Posts Tagged ‘survivor millennials vs gen x’

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Castaway Interview with David, Bret, and Jay

December 15, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

Gordon Holmes: I know what you guys are thinking; it was one of the biggest nights of your lives, you were out partying, now you can’t wait to get up at the crack of dawn and talk to the press.
David Wright and Bret LaBelle: (Laughs)
Jay Starrett: It’s a dream come true!

Holmes: Alright, David. You promised to report back to me on this after the pre-game interview; how was the aqua dump?
Wright: For me, aqua dumping wasn’t the ideal way to go to the bathroom. You go in the water, you pull down your shorts, and you do your business. You’re supposed to let the poop float away. In my case, a whole bunch of fish swam up and started eating it.
Holmes: I immediately regret this question.
Wright: (Laughs) It was awful.
Holmes: Was that the worst part of your experience?
Starrett: No, it was the fact that he didn’t work with me.
Wright: That might be it actually.
Holmes: What was your pitch to get David over to your side?
Starrett: I gave that guy so many pitches. He wasn’t biting for nothing.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X”

Holmes: Jay, on a scale of Jason Siska being a zero and Bob Crowley being a ten, how impressive was that fake idol?
Starrett: (Laughs) I don’t even want to rank it and give this guy credit.
LaBelle: I’ll rank it. It was a ten!
Starrett: There you go, Bret gives it a ten.
Holmes: David, how on Earth did you glue that thing together?
Wright: A lot of people thought that was glue. What I was actually doing was mixing the red and white paint to make pink. It was one of the colors that wasn’t available back at camp. That way it wouldn’t look like something we could have done. No glue involved.
Holmes: Jay, the fake idol was so different than the ones used earlier in the game. I know there had been talk in other seasons about having a variety of idols, is that what you were thinking?
Starrett: Honestly, the adrenaline was pumping so hard, I just put it in my pocket and got out of there. The moment I put it away, I never brought it out again until I needed it.
Holmes: You talked a lot of trash as you were handing it over.
Starrett: I know. It was so funny, I’m looking at David the whole time last night. He says he’s going to catch a fish and we were both cracking up.
Holmes: I’ll give you credit for this though, when you were voted out, you had such a good attitude. It was fun to watch.
Starrett: I was tricked, and I was like “damnit, I lost” and that was it.

Holmes: Bret, the argument people would use against you was that your game was more social and not reliant on big moves. How do you think the jury would have reacted to that if you had gotten to the final three?
LaBelle: There were big moves that I tried to make that didn’t work. We had the Jess vote and then David pulled an idol and it didn’t go through. I knew my game was a social game, that’s my strong point. I think if I got to the jury with Hannah and Ken I would have won it. I think these guys would say the same thing. I think Jay wins it, I think David wins it against all of us. Even though I wasn’t the most strategic player in the game, I don’t think you need to flip flop all the time. I also don’t think you need to be like Will and have this great report card to win the game. It’s all about the relationships that you make.
Starrett: (Laughs) Report card.
LaBelle: I’m sick of this report card! Which Survivor aficionado decided that you need to have this great report card? You’re working for CBS with all of this report card crap. You’re trying to make a great show. We’re on Reddit and we think you need this…no…you’re helping CBS.
Holmes: Is that a Gen-X/Millennial thing where Gen-Xer will have a resume and a Millennial will have a report card?
LaBelle: No, that’s a high school thing.
Holmes, LaBelle, Wright, and Starrett: (Laughs)
Holmes: A high schooler has a very different life experience than a Boston cop or a TV writer, did that stand out?
LaBelle: Will had a great social game. Will’s a real likable guy. I don’t know where he got it in his head that he had to make a great move. Jay said he has to do it at the right time. He made a good move, but it ruined him because we went after him the next time.

Holmes: David, when did you first suspect that Ken could be gunning for you?
Wright: This is going to sound incredibly naïve, but Ken was truly the only person I trusted in the game. And I thought at worst it would be a tie and it’d go to a fire-making challenge. When I walked into Tribal I felt really good, but a minute into it I realized it wasn’t going to go my way. And then I was sure that I was going to go home. I think Ken made the right move for him.
Holmes: What was said that tipped you off?
Wright: I don’t remember specifically, but the way the conversation was going…they had no plans of keeping me in the game.
Starrett: I did.
Wright: (Laughs)

Holmes: Jay and Bret, if it had gone to a fire-making challenge and David had lost, and Ken was able to go to the final Tribal saying he had been loyal the whole game, could that have swayed your vote?
LaBelle: Nope.
Starrett: Nope.

Holmes: What was the mood of the jury before that final Tribal started?
LaBelle: I think we were all in a good mood. I think we all knew how we were going to vote. Jay, what do you think?
Starrett: I think you were drunk.
LaBelle: (Laughs)
Starrett: No, I think we were ready to vote and get out of there.
Holmes: Had everyone already reached a consensus that Adam was going to win?
LaBelle: I think he had it. Anyone who sat in that seat would have had it.
Holmes: So anyone who faced Ken and Hannah?
LaBelle: They’re not saying it, but I’m saying it.

Holmes: Adam brought up his mother’s battle with cancer during the final Tribal. Now, this is question I hate to ask, but it’s also “Survivor.” Did any of you have any doubts about what Adam was saying?
LaBelle: That did cross my mind, but knowing Adam the way we all got to know him, that literally left my head fast. I didn’t know him to be that kind of a person. He’s a sincere, emotional kid.
Wright: I agree.
Starrett: He’d told me earlier.
Holmes: Since you knew back in the hammock, did you ever debate using that as a reason to target him?
Starrett: No, that’s out of respect. I can’t do that to the kid. I’m not going to put all of his stuff out there. There’s no way I’d do that because I know I can beat him anyways.

Holmes: That’s a perfect example of what seems to be a very drama-free respectful season. Do you hope “Survivor” continues in this kinder, more civil fashion?
LaBelle: Yeah, cause maybe we’ll get to play again. It was fun to watch, it was fun to play. Take me and Dave, we went head to head and we all have a lot of respect for each other. But, I’m not sure that you’ll see this again.
Wright: As Bret said, we’d vote someone out and the next morning we’d watch the sun come out together. It was really cool.
Holmes: There’s no villain.
LaBelle: I don’t think there’s a villain.
Wright: I agree.

Holmes: How are we feeling about Michelle’s dragon dress last night?
LaBelle: Absolutely fabulous.
Starrett: Hot as hell.
Wright: I can offer that the dragon’s name is “Freckles.”
LaBelle: That’s why I love you, Dave. I never would have asked her what the friggin’ dragon’s name is.
Wright: (Laughs)
LaBelle: Gordon, what was your take on that thing?
Holmes: I think Michelle could wear a barrel and make it look good.

Holmes: Jay, at final six, what was your dream final three?
Starrett: I wanted to go with David and Adam.
Holmes: At this point, it seems like you’re taking the two biggest threats. What argument would you have used with the jury?
Starrett: I would’ve just smiled.
Holmes: You’d get my vote.
Starrett: (Laughs) With David and Adam I’d say, “They’ve been controlling the votes for a while. They’ve been making alliances and I had nothing. And I’m sitting right next to them.”
Wright: Jay was enormously likable. I think he had a lot of jury votes locked. He was a real threat.
Starrett: It would have been such a battle.
Wright: Yeah, I wish we had sat next to each other in hindsight. I would’ve loved to have seen if it’d come out as a tie.
Holmes: David, you said Jay was likable. Are you saying that he isn’t likable now?
Wright: (Laughs) Oh no, he’s completely likable. Jay is more likable with each day that passes.
LaBelle: Except for when he gets drunk and jumps on my back.
Starrett: (Laughs)
Holmes: You’re telling me Jay gets drunk? I don’t believe that for a second.
LaBelle: (Laughs) He’s very reserved.

Holmes: Bret, how about you at final six?
LaBelle: Yeah, at final six, Jay and David had to go and I think I would have had a good shot against anybody else. Now, I didn’t know Adam’s story at that time. So, I don’t know if I could have beat him. I still think I have a shot.
Holmes: How would you have pitched yourself to the jury?
LaBelle: I love Adam, he’s a great kid, but once he started with the waterworks I would have had to have come up with some kind of a gay, cop, my life sucks, story.
Starrett: I just want to clarify; Bret, you’re a cop.
LaBelle: Yeah, I understand that Jay. I have to give Jay props; he called me out but I never caved.
Starrett: (Laughs)
LaBelle: Once you start a lie like that, you can’t go back.
Holmes: Do you think things like your background and Adam’s home situation will sway votes or are jurors focused on what happens in the game?
LaBelle: Personally, it might have swayed my vote. It’s moving that someone can go out with something like that going on in their lives. But, in the same respect, there were a lot of Millennials that didn’t like Adam and I think I could have had a shot against him.

