Posts Tagged ‘keith tollefson’

‘Amazing Race’s’ Keith & Whitney – Shelley & Nici ‘Were Being Kind of Nasty’

October 29, 2014

'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

Note: XFINITY is the perfect pit stop for “Amazing Race” fans. Every Monday after an elimination leg, we’ll have an interview with the team that was sent packing and the full episode. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for immediate updates.

[xfinity-record-button id=”4975744712465744112″ program_type=”series”]

In “Survivor: South Pacific,” John Cochran felt like he was being bullied by the Savaii tribe. When given the chance he jumped ship and eventually sent Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan packing.

But, don’t feel bad for the duo, they found something much better than a million dollars…they found love.

Quick Note: I hate myself for writing that last line.

Anywho, fast forward a few years later to “The Amazing Race” where Shelley and Nici thought they were being bullied by “Team Nashville.” When given the chance, the mother/daughter team used their U-Turn and you know the rest.

I spoke to Keith and Whitney in the days following their elimination and asked about their run-in with Shelley and Nici, their unique style of communication, and when we’ll see them on “Big Brother”…

Gordon Holmes: I chatted with you two individually on a beach in Samoa before you two fell in love.
Whitney Duncan: Yes you did!
Holmes: So, it’s always kind of cool to have that picture of you two. These two are on this beach in the middle of nowhere and they can’t talk. But they’re going to fall for each other.
Duncan: Aww… That’s awesome.
Tollefson: You were there before it all happened.
Holmes: Not that I had anything to do with it.

Holmes: You delayed your wedding to run this crazy race. Has there been a wedding since then?
Duncan: Yes, we got married when we got back from filming in July. So, we’ve been married three months now.
Tollefson: Marital bliss.
Duncan: We just got a puppy too!
Holmes: What kind?
Duncan: We rescued him…he’s like a shar-pei…kind of a…
Tollefson: He’s a mutt.
Duncan: Yeah, he’s a mutt. But he’s a cute mutt.

Holmes: What exactly happened with Shelley and Nici after that challenge?
Tollefson: Everyone was trying to find the tannery where he had to bring our hides. Everyone is bringing their bikes back. The entire group came to the mat at the same time. When Nici got there, she basically ran right to her mother. I ran right to the guy that had the next clue. As soon as I get there, I’m about to hand her the receipt and she starts screaming and yelling at me. “We were here first!” And she grabs my shoulder and tries to pull me off the mat. And basically, I overreacted. I should have held my composure better. When she started pulling me off the mat, I yelled at her,“You’re not allowed to touch me. Don’t touch me.” And then she did it again. She was screaming in my face.
Duncan: She was screaming that his partner wasn’t there. I was carrying the bags. Basically, the guy wasn’t ready to hand over the clues yet. I wasn’t standing next to Keith. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t. I got there within a couple of seconds. I was standing behind them, they wouldn’t let me through. But the funny thing about the whole dang thing is there was no lead. Everyone was there. We literally got our clue within one second of each other.
Tollefson: We didn’t get an advantage by doing that. We made an enemy and whoever got to the U-Turn first was going to get the other team. Which is exactly what happened.  I would’ve thought; let’s U-Turn the dentists, they have a save and we have to get that out of play.
Holmes: Leave it to the “Survivor” guy to try to flush the idol.
Duncan: (Laughs) Exactly, right?

Holmes: If you’d beaten Shelley and Nici to the U-Turn, would you have U-Turned them?
Duncan: Emotionally I wanted to U-Turn Shelley and Nici. This is an ongoing thing. It isn’t the first time we’d dealt with them. Earlier that day they’d tried to get someone to not let us into the customs line. Shelley was going around saying, “Don’t let them through!” But, they were being kind of nasty. Strategically though, I think it was smarter to U-Turn Misti and Jim. And it wouldn’t have put them out of the game. It’d upset Jim and he’s so intense and scary, but it was very easy to say, “We’re not trying to make an enemy out of you, it was just to get the save out of the game.”
Holmes: As far as your reality TV nemeses go; where do Shelley and Nici rank vs. Cochran?
Duncan: The Cochran thing…it was so long ago. I have nothing against him. I think he made a dumber move than they did. It was a much bigger move in the game. I wouldn’t even call it a move. I don’t know, what do you think Keith?

