Posts Tagged ‘survivor kaoh rong’

‘Survivor’ Runners-Up Aubry and Tai Discuss Final Tribal and the $100,000 Chicken

May 20, 2016
Aubry Bracco and Tai Trang (CBS)

Aubry Bracco and Tai Trang (CBS)

One player went from almost quitting in the premiere to leading a solid alliance and making several impressive moves. The other found an immunity idol, earned an extra vote, and sent one of the biggest players out of the game.

And they both lost to the woman who was barely seen before the merge.

I spoke to Aubry Bracco and Tai Trang the morning after the “Survivor” finale and asked about Michele’s game, Aubry’s luck, and Tai’s $100,000 buddy…

Gordon Holmes: This has been driving me insane; was Mark the Chicken named after Mark Burnett or your boyfriend?
Tai Trang: Julia named him after Mark Burnett. I told her not to name a chicken after Mark because then we wouldn’t want to eat him.

Holmes: Aubry, you had two medically evacuated partners. Is it accurate to say you were one of the most unlucky players in “Survivor” history?
Aubry Bracco: (Laughs)
Holmes: How did you come to terms with making the most out of some poorly dealt cards?
Bracco: The “Survivor” gods…there were a few days where I was like, “You’ve got to be kidding me! How is this happening?” But, I do believe that everyone was struggles in life. And life can bring anything.  I think you should take responsibility for your own actions and try to make the best out of everything. I tried to make the most out of it.

Holmes: I do a lot of pre-game interviews and I used to ask if people were willing to lie. I’ve stopped asking that because everyone is like, “Yup, I’m gonna be a lying machine.” However, you seemed more conflicted about this than anyone we’ve seen in a long time.
Trang: I was going through the game, I wanted to play a nice game. I wanted to be myself. But, I realized I was playing a game. I was strategizing. It is conflicting, every single move I do my heart is telling me to do something else. I decided that I would stay loyal to Aubry because I was really comfortable with her.

Holmes: In recent years, winners have had these resumes of big challenge wins, big moves, leading their alliances, where it seems like Michele managed to hang back at first, then come on strong and win votes with her social game. Do you think that might signify a shift in how the game is played?
Bracco: I think that we had a very unique group of people. I think Tai was incredibly proactive as a threat in the game. He found an idol, he won challenges, he made the move he thought was right in the moment. I was proactive too. I worked with Tai, I worked with Cydney, I tried to make the best decisions. And when you have a lot of big personalities, which we certainly did, I think the kind of person that can fade into the background and not pro-actively do anything that would upset those personalities ended up being to her advantage. I also think she was an underdog at that point in the game. And you can’t tell people you’re an underdog, they have to believe it. And in that moment, the people sitting there did not see me or Tai as an underdog. We both played super hard, but we didn’t have it that night with that group.
Holmes: So in a season of big moves the person who hangs back will stand out?
Bracco: Somewhat that.

Holmes: What do you credit Michele’s victory to?
Trang: The jury likes the underdog aspect. I made some moves, Aubry made a lot. I wasn’t managing the final Tribal well. I was not on my game. I was completely exhausted. But, I think Michele had those moments of winning the last immunities and she hadn’t upset any of the jury. I’m not surprised by the vote at all.

Holmes: I like to think that “Survivor” is like the circus where if you don’t like the trapeze you might like the clowns, and if you don’t like the acrobats you might like the animals. For “Survivor” if you don’t like the exotic locales you might like the people in their underwear, and if you don’t like the cool challenges you might like the clever strategy. What I’m getting at is; people who like the strategic part of the game are pretty upset that Aubry didn’t get the votes. Is that any consolation?
Bracco: Yes. I’m flattered. I appreciate it, but I also think the beauty of this game is that it’s the jury that gets to decide who wins. The winner who won was the winner who was right for that jury. I love the game, I love the strategy. I love the social part. Any fan that feels like they related to me, it could have just as easily been them. It’s very nice. It’s very humbling. Every bug bite, infection, and med-evac’d ally has been worth it.

Holmes: When I spoke to Michele she thought that maybe one of the reason’s she had won was because she had worked with more of the jury whereas you had specific people you were working with.
Bracco: I think that Michele would casually speak to Scot or Jason a little more. But it was tough. Scot was not willing to work with me. And if I spoke to Jason, people in my alliance would get funky that I was even socializing with him. So, I agree with her to an extent. But the “Survivor” gods dealt her cards and she made the most of it.

Holmes: When Neal was removed from the jury, were you worried that his comments to her would reflect on you negatively?
Bracco: Yes, absolutely. For a second I thought, “Yes, he was going to vote for me.” Then I thought, “You just made her the underdog.” I think that comment put Michele in this position that she’s playing from behind. I don’t think that it helped.
Holmes: Which juror would you have eliminated if you’d won?
Bracco: I would’ve eliminated Scot. I knew that he wasn’t open to seeing my way of doing things. I wasn’t sure where he was going to throw his vote, there were a couple of people who were question marks. But I knew he didn’t relate to me.

Holmes: Tai, which juror would you have sent packing?
Trang: I’m still going to say Neal. He knows the game so well and I knew for sure that he was going to vote for Aubry. And he can influence the jury.

Holmes: Was Cydney a question mark or did you know she was going to vote for Michele?
Bracco: I thought it was possible that I got Cydney’s vote, but she wasn’t able to get over the way she went out of the game. She didn’t have enough time to process it. I was hoping she’d see my strategy instead of going the emotional route. But, that’s the beauty of the game.

Holmes: Tai, I think you missed the boat by not saying, “You know, I kept a chicken alive around starving people for weeks. How’s that for a social game?”
Trang: (Laughs) I worked hard to feed the tribe so nobody would look at Mark as meat. And Mark has a name, and Mark walks around freely, he’d come and go.
Holmes: And who knew that chicken would be worth $100,000?
Trang: (Laughs) I didn’t see it that way! Yeah! That money can go a long way to benefit a lot more animals. And thanks so much to Sia. I was so shocked and surprised.
Holmes: Were you a fan of Sia before last night?
Trang: Honestly? When she walked up I had no idea who she was. But she’s a huge star. After that I listened to her music and I said, “Oh, I know this music!”