Holmes: David, at final six you were with Hannah and Ken. What’s your final argument to the jury?
Wright: My growth, my moves…my report card. (Laughs) But yeah, I think I had a good story.
Holmes: I’ve been doing pre-game press since Gabon, you might be the first person who I was actually worried for their physical well-being.
Wright: (Laughs)
Holmes: The change has been amazing. What has been the reaction like from people who know you?
Wright: I never intended to cry so much and be so vulnerable. The game tore my walls down, they nearly medically evacuated my due to dehydration from crying. And when I came back, people said I seemed like a different person. Part of that was because I was walking around in a daze thinking, “Did I just play ‘Survivor’?” I think today is the first time that I’ve accepted that it really happened.

Holmes: Alright, word association time for Jay. Let’s start with Mari.
Starrett: Cool.
Holmes: Figgy?
Starrett: Sensitive.
Holmes: Michaela?
Starrett: This is an inside joke; I just thought of CeCe.
Holmes: Michelle?
Starrett: Hot as (Expletive Deleted).
Wright: (Laughs)
Holmes: Taylor?
Starrett: My boy.
Holmes: Chris?
Starrett: Strong.
Holmes: Jessica?
Starrett: Nice. I don’t know.
Holmes: Zeke?
Starrett: Funny.
Holmes: Will?
Starrett: My brain is going so slow this morning. Report card.
Holmes: Sunday?
Starrett: Mom.
Holmes: Bret?
Starrett: Super gay cop.
LaBelle: (Laughs)
Holmes: David?
Starrett: The man.
Wright: Aww…
Holmes: Hannah?
Starrett: Ridiculous.
Holmes: Ken?
Starrett: Different.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Adam.
Starrett: Respect.

Holmes: Alright, you’re up Bret. Let’s start with Rachel.
LaBelle: Who?
Starrett: She’s hot as (Expletive Deleted) too.
Holmes: Paul?
LaBelle: Good guy.
Holmes: Lucy?
LaBelle: Tenacious.
Holmes: Cece?
LaBelle: Funny.
Holmes: Michelle?
LaBelle: Beautiful.
Holmes: Taylor?
LaBelle: Blue eyes.
Holmes: Chris?
LaBelle: Gross.
Wright and Starrett: (Laughs)
Wright: It’s his last dig.
LaBelle: Can I take that one back? I’ll say handsome.
Holmes: Jessica?
LaBelle: Strategic.
Holmes: Zeke?
LaBelle: My drinking buddy.
Holmes: Will?
LaBelle: Report card.
Holmes: Sunday?
LaBelle: Awesome.
Holmes: Jay?
LaBelle: Surfer dude.
Starrett: Atta boy.
Holmes: David?
LaBelle: Brilliant.
Holmes: Hannah?
LaBelle: Flipper.
Holmes: Ken?
LaBelle: Serious.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Adam.
LaBelle: Deserving.

Holmes: David, your turn. We’ll start with Rachel.
Wright: Endearingly sweet.
Holmes: Paul?
Wright: Rock and roll.
Holmes: Lucy?
Wright: Chef, super chef!
Holmes: Cece?
Wright: Spartan.
Holmes: Michelle?
Wright: Call me.
LaBelle and Starrett: (Laughs)
Starrett: Oh, buddy.
Holmes: We also would have accepted “Hot as (Expletive Deleted)” apparently. Taylor?
Wright: Buried treasure.
Holmes: Chris?
Wright: Barnhouse lawyer.
Holmes: Jessica?
Wright: A rock-drawing rock.
Holmes: Zeke?
Wright: Gay me.
LaBelle and Starrett: (Laughs)
Holmes: Will?
Wright: Super fan, cool guy. That’s a lame phrase.
Holmes: Sunday?
Wright: Secret bad-ass.
Holmes: Jay?
Wright: Challenge beast.
Holmes: Bret?
Wright: Life of the party.
Holmes: Hannah?
Wright: Female Jewish me.
Holmes: Ken?
Wright: Loyal abs.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Adam.
Wright: Deserving.

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

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‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Finalist Hannah – ‘I Thought Being a Strong Woman Like Jessica Would Get Me Targeted’

December 15, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

Gordon Holmes: Good morning, Hannah.
Hannah Shapiro: Good morning! I’m sorry if my voice cracks and you can’t understand me. My apologies.
Holmes: I’ll let it go one or two times, but so help me if there is a fourth!
Shapiro: Hang up and say Hannah is the worst.
Holmes: I was going to give her my vote for the million, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to vote for a voice cracker.
Shapiro: That’s why I lost. The article headline should be, “Hannah’s Voice Cracks at Final Tribal, Nobody Wants to Vote for Her.”

Shapiro: It’s so nice to speak to you again. We talked before I went to the island, we’re talking now.
Holmes: We’re bringing it full circle. We get 42 minutes with you a week and we don’t get to see everything, so now we get your side of the story.
Shapiro: I love being heard.
Holmes: I am your voice.
Shapiro: I would choose no one else.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X”

Holmes: I kind of half pay attention to the reunions. I’m putting together my recap and other stuff. A member of my staff texted me to ask if there’s something romantic going on with you and Ken. Did I miss something?
Shapiro: There’s nothing romantic between me and Ken. I was making a point that Probst called me out for being a flirt, and if I’m a flirt I’m a very untraditional flirt in the history of the show. I wanted to make the point that you can be weird and quirky and flirt with a real pretty man and be bold in your life in every aspect. In the past they’d cast these beautiful women and these guys would make these comments about them. I wanted to flip the script and objectify a bunch of men on national television.
Holmes: Did you think your objectification of men was going to help you with the jury?
Shapiro: I think it helps me every day.

Holmes: We’re making light of this, but before the game you said that you’ve seen men who act like you win “Survivor.” Spoiler Alert: David even says in his word association that you are a “female, Jewish” version of him. Do you think you would have been viewed differently by the jury if you were a man?
Shapiro: I absolutely think that. There are exceptions to the rule, but if you make a move as a man, you’re a game player. If you make a move as a woman you’re a flipper. I think if you’re loyal as a man, you’re loyal. I think if you’re loyal as a woman, you’re a goat. Especially in a season with a primarily male jury and male merge. Perception is everything in this game. And it’s something I knew going into the game. Gender is probably something I should have taken into deeper consideration as I tried to figure out how to maneuver my way to the end. I do not think I lost because of a gender thing, but I do think that when you’re primarily playing with dudes that it becomes tricky. And, it’s not like a woman hasn’t ever been able to beat two dudes. And because I’m a quirky female, it may have more personally hurt than if I was a dude.

Holmes: Bret’s voted out and he calls you a flipper. Will changes his alliance and it’s a resume builder.
Shapiro: Yeah! It’s funny, I think women have to play “Survivor” differently. For the Bret thing, when Zeke convinced Bret to go to rocks for him, Zeke convinced a man whose ally he had voted out to passionately put his hand in a bag of rocks. And one of the ways he did this was by convincing Bret of the narrative of me as a crazy flipper. Bret played a very emotional game and he didn’t always understand the strategy that was going on. I love Bret, and he was playing a fantastic social game, but he’d say he’s playing with idiots and that’s a reflection of not understanding some other people’s strategy.

Holmes: This argument about women and men being viewed differently is a very strong one. But, you’re pitching to a mostly male jury.
Shapiro: Yeah. I thought about saying that, but you can’t tell a bunch of dudes…I remember after the game I told Will that I thought gender does play a role in things and he got really defensive. A month later, we talked and he said, “You know Hannah, I thought you were calling me sexist, but I now kind of understand what you were saying.” It’s tricky. We see the state of the world. I think everything about yourself plays a role in “Survivor.” What I regret is not taking into account certain elements of perception.

Holmes: Ken obviously made the call to vote out David himself, but Adam gets credit for that move from Chris and presumably the rest of the jury. What was your take on what happened there?
Shapiro: Ken was key to my game. I thought I could beat him. And he would go on these hour-long ramblings about loyalty. So, I knew I couldn’t take out his ally in a more traditional way with a blindside because I knew I would lose Ken’s trust. I had been working on how to create some kind of wedge between him and Dave. I love Dave, the jury loved Dave too. When Dave made the fake idol, Ken was sort of hurt that Dave didn’t tell him about it. We were sitting on the beach and Ken said, “I can’t believe Dave didn’t tell me about his fake idol.” I was like, “Yeah, I know. Maybe he isn’t as close to you as you think he is.” And part of voting out Bret was showing how the jury would react to Dave not being voted out. And I’m not saying Adam didn’t argue as well, but I lead with being quirky and goofy. I thought being a strong woman like Jessica would get me targeted. So, with Chris I lead with sports and goofy. If Chris’s perception of me is goofy and his perception of Adam is strategy, he’s going to give that credit to Adam. And people say, “Why didn’t you fight Chris?” I fought as hard as I could at final Tribal on every point that everyone threw at me. There was no point where I sat there quietly.

