Posts Tagged ‘survivor blood vs. water’

‘Survivor’ Castaway Caleb: Gervase & Tyson ‘Weren’t Being 100% With Us’

December 5, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. And, we’re inducting three members into the “Survivor: Hall of Fame” starting Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Caleb Bankston and the Alabama Roll Tide have a lot in common. They were both heavy favorites to win a title, they were both only a few steps away from that final championship round, and they both came up a little short.

But, that shouldn’t negate how well they played all season. Alabama proved once again that they’re a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron while Brad Culpepper learned that Caleb is not to be underestimated at Tribal Council.

I spoke to Redemption Island’s latest victim the morning after his elimination and had a chance to ask him about Colton’s affect on his game, his alliance with the Coconut Bandits, and all of this season’s Tribal Council shockers…

Gordon Holmes: Alright, I hate to start this off on a bad note…
Caleb Bankston: That’s fine.
Holmes: But…my father went to Auburn University…
Bankston: Don’t say it!
Holmes: My sister went to Auburn University…
Bankston: Don’t!
Holmes: My brother-in-law went to Auburn University…
Bankston: (Sighs)
Holmes: So, on their behalf, I’m saying to you a tiny, respectful, “War Eagle.”
Bankston: That hurt. Let me tape my wrists back up. You just slit them. (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m glad we have that ugliness out of the way.

Holmes: At Redemption Island you called out the Utah and Philadelphia-based players for lying. But, it seemed like you and Hayden were making moves on them first.
Bankston: (Gervase) pointed that out, but I’m not sure if that’s 100%. The way everything shakes out, you don’t know who’s making the moves first. We felt like they weren’t being 100% with us. We felt like Monica was a little closer to them then they’d made it out to be. Were they playing us? Should we get them? Maybe we verbalized it first. But, it didn’t feel like I was doing bad to them, because I thought they were going to do it first.
Holmes: Why do you think they targeted you before Hayden?
Bankston: I want to think it’s because maybe I was a bigger threat than Hayden. Maybe because of my Tribal Council with the Brad vote. And Gervase had made the comment that he couldn’t read me. They’d be talking, and Hayden called me out on it. He said, “It’s hilarious watching you talk to Tyson and Gervase about a plan because you’ll just nod your head.” And I said, “That means I’m down with it.” And he said, “Well they have no idea that you’re down with it because you’re just kind of silent.” Well, if I don’t have anything to say, I don’t have anything to say. So maybe they couldn’t see where I was standing.

Holmes: You mentioned the Brad vote. And my understanding from most of the Survivors I’ve talked to is you almost always know who you’re voting for when you go to Tribal. That didn’t seem like the case when you sent Brad packing. What was the tipping point that switched your vote?
Bankston: You know, Jeff has a way with his questions. He knows what to ask, when to ask it. And he asked a question saying, “Caleb is by himself. Should you cut him loose now? Why should you keep him?? It was so easy for them to come up with a case for getting rid of me. So I thought, this isn’t going down this way. I’m going to control my own fate. Something clicked. The weather changed. Something was different. Something was off. But I was originally voting for Ciera that night.
Holmes: So you’re saying that Jeff Probst is not to be trusted?
Bankston: (Laughs) He’s a sly fox.

Holmes: I feel like Ciera did the same thing. Her early comments made it seem like she was solidly in Tyson’s camp. Any idea what was said that made her switch it up?
Bankston: I think she was already thinking about it. Gervase picked Tyson and Monica to share his reward. He didn’t pick the new girl who need assurance. He couldn’t not pick Monica because she’d get paranoid all over again. So, maybe she had it in her mind. And when they were pushing that she was number four, she didn’t realize that she wasn’t in the hierarchy above Monica.

Holmes: When Colton left the game, he said it was because he knew you’d have taken his place at Redemption Island. At the time, did you understand that that was Colton’s motivation?
Bankston: No. When we got back home I asked him, “Why didn’t you give me any kind of insight? I didn’t know who to trust.”  I didn’t know if he was working with somebody. It turns out that he and Monica were closer than I thought. I would’ve tried to pull her closer and smooth over the Brad thing. But when he sat in my lap and we had our moment, he said he couldn’t do it. He said he was a changed person since the last time he played, but he felt like he was headed down a road he didn’t want to go down. And I said, “If you feel like you’re going to be broken by this, go home. Don’t risk it. I’d rather you leave on day seven, than have a broken Colton.” I wish he’d told me, but I was glad we got to say what we did.

Holmes: Marissa paid the price for Gervase’s smack talk. Colton had a rough run of it out there. He rubbed some of the members of Galang the wrong way. Did you experience any positives or negatives from your association with Colton?
Bankston: I didn’t. Walking up on the beach with the new players, they all gave me a chance. They all got to know me. They’re like a lot of people who say, “I don’t get it, I don’t get you and Colton.” And so, they would hear me talk about him. And as time went by they understood what it was about us that worked. I was able to make my own mark. I think Katie said, “I wonder if Caleb’s mean deep down and he’s just putting on a front. “ But Ciera took up for me and said, “No, Caleb’s too sweet. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.”
Holmes: You’d have to be the best actor in the world to hide meanness under your sweet demeanor.
Bankston: I appreciate that.
Holmes: You mentioned that people don’t get you and Colton. I’m a big believer that you don’t really choose who you click with, who you fall in love with.
Bankston: You don’t. My last boyfriend, I was in a relationship with him for three and a half years. You think you love somebody, and then something happens. Maybe this isn’t what you thought it was. With Colton there’s never been that. We’ve been together for four years and it’s been happy every day. I love waking up next to him. I love going to bed next to him. He’s the one I look forward to talking to every day. Besides you today.
Holmes: See! Too sweet. No meanness hiding under there.
Bankston: (Laughs) You can’t choose who you love. If you could and you did what everyone wanted you to do, I’d be marrying a woman in October. Everybody loves Colton. All my family and my friends. He’s stolen a lot of my really good friends. I don’t think they’re my friends anymore. They’re his friends and I’m just Colton’s boyfriend.
Holmes: He can’t be trusted. He steals friends.
Bankston: He does! The dogs love him. I was the favorite, but now they love him more.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. We’ll start with Monica.
Bankston: Paranoid.
Holmes: Tyson?
Bankston: Sly.
Holmes: Hayden?
Bankston: Bro.
Holmes: Ciera?
Bankston: Sneaky.
Holmes: Katie?
Bankston: Sweet.
Holmes: Laura M.?
Bankston: Flirt.
Holmes: Tina?
Bankston: Grandma.
Holmes: Aras?
Bankston: Really, really tall.
Holmes: Vytas?
Bankston: Sweetheart.
Holmes: Gervase?
Bankston: Sporty.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Colton.
Bankston: The love of my life, dude.

Holmes: If things had gone your way and you’d had a Tadhana final four, I’m thinking you and Hayden would have been in the driver’s seat. What would’ve been your argument for the jury to pick you over the others?
Bankston: I would use the Brad Culpepper vote because that was definitely my big move. I’d play the fact that coming in with Colton we had the deck stacked against us because of his reputation. I’d separate myself from him and show that we’re two different people and play two different ways. I’d play to my likability, I got along with everybody. I did a lot around camp.

