Posts Tagged ‘redemption island’

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Power Rankings – Round 2

September 27, 2011

The Rules: Each week our two combatants 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 Sophie is voted out this week, Andrea will receive 4 points and Gordon will receive 3 points. Also, each player will pick who they think will win at Redemption Island. If they choose correctly they will receive a bonus point. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: South Pacific” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Gordon nailed his first pick, placing Christine in spot seventeen, while Andrea had her in spot fifteen.

Wanna Play? Tag Gordon (@gordonholmes) in your own Twitter Power Rankings. If you do better than Gordon does, (which is highly likely) he’ll give you credit in his weekly recap.

teamboehlke . TEAMHOLMES
Current Score: 15

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

. Current Score: 17

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

albert . albert
#1 Albert: Albert is safe and nestled in Coach’s C.R.A.B.S.  (Alliance of Coach, Rick, Albert, Brandon and Sophie).  I predict he is safe until merge and therefore I can continue to swoon over him for weeks to come. . #1 Albert: The other coach keeps the top spot this week for three reasons. First, he’s Upolu’s strongest challenge competitor. Second, he’s in the dominant alliance. And third, he came to the primary Coach’s defense at Tribal Council. Albert isn’t going anywhere.
kEITH . kEITH
#2 Keith: Keith is another hottie…I mean Keith is safe this week. They need this young strapping lad for challenges and he is also a part of the cool kids’ alliance over on Savaii. . #2 Keith: Keith and Albert are in the same boat in my book, except replace the Amazon-trekking, symphony-conducting, soccer coach with a marijuana-dispensary-owning, business-creating, poker player. (Actually, those two would make quite a sitcom pairing.) Anywho, Keith’s super safe until mergeville.
COACH . SOPHIE
#3 Coach: Let’s face it, Coach has his C.R.A.B.S. intact. He also has a little something…something going on with Edna. I could be taking a risk by putting him so high, but I honestly think Coach has got a lock-down on his tribe. . #3 Sophie: Didn’t see much from Sophie last week. I’m sure she was off somewhere being brilliant. Surprised me a bit that she got a vote at tribal though, that makes me think that she’s more subtle with her alliances than others are. Genius.
SOPHIE . JIM
#4 Sophie: This strong, smart member of the C.R.A.B.S. is too valuable to be going anywhere soon. Plus, watch her insider clips, she is doing some alliance building of her own that hasn’t made the show yet. . #4 Jim: I’m not sure if I’m on board with Jim’s “Three Plus Two” strategy. (Although, I’m always on board with players giving their alliances and strategies cool names.)  Does he hope to get to the final five then cut Keith and Ozzy? Those guys are immunity monsters. Does he want to go to the final three with Keith and Ozzy? Why’d he win a jury vote? Seems messy to me.
ELYSE . RICK
#5 Elyse: In an extra clip, Ozzy says Elyse is doing very well in the challenges. She is also a part of the savvy Savaii cool kids’ alliance. But Elyse has something extra going on—Native American ancestors. If great-great grandfathers can keep Phillip Sheppard safe on “Survivor,” I have faith they can do the same for Elyse. Go find your feather, girl! . #5 Rick: I have a theory that it’s pretty hard to be the first person voted out of “Survivor.” If you can contribute around camp and in challenges you should be safe for a bit as long as you keep your mouth shut. Rick is a perfect example of this.
WHITNEY . WHITNEY
#6 Whitney: She isn’t doing anything wrong. According to the edit she also isn’t doing anything besides laundry, but I think we will be seeing more of Whitney soon. . #6 Whitney: Oh Whitney…what can I say about Whitney? Um…I hope the inevitable Chase Rice/Whitney Duncan country cover of “Islands in the Stream” is nice. There, I’ve probably written more words about her in this blurb then she’s said on the show so far.
RICK . ELYSE
#7 Rick: Rancher Rick was pretty invisible last week, but he is in the majority alliance on his tribe and isn’t causing any waves. Yep, that’s about it. Cricket. . #7 Elyse: See Whitney.
JIM . COACH
#8 Jim: Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I sense a power struggle brewing between Jim and Ozzy. Like, real soon. Call me loca, but I think Jim is going to come out on top. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself, bro—you ARE a cool kid! Embrace it! . #8 Coach: I dropped Coach a bit this week because I’m worried about the leadership role he seems to be taking on at Upolu beach. I hope that prominence doesn’t make it too easy to pull off that “Vote All Stars Off After the Merge” strategy.
EDNA . EDNA
#9 Edna: Edna may not be in the C.R.A.B.S. but she has a secret alliance with Coach and is smart enough to know she needs to use him and vice versa. Coach could always switch her with somebody from the main alliance down the road. . #9 Edna: Oof…you’re lucky Coach likes you, because that obvious lie you told Stacey and Christine would land you in serious trouble on a more strategically competitive tribe.
BRANDON . OZZY
#10. Brandon: This kid is all over the place. Hiding his tattoo. Selectively showing his tattoo. Being tempted. Making confessions at Tribal Council. Did you see Coach’s eye roll when Brandon spilled that he was the one gunning for Mikayla at Tribal Council? His wish-washy good vs. evil stint might be enough for his tribe mates to want him gone. . #10 Ozzy: You Hantzed an immunity idol and you’re in the dominant alliance. Good times for Ozzy, right? Maybe not. Ozzy was in a similar dominant position in Micronesia and was sent home. Here’s hoping he’s learned from his mistakes.
OZZY . BRANDON
#11. Ozzy: I do think Ozzy will be safe this week. He will probably be safe next week. I just have this daunting feeling that Ozzy won’t be lasting on Savaii forever with Jim in the picture so I am slowly pulling him farther down on my list. Storm’s a coming! . #11 Brandon: Wow. Just wow. You gave Coach a nice “I’m not a liar like Russell” speech then followed it up by lying. You remind me of Dreamz from “Survivor: Fiji” in that your erratic behavior makes you a very dangerous alliance partner.
COCHRAN . Mikayla
#12. Cochran: It is probably in his (and his mother’s) best interest that Cochran doesn’t go to Redemption Island to fare for himself. I hope the new Cochran finds a way to stay safe, channel his inner genie and get some sort of awesome alliance going. Ozzy and Keith recognized that Cochran may be good at puzzles, so this could help him stick around a bit longer. . #12 Mikayla: You’re low on the list, but not because of anything you’ve actually done. Hopefully Coach and crew can talk Brandon out of his bizarre vendetta against you. Or, maybe they can send Brandon back to Hantzylvania and bring you on board.
Mikayla . DAWN
#13 Mikayla: I definitely had a mini-freak out last week when I had Mikayla so high and watched her name be tossed around. For some reason, Brandon wants Miki GONE, and unless she stops fishing and ‘wingleing’ around in her panties she may be yet again an underserving target. Maybe she can weave together a burlap sack. Might help. . #13 Dawn: The bottom of the Savaii totem pole was nicely laid out by Jim. The question is; what’s the order? I’m thinking Dawn can find ways to keep herself useful and avoid the chopping block for a while.
DAWN . COCHRAN
#14 Dawn: We didn’t see much of Dawn last week, so I get the sense she is pulling it together. There is an insider clip where Dawn says she isn’t as tight as the others with Ozzy. If Ozzy is the one pulling strings, this mama could be in trouble soon. . #14 Cochran: So, it looks like they took care of last week’s puzzle without you. That can’t be good news. Unless somebody sees you as a vital piece of their strategy, you’re going to be expendable until the merge. You need to find an angle and find it quick.
STACEY . papabear
#15 Stacey: With her friend Christine gone, Stacey has to do work to be spared this week. Although I loved Stacey’s sassy little comments at Tribal Council, I don’t think they helped her get on Coach’s good side. . #15 Papa Bear: OK, you lasted another week, so I held up my end of the bargain and updated the name on your image. That being said, I still think you’re going to be the first person sent packing when Savaii loses immunity.
papabear . STACEY
#16 Papa Bear: I feel that Papa Bear’s days are numbered and it saddens me. If Savaii loses this week they are going to be looking for a way to keep their tribe strong physically and unfortunately Papa Bear is low on the totem pole. . #16 Stacey: It’s probably not fair that you’re going to pay for Christine’s missteps, but here we are. For your sake, I hope Christine shared that immunity idol clue with you.
CHRISTINE . CHRISTINE
Redemption Island Pick – Christine: I think Christine has a bit more feistiness left in her, whereas the poet Semhar may be calling it quits. I’m not even sure if Semhar will wake up. That’s the first step. . Redemption Island Pick – Christine: When two competitors are evenly matched physically, I’ll go with the player who wants it more. Christine definitely wants it more.

