Posts Tagged ‘john cochran’

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2015 Ballot – John Cochran

December 10, 2015

2013 "Survivor" Hall of Fame Inductee John Cochran (CBS)

NOTE: Voting for the 2015 “Survivor” Hall of Fame has ended. Be sure to check back Monday, December 14, 2015 to meet the first new member.

ANOTHER NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Second Chance” coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Worlds Apart” faves Jenn Brown and Max Dawson, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have 2013 Inductee John Cochran as a member of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, John (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2015. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

John Cochran’s 2015 Hall of Fame Ballot

Benjamin “Coach” Wade – (“Survivor: Tocantins,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” and “Survivor: South Pacific”): I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I say Coach is the greatest reality TV character of all time.  Before the “The Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign or those now-tired Chuck Norris jokes, there was Coach: a man who, if you believe him, has climbed every mountain, kayaked every river, and slain every dragon.  Even more remarkable, though, is the transformation “Survivor” viewers got to witness across Coach’s three seasons: from larger-than-life Renaissance man, to humbled and emotionally-vulnerable everyman, to legitimate “Survivor” competitor and huge threat to win.

Jerri Manthey – (“Survivor: The Australian Outback,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): It’s bizarre to go to back to Season 2 and see what all the fuss was about.  I mean, she complained about how rice was prepared, and maybe talked a little too much about chocolate.  However quaint it seems now, though, 2001 was a very different time, and that behavior qualified Jerri to become reality TV’s first villainess.  But, like Coach, what makes Jerri truly special is her three-season arc.  Who else in “Survivor” history has gone from literally being booed offstage to, in her last season, emerging as America’s sweetheart?  Nobody, that’s who!

Todd Herzog – (“Survivor: China”):  Todd may not have the sweeping, multi-season mythologies of my other two nominees, but that does nothing to diminish his impact on the franchise.  “Survivor: China” was jam-packed with some of the series’ biggest players and characters (James, Amanda, Courtney, Peih-Gee, Jean-Robert, the list goes on and on), making the season’s eventual winner — the diminutive, silver-tongued superfan — all the more satisfying.  Todd’s also responsible for perhaps the single greatest Final Tribal Council performance ever, in which he deftly walks the tightrope between self-promotion and jury-pandering.  It should be required viewing for anyone who even thinks about applying for “Survivor.”

Visit the  “Survivor” Hall of Fame for executive ballots from Jeff Probst, Parvati Shallow, Rob Cesternino, and others.

Follow @SurvivorHall on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2013 Inductee – John Cochran

December 12, 2013

"Survivor" Hall of Fame 2013 Inductee John Cochran

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

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

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

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

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

Yesterday, we inducted Kim Spradlin into the Class of 2013…

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct John Cochran into the Class of 2013. John received more Executive Committee votes than any other nominee.

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

Gordon Holmes: The fans, production, the press, your peers…everyone’s loving them some Cochran. How does it feel to be considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history?
John Cochran: One of the greatest players in ‘Survivor’ history might be overstating it, but it’s an honor to be recognized like this.  I’m first and foremost still just a huge fan of “Survivor,” so to have other fans respond positively to me is a great thrill and very gratifying.  It’s also surreal to have “Survivor” icons like Cirie and Sandra, whom I’ve admired for so long, select me as a player they enjoyed watching.  And to have the support of producers and challenge designers and the people who make “Survivor” what it is – well, it’s just a wonderful feeling!

Holmes: Your year has been beyond amazing. For those who haven’t heard, can you catch us up on what you’ve been doing since your win last spring?
Cochran: The day after the Season 26 finale, I got a call from Probst saying that Greg Garcia, the man who created “Raising Hope” and “My Name Is Earl,” had been watching “Survivor” all season long, thought I was funny, and was interested in meeting with me about possibly writing for his new CBS sitcom.  A couple weeks later, I graduated from law school, moved out to LA, and now I’m a staff writer for “The Millers” (CBS Thursdays at 8:30!).  Writing jokes for Will Arnett, Beau Bridges, Margo Martindale, and more?  It’s a dream job, and it’s all because of “Survivor.”

Holmes: This new season is crazy town. How do you feel about all the twists and turns?
Cochran: I’ve been loving “Blood vs. Water.”  The loved ones twist made the stakes feel so much higher for each vote, and Redemption Island really established itself as a legitimate factor in the game, instead of just being a detour on the way home.  I also think it’s a testament to the quality of the season that, when I’ve asked people who they’re rooting for, viewers seem to have a variety of favorites; there’s a lot to like.  It’s a great cast, a fresh twist, and there have been some really fun, exciting moments.

