Posts Tagged ‘john rocker’

‘Survivor’ Castaway Julie – ‘I Just Saw Straight Through (Missy)’

November 6, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6034085997813089112″ program_type=”series”]

You can lie after swearing on your kids’ names, you can vote your mother out of the game, and you can make up a story about your grandmother dying and some “Survivor” fans will find merit in your actions.

You just can’t quit.

I spoke with Julie McGee, the latest in a too-long list of Survivors who have called it quits the morning after her exit from the game. We had a chance to talk about her decision, Missy’s love, and what it’s like to be Johnny Rock’s girlfriend…

Gordon Holmes: Now that you’ve had time to think about what happened, do you regret your decision to quit?
Julie McGee: No. I don’t live in regret. I try my best to make the best decision for my overall health physically and mentally. It was hard to make a good decision, but I was pretty confident in what was going on at the time. I wasn’t running from anything. It was nothing like that at all. I was just really at my breaking point. The rain storm that had happened really shook it out of me. I couldn’t get my head twisted back on right. And everyone being jerks to me, and John not being there, and the trail mix scandal…
Holmes: People being jerks to you…was that tied specifically to the trail mix scandal or were there things earlier that we didn’t see?
McGee: I guess mainly right towards the end I felt some vibes that people were unhappy and were being mean to me without talking to me. But, before that I did feel that once we came together and there were so many couples that I lost connections with people I may have had a connection with before.
Holmes: Did other people have food in their bags?
McGee: I have no idea, and I wasn’t going to question it. It’s not because I was sitting there as full as a tick. I had some crumbs in the bottom of my bag. I was the one scrambling at the merge dinner. Most of the guys were either throwing up because they ate too much or were rubbing their tummy because they were too full. I was scrambling to find a way to pack up all this food…Missy and myself.  We needed to get the stuff and get it down the mountain. Stuff it in your pockets, stuff it in your shoes. Whatever you need to do. And if you stuff some stuff in your shoes, then have it. For Jon and Jaclyn, when they’re sitting back not doing anything, they say I’m so selfish? Who says I need to pack up all this food and ration it out for you two and feed you whenever you’re hungry?

Holmes: Maybe this is just me, but it struck me as odd when Missy said she loved you. That’s not a word I’d be comfortable breaking out in front of someone I’ve only known for a few weeks. Did that strike you as odd?
McGee: Yeah, I just saw straight through her. I don’t know if it’s because she was feeling apprehensive about saying she really wanted me there. Maybe she was upset about the crumbs in my bag. She was really just putting it on. I really felt a connection with her, and I really felt sometimes like I could trust her. But, when we’re sitting there talking and I’m at my lowest point and she says, “You’ve got to stay for us. I’m your loved one now.” That kind of made it worse.

Holmes: The people that leave the game pre-jury don’t get to hang out with the jurors. They’re all taken away. Did you leave when you did in the hopes of getting to see John?
McGee: Not at all. At that point I thought that it was already done. When Jeff came down to speak to me, he asked me the same question. He said, “What if I tell you that he’s not there?” This is for me now. It’s for my sanity. It’s what I need right now. And if he’s not there, that’ll suck, but I’ve got to make this move.

Holmes: Quitting seems to be “Survivor’s” one unforgivable sin. What kind of feedback have you been receiving from the fans?
McGee: Oh…wow. (Laughs) I want to just throw my phone in a lake. It’s really 50/50 right now. I have some people who are really supportive and huge fans and I’m so appreciative of that. But of course you have the haters. You have the people that say I’m a loser, I’m a quitter, someone else could have had that spot. But they don’t know what I was going through. And I realized when I quit that I was going to have to go through this. I was somewhat prepared for the backlash.

Holmes:  As John Rocker’s girlfriend, I would imagine a lot of people think negative things about you before they’ve even met you. What’s that like to deal with?
McGee: It’s human nature to go with the masses and believe what you read. For me to know who John is and to know his heart…he is a giving, sweet, loving, funny guy. And I am not selfish. I’m very loving and I’m very giving myself. I’m a great person and I have lots of great friends and family. I wouldn’t be with someone if they were an ass or a loser. People think he was a pro athlete and he’s got this money, so he’s going to have this girl…he’s gonna take care of this trophy girl.  That’s not the case at all. It has really changed the way I see things. If something’s written up about a celebrity, you cannot believe what you see. You have to know firsthand. So, all these people that are judging me, judging John, they’ll probably never know us. But, we’re good with ourselves. We’re good people.
Holmes: I’ve interviewed everyone who’s left the game. And the feedback about him has been overwhelmingly positive.
McGee: Absolutely. That’s what you have to go on. Real experiences with people who’ve come into contact with him.