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Recap: Liar, Liar, Hantz on Fire

September 21, 2011

Note: Bad news, we’re flying without a DVR tonight. So, get ready for a quick and dirty recap.

Last Week: Coach found CRABS* on the beach, Cochran gave a long-winded speech, and Semhar found words that rhyme with “Don’t vote me off” to be well out of reach.

*CRABS is the nickname of Coach’s new alliance (Coach, Rick, Albert, Brandon, and Sophie). Full credit for this nickname goes to “Survivor” Power Rankings competitor Andrea Boehlke.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Savaii Tribe (wearing red)
Cochran – 24, Harvard Law Student
Dawn – 41, English Professor
Elyse – 27, Dance Team Manager
Jim – 35, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner
Keith – 26, Water Treatment Tech
Mark – 48, Retired NYPD Detective
Ozzy – 30, Slayer of Challenges
Whitney – 27, Country Music Singer

The Upolu Tribe (wearing blue)
Albert – 26, Baseball/Dating Coach
Brandon – 19, Oil Tanker Crewman
Christine – 39, Teacher
Coach – 39, Slayer of Dragons
Edna – 35, Anesthesiologist
Mikayla – 22, Lingerie Football Player
Rick – 51, Rancher
Sophie – 22, Medical Student
Stacey – 44, Mortician

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing plenty of time to work on poetry)
Semhar – 24, Spoken Word Artist

We kick this party off with Semhar arriving at Redemption Island. She feels abandoned by her tribe. Maybe if she’d tried a little Semharder? (Oof…sorry about that.)

Semhar admits to having abandonment issues and even busts out a few stanzas of some of her spoken-word jams. Poor kid, it’s not often you get dumped by five dudes in one night.

Back at Savaii, Cochran admits that his Tribal freakout probably wasn’t good for his game. He promises to turn on the cool. I love me some Cochran, but I’m not sure his faucet turns that way.

That night, Ozzy tells Keith that he hopes they can team up with Jim. Cue the power struggle. No way Jim wants to pair with challenge monsters. Keith and Ozzy also hope Cochran can step up in the challenge puzzles. That’s not great news for Cochran as he told me he wasn’t much of a puzzle-doer during our pre-game interview.

Over at Upolu, Edna lets Coach know what Stacey and Christine are up to. Side alliance for the Dragon Slayer?

Coach also tells Edna that he’s looking for honest people, but that always comes back to bite him. Coach is playing this really cool lovable loser thing. I’m digging it.

Back at Savaii we catch up with Cochran 2.0 as he’s cutting through coconuts like a level 12 orc cuts through mages. He lets us know that his mother wouldn’t be happy with him using a machete unsupervised, but she’s not there to get him his Lunchables, so she’ll have to deal with it.

Ozzy takes a break to go idol hunting and manages to find it without a clue. What happened to Hantz-proofing these idols? Bury them!

Over at Upolu, we learn that Coach covered up Brandon with a blankey or something during the previous evening.
Brandon feels like a hypocrite lying to someone who’s so generous with his blankies, so he lets the sock-burning cat out of bag and shows Coach his Hantz tattoo.

Coach is understandably freaked out, going so far as to call Russell his number one nemesis. However, he relaxes when he realizes that Brandon had nothing to gain by telling him that.

On Savaii Beach, Elyse asks her ancestors for advice about fishing nets. She’s like a super hot Phillip.

Meanwhile, Keith and Ozzy take Jim on a fishing trip to talk strategy. Apparently Jim has what he calls the “Three Plus Two” Plan which involves the three alpha males taking Elyse and Whitney to the end. Jim thinks he’s the architect of this alliance, but it’s exactly what Keith and Ozzy wanted. I’m thinking Keith is way smarter than he originally let on. Glad to see it.

At Upolatia we see the return of Stalker Hantz. It looks like Mikayla is his number one target right now. He doesn’t give a good reason for not liking her other than that she’s attractive. He calls her “Parvati” because of how seductive she is. Funny thing is, we see no footage of this alleged seduction. I’m thinking if it existed, the “Survivor” producers would be tripping over themselves to show it.

Later, Christine discovers a clue to the hidden immunity idol. Dun dun dun. Clearly time is wasted looking for clues when the idols are poorly hidden.

Immunity Challenge Time: Four players will unwrap ribbons from a pole. This will release a key. Once they have the key they’ll unlock the other players. The released players will then move crates around a course until they can release a large crate. First team to put their big crate on a platform wins immunity, pillows, blankets, a hammock, a mat, and an immunity clue.

Note: Upolu enters eating fruit. Coach claims that the team that eats fruit together wins together. What happened to humble Coach?

Edna will sit out for Upolu.

Cochran, Dawn, Whitney, and Elyse will untangle the ribbons for Savaii, while Stacey, Sophie, Christine, and Mikayla will do the same for Upolu.

Fun Fact: When Probst was describing this, he referred to the players as being, “On the pole.” I may have giggled.