What the fans said about John…

“One of the few who really learned from his mistakes and improved his game.” – Sue

“(Cochran) expertly navigated a season with returners.” – Ryan

“Proof that nerds are sexy!” – Melissa

What the Executive Voting Committee said about John…

“He went from the “zero in 90210″ the first time he played — to the winner of “Fans vs. Favorites.”  And yet, despite winning the game, his self-deprecation remains intact.  If you congratulate him for winning, he’ll say “Yeah but it took me two times, so I can’t be that good.”  You are that good, Cochran and you deserve a spot in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.” – Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst

“Cochran miraculously won 4 individual immunity challenges. His strategic and social game won him all the jury votes.  If I ever play again, I wanna be just like Cochran and win an Immunity Challenge. He’s my hero.” – Sandra Diaz-Twine

“His superpower was not in his physical prowess, but in his intellect. He went from student of the game to master of the game, and along the way gave the audience an abundance of great sound bites, sage revelations, and hilarious insights.” – Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer

Be sure to check back Friday to meet the final member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

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

Watch the ‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Finale this Sunday, December 15, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water.”

‘Survivor’ Champion John Cochran – ‘I Thought Dawn Could Beat Me’

May 13, 2013

John Cochran (CBS)

Now that John Cochran is the latest million-dollar “Survivor” winner, he’s going to pass on practicing law for a while to focus on writing. Well, from one writer to another, here’s a little advice…

Don’t write a story about an underdog who gets a second chance to fulfill his childhood dream and pulls off a stunning victory. It was already done in “Rocky II” and it was awesome.

I spoke with the newly crowned champ the morning after his big win and asked him about his boyhood dream coming true, how he compares to other champs, and his teeny, tiny check…

Gordon Holmes: The champ…is…heeeeere!
John Cochran: (Laughs, Sings a few bars of John Cena’s theme music) Unreal, right?
Holmes: Over the moon for you, buddy.
Cochran: It hasn’t fully registered for me yet, but thank you. I appreciate it.
Holmes: Let’s see here…four individual challenge wins, no votes against you, all of the votes at the final Tribal Council…after all that, why did they give you such a tiny check?
Cochran: That pisses me off more than I should be talking about because it’s not the most flattering thing to be complaining about. And there’s a typo, my address is spelled wrong. I don’t think that’s going to prevent me from cashing it. Is a big, foam novelty check that expensive?
Holmes:  I feel so bad for you.
Cochran: (Laughs) You should!
Holmes: I mean, winning a million dollars is cool, and dominating the game you’ve loved since your childhood is nice, but having to cash a tiny check is brutal.
Cochran: I’ll get over it, but when I saw Jeff come out with that tiny check I thought, “Really, this is how this is going to happen? After all I’ve given you, Jeff? A typo-ridden, flappy piece of paper.”

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Holmes: You were worried about being Sugar’d, by that we meant, voted out first after being a star your first season. But now, it’s looking like you’re more of a Parvati.
Cochran: Yeah! The parallels are there. She was on 13 and 16. I was on 23 and 26. We both won on a “Fans vs. Favorites” season. She did a little bit better on “Cook Islands.” But to be compared to Parvati, even though the gameplay is different…you know, it’s blowing my mind now. When people reference other winners and I’m a part of it now? That’s so bizarre to me. As bizarre and stupid as that little Richard Hatch video thing was, the fact that I’m part of that lineage is unbelievable to me.
Holmes: That could be you some day. Naked on a beach.
Cochran: An incomprehensible video speech to pitch to some rambling Rudy. I don’t know what that was about. That reunion show? I’ve got to rewatch it. Living it was so bizarre.

Holmes: The worst part of your game was being a reporter who has to interview you the next day. Usually you ask about where things went wrong or why you made certain moves, but everything seemed pretty well documented. So, let’s try some “What if” questions. Erik went out first with his medical issue. What was the plan if he’d stuck around?
Cochran: It was to get rid of Eddie first. I thought Erik would still keep me around. I wasn’t sure if he’d keep Dawn or not. But after Brenda, I was inexplicably in everyone’s final three last night. It seemed like everyone wanted to take out Dawn. Nobody was talking about voting me out. We would’ve gone for Eddie, then Erik, and you’d get the same final three. Erik probably would have won that card-stacking immunity. And that would’ve been an immunity, not for the advantage. They converted it. But, he would have won that. Then we would’ve voted out Eddie.
Holmes: Could Erik have won at a final Tribal?
Cochran: I don’t think Erik would’ve won. I think Brenda would’ve had an OK shot at winning.
Holmes: Even if Erik went back-to-back in those last two immunities, I don’t think the jury would’ve given it to him. They seemed to respect strategy over challenge prowess.
Cochran: That’s the sense I got. Even Eddie, people said he would’ve had the Amigo votes, Andrea because of their relationship, Michael… Malcolm and Andrea wouldn’t have voted for Eddie. Reynold would have. And that weighed on my mind, he’d get at least one vote.

Holmes: Did you think Dawn could beat you?
Cochran: I thought Dawn could beat me. I didn’t go there thinking she’s a crazy, volatile lady that everybody hates. I knew people perceived her as paranoid and crying, but I thought of her as a legitimate threat. She played a super strong game.
Holmes: My thing with Dawn is, if you have a reputation as a player, people will respect you when you vote them out. If you act like you’re nice, they’ll get upset.
Cochran: Yeah. But some of that might be ageism. She’s an older woman, so I don’t know if there are maternal connotations. It’s different if your mother votes you off instead of your bratty, younger brother. Just the way Dawn connects with people is emotional. It stings more when she votes you off. I had good relationships with everyone, but we didn’t have these crying connections.