Holmes: Caleb, this has been great. Thanks a ton for your time.
Bankston: Can I get a “Roll Tide” before you go?
Holmes: I can’t say that. I’ll be disowned.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap – Whose Game Gets Rocked?

December 4, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. And, we’re inducting three members into the “Survivor: Hall of Fame” starting Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: Laura helped Tina arrange her cubes, Ciera turned her back on the newbs, and Caleb and Tyson’s idol went down the tubes.

39 Days (well…technically 39.5), 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Kasama Tribe (wearing purple)

Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

The show kicks off after Tribal and Hayden smartly congratulates Tyson on the strong move. He then lets everyone know that they’re playing for second place if they go to the end with him. Gervase takes exception to this statement, saying that Tyson has been his puppet.

Tyson tries to laugh it off, but he’s not happy that Hayden blew up his spot. Is that how that slang works?

Tyson, Gervase, Monica, and Ciera sit together and decide that Hayden is going home if he loses immunity, and if he wins, it’s Katie’s turn.

Redemption Island Time: Players will stack wooden cards as high as they can. The first two to reach the designated height marker will stay. The loser will go home. If the height marker is not reached, they’ll go by who has the highest stack after thirty minutes. The person to reach the top first will also get to give away a clue to a hidden immunity idol.

Before the challenge starts off, Caleb lets the remaining players from Utah and Philly know they’re in trouble. Oh c’mon, Caleb, isn’t being from Philly bad enough?

Gervase points out that he’s a man of his word, but Caleb and Hayden were going to stab them in the back first. He’s got a point.

The challenge starts off and there isn’t much to describe. You know, some stackin’ and whatnot. Laura gets a huge lead, and wins it easily.

Caleb and Tina are neck and neck (or stack and stack) at the three-minute mark. Caleb takes a slight lead, but his stack falls at the last second. Tina wins, Caleb’s done.

Before Caleb takes the long, lonely walk, Probst asks what he has in common with Colton. Caleb responds, “We’re both guys.” That’s hilarious. Let him stay.

Laura decides to give the clue to Ciera and she keeps it. Yay! Buck trends! Fight the power!

Back at camp, the dominant alliance chooses to read the clue together. Hayden and Katie try to Boehlke Block them by following them around, but are unsuccessful because…

In a touching moment, Tyson breaks down as he tells us that it will only be worth not swapping in for Rachel if he can get to the end. This is, of course, paired with footage of him finding the idol. Boom, indeed.

Later, Hayden approaches Gervase about teaming with Ciera and Katie to vote out Tyson. Gervase says it’s an option if they can get those two on board. But seriously, if Gervase was worried about Tyson, why wouldn’t he just try to be a final three with Monica and Ciera?

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will race through obstacles while they balance a ball on a pole. They’ll add sections to the pole as they go along. When they get to the end they’ll use a key to open a box of sand bags. They’ll use those sand bags to knock over targets. First person to knock over all the targets gets immunity and ice cream.

Quick Aside: I love Jeff Probst. I hate the word “belly.” It’s like the dude can’t discuss a reward challenge without telling you you’ll have a belly full of something.

The challenge starts off and Monica, Tyson, and Gervase are off to a solid start. Hayden isn’t far behind.

Monica’s the first to get to the sand bags, Gervase is right on her tail.

Gervase absolutely destroys the bean bag portion. He knocks down three targets at a time! Gervase wins immunity.

Our favorite Eagles fan gets to share his ice cream and chooses Tyson and Monica. Oh…that might be a mistake.

Back at camp, an “Iced Cream” cart shows up to deliver the diary goodness. Man, that’s just mean to make Gervase, Monica, and Tyson enjoy their food in front of everyone else.

Later, Hayden pitches his plan to Gervase and Ciera. He wants to boot Tyson and then go to the final three together. Gervase is reluctant because he thinks he can beat Tyson. That seems highly unlikely based on what we’re seeing.

Tyson wanders over and Hayden fesses up to trying to get people to turn on him. That’s kind of awesome. Tyson seems to respect the honesty.

That night at Tribal Council, Hayden says it’s Team Tyson vs Hayden and Katie.

Ciera says she’s comfortable with her alliance even though she wasn’t chosen for the food reward.

Gervase says he picked original Galang. Wow, way to out your final three there, Gervase.

Hayden tries to paint Tyson as the mastermind, but Ciera points out that it was Hayden and Caleb’s idea to vote out her mother.

Monica thinks Ciera turning is a bad idea because final four is better than six. Hayden jumps on this, saying that she called Ciera “four.” Tyson doesn’t think Ciera is four.

Gervase says that his alliance is honest. The jury laughs at this. That’s not a good sign.

Tyson tells Ciera that he’s protected her while Hayden has written her name down.

The arguing breaks down when Tyson and Hayden discuss the differences between “Rustling feathers” and “Ruffling feathers.” I prefer “Russelling feathers.” That’s when you place the feathers in Jaison’s socks and then set them on fire.

Voting Time: Gervase votes for “Haydone” and he does it loudly, Tyson votes for Hayden, and the rest aren’t shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play the idol and Tyson does not. Doh…

We’ve got two votes for Hayden, two votes for Monica, one vote for Hayden, and the last vote is for Monica. We’ve got a tie.

Tyson asks Ciera what she’s doing. She doesn’t respond.

Now Monica and Hayden won’t vote and the other four will.

Voting Time Part Deux: No votes are shown. Dun…dun…dun…

Probst tallies and returns a second time. Too bad he doesn’t get paid by the tally. We’ve got one vote for Monica, one vote Hayden, one vote for Monica, and the fourth vote is for Hayden…we’ve got another tie!

Note: The exclamation point at the end of the last sentence isn’t genuine. The double tie was spoiled by the CBS promo.

Tie Breaker Time: OK, Hayden and Monica are safe because they got votes. Gervase is safe because he has immunity. Ciera, Katie, and Tyson will draw rocks. The person to get the white rock goes home.

And the person with the white rock and the fifteenth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Katie.

Everyone congratulates Katie on the gutsy move…but what was so gutsy about it? She was on the bottom anyway.

Verdict: Wow, that was a wild one. I wish that CBS promo hadn’t spoiled most of it.

Who’s Going to Win? If we saw our final three eating ice cream tonight, I’m thinking Tyson’s our next champ.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm had Katie in spot five. I had her in spot three. So, the current score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 124, Team Real American Heroes 130.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Power Rankings – Sitcom Edition

December 3, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. And, we’re inducting three members into the “Survivor: Hall of Fame” starting Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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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 Gervase is voted out this week, Malcolm will receive 6 points and Gordon will receive 2 points. Also, each player will pick the players they think will win at Redemption Island. They’ll receive a bonus point for each correct pick. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

NOTE: The winner of Redemption Island was spoiled during this week’s CBS preview. Therefore, we will forgo the Redemption Island bonus point segment of this week’s rankings.