Upolu jumps out to a huge lead as their ladies did a fantastic job unraveling the ribbons. Savaii doesn’t do as well, with Cochran getting tangled up at one point.

Upolu gets to their keys first. Stacey unlocks the players.

Savaii is slightly behind and Dawn takes a while to get keys off of her ribbon. Elyse takes the keys and unlocks her players.

Savaii kills the puzzle portion passing Upolu and winning immunity and reward.

Guess the fruit didn’t help.

Politicking around camp centers around Coach wanting CRABS and Edna to send three votes to
Christine and three votes to Stacey. Brandon, however wants to vote out Mikayla. That of course lead to this exchange…

“Parvati screwed many a man.” – Brandon Hantz
“That’s for sure.” – Coach

I may have giggled again.

Coach and Sophie both think Brandon has some weird issues. Add me to that list too.

Later, Mikayla walks up on a CRABS team meeting, Coach not-so-subtly brushes her off.

Christine and Stacey grill Edna about the CRABS meeting. Edna tells a terrible lie, saying they were thinking of voting out Sophie. Christine quickly points out that Sophie was a part of the meeting.

Wow, it’s a mad scramble at Upolu.

Christine and Stacey approach Brandon to find out what the deal is. He tells them to vote for Mikayla. Then he lies to Coach (kind of), telling him that Christine and Stacey are gunning for Mikayla.

Coach realizes Brandon’s willing to do anything to get what he wants. Hantz me once, shame on you…

Why Brandon Hantz Is Creepy
By Gordon Holmes

OK, here’s my main issue with Brandon. It’s Mikayla’s fault for being attractive, not Brandon’s fault for being tempted by her. That’s just super wrong, right?

The End.

If I were Coach I’d consider booting Brandon in favor of Mikayla and starting a SCRAM alliance.

That night at Tribal Council, Brandon thinks he’s made a good first impression.

Coach thinks his first impression was bad as he lost the first challenge. Coach throws Stacey and Christine under the bus for gunning for Mikayla. They deny it.

Probst is glad Coach is back. Nice for he and I to finally agree on something.

Christine and Stacey want to know where Coach heard that from. He refuses to say. Albert thinks Coach is showing loyalty by not telling them who told him. Go Albert. He and Keith may be dark horses in this mess.

Coach calls Christine out for looking for the idol.

Christine thinks what she said about Coach being disposable on day one may have gotten her in trouble. Can we just call that Pulling a Francesca?

Mikayla asks Christine and Stacey if they were gunning for her. They swear they weren’t.

Then, Brandon’s guilt forces him to come clean that he was the one gunning for Mikayla. He’s like a half-Hantz. He can lie, but only for a little while. It’s like he has a fibbing egg timer.

Somebody with that weird half-conscience has got to be dangerous to align with.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.  Oooooooo…

The Emmy hog tallies and returns and we have one vote for Sophie, one for Edna, one for Christine, one for Stacey, one for Christine, one for Stacey, one for Christine, one for Stacey, and the second person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Christine.

Verdict:
Jeff told me that he would have cast Brandon even if his last name wasn’t Hantz. I thought that was crap. I’m learning now never to doubt J-Pro.

As for this season? Both tribe dynamics are fascinating. Keep ‘em coming!

Who’s Going to Win? Buh…not Semhar.

Power Rankings Update: Welcome to the Terror Dome, Boehlke! Gordon had Christine in spot seventeen, while Andrea had her in spot fifteen. The current score is Team Not-From-Green-Bay Beauty 15, Team Holmes 17.

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

‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Power Rankings: Round 3

March 8, 2011

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Nicaragua” finalist Matthew “Sash” Lenahan and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” loudmouth Gordon Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the two players will earn. For example, if Andrea is voted out this week, Sash will receive 11 points and Gordon will receive 12 points. Also, each player will pick who they think will win at Redemption Island. If they choose correctly they will receive a bonus point. At the end of the season, the person  with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Redemption Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Both Sash and Gordon earned the Redemption Island bonus point by picking Matt, while Gordon had Russell in spot 14 and Sash had him in spot 9. Sash still leads by a score of 23 to 20.

TEAM SASH

Current Score: 23

.