Holmes: Were there any big moves that we didn’t see?
Cochran: There were a couple of things where after I did them I thought, “Maybe I made a mistake.” Voting off Andrea, she would have gone to the end with me. And I think I would’ve beaten her. It would’ve been close. I voted out Andrea in order to keep Brenda who had no intention of going to the end with me. And I was wondering if that was a bad move.
Holmes: It worked out.
Cochran: Yeah, my rationalization was she had an idol and she wanted to keep Eddie. That freaked me out. And I shouldn’t be admitting this, because it shatters the illusion of me playing a magnificent game…
Holmes: Shatter away…
Cochran: At the merge, the most important vote was the Corinne vote. It wasn’t clear we were going to have the numbers. Andrea was going to talk to Eddie to get him on board, but she was called away for an interview. And it was at a point that we knew we were going to get called away for Tribal Council in the next ten minutes. I was terrified she wouldn’t get to talk to him. So I went to Eddie, not having spoken to him over the previous three days, and introduced myself and told him we were voting for Corinne. Malcolm saw me do this, Malcolm goes right up to Eddie. I see this intense conversation between them. That could’ve blown everything. Had Eddie ratted me out, Malcolm could have played the idol for Corinne and it would’ve been a disaster. That would’ve ruined my game.

Holmes: As you well know, we do word associations here…
Cochran: I haven’t planned anything for this. Damnit! I was so consumed with other things. I won’t have any clever things. You’ve got Malcolm with his big theatrical things….
Holmes: Malcolm is a filthy cheater, you’re not supposed to have anything prepared.
Cochran: I’m just going to legitimately do adjectives that come to mind.
Holmes: That’s what you’re supposed to do.
Cochran: I like that I’m admitting defeat by playing by the rules.
Holmes: Let’s start with Dawn.
Cochran: Dawn is wonderful. I do love Dawn.
Holmes: Phillip?
Cochran: Storyteller.
Holmes: Erik?
Cochran: I don’t even know…benign.
Holmes: Malcolm?
Cochran: Rivalry. Hatred, intense hatred. I love Malcolm too, but we have a joking feud with each other.
Holmes: Well, one of you has a million-dollar check.
Cochran: I know, but I still find myself jealous that he was fan favorite and I wasn’t even mentioned.
Holmes: Eddie?
Cochran: Goofball.
Holmes: Sherri?
Cochran: Intense.
Holmes: Brenda?
Cochran: Serene. And I want to go on the record, Phillip came up to me and asked what word would describe how calm Brenda is, and I said, “Serenity.” And then I see him walk over there and say,  “I’ve come up with a name for you.” Give me a break, can’t the intelligencia attaché get some credit?
Holmes: That’s another feather in your perfect game cap.
Cochran: (Laughs) Yes, I’ve also got a Stealth R Us nickname to my credit.
Holmes: Micheal?
Cochran: This is going to sound like a back-handed compliment, but he’s the most well-adjusted guy on the show.
Holmes: Andrea?
Cochran: Delightful. I like Andrea.

Holmes: The best part of all of this is, you can go back and play it Sandra style. “I’ve already won, you should take me to the end because they won’t give me another million bucks.”
Cochran: No, I think I’m done.
Holmes: What?
Cochran: We can joke about it being the perfect game, but I’m never going to do as well as I did this time. And, I don’t like the ten-month waiting period of filming the show and then waiting for it to air. I basically don’t function during those ten months.

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

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Fave Cochran: ‘They’re Going to See a Different Guy’

February 5, 2013

John Cochran (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: John Cochran
Age: 25
Hometown: Washington, DC
Occupation: Harvard Law Student
Previous Finish: Cochran came in 8th place in “Survivor: South Pacific”
Memorable Moment: Cochran’s jump from Savaii to Upolu was his season’s pivotal event.
Fun Fact: Cochran is the only person in the history of the world to successfully give himself a nickname.

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: After “South Pacific,” I called you the most memorable player in the post-Hantz era. It was obvious you’d be asked to return. Now that you have been, how does it feel?
John Cochran: It’s half exhilarating, half terrifying. I think when we’d talked about this before, I said I had a reputation that wasn’t necessarily flattering because I was viewed as weak, possibly annoying, and a traitor. I don’t necessarily agree with that characterization. But, I think with returning players they all have different baggage. It comes in different forms. So, I’m feeling a little more comfortable.
Holmes: I believe the term you used was you were worried about being “Sugar’d.”
Cochran: Well, yeah. I’m referring to the fact that in her first season, and I didn’t do nearly as well as a she did, but she made it to the end and in “Heroes vs. Villains” she was voted out first. That’s a legitimate worry of mine, but I think everybody is worried about that. That’s everyone’s great fear. After that you make new goals; I want to make the merge, I want to make the family visit, I want to make the finals. So, as long as I’m not Sugar’d I’ll consider that a huge accomplishment.
Holmes: If you’re around on day four…
Cochran: (Laughs) Yes.
Holmes: High fives all around.