Holmes: Alright, word association time.
Shapiro: I read Zeke’s, I’m so nervous.
Holmes: As you should be, you’ll be graded later. Let’s start with Mari.
Shapiro: The coolest, most bad-ass chick I’ve ever met.
Holmes: Figgy?
Shapiro: Very pretty.
Holmes: Michaela?
Shapiro: Strong, smart…independent.
Holmes: Michelle?
Shapiro: Dragons.
Holmes: Michelle’s dragon dress?
Shapiro: Phenomenal.
Holmes: Taylor?
Shapiro: Goofy blue eyes
Holmes: Jessica?
Shapiro: Like a powerful lady.
Holmes: Zeke?
Shapiro: The best human in the world.
Holmes: Will?
Shapiro: More mature than I was at eighteen.
Holmes: Sunday?
Shapiro: A sweetheart.
Holmes: Jay?
Shapiro: Game player.
Holmes: Bret?
Shapiro: Life of the party.
Holmes: David?
Shapiro: Gen-X me.
Holmes: Ken?
Shapiro: Open to the world.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Adam.
Shapiro: A brother to me. Did I do better or worse than the lightning round before the game?
Holmes: I don’t remember.
Shapiro: You yelled at me because I was taking so long.
Holmes: Lightning round, Shapiro!
Shapiro: (Laughs) I was so bad it. I was thinking, “I’m going to be so bad on the island, I can’t even handle a lightning round!”

Holmes: Jay, Adam, and David are all big threats headed toward the end of the game. Was there anything you could do to whittle them down closer to the Sunday vote?
Shapiro: I think even Sunday doesn’t fully understand, but I knew if Jay won immunity and Bret and Sunday were still in it that me, Adam, and Ken were in trouble. That scared me. I was playing with the intention of sitting at the end with Adam and Ken. Watching it back, it’s easy to see where things were headed. But at the time, it’s what made the most sense. I will say, was it the right move to get Bret out so Sunday would have been an option? Yes, probably the better move, but for me it was the wrong time to take out David.

Holmes: I wasn’t keeping track, but your voice squeaked more than four times.
Shapiro: (Laughs)
Holmes: And I let it go.
Shapiro: Well, thank you.

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

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Winner Adam – Jay Is the ‘Batman to My Joker’

December 15, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

Gordon Holmes: Am I speaking to “Survivor” champion Adam Klein?
Adam Klein: (Laughs) Oh my goodness. I can’t believe it.
Holmes: How does that feel?
Klein: It’s incredible. It’s a total dream come true.
Holmes: I have dreams about “Survivor,” but they’re more like stress nightmares.
Klein: (Laughs)
Holmes: We’re always two episodes into the season and I’m scrambling because I’m on the bottom.
Klein: Your nightmare was my reality! I had that experience when Mari went home. She was one of my closest allies. This is what it feels like to be blindsided, I do not want that to happen again.
Holmes: Your nightmare ends with Probst handing you a million-dollar check. Mine ends with me waking up sweaty.
Klein: (Laughs)

Holmes: Were you sure you had Ken’s vote as you were heading into that final four Tribal?
Klein: I was feeling pretty confident that Ken was going to go my way, but I hated that it was in his hands. The whole idea of taking out Dave at the final five Tribal Council was that we didn’t have to rely on Ken making this difficult, emotional decision to take out his closest friend in the game. We were going to do it without him. But Hannah, by voting out Bret instead of Dave put us in the position where no matter what, no matter who won immunity, we needed Ken’s vote. Even if I had won immunity and Ken votes for Hannah, they go to fire-making. Ken has been living in the fire for 39 days. He literally puts ashes in his pocket and sleeps on top of it. It wasn’t going to end well. So, we needed Ken there. And when he came through it was a huge relief.
Holmes: Chris gave you credit for Ken’s flip. Why do you think he gave it to you instead of Hannah?
Klein: First of all, I did have conversations with Ken about Dave that weren’t shown on the broadcast. I had a very important conversation with Ken the night that Bret was voted out where I actually, and this is going to sound crazy because it’s the wrong time to give someone a reason to get rid of someone, but I actually told Ken about my mom. Ken is an incredibly genuine person and believes that the best people should get to the end. And I wanted him to know that there was no shame in going to the end with me. He was playing for his daughter and I was playing for my family as well. Dave was standing in the way of both of us winning. I had a final three deal with Ken and so did Dave, so he was going to have to break his deal with one of us. I wanted it to seem equal in terms of how bad it would feel to get rid of both of us. Then it would come down to who he thought he might be able to beat and I knew that he’d side with me on that. On terms of the jury perspective, they didn’t know about that conversation, but time and time again they saw that I was the guy saying, “Dave is the biggest threat.” That was very intentional. I knew he wasn’t going to vote me out until we got to the final five. He needed my vote. But, he was also someone who, because we were talking him up so much, would absolutely win a jury vote. That’s part of the danger of talking him up so much. So, they saw what I was doing at Tribal Council.

Holmes: You shared the information about your mother with both Ken and Jay. In a more cutthroat season, that could’ve been used to get rid of you.
Klein: The moments where I opened my heart to them were very genuine moments. I really trusted them as human beings beyond the game. But, I was never going to do anything that would jeopardize my game. I was out there to do well for my family. With Jay, he’s been through this. His mother has had significant health problems. I knew that he would get it and that he needed me in the game. It wouldn’t be in his best interest to run and make me a bigger threat. He knew that he would never make me a bigger threat than he was. And, he’s an incredible enough guy that he would never say anything.
Holmes: I don’t think Jay wants anyone to know this, but he seems like an incredible guy.
Klein: (Laughs) Jay has this exterior where he’s just this bro, but he’s incredibly genuine. And the way he went out of the game was one of the best ever. Just laughing the whole time. That’s the kind of guy he is. He’s a warrior, but he respects the game as well.

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Holmes: Jonny Fairplay proved that some players will do anything to get ahead in the game with his grandmother lie in “Pearl Islands.” Was there any concern that people might have doubted that your story was genuine?
Klein: No. I know that the feelings were genuine. I know that they’d come across as genuine. People keep saying, “Why do they keep talking about this storyline? I’m sick of this storyline.” It’s not a storyline to me, it’s my life. That’s what matters to me. It’s the most important thing in my life. Of course I’m going to talk about it. The game doesn’t just exist outside of reality.

Holmes: You mentioned that you and your mother auditioned for “Blood vs. Water.” She would have won, right?
Klein: (Laughs) Yeah. At the time we applied she was in much better shape than I am. I’ve been getting in shape for the last couple of years. She would have run circles around me. She worked out every day, she was a health nut.
Holmes: How would her social game have been?
Klein: Incredible. The hardest part for her would have been voting out people that she loved. If she met someone like Jay where she really connected, she’d have a hard time doing what needed to be done. But, if I were on the season, I’d have said, “We’ve gotta take these people out, that’s the game.” She was the most warm-hearted person you can possibly imagine.
Holmes: I’m picturing this challenge beast with you as the little devil on her shoulder.
Klein: Yeah, that’s exactly right. (Laughs)

Holmes: This is the first season of “Survivor” in recent memory that didn’t really have any villains. Were you guys aware of that when you were out there?
Klein: I couldn’t believe that we were as supportive of each other as we were. And how gracious everyone was when they were voted out of the game. They’d give these speeches like, “Good luck, you guys are awesome.” I figured people made these speeches every season and they were edited out.
Holmes: I’ve been to a few Tribal Councils, I’ve never seen that.
Klein: I guess we really were unique. I love this group of people. There isn’t a villain because everyone is genuinely awesome. I’ll be friends with this whole group for the rest of my life.
Holmes: As a “Survivor” fan, is that a trend that you hope continues?
Klein: Personally, I don’t need to watch people that are despicable. I think you can play the game hard and still respect each other after it.

