Posts Tagged ‘dawn meehan’

‘Survivor’ Finalist Dawn Meehan – ‘Cochran’s Win Felt Like My Win’

May 14, 2013

Dawn Meehan (CBS)

My favorite part of this “Survivor” coverage gig is getting to interview players before the game starts. They’re so full of energy and excitement; it’s intoxicating. It’s especially fun when that person is a huge fan of the game.

That’s why it’s so hard to see someone who has such a passion for the show have a rough experience. It broke my heart to talk to Russell Swan after his rough time on “Survivor: Philippines.”

Heading into this Sunday’s finale, I was worried Dawn Meehan was going to have a similar fate. The harsh online reaction she received after voting out Brenda Lowe would be enough to drive anyone to tears.

Fortunately, tears are to Dawn what spinach is to Popeye.

I spoke with the “Survivor: Caramoan” runner-up the morning after the finale and asked her about Brenda’s bizarre request, the Internet’s outrage, and how the XFINITY TV Power Rankings helped her dominate the game…

Gordon Holmes: How are you?
Dawn Meehan: Oh, I’m good.
Holmes: Are you sure?
Meehan: Of course! Am I ever going to be anything but good? (Laughs)
Holmes: Good, I was worried.
Meehan: Oh, don’t worry! It’s contradictory. I cry, so people think I’m not OK. I cry because it’s cleansing. I don’t cry because I’m weak. It’s who I am and how I express myself.
Holmes: You are one of the kindest, most selfless people I’ve ever met, so it’s not surprising that you’ve bounced back. I just wanted to make sure.
Meehan: I appreciate it, the love from CBS, from the press, from other players, from my family. The ending has been humbling, but I don’t want to take away that I got to go to the end of a game I’ve dreamed about playing and I got there with my best friend. Cochran and I have spent 67 days on an island together and we’ve accomplished something that’s pretty improbable. I feel success with his success. And I did earn a prize for my family.
Holmes: I hate the idea of someone who loves the show, the way you love the show…hating the show.
Meehan: I don’t think I dislike “Survivor.” I have respect for the game. But, it such a hard game. I wish there were a lot more moments where you saw people triumphing. I think that’s why Cochran’s win is so significant. That’s why it was emotional for me. Cochran’s win felt like my win. We’d play together, we’d wake up at 4am and make decisions. We made this agreement that in the end it’s 1.1 million dollars together. I’m OK losing to you, you’re OK losing to me. I think it was a more stressful combination of players this time. I’m starting to appreciate the Bob Marley Ozzy approach.
Holmes: It sounds like you’re coming at this from the proper perspective.
Meehan: I’m always going to, Gordon. I love the game. I’m a people pleaser and in “South Pacific” I was very much a people pleaser and it’s easy to love the game when you get 99% positive tweets and love from people. So, it was good for me to have a different experience and be in charge of my own game. Last night was hard, the Tribal Council was hard. It was hard to live through at the time. Even harder to know it was coming. Today I feel strong. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t watch it because it brought back some painful times. I love Corinne, I can’t explain how hard it was to vote her off. So, there was a sense of pride that I went mind over heart. I don’t typically live my life that way. CBS has been great, and Jeff. You know we have a great medical team and psychologists, I know they’re Dawn fans and they wish for me that it didn’t happen as uncomfortably as it did. And I’m a better person for it, even if there are Twitter followers who think I’m a jerk.
Holmes: Who knew that there was negativity on the internet?
Meehan: (Laughs) I know! I should be grateful nobody has included me in any pornography.
Holmes: Give them time.
Meehan: (Laughs) Give them time, that’s right. But, I’m so good, Gordon. “Survivor” stress was nothing compared to our six adoptions.

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Holmes: Last night when Brenda asked you to take your teeth out…
Meehan: Take your teeth out! Take your teeth out!
Holmes: What was the point of that? What do you think she was getting at?
Meehan: To hurt me. Well, in Brenda’s defense, she’s so kind, and I made peace with her at Ponderosa. It didn’t mean that we were going to keep in touch over ten months. And then watching the show, it’s like scratching off a scab. At Tribal, I think she wanted to take control back and she was hurt. When she talked to me at Ponderosa she said, “Dawn, I felt like a boyfriend had broken up with me. I couldn’t get over it.” And I think women play the game differently than men. We make emotional attachments, so those votes are very difficult. Maybe that’s sexist of me?
Holmes: I was going to say, I feel the way people react might be a little sexist. “Boston” Rob had a similar situation where he and Grant Mattos were never able to mend fences after Rob voted him out. But, all you ever hear about “Boston” Rob is what a great strategist he is. Do you think there is some sexism in the way female strategists are compared to male strategists?
Meehan: Yeah, this is the part that I love about “Survivor” because I think it raises questions. You turn to your boyfriend or girlfriend while watching the show and say, “Would you do that for a million dollars? Would you be willing to vote Grant out or throw away the clue? Would you be willing to vote out the woman that just saved your teeth?” So, to me that was the shocking thing. It raises questions about society. That’s what I love about it. But I think there’s a double standard, and it adds more that I’m a mother. I didn’t feel like I treated Brenda like I was her mother, but she mentioned that I’m like a mother to her. So, there’s something about having a mother do it, than having Cochran do it. And I don’t fault her for doing it. Voting people out was the hardest part, taking out my teeth wasn’t hard at all. And I did kind of feel like, “If this makes Brenda feel better? Amen.”
Holmes: We’re not all former cheerleaders.
Meehan: (Laughs)
Holmes: Some of us have imperfections.
Meehan: I hope she feels some peace. You don’t want anyone to be affected long term.