TEAM GORDON

Current Score: 20

david . david
#1 David – David’s move to flow with the tribe’s consensus of throwing the challenge has kept him off everyone’s radar, but at some point he is going to have to make a bold move to win this game. . #1 David – Ding dong, the troll is dead. Well, for the time being. Last week’s move gives the Zapatera Six a strong foundation (as well as two more cannon fodder votes) that should get them to the merge. From there, David will have plenty of room to maneuver.
mike . mike
#2 Mike – Mike is David’s sidekick and is willing to allow others to make the decisions.  That mentality will get him to the end, but won’t win him the million. . #2 Mike – If you’ll notice, the Zapatera Six (I’m going to have to think of a better name) makes up the top six spots in this ranking. I have them all this high because I don’t see a reason for any of them to shake things up before the merge. I think they’re in it for the long haul.
natalie . julie
#3 Natalie – Natalie seems innocent enough to follow Boston Rob until he gets voted off and will easily find another boy to latch onto when needed.  Her lack of strategy will carry her far, just not far enough. . #3 Julie – If Russell and Stephanie went after Julie because she’s the low person on the totem pole, Julie did her best to show the members of her alliance that she deserves a higher slot.
ashley . ralph
#4 Ashley – Ashley is playing a great game, but will undoubtedly show her hand too soon as a physical and strategic player which will ultimately cause her demise. . #4 Ralph – Know this, if a grown man ever tried to wake me up with a rooster call, he’d end up with a coconut upside his head. That being said, he bested “Ressell” and he’s got an immunity idol, so he must be doing something right.
bostonrob . sarita
#5 Boston Rob – Boston Rob is playing harder than anyone else in this game and that’s tough to keep up for 39 days.  He is clearly the puppet master of his tribe but sooner or later someone has to catch on, right? . #5 Sarita – Still waiting to hear more from Sarita. Is she a mover and a shaker, or is she content to blend into the background?
grant . steve
#6 Grant – Grant has found himself in a great alliance with Boston Rob, Ashley, and Natalie but because of his strength he is also on the bottom of that pecking order and will suffer the consequences. . #6 Steve – Why is Steve at the bottom of the Zapatera Six? Because he lied to Russell about Francesca winning at Redemption Island. Granted, it worked out fine for him, but it was a worthless lie. It didn’t help his game, all it could have done was hurt it.
ralph . grant
#7 Ralph – Ralph is in a great position right now with his alliance, by providing at camp, and by holding onto the hidden immunity idol.  He claims he knows how to play this game, but I’ll have to see it to believe it. . #7 Grant – Grant is the safest person on Ometepe beach. Rob can’t afford to lose his only challenge monster. After the merge though? He’d better watch his back.
steve . ashley
#8 Steve – Throwing a challenge is always a bad idea, especially when you can win shelter in the form of a tarp, which aside from food and an idol is the next most important item you can possess in Nicaragua during the rainy season…trust me, I lived there.  I thought this guy was smarter. . #8 Ashley – Oh, Ashley. You’re fine. If Ometepe needs to lose someone for challenge strength, it’s Ashley or Natalie. If they want to lose someone who’s annoying, it’s Phillip. If they want to lose someone who’s a strategic threat, it’s Kristina.
sarita . bostonrob
#9 Sarita Sarita hasn’t made any bold moves and I don’t expect her to.  She is at the bottom of her alliance and should consider what Stephanie and Krista may offer before voting them out. . #9 Boston Rob – We’ll see how strong Boston Rob’s alliance is the next time Ometepe loses immunity. I’m still not sold on that Matt move and I wouldn’t put it past Ashley or Kristina to try to send the Robfather packing.
julie . natalie
#10 Julie – Julie played it safe by not voting with the Russell-Stephanie-Krista alliance, but playing it safe will never win “Survivor” and she looks to be headed down that path. . #10 Natalie – I want to say Natalie is super safe, but the fact remains that Ometepe is 0 and 2 in challenges that Zapatera is trying to win. That, and the other players may want to split her and Rob the way they split Andrea and Matt.
andrea . phillip
#11 Andrea – Andrea made a bold move by speaking up during the Matt-Francesca duel by letting Matt know that she didn’t vote for him.  Although she is in no immediate danger, that target on her back just got a lot bigger. . #11 Phillip – Has Phillip toned things down, or did we just not see much of him last week due to Ometepe winning the immunity challenge? His best bet is to settle down and become important to Rob.
krista . andrea
#12 Krista – Krista played into Russell’s hands and now finds herself only shielded by Stephanie.  I’m sure she had good intentions, but she should just enjoy the ride as her dismissal looms closer. . #12 Andrea – Andrea played Matt’s exit from the game perfectly. However, Rob will never fully trust her. Which is unfortunate, because Andrea hasn’t done anything to betray Rob’s trust.
phillip . krista
#13 Phillip – Phillip is getting on everyone’s nerves and although he’s a loyal servant to Boston Rob, sometimes your sanity on day 39 is more valuable than a million-dollar vote. . #13 Krista – Bad news: One third of Russell’s Angels was sent to Redemption Island. Good news: The other third of Russell’s Angels was ridiculously vocal in her defense of the team leader. Krista will be safe the next time Zapatera loses immunity, but will be next on the chopping block after that.
stephanie . kristina
#14 Stephanie – Stephanie has proven herself a better strategist than most of her tribemates but she also aligned with Russell which makes her next on the chopping block. . #14 Kristina – Kristina’s been living on borrowed time ever since the first Tribal Council. Rob has to know she’s too dangerous to keep around. Right now her only hope to get something started is to sway Andrea or find another immunity idol.
kristina . stephanie
#15 Kristina – With no immunity idol, Kristina is now defenseless against Boston Rob and his cronies.  She needs to disrupt the tribe dynamic to place the focus on someone else and Phillip is the biggest target out there. . #15 Stephanie – Russell’s Angels must’ve been convinced they had Julie last week. Otherwise, why would Stephanie have been so insulting at Tribal Council? I’m sure her tirade wasn’t forgotten, she’ll be an easy next vote.
russell . russell
Redemption Island Winner – Russell’s newest tattoo will “keep hope alive” for this Good vs. Evil duel by making Matt wish he stayed home in Nashville.  Evil will prevail. . Redemption Island Winner – I wouldn’t call myself a Russell fan, but I think the show is more interesting with him around. Go Russell.

Any questions? Any comments? Our commenting system is down for the time being, but feel free to drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes or chat with fellow “Survivor” fans at the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Facebook page.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Francesca Hogi

March 3, 2011

People have been voted out of “Survivor” for beef jerky smuggling, banana theft, and being unlucky…but this season was the first time someone’s first sentence doomed them.

“They’re sizing us up like we’re prey.”

Those were the first seven words Francesca Hogi ever said to ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano and those seven words were enough for him to send her to Redemption Island.

I had a chance to chat with Francesca the morning after her elimination to get her thoughts on her relationship with Boston Rob, what life was like on Redemption Island, and Jeff Probst’s rapping skills.

Gordon Holmes: Good morning, Francesca.
Francesca Hogi:
Good morning!
Gordon: Did I pronounce your name correctly?
Francesca: (Laughs) That was perfect.
Gordon: That wasn’t so hard.

Gordon: So, you were the first person ever sent to Redemption Island. What was that like?
Francesca:
It was kind of tough. You’re the only person who has to do everything. Everyday collecting firewood to keep the fire going, that took all my energy. The shelter that was there was not much of a shelter. The first night I got there I had to make a bed and try to improve on the roof to give myself protection from the rain.
Gordon: Was the isolation a tough part?
Francesca: It didn’t bother me so much. I was very anxious because I didn’t know how soon someone was coming. I didn’t know if somebody was going to arrive and we were going to have a duel right away. I was afraid it was going to be Phillip and Phillip and I were going to be stuck there for a couple of days which would have been a disaster. Probably good television, but not good for me.
Gordon: What happened once Matt arrived?
Francesca: He and I were there together for a couple of days, and it was a couple of days of us wondering, “When is this duel going to happen?” We were eager to get going.

Gordon: You mentioned your buddy Phillip, he’s your B.F.F. right?
Francesca:
People keep asking me if he’s really like that, and I’m not a mental health professional, but what you see from Phillip is what you get from Phillip. I don’t hate Phillip or anything like that, but I certainly don’t like Phillip. I don’t enjoy being around him. The thing I do wonder about Phillip is if he cries every time he sees that question mark that CBS puts after “Former Federal Agent” because they’re insulting his integrity.
Gordon: Did you find it odd that a man with such finely tuned powers of perception didn’t realize he was sitting on an immunity idol clue?
Francesca: That was pretty funny. I guess anyone could miss that clue.

Gordon: Why was Kristina so determined to make the big move to vote Boston Rob out early in the game. You seemed to think it was better to wait.
Francesca:
I definitely thought it was too soon. I think Kristina was excited to be there and she found that idol and she thought it was her opportunity to make her mark. I think she got carried away. She got carried away enough to tell Phillip about the immunity idol which she knew was a bad idea. There was no talking her out of it.

Gordon: Rob said he targeted you based on what you said at the very beginning of the game. And, he targeted Matt for shaking hands with Zapatera. Is he super paranoid out there?
Francesca:
Boston Rob is obviously a great player and he’s a really smart guy. I think whatever I said on the beach made him distrust me. Which is unfortunate because it isn’t how I meant it. I would have been happy to align with Rob. If I could turn back time I wouldn’t have made that comment because it obviously started me off on the wrong foot in the game.
Gordon: And Matt?
Francesca: I was shocked that he voted Matt out, but I think that had less to do with the handshake and more to do with his relationship with Andrea.