Holmes: Alright, word association time.
Klein: Oh, I’m ready for this!
Holmes: Did you prepare something ahead of time?
Klein: I would never.
Holmes: Thank you. The “Worlds Apart” cast almost destroyed my gimmick.
Klein: (Laughs)
Holmes: Let’s start with Mari.
Klein: She went far too soon.
Holmes: Figgy?
Klein: Actually a friend of mine in real life.
Holmes: Michaela?
Klein: A challenge beast.
Holmes: Michelle?
Klein: So much fun. I always have a blast hanging out with her.
Holmes: Michelle’s dragon dress?
Klein: The star of the season.
Holmes: I’m told its name is “Freckles.”
Klein: Yes! You nailed it. The dragon does not actually have freckles.
Holmes: Taylor?
Klein: A total free spirit.
Holmes: Chris?
Klein: The strongest guy I know.
Holmes: Jessica?
Klein: My closest ally in the game.
Holmes: Zeke?
Klein: Brilliant.
Holmes: Will?
Klein: Very mature and played at a much higher level than you’d expect from someone his age.
Holmes: Sunday?
Klein: The sweetest, warmest woman ever.
Holmes: Jay?
Klein: The Batman to my Joker and my brother for life.
Holmes: Bret?
Klein: Hilarious.
Holmes: David?
Klein: The most impressive person in our season.
Holmes: Hannah?
Klein: My sister, friend for life.
Holmes: Ken?
Klein: One of the most genuine people I know.

Holmes: Alright, Mr. Millionaire, last night you said you’re making a big donation to Stand Up To Cancer which is awesome. Any other plans for the money?
Klein: A lot of it is going to taxes, especially living in California. And I’m going to save the rest because that will allow me to do the non-profit work that I like to do.
Holmes: You could put that up as a prize for next season’s Power Rankings.
Klein: (Laughs) No no no…but I would love to do the Power Rankings if you want me.
Holmes: Consider this an official invitation. You don’t even have to put up your prize money.
Klein: Awesome! I can’t wait. I saw that Zeke wanted to do Power Rankings in his pre-game interview.
Holmes: I love me some Zeke, but he seems like a bad choice for next season…for some reason.
Klein: (Laughs)

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

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Finale Recap: And the Winner Is…

December 14, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

Last Week: Will, Sunday win “Survivor”? Nope.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog…

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

The Vinaka Tribe (wearing black)
Adam – 25, Homeless Shelter Manager
Bret – 42, Police Sergeant
David – 42, Television Writer
Hannah – 24, Barista
Jay – 27, Real Estate Agent
Ken – 33, Model

Back-Up Headlines: “Hannah and Her Misters,” “Ken He Take the Million?,” “The Daves I Know…Will Win.”

We start off after Tribal and Jay is not happy that he burned his idol. But, tomorrow’s another day, and maybe the “Survivor” fairies have planted another idol out in the wilderness.

Meanwhile, Bret is bummed that they took out Sunday when David was wide open. That crazy Bret, wanting to do silly things like vote out the BIGGEST THREAT IN THE GAME!

Bret compares this to Seal Team Six letting Osama bin Laden go. Okay, now that is crazy.

While everyone is sleeping, David sneaks out and channels his inner Runaround Bob Crowley. His arts and crafts excursion results in a pretty impressive fake idol. He even paints a coconut and shoves it inside. Attention to detail!

Sure enough, Jay finds in the next day. Best of all, he doesn’t doubt its legitimacy for a second. Oh Jay…

Later, Ken cracks open his legacy advantage. Apparently he will be immune at the next Tribal Council. Well, that’s straight-forward. My apologies for those who were hoping the Legacy Advantage was a pin-up photoshoot.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will race through an obstacle course and retrieve a bag of tiles. They’ll use the tiles to complete a combination lock. Once they have the combination, they’ll cover their answer and use a key to unlock pieces to a bat puzzle. The first person to complete the bat puzzle will win immunity and a steak dinner.

batpuzzle

Oh no, it’s just a puzzle that look like a bat that’s hanging upside-down. Oh well, a boy can dream.

We start off and Jay jumps out to an early lead. However, he forgets to cover up his combination. This allows David and others to copy his answer.

Jay is the first one to the puzzle, but the other players are hot on his heels. This mistake proves to be costly as David is able to complete the puzzle and win immunity and reward.

Probst allows two people to join David for the meal, but Jay interrupts them before he can name his dining companions. Apparently, Jay wants to use the reward theft that I had forgotten about several episodes ago.

Jay chooses to dine with David and Adam.

Huh…this reward would be good if it was strictly a reward challenge and you wanted to go into an immunity challenge with strength. But, that reward was for immunity. Anywho, Jay tells us that he’s going to use the meal to draw Adam and David over to his side.

At the dinner, David and Adam admit that they’re worried about Jay going on an immunity run, but Jay says that doesn’t matter because he’ll take them to the final three.

David is considering this because Ken is the only other person who promises to take him to the end.

Back at camp, Bret and Ken agree that Jay’s time is up. Hannah, on the other hand, is worried that he has an idol. Oh, he totally does. (Wink.)

The dinner party returns and Hannah says, “Oh, we were just talking about you guys.” Yeah, that’s what people want to hear on “Survivor.”

Hannah and Adam approach David about voting for Bret. It seems like everyone is into it, but Adam is worried about Jay winning through to the end.

Meanwhile, Bret and Jay are hilariously comparing their arguments for targeting each other. This season is awesome. Everyone gets along.

Before we head to Tribal, Hannah tells Jay that she’ll vote for Bret if Jay can get Adam on board. The two have a chat and Adam tells Jay that he’ll give him a shot.

That night at Tribal, Adam admits that Jay used the reward to try to get on his good side.

This doesn’t surprise Bret, and he knows that both he and Jay are the targets.

David thinks the reward dinner is big because it’ll help him be stronger for the next challenge. He also thinks he could beat Jeff Probst in an arm wrestling challenge. Dude, did you see Probst on “Two and a Half Men”?!

probst

Hannah tells Jeff that every vote is a huge decision. Also, the sky is blue.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. A lot of that this season.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol…and Jay does!

Oh man…this is gonna be bad.

Jay talks a TON of trash as he hands the fake idol over to Probst. Probst breaks the bad news to the poor kid, then throws the fake idol in the fire for good measure.

Sooooo…Probst did ask for an idol. Does that mean one is still out there?

Aaaaand, before the votes are read, Ken uses his legacy advantage. This season is like Calvinball.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Ken, three votes for Jay, and the fifteenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Jay.

Fortunately, Jay takes it like a champ. He laughs and smiles the whole way out. I love that kid.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will maneuver a buoy through a series of obstacles. They’ll then use handles to carry puzzle piece across a teeter totter. First person to complete the puzzle wins immunity.

Hilariously, the puzzle’s answer is “Not a Participation Trophy.” I also would have accepted “Get Off of My Lawn.”

The Survivors are ready…and they go. Ken is the first one to get to the puzzle-piece transporting portion. However, he tries to carry too many pieces at once and drops them. This allows Bret and David to catch him.

Bret is the first one to start the word puzzle. He’s followed by Ken, Adam, and David. Hannah eventually joins them.

“Participation” is a long word. Are we going to see a “Two Hours Later” lower third?

Nope, Ken figures it out to win immunity.

Back at camp, Adam is psyched that they’ll finally be able to target David. He knows he has Bret and Hannah on his side. However, he’s worried that there’s an idol still out there. He heads out looking for it and…he finds it!

Meanwhile, David approaches Hannah and Ken with the idea of getting rid of Adam. They agree that they’re a threesome and it doesn’t matter which order Bret and Adam exit the game. They approach Bret with this plan, and he’s obviously into it.

Wait…why even bother getting Bret on board if they already have the numbers?

Sure enough, Bret tells Adam what’s up. He assures Bret that everything is OK and shows him the idol. He also lets Hannah in on the secret.

Hannah, however, is playing in the middle. She can either spill the beans and they can get rid of Bret or stay the course and they can get rid of David. She says it all comes down to who she can beat in the end and who will take her to the end.

So, nobody and everybody?

That night at Tribal, Will is wearing a floral-print shirt! That’s Zeke’s gimmick!

Adam admits to being the first one to hunt for an idol.

Bret isn’t thinking about the final three, he just wants to survive the night.

Hannah believes David is the biggest threat. Bret agrees.

David is worried that his number might finally be up. But if it is, he’s gained confidence from his time in the game.

Adam points out that David’s story is why he’s dangerous to take to the end.

Voting Time: No votes are shown…yet again.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play an idol and…Adam does. He plays a REAL idol for himself.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for David, one vote for Bret, one vote for David, one vote for Bret, and the sixteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Bret.

As Bret gets up, he says, “The flipper flips again.” What do you expect from a flipper?! He then congratulates David on winning a million dollars.

Adam is amazed that everyone stuck with David. David is also amazed. Oh, we’re all amazed.

Later, Hannah tells Adam that there is no way she could have turned on Ken and still won the game. Or not turned on Ken and won the game. Or done anything ever and won the game.

