Articles for Survivor Season 18

Survivor: Tocantins got off to a solid start last night, with interesting contestants, a great new setting in the Highlands of Brazil, and the first of (hopefully) many surprising tribal councils.  If I have one complaint, it‘s that the eliminated castaway, Carolina Eastwood, kind of got the shaft at tribal.  Being the first person voted off a Survivor season is a dubious honor typically reserved for either the old, the weak, or the ruthlessly annoying.  Carolina was none of these things, and got punished mainly because she wanted her camp to have a nice shelter.  Earlier today, we spoke to Carolina about her time on the show, the relative craziness of Sandy, and her planf for the future.Below you will find both the mp3 audio of the interview, as well as the full written transcript. Read more »
Previously on Survivor two tribes, Timbera and Jalapao, were tricked into voting for their weakest members to receive an advantage in the game. Timbera chose Sierra. Jalapao chose Sandy. When Jalapao lost the immunity challenge Sandy appeared a lock to go home. But Carolina made helpful suggestions about how the tribe could do better next time and she was stoned for it at the Tribal Council, giving Sandy the honor of going home second instead of first. Back at camp Sandy admits she only made it through the first Tribal Council because Carolina crashed and burned even worse. She knows she‘s on borrowed time. Spencer agrees, saying Sandy‘s still next in line to go. I‘ve assumed all week she was a lock - she‘s the weakest player on the weakest tribe, and she‘s abrasive. She‘s got all the classic early boot criteria but the editing does feel like a red herring. Read more »
Before going on Survivor, Taj Johnson-George ran laps, lifted weights, sat in a sauna and learned to fish and swim in anticipation of the challenges she‘d face in the game. Apparently there‘s one detail she didn‘t get to: Thinking through how to answer questions about her marriage to a former Super Bowl star and their vast family fortune. Eddie George made $4,250,000 base salary in 2005, but he also had signing bonuses, performance incentive bonuses, media apearences and endorsements. And that was just one year of his career. If Taj had slipped in mentioning her husband‘s name was Eddie I would have felt sorry for her. “Look, it doesn‘t matter how hard she competes or how well she plays. No one will recognize her accomplishment because of who her husband is.” She didn‘t slip. She talked about her husband until someone asked a polite question. Then she did this whole, “Well, since you asked,“ thing and looked like the cat that ate the canary. When they asked her directly whether she was a limousine riding, wining and dining, jet setting and diamond ring getting NFL wife she did a little dance. The “I could buy the street you grew up on and turn it into a parking lot” dance.I guess she took the shocked silence in the group as a sign of how excited they were. There was shocked silence in my living room, too. In fact, my mouth dropped open and my popcorn bowl fell out of my lap and spun in circles on the floor. Impressed doesn‘t quite capture my reaction, though. Try gob smacked. As though someone had smacked me in the gob. She had over a month to think through the strategically disasterous implications of telling people there was an actual possibility the million dollar check would get filed in a cabinet somewhere in her mansion and that she‘d forget to file it until after the expiration date. I would have seen that as a major check in the drawbacks column when deciding whether or not to do the show. Read more »
Here‘s a juicy bit of gossip for reality television fans to chew on. Everyone knows the story of real-life Sleepless in Seattle single dad, Jason Mesnick, who applied to be on The Bachelorette in the hopes of finding a new mom to complete his ideal family. But here‘s what you might not know. Jason‘s original first choice wasn‘t to appear on The Bachelorette. He wanted to be on Survivor: Gabon. One can imagine an alternate universe where Jason survived Tribal Council votes instead of rose ceremonies. He would have lived in a lean-to shelter under constant rainfall instead of at The Mansion. Forget about the time he had to compose a song and sing it for Deanna. Instead he would have had to rip big hunks of meat off of a roast with his teeth and spit it in a bucket. The team with the heaviest bucket wins. Not everything would have changed. Either way he still probably would have gone on a helicopter ride. Well, as long as he didn‘t get eaten by wild animals first! Read more »
Survivor isn‘t going anywhere anytime soon. CBS announced today that they would be ordering Seasons 19 and 20 for the 2009-2010 television year. Jeff Probst will return as the host, heading off any resurgence of the speculation from previous years that he would move on to other projects. The eighteenth season, Survivor: Tocantins, has remained a ratings winner, consistently winning the highly competitive Thursday night timeslot in terms of total viewers (13.61m), adults 18-49 (4.5/13) and adults 25-54 (5.6/14.) Last week‘s episode showed modest gains over the premiere, though as American Idol begins its annual multi-week detour through the Thursday 8PM timeslot those numbers should wobble slightly. Read more »
