Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Johnson’

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Round 12

December 15, 2010

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” star Benjamin “Coach” Wade and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” recapper Gordon Holmes 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 Fabio is voted out this week, Coach will receive two points and Gordon will receive four. At the end of the season, the person or team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Nicaragua” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Team Dragon Slayer called it. Coach had Benry in spot seven while had him in spot six. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 132, Team Truth Seeker 134.


Ode to Benry:
Should’ve goldbricked it in the challenges. But I was glad to see your character emerge as the season went on.


Current Score: 132


Current Score: 134

sash .. sash
#1: He’s got the idol, he’s playing both sides – although that’s a dangerous way to play as I found out in “Heroes vs. Villains.” He’s always thinking about the game. He’s not going to quit. #1: OK, Sash. It’s your time to shine. If you want to walk away with the million dollars you have to make your move this week. You need to get rid of Holly and Jane. And you need to do it in a way that makes them not hate you. It’s this week that’ll show if you’re Todd Herzog (a winner) or Russell Hantz (a runner-up).
fabio . chase
#2: His stupidity is becoming brilliant and he’s becoming smarter the more he is immersed in the game. #2: Chase has got to be a lock for the final three. Everybody likes him, but nobody respects his gameplay.
dan . dan
#3: I can’t say that he’s growing on me. But I see another Sandra (Diaz-Twine) and depending on who gets to the end he might win it because he hasn’t pissed anybody off. #3: Yeah Dan, you’re still safe. And you might be a good pick to take to the final three too. Why would anyone be threatened by you? You’re just a pleasant paper weight at this point.
chase . fabio
#4: He’s a scared little rabbit. I think people think they can manipulate him and he’s not a threat. He’s a paper tiger. He’s like James (Clement) in “Heroes vs. Villains.” #4: The only thing keeping Fabio safe at this point is the fact that Holly and Jane are more likely to get final votes. Which is good, cause I’m a member of Team Fabs.
holly . jane
#5: Her coaching personality is coming out. She’s one of my favorite characters this season going from wanting to quit and not being able to handle it to trying to help other people not to quit. Giving up her reward was very chivalrous, but unfortunately that’s going to come back to bite her. #5: This was a tough one between Jane and Holly. But in the end, I think Holly is better liked by the jury and Jane is more likely to win immunity. People like NaOnka and Alina have been looking at her as a Mom figure for a while. So, we’ll have fish dances until the finale.
jane . holly
#6: I just think Marty’s comment is going to resonate with everyone. “If she gets to the end, I’ll vote for her and you guys are the stupidest group ever.” So, if she doesn’t win immunity, I think she’s going home. #6: It’s been an interesting run for you, Holly. Not many people go from crazed villain to mother figure in one season. But, I think you’ll be able to look back at this season and be proud of how you’ve performed.

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 12 Recap: There’s Something About Sash

December 8, 2010

Last Episode: NaOnka and Purple Kelly quit, yet I press on…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 ‘Survivor‘ Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

The Libertad Tribe (wearing red with sharp white highlights)
•    Benry – 24, Club Promoter
•    Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
•    Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
•    Fabio – 21, Student
•    Holly – 44, Swim Coach
•    Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
•    Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

Note: I want to thank everyone who voted for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. Check back Friday for my official ballot and be on the lookout next week for the official announcement of the Class of 2010.

The mood is somber at Libertania after the first dual quitting in “Survivor” history. Well, not too somber as Benry decides to name the tribe’s chicken “Kelly-Nay” because, “They’re both chicken.”


Sash thinks the throwing in of the purple towels affects him the most as he had close alliances with both of the Nay-bandoners.

Note: It was that or Nay-vacuators.

The following morning, Sash tells Chase, Fabio and Benry that he’ll be playing his idol at the next Tribal Council because he’s worried that people think he’s a threat.

When Benry and Fabio run off to chase butterflies, Chase makes a pitch to keep Sash on his team.

They then discuss making sure that Holly gets to go on the next reward challenge. They also both agree that Sash should go on the reward as he hasn’t had a reward meal in a long time.

And as if by cue, we’re taken to…

Reward Challenge: This reward challenge is a nod to all of the previous challenges. It’s like leftover night.

The players will start off diving into a mudpit, then they’ll have to dig through a bale of hay to retrieve a ball.

Wait, who set a course record in the mud-diving/hay digging challenge? Oh wait, that was totally me.

Note: I am going to keep boasting about that. It’s all I have.

From there they’ll bounce the ball off of a shield and into a barrel. The first four people to sink their shot will move on.

In the next round they’ll use a stick to retrieve a key from a post. Once they have their key they’ll unlock a chest that has four sandbags. They’ll then toss those sandbags onto a barrel while Jimmy T. yells at them.

I may have made up that Jimmy T. part.

The first two to get their bags on their barrel will move on.

From there, they’ll dig up rope rings with a post. Once they have those rings it’s ring toss time. (How come there’s never a Toss Across challenge?) The first person to get all of their rings on the board will enjoy an evening at a private resort.

There’s not much to describe in the first mud-soaked round. Chase, Jane, Benry, and Holly advance.

Alright, stop the recap! Dan didn’t advance?!

Holly and Jane both have trouble retrieving their keys in the second round. Chase sinks all four of his sandbags in a row and Benry is not too far behind him. They both advance.

In the final round, Chase quickly uncovers all three of his rope rings. He then makes quick work of the ring toss, winning before Benry can uncover all of his rings. Chase wins reward.

He offers Probsty a muddy hug, but Jeff turns him down. J-Pro’s got standards, yo.

Chase is given the opportunity to take two people with him. He chooses Holly as a thank you for her actions during the last reward challenge. He then chooses Jane because he doesn’t understand how “Survivor” works.

Sash is not amused.

When the muddy gentlemen return to camp, Fabio makes an insightful comment saying that Chase chose the two people who make the least strategic sense.

Sash then does his best Scott Boras impersonation by asking Team Benry/Fabio/Dan for their alliance pitch.

Dan doesn’t trust Sash a bit. That’s not the only thing Dan doesn’t do. He doesn’t run, he doesn’t speak much, he doesn’t belong on this show…

Meanwhile, Chase and his ladies are enjoying some watermelon at a luxurious resort. Holly points out that Chase picked the two oldest ladies left in the game. Also the only ladies left in the game, Holly.

Man, the producers must be kicking each other.

Chase later admits to Holly that he screwed up in picking Jane over Sash. Well, at least he realizes it.

Back at camp, the guys kill the chicken known as “Kelly-Nay.” Ironically, the chicken’s final few clucks were more than we heard from the actual Purple Kelly all season.

The next day we meet up with Jane who is crying because she loved the chicken.


Jane then tells us how she made a memorial for the chicken with a little cross and a little heart.


Where’s the memorial for all the fish you caught, Jane? And don’t you own a farm?

Later, Chase and Holly are trying to figure out what to do about Sash. Chase explains his mistake by saying, “I left Sash back at camp, the person I trust the least with three other guys who are waiting to pounce on him.”

Do you need a joke there or can we move on? Let’s move on.

Benry and Chase have a bit of a pow-wow where Benry tries to get Chase to vote for Jane. Chase plays along, but doesn’t trust Benry at all.

Chase and Sash have a discussion too. Chase tells Sash that he took Jane on the reward to prove to Sash that he trusted him with the other alliance.

Not the worst lie I’ve ever heard. Maybe Chase is learning.

Holly eventually joins the party and they all agree that they can’t trust Benry. Speak of the dirt squirrel (what does that mean?!) and he arrives. Benry siddles up and they all agree to go after Fabio if he loses immunity.

Immunity Challenge: The players will be attached to a hitching rail. The players will maneuver their way around the post, releasing rope as they go. Once they have enough slack, they’ll try to retrieve a bag of gold coins. The first three to retrieve their bags will move on to the finals.

In the final round, the three players will have to stack gold coins into a puzzle box. The first person to complete their puzzle wins immunity.