She’s not going to win…that’s what I’m saying.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will use a pole to work a series of bowls through a wire frame. They’ll then stack the bowls on top of the wobbly frame. First person with thirteen bowls stacked, or the person with the most bowls in their stack after 30 minutes wins immunity.

Fun Fact: I did this as a test challenge during “Survivor: Blood vs. Water.” I totally won. Er…came in second place…it was a Redemption Island challenge, so that counts as winning. Don’t judge me.

bvw

Not much to describe here except for slow stackin’.

Adam and Ken are in the lead. Adam smartly decides to watch to see if Ken will screw it up on his way to the win. And, the wind takes out Ken’s stack!

Oh man, the wind takes out Adam’s stack too!

Pro Tip: I used the pole to bop my bowls into a straighter line.

Eventually, everyone decides to wait to see if their puzzle will stand up. Ken and Hannah are tied. Adam is one behind.

And time expires. Hannah and Ken will have to face off in a tie-breaker.

Immunity Challenge Sudden Death: At the end of five minutes, the person with the most bowls in their stack will win immunity.

Again, not much to describe here. Ken wins it seven to six to claim the final immunity.

Back at camp, David knows his worst-case scenario is a fire-making challenge. Hannah, on the other hand, is going to try to get Ken to finally flip on David.

She tells Ken that they can’t beat David, but Ken’s whole game has been based on trust and friendship.

Meanwhile, David tries to convince Adam that Ken is rock solid so he might as well turn on Hannah. Adam doesn’t buy it though, because he can’t beat David at the end either way. He’s not wrong.

Better practice that fire makin’, Adam.

Hmm…I wonder if that’s Ken’s best bet. Stick with David, and if he loses a fire-making challenge, you don’t have to worry about him. And if he wins, you have the loyalty card to play.

That night at Tribal, Probst points out how far Hannah has come from someone who took half an hour to vote. She admits she’s come a long way. I’d agree with that. I just think it’s too little, too late.

Adam says his only goal was to make sure that David didn’t win immunity. David says that’s because Adam knows he played a better game. Adam is glad that David can finally admit it.

Ken claims that he’s not going to change.

David admits to making a final three deal with Ken on day three. He says that he’s so impressed with how loyal Ken has been in a game that breeds so much backstabbery.

(David didn’t say “Backstabbery.” Also, “Backstabbery” is not a word.)

Hannah thinks all three of them are in danger. Well, she’s 2/3rds correct.

Voting Time: No votes are shown…yet again, yet again.

Probsty tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for David, one vote for Adam, one vote for David, and the seventeenth person voted out of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…David.

Wow…I didn’t know Ken had it in him. I thought we were going to see a fire-making challenge for sure.

Also, Adam’s gonna win, right? During the exit press, I didn’t get the sense that many people were impressed with Ken’s game.

The final day starts off with Ken complaining about how Millennials can’t appreciate a sunrise without talking and selfie sticks and Snapchats. (I might’ve made up the last two things.)

Later, the trio is greeted by the traditional day-39 brunch.

Everyone states their cases for winning the game…and then we’re off to Tribal. That was quick.

Whoa…cleanly shaved David is going to take some getting used to.

Also, ZEKE’S SHIRT! You know he packed it specifically for tonight.

Taylor bats lead off. He claims that his vote is still up for grabs and he wants everyone to state their case. Hannah says she played a strategic game and put everyone on the jury. Even Jessica?

Ken claims that he showed everyone that he was loyal. David might disagree with that.

Finally, Adam thinks he played the best game out of the final three. He chooses not to go into detail.

Sunday wants to know if each finalist played more like a Millennial or a Gen-Xer. Oh, c’mon. Probst had to have put her up to that.

Ken thinks he’s old school and he’s more rigid. He also claims that he isn’t a flipper. Adam thinks Ken would’ve done well in season one, he also thinks Hannah flipped so often that her alliances never knew what to expect. He then claims to be a combination of Gen-X and Millennial. A Gillenial…if you will.

Hannah then takes credit for getting rid of Sunday.

Jessica is up third. She calls Ken out for claiming to be loyal and then voting out David. He tells David that he was his number two alliance and his number one alliance was with his daughter. I’m thinking Ken’s daughter might get the same amount of votes that he does.

Will bats clean-up. He starts by telling Ken that he respects him more for voting out David than he does for his trust and loyalty. He then asks Adam why they voted out Bret instead of David. Adam claims it’s because Hannah went rogue and he thought it was a mistake.

Hannah says she voted that way because she didn’t want to lose Ken’s trust.

Zeke claims that this Tribal represents an evolution in “Survivor” strategy and that the winner should reflect that change. He doesn’t think Ken achieved that objective, so he asks Adam and Hannah how they helped the game evolve. Adam says that he intentionally kept threats in front of him so they could whittle their way down to the end. Hannah defines a trust cluster as people working together until they need to turn on each other. She also thinks Adam is taking credit for a lot of moves that he didn’t make.

Michelle asks Hannah how many votes she was on the wrong side of, Hannah responds that it was everyone except for the Michaela vote. She then asks why Adam’s victories overshadow his blunders. He says that he was able to overcome his blunders and blunders of his alliance-mates. Hannah claims that she didn’t make any blunders, but Adam thinks voting out Bret was a blunder.

Blunder.

Bret wants to know when Ken started playing the game. Ken says that he started playing immediately because he was on the bottom of Gen-X.

Jay asks Adam why he didn’t use him to take out David. Adam tells Jay that he loves him like a brother and that Jay is the only one who knows why he’s playing the game.

You’re not going to make me cry, Adam.

Chris confesses to being a trial lawyer. And as a lawyer, he wants to advocate for Adam because Adam was able to get Ken to flip on David.

Ken disagrees, claiming that nobody convinced him to change his mind.

Finally, David tells everyone how “Survivor” has changed him. He wants to know how the game has changed the finalists. Hannah says that she was terrified of the game, but now she knows she can push through anything. Ken thinks that the game has helped him overcome his social anxiety. And, Adam tells everyone about how he is playing for his mother who is battling cancer.

You’re not gonna make me cry, Adam. #lies

Anywho, Hannah did a lot better than I thought she would. If I was going on points I’d go Hannah by a smidge, then Adam, then Ken waaaay in the back. But overall I think this is Adam’s to win.

Voting Time: No votes are show yet again, yet again, yet again…

Probst tallies and then magically transports to Los Angeles. Alright, we’ve got five votes for Adam and the winner of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Adam.

Verdict: I thought this season was a breath of fresh air. Big moves, likable characters, and no real bitterness.

Power Rankings Results: Michele Fitzgerald had four of the final six in the correct slots, Shirin had two of the final six. The final score is Team Michelle 116, Team Shirin 105. Therefore, Michele is the “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” Power Rankings champion! Her biggest win this year!

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

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Power Rankings – Finale Edition

December 14, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

The Rules: For the final round, each player will receive two points for each person they put in the correct position. Spot 1 is the sole Survivor and spot six is the first person voted out of tonight’s finale. The person with the most points at the end of the season will be declared the “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” champion.

Last Week: Michele Fitzgerald had Will in spot eight and Sunday in spot six. Shirin had Will in spot eight and Sunday in spot two. The current score is Team Michele 108, Team Shirin 101.

Quick Note: XFINITY “Survivor” loudmouth Gordon Holmes will be unable to participate in this season’s Power Rankings due to being more than a bit spoiled. Therefore, he has invited defending Power Rankings champion Shirin Oskooi to take his place.

Michele Fitzgerald and Shirin Oskooi’s Rankings

michele shirin

Team Michele’s Score = 108

Any questions for Michele? Drop her a line on Twitter: @meeshfitz

Team Shirin’s Score = 101

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

adammerge davidmerge
 1. – Adam: Mom raised a winner.  1. – David: Hopefully the sound of cashing giant checks doesn’t scare him as much as the sound of chopping bamboo.
kenmerge kenmerge
 2. – Ken: A mix of beautiful and strange. You winning would surprise me, but you always surprise me.  2. – Ken (TIE): They toyed with this sculpted inanimate object and now it’s time to put it on the shelf while the big kids play.
hannahmerge
 3. – Hannah: We know that you are not afraid to get your hands (or face) dirty. But when the jury looks at you, what do they see?
 2. – Hannah (TIE):  White, cheesy, soft: Hannah makes a wonderful chèvre.
davidmerge adammerge
 4. – David:  You have two paths: you make final tribal and you win, or you don’t make final tribal at all. Sadly, everyone knows it.
 4. – Adam: He needs to run a great anchor leg…with Hannah as an anchor on his leg.
jaymerge jaymerge
 5. – Jay: Without an idol and without an ally you are without a chance, without immunity.
 5. – Jay:  When Jay came into this game, he said he would be a cross between Woo and Russell. While thankfully he acted like neither, unfortunately he’ll leave the game like both: just short of the win.
bretmerge
 6. – Bret: You’re gonna have so much fun at Ponderosa. I can’t wait to watch it.
 6. – Bret: Have your cake and eat it, too. #thecakeisalie

‘Survivor’ Castaway Sunday: ‘I Did Not Feel Like a Goat’

December 13, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

Gordon Holmes: It seemed like there were a lot of different plans before Tribal. What did you think was going to happen?
Sunday Burquest: I thought the majority of the votes were going to go to David and Jay was going to get one just in case so we could flush his idol. I had been talking to Hannah and Adam a lot during the day. And we had played the numbers. We’d gone back and forth until I was confident with what was going to happen. But apparently a different plan popped up before Tribal that I was not aware of.