Rock of Love Bus contestant Mindy Hall is surely not the first of her kin to appear on a reality series, but only a handful of people know that.  Her features might actually be very familiar to audiences, especially those who‘ve seen Survivor: Guatemala.  It‘s all because it was Mindy‘s identical twin sister who first appeared on the eleventh season of the CBS show. Zookeeper Cindy Hall, a long-time fan of the Survivor series, tried out for the program and later made it to the Top 5 contestants.  It‘s just like how Mindy‘s been doing these days, as she‘s become one of the frontrunners in Bret Michaels‘ search for love.  Both of these ladies seem ready to prove how they can face extraordinary challenges – despite the obvious differences between their chosen endeavors.  Read more »
In the cold opening, Erinn begins a damage control campaign with the rest of the tribe after getting a little too close to Candace. Coach takes a hard line, saying she’s made her bed and now she’s going to have to lie in it. We’ve seen several times now that one of Erinn’s most endearing qualities is also one of her biggest problems strategically. When she gets uncomfortable she runs off at the mouth and can’t stop. If she gets voted out she’ll probably write everyone on the tribe Christmas cards this December explaining that they misunderstood her but she’s not mad. She’ll need both sides of the card. I’ve liked Erinn from the beginning without being quite sure why. Judging by the polls, though, I’m not the only one who’s soft on her. I hope she stays.When we get back from the commercial break Erinn is still talking about her association with Candace. She says she has to outperform the others in the challenge - she’s fighting for her life. Jerry ate some beans that didn’t agree with his stomach. Hopefully this scene was every bit as useless and unnecessary as it looked because if it went somewhere it would probably mean Jerry got dysentery and left the game. That would be far worse than losing Erinn. This season may literally ride on how Jerry does. He’s got the potential to be that much more compelling than anyone else on the cast, in my opinion. Every season of Survivor needs at least one extremely likable, one-of-a-kind character. Read more »
Survivor: Tocantins is still in its early stages, so we must refrain from judging so soon. The real players, the ones who will stamp their mark on the season, the ones we‘ll perhaps remember in the future, have yet to assert themselves, have yet to garner the necessary screen time.  As always, the CBS editors are biding their time.  So, in the interim, in the early stages of the Survivor season, we have to chew on what CBS allows us to chew on.  Last night‘s episode, the third of the season, will emerge as the turning point in how viewers digest the pungent stew that is Benjamin Wade, a man better known as “Coach.”  I was on board with Coach over the first two episodes, as I imagine a significant amount of other viewers were.  Last night, however, it appeared that the editors could no longer withhold the depths of Coach‘s douchebaggery.  Coach is awful, and now everyone knows it.  Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model. .By Susan Young, Film.com Humiliation is the word of the week around reality land.And we haven’t even gotten to tonight’s premiere of America’s Next Top Model, where Tyra Banks delights in digging up every sensitive moment in those pretty girls’ past. Remember the “tell us about how you were sexually abused?” moment last cycle? Seems like Tyra just can’t get the separation of Model Show vs. Talk Show idea. Read more »
At the end of Day 9 Timbera returns to camp at night. Ben wants Erinn out. He says she’s the cancer of the tribe. I seem to recall he previously considered Candace the cancer. I’d point out that he’s only referring to the threat these women pose to him in the game but that was transparent weeks ago.Coach offers Brendan the leadership position but he tries to make everyone feel guilty for it. Woody Erinn neurotically babbles that she didn’t mean to suggest Coach wouldn’t be a good leader because she thinks he’d make a great leader. Oh yes, this is the Timbera I love and the one that I’ve missed all week. They’re miserable. They hate each other. The nastiest things they say about each other are the compliments. Read more »
Last night on Survivor: Tocantins Sandy Burgin, the 53 year old bus driver from Louisville, Kentucky, was voted off after she clashed with teammate Sydney Wheeler. The boys of the tribe preferred to keep the flirtatious and scantily clad model over the tribe mom. I was disappointed to see her go. She brought something unique to the cast not only because she was older and of a different mould but also because she brought some humor. I spoke with Sandy earlier today about why she likes it when people think she‘s a little crazy, how she intended her comment about being a sex kitten and why she thinks being voted off in the first five minutes prolonged her stay in the game. She told me why she never found the Hidden Immunity Idol, how Spencer‘s ambiguous sexuality played into Sydney‘s flirtations and why she receives so many obscene emails. She rambled on until she got gonged by CBS - audible on the podcast - and she almost got yanked off the stage by a cane. You‘ve gotta love Sandy! Read more »