Gold coins? Is this a promotion for some Jack Black leprechaun movie I don’t know about?

Not much to describe in this challenge either, although Jane did have a nice wipeout. Fabio reaches the gold coins first (maybe he thought they were full of chocolate?) followed by Benry and Sash.

Jane manages to cheer for all three of the guys during the puzzle portion. Fabio apparently didn’t appreciate the encouragement as he whispered that she should shut up.

And in the shock of all shockers, Sash beats both Fabio and Benry in a puzzle challenge.

Back at camp, Sash claims to have been sandbagging challenges because he didn’t need to win. Yeah, I sandbag every competition I lose too.

Politicking around the camp is leaning toward Fabio and Benry.

Quick Aside: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Sash and Chase tell Benry that they’re going to vote for Fabio. Part of their plan involves telling Fabio that they’re voting for Jane. Benry has a problem with that because he doesn’t think Fabio will buy it. He thinks they should say they’re voting for Holly.

Aww…look at Benry…worried about outsmarting Fabio.

That night at Tribal Council, Probst is sure to call NaOnka and Purple Kelly quitters as they join the jury. They’re lucky he didn’t chuck his snuffer (or “smuffer” as NaOnka would say) at them.

Oh, and if you needed another reason to hate NaOnka and Purple Kelly, the hotel they’re staying at is beyond gorgeous. We did the pre-game interviews there and it is a-maze-ing.

Chase, Fabio and Benry being physical threats is brought up. Chase makes a counterpoint saying he may be a physical threat, but he hasn’t won immunity yet. He must be sandbagging it too.

When asked how confident he is that the vote is going to go his way, Benry says that he’s pretty confident.

Sash is very happy to have immunity as he feels that the person with immunity is often approached with the most strategy and information.

Wow, Tribal is kind of boring without NaOnka making ridiculous statements.

Voting Time: And…none of the votes are shown. That’s weird.

One vote for Holly, two votes for Fabio, three votes for Benry and the fourteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Nicaragua” and the sixth member of the jury is…Benry.

Verdict: Kind of a blah episode after last week’s barnburner. Here’s hoping Sash will shake things up as he has to know he’ll have trouble beating his alliance mates.

That being said, I was seriously concerned that Fabio and I were going to be talking about the Cardinals signing Lance Berkman during his exit interview Thursday morning.

Go Fabio.

Who’s Going to Win? Sash is in good shape if he makes the final three. Between Brenda, Marty, NaOnka and Purple Kelly he’s got to have a few votes.

Power Rankings Results:
Team Dragon Slayer called it. Coach had Benry in spot seven while had him in spot six. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 132, Team Truth Seeker 134. That’s closer than I’d like it to be…

Follow me on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? Can anyone beat Jane in a final three? Was keeping Fabio on board a mistake? Should Jeff call NaOnka and Purple Kelly quitters at every Tribal Council?

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 11 Recap: Most Shocking Tribal Council Ever?

December 1, 2010

Last Episode: NaOnka made a gamble and turned on her friend, while Brenda refused to scramble and her game met its end.

Tonight: Jeff Probst has promised us a great episode and the previews hinted at the most shocking Tribal Council ever. Oh, we shall see…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 ‘Survivor‘ Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

The Libertad Tribe (wearing red with vibrant white highlights)
•    Benry – 24, Club Promoter
•    Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
•    Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
•    Fabio – 21, Student
•    Holly – 44, Swim Coach
•    Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
•    Kelly S. – 20, Nursing Student
•    NaOnka – 27, P.E. Teacher
•    Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

Note: Voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame ends Friday at 5 p.m. ET. If you’ve yet to vote, or if you’ve voted and feel strongly about voting again, swing over and let your voice be heard.

A rough sky greets the Libertonians after Tribal Council. Purple Kelly discovers the ability to talk and lets us know that she was completely left in the dark about the Brenda vote.

Holly explains ‘Survivor’ 101 to NaOnka, telling her that the moves she had made could be construed as stabbing Brenda in the back. Ya know, cause she totally did.

Chase lets us know that his new alliance consists of him, Jane (fish hoarder), Holly (shoe sinker), and NaOnka (sock/flour/cookware stealer, one-legged-woman assaulter). Good luck with that, Chase.

The next morning the Libertatians are understandably freaked out as the rain has turned their pond into a mudslide.

NaOnka is having a rough time dealing with the weather as it is apparently very rough on her joints. Kelly Purple is having trouble with the rain too.

Sing it with me folks… “Purple Rain…Purple Rain…”

Later that day NaOnka and Chase discuss her quitting again. NaOnka shows how serious she is about tapping out by handing her hidden immunity idol over to Chase. Chase lets us know that even if she stays in the game, he’s holding onto the idol.

Jane goes over the numbers, apparently Sash will be the fourth member of their alliance if NaOnka quits. However, Sash trusts Purple Kelly and NaOnka more than he trusts Team Holly. (Seriously? After NaOnka went after Brenda?)

Reward Challenge: The tribe will be split into two teams. They’ll also be tethered to each other. Each team will have to untie an eight-foot dummy named Gulliver (that looks suspiciously like Jack Black). They’ll then have to carry the dummy over a series of obstacles. The first team to cross the finish line wins a trip to ‘Survivor’ Cinema where they’ll watch a preview of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and enjoy popcorn and other theater snacks.

Gulliver’s Travels‘ coming to a theater near you December 22, 2010.

J-Pro then gives an inspiring speech about how they’ve come this far, and Goonies never say die, and a couple of other clichés. Sweep the leg, Johnny.

After a school-yard pick, the yellow team will be Fabio, Sash, Jane, and Purple Kelly while the blue team will be Holly, NaOnka, Chase, and Benry. Dan wasn’t selected (SHOCKER!) so he’ll sit in a comically large chair and root for the blue team. If the blue team wins, he gets to tag along for movie night.

The yellow team frees their Jack Black first, but the blue team is only slightly behind them.

Note: Is this the first time Jack Black has been on TV without singing?

The blue team falls behind for a bit, but Benry powers them into the lead.

A rope wall proves troublesome for the blue folks as team yellow sneaks back ahead (while dragging Jane).

Another Note: Probst says “Don’t give up” like a dozen times during this challenge. It’s like he’s trying to subliminally get into NaOnka and Kelly’s heads.

The blue team manages to regain the lead during the final obstacle and wins the challenge and the reward.

During the wrap-up, NaOnka tells Jeff that she’s going to call it quits.  Purple Kelly tells him she’ll be throwing in the towel too.

J-Pro doesn’t let them off the hook that easily. He tells them they’ll have to wait until Tribal Council to quit.

Probst also gives the winning team the chance to forgo their reward in exchange for a new tarp and more rice for the tribe. All it takes is one person to sacrifice their reward to earn the items.

Holly takes one for the team and gives up her reward. Benry tries to get NaOnka to give up her reward since she’ll be going home that night anyway. But, that would involve being unselfish which isn’t quite NaOnka’s gimmick.

Back at camp, Holly does her best Jimmy Johnson impersonation and tries to talk Purple Kelly out of quitting. Kelly says that she can’t deal with the rain and the lack of food. Holly counters by saying she just got them more food and a tarp. Touché.

We meet up with the winning team at the ‘Survivor’ Cinema. Chase, Benry, NaOnka, and Dan dive into the food. NaOnka tells us that she didn’t give up the reward because she gave 110% in the challenge.

New Footage Sheds Light on ‘Survivor: Nicaragua’

[iframe—Episode-11/embed 580 476]


Quick Aside: OK, I’m a big believer in all’s fair in love and ‘Survivor,’ but NaOnka might be the devil. You’re leaving the game, why don’t you leave these poor, freezing, starving people with a tarp and rice. Hopefully if she does quit, Probst will stick to the ruling that quitters aren’t invited back. I’d hate to see her return for “Survivor 25: Press vs. Awful Human Beings.”

