing’s for sure – Cochran made the show better.

I had a chance to speak to the person I consider to be the most entertaining new player in years the morning after he was eliminated from Redemption Island. We discussed the flip that doomed Savaii, Coach’s winning ways, and how Jeff Probst might’ve gotten him in trouble with his tribe.

Gordon Holmes: Do you prefer John or Cochran?
John Cochran:
I’m still skeptical as to whether or not I’ve earned the “Cochran” moniker. I’ll take John.
Holmes: Does anybody call you John anymore?
Cochran: It’s nice from a branding standpoint that I know people that call me Cochran know me from “Survivor.” All of my friends still call me John.
Holmes: I like that you said, “branding.” I can’t wait to get my Cochran t-shirts and hats.
Cochran: I’m sure people are flocking to get t-shirts of the 8th-place contestant on the 23rd season of a reality show.
Holmes: See, that’s funny to me. You know the exact numbers. Some people try to play it cool like they don’t know. I’m sure you know exactly how many votes were cast against you…
Cochran: I got thirteen votes, which is close to one of the records. I think Phillip (Sheppard) has the record with seventeen and it used to be (Jonathan) Penner with I think fifteen.

Holmes: Let’s talk about your game…
Cochran:
Uh oh…
Holmes: Now c’mon, you made the big move, now you’ve gotta talk about it. I was on the record as saying I didn’t think it was the smartest move. You seem to be a guy that looks at all the angles. What  logic went into make the decision to leave Savaii for Upolu?
Cochran: I don’t think that flipping was fatal to my game in the way that I think a lot of people do. The big turning point for me wasn’t the super cowardice of drawing rocks, the big thing for me was after the “Jack and Jill” challenge where I bombed the challenge by failing to fasten the clip properly, my entire tribe gathered together and told me they were voting me off. That was immediately before the merge. And I thought if any of these people really wanted to go to the end with me, they’re not going to vote me off. And it seemed bizarre to do it right before the merge because that’s when you’d want to get rid of a big threat. So knowing that I was dispensable to people who I thought were my closest allies, that was a big thing that made me want to flip. I would’ve changed things I would’ve done post flip. My big problem is I got complacent. I didn’t do a lot of scrambling or pulling people together. I think flipping is fine, I just didn’t follow up on it well.
Holmes: I have a theory that you threw the “Jack and Jill” challenge so you wouldn’t have to watch “Jack and Jill.”
Cochran: (Laughs) But I love bad movies. Have you ever seen “The Room”?
Holmes: I have.
Cochran: That’s one of my favorite movies. But I didn’t throw it. I have no delusions about being good at challenges. I know I’m horrible. But I’m not the one who fastened the clip improperly. Jim was the one that did it wrong. But I think Jeff’s commentary, when everyone else is blindfolded, all they hear is him saying, “Cochran, who is so inept at everything in the world, fails to manage the rope properly.” And that’s all they hear. That challenge and the aftermath were the turning point.
Holmes: Is that why you called Jeff out on his love of blue shirts?
Cochran: Jeff and I have a bizarre relationship, because I feel like he likes me. But, his line of questioning for me at Tribal Council was always peculiar to me. He’d say, “Keith, how important is it to win immunity?” “Jim, have you given much thought to the hidden immunity idol?” “Cochran, are you a huge loser in the real world? How many bruises have you received being a dodgeball target back at home?”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Cochran: They were oddly personal questions. So, I had to throw it back at him a little bit.
Holmes: Now, I’ve had conversations with all of the members of Savaii as they left the game, and they all said that they never bullied you. Was Jeff Probst bullying you?
Cochran: (Laughs) I don’t think Jeff was bullying me. I think he was fascinated by me. He thought I was bizarre in the way I’d fumble and stumble past Tribal Council every week. But Jeff’s not a bully, he’s a sweetheart.
Holmes: He’s a doll.

Holmes: Coach has a reputation for being kind of a goofball on the show. But in reality, Coach is very smart and personable. Did that realization that, “Oh, he’s not what I expected” help him get you to open up to him?
Cochran:
Absolutely. It was a huge shock. I thought he was a joke coming into this season. I think I called him a lunatic. And he’s a really smart guy. And even more than being a smart guy, I’m guessing you’re going to ask me for one word about each person at the end of this…
Holmes: What gave you that idea?
Cochran: (Laughs) Just my intuition. It’s never served me wrong. Is that an expression?
Holmes: Sounds like one.
Cochran: It’s never led me astray. That’s better. But, beyond being smart, he’s very disarming. Maybe it’s because he has this goofball reputation that you don’t feel threatened by him. I was very impressed. And seeing how he interacted with his tribe. You’d think between the two returning players that Ozzy would command the most respect. But Coach was running the show. He’s a charming, funny, intelligent  guy. They say “Don’t meet you heroes,” but maybe you should meet your villains.