At this point, there‘s no official word yet on where the next season of Survivor is headed.  It seems that they‘ve been to every possible tropical-slash-rugged-slash-uninhabited corner of the world, but eighteen seasons later they‘re still finding new spots to spend around forty days in.  The same goes for the nineteenth, but this is surrounded with a little bit more controversy than expected.There have been numerous reports stating that Survivor is headed to Samoa, a group of islands off the Pacific, after it finishes airing its current season set in Tocantins, Brazil.   These reports come from local media, and all have this one important detail: the country‘s government is apparently asking journalists not to report on the production. Read more »
This season of Survivor: Tocantin has been an interesting one. Evidently, the off-screen romances will be more important than the on-screen ones this season. Current ‘out’ cast member Spencer Duhm seems to have hooked up with the winner of Survivor: China winner Todd Herzog. Although they are both Survivor cast members, the two actually met a month before this season began.The details are few and far between because this season is still airing but we know there’s at least one millionaire in the couple. Todd e-mailed the fellas over at AfterElton.com to inform them of his budding romance. Read more »
Survivor: Tocantins came into the night all square.  Timbira had four players, Jalapao had four players.  While it‘s certainly felt like Jalapao was the stronger, more harmonious tribe, it hasn‘t exactly mattered in the immunity challenges.  Now with gummy nutjob Sandy out of the picture over at Jalapao, is Survivor: Tocantins Jalapao‘s for the taking?  Tonight‘s Survivor episode featured a modern day toilet (hooray!), disoriented castaways and the loss of a tooth, hence the episode‘s title.  What follows is a recap of the night‘s events.  Read, enjoy, comment, mock - whatever tickles your fancy.  Read more »
He was born in the 90s. Titanic? Not old enough to get in. Pulp Fiction? He thought it was about orange juice. He was four. He couldn‘t angst over Dawson‘s Creek because he was learning to add and subtract. When Britney Spears said “Oops! I did it again!“ he thought she was talking about spilling the Cheerios. Technically Smallville idol Tom Welling is old enough to be the guy‘s father. When I found out a teenager was playing Survivor this season I was concerned the show was making a big mistake. A lot of people agreed, as the Survivor Sucks message board lit up with dismissive fans declaring that this season was going to suck. Hey, it‘s what they do, right? Read more »
It‘s hard to believe that Spencer Duhm didn‘t kind of get screwed last night on Survivor: Tocantins.  Is one sub-par challenge performance enough reason to vote a person out of your tribe?  If your tribe is Jalapao, then this appeared to be the case.  However, as is constantly the case with Survivor, last night‘s episode didn‘t tell the whole story.  According to Spencer, who we had the chance to speak with this morning, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than the viewing audience was privy to.  That‘s fine - CBS is working with time constraints and have to tell the best narrative available.  However, Jalapao has been portrayed as a go-with-the-flow tribe, filled with likable characters lacking in strategery.  Spencer claims this is absolutely not the case.  Read/listen to the below interview to find out why.Below you will find the transcript as well as the full mp3 audio of the interview. Read more »
If you’ve been following our Survivor coverage here at BuddyTV you may have noticed that Oscar Dahl began releasing his weekly Power Rankings last week, identifying Jerry as the man to beat on the Timbera tribe. I agreed, pointing out an odd moment from Episode 2 that felt like symbolic foreshadowing of a Jerry win. Apparently we know nothing. Last night in the third episode of Survivor: Tocantins, “Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This,” Jerry Sims, the 49 year old Army Sergeant from Rock Hill, South Carolina, got the mercy boot. Jerry may have liked the beans but they didn’t like him. He was in obvious pain throughout the episode, explaining at one point that he felt like two boxers were having a fight inside his stomach. I think Timbera blew it. Sure, Jerry looked like he could barely stand for parts of the episode but he combined physical strength, practical experience and emotional stability. That tribe needs all of the calming influences they can get. Earlier today Jerry told me who was in the original Timbera alliance, who mistakenly believed they were in it and when it was formed. He explains why he liked Coach, talks about his work at the nuclear power plant and dishes on what the tribe knew about his own military background, Brendan’s fortune and Taj’s famous husband. Listen to the interview in its entirety or read our transcript below. Read more »