Gordon: Alright, first word association of the new season. I’ll give you a name, you give me the first words that pop into your head. Let’s start off with…Andrea.
Francesca:
I call Andrea, “Dr. Dre.”
Gordon: Now does that make you Ed Lover or Snoop Dogg?
Francesca: (Laughs) Um…I’m going to choose Snoop Dogg.
Gordon: Smart choice. Matt?
Francesca: Sunny.
Gordon: Kristina?
Francesca: Determined.
Gordon: Boston Rob?
Francesca: (Laughs) Determined.
Gordon: (Laughs) Ashley?
Francesca: Complacent.
Gordon: Natalie?
Francesca: Natalie…”Survivor” mistress.
Gordon: Ooo…  OK, Grant?
Francesca: Stoic.
Gordon: Russell’s weird arm pimples?
Francesca: Oh… Russell’s weird arm pimples are extremely unfortunate.
Gordon: Also extremely unfortunate…me owning an HDTV last night.
Francesca: Once you see that you can never unsee it.
Gordon: OK, let’s finish this off with Federal Agent Phillip.
Francesca: I’m just going to say…unstable. That’s the kindest thing I can say about Phillip.

Gordon: What did you take from your time in Nicaragua?
Francesca:
I’m probably more obnoxious than I realized. (Laughs) Things didn’t turn out the way I planned, but I was true to myself. If I could have been more insincere I probably would have done better in the game. That’s unfortunate for “Survivor” but makes me feel good about my life.

Gordon: Now, Jeff Probst had said on his website (jeffprobst.com) that before the game started he busted out a boombox and played Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” for the cast.
Francesca:
Yes, he did.
Gordon: What was that like?
Francesca: It was very strange. The game hadn’t begun yet, so none of us had spoken a word to each other. He gathered us all around and he said, “Guys, I’ve never done this before, but I woke up this morning with such a good feeling about this season.” And he was inspired to play this song for us. And he printed out the words and we all had a little party moment before the game began.
Gordon: Did he actually rap along with it?
Francesca: He did.
Gordon: I am sooooo jealous.
Francesca: (Laughs) He was excited.

Any questions? Any comments? Our commenting system is down for the time being, but feel free to drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes or chat with fellow “Survivor” fans at the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Facebook page.

‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Power Rankings: Week 2

March 1, 2011

The Rules: Each week our two combatants 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 Andrea is voted out this week, Sash will receive 12 points and Gordon will receive 13 points. Also, each player will pick who they think will win at Redemption Island. If they choose correctly they will receive a bonus point. At the end of the season, the person  with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Redemption Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Sash showed his Power Rankings prowess, jumping out to an impressive eight-point lead. Sash had Matt in spot 13, while Gordon had him in spot 5.

TEAM SASH

Current Score: 13

.

TEAM GORDON

Current Score: 5

david . grant
#1 David – Sitting David out of the challenge was smart, because absolutely nothing about the last challenge was smart.  If he continues to stay off Russell’s “hit list”, he will cruise to the merge and to the end. . #1 Grant – Leaping long pools in a single bound! In a stage of the game where Ometepe is down by two people and they just booted one of their young bucks, Boston Rob can’t afford to lose Grant. He’s safe until at least the merge.
mike . david
#2 Mike – Mike is playing a great game and is aware of both alliances in camp.  By keeping his options open to both sides of the Russell-Ralph divide, he can continue winning challenges for his tribe while allowing others to strategically shoot themselves in the foot. . #2 David – David’s shining moment last episode took place around the ol’ waterin’ hole. While Ralph and Russell got into it, he just stood back and observed. Smart guy. If he gets to the merge with numbers you could be looking at the next sole survivor.
natalie . ashley
#3 Natalie – She’s young and is willing to go with the flow.  This lack of strategic game play will carry her far, but Boston Rob’s pawn won’t know what to do when the King has been captured. . #3 Ashley – I’m in the camp that thinks voting out Matt was a big mistake. Boston Rob’s happy lil’ alliance is now splintered. Fortunately for Ashley nobody will be gunning for her when it comes time to vote out the next Ometepian.
bostonrob . steve
#4 Boston Rob – “Things went pretty much according to plan…seems as though this group of players knows how to follow directions.”  Rob is making all the right moves, but how long can he rely on this freshman class to avoid making a fatal mistake? . #4 Steve – Chalk Steve up as one of the people who is playing the Zapatera drama perfectly. Let Russell and Ralph have it out, then decide what to do with the victorious party.
phillip . julie
#5 Phillip – Phillip’s speech back at camp after losing the immunity challenge reminded me of Colby’s in Heroes vs. Villains in that they both accepted their fate and dismissal from the tribe.  Did anyone ever expect those names to be mentioned in the same sentence?  This Special Agent is cluelessly making all the right moves and I’m impressed.  Will his luck ever run out? . #5 Julie – I’m putting Julie and Steve in the same category. Just keep your head down during the drama and you’ll be in a good spot once the dust has settled.
ashley . natalie