Holmes: Alright, word association time.
Meehan: I’m not as organized as Malcolm was.
Holmes: You’re not supposed to be!
Meehan: I have nothing but positive things to say.
Holmes: Well, that’s a waste. But let’s do it anyway. We’ll start with Erik.
Meehan: Insanely creative.
Holmes: Malcolm?
Meehan: He’s a brilliant strategist. The reason we won so many of those early challenges is because he was figuring out how to shave time off of the challenges. He’s very analytical.
Holmes: Eddie?
Meehan: Extremely lovable.
Holmes: Sherri?
Meehan: Strong.
Holmes: Brenda?
Meehan: Kind.
Holmes: Michael?
Meehan: My favorite person on the planet.
Holmes: Andrea?
Meehan: Andrea is family to me.
Holmes: Cochran?
Meehan: My very best friend in the whole wide world.
Holmes: Phillip?
Meehan: It’s so hard for me…he’s so many things… (to her husband) help me, Dave. I’m dying.
Holmes: Cheater!
Meehan: He is loyal.

Holmes: You are the most dominant competitor in the history of the XFINITY TV Power Rankings.
Meehan: You think I’m kidding, but you helped me so much. I started to look at the game from every individual players’ perspective and not just my own. I felt like I had this ability to put myself in other peoples’ point of view. I said that in casting. That’s what changed the game for me.
Holmes: That’s awesome. See, I did something good for once.
Meehan: Andrea and I would talk about the Power Rankings out there.
Holmes: I assumed you two would just write them in the sand.

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

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Fave Dawn: ‘I’m Going to Have to Take Control’

January 28, 2013

Dawn Meehan (CBS)

I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.

Name: Dawn Meehan
Age: 42
Hometown: South Jordan, Utah
Occupation: English Professor
Previous Finish: Dawn came in 10th place in “Survivor: South Pacific”
Memorable Moment: Dawn won an immunity challenge for the Savaii tribe by outlasting Stacey Powell in an impressive weight-holding challenge.

Fun Fact: Dawn is the most dominant Power Ranker in XFINITY TV history, having defeated myself, Jim Rice, Sophie Clarke, Christine Shields-Markoski, and a “Survivor” Hall of Fame Coffee Mug.

Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Favorties” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the new players.  They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.

Gordon Holmes: OK, I know we don’t have a friendly past, but I’d appreciate you keeping your language clean, this is a family site.
Dawn Meehan: (Laughs) When I get mad I do swear like a sailor.
Holmes: Like every other word. It’s uncomfortable.
Meehan: It’s true.
Holmes: I was a little surprised to see your name on the cast list.
Meehan: So was I! (Laughs)
Holmes: It doesn’t make sense, but it does makes sense. You weren’t like this big, flashy (expletive deleted), but you can only have so many of those. You had a great story with how you turned things around during your time in Samoa. Either way, I was excited.
Meehan: Aww…thank you.

Holmes: You are the most dominant XFINITY TV Power Ranker of all time. Now, you didn’t play a full season, but every round you played, you won. And you nailed the “One World” final five exactly.
Meehan: I know.
Holmes: Do you think that exercise will help you in the coming game?
Meehan: I really enjoyed doing the Power Rankings because I felt like I wasn’t emotionally attached and I could really understand personalities. Like, who was fishing together and who was sleeping next to each other. I just watched those things and went with what I thought based on what I saw. I think when you’re inside the game sometimes you become too emotionally attached and you don’t use logic. You just use emotion and you make decisions that aren’t necessarily rational. And I thought about it each time I’ve done rankings and though, “If I could just play like this,” which I know I can. It kind of gave me confidence realizing I can do this. My perception is right.
Holmes: So, if you pull this off…
Meehan: If I pull this off I think that the Power Rankings will be the best PSAT course ever for “Survivor.”
Holmes: You’re so going to owe me.
Meehan: For a million dollars? I’ll get you a new mug.
Holmes: Oh sweet. Man, you hate that mug.
Meehan: I hate muggsy.
Holmes: I don’t want to get you too excited, but Coach got to the finals of your season after being a Power Ranker.
Meehan: (Laughs) That’s right!
Holmes: Before the Power Rankings, he was like the ninth guy out.
Meehan: I know.
Holmes: After the Power Rankings, final three.
Meehan: That’s right.
Holmes: Final two, actually. He got some votes.
Meehan: True.
Holmes: Bad news though, the mug was cast too. And it holds a grudge.
Meehan: (Laughs) I’ve beaten that mug before.

Holmes: Alright, I hate to besmirch your character, but is it true that you’ve been bribing people with bread?
Meehan: Yes, I will always bribe people with bread. In fact, I don’t even know if I’d call that a bribe, it’s just me. I like bread, a lot of it. I make it every day to eat. I can’t imagine not giving it to people. My arms are all burned from the baking.
Holmes: That’s terrible. How does that happen?
Meehan: When you take it out I always hit a heating element. So, if I win the million, new oven.
Holmes: If you win the million, instead of oven mitts, we will get you full oven sleeves.
Meehan: I could get longer sleeves, I could take Panera on.
Holmes: Someone on Twitter called you “Dawn of the Bread” and I was jealous that I didn’t think of it first.
Meehan: The bread sounds so cliché, but I love carbs.

