Posts Tagged ‘survivor heroes vs. healers vs. hustlers’

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Power Rankings Round 7: Deuces Wild Edition

November 13, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

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 players will earn. For example, if Mike is voted out this episode, Aubry will receive eight points and Gordon will receive four points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Aubry Bracco had Jessica in spot 11 while Gordon Holmes had her in spot 12. The current score is Team Bracco 65, Team Holmes 75.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.​

Aubry’s Score = 65

Any questions for Aubry? Drop her a line on Twitter: @aubrybracco

Gordon’s Score = 75

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

1. Ryan: Ryan’s blending at the beginning of the merge, and that’s a prime spot to be. If he uses this lull to make a plan and assess his potential jury, the turtleneck-clad analogy machine might be worth $1 million. 1. Lauren: She voted with the Hustleroes alliance and Mike will probably do what he can to keep her safe on the other side. She’s in a great position right now.
2. Devon: He might be starving to death, but Devon’s in a good spot. He’s got friends everywhere and he wasn’t in the hot seat to make a big decision last vote. 2. Devon: Devon’s makin’ some moves! And at the same time, nobody seems really threatened by him. I never would’ve said this at the start of the season, but Devon could take this whole thing.
3. JP: JP seems like ideal goat material and part of several people’s plans. Even better, he doesn’t outwardly appear to be a strategic threat at this time in a season full of them. The only way he could be in trouble next week? If the Hustlers and Heroes go to war for his number and decide to target him instead. 3. Ryan: A lot of shots are being thrown back and forth and none of them are being lobbed at one of this game’s savviest players. I say hang back and pick up the pieces when it’s over.
4. Ashley: I’m not sure what this merge holds for Ashley. She’s got a lot of feelers out there, and she was on the right side of the Jessica vote. This girl knows how to hang with the guys, and that’s a good thing given how many are left in the game. One possible issue? She showed her individual challenge prowess early. 4. Mike: Lauren really wants to work with Mike. And with Jessica gone, Lauren could become Mike’s new number two. Would she tip him off if his name was put up? I think so.
5. Ben: Ben’s spot could be good or bad depending on how you interpret the swing vote position. Sure, it’s great to have a bunch of allies and the opportunity to choose a side. What’s not so great about being friends with everyone? They’re more hurt anytime you make a move against them or their friends. 5. Desi: Challenge Goddess! I caught last week’s episode with 500 of my closest friends at the “Rob Has a Podcast: Know-It-Alls” live show in NYC. And when Desi won immunity, the place exploded.
6. Lauren: Lauren’s fully in an alliance and the voice of reason (who would have thought?) That said, she has to make sure she continues to go with the flow as the tribe works through the early merge. If she manages that, she’s going deep. 6. Ashley: The only reason you’re this low on the list is in case someone wants to break up your potential partnership with JP.
7. Chrissy: Chrissy has a target on her back at the beginning of the merge and is perceived as a threat. That’s not a great spot to be coming from when you’re hoping to stranglehold the game. 7. Ben: Does Cole hold you responsible for targeting Jessica? Possibly. You went from under-the-radar to smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-the-radar pretty quickly.
8. Mike: Mike is in the best position of all the Healers with everyone remaining, but that doesn’t mean much. Even worse, he lost his closest ally. I’m just glad you still have that idol in your pocket, Dr. Mike, and didn’t make a Jason/Scot Flub Of The Century by letting Jessica hold it before tribal. 8. Chrissy: The math thing…the making Ben nervous by playing too fast thing…last week was not a good week for Team Chrissy. Fortunately, you have a chance to regroup.
9. Desi: With the Healers and women dwindling on this tribe with a name so strange I can’t remember it — I’m worried Desi could find herself on the chopping block sooner than later. Even worse, Desi’s challenge prowess could make her an Andrea 3.0 (aka running from the vote all post merge long). 9. JP: Sing it with me folks; “Challenge threats…are never safe after the merge. If you’ve got skills…there’s always a motive to purge.” Yeah, it isn’t that catchy, but it’s hard to find words that rhyme with “Immunity.”
10. Joe: I keep putting Joe toward the bottom because he’s so chaotic, and here he’ll stay. Joe, I love you, but your overplaying smacks of a 9th play Debbie Wanner (no double-birds for you). 10. Cole: Your bestie got the boot last week and you’re caught in a weird wrestling match with Chrissy in the preview. The Cole train might be hitting its last stop.
11. Cole: Oh, Cole. You’re getting so far into the game now, I’m beginning to think they’re preening you to be the most handsome Billy Goat Gruff of all time. That said, you’re annoying the hell out of people and could just as easily be a liability. 11. Joe: You had to have thought your number was up to play that idol, right? You’ve watched the show enough to know that the idol-hiding methods change after the merge, right? I want you to stay, Joe…but I’m worried you’ll be using the farewell slang version of “Deuces.” #iamanoldperson


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

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Power Rankings Round 6: Dirty Dozen Edition

November 6, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

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 players will earn. For example, if Mike is voted out this episode, Aubry will receive five points and Gordon will receive three points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Aubry Bracco and I both had Ali in spot twelve. The current score is Team Bracco 54, Team Holmes 63.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.​