We’re then treated to some apparently hilarious scenes from ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’

NaOnka claims that the movie put everything in perspective, and that if she stays she can win a million dollars.

No NaOnka, you can’t. You can’t possibly win a million dollars. If you went up in a final three with the 2004 Boston Red Sox and whoever greenlit the Geico ‘Cavemen’ sitcom, you still wouldn’t get my vote.

Tribal Council gets off to an odd start as the winning team comes right from their reward. What if nobody quits? Do they still vote? Although, I do like the idea of an emergency Tribal Council. Nobody puts J-Pro in the corner.

Jeff asks Holly why she didn’t quit. She gives credit to Jimmy Johnson for talking her out of it. I miss me some Jimmy. Damn you, Marty.

NaOnka explains how the weather is wreaking havoc with her joints. Dan isn’t amused. The man has no joints, he’s like a Ken doll!

Kelly Purple Kelly tells Jeff that the weather has been getting the best of her too.

Benry dips into the cliché bin and says “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

Fabio tells Jeff that he doesn’t care if it starts snowing; he’s going to stay in the game. Go Fabio. I love that kid. (Also, he’s a St. Louis Cardinals fan.)

NaOnka then proves how deluded she is by saying that she thinks she had a shot at winning the game. J-Pro nearly falls over with glee.

Jeff then asks everyone for their thoughts on ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’


NaOnka really seemed to like it, although I can’t see them quoting her in the movie trailers.

Jane then gives the speech of the evening saying how times are tough with the recession and if you don’t have some kind of drive and perseverance, you’re going to be in trouble.

Jeff finally puts the question to NaOnka asking if she’s going to stay or quit. She quits.

Jeff then asks the same question to Purple Kelly, telling her she now has a one-in-eight shot with NaOnka gone. And…she quits.

Probsty asks NaOnka what should happen to her torch now that she’s out. She assumes it will be snuffed (or “smuffed” as she said) like everyone else. Osten from Pearl Islands disagrees.

Probst says he’ll snuff them, but they’ll leave the torches at Tribal as a reminder of their failure. Probst snuffs the torches and sends them on their way. He then leans the torches against a wall and gives the remaining players a pep talk to finish off the show.

What?! They’re not going to lay the torches down?!

Verdict: That was rough to watch. Brenda and Marty looked livid. Poor Alina was in tears.

Good, interesting episode though. But, I have no love for quitters. Of course, that may be easy to say from the comfort of my couch.

And NaOnka may have just replaced Dre “Dreamz” Herd as my least favorite player ever.

Who’s Going to Win? How about Holly? Heroic gestures usually backfire, but she probably won Kelly Purple’s jury vote.

Power Rankings Results: Team Dragon Slayer had NaOnka in spot nine and Purple Kelly in spot seven. I had NaOnka in spot five and Purple Kelly in spot nine. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 125, Team Truth Seeker 128.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking ‘Survivor’ news: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? Who’s your least favorite Survivor of all time? Should NaOnka and Kelly Purple be allowed to join the jury? Who’s your favorite as we head into the home stretch?


‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 10 Recap – A Campfire …Literally

November 17, 2010

Last Week: Chase sided with the ladies in a hurry, NaOnka unleashed some Tribal Council fury, while Marty was sent down to the jury.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

The Libertad Tribe (wearing red with lovely white highlights)
•    Benry – 24, Club Promoter
•    Brenda – 27, Paddleboard Company Owner
•    Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
•    Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
•    Fabio – 21, Student
•    Holly – 44, Swim Coach
•    Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
•    Kelly S. – 20, Nursing Student
•    NaOnka – 27, P.E. Teacher
•    Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

Quick Note: We’re working with Jeff Probst and the rest of the “Survivor” crew to elect the first class of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. So, please swing over and vote for your favorite players of all time. Vote early, vote often!

We kick off the show with the Libertadians returning from Tribal Council. Brenda tells us that Benry, Fabio, and the InDanimate Object now know who runs the show. She claims that her and Sash are like the tribe’s king and queen. Except that she’s the king and Sash is the queen.

Somewhere Shannon just giggled.

Meanwhile, Holly’s trying to get Jane to get onboard with an alliance with her, Chase, and NaOnka. Wow…so much crazy in one group!

The next morning, the tribe decides to place their chests and other items around the fire to protect the fire from the rain. I can’t imagine how that could possibly go wrong.

Holly continues rallying the troops, making a play for Benry. They both agree that Sash totally stabbed Marty in the back.

Next we see Jane telling NaOnka Holly’s plan. Jane says that Brenda should go next because she doesn’t like to align with villains. The irony is apparently lost on Jane that she is saying this NaOnka.

Holly’s play for Chase isn’t as successful as Chase doesn’t trust Benry.

Reward Challenge: The teams will do a schoolyard pick to divide into two teams. (Guess they didn’t want to end up guys vs. girls again.) Using four barrels, two planks, and ten feet of rope, the teams will have to build a bridge to make their way across the beach without touching the ground. If one player touches the ground, the entire team has to go back. The first team to reach the platform wins a trip to an active volcano for some volcano boarding, pizza, and brownies.

Note: You know why I like this challenge? Cause they can pretend the sand is lava. I used to play that game all the time as a kid.

Another Note: Probst breaks away from his traditional color scheme and wears a green shirt.

The blue team is Chase, Purple Kelly, NaOnka, Jane, and Fabio while the yellow team is Sash, Holly, Brenda, Dan, and Benry.

The blue team decides to use only three of the four barrels. This strategy helps them get out to a big lead. The yellow team copies this strategy, but meets disaster when they all fall and have to head back to the beginning.

Unfortunately during the fall, Dan smashed his hand. Poor Dan, I’m convinced he had no idea what he was getting into.

The blue team kills this challenge, winning it easily. Benry does a flip off his barrel for fun. JPro calls this the “Loser dismount.”

JPro’s in rare form tonight. Must be his new green shirt.

A helicopter arrives to pick up our winners and give them a tour of a volcano. They enjoy a beautiful view before landing and partaking in some volcano surfing.

Yet Another Note: “Volcano Surfing” is somewhat of a misnomer. It was more like “Volcano Sledding.”

Back at camp, we get a lesson in what happens when you put wood really close to fire. Spoiler Alert: It burns.

The losing half of the reward challenge returns to the ashy aftermath. The chests are gone, the tarp on their shelter has melted away, and the machetes’ handles have burned off. Apparently one of the chests was holding what was left of their food.

Oh man, Colby’s gonna have to trade his Texas flag for a new container of rice.

Meanwhile…on a volcano…Fabio starts talking strategy. NaOnka, in a not-so-subtle move, (not that NaOnka’s known for her subtle moves) takes him aside and fills him in on the anti-Brenda alliance. As a peace offering, she hands him his socks.

Just kidding, she totally kept the socks.

When the winning side returns to camp, Chase makes a beeline to Brenda to give her the scoop. Brenda doesn’t seem very concerned.

NaOnka finds out that Chase talked to Brenda and quickly alerts Jane and Benry. Jane has a theory that Chase has a crush on Brenda.

Somewhere Shannon just giggled again.

Immunity Challenge: Each player will stand on a small platform that’s stationed over the pool that Fabio peed in. (I know, gross.) They’ll each hold onto a rope and lean back. After a while they’ll have to move further down the rope. When a person falls into the water, they’re eliminated. Last person standing (er…leaning) wins immunity.

Seriously? Another Note?: Jeff is back in a blue shirt. Classic Probst.

Not much to describe here except for leaning. Sash, Purple Kelly Purple, Holly, Brenda, Fabio, Dan, and NaOnka are all out before the first period is up. Benry, Jane, and Chase move down to the next knot. All three of them look miserable. Benry drops out first.

Looks like we’ve got Jane and Chase in the Battle of North Carolina.

Jane tells Chase that here fingers are hurting, Chase tells Jane that he’s doing well. Jane tells Probst that she’s going to quit. JPro talks her out of it.