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

‘Survivor’ Winner Michele: ‘I Did Give (Neal) a Little “(Expletive Deleted) You” on the Way Out’

May 19, 2016
Michele Fitzgerald (CBS)

Michele Fitzgerald (CBS)

“You need a resume with big moves” has been the blueprint for winning “Survivor” for the last few years. So, when Michele Fitzgerald used her solid social game to top Aubry’s solid strategic game, everyone was a little shocked.

But, the jurors can vote for you because you’re nice, you’re good at challenges, or you share the same favorite color. It can literally be for any reason.

I spoke with the new champ the morning after her win to ask her about Neal’s venom, Cydney’s vote, and the kick heard round the world…

Gordon Holmes: Hey Michele, how is it going?
Michele Fitzgerald: Hello?
Holmes: Hello, Michele?

(Hangs Up)

(Calls Back)

Fitzgerald: Hello?
Holmes: Hi.
Fitzgerald: OK, now I can hear you.
Holmes: Am I being punked?
Fitzgerald: No! Nobody’s punking you.
Holmes: I see how it is when someone becomes a millionaire.
Fitzgerald: (Laughs)

Holmes: So what happens when the cameras shut off last night and you’re a million dollars richer?
Fitzgerald: We go out and we celebrate. We drink some champagne.
Holmes: Congratulations.
Fitzgerald: Thank you.

Holmes: Interesting win for you. I’ve always wondered; if you’re in a position where you don’t have to make big moves, then why do it? To impress jurors? It seemed to come down to a battle of your social game vs. Aubry’s strategic game.
Fitzgerald: I think it went down to social vs. strategic. Not that Aubry didn’t play socially, because she did. But, she played socially with the people that she wanted to play with. She picked and chose who she wanted to play with whereas I played with everybody. And I never counted anybody out. I was very flexible with who I could work with. If we could’ve gotten the numbers and I could have worked with Jason or Scot, I would have. I always had options open where I think she was a little more closed with her options. I think people were a little bitter about that. I think when you’re not willing to work with people it hurts their feelings.
Holmes: Is it all being open to working with people? That could alienate some of your current alliance members.
Fitzgerald: Well, there has to be a foundation of trust before talking strategy. I’m not a super strategic person so I went in and built relationships because that’s what I know how to do. And then I can talk with you about where we go in the game.

Holmes: What kind of feedback have you been getting based on your social game win?
Fitzgerald: It’s really mixed. And that’s hard to hear. My back was against the wall and I played the only way I wanted to play. But people are going to root for what they want to root for. I’m getting some people that are super supportive of my win and they loved my gameplay and sometimes it’s best to let the big personalities shoot each other in the feet and play true to yourself. I don’t think you have to make big moves, but I gained momentum. As people were floundering I got stronger and stronger. That’s a lasting impression. Maybe I was under the radar, but I ended with a bang.

Holmes: Neal had some…interesting…things to say about you when you removed him from the jury. That was way more heated than I had anticipated from him. Did you and he have a problem aside from that moment that we didn’t see?
Fitzgerald: There are a few levels to that. I think when Neal and I were on Chan Loh there was a lot of bitterness from when I screwed up that reward challenge. He really was gunning for me. He never wanted to work with me. He never gave me the time of day. I don’t think that he thought I was intelligent or really offered anything. I think he saw me as a number. So, I don’t think there was any shifting him. He held Aubry up to this really high standard and she had played this amazing game. And I see where he’s coming from. But, I think that you could see when she was making fire, he was hardcore rooting for her. I knew that was the best decision for my gameplay to vote him out. He was evacuated, which had to be tough, so he probably wanted to make this bold, end-of-game statement fighting for Aubry and I stripped that from him. I’m sure that was challenging. You’re inclined to spit out a mean comment, but it showed that I’d made the right decision.
Holmes: I loved Probst saying, “Yeah, that was probably the right call.”
Fitzgerald: (Laughs) I did give him a little “(expletive deleted) you” on the way out.
Holmes: Was that a hand gesture or verbal?
Fitzgerald: It was both.
Holmes: So, the point got across.
Fitzgerald: I said it, then I put the exclamation point on it with the finger.
Holmes: Was that a double?
Fitzgerald: It was a single. Double…I wasn’t going to go there.
Holmes: Yeah, too far. A single bird is classy.
Fitzgerald: (Laughs) Thank you. I like to think I’m classy.

Holmes: I’m a big believer that “Survivor” is a product of the season the players last saw before they left. Do you think your win might change the game?
Fitzgerald: If people take anything from my gameplay, I hope they take that calmness is something you need. If you’re calm, people around you are calm. They’ll be at ease and more likely to connect with you. If you’re constantly frantic and stressed and over-strategizing, and people aren’t sure where you’re going to land…those are the people that nobody wants to work with. I hope people appreciate my confidence, strength, and calmness. I’m not sure if people will follow that because it doesn’t translate well to TV. People want to come in and be this huge personality. But, what they end up losing is the finesse that is needed to move forward.

Holmes: I don’t think I’m going to get to talk to Cydney today.
Fitzgerald: That’s a huge bummer!
Holmes: I know this. Have you had a chance to ask her why she voted for you over Aubry?
Fitzgerald: Yeah, Cyd is my girl. Me and Cydney had a really tight relationship from Chan Loh. We had been talking about the Nick vote, the Scot and Jason vote. We knew we were going to flip. That had been in the works since before her getting on the beach with Aubry at the merge. I did not want to work with Nick anymore, so I talked with Cydney. We both felt bummed that they didn’t show more of our relationship. But at the same time, she straight up told me, “You were loyal to me and loyalty is what matters in my book. That’s where I’m going to cast my vote.”

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Caleb.
Fitzgerald: Funny.
Holmes: Tai?
Fitzgerald: Fascinating, confused a little bit.
Holmes: Scot?
Fitzgerald: Gentle.
Holmes: Nick?
Fitzgerald: Sarcastic, guarded.
Holmes: Jason?
Fitzgerald: Family man.
Holmes: Joe?
Fitzgerald: Loyal, lovable, sweet.
Holmes: Anna?
Fitzgerald: Oh my God, Anna is the sweetest person ever. Kind.
Holmes: Cydney?
Fitzgerald: Hilarious, sassy, and tough as hell.
Holmes: Aubry?
Fitzgerald: I think she’s sensitive and she has an amazing ability to create meaningful relationships.
Holmes: Julia?
Fitzgerald: Bubbly.
Holmes: Debbie?
Fitzgerald: One word? Protective.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Neal.
Fitzgerald: Ice cream. (Laughs) What can you say about Neal?