Aubry’s Score = 54

Any questions for Aubry? Drop her a line on Twitter: @aubrybracco

Gordon’s Score = 63

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

1. Ben: Ben’s in a great spot. He seems relaxed, he’s calling Dr. Mike “Doc” and he’s buds with Lauren. What’s most impressive is that Ben is playing strategically by playing emotionally — he’s already assembling his army by making friends. That’s a smart way to start managing a jury before you even start voting them out. 1. Joe: Nothing’s ever for sure when you head into the merge. But there’s one thing I do know; Joe isn’t afraid to use an idol when he feels threatened.
2. Lauren: Lauren’s predictable, and that’s a great person to have when you hit the merge chaos. Even better, she says what everyone’s thinking but most won’t say for the sake of their games. When the going gets tough, these no-filter Keith Nale types are common relief and in it for the long haul. 2. Desi: A Healers vs. Hustlers/Heroes split makes a lot of sense. Lauren is close with Ben, Ryan is close with Chrissy, Devon is close with Ashley. And of the Healers, Desi seems like the least likely target. Unless she’s the most unassuming target and they’re worried about idols…oh, I just remembered why I hate ranking merges.
3. Chrissy: There’s no denying Chrissy is a strategic powerhouse in the game with the ability to lie to someone (Ali) straight to her face right before sending her out the door. Ryan is with her to the death, and she’ll be reuniting with Ben. At the merge vote, numbers are everything, and this player has them. 3. Mike: A million high fives for your idol move last week. About time Cole’s loose lips helped somebody on his side. You’d better keep your idol close and your options open this week.
4. Ryan: Swap “Chrissy” with “Ryan” and “Ben” with “Devon” in the description above and paste here. 4. Ben: Why would Ben be anyone’s first post-merge target? He doesn’t have any enemies and he isn’t an obvious challenge threat.
5. Mike: I’m proud of Dr. Mike. He’s letting his personality shine, and that’s helping him connect with everyone from Jess to Ben — that’s a solid pre-merge strategy for a guy who could have easily been pegged as a strategic, socially anxious nerd and voted off early. Well done. 5. Lauren: There’s just no reason to target Lauren first. In fact, with her ability to rub people the wrong way, I could see people lining up to take her to the end.
6. Devon: Devon’s found a friend in Ashley, and he’s about to be reunited with Ryan.  Ashley, JP, Devon and Ryan could pal up or war down. Only time will tell where Devon falls in this Survivor Trust (or Distrust) cluster. 6. Chrissy: With all the idols in play, nobody on the non-idol side is really safe. But, there’s always the chance one side will try to target someone that nobody expects in case of an idol. That’s the only way I can see Chrissy going home.
7. Desi: I’m not entirely sure what Desi’s plan is going into the merge. Either way, she’s going to have to work to make herself someone’s reliable number, or she’ll be hacked because she’s that last one in the game of merge musical chairs. 7. Ryan: People get how likable and charismatic you are. And if word gets out of what went down with you and Ali, a lot more eyes could be looking at you.
8. Ashley: Ashley’s not in the easiest position and could be out to sea. If, however, Devon and JP throw her a life raft, the lifeguard could be saved past the merge. 8. Ashley: Oh good, the nation finally gets the Ashley/JP reunion they were hoping to see. I know you were sweet on him before the split, but you have to be really careful with that Power Couple stuff.
9. JP: I’m so intrigued by JP. I don’t know if his game play is terrible or genius. All I know is this group has their eyes on alpha male threats and they’ve vocalized it so he’s definitely on people’s radars, which is never a good thing. 9. Devon: Likable challenge threat after the merge? You’re never going to be safe, buddy.
10. Joe: I love watching Joe. He’s a wild man. The only bad part is people seem to sense it. I’m interested to see how Joe fits in with this larger group or if all the new blood will activate his Tony paranoia to a level we’ve never seen before. 10. JP: If the Healers alliance is going to use the idol and bounce a challenge threat, it’s going to be you.
11. Jessica: Jessica seems like she’s making a great connection with Dr. Mike. She’s got one big problem, and his name is Cole. Power duos are always at risk going into the merge. Worse than that, her other half is driving people nuts. 11. Cole: If this vote comes down to a case of “Who has the idol?” It’d make sense to use one to protect Cole. He’s an obvious target and Lauren and Ben are already out to get him.
12. Cole: Sorry Cole, but you’ve got an expiration date. His eating annoys people. He’s verbally jousting with Lauren. He flirts all day. Cole is that guy who’s about to annoy himself right out of the game. 12. Jessica: If the Hustleros alliance is worried that the Healers could be using an idol, it might make sense to take out the challenge threat’s love interest.


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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Ali: ‘I Don’t Think I Know (Chrissy) on a Personal Level’

November 2, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.”

Who knew the Girl Scouts were capable of such strong “Survivor” advice.

Ali Elliott failed to learn that lesson when she got too close to Roark for Ryan’s liking. The morning after her elimination I had a chance to ask her about her argument with Ryan, her alliance with Roark, and Chrissy lie that may have gone to far…

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

Gordon Holmes: You and Ryan got into a heated argument after the Roark Tribal. And recently we’ve been seeing the wronged party take a more laid-back approach to the blindside. Was that even an option for you, or were you so upset that you had to express yourself?
Ali Elliott: We’re heading back and I’m thinking, “They got me.” I said, “OK, what was the deal there?” Just talking, just like this. And he started to deflect right away. I was still trying to stay calm. And I didn’t feel the need to take him aside because these other two people sat there and saw exactly what happened. In my mind he had already picked them. Whatever he was going to say, he could say in front of them. He started to get really defensive. Even in the moment, I still don’t think I got all that heated. But he was acting like it was all my doing and that started to get me really upset. Tell me why you did it, don’t try to blame it on me. It exploded into something I didn’t want. But, I was happy that JP and Chrissy could see.
Holmes: Did he ever approach you with the idea of getting rid of Roark?
Elliott: I wanted to do what was best for our game and he had never brought up Roark.

Holmes: Do you think that’s a flaw in Ryan’s game that he wasn’t able to handle that situation better?
Elliott: I think so. It was the first time that I saw Ryan look uncomfortable. And I had no idea about the secret…hidden…what is it called?
Holmes: That would be the super idol…or something.
Elliott: (Laughs) I had no idea about the super idol. And I thought, we’re set. We had two people, and I had a gut feeling that we were going to merge after three Tribals. We only need to win one challenge. We have two people who are expendable. And to this day it still makes sense. And I still don’t understand why he couldn’t have filled me in on this relationship with Chrissy. Not only would he have had me, but he still would’ve had her. And I think I’d be a better ally moving forward than JP.

Holmes: Back on the Hustlers tribe, it looked like you were interested in working with Simone or Patrick, but you ultimately stuck with Ryan and Devon. What was behind those decisions?
Elliott: For both of those, it was always going to be Simone and Patrick. You want to make sure you make the right decision, so you do play devil’s advocate with yourself. It looked like I was indecisive, but I always knew what I was going to do. I was close with Patrick due to our pre-established relationship, but I knew the game and I felt like he was no longer benefitting me. I thought Lauren was more level-headed, she got along with people better. I would’ve loved to work with Patrick and Lauren, but they didn’t get along. But, both Ryan and Devon were even-keeled people. You could talk to them, run things past them.

Holmes: It was unclear what your relationship was like with Chrissy.
Elliott: Chrissy came up to me right away and said “I really like you and I want to work with you.” Already in my head I’m thinking, “I don’t really need Chrissy, but I want to keep this option open.” Chrissy was very, “This is what I think we should do, and this is why we should do it.” She wasn’t acting like she was on the same ground as me. She was saying, “This is what it’s going to be.” And that made me really uncomfortable. I wanted to play the game with people and not have people play at me. I wanted to be in a relationship. Work together, bounce around ideas. She was very straightforward. “Roark has to go, and that’s that.” Well, why does Roark have to go? Should we do a girl alliance? Should I stick with Ryan? My plan was to get to the merge and we can start playing there. People were so worried that there were so many healers, but I thought I’d be fine as long as I got to the merge. So, she rubbed me the wrong way. And she hated Roark from the get-go. I don’t know if hate is too strong a word, but she didn’t like Roark. You could just tell.
Holmes: And what was it like after Roark was eliminated?
Elliott: Chrissy and I ended up bonding. You saw, her hair was braided all the time. (Laughs) That night after the deal with Ryan, I was broken. I didn’t sleep, I laid there and stared at the fire. The next morning I went looking for an idol. I could already see them stalking me in the woods. And when I came back to camp, it was just me and Chrissy and she said, “I don’t think you should feel like you’re on the outs.” So, I was trying to sell myself at that point. “I made a mistake, I was stupid. And I’m still useful. I have a great social game and can bring in people you need.” So, we ended up bonding. Even during the pizza we shared things about our family and the game. At one point…and obviously now…she’d lied so well that I thought I might’ve squeezed back in there. But, there was one thing…and I know this is a game…but would someone lie about that?
Holmes: On this show? Yes.
Elliott: Well, I’m really close to my family. They mean everything to me, like most people, and we’d talked about the family visit. I told her I’d bring my sister. We’re so close, we’re best friends. And she said, “We’re so set. We’re going to get through this to the merge and we’re going to get to the family visit. And I cannot wait to see you run and jump into your sister’s arms.”
Holmes: Oof…
Elliott: And I was thinking, for someone to have so much confidence in this relationship after something bad had happened, I thought, maybe this could work. Why would you lie about something like that? But, it happened. (Laughs)