Holmes: One of the things I remember about our interview before “South Pacific” was that you were very wary of being deceptive in the game. Now that you’ve got some experience under your belt, has your attitude changed?
Meehan: I totally get that it’s a game. I wasn’t easily offended in the game. It didn’t bother me to blindside Elyse. That’s what the game is about. I don’t like harming people in the game. So, decisions that affect the outcome of the game? No problem. Things that you say in the game or decisions you make that are going to damage someone’s credibility in real life? That bothers me. So, I don’t like to be super negative or criticize people’s behavior. I don’t like to cut people down.
Holmes: There’s a line with that kind of stuff. Lie to get ahead.
Meehan: Right.
Holmes: But don’t do things just to do them or to make people feel bad.
Meehan: Right.
Holmes: (Laughs) Maybe that’s a terrible attitude. I’ll lie to you, but only if it benefits me.
Meehan: I think I’m stronger emotionally this time. There is a tiny bit of me that’s probably the Sally Field, “You like me, you really like me” because I’ve been invited back. That was really humbling. I think I’ll have a little more confidence this time.
Holmes: I had to pull some strings to make it happen.
Meehan: (Laughs) I so appreciate it. I’ll thank you in my large-check acceptance speech.
Holmes: That leads right into this…why do you think you were brought back?
Meehan: I think because I was a competitor. I was tough in challenges. I did have some moments where I was able to stand out. I think I had some moments where people were able to see themselves. I’m just an average person that got to do something extraordinary.
Holmes: I’m a fan of whenever someone gets to have a defined character arc in a season. You got to have that where you went from crying to Ozzy on day three to being a challenge bad ass.
Meehan: I think this season will be a continuation. I felt like there was so much game left in me when I was voted out. I was just kind of getting it. It was finally happening. So for me, this is more act two than it is a different version. I think it’s a more confident Dawn, who’s still able to do well in the challenges, but maybe more strategic than I was.

Holmes: What’ve you been up to since we saw you last?
Meehan: I’ve been tweeting. (Laughs)
Holmes: That is true.
Meehan: I love Twitter. I’m teaching back at BYU. I’ve been speaking at a lot of universities and a lot of high schools, talking about the experience of “Survivor.” There are so many fans of the show who want to know how did you prepare for it, was it as a hard as you thought, that kind of thing. I told my husband, “I can’t believe they’re having me back.” And he says, “Every time I go hear you speak I think they’re going to have you back because people love to hear about it and you’re a regular person.”
Holmes: Do your kids know what Mom’s up to?
Meehan: My kids do know, they have to sign the releases.
Holmes: Are they psyched?
Meehan: Yeah! They sent me with all of these cards and pictures. It was harder for them this time. We had just adopted our last two kids three months before I left last time. So, this time they’ve been with me over a year. So, I think it was more emotional for them.
Holmes: So you just bring in new kids and are like, “See ya.”
Meehan: (Laughs) Totally.
Holmes: Your husband is a saint.
Meehan: My husband is a saint. I missed our anniversary last year, anniversary this year, the daughter that we just adopted her birthday last year, her birthday this year. I said to her, “I’ve been your mom for two years and I’ve missed both birthdays.” So, we did her birthday before I left.
Holmes: Think of how you can spoil her for her next birthday with a million dollars.
Meehan: They reminded me. I always say that, “Your wealth is in your family.” And the kids said, “Do you know much good can come from a million dollars?”
Holmes: That’s a lot of bread…no pun intended.
Meehan: (Laughs) So they say, “Think of all the kids you could adopt.”
Holmes: So, after you win, six more?
Meehan: Sixty more! Why not?
Holmes: Sixty six kids? You’ll get your own reality show, you won’t need “Survivor.”
Meehan: (Laughs)
Holmes: “Just the Sixty Eight of Us.” I’m going to go grab that url.
Meehan: “Sixty Eight Is Enough!”
Holmes: Damnit, that’s way better.

Holmes: You played with returnees. You played with Ozzy and Coach. What did you learn from watching them?
Meehan: Well, I learned that as a newbie you’re not super thrilled to play with someone who is returning. And, you want them out. That’s something that I’m a little bit nervous about. You do come in with a target on your back. I think in my case, I’m hoping that the way I played will still keep people thinking, “She’s a good person to keep around. She’ll be good pre-merge, she’ll be good in challenges, you can trust her, she went down with her sinking ship.” Maybe that way I’ll be seen as someone who can be aligned with.
Holmes: As someone who has a reputation for being a nice person, does that give you the opportunity to be more devious?
Meehan: Yeah. I think I was that way in the game before. I was willing to take Ozzy out. I really was willing to make the big moves. I’m going to have to take control if I want that to happen instead of just following.
Holmes: And you’re prepared to do that?
Meehan: Yeah, for sure. The Power Rankings made me realize that.
Holmes: I know!
Meehan: I’m not kidding. Because when I’d be right on I’d think, “I knew it! I saw it the week before!”
Holmes: You’re going to be a rich lady.
Meehan: I hope so.