Sweet talker.

The two go at it with Chase eventually falling. Jane wins immunity. Jane later tells us that clipping dog fingernails gives you strong hands. See, learn something new every day.

Politicking around Libertad is once again a case of Benry vs. Brenda.

NaOnka spills the Brenda plan to Sash. Sash tells us that this is the first time he’s felt worried in the game.

Chase tells Brenda that NaOnka is the one gunning for her. However, Brenda isn’t going to scramble because she’s worried her alliance mates will lose faith in her. She then makes a very smart move telling Sash that he will lose all of his numbers if they vote her out. She wants Sash to give her the idol so they can blindside NaOnka.

Sash contemplates giving his idol to Brenda, but NaOnka is convinced that he’ll keep it for himself.

The Mega Powers are exploding! (Sorry, that joke was just for the wrestling fans.)

That night at tribal council, Sash admits that he feels like he’s out of the loop.

Brenda tells Jeff that she regrets voting Marty out. Marty (complete with normal looking hair) nods his approval from the jury booth.

Brenda says she doesn’t have a problem trusting people, because she felt she had the strongest core alliance in the game. She then admits to being shocked that NaOnka would jump ship.

NaOnka could jump out of my TV right now, hide my cookware, smoosh my bananas, and steal my socks and I wouldn’t be shocked.

NaOnka denies that she was going to turn on Brenda. Chase disagrees.

JPro asks Kelly Purple to weigh in on these events with her “twenty years of wisdom.” Excited to speak, the purple one admits to feeling out of the loop for the first time.

Voting Time: Holly votes for Brenda, Brenda votes for NaOnka (and drew a sweet picture of the immunity idol she helped NaOnka find), and the rest of the votes will have to wait for the official reading.

Probsty tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play their idol…and nobody does.

One vote for Brenda, one vote NaOnka, one vote Benry, three votes for Brenda, and the eleventh person voted out of “Survivor: Nicaragua” and the third member of the jury is…Brenda.

Chase and Sash voted for Brenda. Kelly Purple Kelly voted for Benry…guess she was right about being out of the loop.

Verdict: OK, who had Week 10 for the meltdown of the Minority Majority Alliance in the pool? We’ve lost two of our smartest players in back-to-back weeks. Not sure what that means for strategy the rest of the way. I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that Fabio stays safe.

Who’s Going to Win? Did Sash jump ship early enough to make a difference? Maybe. If NaOnka’s next to go and then they start gunning for physical threats he could make a move.

Power Rankings Results: Team Dragon Slayer and Team Truth Seeker were both way off. Coach had Brenda in spot two, while I had her in spot three. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 109, Team Truth Seeker 114.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? What did NaOnka do in the preview that has everyone so upset? Who’s the best strategic player left? Is Dan going to waddle his way to the million?


‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Round 9

November 17, 2010

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” star Benjamin “Coach” Wade and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” recapper Gordon Holmes 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 Sash is voted out this week, Coach will receive 9 points and Gordon will receive 1 point. At the end of the season, the person or team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Nicaragua” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Team Dragon Slayer and Team Truth Seeker tied again! They both had Marty in spot eleven. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 107, Team Truth Seeker 111.

Before we get into the battle, let’s check in with our two combatants.

Gordon Holmes: So, as I’m sure you’ve heard…we’re electing the first-ever class into the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. I was interested in your top five. Although, you should know in my role as Senior Chairman of the Executive Voting Committee I can’t let any of your picks sway my vote.
Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade:
Top 5 Survivors of all time…without question…no debates…Hatch, Hantz, Boston Rob, Rupert, Coach.
Gordon: Interesting.
Coach: Poetry gave me such a sweetness resonating from my senses last week I thought I would do some more, albeit not in Haiku form.
Gordon: Excellent.
Coach: Next week we will compare and give Arthurian Legend nicknames to the remaining members.
Gordon: Then I have some reading to do…


Ode to Marty:
Too smart,
But now we must part,
The game was better for you at the start.


Current Score: 107


Current Score: 111

fabio .. sash
#1: Ladies man, funny pan, no plan is the best plan. #1: While others are arguing over stolen fruit and fish dances, Sash was busy securing Marty’s jury vote. Well done, Sash.
brenda . naonka
#2: Backs might start to turn, as the money in the mind starts to burn, played well so far but lots to learn. #2: I’m done predicting NaOnka’s demise. It’s obvious this woman is bulletproof and everyone wants to go to the final three with her. Should we call this strategy “Hantzing” from now on?
naonka . brenda
#3: Keep giving sound bites, to the producers delights, you never get a vote because everyone of you is in fright. #3: What’s going on here? Are people around Libertad worried about upsetting Brenda? Careful, that kind of stuff can tear alliances apart when there are still swing votes lying around.
dan . kellys
#4: I’ve given up voting against you, your injuries were turning me blue, now I see just how tough you are to stick it through. #4: Kelly Kelly Kelly…I don’t even know what to say about you anymore. Are you going to coast into the finals Natalie White-style, then walk out with the million when nobody wants to vote for Brenda and NaOnka?
kellys . fabio
#5: Week by week you improve your game, silent at first now you are more a name, hope you make it all the way fly low and sane. #5: Fabio, you’re the king. You vote anyway you want, you do whatever you want, you say whatever you want, and everyone still loves you. Now, learn a fake British accent in time for the finale so you can pretend it was all an act.
holly . holly
#6: You wanted to quit once but now you are tough, don’t bail however once it gets rough, keep making friends all around and you have the right stuff. #6: Look at Holly go. She should’ve been outta here on week three. She’s playing the kind of game now that can coast into the finals.
jane . benry
#7: With eyes like Gollum and catching a lot of fish, Marty is out you got your wish, but hopefully in the future you won’t turn out to be the main dish. #7: Oh, Benry. If your plan is to play stupid, you’re in big trouble. Fabio does that way better than you do.
benry . chase
#8: Strength will make you a target, for weak players up the market, and don’t let others get a start up. #8: Chase’s defining moment may very well be how he bet in last week’s reward challenge. A vote for the guys says, “I want to eat.” A vote for the girls says, “I’m playing the game, and I’m siding with them.” The last thing anyone wants is a fit guy who’s playing the game.
sash . dan
#9: Sasha but I’m second from the bottom. Sasha pasha posh. About ready to enter the mosh pit of pride induced slosh. #9: Teflon Dan? Not anymore. By siding with Marty you’ve put a target on your head. And as the InDanimate Object, you’ll probably be very easy to hit.
chase . jane
#10: Insecurities are starting to show, hope this doesn’t mean you will start to blow, but show weakness now and you will be the next to go. #10: You got your way. Marty is long gone. But now what? All of those things Marty said about you being a threat are still out there. Sorry, Jane. Save the last fish dance for me.

Quick Note: Follow Gordon on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news and updates.


What Do You Think: Who’s going to win this round; Team Dragon Slayer or Team Truth Seeker? Will people take NaOnka to the end because she can’t win? Will Fabio spend the million on magic beans?

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Marty Piombo

November 11, 2010

Marty Piombo was my guy.

In the pre-game interviews I’d pegged Marty as someone who was smart, strategic, and a student of the game. And for once, I’d called it correctly. He was all of those things. Unfortunately his admitted arrogance, a feud with Jane, and a poorly timed tribe swap combined to earn him an eleventh-place finish.

I spoke with Marty the morning after his elimination and touched on important topics such as what set Jane off, the origins of his clash with NaOnka, and the real reasons he went after Jimmy Johnson.

Quick Note: Have you voted for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame yet? If you don’t, the players you hate are probably going to win. Vote early, vote often.