Holmes: Alright word association time. Let’s start with Roark.
Elliott: Roark is brilliant. She’s probably one of the smartest people I have met under the age of 30. Her being out there was like a game to me. I love to learn and she’s so smart and knows a little about everything.
Holmes: JP?
Elliott: He’s a great guy. But he’d do great on “Naked and Afraid.” He knows how to survive, and he doesn’t need a social game for “Naked and Afraid.”
Holmes: And he’s already got the naked part down.
Elliott: (Laughs)
Holmes: Simone.
Elliott: She’s very sweet, but she didn’t understand “Survivor.” I think she understood it from a viewer’s standpoint. I do love her very much. I just don’t think this was the game for her.
Holmes: Lauren?
Elliott: I love Lauren. Lauren is my winner pick now. She’s tell you exactly how she feels.
Holmes: Patrick?
Elliott: He’s very outgoing and fun to a certain extent. You need Patrick in doses. But, he’s a very kind person. He just doesn’t know what to say in all of the situations.
Holmes: Chrissy?
Elliott: I think that Chrissy is out there to play the game. I don’t think I know her on a personal level. Maybe I’ll find out one day who she is.
Holmes: Devon?
Elliott: I think Devon is great. He’s got that surfer vibe. I really wanted to work with Devon for the long haul. He’s smart and good at hiding his knowledge.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Ryan.
Elliott: He’s playing a great game. He was like my little brother out there. I think he’s got a great chance to weasel his way through the rest of the game. He gets people’s humor, which goes a long way.

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

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Episode 6 Recap: Out Cole’d

November 1, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: The sex doctor scored…an idol and Roark was eliminated because Ryan felt like the Ali-ance was Ali-ability.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Alright, let’s take a closer look at these tribes…

The Levu Tribe – Wearing Blue
Ashley, 26 – Lifeguard
Desiree, 27 – Physical Therapist
Devon, 23 – Surf Instructor
Joe, 34 – Probation Officer

The Soko Tribe – Wearing Yellow
Ali, 24 – Celebrity Assistant
Chrissy, 46 – Financial Analyst
JP, 28 – Firefighter
Ryan, 23 – Bellhop

The Yawa Tribe – Wearing Red
Ben, 34 – Marine
Cole, 24 – Wilderness Survival Guide
Jessica, 29 – Nurse Practitioner
Lauren, 35 – Fisherman
Mike, 43 – Urologist*

*Has an Immunity Idol

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Wow, things get really ugly…really quickly. Instead of Ali or Ryan doing their best to come together, they keep butting heads.

Ryan makes the argument that Ali was too close to Roark, while Ali says they only knew each other for four days. Ryan counters by saying that he and Ali haven’t known each other very long.

Oof… Bad form, Ryan. You don’t know anyone long enough in the game to have real trust, but you shouldn’t say it out loud.

Honestly, I’m not sure how fixable this is. I feel like players who are more savvy would have patched this up better.

Reward Challenge Time: Two members will use sticks to carry a buoy across a balance beam. They’ll then pull a boat to a dock where one player will use a slingshot to shoot two targets. The first tribe to hit both targets wins a bunch of pizzas. The second tribe will receive a lone pizza.

Sitting Out: Mike

Result: Soko claimed first due to JP’s marksmanship, while Yawa took second.

At Soko Beach

JP’s challenge prowess and lack of strategy talk seems to concern Ryan.

Wait, that’s it?

At Levu Beach

Joe manages to locate the clue for the Levu idol. Sure enough, it’s similar to where the Soko and Yawa idols were. He sneaks out that night and finds digs it up. Yup, nothing like Tony Vlachos at all. Time for a Mena shack!

In other news, Desi is open to the idea of working with Devon and Ashley against Joe.

At Yawa Beach

Mike manages to catch a tiny fish with what he calls a “spear gun” but it’s actually just a Hawaiian sling. Nevertheless, this is an accomplishment worthy of respect. He takes it back to the beach and hilariously drops it in the fire as he tries to cook it like Vern in “Stand by Me.”

So hilarious in fact, that Ben does his best Jim Halpert impression into the camera.

But, Ben is impressed that Mike was willing to share his tiny fish whereas Cole often eats medium sized fish all by himself.

We’re then treated to a montage that includes Cole being really rude to Lauren as they’re having a conversation about when to eat and Cole telling us that they won’t win immunity without him.

As Jessica and Cole are flirting on the beach, Lauren, Mike and Ben discuss voting him out.

Later on, Cole’s hand is shaking as he lies near the shelter. He stands up and passes right out. Luckily for him, he has two Healers nearby and it looks like he’ll be OK.

This event really stuck with Jessica though, she realizes that she doesn’t want to play the game without him. Oh Jessica…one winner. Just one.

Ben uses this event to pile onto the “Cole is irresponsible” bandwagon by telling Mike that Cole knew he was coming on “Survivor” and should have focused more on putting on weight than on sculpting his abs. Wow…so in a way I’m always ready to go on “Survivor.”

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will all hold ropes that are attached to a platform. One by one, they’ll have to work their way to the platform and place a block that will eventually spell the word “Immunity.” The first two tribes to spell the word will win…er…immunity.

Sitting Out: Lauren

Result: Yawa takes first place, Levu takes second, and Toto blesses the rains.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

JP isn’t very concerned because he knows Ali is next. Ryan, however, is still very uncertain about JP.

Ryan makes an attempt to make peace with Ali, and it looks like she’s into it. As she should be, because otherwise she’s going home.

Ali continues with this line of thinking and kind of pledges her loyalty to Chrissy. Kind of…

In a funny moment, Ryan mentions that he isn’t sure why everyone wants to work with him, because he thinks he’s a weasel. Yeah, but you’re a charismatic weasel.

Tribal Time

Nothing too exciting here; everyone is concerned with the merge, everyone knows JP’s a challenge threat, and everyone is a little nervous with how laid back he plays the game.

Voting Time: We’ve got one vote for Ali, one vote for JP, one vote for Ali, and the sixth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” is…Ali.

Damnit.

Verdict: Aaaaaaand…another winner pick down the tubes. Welp, I’ve only been doing this since Gabon, so…

Anywho, I’m ready for Cole, Jessica, and Doctor Mike to check out the Tribal Council set.

 

  • Joe – Your second idol. Well done, sir.
  • Chrissy – If there’s any bad will toward your alliance due to the Roark and Ali votes, it’ll go to Ryan, not you.
  • Doctor Mike – Who doesn’t love Doctor Mike?
  • Ryan – For as much as I adore Ali, I didn’t hate this move. Now everyone who could have beef with you is out of the game and not a part of the jury.
  • Ben – I think you’re the safest person on the beach, but I wonder if you were pushing a little too hard with the Cole thing.
  • Desi – I’m not sure if I believe what you said to Ashley based on your facial expressions, but good job keeping your options open.
  • Jessica – You’re letting your emotions get to you. Do what’s best for Jessica first.
  • JP – The Colby days are behind us, you’re going to have to show some strategic chops eventually.
  • Cole – Wow, we saw a very different version of Cole this week. The Lauren stuff was just terrible. I understand lack of food can mess up your brain, but keep it together, buddy.
  • Devon, Lauren, and Ashley – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Aubry Bracco and I both had Ali in spot twelve. The current score is Team Bracco 54, Team Holmes 63.