Holmes: Alright, word association time…
McGee: (Laughs) I was looking forward to this!
Holmes: As you should be. Let’s start with Alec.
McGee: Young and dumb.
Holmes: Keith?
McGee: Ripe.
Holmes: Wes?
McGee: Gosh…driven.
Holmes: Josh?
McGee: Ballerina.
Holmes: Reed?
McGee: Flexible.
Holmes: Jeremy?
McGee: Secretive.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
McGee: Blank…follower.
Holmes: Jon?
McGee: Genuine.
Holmes: Missy?
McGee: Sweet…problematic.
Holmes: Natalie?
McGee: Boss.
Holmes: Baylor?
McGee: Eh…young.
Holmes: Let’s finish off with Johnny Rock.
McGee: (Laughs) Loud and sexy.
Holmes: Do you call him Johnny Rock?
McGee: No. I call him Boo Thang, I call him Baby, I call him Sweetheart.
Holmes: Aww…
McGee: Aww… my mom does, actually. He gets worn out about people using his last name, but he has a nickname for her and she calls him that.

Holmes: What did you learn during your time on “Survivor”?
McGee: We’re so caught up in routines, so being in that situation opened up the way I see life and the way I see myself. Everyday…I know it’s a cliché…but it makes all things seem small. I feel such a strength in myself knowing how far I pushed myself. It’s done nothing but good things for me.

Holmes: I feel it’s a shame you left when you did. It seemed like you would have had some options once the game progressed a little.
McGee: I know.
Holmes: But, that’s easy to say from the comfort of my couch.
McGee: Well yeah, I think if I had another opportunity and it wasn’t a Blood vs. Water, I’d go at it differently and just play the (expletive deleted) out of it.
Holmes: So, given the opportunity you’d play again?
McGee: Believe it or not, yes.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Survivor’ Castaway John Rocker: ‘I Chose to Look Like an (Expletive)’

October 9, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6034085997813089112″ program_type=”series”]

No new player has ever entered the game of “Survivor” with more baggage than former MLB reliever John Rocker. His controversial “Sports Illustrated” article came into play last night during the immunity challenge and resulted in insults being lobbed back and forth between the two tribes.

Is that why John was sent home? Doubtful, Rocker’s alliance didn’t trust him due to his side deal with Jeremy and the fact that he didn’t immediately reveal that he had found an idol.

I spoke with “Johnny Rock” the morning after his elimination and had a chance to ask him about the challenge explosion, his relationship with the other players, and the article that changed his life…

Gordon Holmes: I hate to start this interview on an awkward note, but in the interest of full disclosure, I have to let you know that I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan.
John Rocker: Ooo…I was not told that. I told CBS to screen these guys.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Rocker: Nothing against the Cards. I don’t know how you did it, but you beat the Dodgers.
Holmes: I don’t know how they did it either.
Rocker: I was very impressed. I don’t know how you beat Kershaw twice.
Holmes: And they’re giving Kershaw all this grief over losing, but he was awesome through six innings each time.
Rocker: That’s October baseball. They just waited him out. I was very impressed with the way you guys played that series.
Holmes: I like how you say “you guys” like I had something to do with it.
Rocker: (Laughs) In spirit maybe.