Holmes: You’re going to love this.
Meehan: Oh no.
Holmes: Between “South Pacific” and “One World” we’ve seen people who are on the bottom of their alliances who either don’t realizing they’re on the bottom, or aren’t willing to do anything to get on top until it’s too late. Why do you think that happens?
Meehan: I think the person that’s in control of the decision making has persuaded them to the point that they don’t believe…Kat did not believe Troyzan. It’s not that Brandon was OK being sixth or seventh, he thought he was going to be top four or top three. He believed that. It’s not being accepting of this mediocrity or just “Hey, I wanted to stay until the family visit.” Someone’s been persuasive enough that you don’t believe the other person. So, I think hats off to Coach for giving four other people the sense that they were in the top three.
Holmes: So, the Coachs, Sophies, Kims, should be commended more than the others should be given grief?
Meehan: Yeah. Edna didn’t believe for a minute that she was the bottom, even with Jim laying it out at Tribal Council. It didn’t matter. She still believed it. I think people all thought that Kim was taking them to the final three. Coach and Kim were very similar, people trusted them.

Holmes: What are your first impressions of the cast members you see running around here?
Meehan: OK, nervous about Corinne. We have a different approach (Laughs) to the game. I’m nervous about her, not because I’m afraid of her, but she’s definitely tough. I’m excited about Francesca. I loved her. I was sad to see her go. I don’t know her, so I’m excited to get to know her. I think she’s someone I could trust. Not sure what’s going to happen with having two other players from my season who both voted me out. To me, Brandon and Cochran developed a really strong bond. That’s what I saw in the game, almost a brotherhood.
Holmes: Well, when you share a sweater vest…
Meehan: I expected Brandon to name a child after John.
Holmes: Give him time.
Meehan: It was only them in a bubble for a lot of hours every day. They’ll be strongly aligned and Cochran will probably need someone like that quickly. I don’t know where I’ll fit in with them.
Holmes: Is there anyone in particular that you want to align with?
Meehan: Well, I love Erik, just from a fan standpoint. I love the way he played. I just think he’s so authentic. I’m looking toward Francesca, Andrea, the two from my season, and Erik. I’m nervous about Phillip because I just don’t know Phillip well enough from outside of what I’ve seen in the game. Is he crazy like a fox or just crazy? I saw the feather today.
Holmes: He brought a feather?
Meehan: The mug and the feather are doing their own junket.

Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Finals – Dawn Meehan vs. Sophie Clarke

May 9, 2012

Dawn Meehan vs. Sophie Clarke (CBS)

In honor of “Survivor: One World’s” men vs. women theme, XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” guy Gordon Holmes captained a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” guys against a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” gals.

However, the Power Rankings imitated life and the women’s team ran away with the game. In fact, the men were mathematically eliminated with three weeks still left to go.

So, the executive “Survivor” Power Rankings committee decided that the Power Rankings should continue to imitate “Survivor,” and the women should be forced to compete against each other until one sole Survivor is left standing…er…ranking.

Note: The “Survivor” Hall of Fame coffee mug has filed an appeal with the “Survivor” Power Rankings committee. It has yet to be ruled upon.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

The Rules: Dawn and Sophie 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 Alicia is voted out this week, Dawn will receive 3 points and Sophie will receive 5 points. The person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: One World” Power Rankings champion.

Tie Breaker: If both competitors have the eliminated Survivor in the same position, the winner will be determined by whoever has the closest answer to the tie-breaker question. The tie-breaker question is; how many times will Jeff Probst say the word “guys” in the next episode?

Dawn’s Tie-Breaker: 11

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

Sophie’s Tie Breaker: 3 (“Even though there are no (real) men left in the game.”)

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

1. I don’t see any scenario where Kim isn’t sitting at the Final 3. Here we are 30+ days into “Survivor: One World” and she’s still holding onto a hidden immunity idol! Kim’s safe this week. 1. The name of the game now is kicking out the threats (Kat last week and perhaps Alicia or Sabrina this week?) You might think this would put Kim, the biggest threat, at risk. Her dominance, however, is old news. If they haven’t gotten rid of her yet, they wont get rid of her now.
2. I think Chelsea is going to give Kim a run for the money! She’s a threat in challenges, she’s well-liked by most players, and she’s tight with Kim—who just so happens to be holding onto a hidden immunity idol. (Side note: You never hear anyone say, “Let’s get rid of Chelsea.” And clearly, Alicia and Chelsea are in some kind of alliance. I mean, they both voted Kat out last week.) So, as far as Final 3, Chelsea’s got options!  I think she is the one to watch come Sunday’s finale. 2. Kim isn’t making moves against tag-along Chelsea and Chelsea hasn’t built up a big enough resume to appear a FTC threat to Alicia or Sabrina. Unless Tarzan takes the throne and can’t stand the thought of looking at the botched (?) boobs any longer, Chelsea will survive another week.
3. Aside from the “Colton Days,” I really am impressed with Alicia’s game. When you think about it, SHE’s the one we saw negotiate the Day 1 alliance with the original Salani tribe. And she also managed to stay on good terms with Tarzan and many members of the jury post-merge.  If she can make it to final 3, I think Alicia has a solid shot at convincing a jury that she ran this game. 3. The sudden blindside of Kat last week proved that the girls have no allegiance to any kind of pecking order. This makes the never-gonna-win speedo-clad odd ball out perhaps the safest person out there.
4. I’m speechless when it comes to Tarzan. Truly. But I think he’s safe this week. (They’ve kept him around for a reason: he’s loyal to the core alliance/decision-makers.) 4. Christina is in the same boat as Tarzan. I don’t think she can win the game, but she certainly isn’t threatening enough to be targeted next.
5. I think Christina is safe this week… but only because the remaining players are focused on getting rid of Sabrina (a HUGE threat to win the game) first. 5. Every week, Alicia makes bold claims that she is in control of the game, and she actually might be! If the girls in charge get whiff of this, they will have no trouble cutting her loose.
6. Unfortunately, I think Sabrina is heading to Ponderosa this week. She barely survived last Tribal Council—and it’s clear that several remaining players see her as a threat to win the game. So, unless Sabrina wins immunity, I think she’s the next to go. 6. Sabrina only narrowly missed execution last week. Unless things get shaken up, it looks like she is next on the chopping block.