Marty Piombo: Gordon, good morning!
Gordon Holmes:
Good morning, Marty. How are you?
Marty: It’s the day after, what do you think?
Gordon: You probably feel the same way I do. I’m in a bad mood because you were my pick.
Marty: Ah…man. As you can imagine my head’s been spinning, but I still hold strong on everything. I played a bold game and a game that may have made me not well liked and on the chopping block. But I played a fun game and I wanted to be memorable and I wanted to win. And I didn’t play a game that jeopardizes that. It was an amazing experience.
Gordon: I don’t know if you remember this, but there was a point before the game where you were being interviewed by the side of a swimming pool. When you were sitting there, a couple of pasty reporters were splashing around and debating the upcoming season. It was then and there that I said, “Marty is my guy. I think he’s going to go all the way.”
Marty: Well, I appreciate that. I know every contestant has their fair share of people that want them to go far, but I hoped that when the season was over no matter how far I went, that at the reunion when I came out that nobody would say, “Hey, who’s that guy?” I doubt that’ll happen with me.

Gordon: Let’s talk about your feud with Jane. I talked to Jill about this and she said that she couldn’t think of an inciting incident that turned Jane against you two. What do you think set her off?
You know, I really have thought about this long and hard, and I don’t really get it. If you go back and look at the game, I never really said anything nasty about anybody. She doesn’t understand the definition of “slander” because it means false or defamatory. And, none of that was what I was doing. I exposed her as a legitimate threat in the game, and I will tell you this, within five minutes of starting the game, Jane’s statement to me was, “My husband just died, I need the money. Please don’t vote me off.” And that really turned me off personally. I’ve had more tragedy and loss in my life than Jane and Chase combined, and I chose not to bring that into the game. And combined with that statement and that she combined with Wendy Jo and Jimmy T. right away, they were just red flags that this is someone who was erratic and was making bad decisions. I didn’t think that she was someone that I’d want to have along with me. She probably sensed that and took it very, very personally and turned it around that way. It’s kind of inexplicable to me that it turned into that kind of hatred, and then she made the tasteless remarks regarding my children last night on national TV. That just goes to show you who she is.
Gordon: I wanted to run a strategy by you. When you end up in a heated feud like the one we saw with you and Jane, would it ever be possible to say, “This is crazy. It’s putting a target on both of our backs. Let’s work together and get our respective alliances to work for us.”?
Marty: We were very aware from the beginning that Jane was having issues. And I went and tried to make good with Jane on a number of occasions, tried to give her props, went into the jungle with her, helped her fish one day, helped her orchestrate one of her little fish dances in front of everybody. I really tried to make some inroads with her. But there were deep, deep issues with her. I really don’t know what it was. I would say that in retrospect it was much less about doing something with her, if I could do something else in the game, I’d try to come back to Holly and really work with her. I think I could have possibly made a wedge there.
Gordon: All that fish choreography didn’t help.
Marty: This is on the lighter side, but the toughest part of “Survivor,” worse than the lack of food, the lack of sleep, the conditions there, but it was frankly having to listen to Jane’s cackling laughter. I’ve got to tell you, this woman…the flatulence? Twenty four, seven….I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. That drove me crazier than all of the other things I mentioned to you. But you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due, she got farther than I did. I’m not bitter, my hat’s off to her.

Gordon: I spoke with Alina last week, and she seemed to think there was an air of arrogance about you. Is that something you were aware of during your time out there?
I think in the game I probably did have an air of arrogance. I think it’s kind of funny because if you go back before the game started, Alina in particular, I must have a very strong presence or something, because the game had not started and we had not opened our mouths once, and one of the first clips she says, “There’s that guy with the gray hair, I hate him, I hope he gets voted off first.” And that’s Alina speaking and I’ve never opened my mouth. (Laughs) I don’t know how you get there, but that’s part of the game. But yes, arrogant? Probably in the game. I don’t know how I can say no to that.

Gordon: Now, you were instrumental in booting Jimmy Johnson out of the game. This was a strategy I disagreed with. If I were in the game I’d be happy to keep him around as a figurehead while I played the good follower. Could you take me through your thought process on why you decided that Jimmy had to go?
Absolutely. And first off, and this isn’t kissing anybody’s butt, Jimmy Johnson is a class act. He’s a great guy and I had a great time with him. If Jimmy had ever come up to me and said, “Marty, I want to align with you,” or “Let’s work on something together,” I would have been all over it. We could have gone pretty far together. But the two things that made Jimmy dangerous were that he said, “I will not have alliances in this game.” And that to me, strategically, was extremely dangerous. Theoretically that means you’re not in my alliance, and if you’re not in my alliance you could be cooking up something with someone else. So, from a very practical perspective I couldn’t count on him to be riding with me. And I’d already begun to see Jane and Holly making strong connections with him, and I could see him roping Tyrone in too. If he was open to playing with me I would have loved to have played in his shadow. I wasn’t into being the top dog or the leader. I wanted to have control, but control in the sense of having numbers only. Leadership is a silly thing in this game, not something you want to necessarily have at all. What you want to have is control and those numbers.

Gordon: Last night at Tribal, you and NaOnka really got into it…which was awesome. But, it was a little out of the blue as we hadn’t seen you two butt heads before. Was that the first time, or were there moments we missed?
I was very vocal, as was Danny, because we’re a little more old school, in regards to her stealing. And then her kind of B.S. confession to us, it started off with a lie by saying that she’d stolen all of these things to help us. I wasn’t ready to sit back and listen to that crap. So, I was pretty vocal about that.
Gordon: What do you think set her off at Tribal Council?
Marty: I really, truly think that the thing you’re seeing there is that they told NaOnka that we were trying to bluff and that we were voting her off and she was, as Jeff Probst had said in his blog, that she’s more or less a child. And that’s how she reacted, “Hey, this guy tried to vote me out and get me to play my idol,” so she just took a bunch of shots. I never really had any conversations with her. I had one conversation with NaOnka  and that was about her stealing the food and it wasn’t so much the act of doing it, it was that she did it with no strategy and no purpose and that it achieved nothing in the game. And in the end when it was edited it’d be something she wasn’t proud of when her family and friends were watching it, that they wouldn’t think highly of it.

Gordon: Did you know that Sash and Brenda were going to be voting for you heading into Tribal?
When I came off that Tribal, in my mind I was convinced that it was Brenda. And after watching it last night, I realized that the plan I had with taking Sash wasn’t as good as the plan he had with taking different people to the end. He looked at the situations, and my situation involved Sash and Brenda having to say goodbye to some pretty strong alliances and then throw in their lot with me, Benry, Danny, and Fabio. I’m sure that made them nervous and it was less predictable than riding with this motley crew that’s left now.

Gordon: We’re currently in the process of electing members into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. I know you and your wife have been fans for a while. Who would you pick as the five best players of all time?
I get a lot of heat for this, but I really like Boston Rob. And there are elements of the following guy that I don’t like, but I don’t see how you can’t have Russell Hantz in there. I really like Tom Westman, Ozzy (Lusth)…and Richard Hatch.

Gordon: I like to keep things light here, and I hate to end this on a tough question, but we have to wrap it up so…what was going on with your hair out there?
Marty: (Laughs) My hair has been my trademark. It’s defined my game. It’s kind of crazy, kind of bold, kind of out there. And I think it was a distinguishing mark that came to me on its own.

Follow Gordon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute “Survivor” scoop: @gordonholmes


‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 9 Recap: This Little Piggy Went…SMASH!

November 10, 2010

Last Week: The tribes merged, Jane and Marty’s hatred for each other surged, and Alina’s membership in Libertad was purged.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

The Libertad Tribe (wearing red with lovely white highlights)
•    Benry – 24, Club Promoter
•    Brenda – 27, Paddleboard Company Owner
•    Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
•    Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
•    Fabio – 21, Student
•    Holly – 44, Swim Coach
•    Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
•    Kelly S. – 20, Nursing Student
•    Marty – 48, Technology Executive
•    NaOnka – 27, P.E. Teacher
•    Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

Quick Note: As you may have seen, we’re working with Jeff Probst and the rest of the “Survivor” crew to elect the first class of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. So, please swing over and vote for your favorite players of all time. Vote early, vote often!