Holmes: I’m assuming your favorite moment was when someone handed you a big check. Do you know what my favorite moment was?
Fitzgerald: Let’s hear it.
Holmes: It’s when someone finished a puzzle and then felt the need to karate kick it across Cambodia.
Fitzgerald: (Laughs) Kung fu, babe!
Holmes: The art department works really hard making those things!
Fitzgerald: Oh my God, are you saying I took a shot at the art department?! I love that structure. If I could have it now I’d glue it together and put it as a centerpiece in my room. But, Jeff had said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if the person who won knocked it over at the end?” And I thought, oh that’s a hint. So, I’m going to kick the hell out of it if I win. I’m not some kind of Kung Fu Panda over here. I’ve never done karate a day in my life. But, I’m gonna celebrate when I win that final immunity.
Holmes: You don’t just push it over like a mic drop. I’m gonna kick the (expletive deleted) out of this thing.
Fitzgerald: Umm…I (expletive deleted) kicked the (expletive deleted) out of it. (Laughs)
Holmes: Are you going to go on eBay and try to win this puzzle?
Fitzgerald: This was never a thought for me. I might have to do that. But somebody might really want it. We’ll see what the bidding war goes to.
Holmes: I like that you just won a million bucks and you’re like, “Let’s see how much it goes for.” No splurging for you. That speaks well of you.
Fitzgerald: I made my sister buy the coffee this morning. Nothing is changing.

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

Seven Terrible Jokes About the ‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X’ Twist

May 18, 2016
"Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X" (CBS)

“Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” (CBS)













“Survivor” wrapped up it’s 32nd (32nd?!) season on Wednesday night and sent us into the summer with a preview of the 33rd season that will air this fall. Billed as “Millennials vs. Gen X,” this new twist will pit 10 youngsters against 10 slightly less youngsters (no place for you, Joe Del Campo).

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

So, here is a quick look at the horrible jokes that immediately rushed into my head…

  1. The Gen X’ers are playing for a million bucks, the Millennials only $500,000.
  2. The Millennials have the option of allowing their parents to compete in the immunity challenges for them.
  3. The Millennials alliance proposals will be adorable.
  4. The first fight around camp will involve one of the Millennials talking about how they idolized Richard Hatch when they were five.
  5. Gen X’ers will be unable to locate immunity idols that are hidden in the cloud.
  6. The first fifteen minutes of the show will involve Jeff Probst explaining to the Millennials what CBS is.
  7. No matter who wins the individual immunity challenges, every Millennial gets a necklace.

I wanna hear your jokes! Send them to me on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Finale Recap: And the Winner Is…

May 18, 2016
'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ (CBS)










Quick Note: Check back Thursday for interviews with the final four.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

Last Week: Michele and Tai attempted to align, Cydney and Aubry ate a lot, but it was Joe who would meat his match.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Dara Tribe (wearing black)
Aubry – 29, Social Media Marketer
Cydney – 23, Body Builder
Michele – 24, Bartender
Tai – 51, Gardener

We start things off at Dara beach where the remaining four are sleeping underneath some kind of dreamcatcher. Where’d that come from?

However, Mark the chicken wants to wake everyone up. Tai, knowing that Mark is his closest ally, does whatever he can to keep the others from getting upset with him.

The next morning, Tai and Aubry plot to get Cydney on their side. They want Michele to go first because of how good her personal relationships are. Outside of Julia, who has she betrayed?

Cydney is weighing her options. But, she tells Michele that she likes the idea of a female final three. Final three? All female? Like Micronesia?

Reward Challenge Time: The players will race under a net. They’ll then slide tiles through a target. They’ll then balance the tiles on a machete and carry them through a series of obstacles. From there, they’ll match the tiles to figure out a combination and raise a flag. The winner will receive a meal that is designed to refuel your body.

Apparently this meal includes steak. Have we learned nothing from Joe?!

We start off and it’s even until we get to the tile throwing portion which Cyndey KILLS.

Unfortunately for Cydney, the balance portion is not her friend. Aubry blows by her.

Aubry is the first to start working with her tiles, but she makes a mistake in pairing them up. She can’t figure out why her combination doesn’t work.

Aubry eventually figures it out and wins reward. She gives Probst a big victory hug. Oh, she does it and it’s cool. I hug Probst and I get a restraining order.

Aubry is given the opportunity to share her meal…and she picks Cydney. Probably smart.

Back at camp, Cydney and Aubry enjoy their meal. Aubry lets us know that she wants Cydney to be strong so she can beat Michele.

Cydney lets us know that she’s fine with Michele or Tai going home next.

Meanwhile, Michele makes a move to get Tai on her side. He claims to be into voting out Aubry, but he wasn’t very convincing. He wouldn’t even look her in the eye.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race out into the water to retrieve a key. They’ll race back and unlock stairs and get a new key. They’ll race back into the water to get another key. Long story short…racing back and forth till you get puzzle pieces. First person to complete their puzzle wins immunity.

Just looking at this challenge makes me tired.

The Survivor are ready, and they go. But, there’s not much to describe except for key retrievin’ and runnin’.

Also, at one point Probst says, “Full tilt boogie.” Doesn’t have quite the same ring as “The tribe has spoken,” but I’ll take it.

Aubry is the first back with her puzzle pieces. She’s followed by Cydney, Tai, and then Michele.

Tai completes the first level of the challenge, so does Michele.

Tai gets the second level…as does Michele. Aubry and Cydney are way behind.

Michele figures it out and wins immunity! And then she kicks over the puzzle for good measure. Love it!

Back at Dara Beach, Tai and Aubry toss around the idea of forcing a tie-vote, fire-making challenge. However, Aubry doesn’t have confidence in Tai’s loyalty. Yeah, because he’s stabbed like a hundred people in the back?

Later, Michele and Cydney are worried that Aubry will clean up the jury votes. Cydney is a little concerned though and asks if she should start working on her fire-making skills. Michele tells her not to. Well…it wouldn’t hurt.