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Semi Finals – Dawn Meehan vs. Christine Shields Markoski

April 24, 2012

Christine Shields Markoski vs. Dawn Meehan (CBS)

In honor of “Survivor: One World’s” men vs. women theme, XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” guy Gordon Holmes captained a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” guys against a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” gals.

However, the Power Rankings imitated life and the women’s team ran away with the game. In fact, the men were mathematically eliminated with three weeks still left to go.

So, the executive “Survivor” Power Rankings committee decided that the Power Rankings should continue to imitate “Survivor,” and the women should be forced to compete against each other until one sole Survivor is left standing…er…ranking.

Note: The “Survivor” Hall of Fame coffee mug was disqualified for failing a drug test.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

The Rules: Each week a pair of the remaining women 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, Christine will receive 7 points and Dawn will receive 8 points. The person with the most points will advance to the next round.

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



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


1. Kat. Is. Not. Going. Anywhere.  Would you send her home? Kim needs to take her to the end and then explain that the ‘B’ in BLT does not stand for ‘bread’ (not even if it’s Dawn’s really good bread). 1. Kim is safe for these two reasons this week: 1) she has the idol. 2) she seems to be calling the shots with her Original Salani alliance. That being said, I keep wondering, “Is it possible for her to keep this #1 position the entire season? Can Kim WIN it?”
2. She is certainly the brains of the Spice Girls Alliance. (I bet she knows what CBS stands for and FBI and DNA and even ESL) and that makes you a target. That’s why she’s not in spot number one. 2. Chelsea may not have the idol, but she’s clearly Kim’s right-hand woman when it comes to the Original Salani alliance. Chelsea isn’t going anywhere this week. In addition, I think Chelsea has it in her to win individual immunity.
3. She’s safe for now. If her position changes I hope she’ll understand that it’s just a game and takes it like a woman. 3. Sabrina is one of my favorite players this season. She’s physically and mentally strong. She speaks her mind–and yet she’s very aware that she’s PLAYING a game for a million dollars. And I think the difference between 6th, 7th, 8th and Final 3 in this game (when a Day 1 alliance dominates the second half of the game): The Final 3 typically have a laser-like focus on their purpose for being on the island (to win the million dollars).
4. We saw the spicy side of Sabrina last week. Standing up to Troyzan and “not raising her voice.” Being part of the Spice Girls Alliance she’s safe for a bit but I don’t know if she’ll make it to the F3 being a major competitor to the acronym savvy Kim. 4. Part of the original Salani alliance, Kat’s safe this week. BUT, as the power players start thinking more and more about Final 3 and jury votes, I’m thinking Kat has to go. Anyone who gets giddy when they find BACON on their B.L.T. is a definite threat to win a jury over.
5. Should she stay or should she go, now? 5. If I think back to Day 1 in this season, I’m SHOCKED that Alicia is still in the game. And if I recall some of the more difficult days in the game, after the tribe swap and Colton’s reign on the Nu-Manono, I’m even more SHOCKED that Alicia’s still in the game. BUT not only is Alicia still in the game, I think she’s in one of the best positions to make F3 AND win favor with a jury.  (I mean, at this stage, she’s on good terms with the original Salani AND the remaining original Manono, Troy and Tarzan.) And after last week’s auction, we learned that Alicia has a really sensitive side—and believe me, that’s important for everyone to see/hear.
6. Her unrequited devotion to the Spice Girls is undying and painfully obvious. She’s safe until all of the testosterone is removed. 6. I’m still not sure about Tarzan this season. Do I love him or am I annoyed by him? Is he crazy like a fox or just plain crazy? On the one hand, he was crabby to my Hometown Favorite, Jonas; on the other hand, last week he endearingly washed paint off of Leif’s face. He’s worn Monica’s cute red shirt (and bikini, so I’ve heard). He’s performed well in some of the challenges. He’s coined one of the most hilarious phrases this season, “The game is afoot, Jeff.” And yet, he nearly opted out of the auction last week in order to pocket $500.00 to repair the shocks on his Jeep? What the what? SO, where do I stand? Honestly, this week, I’m stumped. BUT, I think Tarzan’s safe. I think the Original Salani has kept him around for a reason (hello foil).
7. I can understand this guy’s emotions last week and know how hard it is to keep them in check but the “don’t *&% with me” outburst might have hurt any chances of splitting up the Spice Girls despite what the coming attractions teased us with. 7. If anyone “deserves” the million dollars this season, it’s Christina. I honestly have NEVER seen someone respond to such disrespect with true tolerance and kindness. Remember her rubbing Colton’s head when he was sick? AFTER he’d ridiculed her, told her she was going home, and made really offensive comments about her? Christina’s reply was nothing short of incredible. Anywho, I don’t think Christina’s in positions 1-5 on the original Salani tribe, and I’m not sure she’s a threat to go on an individual immunity run, but I think she’s safe this week.
8. A “vote out” is afoot. 8. I know he has it in him to go on an Ozzy-like immunity run. BUT, based on his mental/emotional state last week (which, I think was completely understandable), I’m worried he won’t have the wherewithal to win individual immunity this week. And he needs it—because Troy is really the only thing standing between Sabrina, Chelsea, and Kim’s “Final 3” goal.