Holmes: Alright, what the heck happened during that challenge last night? I know you were doing the “Caddyshack” thing to try to distract them. Is that what set Natalie off?
Rocker: I guess just being me, my presence. What’s so funny is I’ve actually become pretty good friends with Natalie and Nadiya and Jeremy and Val. We were all on a Skype phone call last night. I was watching them watch the program. And Natalie’s yelling at me on the TV and I said, “Really, Nat?! Really?! Look at yourself! Are you proud of yourself?”
Holmes: But, it had to start on Exile with the deal that didn’t work out with Jeremy.
Rocker: Jeremy and I made a pact. And when I couldn’t protect Val because she was so adamant that she had two idols. And I told her, “If you’ve got an idol, play it.” And I was waiting for her to tell me if she had them and she insisted that she did. When Jeremy saw Val gone it got his ire up and he spread a lot of vitriol through his tribe about me.  He probably told Natalie that I was the reason his sister was voted out. So, prior to that challenge, my name was mud in that tribe. And I know from the previous challenge, the water challenge, every time they would win, Natalie would leave the challenge field, flicking us birds, (expletive deleted) us, (expletive deleted) us.
Holmes: Wow.
Rocker: Just wearing us out, dude. They had all the wooden whatever stuff you had to crawl under. She was crawling on top of that stuff, looking at us, flicking us off saying “(expletive deleted), you guys. (expletive deleted), you (expletive deleted).” And when she got to her mat she started singling me out. And this (expletive deleted) talking went on for about a minute, minute and a half. So, I wanted to tell her, “If you were a man I’d want to knock your teeth out.” I wanted to get that little (expletive deleted) dig in there. And it may be an inappropriate comment.
Holmes: Maybe.
Rocker: Obviously I was never going to punch a woman. But to make that comment? That literally came after one-to-two minutes of verbal assault from her. And once she got to her mat, Jeremy started chirping, then Jon. At some point enough is enough. You can either sit there and look like an (expletive deleted) because people are talking (expletive deleted) and you’re not defending yourself. Or, fire back and look like an (expletive deleted). So, I chose to look like an (expletive deleted).

Holmes: (Laughs) Were you worried at all that by firing back you were going to put Julie in a bad position?
Rocker: When I was made aware of the fact that I wasn’t going to fly under the radar like I was hoping, I knew that was going to put a target on Julie’s back right then and there. And then getting voted out, I think that took the target off of her back. So, I wasn’t too disappointed to get voted out.
Holmes: What do you think of Julie so far? I think she’s playing a really solid game.
Rocker: She is. I was very proud of her. When we were talking to Lynne Spillman, she’s thinking she’s got the hair extensions and the perfect manicure and the fake boobs and yada yada, and she thinks she’s going to get eaten alive out there. Julie says, “Trust me, I’m not.” She’s a good old country girl, she grew up in Augusta, Georgia. She spent a lot of time out on the farm, riding four wheelers and getting beat up by his brothers. I  think she held her own quite nicely and tolerated it about as well as you’d expect a female to tolerate it. I was very proud of her.
Holmes: Does she still give you grief for losing to her in that challenge?
Rocker: A little bit, yeah.

Holmes: Your alliance turned on you. It seems like a lot of it had to do with the moves you were making that Josh didn’t know about. You shared info with Val. You’d found an idol.
Rocker: I thought the other players, Baylor, Jaclyn, played kind of a funky game. If someone has an idol you try to align with them or find a way to convince them that you’re not going to vote for them and get them to sit on their idol. It’s risky. But, my tribe, if they found out you had an idol, they were gunning for you. Josh was a real student of the game. When everyone was saying, we need to get rid of Val. Josh was more of a voice of reason. He came to me separately and was like, “Maybe we should take Val and her idols and align with her.” Dale, Baylor, and Jaclyn had negativity toward anyone with an idol. When I told Josh I’d found an idol, I told him I could let him use my idol. But, Josh wouldn’t extend the hand and keep me a part of the alliance…I didn’t see that one coming.
Holmes: Where’s the idol now?
Rocker: Production took it.
Holmes: They’d have to wrestle it out of my hands.
Rocker: They said they’d give it back to me after the finale.

Holmes: Alright, word association time.
Rocker: Oh no.
Holmes: Oh yeah. Let’s start with Josh.
Rocker: Ripped.
Holmes: Wes?
Rocker: Redneck.
Holmes: Dale?
Rocker: Mouthy.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
Rocker: Blonde.
Holmes: Baylor?
Rocker: Ugh…that’s my word…ugh.
Holmes: Alec?
Rocker: Spicoli.
Holmes: Jeremy?
Rocker: Good dude.
Holmes: Natalie?
Rocker: Loud.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Julie.
Rocker: My sweetie.