Actually, if you’d like to vote right now, go ahead…I’ll wait.


You’re back? Excellent, let’s do this.

We start off after Tribal Council and NaOnka is annoyed with how mean Marty was to Jane. She says that Marty was throwing punches and Jane couldn’t block. Kind of like a one-legged girl in a butt-kicking contest, right?

Jane decides that Marty deserves a new nickname. (Oh good, I love “Survivor” nicknames!) She decides on “Farty.” Works for me.

We meet up with Farty the following morning. He’s trying to figure out who voted for him. Sash tells him that he thinks it was Holly.

Marty isn’t prepared to give up the ship just yet. He approaches Benry and Dan with a plan to pretend like they’re going to try get NaOnka out, but to vote for Jane instead. He thinks Sash and Brenda will go for NaOnka after last week’s thievery. I don’t think Marty realizes how valuable it is to keep NaOnka around at this point.

Reward Challenge: The teams will randomly be divided into two teams. Both teams will run through a series of obstacles and try to retrieve three keys. Once they have their keys, they’ll unlock three locks. (Funny how that works.) First team to unlock all three locks and raise their flag wins reward. The winning team will get to go on a zip line tour through a Nicaraguan jungle and enjoy a delicious barbecue.

Quick Note: This challenge is fun because the players have to run through hay, sticks, and bricks just like “The Three Little Pigs.” Hopefully Fabio won’t hyperventilate when he tries to blow the obstacles down.

The teams are randomly drawn, and somehow they ended up with men on one side and women on the other. That is except for Chase who is the odd person out. He’s not out of the challenge though, he gets to pick a team to root for. If that team wins he gets to go on the reward.

Chase picks the ladies. They approve. I guess I can’t say Chase isn’t playing this game anymore.

The challenge starts off and everyone dives into a pile of hay (Gordon Holmes style!). The ladies get their key first, but only by a slight margin. Next up they barrel through a wall of sticks. That was awesome. A miracle someone didn’t lose an eye. They guys retrieve their second key and are cruising. Unfortunately, Immobile Dan slows the guys down on the net crawl. The ladies manage to catch up just as Fabio retrieves the third key. The guys plow through two brick walls, but they look exhausted. Jane looks worse. She barely makes it to the third key. The guys unlock all three locks and win reward. No barbecue for you, Chaseford.

During the post-challenge wrap-up, Kelly Purple Kelly breaks down a little. She’s very upset that she doesn’t get to eat barbecue and doesn’t get to milk her own milk.

JPro gives the gentlemen an opportunity to let someone take their place. None of them give up their reward. Chivalry is dead…and its corpse has been shoved through a brick wall.

We meet up with the gentlemen on their reward and a cloud of sadness has passed over the Holmes household. Why? Because we got to do a zip line tour when we were in Nicaragua. I miss me some Nicaragua.

Dan isn’t very impressed though. Apparently there aren’t any zip lines in Brooklyn. Yeah, there aren’t any in Philly either…

Next up, the guys enjoy their delicious barbecue. Marty uses this as an opportunity to push his agenda. Benry and Fabio seem receptive to it. Sash…not so much.

We return to Libertad and it looks like an otter is eating in the distance. So cute.

Chase’s ladies are giving him mad props for rooting for them. Brenda thinks it was a stupid move. Brenda, Chase, and the rest of them do agree on one thing – they want Marty to go home next.

Chase worries that he can’t trust Brenda after their time away from each other. Brenda thinks he worries too much. NaOnka thinks they might have to boot Chase if he gets too paranoid.

An immunity challenge clue pops up in tree mail that hints at a memory challenge. Jane feels like they have to beat Marty as he’s the only truly evil person left on the tribe. How she says that with a straight face while NaOnka is still around astounds me.

Immunity Challenge: JPro will show the players a series of symbols. They’ll have to use a cube to show the symbols back to JPro in the proper order.

Not much to describe here, so here’s the order in which they were eliminated. Jane and NaOnka were the first two to go, followed by Dan. (What! Eliminated in a challenge where he stands perfectly still!) Holly, Kelly, and Sash get the boot in the next round.

We’re down to Chase, Benry, Fabio, Marty, and Brenda.

Fabio goes out next with Chase right behind him.

We’re down to Marty, Benry, and Brenda.

Benry’s the next to go. They both get the next one right, but Marty gets the one after that wrong. Brenda wins immunity…and for some reason Jane is elated.

Back at camp, the Libertad gentlemen are discussing tricking NaOnka into playing her idol and then voting for Jane.

Benry tells Fabio that they should stick with that plan and that playing stupid is their best bet. Fabio agrees, but says, “I hate playing stupid so much, but it’s like the smartest thing to do right now.”

Excellent, I was looking for a new ring tone.

Chase tells Marty that he’s with Marty and Dan in the NaOnka vote.

NaOnka tells us that she’s feeling uneasy and that if she needs to play the idol, she will.

Chase and Holly talk some strategy and apparently Chase is on to Marty’s vote-for-Jane scheme. He tells Holly that he’ll be voting for Marty.

Marty brings his pitch to Brenda, and she seems to be somewhat receptive to it. But she doesn’t agree to anything.

Brenda and Sash sit down for a meeting of the minds. Sash would like Marty to stick around because he’s a good cook and shares information. They agree that whichever way they vote will show which side they’re aligned with.

That night at Tribal Council, Fabio does the math that there were five women plus Chase back at camp plotting against them during the reward. But he didn’t care because he got to have barbecue.

Marty again reiterates that Jane is a huge threat to take to the end. Brenda agrees that Jane is a threat and that she’d rather take a troublemaker like NaOnka.

Probsty brings up NaOnka’s food theft. She tries to change the subject, but Marty won’t let it go. He says there’s no bigger sin than taking food.

NaOnka responds by saying, “I’m not perfect, I’m a humanitarian, I’m a human.”

Two ring tones!

NaOnka continues saying that she hates Marty’s walk and his hair. She then says it’s like a track meet where you try to intimidate your opponent.  Fabio tries to interject, but she shushes him.

A teacher of America’s youth, ladies and gentlemen!

NaOnka and Fabio continue to get into it and it is en-ter-taining. F-bombs are dropped, Fabio facepalms himself, Marty laughs. Best of all, when it’s all over poor Probst is speechless.

Good times.

Voting Time: Jane votes for Marty (saying Marty is a disgrace to fathers everywhere), Marty votes for Jane, and the rest of the votes weren’t shown.

(Marty strutted back to the fire and was greeted with a middle finger from NaOnka.)

Probst asks if anyone wants to play an idol. Nobody does.

One vote for Jane, one vote for Marty, three votes for Jane, four votes for Marty, and the tenth person voted out of “Survivor: Nicaragua” and the second member of the jury is…Marty.

There goes my pick!

Verdict: I’m honestly shocked that Marty was able to sway that many votes. I honestly do hate to see him go because he seems to really understand the game, but this may just be one of those seasons where you need to throw the book out the window.

That being said, the reward challenge was very cool and the Tribal Council was hysterical. Hopefully things are picking up.

And, I have no idea who’s going home next.  That’s bad for my Power Rankings but good for the show.

Who’s Going to Win?
Could Fabio and Benry sneak in there? Nobody’s talking about them.

Power Rankings Results: Team Dragon Slayer and Team Truth Seeker tied again! They both had Marty in spot eleven. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 107, Team Truth Seeker 111.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? Was tonight’s show better? Does Brenda like anybody? Would you put up with NaOnka for 39 days for a million dollars?


‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Haiku Edition

November 9, 2010

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” star Benjamin “Coach” Wade and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” recapper Gordon Holmes 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 Sash is voted out this week, Coach will receive 4 points and Gordon will receive 5 points. At the end of the season, the person or team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Nicaragua” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Team Dragon Slayer and Team Truth Seeker both had Alina in spot eleven. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 96, Team Truth Seeker 100.