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

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Power Rankings Round 5 – Broken Ali-ance Edition

October 31, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

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 players will earn. For example, if Mike is voted out this episode, Aubry will receive one point and Gordon will receive three points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Aubry Bracco had Roark in spot 8, I had her in spot 14. The current score is Team Bracco 42, Team Holmes 51.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.​

Aubry’s Score = 42

Any questions for Aubry? Drop her a line on Twitter: @aubrybracco

Gordon’s Score = 51

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

1. Mike: I don’t care what social or strategic game he may or may not have. If someone pulls idols from the Earth that easily, they’ve got the Tai touch, and that instantly means they’re going deep. 1. Ryan: You were between a rock and a hard place last week. I’m not sure there was a right decision. So, what’s your post Tribal play? How do you get Ali back after you’ve sided with someone she didn’t know you were working with?
2. JP: He’s sweet, great at challenges and follows people’s instructions/blatant attempts to win him over. No, it’s not a golden retriever, it’s JP! I mean that with all the love in the world. Do I think he can win? No. But power rankings are all about safety, and the way things are going, JP is setting himself up as an A+ goat. 2. Chrissy: The female alliance ruse was a stroke of genius. And JP fell for it hook, line, and sinker. You’re gonna have so many options if you make it to the merge.
3. Ben: People relate to Ben or have reverence for the fact they can’t totally relate to what he’s feeling. In short, this guy has empathy coming his way and not in the “you’re a threat” way. Great news for Ben. On a personal note — I really appreciate how he opened up and was able to communicate his emotions so clearly. Keep fighting the good fight, Ben. 3. Mike: Dr. Mike! Your idol discovery last night was yet another example of Cole’s mouth causing him trouble. And, if you can prove to Jessica that you can be trusted over Cole, you could be the new power couple.
4. Chrissy: Chrissy’s got an army behind her. All the better for her as she steamrolls toward the merge. She should beware, however, that getting into courtroom-like debates isn’t going to work every Tribal. This isn’t Redemption Island, and there are no appeals. 4. Jessica: I hope Cole is alright, because I hate to see people leave the game with an unsnuffed torch. But, if he is gone, you’ve got a new bestie who has an idol.
5. Ryan: Ryan’s got Chrissy and JP locked in with him after the Roark vote. The only trouble ahead? Placating Ali after he betrayed her — the good thing for Ryan? Ali doesn’t have any other allies, so the kiss-and-make-up could be easy peasy. 5. Ben: Who doesn’t love Ben? There’s no way he’s the first person voted out of swapped Yawa tribe.
6. Lauren: Lauren’s quiet, but I think that’s a good thing for her. She’s picking up on other social cues (she notices Ben’s reaction during Cole’s Winnie The Poo moment) and she was in tune with Ben’s personal moment after the bamboo pops. Great work by Lauren. 6. Desi: The only thing that’s for sure about the Levu tribe is that Desi is safe. If they go to Tribal, she’ll have a lot of options.
7. Jessica: Good on Jessica — she’s made a concerted effort to distance herself from Cole, and it seems to be working. Now that she and Mike share a secret, she may find some calmer waters in her “Survivor” social circles. 7. JP: Girls alliance?! I’m not a girl!
8. Devon: Devon’s in a potential 2-2 deadlock. The good thing is he’s just the guy in the middle who had his vote stolen the Tribal prior. No blood on his hands = more potential options for Devon down the road. 8. Cole: Oh, buddy…I hope you’re OK. I talk a lot of smack in my coverage, but you seem like a nice guy and I’d hate to see you go home like this.
9. Desi: It’s hard to tell where exactly Desi is, but the good part is she has an original Healer, Hustler AND Hero vying for her vote. It’s good when people want you on “Survivor.” 9. Devon: There is no reason to partner with Ashley. The merge is right around the corner and you’re just inviting trouble. If anything, I boot Ashley, then convince Desi to jump over if there’s a three-person Tribal.
10. Ashley: Ashley, on the other hand, is in the position of having to scrap up from the bottom. It’s good Devon wants to work with her, but she’s hanging on by the skin of her teeth. The good news? If there’s a merge, I think she has the chops to integrate — especially because JP is in so good with Ryan and Chrissy. 10. Joe: Mike and Jessica proved that there’s a uniform idol hiding strategy, so why aren’t you excavating the Levu water well?
11. Joe: Joe seems to be a potential target like Ashley if the tribe goes to tribal next. From what we can see, Joe is status quo, but his inner Tony could rear its head (for better or for worse) at any time. 11. Lauren: You don’t deserve to be this low on my list every week. Your social game is fine and you do your best on challenges. But, you’re always kind of the odd woman out.
12. Ali: Oh, Ali! Be still my heart. Like me, you are the grim reaper of this season (don’t you feel strangely powerful)? 12. Ali: Oof…this hurts. I believe the song goes, “Make new friends, but keep the old.” Here’s hoping you and Ryan can patch things up.
13. Cole: Oh no, Cole. First, he’s dipping into the sugar (way more than Michaela, for the record) and pissing people off…then the preview shows him passing out Russell Swan style. Survivor in love to medevac would not be a good arc for Cole, but it’s looking likely. 13. Ashley: It feels like you’ve been fighting from the bottom the whole season. Nobody needs a merge more than you do.


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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Roark: ”I Think Ryan Saw That He Was Losing Ali to Me”

October 26, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

It’s a fact of “Survivor” life that the tribes that win immunity don’t get that much attention. So, if you go home during your first Tribal Council, we really won’t get to see much of you.

Which is a shame, because not only am I Zeke Geek, but I’m also a Roark Dork.

I spoke with the first Healer to fall the morning after she was eliminated. I asked her about her relationship with Ryan, life at Healer beach, and the truth about Joe-ny Vlachos…

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

Gordon Holmes: OK, what was the plan heading into last night’s Tribal? You thought you had both Ali and Ryan on your side?
Roark Luskin: Yes. The idea was that we would vote for Chrissy and we were under the impression that Chrissy and JP were voting for Ryan.
Holmes: Where did that impression come from?
Luskin: That was the decoy boot…wait, I think it was the decoy decoy boot? That was the plan that Chrissy told me when we were sitting on the log. Ali and I told Ryan, he didn’t love that his name was coming up. He played us amazing well. He was so forlorn the entire day at camp. He was looking sad about things. I remember saying to Ali, “Is this what he’s always like before Tribal?” And she said, “No, he’s just down that Chrissy and JP don’t think much of him physically.” But, he played it great. We were really comfortable. Then as Tribal started going down and Jeff is only speaking to me and Chrissy, there’s nothing about Ryan going on…I thought, “This doesn’t feel right.” And the moment my name started coming up I was just, “Oh…good…good…good.”
Holmes: Good, great, grand, wonderful.
Luskin: (Laughs) Exactly.

Holmes: So, for that to be the case, Chrissy and Ryan must’ve done a really good job in hiding that they were working together.
Luskin: Absolutely to their credit on that. My final words were, “I refuse to rest on the idea that I was swap screwed,” you know the “Survivor” trope. But, coming back and speaking to everybody, watching the show, I had no idea about that day one idol. It was the most original, non-traditional way to get screwed. We stepped on that mat and there was already a non-traditional relationship forged. And, although the viewer doesn’t see every moment, you do see the whole picture and we do not. Ali and I had no idea about that advantage or relationship. I understand why Ryan chose that bit of trust over the absence of built trust with me.