Survivor: Tocantins continued last night with a lively episode full of social and strategic blunders. Sandy, Taj and Sierra all appeared to be in danger of going home but in the end Timbera unanimously chose Candace Smith, the attorney-turned-actress from Dayton, Ohio. Candace struck me as a direct but clear communicator around camp and one of the more athletic women in the challenges. But she got caught in an escalating battle of personal pride with Ben “Coach” Wade over a fairly banal day-to-day cooking issue. Both of them seemed to have trouble backing down when confronted with a challenge and, while I personally liked Candace, it was fairly obvious from the beginning that Coach held a much more secure position within the tribe. He wasn‘t going home this week no matter what happened. Candace could have backed down or marched onward to her doom. Candace‘s ouster was short and swift but the tribe held together as seven strong, either a sign that they‘re truly unified or that Coach has a lot of power. Earlier today we talked with Candace about Coach‘s aggressiveness with her and Sierra, Debbie‘s forgetfulness and Sierra and Brendan‘s cover up of the giant crater. Read more »
Survivor: Tocantins took a break last week thanks to CBS‘s March Madness coverage, a break that has become commonplace for Survivor every spring.  Throughout the tournament, CBS has been pimping this week‘s episode of Survivor: Tocantins, which is airing on a special night.  Well, that night is tonight, a Wednesday.  Jeff Probst can be seen in the promos, calling tonight‘s a brand new episode.  Unfortunately, Jeff is lying to all of us.  How could you, Probsty?  Survivor: Tocantins is indeed airing an episode tonight, but it is of the dreaded clip show variety.  Read more »
Survivor: Tocantins aired a clip show last night, showing us never before seen footage from the first fifteen days the castaways spent in Brazil.  As far as clip shows go, I found the installment of Survivor last night to be quite good.  I have a lot more knowledge about the remaining castaways, and there was very little repeat footage.  There are a few contestants who I now like a lot more, a couple that I like considerably less.  But, most of all, I found my new favorite castaway.  Survivor: Tocantins will forever be known as the season of Tyson Apostol, the off-kilter pro-cyclist/kinda Mormon dude who is as dynamic and bizarre a personality as we‘ve ever seen on Survivor.  The editors filled in a lot of gaps, and gave us insight into who a lot of these people are.  There are too many contestants at the beginning of the season to give all of them a fair shake, especially when the potential cast-offs have to be given so much screen time.  Read more »
Every week BuddyTV offers expert analysis on who will be eliminated on Survivor.  See who BuddyTV users and our own experts think will get booted this week, then make your own picks at Survivor Fantasy TV. Read more »
I don‘t remember who exactly said it, but it couldn‘t have been said any better: “the plot thickens.”All of a sudden we‘re all preoccupied with this cross-tribe alliance on Survivor: Tocantins—it was, for the most part, impossible until Exile Island came to the equation.  And with Taj discovering the other immunity idol last week, it felt for a moment that Brendan‘s plan is falling into place, which means there‘s always a downside to everything.  Stephen may be right with having a third plan, and Sierra may be wrong with being proud of the inclusion (which she definitely didn‘t expect), but there must always be a catch, right? Read more »
No merge tonight on Survivor: Tocantins, but there was more than enough strategery among the tribes to make up for it.  Was tonight the night that Coach Benjamin Wade was finally put out of his misery and sent out to pasture?  Or, did Jalapao end up losing another immunity challenge?  The answers await you in this here recap of tonight‘s episode of Survivor: Tocantins.  It‘s been a long two weeks without a proper Survivor episode and, while I do love the NCAA Tourney, it‘s about time.  Read more »
Sydney Wheeler had the cards stacked against her.  With Taj Johnson-George making appearance after appearance on Exile Island, acquiring the hidden immunity idol, forging alliances with members of Timbira, bringing Stephen and J.T. into her inner circle, it left Sydney on the outside looking in.  No one ever said Survivor was fair, though, and that‘s just the way things worked out.  Sydney made no strategic mistakes (though, she probably could have done more), and was ousted from Survivor: Tocantins last night, the last castaway to walk the plank before the merge.  We had the great pleasure of speaking with Sydney this morning, and we discussed her time on the island, her relationship with Joe Dowdle and the dreaded Curse of the Beans.Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.  Read more »
Here are the current standings for Survivor: Tocantins Fantasy TV. Survivor: Tocantins Fantasy TV Leaderboard:1. (t) Falconovich (2000 points)1. (t) BostonMikee (2000 points)1. (t) darmatugan (2000 points)1. (t) PeterFoo2 (2000 points)1. (t) OGallos (2000 points)1. (t) KaceyDonston2 (2000 points)1. (t) KristaWhyte2 (2000 points)1. (t) DaDizzle (2000 points)1. (t) gasquetnumber1fan (2000 points)1. (t) MattWinchester (2000 points) Read more »