Holmes: You mentioned changes to your game. What do you have in mind?
Cochran: I need to be a little more proactive. I need to either create or insert myself into an alliance very early on. Last time I was on the periphery the entire time, and then I switched sides thinking I was ingratiating myself into a new alliance. I was on the periphery of that too and got voted off immediately. So, I need to play less of a reactive game and more of a proactive game. I’m fundamentally the same person. I’ll try to downplay some of my anxiety and not vocalize it quite as much. I don’t think that does me that many favors. I’m going to be aggressive, well, as aggressive as I can get which is not super aggressive. A little more assertive as far as getting what I want.
Holmes: A man who has learned from his mistakes.
Cochran: Last time I’d find out I was on the outs, then I’d start freaking out or if I find out I got a vote I’d start whining to everybody. That’s not a healthy attitude to have.
Holmes: You have a very self-deprecating sense of humor. It’s a great defense mechanism. I use it for the same reason. You use words like “annoying” and “whining.” But, as we’ve seen, the “Survivor” community is a big family when it’s all said and done and you seem like a really popular guy within those ranks.
Cochran: That was what was so surprising about my last experience. Generally I think I’m a relatively likable guy and I can get along with pretty much anybody. I think I was put in a bizarrely homogenous tribe last time where it was an LA model, a Miss America runner up, a country singer, Ozzy wants to be an actor. It was a very solid group that I didn’t fit into. I’m not sure what the question was…
Holmes: (Laughs) It was more of an observation than anything. You paint this picture like everyone’s annoyed by you, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Cochran: I think I have a good shot…just based on what I’ve seen it looks like a very diverse group. As long as there a diversity that I can fit in and flow around a bit, I’ll feel comfortable. And comfort is all I want.

Holmes: What’ve you been up to since “South Pacific”?
Cochran: I took the fall semester off while the season was airing.
Holmes: To bask in the glow…
Cochran: More like bask in the anxiety of seeing myself on TV and freak out about it. You know everything that’s going to happen, but you don’t know how it’s going to be portrayed. I’m already scared enough during law school, I didn’t want to juggle both anxieties. So, this last spring semester I went back to school to a hero’s welcome, hoisted on everyone’s shoulders. I’m trying to settle back down into academic life…but this is uprooting me again.
Holmes: Yeah, you’re doing this wrong.
Cochran: Really.
Holmes: For a smart guy…
Cochran: I’ve made several poor decisions.

Holmes: You played with returning players Ozzy Lusth and Benjamin “Coach” Wade. What did you learn from watching people hop back into the game?
Cochran: What Ozzy excels at is never going to be what I excel at. So, I think I learned a little bit more from Coach. And the big thing that Coach did, which I found to be his biggest asset was he was able to make everybody feel like they were his priority. That’s partially why I was so enamored with him.  I felt like, Coach thinks I’m his number one guy. But, Edna felt the same way, Brandon felt the same way. I don’t know if I’ll have the same stature as he did, especially because there are several more returning players. But, just making sure that everybody, especially those on the periphery of the alliance, is a part of the group, that seems to be the key to everything.
Holmes: In both “South Pacific” and “One World” we saw players who were on the bottom of their alliance fail to make moves that would put them on the top. Were the Kims, and Coaches, and Sophies of the world…
Cochran: (Laughs) Sophies of the world?
Holmes: (Laughs) That’s “Survivor” champion Sophie Clarke, to you. Do you think moves weren’t made because those players were able to fool the others into believing they were in better positions?
Cochran: I think Kim was doing a fantastic job of making everyone feel like they were her number one. Alicia made a disastrous move when she voted off Tarzan. She could have maybe even won, which is kind of a funny thought. But, inertia plays a dangerous role in this game, in that if you’re part of the majority alliance, even if you’re on the bottom, you’re like, “At least I’m part of this core group.” And then you get to the end and start realizing you’re in trouble. But I think people like Kim, Coach, and maybe even Sophie did a good job of making people feel safe.