Last Week: Malcolm and Gordon both blew it. They both had Caleb in spot 1. They also both had Laura winning at Redemption Island. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 2, Team Real American Heroes 2. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 119, Team Real American Heroes 127.

Wager Update: Since there was another straight-up tie last week, Malcolm and Gordon will both have to compare the players to sitcom stars. The loser of this week’s rankings will have to compare the players to cars.

Team Glamor and Glitter, Fashion and Fame: 119

Any advice for Malcolm? Drop him a line on Twitter: @MalcolmWHW

Team Real American Heroes: 127

Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

 1. Tyson is Cosmo Kramer – He’s mainly a big clown, but there’s a method to his madness.

Now, according to previews, it looks like we’re going to rocks. If I remember my “Survivor” rules correctly (not a given), what happens is the two people originally tied for votes are safe. And it certainly seems like Tyson will finally be targeted, which would make him safe. Right?

 Quick Note: Apparently we’re going to see a purple rock tie breaker this episode. I have no idea how to rank that, so I literally pulled names out of a “Survivor” Hall of Fame coffee mug.

1. Hayden is Prosecuting Attorney Dan Fielding – He’s good looking and he’s going to do his best to lure someone from Tyson’s alliance over to the dark side. Apparently he does it, too.

 2. Hayden is Mr. Peterman – Because Hayden inevitably delivers at least two overly dramatic confessionals each episode. And you have to guess that Tyson wouldn’t allow the lead dissenter Hayden to go unattacked. I’m assuming he’s the other half of the tie. Another Quick Note: And am I wrong in thinking that whichever threesome isn’t the victim of the purple rock is going to be our eventual final three?

2. Gervase is Court Clerk Mac Robinson – It was often said that Judge Stone’s right-hand man was really the smartest person in the room. Gervase was arguably in the best position in the game until this purple-rock business started.

 3. Ciera is Newman – The foil to many of the best-laid plans. In accordance with how it looks like the eliminated castaway will be decided, I’m ranking everyone else based on their intrinsic levels of luck. And by my extremely scientific calculations, Ciera has the most – you can’t explain her surviving the first half of the game without tons and tons of luck. She’s obviously in good shape.
 3. Katie is Defense Attorney Christine Sullivan – She’s nice, she’s pretty, and she isn’t particularly good at lying. And if she’s on the side that isn’t the victim of the purple rock, she’s probably going to be a millionaire.

 4. Monica is Man-Hands – If it requires holding on to an object, Monica’s a lock. Our challenge beast has been fairly lucky to get immunities that play to her strengths; namely, muscular endurance based on body weight. If that luck carries over into rock pulling, she should get out of this alive.  4. Tyson is Judge Harry T. Stone – He’s lovable, hilarious, and always has a trick up his sleeve. Unfortunately, the trick Tyson pulled from his sleeve last week would’ve served him well this week.

  5. Katie is George Steinbrenner – We never see her face. Our newly-lazy fashionista is moderately unlucky – she’s the only person to have a body part nearly rot off this season. Luckily, Probst will require her to pick a rock with her hands, and if that poison is trapped in her lower body, it may not negatively affect her odds.
 5. Ciera is Bailiff Roz Russell – Um…she proved she can be tough by voting out her mother. And…uh…this analogy is…awful.
 6. Gervase is George Costanza – Unluckiest man alive. He was presented with the one food that foiled him thirteen years ago. His niece was immediately booted. He was born somewhere that’d lead him to think cheering for the Eagles was a good idea. He’s the unluckiest man on the beach, and thus the lowest ranked.
 6. Monica is Bailiff Bull Shannon – Her strategy isn’t the brightest, but she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to physicality.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water

‘Survivor’ Castaway Vytas: Laura Coaching Tina ‘Was a Dirty Move’

December 2, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. And, we’re inducting three members into the “Survivor: Hall of Fame” starting Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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It didn’t me long to pick Vytas as my pre-season favorite to win. He’s fit, smart, strategic, good-looking, likable, and has a bit of an edge to him. He’s perfect.  So, I don’t feel too bad about branding him with my famed pre-season curse.

And in my defense, everybody liked Vytas to win. So, back off.

I had a chance to speak with my latest victim in the days following his Redemption Island defeat and asked him about Laura M.’s sneaky strategy, Caleb’s Tribal Council audible, and Tyson’s Baskauskas blindside…

Gordon Holmes: I’d like to start off by apologizing for cursing you.
Vytas Baskauskas: It’s like the new car curse. It’s the Gordon pre-season curse.
Holmes: It’s “Survivor’s” own “Sports Illustrated” cover curse. So for that, I apologize.
Baskauskas: (Laughs) No sweat, man.

Holmes: Laura pulled a fast one at Redemption, coaching Tina through the final puzzle. What were your thoughts on that?
Baskauskas: “Survivor” is a game of dirty moves and it was a dirty move. And I can’t say I didn’t make my share of them out there as well. To win the game you have to make those kinds of moves. So, props to her for realizing she could get me out that way. It’s unfortunate because it’s one thing to yell out instructions to somebody, or to leave your puzzle up, but it’s unfortunate that if the placement had been different, if I had been in the middle, it couldn’t have happened. So, based on luck of the draw, Tina got to get help. If Tina had been on the other side of me, there’s no way she could’ve gotten instruction from Laura without me hearing it.
Holmes: Do you take it as a compliment that you were more of a threat than Tina?
Baskauskas: In hindsight I take it as a compliment. In the moment I was not feeling complimented.
Holmes: Did you know it was a possibility? Had they been plotting at camp?
Baskauskas: No. When Laura came to Redemption Island, the first thing she said was, “There’s no need for any strategy here. Only one of us can get back in the game, so may the best person win and we can all be friends.” I guess it must’ve happened on the fly, she realized she could get me out. So, props to her for doing it.
Holmes: I thought it was interesting that in “South Pacific” Ozzy went to Redemption to make friends and influence jury members, and Laura might’ve just done the opposite.
Baskauskas: Yeah, it was a shrewd move for her to get me out. But in the gameplay sense it might alienate both Aras and I. Aras and I are now the first members of the jury and if there’s any bitterness on our part, should she or Ciera get to the end, it’s tough for us to want to vote for one of them based on what she did.

Holmes: So many angles this season.
Baskauskas: A lot of angles. A lot of in-depth, complex analysis was happening in my mind at all times.
Holmes: It’s been tough to handicap. You guys were coming up with things that never crossed my mind.
Baskauskas: I’m a chess player and I love chess analysis, but there’s one type of chess called Fischer Random Chess where the pieces just start completely random at the bottom of the chess board. This feels like that kind of chess.
Holmes: Not to discount what Aras did in Panama, but I almost feel like his first season was checkers and this season is mega space chess.
Baskauskas: Back in Panama it was real simple. Get to the merge with numbers, stick with you alliance, ride it to the end. That’s what Aras did.  They came to the merge with numbers and then eliminated the other tribe. Unfortunately, Terry (Dietz) kept winning immunity. I was worried that being a strong guy, usually strong guys make the merge, because you needed them for challenges. But in this season, getting to the merge with numbers wasn’t going to be an issue because people had alliances on the other tribe that were going to be stronger than any initial alliance. That was really scary for me thinking my beginning alliance wasn’t going to be as strong as an alliance of loved ones coming together.