Holmes: Now, I feel terrible catching you off guard, but if I give you the name of someone in the game, could you give me the first word or words that pop into your head?
Cochran:
I haven’t prepared anything for this, so it’ll be off the top of my head…with a few exceptions.
Holmes: Excellent, let’s start with Jim.
Cochran: Cunning.
Holmes: Dawn?
Cochran: Sweetheart.
Holmes: Coach?
Cochran: Disarming.
Holmes: Brandon?
Cochran: Complex.
Holmes: Sophie?
Cochran: Competitive.
Holmes: Keith?
Cochran: Romantic.
Holmes: Whitney?
Cochran: Talented.
Holmes: Albert?
Cochran: Disconcertingly polished.

Holmes: That leads into the next question. Albert seems to be someone who every week tries to get something new started and every week it seems to fizzle and die. Is he as smooth as he thinks he is?
Cochran:
I think he’s playing a good game in that even after all of these failed attempts at changing the game he still seems to be secure. But, I don’t think he’s as smooth as he thinks he is. Even giving me the massage I wasn’t thinking, “Oh wow, this is a gesture of kindness and goodwill.” It was transparent that he was going to vote me off and he wanted me to remember him fondly from the jury. But he’d come up with these plans, and Sophie would say, “No, let’s stick with the plan.”
Holmes: What’s the rest of the Upolu dynamic like?
Cochran: Brandon is an immovable object. It’s impossible to strategize with him. I spent seven hours on a hammock with him trying to woo him. I lent him my beloved sweater vest on multiple occasions. And all for nothing. Edna is a tricky case. She was told on day two that she was number six in that alliance and she was resistant to doing anything until I was voted out.

Holmes: We’re getting ready to unveil the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2011 next week…
Cochran:
I got like 40 votes! What’s that all about?
Holmes: You got a respectable amount. You should be very proud. Aside from last year’s class; Russell, Boston Rob, Parvati, Sandra, and Richard, who would’ve been your top picks?
Cochran: Todd (Herzog), he played a great game. I think Yul (Kwon) played a great game, granted he had an overpowered immunity idol, but that wasn’t his fault. Cirie (Fields) I think is great. Stephanie Valencia is a given, right?
Holmes: Yes, she’s a very popular choice amongst people from Louisiana.

Holmes: I’m willing to make the argument that you’re the most interesting, polarizing original character since Russell Hantz in Samoa. If they do an all-star “Lawyers vs. Bartenders” season, would you be in?
Cochran:
I absolutely want to play again. It’s this weird, addictive, perverted thing where you’re miserable at the time, and then you reflect on it and you love it. My only fear is the reputation I have. I’ve proven myself to be weak, worthless in challenges, apparently I’m annoying, and I’m a traitor. I don’t think all of those are true, but I’m afraid I’d go into the game and there’d be no reason why people would want to keep me. People would be calling me Sugar 2.0. So, I want to do it, I just need major image rehabilitation.

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

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Recap – Now With Even More Hantz!

December 7, 2011

Quick Note: Voting for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame has ended. Be sure to check back Monday, December 12th to meet the first inductee into the Class of 2011.

Last Week: Rick gave Albert a nickname, Albert gave Cochran a massage (in a sense), and Upolu gave Cochran a trip to Redemption Island.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…
The Te Tuna Tribe (wearing yellow)
Albert – 26, Baseball/Dating Coach
Brandon – 19, Oil Tanker Crewman
Coach – 39, Slayer of Dragons
Edna – 35, Anesthesiologist
Rick – 51, Rancher
Sophie – 22, Medical Student

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing awkward silences)
Cochran – 24, Harvard Law Student
Ozzy – 30, Challenge Destroyer

The evening’s festivities kick off with Cochran heading to Redemption Island to meet the great and powerful Oz.

Cochran feels like he was used by Upolu and that they didn’t have the decency to keep him around. OK, Cochran’s seen enough “Survivor” to know that you’re not really promised anything in this game.