Holmes: It seemed like Hannah was the one that pointed the vote in your direction. Did you have any clue that she was gunning for you?
Burquest: No, I didn’t know she was going to go for me. I knew we weren’t on the best of terms. She had told me how I was playing in no uncertain terms. But, I didn’t anticipate her going for me in the vote at all.
Holmes: The reasoning she used was that she was worried that others would be motivated to take you to the end as a goat. Did you see yourself as a goat out there?
Burquest: I did not see myself as a goat and there were moves I was making out there that you didn’t get to see. I came in with a certain skill set and I used that to my ability which was my social game. I was playing under the radar on purpose. In my normal life I’m a leader. I get put in charge of things, and I know that’s a problem on “Survivor.” You become a target. So, I really tried to underplay that. I tried to be a part of the decision-making, but not the person who’s making the big moves and taking credit. As soon as you did that, you became a target and got voted out. I made a lot of relationships and was liked by people. I didn’t have a lot of blood on my hands. I felt like people would underestimate me and they did. But, I had likability and would be able to point out the decisions we all had made. I did not feel like a goat.

Holmes: What was your ideal path to get to the end and score the win?
Burquest: Ideally I would’ve liked to have gone with Bret and Ken. Either Ken or Hannah.
Holmes: Ken has some immunity wins under his belt. What argument could you have used to win against him?
Burquest: With Ken, my argument would have been that I have more strategy going on in the game. I made more moves. I feel like I could have made that case against Ken.

Holmes: This season is not getting personal. Everybody seems to respect big moves. I feel like this jury will reward big moves. Was that something that was palpable during the game?
Burquest: It absolutely was. We’re all such big fans of the show that we respected each other. But because of that it brings the game up a level and you have to stand out against a lot of people that made moves and played the game hard. There were so many big moves. To stand out in that crowd is hard. But I think the jury is going to vote for the person that made the most big moves.
Holmes: Is there any merit to idea that in a season of heavy hitters, the social player stands out?
Burquest: Well, for sure I’m not going to be a heavy hitter. I’m going use what I have, which is the social part. I’m going to use the relationships; I’m going to fly under the radar. But, there’s a fine line between being under the radar and having someone say, “You didn’t do anything.” So, you have to find that balance. For me, that was a hard line to walk.

Holmes: Were there any examples of big moves that we didn’t get to see?
Burquest: The Ken one was a big one. I think there were different moves along the way where we switched alliances when we needed to. Bret and I just kept plugging away. We’d say, “Why aren’t either of us gone?” Zeke was big for us until he went home. I’d say the Michaela vote, jumping in on that, we really didn’t have an option, but that was huge for us. Again, I’m not the person who stands out as the big move maker, but I have these relationships and help make decisions.

Holmes: You wanted Jessica gone, we didn’t see much of that in the opposite direction. Why did you want her out so badly?
Burquest: It wasn’t that it was so badly, it was just what was shown. It looked like I was so consumed with it and I really wasn’t. It all goes back to the Paul vote. We’d made that decision together. I was able to mend fences with Chris and Bret and it really didn’t seem like the same happened with Jessica. I did take blame and responsibility for the vote as well. The next vote she was targeted and I didn’t find out until right before Tribal. I was told there was enough numbers for her to go home whether I voted for her or not. I had a choice to not vote for her…and I could lose an alliance. My thinking is she would have been gone and then I’d have nothing. And then we had the swap and we couldn’t mend fences. So I thought; why wouldn’t she be gunning for me? The mistake I made was I should have worked harder to mend that relationship.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Bret.
Burquest: My favorite.
Holmes: Adam?
Burquest: Skillful.
Holmes: Rachel?
Burquest: Eager.
Holmes: Paul?
Burquest: Boisterous.
Holmes: Chris?
Burquest: Softie.
Holmes: Taylor?
Burquest: Hilarious.
Holmes: Michelle?
Burquest: Thoughtful?
Holmes: Michaela?
Burquest: Exceptional.
Holmes: CeCe?
Burquest: Determined.
Holmes: Lucy?
Burquest: Tough.
Holmes: Jessica?
Burquest: Smart.
Holmes: Zeke?
Burquest: Charming.
Holmes: Will?
Burquest: My pop drinking buddy. (Laughs)
Holmes: Ken?
Burquest: Old school.
Holmes: Hannah?
Burquest: Bright.
Holmes: Jay?
Burquest: Likable.
Holmes: Let’s finish with David.
Burquest: Enduring.

Holmes: Did “Survivor” change you at all?
Burquest: I think my takeaway was that I can do anything and endure anything. I already had the breast cancer thing under my belt. And then to go out there and to compete physically. I’m not an athlete, obviously. (Laughs) But I went out there and I did them! I’d never do anything like that in my normal life. But I came back with a confidence that I can do things way outside of my comfort zone.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Will: ‘Arrogance Will Take You Down and Take You Down Hard’

December 8, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

Gordon Holmes: This is a really odd season. Everybody is swinging for the fences. Did you feel that vibe when you were out there that the winner couldn’t get by on just charm, they needed to pad their resume?
Will Wahl: Yeah, it was a very hyper-competitive environment. As you said, everyone was swinging for the fences very early on. And it was apparent that there were a lot of superfans and they were all coming to play. It was kind of refreshing as a super fan to be on a season where everyone is playing so hard.

Holmes: Traditionally when you flip, you’re in danger of having some enraged jurors later on. How do you balance making the moves, but keeping the votes on your side.
Wahl: I don’t think I balanced the two very well. Which is why I think I was voted out. But I tried to come across as a the kid who’s playing hard, is willing to make new deals. But at the same time, I still want a ride-or-die. I want to have people’s backs so long as they have my back. I wanted to build a trust.

Holmes: What was the mood like before last night’s Tribal?
Wahl: There was a feeling in the pit of my stomach going into Tribal and then at Tribal that I was going to be in trouble. But, by then it was too late. I wasn’t going to be able to flip Bret or Sunday. I was really trying to see if there was anything I could do. Any idol plays, anyone willing to help me out, but anyone who was my ally at that point had really turned against me.

Holmes: As a superfan, you know that whenever someone is talking about being in the power seat, they’re probably in trouble. Did you laugh when you were watching it?
Wahl: (Laughs) Yeah, it’s all in good fun. It’s really interesting to watch the progression where I went from thinking I was the king and the next thing you know, I get voted out. That’s a classic “Survivor” blindside, someone being too arrogant. And I learned that arrogance will take you down and take you down hard.

Holmes: This is one of the most civil seasons we’ve had in a long time. It doesn’t seem like people are holding grudges. When Bret, David, and Zeke got heated a few weeks ago it was shut down quickly. Was that something you discussed back at camp?
Wahl: Oh yeah. Everybody was very good natured. Everyone was very comforting to each other. Even if you were on the other side of the vote…like Hannah and I rarely voted together, but we were really close out there. We had a brotherly/sisterly relationship. Everybody was each other’s support out there. To have people who are helping you out…it was kind of how we wanted this season to go with this cast. We wanted to be competitive, but at the same time, be supportive.

Holmes: If I’m playing this game and it’s not getting personal, people are respecting big moves, jurors don’t seem like they’re going to be bitter at final Tribal. This would seem to encourage more and more big moves. It’s like a perfect storm. You’ve got this crazy, flip-flop, no-two-people-are-in-trouble-in-consecutive-episodes season.
Wahl: With the flipping, I described it as a pendulum. It would swing back and forth between groups. And like you said; nobody was in trouble twice. After the Taylor vote, Jay and I thought we were next. But really, the pendulum swung the other way and we were safe for a little while. Somebody would do something to warrant their being voted out, then it’d be someone in some other trust cluster.
Holmes: And you’re OK with the use of the term “trust cluster?”
Wahl: More or less. It really was kind of a joke. People like Bret and I weren’t the biggest fans of that term. We moreso used “alliance” or “voting block.”