Holmes: Speaking of people worrying about loved ones coming together, everyone was worried about a Baskauskas Brothers reunion. But, it seemed like you guys didn’t pick up on that sentiment.
Baskauskas:  In the pre-game Aras and I were like, “We’re going to be big threats. We need to do everything we can to not appear threatening.” But at the merge it seemed like everybody was with us. We didn’t take our own advice. In that first individual challenge, we went one-two. And then, our other strategy was to get to the merge and if there are other pairs in the majority, we need to get with those pairs. And we didn’t do that either.
Holmes: I’ve always hoped I’d be the kind of player who would tip his cap if he got blindsided. Tyson was the orchestrator behind the moves that eliminated you and your brother. Is that something you can appreciate or does the betrayal sting too much?
Baskauskas: It was a great move. And I had never played with Tyson until that point. We’d been on opposite tribes. Aras and I got to the merge and Aras was 100%. He said, “Dude, I’ve got Tyson. Tyson’s with us.” And I said, “Are you sure?” And he said, “Yes, 100%.” I even reiterated it a few times. So, props to Tyson for convincing my brother. Aras is a little too trusting, but Aras is really good at this game. And then great job to Tyson for convincing everyone that we were the ones who should go. I think he’s playing a great game.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Tina.
Baskauskas: Great woman. True friend.
Holmes: Tyson?
Baskauskas: Great player. Funny guy.
Holmes: Gervase?
Baskauskas: Riding Tyson’s coattails a little.
Holmes: Caleb?
Baskauskas: Screwed my game up, got out Brad.
Holmes: Ciera?
Baskauskas: Sweet girl. I like how she’s starting to play the game.
Holmes: Monica?
Baskauskas: Challenge beast. A little bit paranoid.
Holmes: Laura M.?
Baskauskas: Puzzle master and not the best social game player.
Holmes: Katie?
Baskauskas: Sweetheart and kept me alive on the Galang beach during the tribe swap.
Holmes: We’ll finish with Aras.
Baskauskas: I love my brother. Only two brothers to ever play “Survivor” and I’m so happy we got to do this thing together.

Holmes: Let’s jump back into that. Caleb threw your game off by voting out Brad. What was your plan if that Tribal had gone according to how you’d guys had laid it out?
Baskauskas: Ugh…that Tribal…everyday when we’d go to Redemption people were throwing it at Brad. Marissa with the “(expletive deleted) you, Brad Culpepper” and Candice throwing him the bird. I was so happy. That was just targets being moved onto Brad even though I was just as instrumental as Brad at getting those people out. For me, it was take Brad as far as you can and hide behind him. Ciera was going home that night. She even knew she was going home that night.  It was unfortunate that Caleb had that emotional last-minute decision. I wasn’t going to draw rocks. I saw the writing on the wall that it was going to be a tie. I had to switch strategies.

Holmes: We talked a lot before the show about who wouldn’t have been brought on this show if they weren’t someone’s loved one. Who didn’t feel right for “Survivor.” And you and Brad were probably the last people on everyone’s list. You’ve got a great story, you were always thinking of new strategies, really fun to watch. It seems like your appearance on “Survivor” was another step in an amazing journey.
Baskauskas: Thanks, Gordon. In addition to overcoming a lot in my life, you have to understand that I am a huge “Survivor” fan. I’ve been a fan of the show even before Aras was on the show. So for me being out there, it was one of those life goals I’ve always wanted to accomplish. It was an amazing time. I feel lucky that I’ve come so far in my life.
Holmes: So you finally get to achieve your dream, and some jerk ruins it by making you his pre-season pick.
Baskauskas:  (Laughs) I wouldn’t put it all on yourself. The responsibility for getting voted out was on me.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap – Big Alliances Don’t Last Forever

November 27, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6541379645042428112″ program_type=”series” cid=”45576771592″]

Last Week: Aras lost his shot at the mill, Monica let Kasama eat their fill, and Ciera was probably cut from her family’s will.

39 Days (well…technically 39.5), 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Kasama Tribe (wearing purple)

Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

Another Note: We’re flying without a DVR tonight; so anything that gets missed, gets missed.

It’s hugs all around for Ciera after her mom was sent packing. But, instead of looking like she’s part of the pack, now others think she’s super strategic. Jeez, a girl can’t even stab the woman who brought her into this world in the back without people getting all sensitive.

Over at Redemption Island, as Laura approaches the camp, she pretends to be Katie to throw off Tina. And it works! That’s mean, but hilarious. However, a more accurate Katie impersonation may have been saying, “I have the idol. OK, I don’t.”

Redemption Island Time: Players will race to move four cubes through a net. They’ll then stack them so that no side has two of the same color. The first two to complete the cube stack will be safe, while the last person will have to sacrifice their buff to the flames. The first-place finisher will also give away an immunity idol clue.

Before the challenge gets underway, Probst takes a moment to make Ciera feel bad about voting out Laura. But, Laura says it’s OK because she’ll come back.

The challenge starts and Vytas and Laura jump out to a solid lead. Tina’s seriously falling behind.

Laura is the first to correctly complete the challenge. She then gives Tina clues on how to finish the puzzle. Tina finishes her puzzle a second before Vytas and wins. As you’d imagine, Vytas is more than a little annoyed with Laura.

Laura gives the clue to Ciera and she burns it. Makes sense. According to Katie, Ciera already has the idol.

Back at camp, Tyson starts spreading the word that Katie has to go due to having three jury votes. However, Hayden and Caleb feel like they’re in the middle if they don’t make a move. And the move they want to make is taking Tyson out.

Dun dun dun…

Caleb approaches Katie with this plan, and she’s on board because…she really has no choice. Ciera pretends to be with it, but she’s worried that Caleb and Hayden are flipping too early.

CUT TO: Ciera tells Tyson what’s up. Oh man… She vows to vote any way he tells her.

Later, Gervase and Tyson discuss this new revelation. They decide to target Caleb at the next Tribal Council.

The next morning, Caleb and Hayden start to get paranoid because Ciera is acting differently around them. Maybe it’s because she wasn’t invited into the bro hammock they’re swinging in.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto a handle that’s holding onto a rope that’s holding onto a bucket that has 25% of their body weight in it. Last person holding up their bucket wins immunity.

Before it starts, Probst gives them the chance to forgo the challenge and enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch. Tyson, Ciera, and Gervase decide to take him up on that offer.

Not much to describe here except for some handle holdin’. Monica lets Jeff know that she wants to win to prove that there’s more than one bad ass in her house. He’s a Brad ass.

Katie’s the first one out after ten minutes.

Gervase and Tyson do an adorable “Lady and the Tramp” impersonation with sausage. Jeff then does an actual impersonation of a medieval king. I’m not going to lie, this whole thing is weird.