This Week: Coach and Gordon are proving their worth as Renaissance men by attempting this week’s Power Rankings using haiku poetry. The traditional Japanese haiku form consists of one line of five syllables, a second line of seven syllables, and a third line of five syllables.

And before we start this week’s contest, let’s honor the most recent castaway…


Once again, just the Dragon Slayer. Me, myself, and I. The ode this week will also be in haiku.

Ode to Alina:
Never quite the catch,
Distant, controlling and odd,
All ties were severed.


Current Score: 96


Current Score: 100

brenda .. brenda

The wind blows her hair,
She bats her eyes without care,
Align if you dare.


Her friends have idols,
Chase is around her finger,
Future millionaire?

chase . kellys

Strong, sturdy, and sweet,
But insecure if we meet,
Too much a good thing.


If Kelly Shinn talks,
And editors don’t play it,
Does it make a sound?

fabio . dan

Cunning but seeming,
Not too bright but mind preening,
Instincts are dreaming.


Oh, immobile Dan,
He’s as safe as he is slow,
Not a threat at all.

sash . benry

Arrogant whippet,
Making moves like a snippet,
Chuckerish puppet.


Benry’s term “Dirt squirrel,”
Is not very flattering.
Women should be mad.

kellys . sash

Starting to emerge,
From the hidden waves of sand,
Sweet so tribe won’t purge.


Move for Marty’s vote,
Will not make Brenda happy.
No cash for poor Sash?

jane . naonka

Big eyes and wide face,
But catching fish with poised grace,
Not much more timed space.


Sash is a bright guy,
Flour thieves don’t win jury votes,
Enjoy final three.

naonka . chase

No rose colored glasses here,
True colors shine through?


Big physical threat,
Puts a target on your back.
Nice guys finish last.

holly . fabio

Bold moves once you merged,
Begin to fade as heads roll,
Sense of fun replaces droll.


Too funny, too nice,
Immunity and vote threat.
They are watching you.

dan . holly

Out of comfort zone,
Must be strong and lying low,
Strike out a low blow.


If Marty goes next,
And the kids destruct after,
You could cruise a while.

benry . jane

Too much a good thing,
Charm and strength you always bring,
Time will end too soon.


Vote with Alina,
Probably not a big deal,
But not a smart move.

marty . marty

Cunning like a fox,
Duck and weave it’s time to box,
Time runs out on clock.


Sash kept his promise,
Keeping you for two more shows,
Now Jane will laugh last.


Quick Note: Follow Gordon on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news and updates.

What Do You Think: Who’s going to win this round; Team Dragon Slayer or Team Truth Seeker? Does Marty have a chance of surviving? Can you give your thoughts in haiku form?

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 8 Recap: Grand Theft Flour

November 3, 2010

Last Week: Jane hosted a barbecue for one, Marty handed his immunity idol to Sash, and La Flor treated Jill to a one-way ticket home.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The La Flor Tribe (wearing yellow)

  • Brenda – 27, Paddleboard Company Owner
  • Fabio – 21, Student
  • Kelly S. – 20, Nursing Student
  • Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
  • Marty – 48, Technology Executive
  • Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

The Espada Tribe (wearing blue)

  • Alina – 23, Art Student
  • Benry – 24, Club Promoter
  • Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
  • Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
  • Holly – 44, Swim Coach
  • NaOnka – 27, P.E. Teacher

Quick Note: XFINITY TV has some very exciting “Survivor” stuff coming up in the near future. (Yes, I’m aware that’s vague.) Be sure to check back here and on my Twitter account for details.

We start off at La Flor where a poor, deceased turtle has washed up on the beach and is being picked apart by vultures. Looks like the metaphor machine is working overtime.

The irony is not lost on Marty. He realizes that he’s in deep trouble. If only he had an immunity idol.

Shortly afterward, “Uncle Fabio” (his nickname, not mine) arrives with some tree mail. The tree mail alludes to a merge. I’m not sure if I buy that though. We’ve been tricked before. Drop your buffs indeed, JPro.

Over at Espadadada, the individual players are trying to figure out how the merge will affect them. Benry wants Alina to go next. Alina, however, pitches an idea that the current Espada six sticks together and goes after Marty’s idol.

NaOnka thinks this idea is ridiculous, saying “Uncle Dan” wasn’t even into Alina’s plan. OK, seriously, we can’t have an Uncle Dan and an Uncle Fabio. I’m going to talk to the nickname committee and get a ruling.

The La Floricans eventually arrive at Espada with a large chest. They crack it open and sure enough they discover a merge feast and some sweet new red buffs.

Quick Note: No lie, those buffs are awesome. The white trim really makes them pop.

Marty is given the opportunity to name the tribe. He goes with “Libertad,” which means “Liberty.” Dude, anything’s better than “Nobag.” And “Augaracin” would be too hard to pronounce.

The new tribe is super giddy when they discover some Nicaraguan rum. Not that I blame them.

Brenda and NaOnka take a quick strategy walk. High fives are exchanged when NaOnka learns that Sash has Marty’s immunity idol. So, the dominant alliance has two immunity idols. I wonder how they’ll mess that up…

Meanwhile, Chase and Jane are bonding over their North Carolina roots. She again busts out the “Ugly Duckling” analogy to describe how she was treated by Marty and Co.

The next morning, NaOnka wakes up still beaming over the merge, the sweet new red buffs, and the news that Sash has the second immunity idol. In fact, they say NaOnka’s heart grew three sizes that day. Actually, that’s not true, she was ticked that Fabio took a big bite out of a tortilla so she started sabotaging the camp. She swiped the flour from the chest, took it into the forest, and buried it.

One problem? Holly saw her do it.

She also swiped some fruit and hid several of the cooking items. Look at NaOnka going all Hantz on everyone!

NaOnka then takes Alina to the side and tells her that everyone is gunning for her. NaOnka follows that move up by sharing her stolen oranges with her.

What the what?!

Is NaOnka setting Alina up as the thief? Is she trying to win her jury vote? Is NaOnka a genius?

Back at camp, the Libertads are realizing that things are missing. Holly asks NaOnka if she put the flour back. NaOnka responds in a rational manner. Actually, that’s not true either. She flipped out. Uncle Fabio tried to get to the bottom of it, but it turned into Sock-gate Part Deux.

Chase and Alina confront NaOnka about the theft. NaOnka admits that she took the items, but can’t confess because she already told people that she didn’t. Chase responds with an early contender for line of the night saying, “You lied? You lied in ‘Survivor’? Everyone’s lied in ‘Survivor.’”

NaOnka returns to camp and confesses. She claims she was doing it for the benefit of the tribe, but Marty isn’t buying it.

Sash sees this as an opportunity; he wants to take NaOnka to the end as he doesn’t think she’ll receive any million-dollar votes. Well played, Sash.

Immunity Challenge: The players will each hold a pair of handles. The handles are holding a small pole in place. If the handles aren’t pulled together or pushed apart, the pole will fall. The last man and woman still holding onto their pole will win immunity.

Not much to describe here, a lot of standing and pole holding.

Grow up.

Purple Kelly and Dan go first. (What?! The challenge involved standing, Dan was a certain to win.) Alina, Brenda, and Benry go next, followed by Sash and NaOnka. Holly is out next, giving immunity to Jane. However instead of stopping, Jane decides to try to beat the guys.

That’s just foolish. Why make yourself look like a threat?

Marty is the next to go, bringing it down to Fabio and Chase (and Jane, technically). Chase’s bar eventually falls, giving immunity to Fabio.

Back at camp, Jane admits to the ladies that she only stayed in the challenge to beat Marty. So, it goes without saying who her pick is to send home at Tribal Council. The tribe seems to be on board with sending Marty home first as long as Alina goes home second.

Sash, however, lobbies to keep Marty around as he promised him safety at the next Tribal Council in exchange for his immunity idol. If I were in Sash’s alliance, I’d be very concerned with him lobbying for jury votes while we’re working as a team.