Dawn Meehan Accepts the ‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Challenge

February 21, 2012

Dawn Meehan and Jeff Probst (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.

Stepping up to the plate to face Gordon in the first round is Dawn Meehan!

Gordon Holmes: Dawn, thanks so much for playing. What have you been up to since coming back from the South Pacific?
Dawn Meehan: Survivor has shaped my life in so many positive ways. Not a day goes by where I don’t draw on my experience in the game; and I love that. Since the show aired, I’m back to being a mom to our 6 kids and teaching at BYU. And … if you can believe, I’m also giving a few motivational speeches at universities and professional conferences (Eeek!).

Holmes: Are you enjoying “One World” so far?
Meehan: I love the “One World” twist and cast! First, there are a number of REALLY strong players on both tribes—and that makes for great competition. And second, having both tribes on one beach just makes good sense! (I’m all for anything that encourages cross-tribal alliances. I’m also hoping there will be a tribe swap, too–to really shake things up.)

Holmes Are you jealous the One Worldians won’t have to burn their buffs?
Meehan: Heck yes, I’m jealous. Have you seen the picture of me taken just before I threw my buff into the fire (after professing my love for Jeff Probst)? It’s so sad! I look like I’m at a funeral for a friend. [Cue Elton John.]

© CBS, Monty Brinton, 2011.

Holmes: Look at the joy Probst is taking in your sorrow.
Meehan: You’ll be happy to hear that CBS did give me a new Savaii and Te Tuna buff after the finale’. I wore them for 28 days … to give them that “lived-in” look.

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, Dawn’s team will receive 15 points and Gordon’s will receive 13 points. At the end of the season, the team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: One World” Power Rankings Challenge Champions.