Michele approaches Tai and tells him that she’s going to vote for Aubry. This blows Tai’s mind. Boy, whoever talks to Tai last is gonna get his vote.

That night at Tribal, Tai says that alliances are out the door.

Aubry thinks the person who goes to the jury will have a lot of information about what happened in the game. Hmm…almost blackmail there…

Cydney’s vote depends on who she has a better chance against.

Aubry thinks that threats and weaknesses are in the eye of the beholder.

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

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Aubry, one vote for Cydney, one vote for Aubry, and one vote for Cydney. A Tai…er…a tie!

Fire-Making Challenge: First person to build a fire large enough to burn through their rope gets to stay.

Aubry is the first to get a flame. She builds a large tower and looks close to winning it, but she adjusts it and it all falls down.

She rebuilds her fire and eventually wins it. Cydney never even came close.

So, the fifteenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” and the eighth member of the jury is…Cydney.

Before Cydney leaves, she breaks down a little and says how she was hoping to win to help her mother. Meanwhile in Downingtown, I got something in both of my eyes.

Back at camp, Aubry says she knew it was Cyd or her. Well, you were the two in the challenge.

Michele tells Tai that she thinks that he just handed her a million dollars.

Later, Michele is psyched about the final three breakfast. However, Tai points out that Probst didn’t do his usual end-of-game spiel.

Aubry assures Tai that there won’t be another challenge.

CUT TO: Tree mail describing the final challenge.

Immunity Challenge Time: Wait…Probst says it’s not an immunity challenge. He tells them that the final Tribal Council will be a final three. That’s just mean.

He then says that the winner of the challenge will get to vote out a jury member.

Whaaaaat!?! Nobody saw that coming.

Jury Elimination Challenge Time: The players will balance on a wobbly beam and try to stack balls using a pole. First person to stack all their balls gets to bounce a juror.

We start off and everyone has trouble getting the balls and stands to stay balanced. Eventually Michele and Aubry get the hang of it…with Michele picking up the win.

Probst gives her a special parchment and a note to read. Oooo…

She’s got to go with Joe, right? He’s a definite Aubry vote.

Poor Joe, old people love to vote.

Sure enough, Tai and Michele debate this exact point. First he can’t pee, now he can’t vote.

Later, Aubry points out that Joe is the least likely to make a big scene at Tribal. Good point. This causes Michele to consider Scot. This concerns Tai because he thinks Scot could be voting for him.

That night at Tribal Council, the jurors are abuzz because there is no immunity necklace.

Michele reads her note about eliminating a juror and now the jurors are even more abuzz. Abuzzier. Totes Abuzzed.

Michele says that she took note of how Tai and Aubry were trying to steer her at camp.

Tai says that it’s important to take out someone who could be voting against you. Yes, good point, Tai.

Voting Time: No vote is shown.

Probst tallies and returns. The eliminated juror is Neal.

As Neal walks out, he tells Michele that he doesn’t think she stands a chance. Probst deadpans that it sounds like she made the right choice. Hilarious.

The trio returns to camp where Mark is waiting for them in the hammock. Aww…he thinks he’s people.

The next morning, the group is treated to a mirror and a scale. They then receive the traditional day-39 brunch.

That night at Tribal, Tai brings Mark the Chicken along. Adorable.

Nick leads off, he tells them that there will be animosity and that some of them might not get a question. He tells Michele to display intelligence. He tells Tai to display awareness and Aubry to display confidence. And make sure the tin man displays heart.

Debbie goes second, she wants to know if Tai has more than one personality because he was so indecisive. He says he turned on Scot and Jason because they targeted Aubry.

Debbie then calls Aubry a geek warrior and reminds her of when she tried to drop out. She asks if Aubry would have saved her if the roles had been reserved. Aubry says it was painful of her to betray Debbie after helping her when she had heat stroke. She then says they were headed in opposite directions and Debbie was too much of a threat.

Julia goes third and points out that Michele was the weak link in the beauty tribe. Oof. She even calls Michele just “a number.” Julia goes on to say that she was proud of Michele when she voted her out because she made a big move. Michele says that all of her moves were well thought out.

Julia then tells Tai that he was the opposite because he went from being a threat pre-merge to less so after. Tai claims that he didn’t have to make moves after a while because he was comfortable with his alliance.

Joe bats clean-up. He calls Tai selfless and hard-working. He then asks why Tai deserves it more than Aubry. Tai mentions the idol he found and the vote that he won.

Joe then asks why Aubry deserves his vote over Tai. She claims that Tai came to her with information, but she had to make the moves. She also points out that she was always on the right side of the vote after the merge.

We get Jason next. He tells them that he doesn’t know who he’s voting for. Jason points out that Michele wasn’t in the know when Scot was sent home. Michele says she didn’t know because they trusted her more than they trusted Tai.

Then, Jason wants to know why Tai left him and Scot. Tai says it was because he was scared of how close they were.

Cydney is sixth. She asks Aubry if it was always the plan to get rid of her at final four. Aubry says Michele was the target, but she won immunity. She then says she targeted Cydney because she’d do the same thing.

Then Aubry asks Michele if she knew that they were going to target Cydney. Michele says that she didn’t.

Scot’s up last. He tells Tai that he blew his extra vote and his immunity idol.  He then asks Aubry why he should vote for her. Aubry says it’s because he respects competition.

Scot then says that Michele would’ve been his last vote four Tribals ago, but Michele got stronger as the game went along and Tai and Aubry got weaker.

Probst lets them give closing arguments. Aubry says her game evolved and she used a lot of strategies and she beat Cydney in a fire challenge. Tai claims hat he believes in goodness and they shouldn’t have to stab each other in the back…then he starts to cry. Then he compares everyone to plants…

This speech is going in many directions. But I think he’s happy they all got to meet each other.

Finally, Michele says that Nick said she had to be intelligent, but she had to keep her cool and have faith in her game and she’s very proud of herself.

Hmm…Aubry and Michele were both really strong. Tai…not so much. At least he gets a chicken consolation prize.

Voting Time: Julia votes for Michele, Joe votes for Aubry, and the rest will have to wait till Probst gets to Los Angeles.

Wait…Probst tells Tai to let Mark go because he can’t bring him back to the States. Aww….

Alright, we’re magically taken to Studio City. We’ve got one vote for Michele, two votes for Aubry, two votes for Michele, and the winner of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” is…Michele.