By now we all should know the significance of the immunity idols scattered around in Survivor: Tocantins.  It’s playing out quite beautifully, so far, with those who know about it, although foreshadowing somehow killed the shock with JT finding out about Taj possessing one of the idols.   Like, it happened so quickly, and things were achieved quite fast, although we all know that’s not all there is to it, considering the merge.So it’s funny to see their method to throw off Joe.  A fake immunity idol changes the game yet again, but I don’t know—I was actually laughing.   Here he is, a gullible cartoon character something—or, at least, he seems to be that way—getting his hands on the idol, surprised at how easy it went, without even hinting some skepticism over it.  Then again, things do turn out different when you’re out for survival—take your cue on the show’s name. Read more »
Every week BuddyTV offers expert analysis on who will be eliminated on Survivor.  See who BuddyTV users and our own experts think will get booted this week, then make your own picks at Survivor Fantasy TV. Read more »
The merge has come, which means that the real game has begun on Survivor.  The first part of the season really just acts as a way to introduce us to the major players of each Survivor season.  Survivor: Tocantins is no different.  Even though Jalapao entered the merge down two players, they aren‘t going to get picked off one by one.  There‘s too much unrest in the Timbiran tribe.  And, of course, there‘s that ultimate wild card in Benjamin "Coach" Wade, who has no problem mixing it up with his own tribe members.  Tonight also featured the very first individual immunity challenge, which are far, far better than tribal challenges.  What follows is a (hopefully) entertaining recap of the night‘s events.  Enjoy. Read more »
Joe Dowdle joined an unfortunate group of Survivor outcasts last night as he left the game with a leg injury.  To spend 20 days out in the elements, compete like hell, and sacrifice your body, only to be forced out by medics because of a random leg injury cannot feel good.  Joe clearly did not want to leave the newly merged Forza tribe last night, but was given no choice by the Survivor: Tocantins doctor.  We had the great pleasure of speaking with Joe earlier today, and we discussed his time on Survivor, his leg injury, and what really went down at Jalapao.  Below you will find the full mp3 audio of the interview. Read more »
I always think it’s a shame when the people who are evacuated from Survivor are ones who we never grew to care about. I don’t mean to be insensitive. I feel bad for Joe, but not that much worse than if he’d been voted out for any of a dozen other reasons. Mike Skupin, on the other hand? Everybody remembers him. Sure, part of that is because it was from the classic Survivor. And granted, he could have gone six episodes without a confessional and when he fell into the fire we still would have been horrified. But he wasn’t a background character. He was the spear making, pig hunting, blessing giving ‘idiot’ Mike - Captain Ahab in a canoe. I was almost as upset when Penner left Survivor: Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites because darn it, he was so smart and human and he should have won. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comHow the mighty have stumbled and slipped as we cruise through the first half of the spring reality show season.Was it really all that long ago that Melissa Rycroft looked like she was going to waltz right through Dancing with the Stars and glide easily into the winner’s circle? And who among us didn’t have Lil Rounds as our choice for at least the final four of American Idol? Read more »
Oh, poor, poor, poor Joe Dowdle.  Perhaps one of the suckiest things that could happen to a Survivor contestant is to get eliminated without getting voted off—the dreaded medical reason.  It hits you without knowing it—Joe said it best: “my body blindsided me,” or something like it—and, despite how much you beg and plea, you have no option but to go home in a less ceremonial and more frantic manner.It was a bad thing for someone watching it like me, partly because he left for something that could’ve been prevented—there was, err, considerable foreshadowing when the leg wound-slash-infection was pointed out a few episodes ago—but mostly because it’s literally anticlimactic.  I was in the middle of watching Survivor politics at its best—the newly-merged Forza tribe quickly forge alliances, decide on who to vote off, change their minds, change their minds, change their minds, you get the drill. Read more »
With Joe Dowdle helicoptered out of our lives, depriving all of us Survivor fans of a Merged Tribe Tribal council last week, it has actually set up a pretty cool scenario for tonight‘s episode.  With a back-stab blindside set up and rarin‘ to go last week, will all the key players remain true to their plan to remove entrepeneur Brandon Synnott from Survivor: Tocantins, or will the castaways get antsy, forge new alliances and pick on someone else?  No matter what, after watching tonight‘s episode, my love for Benjamin "Coach" Wade has not increased.  He‘s still one of the best villains we‘ve had in years.  Below you will find a recap of tonight‘s events.  Please enjoy.     Read more »