Holmes: If you were in Ryan’s shoes at that point in the game, why do you choose Chrissy over Ali? Did you notice anything about Ali and Ryan’s relationship that you could point to?
Luskin: We landed on swapped Soko and Ali and I started talking. One of the things she said was, “I’ve been dying for another young female to relate to.” It’s like she was starving and I was a sandwich. She and I were super close on a friendship level. I believe luck had a large component in my outcome, but I do have a lot of regrets. One of them is every night I’d sleep with Ali and Ryan would sleep with Chrissy and JP. I thought that was the weirdest things. “Aren’t you guys so close?” Ryan and Ali tell me that they’re so close, why is he over there? This is really weird. My brain clicked that information and then kind of stopped. I should’ve said, “Ali, I think we’ve lost Ryan.” I didn’t get there. That’s my fault. And Ali, Chrissy, and I were never going to be a working relationship. I understand why Ryan did what he did.
Holmes: Do you think it was a situation where Ali has Roark and if I get rid of Chrissy, I have nobody.
Luskin: Yes. I think Ryan saw that he was losing Ali to me. Why do they have to include me in this Healer/Hustler plan if we all make the merge? I don’t think he saw that going his way.
Holmes: It’s interesting that you brought up the “Who’s Sleeping Together” angle. I think Boston Rob has always been a big proponent of that alliance theory.
Luskin: Exactly. And I’d heard that before. There was that, and before we went to that immunity challenge, Chrissy came up to Ali and I and said, “I know you’re voting for me.” How did she know that? I’ve played this out and let’s say Ryan votes out Ali at this one, then I’m next. I genuinely felt like I wouldn’t get out of swapped Soko alive.

Holmes: You said there was no working with Chrissy. Last night Ryan said there was no way Chrissy would work with Ali. Why is that?
Luskin: After that reward with the peanut butter and jelly, we hit the beach, she grabbed Ali and said, “So obviously we get rid of Roark, right?” And Ali said, “I’d like to get to know Roark first.” And I don’t want to speak for Ali, but I don’t think she liked being told what to do in that moment. That set their relationship on a bad path. Once I knew that Chrissy was pretty rigidly coming for me, then I don’t have a use for her if she doesn’t have a use for me. The heat at Tribal was very real.

Holmes: What was life like at the Healers camp? Who was working together? What were your plans for the future?
Luskin: Healers beach was like a giant adult summer camp. Every night we gave each other massages and backrubs. We would all go out on the raft together and do backflips into the ocean. We’d giggle and talk. There’s a Desi secret scene where she says, “I didn’t think ‘Survivor’ would be easy, but we’re on vacation here.” My ride-or-die was Desi. That story never came to fruition. Cole did not tell Desi about the idol, I did. Cole said, “Let’s not loop Desi in yet.” And I said, “No, no, no.” And I’m glad I did because when she swapped with Joe she said to him, “I know you have this. We need to use it.” I’m glad I did that. I wish we could’ve reunited. I tried to make it clear at swapped Soko that because we hadn’t been to Tribal there are no guarantees. They’re great people, but here are some people I’d want to get rid of. I really did my best to sell a bill of goods on my position both in positive and negative terms.

Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Desi.
Luskin: Poise, fun, funny, unfiltered.
Holmes: Ali?
Luskin: I adore Ali. She is thoughtful, loyal, uplifting, spiritual, sweet.
Holmes: Joe?
Luskin: Straight shooter, loyal, you know where you stand with Joe. He owns it all.
Holmes: Mike?
Luskin: What a dear. Fish out of water, he always had these insane ideas around camp and we’d resist it. But, you don’t want to put up a fight, so we’d do it, and they’d turn out amazing.
Holmes: Jessica?
Luskin: Total doll. I am bummed for her that the showmance is what is playing out. I think she’s one of the most charismatic…she’s like a human upper. She’s the best.
Holmes: Ryan?
Luskin: We have a lot in common, he lied so much about his background in the game that we have trouble finding common ground. But, we have a lot in common. He’s so smart and so quick. But, introverted and bizarre.
Holmes: Cole?
Luskin: Cole is a young, good-looking boy who is really enjoying that ride.
Holmes: JP?
Luskin: Things like that.
Holmes: Gotcha. Let’s finish with Chrissy.
Luskin: Probably the best puzzle person “Survivor” has ever seen.

Holmes: Let’s jump back into your Joe answer. We’ve seen Joe as this crazy, impulsive, schemer, and yet you said he was loyal. He kind of has this Tony Vlachos vibe. What aren’t we seeing?
Luskin: What Joe says is what Joe is doing, what Joe feels, is true for Joe. And there’s no artifice. He was really Healer loyal. I believe he would’ve played that idol for Desi. Once the swap hit, I believe he would’ve used that as a Healer idol to save anyone of us. Well, Doctor Mike gets an asterisk. Joe was the type of person, that if he’s loyal to you, you really want to work with him because you can believe in what he’s saying. He’s not creating a storm of lies and chaos like Tony, he creates a storm by being really frank. And that’s so jarring out there that it puts people on tilt. But it benefits the people he’s working with.

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

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Episode 5 Recap: Snakes and Worms

October 25, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: The Power Couple Alan should’ve been worrying about was Joe and his idol.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Alright, let’s take a closer look at these tribes…

The Levu Tribe – Wearing Blue
Ashley, 26 – Lifeguard
Desiree, 27 – Physical Therapist
Devon, 23 – Surf Instructor
Joe, 34 – Probation Officer

The Soko Tribe – Wearing Yellow
Ali, 24 – Celebrity Assistant
Chrissy, 46 – Financial Analyst
JP, 28 – Firefighter
Roark, 27 – Social Worker
Ryan, 23 – Bellhop

The Yawa Tribe – Wearing Red
Ben, 34 – Marine
Cole, 24 – Wilderness Survival Guide
Jessica, 29 – Nurse Practitioner
Lauren, 35 – Fisherman
Mike, 43 – Urologist

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Ashley tells Joe that she knew he was crazy, but she didn’t know he was crazy and smart. He admits to being both. Well, they’re at least half right.

Reward Challenge Time: Players will have to slither through the sand, while pushing a ball with their head. From there, one player will have to shoot the balls into a basket. The first tribe to score five shots will win iced coffee and pastries. The second-place tribe just gets iced coffee.

Fun Fact: “Survivor” production iced coffee is my favorite thing.

Another Fun Fact: During this challenge, Jeff Probst made five references to the song I wrote called, “Come On In, Guys.” Did you catch them all?

Sitting Out: Chrissy and Lauren.

Result: Levu takes first place because Desi is amazing at pretending to be a snake. Soko takes third place because Ryan is terrible at pretending to be a snake. He’d push the ball up a hill and then he’d lose it and it’d roll back down. He was like an adorable little Sisyphus.

At Yawa Beach

There’s a really unfortunate incident where Ben’s PTSD is triggered off by the popping sounds made by bamboo in the fire. He takes some time for himself and it seems like his tribe is very supportive.

Lauren is not a fan of Cole’s eating habits, which helps continue her streak of being annoyed by young guys. At least her bias isn’t completely ginger-based.

Also, it’s good for my ego that Cole isn’t friggin’ perfect.

In other news, Mike manages to find the Yawa idol based on what Cole had told him about the Soko clue. He shares this info with Jessica…and hopefully just her.

At Levu Beach

Devon pledges his allegiance to Ashley. He also wants to target Joe because he’s the “strongest player I’ve met here.” Wait, he was on a tribe with Ali and Ryan and never met them? Weird.

At Soko Beach

Roark and Ali are already planning for the post-merge with a potential alliance that includes Desi, Cole, Mike, Jessica, and Ryan. They set a boot list that involves voting out Chrissy first, and JP next. THE ALI-ANCE!

Ryan tells Ali that he’s into this plan, but he tells us that he’d like to keep Chrissy around.