Verdict: Wow…Michele was invisible before the merge. But she really turned it on and played a great post-merge game. Well deserved win, but I was pulling for Aubry.

And…a great season overall. I loved it.

Power Rankings Results: Shirin had Cydney and Tai in the right spot for four points. I had nobody in the right spot. The current score is Team Shirin 112, Team Gordon 103. Congrats to Shirin for becoming this season’s Power Rankings champion!

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Power Rankings: So-Long-to-Kaôh-Rōng Edition

May 17, 2016
"Survivor: Kaôh Rōng" (CBS)

“Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” (CBS)










QUICK NOTE: 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, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng”

The Rules: For the finals, each player will rank the remaining Survivors in the order in which they think they will finish. The first contestant is the winner, the second received the second most votes at Tribal, etc. Each correct placement is worth two points.  The person with the most total points for the season will be named the “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Shirin had Joe in spot five, I had him in spot three. The current score is Team Shirin 108, Team Gordon 103.


Shirin’s Score = 108

Any questions for Shirin? Drop her a line on Twitter: @theshirin

Gordon’s Score = 103

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

AubryBlack AubryBlack
 1. – Aubry: This game handed her lemons – some sour, some bitter, some rotting – but in the end she’ll be making #Lemonade.
 1. – Aubry: Losing Joe made the road to the end more difficult, but it might make her final jury speech a little bit easier. 
MicheleBlack CydneyBlack
 2. – Michele: “The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal.” The prophecy could have applied to two, but in the end, Michele was not marked, though she did kill a Horcrux. #Nickgini 
 2. – Cydney: One of the great things about this finale is I’m OK with any one of the final four winning. Cydney’s got as good a resume as anyone. Although, she’s probably the most likely to face a bitter jury.
TaiBlack MicheleBlack
 3. – Tai: He stole America’s hearts but I don’t think he’ll have the votes. #FeelingTheBern
 3. – Michele: At first I thought you were a coattail rider, but now all of those coats are on the jury.  I don’t think you can win it, but you’ve played a solid, respectable game.
CydneyBlack TaiBlack
 4. – Cydney: She’s a fourth to be reckoned with.   4. – Tai: You made some questionable moves and you’ve stabbed half of the jury in the back. But, you’re likable and for that reason, they can’t let you get too far.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Joe: “People Will Say, ‘He’s the Goat,’ But So What?”

May 12, 2016
'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

Gordon Holmes: So, how are you feeling?
Joe Del Campo: I feel fine. We came back in May last year. I also had shoulder surgery this past January. I’m recovering very quickly. I’m trying to get back into the gym and look like I did on day one. Not like the day when I left where it looked like my skin was just hanging fabric on me.
Holmes: Walk me through what happened after you were taken out of the game.
Del Campo: We went back to basecamp, we went to the infirmary and the doctor said, “I’m going to give you a couple of hours, if nothing happens, we’re going to transport you over to the mainland and you’re going to have to be catheterized. We can’t do that here.” I didn’t like the idea of going to a hospital in Cambodia. So, they gave me things to drink and pain pills. It was beyond tolerable. Within that two-hour timeline I was able to have certain body functions happen. They kept me a little while, then they gave me a physical, then I was good to go. Then I went to Ponderosa. The next three days were pretty uncomfortable. I enjoyed the company and I enjoyed the food, but when I was by myself off that little rubber cushion…it was dim. (Laughs)

Holmes: (Laughs) Before they officially pulled you, Jeff kept talking. I was like, “C’mon, let this poor guy go.”
Del Campo: I guess he wanted to make sure that they had to pull me. And Doctor Joe said that if it backs up to my kidneys, it’s going to be some serious stuff. I think Jeff knew that I’d lasted that long and he hated to see me get pulled. He was very nice though, when we started heading out he said, “You left a lot of love on that island.” The four people I left there…we got very, very close. Stuff that was not seen on television. Private conversations with all of them. There was a kinship with them.

Holmes: When you were at the reward you said that you didn’t think that you or Cydney had a chance to win. Was that gamesmanship at that point or did you think Cydney couldn’t win?
Del Campo: As you know, things change in a heartbeat. That was said there, whether or not that would’ve stuck when we got back to the beach? I don’t know. Other issues could have come up. Other people could’ve made efforts to change opinions. That was just said in the moment.
Holmes: But when you said it, what was your impression of her game?
Del Campo: It wasn’t a question of her not being able to win. She’s an incredible player. Very sharp, University of Pennsylvania psychology degree, I believe. I believe that Aubry had said that Cydney could be dangerous because she’s good. You have to treat her with respect. I said what I said, not discounting the people who were on the beach, Tai and Michele. So, anything could have happened. It was said during the reward, but anything could have happened.

Holmes: “Survivor” is a game where the jury wants to know the moves you’ve made to get to the end. Did you ever entertain the thought of getting rid of Aubry to improve your resume?
Del Campo: I’m loyal to a fault. That’s me. I shook hands with Peter in the water, I said I wouldn’t vote him out. I didn’t. There were other things with Scot, I didn’t change that vote. People saw me as inflexible. From day two we said this is what we’re going to do. I was going to stay out of the limelight because the older guy usually becomes a target. Particularly if they saw us as a power couple. So, Aubry was going to do the field work because she’s so good at it and I was going to be in the back. People will say, “He’s the goat,” but so what? That’s the way we decided to play it. I didn’t want to try to do a power play, because I’ve seen in past seasons, that’s the guy you take out. I wanted to play as long and hard as I could.