Ozzy thinks a great way to get back at them would be to vote for him at the final Tribal Council. Cochran isn’t thrilled that it’s a foregone conclusion that Ozzy’s going to beat him at the challenge. He’s right, it’s entirely possible that the challenge will involve “Simpsons” trivia.

The following morning, Edna excuses herself from Te Tuna’s morning prayer because she doesn’t feel like she’s part of the tribe. Uh oh, that’ll cost her God’s vote at the final Tribal.

Edna let’s Coach know that she’s annoyed that they aren’t six strong. Coach says they are, but now they’re at the final six. He has a point.

She doesn’t like that a nineteen-year-old high-school dropout who advertises that he’s crazy (her words, not mine) is dictating her place in the game.

The nineteen-year-old high-school dropout who advertises that he’s crazy (her words, not mine) interrupts their chat to inform them that the day’s tree mail is a Sprint phone.

Sprint. The Now Network.

Sure enough, it’s videos from home. Videos include greetings from Rick’s wife, Edna’s sister, Sophie’s dad, Albert’s mom, Coach’s brother, and Brandon’s dad (also known as Russell’s brother).

Redemption Island Duel: The players will use a grappling hook (like Batman!) to retrieve three bags. In those bags are balls. They’ll use one of those balls to complete a marble-type table maze. First person to complete the maze stays in the game.

Ozzy gets off to a strong start, retrieving all three bags quickly. Upolu tries to help Cochran by giving him hook-tossing tips. Fortunately for Cochran he can’t be discouraged by the comical sound effects the “Survivor” editing team has added to his embarrassing grappling hook tosses.

Cochran eventually manages to get all three of his bags and it’s so on. Both players have to keep restarting the maze as they’re having trouble keeping their balls on the table.

Ahem…

During the proceedings, Probst refers to Ozzy as one of Cochran’s idols. I’m sure Cochran would dispute that.

It seems to be super close in the end, but Ozzy manages to pull out the win.

In the post-game chat, Cochran gets a little emotional. Probst gives him a touching pep talk, telling him that he’s seen him grow as a person in his time out there.

Probst then calls out the remaining players’ loved ones. Rick takes this opportunity to grope his wife. Oh, now he’s entertaining.

Fun Fact: Probst has about a billion catchphrases. The only ones that bug me are “Give (a person) some love,” and “Get some food in your belly.”

Ozzy is given the opportunity to pick three people to spend time with their loved ones. Ozzy chooses Albert, Coach, and Brandon.

Probst then lets us know that they’ll all be spending time together on Redemption Island. That’s interesting.

Coach claims that being on “Survivor” is a once-in-a-lifetime event. I’m thinking Coach, who’s on his third season, is bad at math.

The players and their loved ones spend some time taking photos of each other with the new Sprint phone. Apparently it’s super impressive.

Coach takes Ozzy aside to talk strategy. He tells Ozzy that he wants to take him to the final three. He punctuates this statement by saying he’ll do it “as a Christian man.” Coach says he won’t ever go against that word.

Oof…I know Coach’s is all “Take the best to the end,” but I don’t know if he could beat Ozzy in front of a Savaii-stacked jury.

Later, Brandon tells his dad (Sean) that he won’t go against his word to win the million dollars. His dad doesn’t approve of this. Well, he is Russell’s brother.

Sean tries to swing Brandon’s thinking by telling him that God wants him to make a good decision and to put his family in a good position. Even if it involves lying? I’m not the most religious person, but I’m pretty sure God has issues with that.

Quick Pitch: “Survivor: Hantzs vs. Kardashians”…make it happen, Jeff.

Sean questions Coach about his final-three strategy. Coach claims that he hasn’t decided yet. Sean tells Coach that he’s going to tell Brandon to do whatever Coach says. Coach isn’t buying it. He’s dealt with Hantzs before.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will move across a giant pineapple-shaped puzzle board. Once they’ve stepped off a tile they’ll have to flip it over. Once they’re out of tiles to step on, they’re out of the game. Last person standing win immunity.

Note:
This seems very similar to the challenge Danni Boatwright won on “Survivor: Guatemala.”

Not much to describe here except for steppin’ and tile flippin’. Albert is the first one out of the challenge and is followed by Brandon.

After the elimination, Brandon admits that he intentionally eliminated himself to cut off Edna’s space. Edna, as you’d imagine, is not pleased.

Rick’s out next, he’s followed by Sophie.

Edna lets everyone know that they can’t be a team forever before she makes her final move. Coach wins immunity.