Caleb’s the next to go at the twenty-minute mark. Hayden and Monica battle it out, but Monica stays strong and pulls off her third straight win.

Back at Kasama, Hayden wants a full description of the meal. That’s actually pretty smart. Probably a good way to drive a wedge between the eaters and Monica.

Caleb and Hayden decide to ask Tyson if he’s planning on blindsiding them. That’s certainly unique. The hope is that they can claim Ciera is trying to play them against each other.

And…it…works…maybe? Tyson agrees to team with Hayden and Caleb to send Ciera packing.

Hmmm…I’m thinking it’s smarter to get rid of Hayden and Caleb and whittle it down to the four instead of booting Ciera and dealing with five.

Also, does Monica still do anything other than win challenges?

That night at Tribal Council the Baskauskas brothers sit in the jury box and gaze longingly at a season that should have been called, “Aras vs. Vytas”

Hayden thinks the people who ate the barbecue feel comfortable and there’s a little bit of jealousy.

Caleb isn’t shocked that Ciera feels comfortable. Probst thinks nobody should feel comfortable because there are seven people left.

Ciera says she didn’t feel safe, she just didn’t think she could win and wanted to eat.

Tyson says he’s surprised that others in his alliance didn’t eat because they are safe. Clever statement.

Gervase looks at Hayden and says he trusts the people in his alliance.

Tyson says he’ll be shocked if he’s voted out.

Caleb thinks there will be a blindside.

Ciera says she’ll be shocked if her torch is snuffed.

Voting Time: Caleb votes for Ciera, Ciera votes for Caleb, and the rest of the votes are sooper secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…Tyson digs in his bag for half an hour and eventually plays his idol.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Ciera, one vote for Caleb, two votes for Ciera, two votes for Caleb, and the fourteenth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Caleb.

Verdict: Wow, didn’t see that one coming.

People are going to give Tyson grief for playing the idol. But, he’s probably pretty locked in at the final four with this latest move.

And, why vote for Caleb before someone as strong as Hayden?

Who’s Going to Win? Tyson and Gervase are probably locks at this point. And between the two, Tyson’s the one who seems to be making all the moves.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm and I both blew it. We both had Caleb in spot 1. We also both had Laura winning at Redemption Island. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 2, Team Real American Heroes 2. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 119, Team Real American Heroes 127.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ Power Rankings – Classic ‘Survivor’ Edition

November 25, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for news and updates.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6541379645042428112″ program_type=”series”]

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 Gervase is voted out this week, Malcolm will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 2 points. Also, each player will pick the players they think will win at Redemption Island. They’ll receive a bonus point for each correct pick. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Malcolm and Gordon both had Laura in spot eight. They also both had Vytas winning at Redemption Island. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 9, Team Real American Heroes 9. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 117, Team Real American Heroes 125.

 

Wager Update: Since there was a straight-up tie last week, Malcolm and Gordon will both have to compare the players to past seasons of “Survivor.” The loser of this week’s rankings will have to compare the players to sitcom stars.

Team Glamor and Glitter, Fashion and Fame: 117

Any advice for Malcolm? Drop him a line on Twitter: @MalcolmWHW

Team Real American Heroes: 125

Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

 1. Caleb is “Survivor: Fiji” – No one really remembers, willingly or otherwise, that it exists. And that’s the spot our silent Alabaman hunter is sitting in. Clearly he’s no dummy – his response to Probst’s question about Monica’s reward sacrifice was shockingly good – and hopefully he’ll continue to sneak through the impending melee.
 1. Caleb is “Survivor: Fiji” – I haven’t rewatched “Survivor: Fiji” since the original airing. All I remember is Dreamz stabbing Yau-Man in the back over a car. That’s how I feel about Caleb. All I’m going to remember about him is getting the best of Brad.
 2. Katie is “Survivor: One World” – Remember how we were all shocked about how good looking everyone was? And then nothing happened for 39 days? Katie’s fashion sense is second to none on the beach (though she needs to step it up, I’ve been getting let down recently), but not a whole lot’s going on game-wise. That latter fact is a point in her favor – she should be able to sneak through a vote or two unscathed.  2. Gervase is “Survivor: Samoa” – If the Coconut Compadres can weather whatever happens this week, they’ll ride off into the sunset with Tyson getting grief from the jury and Gervase coming off scot-free. So basically, he’s the Natalie White to Tyson’s Russell Hantz.
 3. Gervase is “Survivor: China” – My favorite season of “Survivor” for the guy in the best spot to win. He’s not getting targeted, but is charismatic and has built a good resume for the final three. He probably needs one more big move to propel him to the end, but Vegas odds are shortest on the OG.
 3. Monica is “Survivor: Thailand” – There wasn’t much drama in “Survivor: Thailand.” It was pretty obvious after a while that Brian Heidik was going to run the table. I feel the same way about Monica. I’m pretty sure she’s either going to the end as someone’s goat, or she’s going to get taken out by the great Tadhana uprising.

 4. Hayden is “Survivor: Gabon” – Underrated season that’s kind of awesome in its own fun way. Everyone’s favorite houseguest-turned-castaway isn’t doing much except dropping emphatic cliché’s, but he’s clearly brilliant socially. That likeability is going to get him in trouble soon, but he’s done a good job of keeping himself out of the crosshairs thus far.  4. Hayden is “Survivor: Philippines” – He’s a young, good-looking, challenge threat with long hair who needs to commit to his original tribemates. If he doesn’t, he’s a goner. Sound like anyone else we know?

  5. Ciera is “Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites” – Lackluster in the first half, then mind-blowingly awesome after the merge. That’s how my girl’s game is going right now, especially after last week. Not only does she deftly behead her mom, but that little idol lie to Katie was beautiful. She’s starting to build her resume for the win, but others might be recognizing that too, and thus she’s not completely safe as a goat anymore. Her moving down this list reflects her becoming a threat, and thus is also a good thing for her chances to win. 
 5. Katie is “Survivor: The Australian Outback” – For my money, Colby taking your mother to the final two was the dumbest move in “Survivor” history. For “Blood vs. Water” the dumbest move might be someone letting you get to end. You’ll have a ton of friends on the jury and no real blood on your hands.
 6. Tyson is “Survivor: All-Stars” – There was once this guy named Robert who hailed from the metropolitan Boston area, and on his first “Survivor” season a billion years ago he was kind of loud and fun, but didn’t really impress anyone with stellar gameplay. Then that guy came back for “All-Stars,” blew everyone’s minds, and no one even remembers his humble beginnings anymore. Such is Tyson, who’s transformed from a guy who was happy to simply taunt weeping girls in Tocantins, into Machiavelli reborn. He’s on top of the pecking order and holding an idol, but he’s also wearing a target the size of Utah on his back. Shots across his bow are imminent.
 6. Tyson is “Survivor: Redemption Island” – Tyson’s buddy “Boston” Rob was able to learn from his mistakes and pitch an almost perfect game his fourth time around. Tyson now finds himself in a similar position. If he can use the idol at the right time, he can quell the Tadhana uprising and put himself in the driver’s seat.
 7. Monica is “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites” – I was there, and to this day I’m not sure if it was brilliant or a train wreck, but it was most certainly a mess. Monica sometimes does great things (immunity challenges) sometimes obnoxious things (referring to self in the third person) and sometimes dumb things (changing vote at Tribal). As 7 is a magic number for crazy Tribals, Monica’s going to be an untrustable wildcard that no one will be willing to stake their game on.  If everyone turns on Tyson and he catches wind of it, I’m suspecting Monica as an idol boot.
  7. Ciera is “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Is there a term for someone who is voted out immediately after flipping? I’m thinking specifically of Candice, but I’m guessing the same would hold true for John Fincher. And the irony is; Ciera’s going to get heat for her move, but technically she didn’t flip. Either way, I’m thinking she gets Finchered this episode.
 9. Redemption Island Picks: Vytas is “Survivor: Nicaragua” – Entertaining but slightly evil at the same time.
Laura is “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” –
Non-stop intensity. I’m honestly rooting for Tina now – her foul mouth has won me over — but I’m not thrilled about her odds against Bearded Yoga Hunk and Grandma Puzzle Beast.
  Redemption Island Picks:  Vytas and Laura are “Survivor: All-Stars” – Why? Because sending Tina home is their first order of business.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water