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will swim out to a boat and retrieve three bags of rice. They’ll return the bags to the shore and open them to find three balls. The first two tribes to get all three balls through a vertical pulley puzzle will win immunity

Sitting Out: Ryan and Mike

Result: Yawa wins first place, Levu takes second, and Chrissy is not great at vertical pulley puzzles.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Chrissy knows she’s in big trouble, so she approaches Roark about working together. This rubs Roark the wrong way because they had never spoken about strategy before.

Chrissy pitches an all-girl alliance as a way to get Roark in trouble. Interesting… It’s Chrissy’s hope that JP will do whatever she wants if he thinks he’s on the chopping block.

Wait, who’s JP?

Sure enough, a single mention of an all-female alliance is all it takes to get JP on Chrissy’s side.

Meanwhile, Ali wants to work with Roark because she’s much better at challenges.

This leaves us with Ryan as the swing vote.

Tribal Time

The debate starts off with a look at Chrissy’s challenge performance. Roark is upset that Chrissy wouldn’t tag out. Chrissy claims that she tried to.

Roark is also annoyed that Chrissy only started talking strategy with her on the day that she needed her vote.

And in a weird moment, Probst asks Roark if she feels more comfortable or less comfortable since the start of Tribal. She asks if she can be the same level of comfort. Probst allows it.

Voting Time: We’ve got one vote for Chrissy, one vote for Roark, one vote for Chrissy, one vote for Roark, and the fifth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” is…Roark.

Verdict: Wow…What is Ryan thinking taking Chrissy’s side over Ali? Does he think Ali is too likable to take to the end? There’s got to be more to that.

Also, I hate to see Roark go so quickly. She seemed to have a ton of potential. But “Survivor” casting is like popcorn, some pop…some don’t.

  • Mike – Urine a great position with an idol in your pocket and Jessica on your side. And for that, I’m ranking you number one!
  • Chrissy – Your back was against the wall and you orchestrated something to get JP’s vote. Well done.
  • Jessica – This is like you’re third “Survivor” secret and it seems like you’re learning from your mistakes, no matter how hunky they are.
  • Ryan – I think you were in a no-win position this week. Losing JP would have been a disaster challenge-wise and there was no way to get Chrissy and Ali to work together.
  • Devon – Wanting to get rid of Joe is a good thing, but a two-two tie is not. Your goal now should be getting to the merge, and if Ashley has to go to make that happen, so be it.
  • Lauren – It seems like you’re easily annoyed. I hope you’re not sharing that info with the wrong people.
  • JP – Man, you bought Chrissy’s story hook, line, and sinker.
  • Ali – Oh…oh Ali. I have to think Ryan is somehow threatened by you to take Chrissy’s side.
  • Cole – You’ve got to be more aware of how people perceive you, dude.
  • Desi, Joe, Ben, Ashley – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Aubry Bracco had Roark in spot 8, I had her in spot 14. The current score is Team Bracco 42, Team Holmes 51.

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

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Round 4 – Tony or Faux-ny? Edition

October 23, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

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 players will earn. For example, if Mike is voted out this episode, Aubry will receive two points and Gordon will receive four points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Aubry Bracco had Alan in spot 6, Gordon Holmes had him in spot 13. The current score is Team Bracco 34, Team Holmes 37.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.​

Some Quick Aubry Thoughts: Whoever composed the score and shot the whale footage: The music this season couldn’t be better. The good news is it’s never at risk of getting voted out, and that’s A-okay in my book. Oh, and the insanely incredible whale footage? Same goes for that. It’s here to stay, and I’m not complaining.

Aubry’s Score = 34

Any questions for Aubry? Drop her a line on Twitter: @aubrybracco

Gordon’s Score = 37

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

1. Ryan: Ryan’s got his spiffy glasses out, and he’s found his Chrissy. Things are seemingly going swimmingly for Ryan and his momager. 1. Ryan: Wow, that super idol could not have possibly been played better by someone on a tribe that didn’t go to that first Tribal. You used it to make strong alliances with Devon and Chrissy. Well done.
2. Mike: Mike in the middle is the name of the game. With a showmance on one side and the outsiders pulling on the other (plus an idol in the mix), Dr. Mike’s pulse is healthy. 2. Chrissy: Ending up on a tribe with JP wasn’t your best-case scenario, but you did end up with your secret admirer. And, being in debt to someone is a strong card to play. “I’d never turn on you after what you did for me,” has a nice ring to it.
3. Chrissy:  Chrissy’s in the same boat as Ryan. She might be far from her bestie, Ben, but she’s already on to her “Survivor Soulmates, The Sequel” in Ryan. 3. Ali: Don’t mind me, I’m just soaking in the sun…while sneakily being on top of every tribe I end up on. Ali is money and I’m feeling great about my winner pick…for once in my life.
4. Ali: We didn’t get too much from Ali this week, and after taming the dragon that was Patrick, I’d say that’s a good thing. Sometimes, being the quiet one is the most powerful you can be. 4. Mike: I’m not a fan of CBS revealing Mike’s idol find in a trailer, but it’s fair game for Power Rankings. Anywho, Jessica is probably in the market for a new best buddy, and that can easily be you. Just promise me you won’t tell Cole.
5. Lauren: I may be putting her a little high in some people’s eyes, but I’m loving everything about Lauren. Her instincts about who’s full of crap and isn’t; how to appropriately rock the apple cart; and intuition about who is and isn’t naturally pairing up is on point. 5. Jessica: Ya just can’t trust Funky Cole Medders with any information. Hopefully that’s crystal clear at this point. I’d still work with him, but I’d keep him on a short leash.
6. Devon: Sure, his starting position on this new tribe was scary. Yes, he was blocked from a vote, but now that he survived that one, it should be smooth sailing for awhile.  6. Cole: You are on a tribe of five, someone has to be on the bottom. HAS TO BE! And that person will use the secret you shared with them to make you look bad. AND THEY DID! You probably ruined your prospects in the game to get closer to someone who is going home if you lose a single immunity challenge. Urgh! You should be so much lower on this list, but I still think you’re safe for a while.
7. Ben: Ben seems to be holding steady even when in the minority — he’s assertive but not overdoing it. Is there stormy weather ahead though? It looks like the mental aspect of “Survivor” could creep up on him next week. 7. Devon: It’s a good thing I’m not in charge of “Survivor” audio, because when Devon pulled out the no-vote, the crickets SFX would have been deafening. That or the sad “Wah wah wah” trumpet. Now you’re on an odd-numbered tribe with a definite two/two split. Maybe it’s time to get to know Desi better and see which way she wants to go.
8. Roark: Roark’s literally alone on her own island, but she seems to have the level-head she needs to navigate this. From the looks of it, though, people may start to see her strategic gears moving. Do your work as you have so far, Roark, bold but quiet, and you should be ok. 8. JP: Hey, JP!
9. Desi: I’m not sure what to think about Desi’s position at the moment. All I know is that with all that chaos, I’d start to lose my cookies too. I’m sending you all my good energy! 9. Desi: I really felt for you last week when you thought Joe had punched your ticket out of the game. Fortunately, you get a chance to get him back if you want to. I think you’re the most powerful person on your tribe right now.
10. Jessica: I think Jessica has a lot of great game in her. I’m concerned, however, that from the moment you even remotely associate yourself with a showmance on, it’s an uphill battle to recover. The showmancee is Sysiphos and the Game is the rock. 10. Ben: Ben does not seem like an obvious target to me as long as Lauren is still around. But, the trailer has me nervous…
11. JP: I’m not quite sure where JP’s head is or who he’s strategizing with. He could either be the non-strategic threat everyone wants to work with or the threat who’s about to be cut in anticipation of the merge. We’ll have to wait a week and see on this one. 11. Joe: Joe seems to be missing one key element from the Tony Vlachos formula, and that’s Tony’s good nature. At the end of the day, people were frustrated by Tony, but they liked him. After speaking with Alan, I’m not sure that Joe has that gift.
12. Ashley: Ashley may have a friend in Devon, but it’s never a good feeling to be pinned as a threat and have your name thrown around so early in the game. Ashley has the chops, it’s just a matter of whether or not she’ll be chopped first. 12. Ashley: I’m shocked you made it to this week. And if you want to be back here again next week, you either need to win immunity or get Desi to play ball.
13. Cole: Oh my goodness heavens, Cole. You’re beautiful, but you’re killing me, Smalls. You’re like that guy that’s so excited about the surprise party he spoils the secret before it happens. Cole’s inability to keep anything tight to the vest seriously  concerns me for his future in this game. 13. Lauren: I thought you did a really good job splintering the Love Bug Alliance last week, but I wonder if you pulled the trigger a little too early. Maybe you should’ve waited until your tribe lost immunity. At any rate, I still feel like you’re on the bottom.
14. Joe: He. Is. Crazy. I don’t think Tony 2.0 will make it to the end like my Dear Favorite Spy Bunker Fiend, but I’m here for all the drama and llamas in between. 14. Roark: Starting a lady alliance when old tribe alliances are probably very strong? Probably not your best move. As Devon taught us, the odd person out can make an excellent swing vote.