Politicking around camp seems to center around Edna vs. Brandon. Sophie and Rick both think it was messed up that Brandon admitted to sacrificing himself to eliminate her.

Brandon tries to apologize to Edna, but she doesn’t let him off the hook.

Later, Edna approaches Coach, Sophie, and Albert with a proposal to get rid of Brandon. She claims to have shown more honor and integrity than Brandon has throughout the game. Edna then asks Coach if he’d use his idol for her. He says he won’t because it’ll show his tribe that he doesn’t trust them.

He does, however, tell her to tell Albert and Sophie that he’s on board. I’m not sure what he was getting at there.

Sure enough, Edna tells Albert and Sophie that Coach is voting with her, she even offers to eat a piece of his (excrement) if Coach isn’t on board. Yikes, I know they’re hungry out there but that seems extreme.

That night at Tribal Council, Edna admits to targeting Brandon. She thinks he hasn’t been keeping up with Upolu’s mantra of honor and integrity. More tribes need mantras…or a mission statement…or at least a catchy jingle.

Brandon doesn’t think Edna should take shots at his character. Probst calls him on that, saying that Brandon admitted to lying at earlier Tribal Councils.

Albert and Sophie think the tribal alliances end with this Tribal Council.

Voting Time: Brandon votes for Edna, Edna votes for Brandon, and the rest of the votes will have to wait until the next paragraph.

One vote for Edna, one vote for Brandon, two votes for Edna, and the fourteenth person to make a trip to Redemption Island is…Edna.

Verdict: Ozzy wins? Check. Edna gets the boot? Check. Very predictable episode. Next week though? Who knows.

I think ultimately “South Pacific” will answer the question; can a season with predictable gameplay still be entertaining if it’s packed with interesting characters?

Who’s Going to Win: Sticking with Sophie.

Power Rankings Update: Andrea picked it again this week. We both had Edna going home. However, she had Ozzy winning at Redemption Island while I chose Cochran. The current score is tied as we head into the final ranking; Team Boehlke 152, Team Holmes 152.

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

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Power Rankings – Week 11

December 6, 2011

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 two players will earn. For example, if Sophie is voted out this week, Andrea will receive 1 point and Gordon will receive 2 points. Also, each player will pick who they think will win at Redemption Island. If they choose correctly they will receive a bonus point. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: South Pacific” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Andrea picked it last week. She had Cochran in spot seven while Gordon had him in spot five. They both predicted Ozzy would win Redemption Island. The current score is now Team Boehlke 145, Team Holmes 146.

Wanna Play? Tag Gordon (@gordonholmes) in your own Twitter Power Rankings. If you do better than Gordon does, (like @SherriIrwin and @johnsacton did last week) he’ll give you 25 “Survivor” Points*.

* “Survivor” Points have no cash value and cannot be redeemed for anything, ever.

teamboehlke . TEAMHOLMES
Current Score: 145

Got any advice for Andrea? Drop her a line on Twitter.

. Current Score: 146

Got any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter.