‘Survivor’ Castaway Aras: ‘I’m Either Getting Blindsided or I Have a Virus’

November 21, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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I don’t wonder what it’d be like to be Chandler Bing trying to come up with hilarious quips when I watch “Friends.” And I don’t wonder what it’d be like to flambé my handmade gnocchi* when I watch “Top Chef.”  But, I try to figure out how I’d react to every situation when I watch “Survivor.”

I’d want to be someone who’s strong in challenges but not overwhelming. I’d want to be someone who never causes a stir around camp. I’d want to be someone who always keeps his emotions in check.

I’d want to be Aras Baskauskas.

I spoke with my “Survivor” role model the day after his elimination and had a chance to ask about being stabbed in the back by Gervase, the plan he never got a chance to implement, and his recent engagement…

*I have no idea if it’s even possible to flambé gnocchi.

Gordon Holmes: Congratulations on your engagement, sir.
Aras Baskauskas: Thank you very much.
Holmes: Kat was worried that Hayden was going to dump her because she didn’t make it to the merge. Did you propose because you were worried your fiancé wouldn’t want to marry the first member of the jury?
Baskauskas:  My engagement was a direct result of Kat’s fear of not making the merge. (Laughs) No, no that had nothing to do with it.
Holmes: You don’t want to take any chances with a moment that big.
Baskauskas:  (Laughs) Exactly. But, the engagement was certainly a direct result of my experience on “Survivor.” I will say that. It puts everything in perspective when you’re out there. I came back and couldn’t wait to see her.
Holmes: You’re out there for two months or so, you’re thinking, “I don’t want to go another day without this woman.” Then you get home and pop the question.
Baskauskas:  Yeah. One of the beautiful things about “Survivor” is it makes you appreciate the things you have back home.

Holmes: Both you and Vytas seemed very confident before you were voted out. Were there any signs that a blindside was coming?
Baskauskas:  I feel a little bit like I suffered from guilt by association with that confidence.  I will say I was confident in my relationship with Gervase because we were friends before the game. But I wasn’t going around saying,  “This season should be called ‘Aras vs. Vytas.’” Things were not feeling right to me. I was very worried about that Tribal. I had this bad pit in my stomach and I told medical “I’m either getting blindsided or I have a virus.” Obviously I didn’t have a virus.
Holmes: Right. What was making you uneasy?
Baskauskas:   It’s hard for people to maintain a straight face when they’re voting you out, and Gervase was starting to be a little bit ruder to me that he normally was. Even at Tribal Council, Monica answered some questions that… Jeff asked Monica who she’s voting for, and she said, “I’m voting for the person that has the best relationships on the island.” And that was obviously not Ciera or Laura Morett.
Holmes: Is there anything you can do at that point?
Baskauskas:  Jeff asked at the end of Tribal, “Is there anything else anyone wants to say?” I was ready to say, “Jeff, I know it’s me.” But I was so paranoid of being paranoid that I didn’t say anything. I regret that because I think I could have potentially flipped that Tribal on its head and convinced the Moretts to comes with Vytas and I and the Wessons.

Holmes: I have a theory about Gervase that he is made of Teflon. Season one he says that women are dumber than cows and it doesn’t come back to bite him. You literally have to drag him to the boat in the first challenge. He stabs you in the back and the first thing you do is let him know you’re not mad at him. It seems like the things that would sink other players roll right off him.
Baskauskas: Gervase is a really likable guy. He has a lightness about him. He’s funny and he rarely takes things very seriously. I think it’s a testament to the kind of guy he when he does something, people don’t want to be vindictive.

Holmes: What was the plan going forward if the vote had gone your way?
Baskauskas:  Take out the Moretts first. That would get us to nine. Then we’d take out Caleb and Hayden, which would get us to seven. Then Monica would go. At that point, things get tricky for me. I wanted to go to the end with Gervase and Tyson. I also really loved Tina. But, my commitment was to Gervase and Tyson and Vytas’s commitment was to Tina and Katie.  If we’d gotten down to the six, that could’ve been very challenging.
Holmes: Wait, so you weren’t planning on taking Vytas to the end?
Baskauskas:   No, no, no…my brother would’ve been right next to me. He was a lock. The final four would’ve been Aras, Vytas, Gervase, and Tyson or Aras, Vytas, Tina, and Katie.

Holmes: When Tina had her outburst after you were eliminated, everyone raised their hands, saying they’d talked about being in an alliance with you. Were you worried that that strategy was going to set you up with some bitter jurors?
Baskauskas:  No, not at all. It’s funny, the person who was in more alliances than I was was Tyson. He was saying, “Aras was in an alliance with everybody.” Which is funny to me. It was a smart move on Tyson’s part. He made everyone afraid of me. And so everybody in the game at that point was thinking, “Oh man, Tyson saved me. He’s got my back.” That saved him for a few Tribal Council until he was picked up as a threat. It looks like in this next episode that they’re finally going to wake up and realize how powerful Tyson’s position is.
Holmes: He’s doing a great job of making it seem like these eliminations are just business.
Baskauskas:  Yeah, Tyson’s played three times in four or five years. He’s got a lot of practice. I think in order to win you have to treat it like a game. You can’t make it personal. That’s really hard to do. He’s also doing a great job of making people feel like they’re coming up with the strategic ideas that are in his best interest. He’s getting people to come to those conclusions using really subtle, manipulative suggestions which I think is quite powerful.