The Benjamin Wade Era - breathe it in.  Bask in its absurd glory.  There will never be another era like it on Survivor.  Coach, over the course of one hour last night, became one of the most dynamic, unreal and engaging characters we‘ve ever seen on Survivor.  If you were to try and explain the Coach Experience to someone who hasn‘t watched Survivor this season, you would be at a loss.  There‘s no way you could do Coach‘s unique brand of insanity justice.  Watching last night, hearing his stories, the unapologetic way in which he spouted blatant lies, how he wore his arrogance with disturbing pride, the thought that perhaps Coach was playing a big joke on America crossed my mind.  But, there‘s no way - he would have to be the greatest method actor alive to pull off a stunt like that.  There‘s no other rationale - Coach is a delusional buffoon, bordering on clinical insanity and maybe the funniest Survivor castaway in history.   Read more »
Brendan Synnott did not need the million dollar prize.  He‘s already a millionaire, probably many times over.  Brendan came into Survivor: Tocantins with a target on his back (his name had leaked prior to the start of the season, so his fellow castaways already knew about his background) and, yet, played about as good of a game as you could hope for.  Being athletic, likable and wealthy is a great combination for life, but for Survivor, it‘s not going to put you in a good position.  Benjamine "Coach" Wade and Tyson Apostol, despite being in his Timbira tribe, had it out for Brendan from the beginning and pulled enough strings on last night‘s episode of Survivor to vote Brendan out of the game.  Earlier today, we had the pleasure of speaking to Brendan about Survivor, his gameplay, Coach Benjamin Wade and what Brendan has planned for the future (spoiler - it involves burritos).  Below you will find the full mp3 audio of the interview.  Read more »
Millionaire Brendan Synnott was blind-sided last week on Survivor: Tocantins, leaving his alliance partner Sierra Reed out in the cold.  The promos for this week‘s episode showed Sierra as a sitting duck, a castaway whose fate was more or less sealed.  But, of course, this is Survivor and nothing is ever certain, or at least the editors won‘t make it look that way.  Coach Benjamin Wade remains alive and well on Survivor, which means we‘re guaranteed a handful of unintentionally hilarious quotes each week.  I‘m going to miss that guy.  What follows is a recap of tonight‘s events. Please enjoy.   Read more »
You have to admit that he deserved it.  Tyson Apostol, the professional-cycling, possibly Mormon goofball from Survivor: Tocantins was blind-sided last night at the height of his arrogance.  He spent most of the episode handing down verbal beatings to the good-hearted Sierra Reed for no other reason than to rub in what appeared to be her inevitable fate.  It was unnecessary psychological warfare, and Tyson‘s karmic retribution was swift.  It was also the product of sound thinking from J.T., Stephen, Erinn and Taj.  Tyson had to be voted off.  He was a physical force, the likes of which that could have won every physical immunity challenge from here to the end of the season.  Those four jumped at the chance to eliminate Tyson, Coach‘s upcoming wrath be damned.   Read more »
Tyson Apostol thought he was in control.  He thought that his object of scorn, Sierra Reed, would be voted out unceremoniously on Survivor: Tocantins last night.  It was not to be.  Tyson was blind-sided by those he thought were in his alliance and voted out of Survivor.  The professional cyclist from Utah was both an endearing and frustrating personality, a charmer and a source of annoyance.  We had the pleasure of speaking with Tyson earlier this morning, as we discussed his time on Survivor and what his plans for the future are.  Below you will find the full mp3 of the interview. Read more »
I shall complain again.  Where are the photos, CBS?But enough of that, though.  If there‘s anything more important than getting up to date photos from Survivor: Tocantins, it‘s making sense of what‘s actually happening on the show.  So Sierra did get her second chance, quite barely--after all the desperation realizing she‘s banished herself into the fringes of the jury, she ended up wriggling herself out of elimination, and Tyson found himself leaving.  At least he returns well-shaven, clean, and with a fresher perspective of things.  Now, he said, he knows how it feels to be Brendan. Read more »
Coach got played like a fiddle last week as his running mate Tyson Apostol was blind-sided by the Jalapao crew on Survivor: Toacantins.  How would the Dragon Slayer react?  Will Sierra fold?  Read on to find out.Right after the tribal council, Sierra makes it clear that she wastotally expecting to be eliminated.  J.T. and Stephen explain theirpiece to Coach and Debbie, and those two play it off like they‘re notmad about Tyson.  Coach, especially, acts like it was a great move, but you knowhe‘s steaming inside.  Or, maybe he really is somehow impressed. You never know with Coach and his delusional self.  Read more »
Coach Benjamin Wade has some serious personality disorders.  He‘s either completely delusional, unable to separate fantasy from reality, perpetually inflating his sense of self-worth, a man lost in a web of exaggerations and outlandish claims, or he‘s a pathological liar.  Maybe both.  Coach‘s unending narcissism feeds into either possibility, allowing him to follow through with a lie so vigorously and, in a weird way, convincingly.  Last night, his insistence on making Sierra Reed look foolish bordered on sickening, though this was tempered by the fact that we‘re so used to Coach‘s absurd persona.  His soliliquous tirade at tribal council on last night‘s Survivor was a sight to be seen, awe-inspiring in its audacity.  Read more »