Holmes: You get a lot of grief for making a dumb move. I disagree with that. I think Colby taking Tina to the final two is a dumb move. I think you gambled and lost. I feel the same way about JT when he gave his idol to Russell. If that’d worked, he’s in great position and looks like a genius.
Cochran: He got the dumbest move of all time and that could have worked out fantastically.
Holmes: Now, back to you, in your season Coach was able to play off his crazy reputation. People expected him to be nuts, and when they learned he was a normal guy, they probably felt like they got to see the real him. Is that accurate?
Cochran: Yeah, there definitely weren’t as many Amazonian pygmy tales going out. We definitely saw a different side of him. I think that was the most startling thing. He was a legitimate force in the game. Does this segue way into asking if I’m going to be the same?
Holmes: Nailed it. You’re an old pro at these interviews now.
Cochran: (Laughs) For me, I feel like it’s not like I told any tall tales or anything. It was all me, it was just an exaggerated version of me. The me you saw was the result of being on the periphery of an alliance and not being secure. I think I’d be a different person within the game if I felt some level of security. To get votes at every Tribal Council, even if it’s one or two, to always be the second option, it takes a toll on you emotionally. So, if there’s any security, they’re going to see a different guy.
Holmes: I’m a ridiculously paranoid person. I can’t imagine what it’s like to experience 39 days of constantly questioning everyone’s motives.
Cochran: It’s indescribable. And just thinking of these things is summoning feelings of nausea.
Holmes: So, you are feeling some pre-game jitters?
Cochran: Yeah, pre-game acid reflux. Imagine if you’re sitting there and two people walk off and all of the sudden a camera man and a microphone man dash after them. That’s going to freak you out. Maybe they’re talking about where the best coconuts are, but you have no idea. I’m a naturally hyper-analytical person to the point that it’s a character flaw. And so, it’s a very unhealthy environment for me. I’m doing some kind of permanent damage.
Holmes: You know, if my girlfriend cheats on me, she’s not going to be celebrated for it.
Cochran: (Laughs)
Holmes: But if I stab you in the back and it gets me further in the game, I’m a hero.
Cochran: There’s a perverse incentive to do nasty things in the game.

Holmes: Why do you think you were brought back?
Cochran: I think I made a big theatrical move in a season where there were certain predictable elements. I think the show values good narrators. I have a limited skill set, I’m not good in challenges, I’m not good around camp, I’m not good for team morale. But, I can maybe provide some commentary that’s enlightening or entertaining. And, I think Jeff Probst said in a Tout video, “I’d be interested to bring him back to see what someone who brings absolutely nothing to the table can accomplish a second time around.”
Holmes: I feel like you two have a very contentious relationship.
Cochran: (Laughs)
Holmes: Don’t get me wrong, I think he enjoys you, but he says it like a big brother who’s dunking his little brother’s head in the toilet. He does the same thing to me.
Cochran: He’s just an adult jock, ya know? (Laughs) But, I adore Jeff. I worship him.
Holmes: What’s it like to get the call inviting you back?
Cochran: It’s several things; it appeals to your ego. And that’s a part of returning players, there are a lot of egos. I intend to stroke a lot of egos. But you think, “Yeah, I am one of those amazing ‘Survivor’ players. I am a 7-Up Original.” And in retrospect, this is one of the best experiences of my life. Then the reality sets in; I was miserable out there. You’re sleeping on the ground, you’re hungry. What if I’m an outcast? What if everybody hates me? It’s half elation and half terror.

Holmes: Any first impressions of the cast?
Cochran: There was one guy I didn’t recognize, so I don’t know what the deal with that is. Maybe he’s a guy from season 25. Beyond that, I don’t think the subtitle for this season is going to be “Greatest ‘Survivor’ Players of All Time.” Erik Reichenbach is there, he gave up a necklace. Brandon was there, he gave up a necklace. Francesca was there, she got voted out first. I made, arguably, a very stupid move. But, then you have people like Dawn, so there isn’t a running theme of people who screwed up. And Phillip is kind of an eccentric character who arguable blew final Tribal Council by failing to say, “Look guys, I’m normal.”
Holmes: (Laughs) That’s not how he blew final Tribal Council.
Cochran: I’m cautiously optimistic. I am in the worst shape of everybody that was on that van. I was hoping there’d be some big personal transformation. I’d tear off my sweater vest and have these throbbing pecs.
Holmes: Surely there is someone who deals steroids in the Harvard area?
Cochran: (Laughs) I was actually contemplating that.
Holmes: (Laughs) That would’ve been awesome. Show Probst who’s boss.
Cochran: But, steroids are bad for you.
Holmes: Yes, if any kids are listening to this; don’t do steroids. But it’d be worth it to get Probst by the back of the neck.
Cochran: I’d look like Sheamus. It doesn’t look like Savaii, it looks like a group I’m cautiously optimistic about.  I don’t want to say they’re dumb people, but they made some dumb moves. There are actually some rational people I can see myself wanting to work with. It’s a nice balance.
Holmes: Any early thoughts on who you’d want to align with?
Cochran: Well…
Holmes: Besides everybody.
Cochran: That’s actually one of my thoughts; everybody. It’s one of these strategies I’ve been toying with. It’s very dangerous, but I align with everybody and tell them that my only genuine alliance is with them.
Holmes: Seems like you get two people talking and that might unravel pretty quickly.
Cochran: Yeah, but I’m telling them everything. If I keep complete openness about everything and I’m only being genuinely honest with a handful of people. Again, it’s such a departure from my last time around. It’s Kim-like. I feel like Kim did something similar.
Holmes: Where you’d get in trouble is people think you’re a strategist. Not to say you’re not, but they’d be looking for an angle.
Cochran: I have to be a strategist, I can’t do anything else. I can’t be Ozzy. I can try to do Sandra’s “anyone but me.” Actually, I want to sit out a challenge. That’s my big dream to sit out a challenge.