Holmes: Did we lose Keith?
Duncan: Keith are you still there?
Holmes: I think we’ve lost Keith.
Tollefson: Wait, I’m back.
Holmes: We were talking about you when you were gone.
Tollefson: (Laughs)
Duncan: I knew something was wrong, I thought, “He’s letting me talk for way too long.” (Laughs)
Holmes: Well, that kind of leads into one of the things I wanted to ask you about. We didn’t get a great feel for your personalities on “Survivor.” But on “The Amazing Race” you were digging into each other and going at it. What was your family’s reaction to getting to see more of that side of your relationship?
Tollefson: They know us. It’s not us fighting. It’s just how we react to each other. We’re both extremely competitive. So, instead of being nice to each other, we’re just saying “What do you want to do? Tell me now, it has to be ‘yes’ or ‘no’.” It’s not as nice as Bethany and Adam where they’re like, “What do you want to do baby?”
Duncan: “I don’t know, honey! What do you want to do?”
Tollefson: (Laughs) It’s not a bad thing, we’re just a little more intense. I have a lot of respect for Whitney’s opinion, and I need it when I ask for it. I can’t be wishy-washy.
Duncan: He analyzes a lot more than I do. I’ll just make a decision.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Kym and Alli.
Duncan: Competitors.
Tollefson: They’re staying away from the pack. They’re being smart.
Holmes: Adam and Bethany?
Duncan: Sweet. Gnarly…in a good way.
Tollefson: They’re really nice. Nothing bothers them.
Duncan: In real life we would hang with Adam and Bethany.
Holmes: Tim and Te Jay?
Duncan: They’re funny. They’re so funny.
Tollefson: Unique.
Holmes: Shelley and Nici?
Tollefson: Miserable.
Holmes: Brooke and Robbie?
Duncan: Hilarious.
Tollefson: Entertaining.
Holmes: Misti and Jim?
Duncan: Intense for Jim, sweet for Misti.
Tollefson: Jim controlled the situation…arrogant.
Duncan: He is kind of arrogant.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Amy and Maya.
Duncan: They’re really nice girls. Down to Earth.
Tollefson: They’re the girls next door.

Holmes: So, when are we going to see you two on “Big Brother”?
Duncan: (Laughs) Never.
Tollefson: I don’t understand the game well enough. It seems complicated. And I’ve had enough problems with two reality shows already.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Jim Rice and Keith Tollefson

November 17, 2011

If John Cochran’s goal was to become a memorable member of “Survivor” lore, then he has succeeded. His flip to the Upolu tribe has left the former members of Savaii in shambles. Ozzy Lusth is gorging himself at Redemption Island, Whitney Duncan and Dawn Meehan are about to pay him a visit, and Keith Tollefson and Jim Rice are now on the exit interview circuit.

But while Cochran’s move was memorable, the question remains; was it smart?

I spoke with two of his victims the morning after their eviction from the game to get their take on the long-term impact of Cochran’s deception, Coach’s cult, and the Holmes pre-game jinx…

Gordon Holmes: Alright, I’m not psyched about interviewing you two at the same time. I don’t want to be bullied.
Jim Rice:
(Laughs) Keith’s the bully, not me!
Keith Tollefson: Yup, that’s right. Apparently that’s what happened.
Holmes: Now Keith, I’ve watched a lot of “Survivor” in my day and I know that if they have video of bad behavior, they’re going to show it. I feel like I didn’t see a lot of footage of you actually being a bully. Were we misled a little bit?
Tollefson: Yes. That’s what’s so disappointing is quite a few times I stood up for (Cochran.) And just like everyone, I’ve been bullied at times in my life. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small you’re going to get bullied. And I actually thought that he was a friend of mine. I respected the fact that he was such a fan of the game, and I’d said, “Hey man, I want to play the game with you and we can go to the end.” I liked him, I thought we had some fun out there.
Rice: Gordon, a big thing about that if you really pay attention to what made it to the air is the bullying storyline didn’t even come from Cochran. Coach is the one who made the assumption by looking at Cochran. Cochran just went along with it. Coach was the one that said, “Hey, you look like you’ve been bullied. I’ve been bullied before too.” And Cochran just rolled with it. I’ll echo everything Keith just said; we were all friends. Cochran was easily my closest friend.