SOPHIE2 . COACH
#1 Sophie: Sophie is back on top where she belongs. She doesn’t seem too concerned about her endgame not panning out, and neither am I. She is playing safe and smart, sitting pretty in the CRABS and probably even the SAC, and nobody seems raring to target her. Sophierce may just fly under the radar on this one, looking ‘island hot’ while doing so. . #1 Coach: The Dragon Slayer is going to have to make a choice next week; does he want to go to the final Tribal with Sophbert or Brickdon? Taking Sophbert follows his “compete against the best” mantra and will have Albert helping him defeat whoever returns from Redemption. But, Brickdon will be way easier to defeat in front of a jury.
COACH . SOPHIE2
#2 Coach: Although I predict that Coach is going to the end (everyone sees him as their goat) I think he made a big mistake by getting rid of Cochran.  Who is he planning on taking to the end? He could potentially beat Brandon or Edna in the finals and that one guy that doesn’t talk, but what if Sophie or Albert gets to the end? Yikesies. . #2 Sophie: Why are Sophie and Albert so afraid of getting rid of Coach? Do they think the jury won’t want to award the million to a returning player? People banked on that last season and it didn’t work out. Are they afraid of inspiring the wrath of pitbull Brandon? If anything, upsetting Brandon could earn them the favor of some jury members.
BRANDON . albert
#3 Brandon: Another day, another Brandon breakdown.  Coach knows that if he votes out Brandon he probably won’t get his vote since this whole ‘loyalty’ thing is looming. Brandon ‘Breakdown’ Hantz may just get to the end without ever having to discuss much strategy. . #3 Albert: Albert has to hold the record now for most shot down big moves. It seems like he’s trying something new every week. Anywho, at least he’ll get credit for paying attention to the Coach juggernaut unlike the players who were bested by Boston Rob last season (no offense, Andrea).
albert . RICK
#4 Albert: With so much hammock strategizing, Prince Albert must have some things brewing in that pretty little head of his. I do hope he has some “secret mission” that will likely unfold. However, if people see Albert as always scheming, it could make them nervous and he could be one of the next to go. . #4 Rick: Hard to believe coming up with the obvious “Prince Albert” nickname almost got Rick booted from the game. At this point, keeping Rick around is smart gameplay. None of the future jurors see him as anything more than one of Coach’s numbers.
RICK . BRANDON
#5 Rick: I think Rick will stay over Edna, but he sure pissed off Albert by calling him a Prince/Princess. Seriously though, I’d be pissed too! Rick talked like, four times this season and two out of the four were bringing down Albert. First there was the “he snores” comment (lest we forget), then he drops the whole Prince Albert thing. I’m not even going to comment on that one because unlike Gordon, I like to keep my rankings PG. . #5 Brandon: Apparently Brandon’s dad is visiting Savaii beach this week and while he’s there he causes some serious trouble. Will it cost Brandon his spot in the tribe? Will this pave the way for an All-Hantz season?
EDNA . EDNA
#6 Edna: I always knew the CRABS were going to stick together. Unfortunately for Edna, the CRABS are stronger than the BRACES. Personally I’d rather SCARE off the B(randon) but Edna didn’t help her case by voting for Rick. (Isn’t playing with letters so fun?) Brandon laid out at TC that Edna was 6th…so I’m sticking to that gem of information. . #6 Edna: What?! Brandon said she was going to go this week and Brandon never, ever lies.
OZZY . COCHRAN
Redemption Island Pick – Ozzy: Ozzy wins. Unless the duel is some sort of mom-massage competition, I’m not sure Cochran will pull this one off. Although it would be pretty epic if he did. . Redemption Island Pick – Cochran: I don’t believe in fairies, zombies, or the power of Hulkamania. But I believe Cochran can pull off a miracle and beat Ozzy. Here’s hoping the challenge involves remembering facts about successful litigation.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Whitney Duncan and Dawn Meehan

December 1, 2011

I’ve always kind of wished “Survivor” would take a page from “Big Brother” and show bonus footage on Showtime.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season and I think Brandon, Cochran, and Coach are worthy of our attention, but I’d have loved to have seen more from TV’s most adorable bully Whitney Duncan and crybaby-turned-challenge-warrior Dawn Meehan.

I spoke with Whitney and Dawn the morning after they were eliminated from Redemption Island to find out about the moves they were making that we didn’t see, why Cochran turning on Savaii was different than Savaii turning on Elyse, and an unfortunate Power Rankings controversy…

Gordon Holmes: Dawn, you went from crying to Ozzy on Day One, to kicking some rear in the strength challenge, to acting like you’re someone who was born to spend her time in the Samoan wilderness. What changed?
Dawn Meehan:
I almost felt like a pet who switched homes. I had a new habitat. The experience in the game is so different from my life. I know it is for everyone, but really for me. It took me a little bit of time for me to get my bearings. But also, since Whitney is with me, a big thing for me was I’m close to Whitney. I went to her before I went to Ozzy and after and said to her, “I want to play this, I know how I want to play this game and that’s not happening.” I think from that point on I was able to clear my head. I got my confidence back.
Holmes: Did it bother you that Whitney was such a horrible bully?
Whitney Duncan: (Laughs) Oh yeah, you know me!
Meehan: I though the exchange they showed with Whitney and the earrings was a good representation of what camp life was like. There’s a lot more human kindness in the game than people realize.
Holmes: OK Whitney, I don’t want you bullying me. I’m sensitive.
Duncan: OK, I’ll try not to, Gordon.
Holmes: As I said to Keith and Jim, I didn’t see much actual bullying during the show, and I know how much “Survivor” editors love to show bad behavior.
Duncan: The word “bully,” who did that come from? It came from Coach. Cochran never actually said those words, so I’m not going to be hard on him. But, he did let that term be thrown around. But it’s disappointing because I really liked Cochran. I hung out with Cochran on the beach. I was never rude to Cochran ever and I actually trusted the guy. So I felt very betrayed. And even though it is a game, feelings do get hurt. The only thing negative I ever said about Cochran is he definitely tossed and turned a lot in the bungalow. I’m not going to lie. I was caught in the middle of him and Keith and they’d rip the covers off of each other every ten minutes.