Holmes: People have an immediate opinion of you due to the Sports Illustrated article and other things. How have you approached that over the years?
Rocker: There’s no good answer for that. It’s like “When did you stop beating your wife?” They think you’re a wife beater. People ask me if I’ve changed.  That implies that that article is correct. I haven’t changed from 15 years ago, I was never like that to begin with. If you look at Jeff Pearlman and his writing style, that’s just what he does to everyone he writes about. He disparaged Walter Payton in an entire book. How do you disparage Walter Payton? Go out and find anyone who knows me. It could be guys I went to high school with, guys I played in the minors with, the majors with, associates. Find anyone out there who can say anything bad about me who knows me? That’s exactly what happened when this article came out. They interviewed people I went to high school with, my teachers, my parents’ friends, my friends…they left no stone unturned trying to get some kind of parallel story to go along with Jeff Pearlman’s story and nobody got anything. They got the opposite. So, when people ask if I’ve changed, I’ve never had to change. I got a hatchet job by Jeff Pearlman.
Holmes: What do you want people to know about you?
Rocker: That I’m not any of those things in that article. You see the way I was talked about by the other tribe and some of my own tribe mates prior to knowing me. Now they all know me.
Holmes: During last week’s interview with Val, she did say you were a nice guy.
Rocker: I was in New York about a month ago with Jeremy and Val and Natalie and Nadiya. We went out for dinner, had some drinks. Last night I had a Skype call with them. I was on the phone with Jeremy. Now these people know me and Jeremy and Natalie have both apologized, “Sorry, you’re actually a good guy. Sorry for the way we talked (expletive deleted) about you.” Both of them apologized for calling me, “Homophobe! Bigot! (Expletive deleted)!” We’re already planning a trip for the finale. We’ll come out to LA a few days early and hang out together. One article, can’t encompass the entirety of a person’s being. The media has allowed that to happen. That’s not me. It never has been and it never will be.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

Official ‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ Pre-Season Rankings

September 24, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6034085997813089112″ program_type=”series”]

The first “Blood vs. Water” season was like nothing we’d ever seen before. The crazytown rules made for some impossible to anticipate results. Who ever thought they’d vote out someone in an attempt to make their loved one take their place at Redemption Island? Who ever thought having a loved one would be a liability? Who ever thought someone would quit in an effort to stop their loved one from taking their place?

The mind boggles.

And here we are, preparing for a second “Blood vs. Water” that has no Redemption Island, no returnees, and more men than women due to a last-second medical evacuation.

Fortunately, as last season’s 17th place finisher Spencer Bledsoe and 18th place finisher Tony Vlachos will tell you, I don’t have a high standards to live up to with my pre-game rankings. So by all means, take the following statements with a truckload of salt.

Note: Betting on XFINITY “Survivor” Pre-Game Rankings is frowned upon.

  1. Jeremy – Firemen are the new beauty queens! We’ve got a team on “The Amazing Race” and three (count ’em!) on this season. Hook and ladder alliance for the win! Seriously though, Jeremy gets my pre-season jinx this year because he’s old enough to hang with the oldies, but young enough to get along with the kids. He’s deceptively athletic. He’s laid back. And best of all, I loved the way he deferred to his wife during his TVGN interview. That’s the kind of person who can blend and go far.
  2. Val – The Foxboro duo are probably the most formidable Blood vs. Water pair ever. They both bring a ton of good qualities to the table. Val’s fit, she’s smart, and she’s got that special cop sixth-sense. She can read when people are lying. And, as a mother, she has to be patient. I expect good things from these two.
 3. Reed – Listen up, Reed. I saw “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” on Broadway. I saw the Green Goblin and the rest of the Sinister Six sing “A Freak Like Me Needs Company.” I’m not happy about it. But, I’m not going to hold it against you. I know you just swung over my head, you didn’t produce, write, or direct it. So, why are you so high on this list? Well, as an aerialist, I’m thinking you perform well under pressure. You clearly know a thing or two about the game. And, I think your tribe is going to do well in challenges before the swap. You should have tons of options.
  4. Kelley – Oh man, if you were to feed every “Survivor” bio since the beginning of time into a machine and had it pick out the perfect average one, it’d probably be Kelley’s. Pretty, blonde, athletic, in her 20s, hates lazy people, thinks she’s the next Parvati, claims to be “competitive” on three separate occasions. Don’t get me wrong, she not a bad pick to win this thing because she doesn’t have any obvious flaws, but…zzz…
 5. Missy – I actually like Missy a lot. She’s going to be on a young tribe, but she deals with young people all the time. If she can turn off the coach part of her personality and relate to her tribemates as a peer, she should do well.   6. Dale – So, Dale is a hard worker who spends most of his time by himself. Sounds like a “Survivor” social disaster waiting to happen, right? Not necessarily. He isn’t going to be leading any alliances, but if he can keep his head down and get in with some movers and shakers he could be sticking around to the end.
 7. Nadiya – Were Jet and Cord busy? Were the Globetrotters on tour? I kid, I kid…the Twinnies are fine, they just wouldn’t have been my “Amazing Race” first choices. OK, one of the things I don’t think anyone is talking about is the fact that their “Race” experience could serve them well in Nicaragua. They won’t be stressed out or overwhelmed by all the cameras surrounding them at all times. They’ll be used it. And, they’ve been competing in stressful competitions for years.
  8. Natalie – I just thought of this; what if both of the Twinnies make it to the merge and then pull off some challenge switcharoo stuff like the twins in the movie “Moving”? What if they end up on opposite alliances, and then pretend to be the other twin to get intel? That’s it. Next time, cast an all-twin “Blood vs. Water.”