Later that day, Dan actually plays the game a little as he warns Marty that Chase could try to blindside him. Marty approaches Sash and Brenda with this concern and they throw Chase under the bus. They claim to have never discussed voting for Marty with Chase.

Alina crunches the numbers and realizes she needs one more vote. She decides that Uncle Fabio is her best bet. She makes her pitch and given the choice between Marty and Alina, he chooses NaOnka. I love this kid. His favorite peanut butter is probably Sprite.

That night at Tribal Council, Marty decides to clear the air, saying that he never had a problem with Jane. However, he thinks she made bad alliances early on with players who are no longer in the game.

Jane takes exception with this statement saying that she approached him and he “Fluffed her off.” Again, what does that mean?

Marty keeps at it, saying if Jane stays in the game, she’s going to win the million dollars. He says you couldn’t write a better sob story, and that if she makes it to the end, he’ll give her his vote.

I know a lot of people are thinking, “Shut up, Marty.” But I don’t blame him or Alina. When you’re in trouble, you need to do anything you can.

JPro asks Alina if Marty just made a mistake. Alina gives a very smart answer, saying that Marty’s speech shows how strategic he can be. She also says she’s a good swing vote and only a “pawn.”

Dan then brings up the point that two people from the tribe took food from the camp. NaOnka that admits that she acted alone and Alina was only an accomplice after the fact. She says she stole from camp, then gave it back. She’s like a redundant Robin Hood.

NaOnka thinks it’s OK though, because she was punished by getting the silent treatment. Fabio doesn’t think that’s a real punishment.

Voting Time: Jane votes for Marty, Alina votes for Marty, Benry votes for Alina (calling her a “Dirt Squirrel”), Sash votes for Alina, and the rest of the votes are as unknown as the definition of “Dirt Squirrel”.

JPro gets his tally on, then returns to read some votes. Two votes for Marty, six votes for Alina, and the ninth person voted out of “Survivor: Nicaragua” and the first member of the jury is…Alina.

Verdict: Looks like things are picking up now that we’ve hit mergeville. But I’ll tell you this, if Fabio gets voted out, one of you is going to have to take over these recaps until next season. I’ll be in a corner crying.

Who’s Going to Win? It seems like there are too many players in the dominant alliance right now. Once they start turning on each other it’ll get interesting. I’m still leaning toward Brenda though. She obviously very tight with Sash, Brenda, and Chase.

Power Rankings Results: Team Dragon Slayer and Team Truth Seeker both had Alina in spot eleven. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 96, Team Truth Seeker 100.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? Should NaOnka have been booted over the flour? Would you have bounced Marty or Alina? What’s a “Dirt Squirrel”?

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Merge Edition

November 3, 2010

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” star Benjamin “Coach” Wade and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” recapper Gordon Holmes 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 Sash is voted out this week, Coach will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 6 points. At the end of the season, the person or team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Nicaragua” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: The La Flor youngsters decided to keep Marty around again. Good for him, not so good for his buddy Jill. Team Dragon Slayer had Jill in spot thirteen while I had her in spot eleven. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 85, Team Truth Seeker 89.

Special Announcement: The gauntlet has been thrown down; next week the Power Rankings will be done in haiku form. Be prepared.

And before we start this week’s rankings, let’s pay tribute to the recent booted castaway with…


Note: This week I am still on my own, with The King still MIA. APB on Randy Bailey. Someone either give him a job or contact me asap with his whereabouts!

Ode to Jill: You made all the right moves, getting a strong, smart player like Marty in the beginning on your side. You could have been one-two with Marty but alas the “Survivor” Gods would not deem it. The merge sealed your fate and the lines had been drawn. You didn’t get enough airtime to be missed, nor were you a personality that they will bring back, so parting this time is not such sweet sorrow.

Team Dragon Slayer’s Picks:

brenda . chase
#1: In total control. The girls are leaning on you for strength and the guys are eating out of the palm of your hand. Which way can you go? NaOnka, Chase, Sash, your options are unlimited! You go, girl. #2: See Brenda’s entry, except that you are NOT the one in control.
sash . fabio
#3: See Brenda’s line but perhaps you are the one in control? Could be a future battle of backstabbing with the two of you, or an alliance that could make it to the end. #4: This guy is the one to watch. Non threatening, funny, not making enemies. I am picking him to go to the finals.
benry . jane
#5: Very competitive in last week’s challenge. This bodes ill because although you are not making enemies people will start seeing you as a threat. #6: You are starting to get cocky, but not much of a threat. Keep working hard, keep ingratiating yourself with the young’uns and ADAPT at the merge. Do that and you will go far.
kellys . naonka
#7: Your good looks and subtle charms are going to take you to the finals, unless you cross someone. Keep saying “yes” to everyone that comes up to you and asks for an alliance. Play dumb if your cover is blown. #8: Still golden. Still obnoxious. Still class-less. DON’T QUIT ON US.
holly . alina
#9: You have turned your game around completely. You actually look happy out there. Adaptation to the elements is the key in coaching, life, and “Survivor.” See Jane’s comments above, you could be going all the way. #10: You think you’re on the ins but you are really on the outs. Your bitchy, indifferent, placid side will get you ousted sooner than you think.
dan . marty
#11: Your throw in the challenge was pathetic. Seriously? “Survivor” training hint: Stop lifting weights and start doing stretches and running and pilates. Jeez, that was embarrassing. Ever hear the saying “You throw like a girl?” #12: Giving the idol away was brilliant and stupid, all at the same time. My advice to you is to steal it from Sash when he is sleeping. I hope to hell you do some fancy alliance making once the merge comes this week. I’m pulling for ya, Marty! Stay strong.


Team Truth Seeker’s Picks:

brenda . chase
#1: The merge reunites Brenda with her BFFs NaOnka and Chase. She’s in a great slot and should really start thinking about getting on future jurors’ good sides. #2: You’re safe for now, Chasington. But you’re going to be in a world of trouble when your alliance realizes you’re built like Triple H. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see you go before Dan does.
benry . dan
#3: A lot of people are against Benry, but he’s starting to grow on me. With Marty on his way out, Benry could become my new pick to take the whole thing.
#4: Dan made a huge jump this week. Now that all the challenges are for individual immunity, I look for him to start racking up the wins. Oh wait, sarcasm doesn’t show up in text. OK, let’s just say there’s no reason to ever vote out Dan because he has the challenge prowess of a topiary plant.
kellys . sash
#5: “Milk your own milk!” I love this girl. Who do I talk to about getting her and Fabio a daytime talk show? #6: I don’t think Sash’s slip at last week’s Tribal Council is going to hurt him as much as JPro seems to think it will. But I’m dropping him in the rankings because it shows he’s capable of slipping up.
fabio . jane
#7: He voted for Brenda in the first Tribal Council and they blamed it on Kelly B. He urinated in the pool (when there were trees everywhere!) and everyone was cool with it. Forget Teflon Dan, we’re looking at Teflon Fabs.
#8: I like Jane a bunch, but that fish thing last week was just stupid. If she was caught, she’d be a goner.
holly . alina
#9: I think the merge will be fine for Holly. If I were her I’d start intentionally being terrible at immunity challenges. Then she can encourage the younger ladies to start taking out the physical threats.
#10: I never felt comfortable with the Alina/NaOnka alliance, and last week proved I was right. I think dear Alina might be in some trouble.
naonka . marty
#11: The previews show NaOnka gettin’ all Russell Hantz on the camp. In a post-Hantz world that’s a gutsy move. You think Fabio won’t suspect her immediately after sock-gate?
#12: You were my pick, Marty. I hope the idol play buys you some leverage with Team Sash, but I doubt it will.

Quick Note: Follow Gordon on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news and updates.

What Do You Think: Who has the edge heading into the merge? Was Marty’s idol move smart or stupid? Why is NaOnka ripping up the camp?

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