Holmes: That’s actually an excellent point you make there, Jim. Speaking of Coach, what was your impression of him in the brief time you spent together?
My impression of Coach was…Jim had the best comment on this when he said, “Everyone is drinking Coach’s Kool-Aid.” It’s a little cult. We were smart enough to get out every player that Ozzy wanted to keep because we knew that Ozzy was our biggest threat. We had a collective agreement that we vote Ozzy out before we vote each other out. With the other tribe, Coach had this little cult that honestly made me sick. I couldn’t even watch it.
Rice: I think Coach is a brilliant lunatic.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Rice: I think that’s the best way to put it. Man, he had all of those people convinced that if they did anything wrong or immoral that they’d have to live with those scars for the rest of their lives. He had his tribe running scared.
Holmes: Wait, the rest of their lives? How is that even possible?
Rice: He was always giving examples like, “I lied back in whatever stupid season I was on.”
Holmes: Whoa…stupid season? “Tocantins” was awesome.
Rice: Coach loves talking about himself and it got annoying after a while and he was always talking about things he’d done wrong in the previous seasons and how it’d stayed with him and how it scarred him for life.
Tollefson: He was using fear to keep a hold of the tribe. He’d say, “There are things I have done in the past that affected me out of the game and I don’t want you guys to make the same mistakes.” And, he somehow has them all believing that all six of them will go to the end and all six of them will win the million dollars.
Rice: Yeah, Coach’s master move was convincing everybody that all six of them are going to win. It’s like they’ve never watched the show.

Holmes: Having seen what you’ve seen in the episodes, don’t you agree that the first person to turn on this alliance is going to be subject to a Brandon Hantz freak out?
Coach has his pitbull.
Tollefson: That was the one thing about trying to make a move is you can’t include Brandon. He’s already out of the equation because he’s a loose cannon and he won’t go against the family and  Coach has him hard-wired.

Holmes: What would the plan have been if Cochran hadn’t flipped and you’d have been able to get a numbers advantage on Upolu?
We would’ve done what they did. We would have picked them off one-by-one and when it got down to seven or eight we would have used one of them to pick off Ozzy. Then pick off the last Upolu, then we’re down to five Savaii. And depending on immunities, we all had our own end games from there.

Holmes: Now Jim, I’ve been dying to ask you this; Semhar gets voted off and she says how she couldn’t stand you because you wanted to put the moves on your students.
Holmes: I talk to Elyse and she doesn’t like how you flirted with all of your students. And I’m thinking, “Jim doesn’t have any students.”
Rice: (Laughs)
Holmes: So please enlighten me on the many intricate details you’ve cooked up about your fake persona.
Rice: Here’s the thing, I have no problem telling people what I do for a living. I’m proud of what I do for a living. But I was playing this game before I ever got on the island. Because, who are you going to give a million dollars to at the end of this game? A mother with six adopted children or a marijuana dealer? I played for the jury. I didn’t think I’d get voted off for what I did, but I knew I wouldn’t win the million dollars based on what I did. There was no upside for me to tell. Unless there were nine marijuana smokers on the jury.
Holmes: Well, you never know.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. Let’s start with Ozzy.
Tollefson: Arrogant.
Holmes: Coach?
Rice: Brilliantlunatic…all one word.
Tollefson: Manipulator.
Holmes: Elyse?
Tollefson: Vixen.
Rice: Vixen! Nice! I’ll go with politically correct.
Holmes: Here’s one…Whitney?
Rice: (Laughs)
Tollefson: (Laughs)
Rice: I’ll say sassy.
Tollefson: I would say beautiful. (Laughs)
Rice: (Laughs)
Holmes: By the way, there are no wrong answers here. But that was a good, safe answer. Let’s try Dawn.
Rice: Wonderful.
Tollefson: I love her, but crazy.
Holmes: Papa Bear?
Rice: Paranoid.
Tollefson: He’s a big teddy bear.
Holmes: Cochran?
Tollefson: Coward.
Rice: I’ll go with scared. I think he’s a scared person in every aspect of his life.