#6 Ashley – Ashley is proving she can be a physical competitor, but showing your hand too quickly in this game is the ultimate sin. . #6 Natalie – Being Amber 2.0 has its benefits. Most importantly, Boston Rob will be the one taking all the bullets. The downside? If they turn on Rob, they can’t afford to boot him just yet (from a challenge standpoint) which puts a target on her back.
steve . mike
#7 Steve – His quarterback skills will help him see plays far down the field, but his strength and wisdom will be feared by all.  Anyone who allows him to taste breakfast on day 39 will be sorry they did. . #7 Mike I’m not quite sold on you, Mike. You seem like a good guy, but I worry that you don’t know when to keep your mouth shut. You’re gonna be in enough trouble post-merge because of your athletic prowess, saying something at the wrong time could make it worse.
krista . krista
#8 Krista – As Russell’s replacement for Stephanie, she’ll find it difficult to emerge unscathed from his train wreck of mistakes. . #8 Andrea – Being the second girl in Russell’s alliance is never a great spot to be in, but, she should be safe for a while. They always gunned for Parvati instead of Danielle, right?
russell . phillip
#9 Russell “You’re either with me or against me.”  Haven’t we heard that one before?  The only problem for Russell is that this time everyone knows his game, and he’s executing it for the third time flawlessly.  Can this guy be any more predictable? . #9 Phillip – Phillip survived?! And now Boston Rob kinda trusts him?! Happy day! Now, let’s hope Phillip tones down his super annoying tendencies so he can stick around longer. Good news for me, bad news for crabs.
julie . stephanie
#10 Julie – If Julie’s smart she’ll cling to the alliance that has the numbers, but Julie may be the next Shambo in Russell’s eyes…that means disposable.  Hey Julie! Don’t fall for it! . #10 Stephanie – I’ll give Stephanie credit, she knows she’s going all in with her alliance with Russell. Maybe it’s safer to hedge your bets, but if Russell trusts you now, he’ll do everything in his hobbity powers to take you to the end.
grant . bostonrob
#11 Grant – Grant’s a great competitor and his tribe would be crazy to send him packing any time soon; however, Boston Rob isn’t in the shape he once was and Grant would be his biggest threat when the individual game begins to win challenges.  Look for Rob to pull a 180 on Grant pre-merge. . #11 Boston Rob – OK…the more time I’ve had to think about the Matt move, the more I hate it. Do Grant and Ashley trust Boston Rob that much? And even if they do, he just gave them a BIG reason not to. Unnecessary drama, too soon into the game.
andrea . sarita
#12 Andrea – I still have high hopes for my Wisconsin homegirl, but it doesn’t take a genius to know how powerful a couple can be in this game and severing the Matt-Andrea alliance was crucial to Boston Rob maintaining his control.  If Andrea holds a grudge against Rob and the rest of Ometepe, she’ll need to keep it to herself until the merge…let’s just hope she can hold out that long. . #12 Sarita – Ralph hates Russell, Russell hates Ralph. The only other member of Zapatera that has any heat on them? Sarita. She didn’t do so well in last week’s challenge, but hopefully the fact that it was a challenge they won will help her out a bit.
ralph . andrea
#13 Ralph – Oftentimes wielding the power of an immunity idol is more powerful than actually playing an immunity idol.  Although Ralph looks to be in comfortable shape now, any savvy “Survivor” player should know that trouble is near when you begin to feel too comfortable.  Perhaps “savvy” isn’t in Ralph’s vocabulary just yet and he should continue on collecting rocks for fun and staying out of trouble. . #13 Andrea – How attached were you to Matt? Enough to earn a ticket to Redemption Island? If you’re serious about making it to the end, you’d better kiss and make-up with Rob quick. If you’re still mad a few eliminations from now, then you can pull some strings to try to boot Rob. However, now is not the time.
stephanie . russell
#14 Stephanie – Stephanie has the street smarts that many “Survivor” players lack, but she’s completely allowed herself to be Russell’s puppet and a huge target.  Maybe if her name was Natalie I’d have higher hopes, but it’s not and I don’t. . #14 Russell – I don’t know what to say about Russell. He’s going up against a guy who has numbers, an idol and a rooster call. Surely that’s reason enough to put Russell at the bottom of this list. But people have gone broke betting against Mr. Hantz…
kristina . kristina
#15 Kristina – Kristina now finds herself with no alliance and no idol.  She needs to find a crack in Boston Rob’s alliance or stir up some trouble quickly if she plans to make it to the merge. . #15 Kristina – Even though your head wasn’t on the chopping block last week, there was no way of knowing it. So, playing the idol was a smart move. Rob’s next move is probably bringing his crew back together and that means voting out an outsider. Thanks for playing.
sarita . ralph
#16 Sarita – It’s obvious that Russell has no interest in making Sarita one of his groupies, and without a strong alliance on either side, this rookie hasn’t developed the skills needed to be a swing vote. . #16 Ralph – What benefit was there to confronting Russell about the clue? All it did was put a target on Ralph’s well-insulated back. I like Ralph, he seems fun, but I question his ability to make a serious run in this game.
matt . matt
Redemption Island Winner – Matt will take the win, but he won’t last there long. . Redemption Island Winner I’m giving Matt the slight edge in this week’s Redemption Island challenge. I’ve got to imagine that the alone time, building your own shelter, etc was tough on Francesca.