Holmes: If you had gotten to a final two or final three, what would have been your argument to the jury?
Del Campo: (Laughs) That would’ve been a very weak argument, Gordon.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Del Campo: I’d say, “I’m the elder statesman. I won a tremendous reward. If you think that’s enough to be named Sole Survivor, then vote for me.” (Laughs) I wouldn’t be able to sugar coat it. “Well, I was last in that challenge, but I gave it my best.” There wasn’t going to be any sympathy old-guy votes. That was a strong group. I was happy to be with a cast that was tough. It made for a great season.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Aubry.
Del Campo: Calculating, intelligent, witty.
Holmes: Elisabeth?
Del Campo: Stepford wife. Very, very bright but kinda just…methodical…almost robotic.
Holmes: Tai?
Del Campo: Genuine, quite mystical in his beliefs, soulful.
Holmes: Nick?
Del Campo: Hollywood model.
Holmes: Neal?
Del Campo: Very intelligent, you have to be careful around him because he’s so sharp. Very calculating.
Holmes: Anna?
Del Campo: I had a very short time with her…maneuvering.
Holmes: Julia?
Del Campo: Sweet, intelligent, great sense of humor.
Holmes: Peter?
Del Campo: Morose. Bright.
Holmes: Scot?
Del Campo: Tall, powerful.
Holmes: Jason?
Del Campo: Tough on the outside, soft on the inside.
Holmes: Debbie?
Del Campo: Whimsical…sporadic.
Holmes: Michele?
Del Campo: Sweet, bright, and intelligent.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Cydney.
Del Campo: Laser focused.

Holmes: One of my favorite moments from this season is when you used your Jedi mind trick on Peter. Could you tell he wasn’t being honest?
Del Campo: Remember the Eagles song “Lyin’ Eyes”? That was it.
Holmes: Teach me!
Del Campo: Gordon, it’s all in the face. When you ask someone an uncomfortable question, if there’s something they don’t want to answer or lie about, a minimal cheek twitch or something they do with their eyes or a hand movement, it’s like a photographic thing. That would give me a clue. With Peter it was so blatant. He was a deer caught in headlights.
Holmes: I’m going to spend my afternoon doing that around the office.
Del Campo: (Laughs) It takes practice. You have to be genuinely interested in the person and you have to have a baseline to start with, like regular stuff. Then you move into the tough questions.
Holmes: This is going to get me into a world of trouble.

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Episode 13 Recap: Steak Out

May 11, 2016
'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

Last Week: Tai was like “Let’s vote out Michele.” And Aubry was like, “I dunno.” And Cydney was like, “Don’t tell me what to do, Tai.” And Joe was like, “I’m still in this game.” And Michele was like, “What?” And they voted out Jason anyways.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Dara Tribe (wearing black)
Aubry – 29, Social Media Marketer
Cydney – 23, Body Builder
Joseph – 72, Former FBI Agent
Michele – 24, Bartender
Tai – 51, Gardener

The evening’s festivities kick off after Tribal where Tai is not dealing with the Jason elimination very well. He’s annoyed that he was in the dark and his extra vote was wasted. Oddly enough, this is the best the extra vote has ever turned out.

He and Michele have it out and it ends the worst possible way any conversation can end, with one party saying, “Well, whatever.”

Later, Tai asks Aubry why she didn’t vote with him. She tells him that people were annoyed that he seemed to be dictating the vote. He responds that he feels like she betrayed him. C’mon Tai, you’re the last person who should call out someone for betraying them.

Reward Challenge Time: The players will race into the jungle and retrieve three bags of sandbags. They’ll then throw the sandbags into a series of targets. First person to land a bag in all of their targets will get a spa getaway.

Not much to describe here except for jungle runnin’ and bag tossin’.

In a weird twist, if you don’t hit all five of your targets, you have to wait for everyone else to finish to get your bags and try again.

Sure enough, Cydney, Aubry, Tai, and Michele have to wait…like a month…for Joe to finish getting all of his bags. Seriously, what’s to stop Joe from taking a nap?

Finally, Joe throws hits his targets and wins it.

That was weird.

Probst lets Joe bring someone along and he chooses Aubry. #notshocking.

He gets a second pick and he chooses Cydney.

At the reward, the trio enjoys some beef. We know this because they said “beef” like a hundred times.

When they finally get around to talking strategy, they decide to get rid of Michele first, then Tai.

Then, Joe starts telling Aubry how he and Cydney aren’t threats to win. Aubry disagrees on the Cydney front, but she smartly keeps that to herself.

Back at Dara Beach, Team Tai-chele has a chance to bond. He even gives her a deep Tai-ssue massage. (Yes, I hate myself for that joke.)

They try to figure out how to overcome the numbers and it seems to take forever for them to figure out that they should use the idol.

Aubry and Tai have a talk after she returns to camp. She pitches a final three with the two of them and Joe. He agrees.

As they’re walking back to camp, she tells Tai that she has his back. This causes Tai to totally break down. Aubry comforts him and gives him a big hug. Aww…

Cydney sees them return and doesn’t like how chummy they seem. Sooo…she goes for a walk with Michele and they decide to target Joe or Aubry.

Then, we learn that Joe is in bad shape. He self-diagnoses it as a prostate issue. I don’t need any more information than that.

Medical comes in and they’re hoping some medicine will clear things up. However, if the constipation remains it could damage his kidneys.

Joe takes the medication, but the pain is making him ill and he’s unable to pass water.

Probst is called in and it looks like that’s going to be it for Joe. Hate to see that.

Apparently all the beef Joe ate exacerbated the issue. Ah…so that’s why they spent five minutes talking about it.

Verdict: With Joe out, we’re officially headed into a finale where I’m fine with any of the remaining contestants winning.

That being said, it’s always rough when someone leaves the game without being voted out.

Who’s Going to Win? Aubydnechele?

Power Rankings Results: Shirin had Joe in spot five, I had him in spot three. The current score is Team Shirin 108, Team Gordon 103.

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Power Rankings: The Rise of the Tai-chele Alliance Edition

May 11, 2016
"Survivor: Kaôh Rōng" (CBS)

“Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: 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, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng”

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 Aubry is voted out this episode, Shirin will receive three points and Gordon will receive five points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Shirin and Gordon both had Jason in spot six. The current score is Team Shirin 103, Team Gordon 100.

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.