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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Alan – ‘I Don’t Care What Happens, I Want Joe Gone’

October 19, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Some people would say, “Hey, I have a four person majority on a tribe of six people, time to sit back and let the game happen.”

Others would say, “Hey, this angry guy is targeting my alliance member, but it’s cool because we have the numbers. I’ll just let him run his mouth.”

Alan Ball is not one of those people.

I spoke to the former NFL player the morning after his elimination to get his take on Joe’s big move, his alliance with Ashley, and JP’s…idol…transparency…methods…

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”

Gordon Holmes: Joe is trying to shake things up and he’s not being subtle about the fact that he might have an idol. How do you plan for that if you can’t split the vote?
Alan Ball: I don’t think we gave him enough credit to be that cunning that he could stir things up and have an idol. We discussed it, in terms of putting the votes on Desi, but he had run the camp so hot. He had to go. I got to the point where I was like, I don’t care what happens, I want Joe gone. I knew that that tribe wasn’t going to last with the both of us in it. He had to go. Everybody agreed on that.

Holmes: How confident were you that Devon was on your side?
Ball: I was pretty confident. I knew for sure. Especially because Joe was running around camp lying. Devon saw straight through it. And Devon was pretty genuine. I knew he’d help us with our mission of getting rid of Joe.

Holmes: Did Joe or Desi ever make a move to work with you?
Ball: Desi was subtle. She wanted to get out of the position that she was in. I don’t think she wanted to be tied down under Joe. But, she was a Healer so she had to stick with him, especially with him having an idol. So for her, she was in a tough situation. I may be wrong, but that was the feeling I got from her.

Holmes: It seems like you and Ashley agreed to work together pretty quickly. Did you have thoughts of jumping, or were you more comfortable with the devil you knew?
Ball: (Laughs) When your back is against the wall, you’ll work with anybody. And both of our backs were against the wall. When we pulled buffs and we both had blue, both of our hearts dropped. But, we got better. We began to communicate. Would I work with Ashley if we’d gotten out of that predicament? I couldn’t say that.
Holmes: So, you’re home…you’re comfy on your couch watching last week’s episode…JP comes out of the water…and Ashley tells us she has the hots for him. Did you say, “I knew it!”
Ball: (Laughs) I wanted everyone else to see! I’ve been knowing. Nothing changed in my mind at all. It’s weird because there’s so much that the cameras don’t see. For me, I was picking up on a lot that people at home weren’t. So, when they started to let it out a little more I was pleased. Everybody thinks I’m crazy, but it’s coming out slowly but surely.

Holmes: It’s early in the game, you’ve got this core four of you, Ashley, Ben, and JP. You and JP are impressive physical specimens. If things go wrong you can kick our Katrina or Chrissy. Why shake things up over a power couple?
Ball: At the time, I saw Chrissy as good for my game. And at the end of the day, we were supposed to be a core four, but Ashley and JP were working to get the power between them and then make me disposable. And before they can do that, I’ve got to put a wedge in everything. I need to let people know that the strength is right there.

Holmes: When you accuse someone of having an idol and they drop their shorts right there on the beach…what’s the next move? It’s not like you can give it a real thorough examination.
Ball: (Laughs)
Holmes: What was going through your mind during JP’s impromptu strip search?
Ball: (Laughs) I was shocked. Inside I was laughing, but I’ve come this far, I need to keep this going. But to me, if someone goes to that extent to prove something, there’s something behind it. I’ve got you jumping through hoops to prove me wrong, that made me feel like I had the power in that situation. Maybe you are guilty, maybe you’re not, but you’re going to go that extra mile to prove me wrong. Was I destroying a relationship with JP and Ashley? Absolutely. But, I wasn’t too concerned with that.
Holmes: Is JP still on this show?
Ball: (Laughs) Good question. He might be a hell of the guy, but when it comes to the game, it might by his strategy to lay completely, dumbfoundingly low. His game is a mystery.

Holmes: It seems like Ben and Chrissy have gotten really close. Did you pick up on that during your time out there?
Ball: A little bit. But, I didn’t see that as a problem. I put myself out there as the wild card. So, I know that had issues in terms of trusting me. But I felt like I was solid with Ben and Chrissy. I’m rooting for those two.

Holmes: In hindsight, we know that Joe was able to find his idol by locating a clue on a tree, then digging around the water well. Did you notice any suspicious holes around your water well?
Ball: No, not really. My suspicion with Ashley was that she found a clue, but I don’t recall anything around the well. Unless someone covered it up, they did a good job.

Holmes: Alright word association time. Let’s start with Ashley.
Ball: Confused.
Holmes: Ben?
Ball: Loyal.
Holmes: Devon?
Ball: Different.
Holmes: Katrina?
Ball: Ooo…a wild card.
Holmes: Chrissy?
Ball: Mom.
Holmes: JP?
Ball: Ugh…(Laughs) He’s just JP.
Holmes: Desi?
Ball: Shy.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Joe.
Ball: Rat.

Holmes: You got the crazy edit in that first episode. When your friends and family are watching it, were they surprised or were they like, “Yup, that’s Alan”?
Ball: I got a couple of friends that said, “That’s you.” I’ll let you know exactly what I’m thinking. I’m not biting my tongue. I got the crazy edit. I wish they’d shown more of why I snapped. I’ve got some fire in me.
Holmes: Yeah, that coconut learned that the hard way.
Ball: (Laughs) I can open a coconut now.
Holmes: That’s good. Life is growing, Alan. Life is learning.
Ball: (Laughs) Yes it is.