Holmes: OK, let’s get into some word association. We’ll start with Hayden.
Baskauskas:  Beef.
Holmes: Ciera?
Baskauskas:  Bug bites.
Holmes: Gervase?
Baskauskas:   Back stabber. (Laughs)
Holmes: Tyson?
Baskauskas: The messiah.
Holmes: Caleb?
Baskauskas:  Teddy bear.
Holmes: Monica?
Baskauskas:   Motherly.
Holmes: Katie?
Baskauskas:  Hilarious.
Holmes: Laura Morett?
Baskauskas:  Masseuse.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Vytas.
Baskauskas:  My brother. That wasn’t very good.
Holmes: Yeah, c’mon. I say there are no wrong answers here, but you can do better than that.
Baskauskas:  OK… friend, rival, better looking of the brothers.
Holmes: Am I a bad person for laughing when he took a cheap shot at you during the sumo challenge?
Baskauskas:  (Laughs) No, I think you’re required to laugh.

Holmes: You can’t watch “Survivor” without wondering how you’d do if you were in the game. You’re someone I always hoped I would emulate. This was cemented when I saw your reaction to being eliminated from the game. I’m a big believer in; if you get the best of me, even through devious means, I’ll tip my cap. I’m sure it’s easier said than done. How’d you do it?
Baskauskas:  Probably the same thing that the narrative of the show credited for my downfall; my meditation. Take all of the spirituality out of meditation, and it’s really a practice of awareness. I think in order to leave the game tipping your cap you have to be very aware of the emotions that come out when you’re voted out and be willing to process them. I think a lot of times when you’re voted out, anger and sadness comes up and instead of processing those feelings and taking responsibility for them, they want to put them on the people that voted them out.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap – The Parent Trap

November 20, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6541379645042428112″ program_type=”series” cid=”45576771592″]

Last Week: Monica’s ability to follow a plan was lacking, Caleb proved he wasn’t good at tracking, and Vytas and Tina were both sent packing.

39 Days (well…technically 39.5), 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Kasama Tribe (wearing purple)

Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Laura M. – Co-Owner of Morett Construction, 43
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

We meet up with our merry band of Survivors after Tribal Council, and everyone is offering condolence hugs to Katie. She accepts them, but lets us know that the seven-person alliance is uncrackable. Wrong attitude, every alliance that big is in danger

The next morning, Ciera takes her mother for a walk and again tells her to keep her head down and avoid strategy talks. Ciera thinks her stronger place in the game makes her a better player than her mother. Well…that’s like comparing cute apples to hot oranges. Ciera is playing under-the-radar while Laura is more of a leader.

Ciera then sets the tone for the night saying that her mother may have to go. I’m sensing some awkwardness at the Morett family Thanksgiving.

Redemption Island Time: Players will use a grappling hook to retrieve three bags of balls. Then they’ll have to maneuver one of those balls through a table maze. The first two people to get their ball to the end get to stay. The loser will become the first member of the jury. The winner will also get to watch whoever they give the immunity idol clue to chuck  it into the fire.

The challenge starts off and apparently Tina is some kind of grappling savant. She quickly nabs all three bags. Vytas and Aras eventually join her at the table maze.

There’s not much to describe in the final stage except for some shaky ball maneuvering. (Grow up.)

Tina gets super close, but loses it at the last possible moment. Vytas is the first to complete the maze; that means one former champ is going home.

Tina gets to the end again and wins it. It wasn’t close. Aras is eliminated. Someone get that man a cheeseburger.

Before Aras is allowed to burn his buff, Probst makes the brothers talk about their feelings.

After that mushiness, Vytas gives the clue to Katie. She smartly keeps it.

Back at Kasama beach, Katie goes idol huntin’. Unfortunately, she’s several episodes too late.

Tyson approaches Hayden and some guy in a red baseball cap with the idea of getting rid of Laura. Tyson even has the math figured out so Ciera doesn’t have to stab the woman who brought her into this world in the back.

Later, Ciera tells Laura that having her mother around is hurting her chances. She thinks if Laura goes before the final six, that she’ll have a clear path to the final three. Laura admires Ciera for her courage even if she doesn’t like all of this talk of her making a return visit to Redemption Island.

In unrelated news, someone is chopping onions in the Holmes household.

The next morning, Katie sets off bright and early to continue her idol hunt. Laura, realizing that an idol-less Katie is the only thing keeping her around, follows her and digs with her. Boehlke Block!

Then, Tyson takes Ciera aside to let her in on the Laura elimination strategy. She pretends to be cool with it even though she isn’t sure what she’s going to do. Smart.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto a rope and lean over a pier. At certain times they’ll have to move further down the rope. Last person standing wins immunity, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and soda.

Round One: Hayden’s the first out, he’s followed by the guy in the red hat.

Round Two: Gervase goes immediately. Next we lose Ciera and Katie.

Probst: “You want immunity tonight.” Well, he’s got a point.

Laura drops next and we’re down to Tyson and Monica. They battle it out (well, as much as you can battle while you’re holding a rope over a pier) and Monica wins her second straight immunity.

Monica is allowed to choose a lunch date. Instead, she asks to give the food to the others. Probst is cool with this decision and everyone except for Monica chows down. Hmmm…I don’t like those moves. It tends to come back to bite people.

Back at camp, Ciera tells Katie that she’s going to tell her something, but she can’t turn on her. Well, that’s a unique strategy. They pinky swear, and Ciera lets Katie know that Laura is on the chopping block.

Katie says she’s going to play her idol anyway. Ciera calls Katie’s bluff, saying that she already found it. Katie immediately folds. Are we sure she’s Tina Wesson’s daughter?

Ciera goes back to Tyson and tells him that she tricked Katie. This worries Tyson because he hadn’t been giving Ciera much credit as far as being a game player.

That night at Tribal Council, Tyson thinks having a pair of loved ones around is dangerous.

Red hat doesn’t think Laura will lay down for Ciera the way Tina was willing to lay down for Katie.

Hayden believes that Ciera and Laura are both competitive and are willing to take each other out, but their bond is stronger than any other bond out there.

Laura thinks it’s an asset to keep them around because if you’re in an alliance with them, you have two votes. Laura also says it’s good to align with a pair because the other people won’t have a loved one on the jury. Ooo…smart.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. Drama!

We’ve got one vote for Laura, one vote for Katie, three votes for Laura, and the thirteenth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Laura.

Oh man, the last vote said “Mom” in parenthesis. Ciera’s a cold-hearted snake.

Laura and Ciera hug it out. Laura says, “I’ll come back for you” which is exactly the opposite of what Ciera wants.

Verdict: I never, ever thought there would be a situation where loved ones would vote each other out. I assumed it was a lock that the major alliance would be made up of pairs of loved ones. This season is a kick-posterior mess of unpredictability.

Seriously, this has to be the best season since “Heroes vs. Villains,” right?

As for Ciera, she made the right choice. If I’m Caleb and Hayden or Gervase and Tyson, I’m looking to make her my third. While Monica’s lack of a loved one on the jury might make her an attractive choice, I wouldn’t be able to look past her  unpredictable behavior with the Vytas vote.

Who’s Going to Win? Tyson’s clearly in the driver’s seat, but can he win a jury? I’d like to think his backstabbing is earning more respect than bitterness, but you never know.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm and I both had Laura in spot eight. We also both had Vytas winning at Redemption Island. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 9, Team Real American Heroes 9. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 117, Team Real American Heroes 125.