What Do You Think? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

Matthew ‘Sash’ Lenahan Accepts ‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Challenge

February 22, 2011

Last Season: The student defeated the master as XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” fella Gordon “The Truth Seeker” Holmes bested Benjamin “Coach” Wade.

This Season: One of “Survivor’s” sharpest minds and last season’s third-place finalist Matthew “Sash” Lenahan will match wits with XFINITY TV’s two-time Power Rankings champion (um…and two-time loser).

The Rules: Each week our two combatants 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 Andrea is voted out this week, Sash will receive 2 points and Gordon will receive 8 points. At the end of the season, the person  with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Redemption Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

TEAM SASH

Current Score: 0

.

TEAM GORDON

Current Score: 0

david . grant
#1 David – Want to bet he put the puzzle together instead of Russell?  David is smart enough to not let others know how smart he is.  As long as he keeps a low profile and teams up with a physical player, he’ll make it to Final Tribal…and win. . #1 Grant – I think one of the biggest takeaways from the first episode is that the challenges are no joke. This makes our friend Grant very valuable (until the merge at least) to Boston Rob.
andrea . david
#2 Andrea – She’s smart enough to take orders from Philip and laugh it off, she’s from a Wisconsin farm and won’t get beat-up by the weather, she’s with Rob but not “with” Rob, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she uses her acting skills like Fabio did last season to meander her way to the end. . #2 David – The pre-game interviews made David look like an arrogant first-boot candidate. However, inside the game he’s shown that he’s capable of putting his ego on hold. He’s going to be one to keep an eye on.
mike . steve
#3 Mike – Reminds me of Chase from Nicaragua by being a physical force and very likable.  No one wants to vote out an Iraq War Veteran, and he’ll be a powerhouse in challenges winning rewards.  My guess is he’ll get owned by David using him to clear a path to the Final Tribal council. . #3 Steve – If a Russell vs. the world showdown is going to take place at Zapatera, it’d be wise for people like Steve to let Mike and Ralph take the lead. Russell has shown the ability to overcome numbers disadvantages before, no need to become the latest victim on the Russell highlight reel.
natalie . krista
#4 Natalie – Can we call her Amber?  She’s in love with Rob.  Rob loves that she’s in love with him.  Does anyone care that he’s married with kids?  Maybe not for 39 days.  The only problem is that no one is going to allow Rob close enough for a shot at the end.  As soon as Rob is gone, Natalie will be next. . #4 Krista – Krista’s this high because she wasn’t Russell’s pick for Natalie 2.0. That was a smart bullet to dodge. That, and she’s a former Auburn cheerleader. War Eagle!
bostonrob . matt
#5 Boston Rob – He already has the women wrapped around his finger and he’s not going anywhere any time soon…but he did say, “I’m going to do, what I said I was going to do, with the people I said I was going to do it with…and that’s it.”  Hey Rob, last time you put that much trust in your own alliance, you were quickly sent home.  Watch for history to repeat itself. . #5 Matt – People keep saying you look like Fabio, but I’m getting more of a younger Jimmy T. vibe from your look. Anywho, you’re in the same boat as Grant, Boston Rob needs you guys right now.
phillip . mike
#6 Phillip – How can you not be in a “hyper state of arousal” when watching this Former Federal Agent(?)?  Despite breaking the law by wearing those droopy fuchsia colored briefs, Mr. Dry Mouth, who pre-game I had pegged to be first voted out, has just earned himself a Get Out of Jail Free card as he’s a sure bet to get zero votes at the end.  Look at him as a swing vote to make it far. . #6 Mike – The good news for Mike? David is a smart player and could take him far. The bad news for Mike? I’m not sure how familiar he is with the game, especially after his comment about trying to avoid immunity challenges.
ashley . sarita
#7 Ashley – This pageant winner wasn’t sad about losing the challenge, she was sad about letting Rob down.  She’ll do anything her leader says and Rob will sacrifice anyone to keep himself in the game.  Mark my words; Ashley’s departure will cause a downward spiral for the original Ometepe Tribe. . #7 Sarita I didn’t get that good of a feel for Sarita in the first episode. But she’s smart enough to know that getting rid of Russell should be high on Zapatera’s to-do list.
steve . andrea
#8 Steve – His NFL skills will get him to the merge because of his strength, but no one wants to see this guy do what Tom Westman did in Palau by going on an immunity run.  He’ll be a big target after the merge. . #8 Andrea – Andrea didn’t get much screen time, but what we saw spoke volumes. While Francesca and Kristina were frustrated with Phillip, she wouldn’t let him get to her. And, she didn’t hack her own foot off, so that’s a plus too.
stephanie . ashley
#9 Stephanie She called herself out after seeing Russell get off the helicopter, “If I’m not the one person he picks to go to the end, I’m going to be out…I’M GOING TO BE OUT”.  Guess what…You’re Out!  She’s smart for telling Russell not to be seen walking around camp with her, but she’s dumb for letting everyone see her walk around the camp with him.  Her life will hinge on Russell.  Once he’s gone, his prom date will be next. . #9 Ashley – Ashley was more concerned with letting Rob down than with losing immunity. She should be more concerned that Amber is waiting for her at Redemption Island.
russell . julie
#10 Russell – Love him or hate him, he has successfully lost every time he has played by making it to day 39.  If these players are smart, they’ll allow him to self-destruct a third time.  The only problem is his arrogance won’t allow him to make it that far. . #10 Julie – Didn’t get to see much from Julie either. However, with challenges being as physical as they are this season, she should be safe for a while.
grant . natalie
#11 Grant – A pre-season favorite of mine, but may be just a bit too “Zen” for the rest of the tribe.  Instead of finding himself during “Survivor,” he’ll probably find his torch snuffed by Jeff pre-merge.  Besides, Rob is focused on the women, and the women have the numbers. . #11 Natalie – Another one of Rob’s lovely ladies. She’s going to be safe while they weed out Kristina and possibly Phillip, but she has to be first on the chopping block if Team Rob has to start eliminating their own.
krista . bostonrob
#12 Krista – With Russell having already found his Queen in Stephanie, this southern belle’s fate will remind us of Parvati’s closest ally Danielle in another divide-and-conquer move by Russell. . #12 Boston Rob – He has the numbers, he’s a challenge monster, and he’s a proven leader. Rob’s biggest problem? He’ll never be safe. Ever. If you’re the one to mastermind Rob’s dismissal, you’ll have made a name for yourself.
matt . russell
#13 Matt – This harmonious, Fabio-esque, med-student may just be loving “Camp Harmony” so much he won’t see his harmonious blindside by his own tribemates. . #13 Russell – I had hope for Russell when I saw him trying to switch up his game. However, that hope went out the window as soon as people saw him walking around with Stephanie. That’s a big mistake.
kristina . phillip
#14 Kristina – Wow!  Last season Marty had huge balls for not playing his idol during Tribal Council, turns out that Kristina has huge b….um…well, let’s just say it was a bold move not playing her idol too.  Unfortunately she’s the only one on the chopping block from her tribe.  She’s given herself another 3 days, but not much longer. . #14 Phillip – Oh man…love me some Phillip. But what is Ometepe going to do? Bounce him because he’s bad for tribe morale, or keep him and try to take him to the finals NaOnka-style? It probably doesn’t matter what they decide as Phillip will use his federal agent powers to thwart them.
julie . ralph
#15 Julie – This gruff momma already admits that she’s more likely to bond with the guys over the girls.  On a tribe where Russell likes young women, and guys are needed to compete in challenges, this 50-year-old firefighter may have a hard time making friends. . #15 Ralph – The preview makes it look like Ralph will be the first target of Team Russell. I’d like to think with Russell’s reputation that Ralph wouldn’t have much to worry about, but I’ve lost too many Power Rankings points betting against Russell to risk it.
sarita . kristina
#16 Sarita – She’s not young enough to be Russell’s girlfriend and may be a bit too naive to realize that villains do exist in this game.  Her glowing happiness is ripe for Russell to devour. . #16 Kristina – Has anyone ever done so much right and so much wrong in one episode of “Survivor” before? You found an idol with no clues, then trusted the craziest person the show has ever seen. I’d say you were safe this week because you still have the idol, but I wouldn’t be shocked if you traded it for a handful of magic beans.
ralph . stephanie
#17 Ralph – Ralph, aka “Steel Wool”, was a pre-game favorite of mine to make the end.  Unfortunately he wound up on Russell’s tribe and Russell doesn’t care about winning challenges, he cares about winning over the women.  Despite having “The Most Impressive Man Sweater I’ve Ever Seen”, this beach may not be big enough for the both of them. . #17 Stephanie I don’t think teaming up with Russell is a bad idea. I think letting people know that you’ve teamed up with Russell is a bad idea. Luckily for Russell, they’ll need his strength. Unluckily for you, they’ll want to split you two up. Good luck against Francesca at Redemption Island.

What Do You Think? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

Inside the New Twists of ‘Survivor: Redemption Island’

February 16, 2011

A diverse group of strangers? Check. A remote, tropical location? Check. Officially licensed, multi-colored Buff headwear? Check.

A couple of twists designed to spice up the game? Check.

But where will this season’s twists rank? Will they be as amazing as “Heroes vs. Villains” or as dreadful as “Haves vs. Have Nots”? As game-changing as hidden immunity idols or as snore-inducing as the Medallion of Power?

So, let’s take a pre-game look at the twists the “Survivor” producers have in store for us and try to figure out how they’ll affect the game and if they’ll be fun to watch.

The Twist: The Return of ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz

How It Will Work: “Survivor” Hall of Famers Boston Rob and Russell will each join a tribe as a celebrity tribe member.

It’s Kinda Like:
When Stephenie LaGrossa and “Survivor” Power Rankings veteran Bobby Jon Drinkard were invited back to participate in “Survivor: Guatemala” after their Ulong tribe was wiped out in “Survivor: Palau.”