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

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ Episode 4 Recap: Secret Shopper

October 18, 2017

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Aubry Bracco, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Cole’s big mouth made Jessica Howell, Lauren was in trouble, but her tribe decided to Skipper, and the Hustlers got rid of their Ginger.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Alright, let’s take a closer look at these tribes…

The Levu Tribe (AKA: The Heroes – Wearing Blue)
Alan, 31 – NFL Player
Ashley, 26 – Lifeguard
Ben, 34 – Marine
Chrissy, 46 – Financial Analyst
JP, 28 – Firefighter

The Soko Tribe (AKA: The Healers – Wearing Yellow)
Cole, 24 – Wilderness Survival Guide
Desiree, 27 – Physical Therapist
Jessica, 29 – Nurse Practitioner
Joe, 34 – Probation Officer*
Mike, 43 – Urologist
Roark, 27 – Social Worker

The Yawa Tribe (AKA: The Hustlers – Wearing Red)
Ali, 24 – Celebrity Assistant
Devon, 23 – Surf Instructor
Lauren, 35 – Fisherman
Ryan, 23 – Bellhop

*Has an immunity idol

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

No post-Tribal shenanigans again?! Why’d I even make subheads?!

Buff Droppin’ Time

JPro brings them in and gives them brand new stretchy, brightly colored fabric.

The Levu Tribe – Wearing Blue
Alan, 31 – NFL Player
Ashley, 26 – Lifeguard
Desiree, 27 – Physical Therapist
Devon, 23 – Surf Instructor
Joe, 34 – Probation Officer*

The Soko Tribe – Wearing Yellow
Ali, 24 – Celebrity Assistant
Chrissy, 46 – Financial Analyst
JP, 28 – Firefighter
Roark, 27 – Social Worker
Ryan, 23 – Bellhop

The Yawa Tribe – Wearing Red
Ben, 34 – Marine
Cole, 24 – Wilderness Survival Guide
Jessica, 29 – Nurse Practitioner
Lauren, 35 – Fisherman
Mike, 43 – Urologist

*Still has an immunity idol

My Initial Thoughts

  • Ugh…those are the tribe names? They sound like trendy NYC neighborhoods.
  • Cole and Jessica must’ve tripped over a horseshoe embedded in patch of four-leaf clovers.
  • Ooo…will Ryan get to let Chrissy know that he’s her secret admirer?
  • Do we know if the idol clues are different? Should Joe and Cole be digging around their new water wells?
  • Bad news for Ben and Lauren. The only tribe where duos don’t need a swing vote.
  • There’s no way Lauren wears a red buff on her head.

Reward Challenge Time: Three members from each tribe will be tethered together. They’ll need to untangle their ropes, go through an obstacle course, then use the ropes to lasso a sled of puzzle pieces. Then the other two members will do the puzzle. The first tribe to complete the puzzle wins peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Result: Yawa (er…the red tribe) wins reward, while Alan pulls a Patrick and doesn’t let anyone tag in while he was failing miserably at the lassoing portion.

At Yawa Beach

Jessica finds a secret advantage in her bag of chips. It will allow her to cancel someone’s ability to vote at the next Tribal. If she doesn’t go to Tribal, she’ll have to assign it to someone on the losing tribe.

All that in a bag of chips? (I’m not proud of that.)

Anywho, she shares this info with her Healer buddies. Cole, knowing that sharing secrets can result in kisses and alliances,  proceeds to share that information with EVERYBODY.

Seriously, he immediately tells Ben and Lauren. Lauren promptly takes that information and uses it to try to get Mike to break away from the lovebirds.

CUT TO: Mike telling Jessica and Cole that the others know about the advantage. Cole tries to downplay it for a bit, but he eventually admits that he shared it with Ben.

Jessica plays it cool, but she’s really hurt by Cole. It’s like that kiss on the cheek meant nothing.

At Soko Beach

Sure enough, Ryan lets Chrissy know about his idol maneuver. She takes this to mean that he cares about her. Really? You don’t think his true intention was…you know…trying to save the weakest member of that tribe. She wonders if she reminds him of his mother. Yikes, if my mother played “Survivor” the way she plays Facebook, she’d be the first one out.

At any rate, they’re besties now.

At Levu Beach

Ashley and Alan agree to put their past behind them and work together. Like a power couple?

Everybody immediately sizes up Devon as the swing vote. The Healers approach him first, with Joe telling him that the Heroes are already targeting him. This concerns Devon, but his Spidey senses are telling him not to trust Joe.

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will move a platter of puzzle pieces across an obstacle course. From there, they’ll unlock a second box of puzzle pieces. The first two tribes to complete the weird, Lincoln log-esque puzzle will win immunity.

Fun Fact: Probst referenced six Foo Fighters songs during this challenge. I’m thinking “Monkey Wrench,” “My Poor Brain,” “The Colour and the Shape,” “In Times Like These,” “Everlong,” and “Long Road to Ruin.”

Another Fun Fact: The table maze they used is a wonderful way to smash a finger. Trust me.

Result: The Yawa tribe took first place, the Soko tribe claimed second.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Ashley takes Devon aside and lets him know that the former Heroes want him on their side. Devon tells her about his previous conversation with Joe, and she assures him that our favorite probation officer was lying.

Desi witnesses this moment and tips Joe off.

So…Joe decides to blow everything up. He tells everyone that he’s going to target Ashley and then he and Alan get into it.

Maybe Alan and Joe on the same tribe is the spark this season has been waiting for?

They battle it out and Desi’s name gets thrown out in the process. As you’d imagine, she is not pleased with this revelation. When the dust has settled, Joe tells Desi that he’ll play the idol for her if it looks like the vote is headed in that direction.

Also, Devon receives a secret advantage before they head off to Tribal. He’s very excited by this. Oh Devon…it’s an advantage…but it’s not to your advantage…

Tribal Time

The names being tossed around are very vague due to Joe’s idol.

It doesn’t seem like Devon has committed to either side.

Advantage Time

Oh man, I was right…Devon doesn’t get to vote. He hilariously says, “That is not an advantage.”

Idol Time

Joe plays his idol for himself.

Voting Time: Alright, we’ve got two votes for Joe, one vote for Alan, and the fourth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” is…Alan.

Verdict: What a better nickname for Joe; Faux-ny or Vlach-clone? One reads better but the other sounds better.

I thought Ashley’s number was up. Part of me thinks Alan dueling with Joe at camp was due to overconfidence that they had the numbers, but it’s also possible it was just Alan being Alan.

Like I said above, I hope the Alan vs. Joe spark was enough to get this season going, because it still feels like we’re in the middle of a light jog.

 

  • Ryan – You’ve really made the most of that super idol. Chrissy, Devon, and Ali are all great people to have on your side.
  • Chrissy – You needed friends on your new tribe and found them quickly. Well played.
  • Ben – I don’t know if you did this on purpose, but letting Lauren be the one to blow up Cole’s spot was smart. You get all of the benefit with none of the possible repercussions.
  • Ashley – Sometimes you can do everything right and still lose.
  • Desi – Solid job letting Joe know that his strategy put you in very real danger.
  • Devon – Did Desi and Joe know which way you were leaning? For your sake, I hope not.
  • Lauren – You had to have known you were in danger on a tribe of five. Way to shake things up.
  • Mike – I don’t know if you did this on purpose, but not accusing Cole was smart. The truth was going to come out, you didn’t need to point fingers.
  • Joe – I hate giving you a bad grade considering how you just saved yourself and Desi, but man did you dig yourself a hole for the rest of the game. Too big, buddy.
  • Jessica – How’s that saying go? “Fool me once, shame on you…”
  • Cole – You seem like a good guy. But, you’re bad at this.
  • Roark, JP, Ali, – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Aubry Bracco had Alan in spot 6, I had him in spot 13. The current score is Team Bracco 34, Team Holmes 37.

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


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