Holmes: The Cochran defection was obviously the big turning point in both of your games. Does something like that stick with you?
I made the assumption that everyone was playing to win. Where Cochran was just playing for another’s day worth of facetime. The way I felt at the time, if we drew rocks there was only a 14 percent chance of going home. If you flip on your tribe at that time there’s a 100% chance of losing the game because there’s a jury of nine and five of those people are going to be people you screwed over. There’s no way to win the game. If he’d have said, “Ozzy, you’re an idiot, I’m keeping the idol,” that’s a ballsy move. There was nothing strategic, it was a move made out of cowardice.
Tollefson: He went to them and tried to play a double agent, and he was very excited about it. Coach called him on his B.S. and Cochran tells him everything. He told them who we were giving to the idol to. I’d respect it if he’d said he was flipping.

Rice: Oh, and thanks for picking me pre-game. Sorry I (expletive deleted) it up for you.
I feel horrible about that. I absolutely put my jinx on you.
Rice: I think it’s because I’m a Cubs fan and you wanted to jinx me.
Holmes: That’s true. You make fun of the Cardinals and you get put on my (expletive deleted) list immediately.
Rice: (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m sorry, I meant the 2011 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Rice: I know… But, if I play again, don’t pick me.


‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Keith Tollefson

August 22, 2011

Name: Keith Tollefson

Age: 26

Current Residence: Edina, Minnesota

Occupation: Water Treatment Tech

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: So wait, what do you do for a living?
Keith Tollefson:
I’m an environmental field technician. I quantify flow rates for the city of San Diego.
Holmes: So, basically you’re up to your waist in crap every day?
Tollefson: (Laughs) I’m definitely literally in crap every day.
Holmes: Can you apply that to the game of “Survivor”?
Tollefson: Yes, I hate my job, so I’m going to want to win more than anybody else. (Laughs) Cause I don’t want to go back to my job.

Holmes: It says in your bio that your mom raised you to be a gentleman. Gentlemen don’t have a great track record on “Survivor.”
I’m going to struggle with the fact that I have to be honest because my mom will be watching the show. She will be judging me, my family will be judging me. But they all do know that it is a game and you may not be who you are in the game who you are in real life. You’re going to lie. You may change facts about you. But in the past there have been players who’ve gotten by without lying. Fabio (Judson Birza) is an example of that.

Holmes: It also says that you don’t like people talking behind your back. You may have been cast on the wrong show cause you’re facing 39 days of people talking behind you back.
The thing is, I’m going to know that people are talking behind my back. And if you can decipher that they’re telling lies, that’s going to create good TV because I’m not going to allow somebody to spread lies about me and trying to get me kicked out for something that isn’t true. I’m going to have to watch myself and find people I can trust.

Holmes: You’re a handsome fellow, there are some lovely ladies running around this beach. Do you think flirting will be a part of your arsenal?
Guarantee there will be some flirting going on. I know girls are the best at playing guys for fools. I have it in my head, I know it’s going to happen. They’re going to try to bully me. I’ve been known to play the game a little bit myself, so I think I can use that to my advantage.

Holmes: What are your early thoughts on this season’s cast?
I haven’t talked to any of the cast members, but you see people drinking a lot of soda. People’s luggage, how big their luggage is. How much stuff they’re bringing. What they’re wearing. Can they go to the bathroom outside? Maybe some people have never swam in the ocean before? People are going to struggle. I’ll struggle too, but hopefully I’ll struggle the least.

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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