How That Twist Worked Out:
Not too badly, actually. Bobby Jon got to feel what it was like to win an immunity challenge before becoming the tenth person to leave the game. While Stephenie LaGrossa managed to make it to the finals before being decimated by Danni Boatwright.

How “Redemption Island” Is Different:
Bobby Jon and Stephenie were seen as hard workers who had the bad luck of being put on a cursed tribe. Compare that to Russell Hantz who is best known for burning socks, stabbing backs and punching kittens. Even likable “Boston” Rob will be looked at with contempt as he makes his fourth trek into the wilderness. The sixteen new cast members won’t agree on much, but they’ll all agree that they aren’t interested in being extras on the “Boston Rob and Russell Show.”

How I Think It’ll Turn Out: If Russell can remind his tribe that he turns people into millionaires, he has a shot. If not, he doesn’t see the merge.

On the other hand, Boston Rob’s best bet is an extended stay at Redemption Island.  He’ll probably pay a visit there shortly after the merge.

Pre-Game Twist Ranking?
A four out of ten. Boston Rob and Russell will have the same affect on “Redemption Island” that Jimmy Johnson had on “Nicaragua.”

Video: Jeff Probst previews the “Survivor: Redemption Island” cast.

The Twist: Redemption Island

How It Will Work: After someone is voted out of the game, they’ll go to Redemption Island. There they’ll have to survive with the same equipment and supplies the tribes use. When a second person is voted out, they’ll go to Redemption Island to face the first person in a duel. The winner stays, the loser goes home.  Eventually, the last person remaining on Redemption Island will be allowed to return to the game for a shot at the million dollar prize.

It’s Kinda Like: When Burton Morris and Lillian Morris were allowed to return to “Survivor: Pearl Islands” after being voted out.

How That Twist Worked Out: It was a disaster. The “Outcasts” twist is generally considered to be the worst twist in “Survivor” history. Many fans hated that the twist violated the basic rule of “Survivor” which is “When you’re out, you’re out.” Also, the returning players hadn’t been living in the wilderness during their time out of the game. This caused some serious resentment between the returning players and those who’d been out there the whole time.

How “Redemption Island” Is Different: The players who are voted out of the game will still have to survive the elements. Also, the Outcasts returning to Pearl Islands were a surprise. All of the players will know about Redemption Island in advance.

How I Think It’ll Turn Out:
I’ve never been a fan of how being strong is a detriment after the merge. This will give the more competitive players a chance to win the game, which isn’t a bad thing.

Also, the idea of starting off every show with a sudden death elimination immunity challenge has a world of cool possibilities.

However, whether this twist lives or dies is all going to depend on how the other players view surviving at Redemption Island. If they think it’s a joke and aren’t willing to reward a player who survived on their own, then it’s the Outcasts all over again. If they appreciate someone battling their way back into the game, it could have legs and become the show standard.

Pre-Game Twist Ranking?
A potential ten if the players respect it, a three if the player who returns to the game from “Redemption Island” becomes cannon fodder.

“Survivor: Redemption Island” premieres, Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute “Survivor” news and lame jokes: @gordonholmes.

‘Survivor’s’ Mark Burnett on Quitters, Spoilers and a Possible Celebrity ‘Survivor’

February 10, 2011

“Survivor” Executive Producer Mark Burnett participated in a conference call this afternoon to discuss next Wednesday’s premiere of “Survivor: Redemption Island” and the future of the “Survivor” franchise.

How Will the Redemption Island Twist Work?

Mark Burnett: The very first person (voted out of the game) goes to Redemption Island. There on Redemption Island they live alone. The same conditions, the same amount of food, almost nothing to live with except it’s even worse because they’re completely lonely and alone. And they’re waiting for what happens next in episode two when the next person is voted out of their tribe and joins the first person at Redemption Island. In episode three, person one and person two compete in the first challenge of the episode. It’s a face-to-face duel. And some of the members of their tribes who had voted them out get to be spectators and watch the one-on-one duel.

The winner of Redemption Island stays on Redemption Island, the loser now actually goes home. Week four, there’s another duel, spectators come from the tribes to watch, and it goes on.

Video: Jeff Probst previews the “Survivor: Redemption Island” cast.

How Will “Boston” Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz Factor Into the Game?

Mark Burnett: The two of them probably have an advantage. In the first episode, when they arrive it’s a surprise to the tribe. The tribes are there, there are sixteen of them there. And then Jeff says, “But the game hasn’t started yet. By the way, there are two more players.” And a helicopter lands and out steps Russell and Rob. And their (the contestants) faces are like, “Oh my God. I can’t believe these guys are back.”

Jeff explains there are 150 days of experience between Russell and Rob. Jeff says, “You can get rid of them if you want, or you can use them to your benefit. There’s 150 days of experience.”  But that means one of two things; either use that experience to get to the end, or fear that experience and get rid of them. It’s up to you, it’s “Survivor.”

Will “Survivor” Continue After “Redemption Island” and Will Jeff Probst Continue as the Host?

Mark Burnett: We haven’t dealt with it. We’re massively in post right now. It’s based upon ratings. It went up in Season 21 (Nicaragua) despite the move to Wednesdays. The assumption is we’ll continue making “Survivors” because hit shows stay on and shows that don’t, don’t stay on. There’s a core fan base of viewers who’ve followed the show from night to night.

Did Russell Hantz Leak Spoilers Online for “Survivor: Samoa” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains”?

Mark Burnett: I found out the same time you found out. I read it online. I had no idea about it. Don’t know if it’s actually true. As of this minute, I still have not had a conversation with CBS about it. I should probably call someone and ask someone.

How Frustrated Were You by NaOnka Mixon and “Purple” Kelly Shinn Quitting “Survivor: Nicaragua”?

Mark Burnett:
I was frustrated. I think Jeff (Probst) was more frustrated, just because Jeff’s actually on the show and living that journey with them. It’s surprising. The one thing I’d tell you, the biggest struggle we had was based upon precedent, and legally there was no way to kick them off the jury. Believe me, Jeff would have done that in five seconds and I would’ve approved that.

We’ve made a change, that going forward if indeed someone was to quit, it’d have to be pretty extraordinary circumstances that they’d stay on the jury.

Would You Consider a Celebrity “Survivor”?

Mark Burnett: Would I be thinking about an all celebrity version? For charity. If CBS wanted to and it was a really good reason and like a shortened version for charity at some point? Yeah, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

How Do You Feel About Casting Fans vs. Casting People Who Are Recruited?

Mark Burnett: All sorts of casting things come our way and we try to make the most balanced cast we can. You’d probably think that someone who really knows the game would be better at it. It’s one thing contemplating “Survivor,” a whole other thing being out there and not eating and being in that temperature.

Video: Watch full episodes of “Survivor: Nicaragua.”

“Survivor: Redemption Island” premieres, Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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