Sierra Reed had an ominous beginning to her Survivor journey.  In the very first episode of Survivor: Tocantins, Sierra was "voted out" of her tribe before anyone could speak to each other.  Of course, it was a fake vote, signifying the silliness of making snap judgments, but from that point on Sierra made it her quest to prove herself a worthy castaway.  Whether you think she succeeded or not is up to you, but Sierra showed a whole lot of fight in the last two episodes, especially last night, when she stood up to Coach and Debbie, and resisted the urge to join in an alliance full of people who had previously wanted her gone.  We had the pleasure of speaking with Sierra today about all things Survivor, and you can check it out below. Below you will find the full mp3 audio of Sierra‘s interview, as well as the full written transcript. Read more »
Looks like Sierra did get what she wanted--that position in the game that can make or break the entire thing.  And another thing she probably wanted--the sympathy of so many people.  Too bad it ended with her getting the boot.But that‘s the irony of last week‘s Survivor: Tocantins.  We‘ve seen it during the reward challenge: her fellow castaways don‘t like her.  Or, to be very nice, don‘t know much about her, after she doggedly pursued a dead alliance.  Then again, I was watching last week obviously on her side, not expecting that she‘d suddenly take on Coach with a great possibility of success.  I thought she‘d force the obvious to come to light.  I thought Debbie would be going, because she seems like she‘s just clinging on to something.  I was annoyed when Coach got immunity, but not so when Sierra finally left. Read more »
Survivor: Tocantins is still graced with the presence of Coach Benjamin Wade, and his Coach-ness infiltrates every second of every episode.  He‘s a psychopath in a number of ways, a sad character in others, and sometimes just an honorable goon.  I‘m not convinced he‘s actually a good guy, but he does make for good television.  In tonight‘s episode of Survivor, we got the Survivor auction (one of my favorite events of any Survivor season) and the visit from family members (not one of my favorite events).  Last week, Sierra went home in a blaze of glory.  Who would follow her lead tonight?  Read on to find out. Read more »
Time for a rant.  I do this every season, and I will continue to do it until the castaways act like normal, rational human beings.  Late in the season, Survivor airs its inevitable "bring the loved ones to camp" episode.  And, always, the castaways turn into blubbering fools.  They cry and cry when they see their dearest show up to camp.  I don‘t mean to sound callous, I don‘t mean to be a reckless cynic, but, this bi-yearly outpouring of emotions has always stuck in my craw.  YOU‘VE ONLY BEEN GONE THIRTY DAYS.  A month away from your family can be tough for mothers, yes, but it‘s not the end of the world, especially when you absolutely know when you‘ll be back to see your kids.  But, yeah, okay, I can understand a mother‘s emotions when kept away from her kids, no contact being had in the interim.  Everyone else, sorry, you have no excuse for the tears.  Read more »
Debra Beebe did not enter Survivor: Tocantins looking like a power player.  How cutthroat could a mother/middle school principal really be?  But, as the weeks progressed and we got to know Debbie more and more, she showed herself to be quite a formidable Survivor foe.  Who knows how far she could have gotten if she hadn‘t latched herself to Tyson and Coach‘s wagon so early on?  We had the pleasure of speaking with Debbie earlier this morning to discuss her time on Survivor.Below you will find both the written transcript and the full mp3 audio of the interview. Read more »
The magic question: is Coach headed to the jury any minute now?  (I‘m not saying "going home"--he obviously won‘t.  If he gets eliminated, sure, he won‘t win the million dollars, and probably wouldn‘t be successful in his stated goal of changing the game, but he‘ll be gazing at everyone over the next few Tribal Councils.  Anyway.)  After Debbie got the boot in last week‘s Survivor: Tocantins, you begin to wonder whether what he wants to happen is working.  Sure, it doesn‘t seem like it does, because we all hate him, but being the ones seated on the couch, peering at the screen and wondering what the hell is happening, well, it should make actual intentions, if any, clearer.  In his case, it isn‘t.  And, it‘s finally backfiring.So Debbie went home last week, despite realizing, at the very last minute, that she‘s digging herself a hole if she continues sticking with the "Dragon Slayer" bladeedeebloo.  She thought she could stay with a solid alliance, and it did happen, but not until they were outnumbered.  Even worse for her, and for Coach, too, the rest are finding ways to grab control of the game--at least, if it all boils down to a face-off between either of Taj, J.T., Stephen or Erinn, it‘ll be more amicable, or at least more respectful. Read more »
Is this the night that Coach Benjamin Wade finally (finally!) goeshome?  It has to be, right?  Barring an immunity challenge victory, thewriting is on the wall, unless Erinn masterminds some crazy blindside,or Taj turns on her Jalapao boys.  But, you know, that is not going tohappen.  Survivor: Tocantins brings us its penultimate episode tonight, and what follows is a recap of the episode‘s events.  Please enjoy.  Read more »