Holmes: Now, it seems like a lot of the Savaiians took Cochran’s flip personally. How is that different from when you guys blindsided Elyse?
Duncan:
The difference is; Elyse wasn’t really involved in any strategic conversations. I tried so hard to talk to Elyse about the game. I liked Elyse. I didn’t want Elyse to go. But, at the same time that’s very scary when a returning player has somebody like that in their back pocket. She’s not talking about the game to any of us, so who is she talking to? She’s talking to Ozzy. I guess you can call it a blindside, but we didn’t technically vote for Elyse, we just let it happen.
Holmes and Meehan: (Laughs)
Meehan: Yeah, let’s talk about that Whitney!
Duncan: (Laughs) Yeah, I definitely had some smoothing over to do with Dawn afterwards. But I never said Elyse was in my final five. I never led Elyse to believe she was in my final five. So, therefore I didn’t really betray Elyse.

Holmes: Now Dawn, I know you’re a Mormon. And Whitney, I know you love Jesus and Elvis…
Whitney:
(Laughs) I wouldn’t make those two equal. But yes, I do love them.
Holmes: Upolu made a very big show of their religious beliefs. Was that off-putting at all? Did that seem genuine?
Meehan: I didn’t see it as necessary in the game.
Duncan:
Yeah.
Meehan: I think that the “Jack & Jill” challenge, that was just the pinnacle of having a really difficult time with tolerating it. We saw it at every challenge, a lot of…you know…who’s on the Lord’s side?
Duncan: Yeah, I’m sorry, but I do not think the Lord favors any one team on “Survivor.” I know the Lord has better things to do. And obviously I’m a Christian, that doesn’t mean I’m perfect in any way, but I definitely prayed when I was out there. Sure, you have a lot of time to yourself. But I didn’t make a big spectacle out of it. And I think that’s a lot of what that was, a spectacle. I feel like Coach used that to help manipulate people.
Meehan: I think Coach has a good read on people and that worked, so he used it. I think what surprised me more is that really, outside of Sophie, does anyone see it? It seems so transparent to me.
Duncan: Yeah, I agree. When they’re praying about a hidden immunity idol that’s actually in their pocket? It looks bad for Christianity. That’s not something to be prayed about.

Holmes: Were there any cracks in Upolu that you could have exploited?
Meehan:
Rick and maybe Albert for us. I think Whitney and I just felt like we needed more time. Once we were on the downside of the numbers we were close to working something with Rick, Brandon, and Albert. We really wanted to take out Coach with Albert. Not the tail of the snake, the head of the snake. And it just didn’t work.
Duncan: I think Albert just wanted to injure the snake by taking out Edna. But you had to be so careful about what you said in the game. They would tell on you.
Meehan: It was like tattle-tails in school.
Duncan: It was never good for me and Dawn if word leaked back. But I never felt like Rick was going to flip. He’d given his word to Coach and he was going to stay true to that.
Meehan: I think Jim was close to getting Rick to flip at the merge. We made an agreement; Jim, Rick, and myself for final three. That was very close.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Ozzy.
Meehan:
Fearless.
Duncan: Strong.
Holmes: Coach?
Meehan: I actually don’t have words for Coach.
Duncan: Creepy.
Holmes: Albert?
Meehan: For me, Albert is kindhearted.
Duncan: He’s a nice guy.
Holmes: Sophie?
Meehan: Talented.
Duncan: Sophie’s smart.
Holmes: Brandon?
Meehan: Intense.
Duncan: Loose cannon.
Holmes: Keith?
Meehan: Genuine.
Duncan: Amazing.
Holmes: When I asked him “Whitney” last week he said “Beautiful.”
Duncan and Meehan: Awww…
Holmes: Adorable. OK, let’s finish this with Cochran.
Meehan: He is a complete character. He’s almost like a caricature.
Duncan: Yeah, I’d actually go with that. But I’ll say this…fearful.