Shirin’s Score = 103

Any questions for Shirin? Drop her a line on Twitter: @theshirin

Gordon’s Score = 100

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

TaiBlack TaiBlack
 1. – Tai: It doesn’t matter what comes out of Tai’s mouth at Tribal this week as long as the idol comes out of his pocket. 
 1. – Tai: The smart move is to use that idol to get rid of one of the bigger threats. However, it’s never safe to bet on Tai making the smart move.
CydneyBlack MicheleBlack
 2. – Cydney: We don’t need no more heat, baby, because Cydney is on fire. 
 2. – Michele: So, Michele is going to partner with the guy she threw down with at Tribal? That’s versatile. That being said, I wouldn’t want to go to the end with her.
AubryBlack JoeBlack
 3. – Aubry: A woman will win this year. #ImWithHer 
 3. – Joe: Everybody should be doing everything they can to get to the end with Joe. Unless Aubry wins immunity, then they need to get rid of her right hand.
MicheleBlack CydneyBlack
 4. – Michele: Though she did marry Harry in the end, Ginny wasn’t part of the main trio. #mollywobbles  4. – Cydney: Cydney has a hell of a resume at this point. I wouldn’t want to go to the end with her either.
JoeBlack AubryBlack
 5. – Joe: What is dead may never die, but a spike in airtime spells dmoo odom doom for this Ironborn.
 5. – Aubry: If you’re gonna get rid of Aubry, you’ve got to do it now. Otherwise we’ll have our first manatee millionaire.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Jason: ‘I’m Proud of the Way I Acted and So Is My Family’

May 6, 2016
Kyle Jason (CBS)

Kyle Jason (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

Gordon Holmes: Last night’s Tribal made no sense to me based on what happened before the vote. So, to start…what was the mood like at camp before heading out?
Kyle Jason: It 100% felt like they were all out to get me. I was prepared for it. I saw it coming my way. It wasn’t a secret. They had iced me out for the last three days. I was an island of one, man. They did not hold back on making sure that I knew that. I couldn’t see any of the fractures except for Tai coming to me and making a play for Michele. But, I knew he didn’t have the numbers. I watched all day long Cydney talking to Michele, then talking to Aubry, then talking to Michele…she was the middle man in that, passing the notes. You can’t fool the numbers, dude. There wasn’t much I could do about it.
Holmes: What was your plan for Tribal?
Jason: I was going to make a big scene and go back to my preaching days. But, I didn’t because they started making their own fractures. I really wanted them to keep talking and fighting amongst themselves. But, when it came down to it, I knew they were still very tight on it. They weren’t budging. Those girls were aligned and you always know where Joe is going. There was no hope for me.

Holmes: In reality, as you well know, Tribal is like two hours long. How much of that time was spent with them fighting each other?
Jason: It was at least an hour with Tai and Michele going at it. Tai coming out with that “small alliance within the big alliance” really put people off. It really made Aubry think, “What are you doing? Why are you putting your foot in your mouth again? You need to stop.” I think it made his intentions kind of clear of what he was trying to do. I think it backfired and really put the girls together. We’re not going to let you dictate to us.

Holmes: Why the Joe vote?
Jason: Because I deserve to be there and Joe doesn’t. I knew where the votes were going and I wasn’t going to get in line with Tai and do what he told me. When it came down to it, I thought I was playing the game and Joe wasn’t.

Holmes: Cydney was turned off by Tai telling her what to do. She had a similar reaction to Nick. What’s it like to discuss strategy with Cydney?
Jason: Everyday life with Cydney is actually very pleasant. She’s a super fun person to hang out with. But, when you talk strategy with her, you’d better come correct. She’s only going to respond to you if you talk to her in a certain way. She wants to be talked to with respect. She wants to be talked to as a teammate, not being told. If you talk to her in a way that’s, “This is what you need to do.” You’ve already turned her off. You need to value her input. She will strategize with you all day long. When she made the play against us, which was a smart move for her, I give her all the credit for that, Nick turned her off with the way he was. If you don’t make her part of it, she won’t be a part of it.

Holmes: What was your plan for final three before Scot was voted out?
Jason: It really depended on how paranoid Tai got. If he stayed strong, I’d not want to be in the end with him and Scot. If he got paranoid, I’d want to keep him around because he’d keep making dumb decisions. Otherwise, I’d want to be with Scot and Julia. If it’s a final two, I’d want to be in the end with Scot, I felt I could beat him. Why not take this awesome friendship and bond and sit there on day 39 together?
Holmes: At that point, you and Scot had wrecked the camp, which is a tough thing to come back from on “Survivor.” If you’d been sitting with someone else, how would you have countered that move to the jury?
Jason: What did I really do to wreck the camp at the end of the day? I didn’t put the fire out.
Holmes: And the ax and the machete?
Jason: I was there. If we watch it on film, Scot’s the one putting them in there.
Holmes: So there’s a plausible deniability.
Jason: I was just walking with him. (Laughs)
Holmes: Hmm…
Jason: (Laughs) I set myself up for deniability. Yes, I was part of it, but I didn’t necessarily do it all. That’s what I was aiming for. But if I stood there with Julia at a final two or Aubry, I’m working on my resume. From day one, nobody went to as many Tribals as us. Scot and I went to the most Tribals. We were constantly having our back put against the wall and having to kill our own. And I was able to survive them all. I was able to build the team that I wanted. Jenny was part of the team and I was the who said she’s got to go. I said, “I’m with you, Cyd. It’s you and me till the end.” And I helped Cydney out when nobody would when everybody had heat problems. I stayed and gave her treatment. I felt like I’d built a strong resume and my ability to talk the way I do at Tribal, I felt that I could really, truly sell that to people and get the vote my way for a win.

Holmes: There’s been a lot of heat on you and Scot. People accusing you two of bullying Alecia. What’s your take on that situation?
Jason: I think “bully” is the most overused word this season. I think it’s very easy to portray me as a bully because I’m a brash person. I don’t sugar-coat (expletive deleted). I tell it exactly how I see it. I come from a different lifestyle. I have years in the service. We talk and act a different way. I’ve got years of working for Blackwater. We’re not the type of people that will hug you and make it better even though you’re not doing a good enough job. I’m OK with the way I was portrayed. I love my story. I have no problems with how I’m perceived on the TV. When people call me a bully online, you’ve got to look at how people are saying it. A lot of people that say it have worse things to say about me than I ever said on the show.
Holmes: So, was your relationship with Alecia accurately portrayed?
Jason: From day one, not even the first hour on the beach, the first thing she said to us was that she was offended that she wasn’t on the beauty tribe. That’s not going to win you friends over here on the brawn tribe. Just be happy you’re here. She fought with us about everything. She was very closed off. And it’s OK to be closed off, but when you’re trying to build relationships or even just try to be cordial with somebody, you can’t have all of these walls up. As much as America likes to sit there and say that I was stereotyping her, she was stereotyping me. “He’s the big guy with tattoos, he must be mean. He won’t tell me I’m doing a great job.” But if you’re not doing a great job, I’m not going to tell you that. When she says, “I was doing my best,” I come from a world where even doing your best will sometimes get you killed. She was not all peaches and cream. She had a lot of things to say about me that would make people think the other way. Now, I wish Alecia the best in life and I hope she grows up and realizes we’re not all terrible people as she likes to think. But when it comes to gameplay, I can sit there and say I’m proud of the way I played and I’m proud of the way I acted and so is my family.