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

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

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

Current Score: 0 Got any advice for Dawn? Drop her a line on Twitter.
Current Score: 0 Got any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter.
1. I always root for the home team—and Jonas is my home team. There’s no doubt in my mind, Jonas is going to play a smart game. I thought he was hilarious in his first confessional, talking about how hard it was trucking everything to camp–while giving his tribe the impression it was a cake-walk. And I don’t know if you noticed this,  but he carried that Hawaiian Sling/spear like he knew what he was doing. My hunch: this sushi chef is going to be feeding his tribe. And maybe Salani’s, too (if he keeps up the bartering w/ Christina).  GO Home Team, go!  1. Strong first episode from Leif. He’s an asset around camp, he’s obviously getting along well enough with the Zans (Troy and Tar) to participate in their yelling contest. My only worry is that he’ll end up with an early target on his back because of his height like Kelly Bruno (“Survivor: Nicaragua”) had for her leg.
2. Kim’s in a good spot. She’s athletic, level-headed, beautiful … and part of The Salani Five Alliance (Alicia, Kat, Chelsea, Sabrina, Kim). Based on her confessionals in episode 1 (about “Girl Power”), I won’t be surprised if Kim creates a second alliance of five/six/seven this week. But even if she doesn’t, Kim’s safe for now. 2. Michael’s thievery really set these two tribes down an ugly path. They’re so at odds, it seems like they’re fighting over the stupidest things. Jonas gets five “Survivor” gold stars for appreciating that you catch more jury votes with honey than with vinegar. (Or, something like that.) If Colton upends the Super Dude alliance with his idol, Jonas could be in the perfect spot to pick up the pieces.
3. Chelsea-the-Chicken-Handler was one of my favorites last week. Having chased a chicken or two myself, I was crazy-impressed with her ability to snatch those pollos. Part of The Salani Five Alliance, Chelsea has proven that she’s here to PLAY the game. (I loved that she kept both of the chickens–and didn’t back down when Matt pressured her to “honor” their agreement.) Chelsea will definitely outwit, outplay, and outlast this week. 3. It amazes me that after 24 seasons of this mess, some people still go out there not knowing how to create fire. Good on you, Jay. You’ve restored my faith in humanity. It’s the other seventeen players I’m not so sure about. Anywho, even though I have doubts about his Super Dude alliance, I think Jay will be safe for quite some time.
4. You can tell Sabrina is a teacher … because she is definitely in charge of her game. She’s in the majority alliance on Salani (The Salani Five), she’s found Manono’s hidden immunity idol, and by giving that idol to Colton, she’s forged a cross-tribal bond that may prove helpful down the road. I think my favorite thing about Sabrina is that she seems so relatable. She’s the kind of female player I love to watch: strong, charismatic, and intelligent. I hope we have many more weeks of Sabrina.  4. Anybody who’s getting caught up in the guy vs. girl drama is playing a very short-sighted game. Thumbs up to Sabrina for not only being above that mess and being a part of the dominant female alliance, but for setting up a member of the opposite team to take out some of their strongest players. Well done.
5. “Fire Starter” Jay isn’t going anywhere this week. In addition to making camp-life easier for his tribe (starting fire w/out flint), Jay is physically strong, a member of The PYT Alliance (Pretty Young Thing = Jay, Matt, Mike, Bill), and he hasn’t ruffled any Salani chicken feathers. I’d say Jay’s in a good position to make cross-tribal alliances down the road. We’ll see more of Jay next week.  5. The Super Dudes might be in for a rude awakening if they decide to make Colton their first target. I’m not convinced that’s the way they’re going to go, but Bill should be safe either way. A guy with a military background and a sense of humor should have no problem blending.
6. We didn’t see much of Bill in episode 1, but we didn’t see much of Sophie in episode 1 either … so I think that’s a good sign. I just plain LIKE Bill. And I think he has some depth. He’s both a veteran and a comedian. (I’d keep him around for 39 days just to tell stories and jokes. Camplife can be so monotonous.)  Now, if his PYT Alliance can find a 5th member, Bill’s in for the long haul. Or, at least safe for this week.  6. Sorry, Mikayla. You can’t be my “Survivor” girlfriend for a season that you’re not appearing on. It’s not you, it’s casting. Anywho, Chelsea caught two chickens with her bare hands and is a member of the First-Day Alliance (FDA, for short). She’s super safe.
7. Colton is such a character; I would have LOVED to play the game with him. Now, even though the previews for episode 3 hint that Colton’s buggin’ people on both tribes, he’s got the Immunity Idol. And immunity buys you 2-3 more days in this game. So, I think it’s safe to say that for this week Colton’s sitting pretty. 7. I’m not totally convinced that Colton is in as much trouble as they make it seem. Why wouldn’t he work with Matt and the rest of his Cobra Kai buddies to get intel on the SaLadies? Why would Matt be happy with his non-majority alliance of four when adding Colton to the fold makes it a solid five? Something’s up.
8. If you’ve seen Monica, then you know 41 is the new 21—because I’m tellin’ you, this sister is fitter than any woman that’s played the game in a long time. Wow. That’s Girl Power! Even though she’s not part of The Salani Five, Monica does seem to be close with Christina (partners in fire crime)—and I think the two of them could EASILY align with Nina and some of the Non-PYT Alliance (Jonas, Leif, Colton, Troyzan or Tarzan) on Manono and take control of the game. 8. I’m putting Kim in the same category as Sabrina and Chelsea right now. She’s in a good spot in that if something goes wrong with her alliance, she won’t be the most obvious choice to boot first.
9. Don’t underestimate Kat. Not only is she downright likeable, she got some fire in her. I liked how Kat got involved in Tribal Council last week. (That’s not easy to do when there’s conflict. It’s also not necessarily smart, but it does show strength/fight.) In the preview for next week’s Immunity Challenge, it looks like Kat’s holding onto Christina—helping Christina maintain balance? If that’s the case, then I’m sure we’re going to see more of Kat. She’s a team player. And for now, that’s the name of the game. 9. Not sure what to think of Kat at this point. According to Alicia she’s in the FDA, but she seemed to take it personally when Alicia and Christina were arguing at Tribal Council. She’s going to need to pick a side and toughen up if she’s going to be in this for the long haul.
10. Matt confuses me. I want to like him. I really do. He reminds me of one of my favorite tribemates–Jim Rice: intelligent, charming, and passionate about the game.  Matt’s the kind of player who makes the game fun to watch. BUT, last week, I didn’t love his bravado/confidence/attitude. I’m hoping Matt mellows a bit this week … and considers adding some women to his PYT Alliance (because 4 people do not a majority make). That being said, Matt’s safe this week. 10. Sure, stealing from the women was hilarious, but it could come back to bite you. If I’m someone like Leif and I need to curry favor with the SaLadies, I’d happily rat him out.
11. Oh Mike. Mike. Mike. Mike. Mike. Mike. Why did you have to throw Salani’s love away? Yes, the game is outwit, outplay, outlast, but it’s Day 1, not Day 32! You have to build SOME trust with people in this game. And I’m just not sure Salani OR Manono will trust you after your five-finger discount on the camp supplies. But I will hand it to you, you’re in a solid alliance (PYT)–and you’re not going home this week. You’ll have plenty of time to mend fences. (PS: Are you related to TV Personality Adam Carolla? Holy striking facial features, Bat Man.) 11. Kourtney adored Monica…you know…before she broke her arm in 40 places. That leads me to believe that Monica is on the outs with the FDA. And unless an idol is found soon, being outside of the FDA might be a bad deal. (Also, as a “Mean Girls” fan, can I propose the nickname “The Plastics” for the FDA?)
12. Forgive the Flight of the Conchords reference, but every time I see Leif, I have to sing: “I’m a hip-hop-phlebotomist.” Okay, not that funny. Well, kinda funny. But seriously, the first half of this game is all about keeping your tribe strong and unified. And from what I’ve seen of Leif, he’s going to keep Manono strong and unified. We’ll see Leif next week. 12. Did Nina do anything last week other than get a Wile E. Coyote-style net mark on her face? If alliance-lines are already set, then she’s somebody who needs to hang back and try to get everyone else to start feuding.
13. I like Alicia because she had her alliance of 5 SET before Salani even reached their camp! And I’ll admit: The Salani Five Alliance looks solid. But my main concern is this: it takes time to forge solid bonds/alliances.  And this early in the game, I can’t be sure that Kat, Kim, Chelsea, and Sabrina are locked. (In fact, my guess is that Kim and Kat aren’t 100% locked.) Hopefully my worry is unfounded—because Alicia’s gameplay is fun to watch. 13. If the Super Dudes are safe, that means they’re probably going to try to bounce one of the more annoying Manonoans first. I’m looking at you, Troyzan…
14. Christina gets things done! I mean, first she and Monica steal embers from Manono’s fire–in an attempt to start a fire for Salani. And when that doesn’t work, she negotiates a deal with Manono–and GETS THE DANG FIRE! If I were a betting woman, I’d put money on Christina for Final 3, but that’s only IF she can make it past these first Tribal Councils and align with Monica, Nina and/or some key Manono members. (Because after last week’s Tribal Council “banter” with Alicia, I’m concerned that The Salani Five may push for her early departure.) 14. And you too…
15. I like Troyzan. He’s a strong physical player. And I know from his pre-game clips, he’s got a real passion for the game. BUT, he’s also got a lot of “alpha male” in him—and there just isn’t room for 3 or 4 leaders on one tribe. So, where/how does Troyzan fit in? Right now we don’t see him aligned with anyone on Manono (he’s not part of The PYT Alliance). And, will any of Salani align with him after he consistently mocks them? Remember his words to the women at the start of game? Or again when Alicia and Monica tried to barter for fire? Troyzan’s probably safe this week, but I’m hoping we see his kinder gentler side here soon. 15. Is Matt smart enough to see how valuable someone like Colton could be to his alliance? If he is, he may get an idol out of it. If he isn’t, he could be sent packing. Also, it’s way too early in the game to let something like Chicken-gate bring you down
16. First of all, let me just say that I’m pretty sure I was ranked 18th, 17th, and 16th in the first three Power Rankings last season. So Nina fans, don’t take my ranking as an indication that Nina’s not in this to win it. I just think–based on what we’ve seen so far–she’s in trouble this week. She doesn’t seem to be part of any solid alliance and I think she may have an injury (the cargo net to the face—ouch!). Unless Nina’s working on a separate alliance with 4 other members of Salani and/or some of Manono, I think Nina may be the next female sent home.  16. Why do I think Alicia is probably safe? Because the last thing these women saw before leaving for Samoa was Boston Rob taking a solid alliance from the beginning to the end. Why do I think Alicia might be in trouble? Because if I were a guy who found the Salani idol, I’d do the exact same thing with it that Sabrina did; give it to the other tribe’s most vulnerable player. That player is Christina and Christina would happily use it to boot Alicia.
 17. If Manono loses this week’s Immunity Challenge, I’m fairly certain Tarzan is going home. I just haven’t seen any reason to suggest that he’s an asset to the tribe (physically, strategically, camp-wise, etc.). And forgive me for saying this, but Tarzan looks like he may need the R&R. (Or at least a wardrobe consultant. That shirt is so Tom Selleck, circa 1980s, no?) If/when Jeff does snuff Tarzan’s torch, I hope he at least gives a Tarzan “Ahhahhahhh” on his way out.  17. Bad news, Christina.  You’ve really ticked off the leader of your tribe’s dominant alliance. Oh well, maybe your negotiating skills will serve you well on Redemption Island. Wait…there’s no Redemption Island? Better hope an idol saves you, and quick.