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: One World’ Power Rankings: Christine Shields Markoski vs. John Cochran

March 6, 2012

Christine Shields Markoski vs. John Cochran (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.

Hoping to bring the guys back from a huge deficit this week is John Cochran. He’ll be going toe-to-toe with Christine “Force to Be Reckoned With” Shields Markoski

Let’s check in with our two combatants before we get into this week’s rankings…

Gordon Holmes: We need you to stop the bleeding, John. We’re down by twelve points. Tell me you have some kind of Harvard-fueled strategy to get us out of this mess.
John Cochran: I think I’ve compiled the perfect Power Rankings here, Gordon. I pay very close attention to the show’s editing and story arcs in order to assess different players’ chances. This is some academic stuff, bro.
Holmes: That’s what I like to here. And you? Anything to say to your “South Pacific” buddies for giving you such a comfortable lead?
Christine Shields Markoski: Thanks, ladies!

Holmes: What’ve you two been up to since your time in Samoa?
Markoski: Up to? Up to my ears in laundry. Up to here with homework. All around, up to no good. 🙂 Ha! No, really, just had a great time with the fam. We traveled a bit when I got home. Hung out at the beach. My kids and hubby are beach bums. Read a lot! Just chillaxed before school started and now it’s just craziness. It’s all good, though.
Cochran: I’m back at law school, which has been a pretty jarring transition. I think I’m slowly finding my groove, though, and adapting to post-Survivor life relatively well.

Holmes: Are you enjoying “One World”? I thought it was off to a rough start, but has picked up now that we’ve had a chance to see the women win and the men scramble.
Cochran: I absolutely love the One World and men vs. women twists; they both seem like they might help undermine the sorts of things that often make a season predictable (alpha males dominating early on, Pagonging post-merge, etc.). It’s still too early to have any huge favorites, though.
Markoski: I think the idea is cool. There are certainly characters to enjoy. Although, none as entertaining as our very own Mr. John Cochran.
Holmes: Well, there’s no debating that. Was it nice to see the women finally get a win last week?
Markoski: It was magnanimous and overdue.

Holmes: Alright, the time for pleasantries is over. John, mercy is for the weak. We do not train to be merciful. Now put Christine in her place.
Cochran: Christine may have had an impressive run on Redemption Island, but guess what? Redemption Island is gone. Christine’s a temporary player, and I think we’ll see her time (and that of the women overall) running out very soon in these Power Rankings.
Markoski: I’ve kept my answers a bit short as I know John will be…how do I say? “Expansive with his answers.”  Unless Lin-sanity has gotten to him and he can’t think of anything else except basketball…(I’m hoping).

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, Christine’s team will receive 8 points and Cochran’s will receive 7 points. At the end of the season, the team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: One World” Power Rankings Challenge Champions.

Wanna Play? Tag Gordon (@gordonholmes) in your own Twitter Power Rankings. If you do better than the male team does you’ll get a special shout out in the Power Rankings and the respect of your family and friends.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