Holmes: You’re the youngest person to ever play “Survivor.” Do you think people underestimated you because of your age?
Wahl: Yes, especially at the beginning people were really underestimating me. It came back to bite me a little bit during the jury phase. I’d be looking at them for reactions and they were looking at me like I was a little kid. That’s not something you want a jury to be thinking. You want them to think you’re a strong competitive player. That’s why I went the way I did. I tried to make a big move and gain everyone’s respect.

Holmes: Given a second chance, what would you do differently?
Wahl: I would start off laying low. After that, I’d try to find that ride-or-die, one or two people I could trust and keep their trust. And I’d ride that to the end. A Jeremy/Tasha/Spencer kind of thing.
Holmes: Word association thing. Let’s start with Jay.
Wahl: Admirable.
Holmes: Adam?
Wahl: Intelligent.
Holmes: Sunday?
Wahl: Quiet.
Holmes: Mari?
Wahl: Gamer.
Holmes: Figgy?
Wahl: Loud.
Holmes: Michelle?
Wahl: Calculating.
Holmes: Taylor?
Wahl: Hungry.
Holmes: Chris?
Wahl: Leader.
Holmes: Zeke?
Wahl: Comical.
Holmes: Michaela?
Wahl: Intelligent.
Holmes: Jessica?
Wahl: Unlucky.
Holmes: Bret?
Wahl: Funny.
Holmes: Hannah?
Wahl: Trustworthy.
Holmes: Let’s finish with David.
Wahl: Wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Holmes: The Tribal where Adam played his idol as a safeguard in case you didn’t flip, do you feel like that may have stolen your thunder?
Wahl: The way I view it is I got Adam to waste his idol. He didn’t need to play that idol. It flushed it out of the game. I look at that as a win.

Holmes: Before the season we were trying to guess the theme. With you being a young Republican, we thought we might be looking at some kind of Liberals vs. Conservatives angle. Were you relieved that it was Millennials vs. Gen-X?
Wahl: Very relieved. Getting to play with people around my own age definitely helped me in the beginning.

Holmes: Did “Survivor” change you?
Wahl: I think I came into the game very arrogant, full of myself, thinking I’m going to win a million dollars. I’m coming out of it a lot more humble, a lot more empathetic of other people. And I feel like that’s something I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.

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

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Episode 12 Recap: Sunday Mourning?

December 7, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

Last Week: Zeke was voted out. Sigh…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog…

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

The Vinaka Tribe (wearing black)
Adam – 25, Homeless Shelter Manager
Bret – 42, Police Sergeant
David – 42, Television Writer
Hannah – 24, Barista
Jay – 27, Real Estate Agent
Ken – 33, Model
Sunday – 45, Youth Pastor
Will – 18, High School Student

We start off with Will telling us that he started this game as a kid and then left Tribal as the man. So, all of that awkward stuff last week was puberty? Makes sense.

He also lets us know that he has opened every door and should be able to flip and flop his way to the end. Yeah, jurors are totally there at the end. They even have special seats.

The next morning, Bret, Sunday, and Adam start discussing the biggest threats left in the game. They name Jay, David, and Will in particular. Is nobody afraid of Ken?

The trio agrees to work together, or at least Bret and Sunday agree to vote with Adam. It wasn’t clear.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will stack a group of discs on a pole and then carry them through an obstacle course. They’ll then stack the discs onto a different pole and carry them through a wire maze. If your discs drop, you have to start over. The first person to roll all of their discs through a target at the end of the course will win immunity.

The Survivors are ready…and they go. There isn’t much to describe except for some wobbly walkin’

David and Ken are the first ones through the first phase. They’re eventually joined by everyone except for Will.

Jay is the first one to the disc-rolling portion. David and Bret are behind him, but it’s too late as Jay tears up the final phase and wins it.

Politicking back at camp starts off with Will wanting to target David. The belief is that David has taken Zeke’s title as the guy that can’t be beaten at final Tribal.

Adam, however, doesn’t want to work with Will because Will thinks he has power and is going to make big moves to pad his resume. Bret and Sunday are on board with this plan, but it seems like Hannah is on the fence because Will saved her last week.

That night at Tribal, Zeke shows up wearing an AMAZING shirt.

David immediately admits that he thinks he’s in trouble.

Jay says David should relax if he trusts Will.

Hannah is fascinated at how often the alliances have changed.

Adam points out that when you make a big move to pad your resume, you show everyone that you’re a threat.

David believes it’s essential to make big moves, otherwise you’ll be a goat.

Jay isn’t sure who’s going to go home because everybody is a player.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play an idol…and nobody does.

We’ve got two votes for David, four votes for Will, and the thirteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor:Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Will.

Verdict: Well, that was an uneventful episo…oh wait…there’s more.

Fun Fact: Will is the youngest person to ever lose “Survivor.”

Back at camp, Jay is not pleased that all of his alliance members keep getting blindsided. I can see how that would be disturbing.

Immunity Challenge Time Part Deux: The players will complete a block puzzle while keeping a ball rolling on a separate table. If the ball falls off the table, they’ll suffer a time penalty and have to a wait to continue with the puzzle. First person to finish their puzzle wins immunity.

I’m not sure if I did a great job describing this challenge, but it’s very creative. The players are constantly having to run back and forth between the two tables.

Ken builds a bit of a lead, and in an interesting moment, Adam starts telling Ken when he needs to go back and tend to the ball on the other table.

This allows Ken to win immunity. Jay is not pleased.

Back at camp, Jay calls Adam out for helping Ken win. Adam claims that he didn’t want David to win. Well, that’s half right.

Adam’s plan is to take out Jay if he doesn’t play the idol and David if he does. David’s plan is pretty much the same thing, but targeting Bret if Jay doesn’t play the idol.

Hannah, on the other hand, would rather see Sunday go over Bret because she’s an enticing goat.

Quick Aside: Calling dibs on “Enticing Goat” as a band name.

Later on, Adam tells Jay that he needs to play his idol. Jay, however, has been lied to before and isn’t sure if he trusts him.

Then, Adam tells Jay about his mother’s battle with cancer. Aaaand, “Survivor” has me crying again. ARGH!

Another Quick Aside: After last week’s “Survivor” cry fest, my wife and I caught up on “This Is Us.” Big mistake. My tear ducts were shooting out dust.

That night at Tribal, David tells Jeff that you have to lean on your friendships at this point.

Jay is bummed because his alliances are long gone. He then makes the argument that he’s less dangerous because he doesn’t have numbers.

David wonders if Jay is a free agent and he a lot of options.

Adam thinks juries would root for someone like David.

Hannah admits that everyone is thinking about their end game.

Sunday is there too.

Voting Time Part Deux: No votes were shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play an idol…and Jay does.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Jay, two votes for David, three votes for Sunday, and the fourteenth person eliminated from the game is…Sunday.

Verdict: So, we’re voting out potential goats instead of actual threats?! This season is so weird…ly awesome.

Power Rankings Results: Michele Fitzgerald had Will in spot eight and Sunday in spot six. Shirin had Will in spot eight and Sunday in spot two. The current score is Team Michele 108, Team Shirin 101.

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

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Power Rankings Round 10: Double-Tribal-Trouble Edition

December 7, 2016
'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

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.  The person with the most points at the end of the season will be declared the “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” champion.

Last Week: Michele Fitzgerald had Zeke in spot 1, while Shirin Oskooi had Zeke in spot 5. So, the current score is Team Fitzgerald 94, Team Oskooi 91.

Quick Note: XFINITY “Survivor” loudmouth Gordon Holmes will be unable to participate in this season’s Power Rankings due to being more than a bit spoiled. Therefore, he has invited defending Power Rankings champion Shirin Oskooi to take his place.

Michele Fitzgerald and Shirin Oskooi’s Rankings

michele shirin

Team Michele’s Score = 94

Any questions for Michele? Drop her a line on Twitter: @meeshfitz

Team Shirin’s Score = 91

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

adammerge
 1. – Adam: One check mark away from that million dollar check?  1. – Hannah: Between ties, rocks, idols, flippers, and bigger threats, this hide-and-seek champion may find herself at final Tribal Council unseen.

#RIPMichaela #RIPMari
davidmerge sundaymerge
 2. – David: Drawing a line in the sand and washing away your competition.  2. – Sunday: Duck.
hannahmerge
 3. – Hannah: You seem to get votes cast for you at every Tribal. Will this trend end on day 39?
 3. – Bret:  Duck.
kenmerge kenmerge
 4. – Ken:  How long of a conversation would it take for you to jump into bed with someone? Asking for a friend.

 4. – Ken: Goat.