Holmes: OK, word association time. Let’s start with Scot.
Jason: Friend.
Holmes: Darnell?
Jason: Funny.
Holmes: Jennifer?
Jason: (Laughs) Spastic.
Holmes: Joe?
Jason: Old.
Holmes: Aubry?
Jason: Strategic.
Holmes: Cydney?
Jason: Strong.
Holmes: Nick?
Jason: Funny as (expletive deleted).
Holmes: Neal?
Jason: Goofy.
Holmes: Debbie?
Jason: Crazy.
Holmes: Alecia?
Jason: Blondie. (Laughs)
Holmes: Julia?
Jason: Sweet.
Holmes: Michele?
Jason: Jersey.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Tai.
Jason: Chicken.

Holmes: Did your daughters get a chance to see their dad running around the animal reserve?
Jason: Alina, my oldest, loved watching the monkeys attack me. And they were very impressed to see their dad get freaked out by something…because it doesn’t happen much. And Chloe was very pumped about the elephant. It was a very special moment.

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Episode 12 Recap: The Tai’d Has Turned?

May 4, 2016
'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

Last Week: Michele proved she can play, Joe stayed out of the way, and Julia wasn’t allowed to stay.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Dara Tribe (wearing black)
Aubry – 29, Social Media Marketer
Cydney – 23, Body Builder
Jason  – 31, Bounty Hunter
Joseph – 72, Former FBI Agent
Michele – 24, Bartender
Tai – 51, Gardener

The fun starts off back at Dara Beach where Mark the Chicken is thrilled to see that Tai has survived the vote. Well, I’m assuming. It’s hard to read a chicken.

Jason thinks everyone is afraid of him because he knows how to talk. Oh man, does he think the other five players are mute? Well…besides Joe.

Later, Tai tells Joe and Aubry that his advantage is an extra vote. Nothing beats that extra vote…ever. Ahem…

The next morning, Tai is fascinated by a grub. He’s worried they’ll have to eat one in a challenge. He feeds it to Mark. Mark wins immunity! A one-in-five shot at a million dollars!

Meanwhile, Jason is bummed because his number is probably up. An old guy with a beard listens to him, but isn’t moved.

Jason decides his best bet is to sit around the camp and not do anything. His hope is that this will lead to someone taking him to the end. It’s happened before…

Reward Challenge Time: The tribes will be divided into two teams. They’ll swim out to a floating maze, then work together to put three balls in their place. The winners will go to the Wildlife Alliance and interact with rescued animals. They’ll also enjoy a picnic.

Joe, Aubry, and Cydyey are the yellow team while Tai, Michele, and Jason are the blue team.

Jason jumps out to an early lead for his team while Joe…realllllly…takes his time.

The blue team is the first to start on the maze. It’s super cool as the players have to walk around the floating maze to raise and lower it.

The yellow team eventually gets to the maze as well, but it isn’t close. Jason, Tai and Michele do a great job of working together and winning the challenge.

Later, we meet up with Joe, Cydney, and Aubry back at camp. Apparently Joe is being very bossy about the firewood.

Quick Aside: We’re seeing a lot of Joe this episode. That probably doesn’t bode well for him.

Sure enough, Cyndey is annoyed.

Meanwhile, the reward is totally awesome. After Jason, Tai, and Michele enjoy a delicious feast, they are visited by an elephant. Later, they go inside a monkey pen and one of them immediately goes after Jason’s head. It must be because Jason can talk.

All jokes aside, Jason does seem touched to get this opportunity because his daughter loves animals so much. Adorbs.

Tai lets us know that he’s concerned that Michele doesn’t have any enemies on the jury, so he wants her to go home next.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto a rope that balances a wobbly table. They’ll have to retrieve blocks and stack them on the table. The first person to spell “immunity” with the blocks and return to the base will win…er…immunity.

We start off and there isn’t much to describe except for rope holdin’, table balancin’, and block stackin’.

It comes down to Jason and Cyndey with Jason actually spelling the word, but his stack topples on the way back to the base. Cydney keeps her stack upright and wins immunity.

Back at camp, Tai pushes his anti-Michele agenda. Joe isn’t into it…Aubry kinda agrees…and Jason is up in air.

Cydney is annoyed that Tai is trying to rock the vote so she tells Michele that Tai is gunning for her.

Then, Cydney approaches Aubry to see if he’s with Tai or with her. Aubry doesn’t commit either way.

That night at Tribal, Cydney points out that some people feel too comfortable and are trying to dictate things too much.

Michele thinks Cydney is refering to Tai.

Tai claims that everyone in his alliance has a voice.

Cydney doesn’t think her voice was heard.

Aubry is confused because she thought Tai and Cydney had a chance to work things out.

Tai says there’s a small group in the big group. That…is…not smart. Oh, Tai.

Michele takes this to mean that she’s on the bottom of their alliance…or at least that’s where Tai thinks she is.

She then makes the point that Tai has turned on all of his alliances.

Tai refers to Michele as an “extra person.”

Voting Time: Michele votes for Jason, Tai votes for Michele, and the rest of the votes are secret…

Before Jeff can tally…Tai decides to use his advantage.

Voting Time…Again: Tai votes for Michele…again.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Jason, two votes for Michele, one vote for Jason, one vote for Joe, one vote for Jason, and the thirteenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng is…Jason.

Oh Tai…

Verdict: They’ve done a really good job making obvious votes seem less-than-obvious this season. And maybe with Tai being willing to burn his vote, it wasn’t so obvious.

Say obvious again. Obvious.

Anywho, this season rocks. Best all newbie season since “Survivor: Cagayan.”

Who’s Going to Win? Aubry. We’re still debating this?

Power Rankings Results: Shirin and I both had Jason in spot six. The current score is Team Shirin 103, Team Gordon 100.

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

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