‘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?
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…
(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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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


‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Dawn Meehan

August 22, 2011

Name: Dawn Meehan

Age: 41

Current Residence: South Jordan, Utah

Occupation: English Professor

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: I understand you have a very diverse group of kids running around your house.
Dawn Meehan:
My children are all adopted and so they really are a diverse group. None of us look alike. And since we’re such a big family we resemble a lot of the dynamics of the “Survivor” game.
Holmes: Will your experience dealing with such a diverse group help you in the game?
Meehan: I see myself as a person who likes to bring people together and work to unify groups, probably because when your family is brought together with adoption you’re constantly trying to find what you have in common. So, in the first part of the game, before the merge, I’m going to be an asset for merging people.

Holmes: You were originally cast for “Survivor: Redemption Island.” What does it mean to get to come back and show them what they missed out on?
When I was cut from that season it would have been really easy for me to get discouraged and say, “It wasn’t meant to be.” But, for some reason I immediately thought, “Not this season, but next.” So I really spent the next year evaluating myself and my life and getting ready physically for it and auditioned again.

Holmes: Do you have any experience roughing it?
I’ve done a lot of camping. And I’ve been challenging myself physically. Working out six times a week; biking, swimming, doing all those things to get ready.

Holmes: How deceptive are you prepared to be?
I think the first time I auditioned I was a bit of a people pleaser. But once you’ve had that experience of thinking you’re going and having it removed, it’s really changed my view. I don’t think I’m going to have any trouble playing the game.

Holmes: You’ve been around the cast for a few days but haven’t been able to talk to them yet. Any first impressions?
Honestly, I still see myself as a fan so I’m excited to think about how everybody is going to play. There’s a young boy that looks like a rocket scientist…there’s some distinct personalities that it looks like it will be fun to get to know and then eventually get rid of.

Holmes: What are you going to do with that million dollars?
With six kids, a lot of plans for a million dollars. It can go a long way for them.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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