Holmes: Whitney, you have your country music fan base and Dawn I know you have a devoted six-kid fan base at home, what have been their reactions to seeing you in the game?
Duncan:
My fans, they know who I am. I’m a nice person, but I have a little fire in me and I get a little spunky some times. I think they got a kick out of seeing my temper come out. They got a good laugh out of it. My family too, they’ve seen that side of me too.
Meehan: It was just awesome to be able to show them. Maybe not day one, but that was real, but to see me overcome.  For me, the overwhelming feeling that I have with the game is it taught me you have to go after the big things in life. The kids have loved watching it. It’s a lot of fun. It’s made them more fearless. I’ve got my eight-year-old going off of the high dive. It’s taught them to go get life.

Holmes: Now, I hate to bring this up, but there was a big controversy this season…and I just want to know if this is true or not… Dawn, is it true you tried to bribe the Power Rankings judges with home baked bread?
Duncan:
(Laughs)
Meehan: It’s absolutely true!
Holmes: Dawn, I adore you…but you have to realize that the Power Rankings judges, myself and Andrea Boehlke are incorruptible.
Duncan: There’s no bribing? I’m telling you that bread is good enough to bribe with.
Meehan: I just need your P.O. Box because I sent Andrea her bread for real.
Holmes: Whoa! Hold the phone…you sent Andrea bread?
Meehan: It got there. Sophie took it to her. She was my courier.
Holmes: This is a nightmare.
Meehan: I love reading those Power Rankings, so for me that was so fun.
Duncan: It is fun. I like those.
Holmes: And you have sullied the entire process.
Meehan: And I’m happy to have done so.

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

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‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Recap: The Albert Formerly Known as Prince

November 30, 2011

“Survivor” Hall of Fame Update: Voting for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame ends this Friday at 5 p.m. ET. ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Russell Hantz, Producer Jesse Jensen, and some dude named Jeff Probst have already cast their ballots. Don’t miss your opportunity to cast yours.

Last Regular Episode: Edna masterminded a plot that both eliminated Coach from the game and solved the world financial crisis. And, Rick did a 30-minute stand-up routine.

Just kidding, none of that happened. But, Keith and Jim lost the Redemption Island duel and Dawn and Whitney were booted at Tribal Council.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

The Te Tuna Tribe (wearing yellow)
Albert – 26, Baseball/Dating Coach
Brandon – 19, Oil Tanker Crewman
Coach – 39, Slayer of Dragons
Cochran – 24, Harvard Law Student
Edna – 35, Anesthesiologist
Rick – 51, Rancher
Sophie – 22, Medical Student

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing the last hope for the Savaiian nation)
Dawn – 41, English Professor
Ozzy – 30, Challenge Destroyer
Whitney – 27, Country Music Singer

The festivities kick off after Tribal Council with the Upolutians gloating over their decimation of the Savaii crew. Edna and Cochran aren’t as elated because they both think they’re on the bottom of the totem pole.

The following morning, Cochran tells a story about how he tried to be a bad boy when he was younger by making dirty phone calls. However, he made those calls before he fully understood how sexual relations worked. The result was understandably hilarious.

And no, I’m not recapping what he said, this is a family site.

An Open Letter to Cochran:

Dear Cochran,

I love you, buddy. But, you know those guys that are following you around camp wearing backwards baseball caps? Those are camera men. The big boxes they keep pointing at you are called “cameras.” Those cameras make an audio and video record of your misguided-sex-talk and poop-in-my-pants stories. Other people (who aren’t following you around) then put those stories on national television. Just an FYI.

Your pal,
Gordon

Not everybody is amused by Cochran’s sexy tales. Sophie, for example, can see why Savaii became annoyed with him.

Meanwhile, Cochran is a little wigged out by Upolu’s cult-like qualities. Brandon in particular has him concerned. However, this doesn’t deter Cochran from calling a team meeting and requesting a Tribal Council stay of execution. His reason? Because Upolu owes him a debt due to his flippage and his birthday is right around the corner.

I’m not sure he has a point on the flippery, but I’d totally swipe the birthday excuse. It’s not like you have an ID out there and they can check.

This move rubs Sophie the wrong way as she feels like they don’t owe Cochran anything. Albert and Coach are open to keeping Cochran and booting Edna.

Redemption Island Duel: The players will balance dishes at the end of a pole. They’ll slowly add more pieces to their stacks. Last person with their stack standing stays in the game.

Not much to describe here except for some stackin’ and some wobblin’.

Dawn goes to yawn and almost finds herself gone. Yay, rhyming! She manages to save herself though.

However, my rhyming can’t save her a second time as her stack falls and she’s the first to go.

We get some tense editing for a bit…and then Whitney’s out. Ozzy stays in the game.