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

‘Survivor’: Exclusive Photos of Wednesday’s Redemption Island Challenge

November 19, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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Redemption Island is back in business this Wednesday when for the first time ever, two former champions will square off in a Redemption duel. It will also be the first time two brothers will face each other in a Redemption duel. So, Blood vs. Blood vs. Water!

The first two to finish the challenge will live to see another day. The loser will finally get to eat when they get back to Ponderosa.

Let’s see what we can learn about this important bout from these exclusive photos…

Aras, Vytas, and Tina will battle for the right to stay in the game. (CBS)

Jeff Probst was kind enough to put on clothes after his half-naked appearance on "Two and a Half Men" (CBS)

The players will use grappling hooks to retrieve... (CBS)

..bags of puzzle pieces? (CBS)

No wait, I'll bet they're bags of balls. First two to get all of their balls through the maze gets to stay. OK, what do I win? (CBS)

 

Don’t miss “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” this Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. And catch up on any episodes you’ve missed on XFINITY TV.

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Power Rankings – Beverage Edition

November 19, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for news and updates.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6541379645042428112″ program_type=”series”]

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 Tyson is voted out this week, Malcolm will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 5 points. Also, each player will pick the players they think will win at Redemption Island. They’ll receive a bonus point for each correct pick. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Malcolm and Gordon both had Vytas in spot ten. Malcolm had Tina in spot nine while Gordon had her in spot eight. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 19, Team Real American Heroes 18. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 108, Team Real American Heroes 116.

 

Wager Update: Since Gordon lost the ranking portion of the competition last week, he’ll compare the players to drinks. The loser of this week’s rankings will have to compare the players to past “Survivor” seasons.

 

Team Glamor and Glitter, Fashion and Fame: 108

Any advice for Malcolm? Drop him a line on Twitter: @MalcolmWHW

Team Real American Heroes: 116

Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

 1. Gervase – I’ve watched that Hot Dog eating contest every 4th of July, so I know that Gervase’s crazy leaping at the challenge was a carefully crafted strategy to take advantage of kinetic energy to help the grubs down his throat. For this brilliant gamesmanship, he get’s my top spot.
 1. Caleb Is a Glass of Water – A glass of water is always an option. It’s always there. It isn’t impressive, but it’s reliable. I’d bet Caleb is going to get to the finals, but he’ll find himself there with two players who have much more intriguing stories.
 2. Caleb – He’s like a monk sworn to silence. A monk who can’t track old women, sports flannel and — I only just realized this – wears a cap with his initials sewn in.   2. Gervase Is Sweet Tea – There isn’t a drink on this planet I’d rather have than a properly prepared sweet tea (no lemon!) and there isn’t a better place in this game than being in Gervase’s shoes. He’s making calls, but Tyson is taking the bullets. If the tide turns against the Coconut Compadres, Tyson’s elimination will be Gervase’s early warning system. The man who was present for the first day of “Survivor’s” first season is making a strong case for being the last man standing on the last day of their most recent season.
 3. Tyson – Everything’s going his way, which I couldn’t be more thrilled about. Only problem is that it seems everyone is aware he’s calling the shots, and sooner or later he’s going to be targeted. That idol may make things fun in the near future.
 3. Ciera Is a Vegetable Smoothie – Yeah, it sucks to drink something like this, but it’s going to be good for you in the long run. For Ciera, voting her mother off is the best move she can make. It immediately takes a target off of her back and makes her an attractive third for either the Caleb/Hayden or Gervase/Tyson alliances.

 4. Ciera – I obviously sympathize with shaky hands, and thus am rooting for her more than ever. Now please oh please go after your mom – it helps your positioning moving forward, plus it gives you something (FINALLY) to boast about if you make it to the end.  4. Hayden Is a Caffeine Free Diet Vanilla Cherry Coke – Why such a complicated drink? Because nobody has more decisions to make at this point than Hayden. The Coconut Compadres are going to come for him. He’s too nice, too fit, and too unscathed at this point. He needs to solidify with his old Tadhana buddies and make a solid four-person alliance.

  5. Monica – With the amount of negative reaction she’s generated around camp – last week it was panicking when she had immunity, then changing her vote for an emotional reason – Monica is going down soon for being uncontrollable, or getting taken all the way to the end.
 5. Tyson Is a Fruit Punch Capri Sun – You’re so darn fun. Just a pleasure to watch. Tyson’s always been the king of the one liner and a solid force in challenges, but watching him orchestrate his gameplan has been great fun. Here’s hoping he can navigate the dwindling down of his alliance.
 6. Katie – Her surviving last week was a lot closer than I thought it’d be. That being said, she poses no threat anymore and should be able to limp into the big alliance posing as more stable as Monica, then work her way into the new endgame majority that will have to form soon. Also, bonus points for her ability to ignore her mother’s wholly unnecessary support during the challenge.
 6. Katie is a Strong Cup of Coffee – No rest for you, Katie. Not yet, anyways. The alliance is going to split. You just have to stay on your game until it does because you’re an easy, non-offensive target.
 7. Hayden – His two best traits are social maneuvering and dramatically stating the obvious. I think that, if Aras and Vytas start dominating RI, he may get cut so as to knock one of the fit brothers out.
  7. Monica Is a Bottle of Tequila – Why tequila? Because that’s where a lot of bad ideas start. And swapping your vote at Tribal was a bad idea. What if Vytas had played an idol? Your alliance would be done. A worse idea? Telling your tribe you changed your vote to stick it to Vytas! How can they trust you to follow a plan? Was it worth it to get a dig at Vytas that he won’t see for another 5 months?
 8. Laura Whelp, this is an easy choice. It’s in Ciera’s best interest for you to go because she needs to appear as weak as possible. No one wants a blood pair left in the game, so everyone else is excited for it to happen. And you’ve already proved you can knock competitors out of RI, giving the remaining safe-feeling castaways another reason to send you packing. Sorry Grandma.
 8. Laura Is Whatever Drink She Likes Best – Colton claims that he quit to save Caleb’s game. Whether or not you believe that is up to you. Laura has a genuine chance to make a big difference in her daughter’s life. As a member of the jury, Laura would put her daughter at least 1/5th of the way to a win. And as an advocate on the jury, she could be even more powerful. So, when Ciera cashes that million-dollar check, make sure drinks are on her.
 9. Redemption Island Picks: The Baskauskai – I really want them to win just so we can watch façade-free Vytas blame it all on his little brother some more. If we get a puzzle at RI, Tina could challenge the boys, but then I remember that fish puzzle she epically fumbled a few weeks ago, let out a small giggle, and put all my money on the boys.
  Redemption Island Picks: Aras and Vytas Are a Pineapple Margarita – Aras is the sweet inside and Vytas is the salty outside. Perfectly paired with a post-game hamburger. However, I’m not positive that this pick is a slam dunk, because Tina has shown to be good at puzzles and was able to hold her own in the sumo duel with Katie.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water


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