Current Score: 31

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

Current Score: 19

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

1. This guy isn’t going anywhere. Nice guy, good at challenges, barely any camera time (except when the boys win a challenge and he gets hoisted in the air by a tribemate). 1. She’s part of the majority female alliance, she’s athletic, amiable, and not making any waves. I don’t see Kim going anytime soon, unless there’s a tribal swap and she’s left in the minority.
2. Safe. She’s even-keeled and possibly a calming force for the girls. I hope she is a quiet powerhouse. 2. It may seem weird for me to be throwing my support behind the woman who’s expressed her desire to punch tribemates in their faces and a willingness to idly watch her tribemates drown, but I think being the abrasive member of a majority alliance can be a good thing — her alliance will likely be scrambling to bring her to the end as a F3 goat. I think Alicia’s in it for the long haul, but I don’t think she’ll win.
3. Even after her “I’m cold and wet” (Guess what? You’re on “Survivor”) meltdown, I still think she’s sitting pretty within her alliance…for now. She may not be so lucky if (when) they mix up the tribes. I don’t think those guys are going to forget it was she that refused them the chicken. You know men and their stomachs. 3. Like Kim, Chelsea is athletic and seems well-adjusted. She showed some vulnerability last week during the rainstorm, but, as long as she keeps her emotions in check, I think Chelsea will go far.
4. Member of the Misfit (“Vampira”) Alliance. He’ll be OK for awhile… Where’s the sushi? 4. Sabrina was designated the “Salani” tribe leader during last week’s episode, which is really a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it shows that Sabrina’s tribemates think very highly of her and are unlikely to vote her out right away; on the other hand, being “leader” can also make you a bigger target in the event of a loss, just like the Project Manager on “The Apprentice.” Still, Sabrina’s gotten such significant airtime that I can’t imagine her story this season is anywhere near over.
5. Like Dawn, I’m going with the home team. I’m definitely on Team Sabrina. I’m hoping she can continue to handle this group of ladies and their “diverse personalities.” It’s not like school at all. It’s much easier to get a handle on a cafeteria full of screaming students than a group a starving, bedraggled survivors… me, I know. I just hope Sabrina being the leader doesn’t come back to haunt her. But for now she’s safe and that’s good. 5. Jonas is an interesting guy to watch this season. Apart from being a member of the majority offbeat men’s alliance, he hasn’t done much, but the show repeatedly turns to him to provide narration and his own commentary. Is he the voice of reason in a sea of misfits and roosters? Not sure, but the show hasn’t given us any reason to believe he’s going to be a target anytime soon.
6.  Member of the Misfit (“Walk Among Us”) Alliance. He’s got the underwear thing going for him and the alliance – what more does one need?  6. We haven’t heard or seen much from Leif. When the men returned to camp from losing a challenge in last week’s episode, we saw Leif bashfully waving to the victorious women. Foreshadowing a cross-tribal alliance?! He’s safe for now.
7.  I hate to say it, but she’s safe. She got in with the young girl alliance right out of the box. Smart move. If they wanted to get her out they would’ve (should’ve – for our sakes at least) done so already. (I do appreciate that she lives by the motto “better out than in,” though.) 7. I’m starting to really like Troyzan. He’s been kind to the women’s tribe, he’s the greatest physical asset for the Misfits, and he seems to be on at least somewhat good terms with the roosters. If he comes to be known as the leader of the Misfits, though, he might have a target placed on him in much the same way Sabrina has.
8.  Member of the Misfit (“Nike A Go-Go”) Alliance. Well done telling the PYT (Love it, Dawn) alliance that you were down with them. 8. By voting off Nina before Kat, the women demonstrated that Kat is pretty safe within the majority alliance. I do get the sense, however, that she’ll be the first of the core 5 to go if she botches any more challenges. Her hoodie is absolutely adorable, though, right?
9. God saved the Queen…and he still has the idol. Member, ahem, Queen of the Misfit (“Astro Zombies”) Alliance. I love hearing this guy bitch…and bitch. I really do. Although I fear that once the idol is no longer in his possession it’s “Off with her head!” Also, he’s getting more air time than Cochran and that ain’t right. 9. A lot of people have compared me and Colton. We’re both superfans, we both hog an inordinate amount of the airtime, and we both wear pink shirts. I think that’s really where the similarities end, though. I envy Colton’s position in the game because, even though it initially seemed like he was an outsider, he managed to recognize that “outsiders” actually comprised a majority of his tribe! He seems to be in a great power position, although I don’t know how many more times he’ll be able to cry wolf about playing his idol before it’s flushed out.
10. Dude, you stepped in it. Where once you were part of the  PYT Alliance, you are somehow (and I think unbeknownst to you) now part of the  Misfit (“20 Eyes”) Alliance. Congrats. 10. I grew to appreciate Tarzan this week. He’s articulate, goofy, and just delightfully naive about “Survivor.” He’s in the majority alliance, which is great, but I can see his blunt “Can’t you see we’re strategizing?” statements becoming annoying to his fellow Misfits, putting him on the periphery of that alliance.
11. I’m not too sure how long Alicia will stick around. Let me explain how one’s mouth can get them into trouble. And there’s no Redemption Island to, well, redeem yourself. If she can’t control her tongue, they’ll cut her (and maybe, it). 11. Of the roosters, Jay seems to be the least vocal, and the most willing to adapt to the circumstances. He’s now an honorary member of the Misfits, but he has to hope something shakes the game up, or else he’ll just go after Bill and Michael are gone.
12.  Guilty by ‘ab’sociation. Is he as alpha-male as the rooster? I don’t think so, but now that there’s a vacancy…? 12. When Jeff asked the women if they would change the makeup of their majority alliance if they could go back in time — and Sabrina and Chelsea said “Yes,” — I can’t help but think that they were wishing they could incorporate Monica into their fivesome. She seems smart, tough, and athletic, but she’s on the outside! Doesn’t look too good for Monica.
13.  She’s not part of the young ‘uns. ‘Nuff said. 13. This rooster crowed way too early when he stole supplies from the women just minutes into the game. I’m not sure if he’ll ever be able to fully integrate himself into the misfit-run tribe, unless a tribal swap shakes things up soon.
14. I hate to put her here. Hate it, I tell you. She’s doing great in challenges and uses her brain. The only reason I have her here is because she’s age-challenged (I didn’t say the “O” word ’cause she’s not. I mean look at her!) I’m hoping that the young ‘un alliance realizes her worth and keeps her. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. 14. If the women lose, Christina is gone. If she gets voted out, though, at least she can leave with her head held high that she’s the voice behind this season’s most memorable quote thus far: (“Because you’re WRONG, okay?! So SHUT UP”).
15. Wow, he’s excited, like, really, can’t-believe-he’s-on-the-show, bouncing-out-of-his-seat, just totally excited. Whew. The Queen doesn’t like excited, you know. You’re outie. 15. God knows I love Bill. His character reel is my favorite YouTube video of the year. Unfortunately, he’s incurred the wrath of Mr. Cumbie, and previews suggest there’s going to be a big blow-up between the two. Considering that Colton has been the more prominent character, I have to assume that Bill comes out the loser in this duel.