P.S. I don’t want to regret not making this joke if Ken is voted out: Ken’s life may yet again be frustrated by a plastic doll with no penis: Jay’s idol.

jaymerge jaymerge
 5. – Jay: If you don’t act at the right moment, Mom and Mel could have two souvenirs from your trip to Fiji. 
 5. – Jay:  The idol chatter won’t become idle chatter; they’ll come for him soon.
davidmerge
 6. – Sunday: It’s 8pm on Sunday and after a relaxing afternoon, stress has finally crept in. You have a lot of work to do in the morning.
 6. – David: He’s got no parachute left, so hopefully some of these other warm bodies can break his fall.
bretmerge adammerge
 7. – Bret: I always find myself hoping you win reward so I can watch you get drunk. But this week, I’m hoping you win immunity.
 7. – Adam: Will people follow him into battle or present him as a sacrifice to the other side?
willmerge
 8. – Will: To land a job, networking gets your foot in the door. If you wanted to sit at final Tribal you should have focused on your relationships more than your resume.
 8. – Will:  Flipper Free Willy

‘Survivor’ Castaway Zeke: ‘I’d Rather Go Out Swinging Than Go to the End and Lose’

December 1, 2016
"Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X" (CBS)

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

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

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

Gordon Holmes: You were a pleasure to watch!
Zeke Smith: Aw thanks, man. I wanted to be entertaining.
Holmes: You weren’t just entertaining. As I’m watching I’m thinking, “This is how I would want to do it.”
Smith: (Laughs) That means a lot. Thanks!

Holmes: How confident were you that you had Will’s vote?
Smith: I actually thought I had the odds about 60/40 that Will was going to stick with me because it made sense for Will to stick with me. I needed Will much more than he needed me. Both Jay and I were great shields for him. And, Will just went to rocks for me. You’d think that would create some kind of solidarity. You think you’d want to take a break from the shifting social dynamics and just vote for people for a while. But, I knew it was likely that he would flip.

Holmes: What is it about this season that everyone seems to be swinging for the fences. You don’t have any Rancher Ricks who are going to let the bigger players use them as a vote.
Smith: The greatest thing about this season is that the cast is filled with fans. I think maybe with the exception of Ken, everybody has watched maybe 20+ seasons of the show. So, everyone comes in understanding the game and knowing, as Probst loves to say, you’ve got to make big moves to win. Nobody wants to float by.

Holmes: Why was the decision to turn on David made so early? It seems like there were some easy votes like Jay that could’ve whittled the numbers down first.
Smith: Jay and I were close. I thought Jay would be a good meat shield to keep around. Dave and I thought about the game very similarly. We were always on the same page with the next strategic move. And then I think looking ahead, we saw that we’d have to come for one another. Then it became a race to the bottom. I’ve got to get him before he gets me. And I was concerned because he had an idol and I didn’t. I thought it would take a couple of votes to flush the idol before I could get him out. So for me, I had to have a large enough coalition to flush the idol.

Holmes: There have been some great personal moments this season. One of them was when Bret came out to you during the reward. When something like that happens in the game, is your first instinct to question if it’s being done to win your favor?
Smith: For me it felt really genuine. The Zeke and Bret drinking buddies…we’d established at the merge. I tried to establish relationships with people based on what we had in common. I didn’t have a lot in common with Bret except that we both like to drink.
Holmes: All three of us have that in common.
Smith: (Laughs) We should all go drinking in Hell’s Kitchen some night.
Holmes: Deal.
Smith: I thought we were buddies and it came so organically. And, I was just really touched. It’s a big deal to come out on national television. Especially for someone who’s a cop. He’s a big macho guy. I was so proud of Bret and so privileged to be in that moment with him. And to continue to be his friend as he’s gone through this process and anticipated this episode coming out…I’m just so proud of him. And as if he wasn’t enough of a hero, on Sunday’s he’s receiving a reward from the Boston Mayor’s office for saving a guy’s life.
Holmes: Oh, wow.
Smith: Yeah, so Bret’s the real deal.

Holmes: You’re watching at home and you hear Will say that nobody can beat you. That’s gotta be nice.
Smith: I made a promise to myself to go out every day and play to win. So, that if I got to the end, there’d be no doubt I was the winner. I’d rather go out swinging than go to the end and lose. I think there’s no better way to leave the game than to be voted out because nobody can beat you. I think, maybe I don’t beat Dave depending on who the third person is. But, I put myself in a position where I think I’d win against anyone I was up against.

Holmes: Was there any talk that Adam’s choice not to use his reward steal was a strategic move rather than an emotionally motivated one?
Smith: None of us knew that Adam’s mother was dying. And if we did know he wouldn’t have had to play the advantage because of course we would’ve taken him. Nobody would have competed in the challenge. We’d have said, “Adam wins.” But, he made the strategic choice not to tell anyone. I think part of the frustration you’re seeing with Adam is he tells everyone that he’s going to use it for the loved ones visit. And it’s kind of a threat. If you don’t take me, I’m going to steal your loved ones visit from you. And the loved ones visit is very important, it was upsetting. So, after five or six days of him telling everyone that, he told us he wasn’t going to. I do think that was a smart decision for him.
Holmes: It seems like that advantage is more trouble than it’s worth. It’ll upset someone without enough gain. What would you have done with it?
Smith: I think I would have taken a note from the Gabon merge and thrown it into the water.
Holmes: Anytime you can take notes from Randy Bailey, you’ve gotta do it.
Smith: Exactly. (Laughs)

Holmes: Is Hannah the worst liar in the world?
Smith: Oh gosh…Hannah…yeah. Not a lot of poker face there. We’re both members of the Upright Citizens’ Brigade and every night we’d spend two or three hours on the beach talking strategy. I’ll never understand why she flipped from 6-4 to 5-5. I guess she just liked Ken better than she liked me. She has really good thoughts on the game, she has good reads. I think where she errs is in her execution. If Hannah could lie to me like I lied to Chris, I’d have gone home.

Holmes: Do you think the attitude toward Ken switched a bit after what happened between him and Will last night? It was the first time he lost his cool.
Smith: No, that was consistent with the Ken we knew. Ken’s a bit of an anomaly because everyone left in the game is a big “Survivor” fan. They’re playing a strategically advanced game. But, Ken’s not. He isn’t operating from the same logical paradigm as everyone else. There are a lot of questions about Ken and how he’s been playing.

Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Mari.
Smith: Rad.
Holmes: Chris?
Smith: Ginger bear.
Holmes: Michaela?
Smith: Bad ass.
Holmes: David?
Smith: Master.
Holmes: CeCe?
Smith: Spartan.
Holmes: Michelle?
Smith: Spiritual?
Holmes: Adam?
Smith: So strong.
Holmes: Figgy?
Smith: Firey.
Holmes: Sunday?
Smith: Darling.
Holmes: Jay?
Smith: Warrior.
Holmes: Jessica?
Smith: Those eyes.
Holmes: Hannah?
Smith: My friend.
Holmes: Taylor?
Smith: Viking.
Holmes: Will?
Smith: Smelly.
Holmes: And Bret?
Smith: My drinking buddy.

Holmes: There aren’t really any jerks on this season. There are a lot of people to root for and the other people aren’t offensive. This really stood out during the Tribal where you and Bret got a little personal with David and it was shut down pretty quickly. Was that intentional that people wanted to keep it civil or is that just how the cast is?
Smith: I think it’s a little bit of both. The players do make the game. And that comment from Bret and I was really stupid. It was an intense Tribal and everyone was thrown when David asked the members of my alliance to raise their hands. It was like, “Whoa.” We’d never come for each other. It was intense, it was stupid. We joked a lot about crying and being sad. It’s like during Bret’s loved ones visit where we said, “You losah.” We just had a playful ribbing of each other. But without that context and in the heat of Tribal it became much more malicious than anyone had intended. When we realized that we were getting riled up everyone dialed it back. We played with a tremendous amount of respect for each other. I think it’s because we all love the game and respect that it’s just a game.

Holmes: Say the Will vote goes in your favor, how do you see the rest of the game going?
Smith: Well, that’s assuming we dodge Adam’s penis idol and Hannah goes home. Then we would have had the numbers to get Dave. I think my job would be to continue to create chaos and encourage the fluidity of alliances. Because if people start to get an accurate picture of the game, then I’m in trouble. I think my advantage was I had more information and had a bigger picture of how people were interconnected. If I can keep people confused, people will cling to me. I’m a lighthouse on a foggy night. I think I’d have to win a couple of immunities. So, I don’t know if I had a clear path to the end.

Holmes: Would the loved ones visit have turned differently if your father had known you had voted out an Oklahoma Sooner?
Smith: (Laughs) Yeah, I don’t know if he would have called me his hero. He’d be a little upset at me for voting out a national champion.

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


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