When it’s all said and done, Dawn says that “Survivor” has taught her that anything is possible. That’s the great thing about “Survivor,” it seems to change people’s attitudes about life. You never hear that from people leaving “The Bad Girls Club.”

Whitney lets us know that her family and friends will be proud of her. No word on how her secret husband will feel.

Back at Te Tuna, Albert doesn’t feel the need to help around camp. He’s more focused on coming up with strategies and working on his social game. Some people consider being useful around camp to be good for your social game.

Some guy named Rick is annoyed that Albert isn’t helping around camp. He dubs him “Prince Albert.”

Family site…family site…

Later, Edna asks Coach if she’s the next one to go after Cochran. The Dragon Slayer confirms this suspicion. Oh man, keepin’ it real.

Coach, however, admits that keeping Edna and Cochran would be good for his game.

The following morning, Coach and Cochran bust out some Coa-chi. Coach is positive that this will help one of them win the next challenge. Seriously? Coach’s been doing this stuff for three seasons and has never been a big challenge threat.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will throw bean bags onto a set of three boxes. The first three people to get bean bags on all three boxes will advance. From there it’s back to the ol’ coconut slingshot. First person to knock down all of the targets wins immunity and a spa/massage afternoon.

Albert, Rick, and Sophie advance to the next round. What?! Coa-chi fails?!

Uh-oh…Albert was good with the slingshot in the earlier challenge.

And sure enough, Albert wins immunity, just edging out someone named Rick.

Albert is given the opportunity to share his spa treatment, he chooses Coach.

Then, he asks J-Pro if he can give his spa treatment to someone else in exchange for their food if they win a future reward. Probsty agrees and Albert chooses to give it to Cochran as an early birthday gift.

I take it back! Coa-chi works!

Quick Aside: I hate this move. It always looks shady when someone gives up their reward. Also, does that mean Cochran is safe?

Cochran then tells us that he’s given his mom a massage, but never had one himself. What did I just say about the guys with cameras?!

Back at Te Tunisia, the tribe is greeted by two masseuses and two massage tables. I gotta admit, I love that they have to enjoy their reward in front of the tribe.

Also, Cochran admits that he lied about his birthday. Atta boy! He’s like Mini Fairplay.

After the reward, Cochran takes Albert aside to talk strategy. Albert doesn’t think Coach is ready to make a big move, but Cochran thinks they could try to vote out some fella named Rick. Cochran even admits that he heard that guy call Albert, “Princess Albert.”

Cochran takes this plan to Edna and Coach. Edna’s on board, but Coach is non-committal.

That night at Tribal Council, Coach admits that the scrambling around camp has been crazy.

Cochran thinks the jury will be happy to hear that he’s in trouble. However, he thinks the Upolu faithful owe him another three nights in the game.

Albert agrees, and thinks it looks bad for Upolu’s image to use him and vote him out.

Some mustachioed gentleman named Rick doesn’t feel safe and has brought his stuff with him.

Edna is freaking out because she thinks she’s the sixth person on the totem pole.

And now it’s time for Tribal Confessions with Brandon Hantz…

Brandon lets us all know that he’s voting for Cochran tonight and Edna the next time they’re at Tribal. This short burst exhausts poor Brandon.

Cochran then says that talking to Brandon about strategy is like talking to Probst about shirts that aren’t blue. They just can’t comprehend it.

WHOA! Alright, tell the guys with the backwards baseball caps to turn off the cameras. I think Cochran just won “Survivor.” Screw the voting, I’m inducting Cochran into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame tomorrow.

Cochran then shakes the world up by asking what’ll happen if Edna wins immunity next time. Sophie plays it off well by saying, “Then it starts.”

Voting Time: Rick votes for Cochran, Cochran votes for Rick, Edna votes for Rick, and the rest of the votes will have to wait.

One vote for Cochran, two votes for Rick, two votes for Cochran, and the thirteenth person to make a trip to Redemption Island is…Cochran.

Oh man, Redemption Island is going to be entertaining next week.

Verdict: One of the best episodes this season. The breakdown of Upolu is going to be super interesting. Every strategic instinct says people should try to take Cochran, Brandon, and Edna to the end, but Brandon the pitbull has everyone too afraid to get too far of line.

Who’s Going to Win:
Sticking with Sophie.

Power Rankings Update: Andrea picked it this week. She had Cochran in spot seven while I had him in spot five. We both predicted Ozzy would win Redemption Island. The current score is now Team Boehlke 145, Team Holmes 146.

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

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