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Castaway Interview: John Cochran

December 8, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: John Cochran

August 22, 2011

Name: John Cochran

Age: 24

Current Residence: Washington, DC

Occupation: Harvard Law Student

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: I understand you won the Dean’s Scholar’s prize based on a paper you wrote about “Survivor.” What can you tell me about that?
John Cochran:
I was in this class in Harvard Law School called American Jury and for the final paper we got to write about whatever we wanted. And being a huge “Survivor” fanatic, I decided to write about “Survivor.” In the paper I compared the current American jury system with the jury system in “Survivor,” especially the final Tribal Council. There are certain lessons we can learn from “Survivor” juries in that the jurors get to ask questions to the defendants…who’d be the final two and final three. And they’re also kind of the witnesses to the “crime.” And my professor, who’s a pretty famous professor, loved it. It turns out he’s a huge “Survivor” fan and he gave me the Dean’s Scholar prize for the best paper in the class out of about 100 students.

Holmes: How big of a “Survivor” fan are you?
I’ve been a “Survivor” fan since day one. Actually since day one, 2000 in Borneo, well, I wasn’t in Borneo. I’ve never missed an episode. I used to wear a buff around my arm every Thursday in high school. I used to pass around a “Survivor” newsletter. My senior yearbook photo is me wearing three buffs; one around my head, two on my arms, and a “Survivor” t-shirt. And my quote just said, “The tribe has spoken.” So, I’m a lunatic about “Survivor.” This is absolutely a dream come true.

Holmes: I’m told you’re also a lunatic for the Beatles. Where does that come from?
I guess it started when my day played “I Am the Walrus” for me on the car stereo. I guess I was about ten years old. And over time I’ve progressed into being more of a Paul McCartney fan. “I Am the Walrus” is a John (Lennon) song. I’m almost as obsessed over the Beatles as I am “Survivor.” Not quite though. The hierarchy of things in my life goes; “Survivor,” Beatles, then I guess food.
Holmes: How do you think Sir Paul would fare in “Survivor”?
Cochran: There are several different elements; if people were aware he was Paul McCartney and that he’s worth a billion dollars that’d probably work against him. But he has a natural charisma, a natural charm. He’s a great PR man. Whenever the Beatles got into trouble for comments that John made or the drug charges against George (Harrison), Paul would always smooth things over. I think he’d be an excellent strategist on “Survivor.”
Holmes: Are you worried he might align with the wrong female.
Cochran: That is another legitimate concern. We have seen that he doesn’t always have the best taste in women. He had a great first wife. Linda (McCartney) was fantastic. But he had a rough patch a few years after Linda’s death. Someone like Parvati (Shallow), if she were on the island, there’s no telling what feminine wiles she could use to destroy his game.

Holmes: Your bio says you want to make the show better. How are you going to make “Survivor,” which I’m already fond of, better?
I’m confident I can make my season the best season ever, because in recent years I’ve noticed, with some exceptions, there’s been this dichotomy between strategic gameplay and social gameplay. And the players act like those two things can never intersect. So you’ll have someone like Fabio (Judson Birza) who I guess has this great social game, but has no strategy to speak of. Then there’s Russell (Hantz), who I’m not a big fan of, but was a very strategic player. I’m confident I can blend those two things in an entertaining way.
Holmes: So if “Survivor: South Pacific” sucks, that’s on you?
Cochran: Here’s the thing, I’m possessive of “Survivor.” I’d like to have a great season even if I’m not involved. I know what works in the way of entertaining strategy and entertaining actions. I’m not saying I’m going to be hamming it up, but I want it to be a great season.

Holmes: Any reservations as far as lying or backstabbing?
I’m prepared to be as deceptive as I need to be.  I’m not going to be deceptive for the sole sake of being deceptive. Like Russell telling people he was a fire fighter in Hurricane Katrina. That didn’t earn him any sympathy, he just seemed to relish lying. I wouldn’t do something like that because I don’t see the purpose. I’d only lie if it forwarded my game.

Holmes: Any first impressions on this year’s cast?
Generally the people have been really nice and behaved themselves, and I’d hoped there’d be some overtly horrible people that we could get rid of right off the bat. There are a couple of people I’m suspicious of. This one guy has “Loco” tattooed on his neck. That’s a red flag. Anyone who’s advertising the fact that he’s mentally unhinged isn’t somebody I want to be in an with. It’s not somebody I want having a machete.

Holmes: Any thoughts on the lovely ladies running around this beach?
I’m always suspicious of pretty girls in that, I know that if they come to talk to me in the game that it’s solely for strategic purposes. The great thing about not being that attractive is that you can see through the actions of attractive people with relative ease.

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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