 9. Julie – Johnny Rocker is a big dude with some big opinions. I’d imagine the woman who spends her life with him must know a thing or two about dealing with egos. I think a lot of people are going to underestimate Julie, and that makes her dangerous.
  10. WesOh…where do I start with you? You say you’re going to have women under your wing like Russell Hantz. Well, there’s only one Russell Hantz, kid, and it ain’t you. You seem like a nice guy and Russell’s strategy depended on him being a not-nice guy. Russell’s a cult leader. That requires a certain level of gravitas. You’re a little young for that. Your best bet is to play second fiddle to someone with a little more charisma.
 11. Josh – Hmmm…Reed doesn’t think Josh has a very good poker face. That might not be a big deal, seeing as they spend so much time together and Reed has had time to learn the intricacies of Josh’s face. But it is troublesome. He’s also on a tribe with John Rocker and some other people who don’t strike me as Broadway fans. That’s equally troublesome.
 12. Jon – Jon seems like a nice, athletic guy who will do well in challenges and make some friends and probably be the first one gone after the merge. Especially if Jaclyn starts pushing the “We need to win so we can start a family” narrative. Nobody wants to stand up against that at the final Tribal, so they’ll be gone long before then.
  13. Alec – Just having Drew around is going to be good for Alec’s game. Alec seems like a less-threatening, less-arrogant version of his brother. So, as long as Drew is around, Alec should be safe. I don’t think he has the killer instinct to take this whole thing, but this Mini Me should do better than his Doctor Evil.
 14. John – It’s easy to write John Rocker off because of his controversial comments. But honestly, most of the players will probably judge him based on how he presents himself in the game. Now, if he hasn’t grown a filter over the years and spews the same garbage, he might not last long. But, like him or not, the guy’s a world-class athlete and has experience performing in stressful situations. Does that mean I think he has a chance of winning? Well…honestly, I don’t. He doesn’t seem that psyched about being on the show. He doesn’t seem to give himself much of a chance of winning. So, why should I?
  15. Drew – I can’t quite figure out who’s going to lead Drew’s tribe. I see Keith on the outs early, Reed, Kelley, Jeremy, and Missy are too smart to be the leader, Jon and Natalie are a little too goofy, and Julie is going to overcompensate for being John Rocker’s girlfriend by being super nice. So does Drew, the man who can “pull off the unthinkable with ease” step up? And does it drive everyone crazy? I’m thinking yes.
 16. Baylor – I think the only young person I’ve ever picked to do well in this game was Sophie Clarke, and that’s because she’s an old soul. I think Baylor clearly has the athletic chops to do well in this game, but I don’t think she has enough life experience to top her older competition in the social game.
  17. Jaclyn – The “Survivor” contestant Jaclyn thinks she’s most like is Jefra from “Survivor: Cagayan.” Let that one sink in for a minute. There have been over 400 Survivors to play this game, and she chose the one who had next to no impact on her season. That’s like saying the holiday you’re most like is Arbor Day. Or the Peanuts character you’re most like is Frieda. Or the pizza topping you’re most like is extra sauce.
 18. Keith – Lookit that mustache! That’s a beaut! Not since the days of Rick Nelson have we seen something like that saunter into the game. Seriously though, I like him a lot more than I like Wes, but I worry that he’s only here because his son wanted to be on “Survivor.” Add that to the fact that’s he’s the oldest member of a young tribe and you have a recipe for an early dismissal. Of course, with my track record, Keith will probably win the whole thing.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

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