We have never seen a character on Survivor as frustrating, as crazy, as self-righteous, or as bizarrely likable as Coach Benjamin Wade.  He was a delusional man-child, a staunch narcissist, an arrogant prick.  But, Coach was also a man with a positive outlook, a believer in the human spirit, a man unafraid to speak his mind.  There is a lot to like about Coach Benjamin Wade, and there is a lot to dislike.  There are many different ways to ingest the overall being of Coach.  He comes off as a caricature, but how genuine is he?  For the most part, he wasn‘t acting (besides those injuries).  He may be full of crap, but he spouts his spiritual mumbo-jumbo with such passion that he has actually come to believe in himself.  For these reasons, I cannot get myself to hate Coach Benjamin Wade,  Lots of people do hate the man, but he‘s harmless.  He‘s a curiosity, not a demon.  The previously voted off Survivor castaways all agreed on this - Coach intends no malice, and he‘s mostly a likable guy, despite how annoying he can be.   Read more »
The most talked about, most controversial castaway on Survivor: Tocantins was undoubtedly Coach Benjamin Wade.  The soccer coach, the symphony conductor, the teller of tall tales, the meditation guru, The Dragon Slayer.  Love him or hate him, Ben Wade made for good TV, and he will be a Survivor contestant we remember for years to come, which is a rare feat.  We had the great pleasure of speaking with Coach earlier today, as he discussed his persona, the media‘s portrayal of him, and whether or not he‘s ever posted comments on BuddyTV.Below you will find the written transcript as well as the full mp3 audio of the interview. Read more »
Let‘s start on a totally unrelated note by pointing out what CBS has pointed out at the beginning of the season: Survivor: Tocantins is the first season of the show to be shot in HD.  And, I should say, that, plus the gorgeous scenery, makes the whole thing look beautiful, politics aside.On that cinematic note, I therefore declare that Coach‘s sign-off on Thursday night‘s episode was done in style.  Well-done style.  Well-done overly-dramatic style.  It felt like the past few weeks was just a set-up for what happened back there: the physical breakdown, the epic attempt to transcend Exile Island, the fail (or the act) at the end, the poem, and eventually, the elimination.  First of all, it looks beautiful.  The catch is, Coach is still that annoying guy, and although I understand what he‘s trying to do, I‘m wondering whether he realizes that he is playing Survivor.  Sir, this is, after all, not merely a mental game, although you somehow got lucky in the immunity challenge.  I‘m sure you know there are the elements, and your mind cannot feed itself when it starts failing. Read more »
Survivor: Tocantins, another thoroughly entertaining season of the long-running reality franchise, ends tonight with a three-hour extravaganza.  James Thomas Jr., the southern cattle rancher, appears to be the favorite going into tonight, but nothing is for sure.  If we‘re to avoid an anti-climax, Taj and Erinn will have to join forces and attempt to break up the unbreakable man-pact between J.T. and Stephen Fishbach.  Although there‘s something to be said for the most deserving castaway winning a million dollars, the finale would become infinitely more interesting if J.T. was the next person voted off.  So, please, saddle up and join me for three hours of Probstian glory.  I will be here for all three hours, blogging my little heart away.   Read more »
The winner of Survivor: Tocantins has been crowned (in a unanimous vote, no less).  If you missed the episode, you can find the recap right here:Survivor: Tocantins - Season Finale, Live ThoughtsNow it‘s time for the reunion show, where everyone looks different, the women always wear too much make-up and all the contestants have to pretend like they totally get along.  However, the best part of the reunion show is always the reveal of the location for the show‘s next season.   Read more »
Everyone has a crush on J.T.  It‘s just the way it is.  He‘s one of those rare dudes who effortlessly pulls everyone in by sheer force of personality.  Anyone who claims to dislike J.T. is bitter or jealous or both, and are only masking their own latent crush on the Alabaman cattle rancher.  As great a guy as James Thomas Jr. is, however, he‘s not a terribly interesting person.  He‘s a simple, down-home man.  Great to have a beer with, not-so-great to psycho-analyze.  J.T. led a blind-side parade throughout Survivor: Tocantins and, yet, did not inspire the usual pettiness from the jury.  Again, it‘s just the kind of guy J.T. is that, even after he played a part in orchestrating the elimination of all the jury members, he‘s still held in high regard.  He‘s a genuine guy, hard-working and pleasant.  It was impossible to be mad at him, and that‘s why the jury gave him the unanimous vote.   Read more »
Continuing in this exciting week of Fall schedules, CBS revealed its lineup today, and while many shows remain fixed, there are some big moves.  The Mentalist, this past season‘s top new show, will get the coveted post-CSI timeslot Thursdays at 10pm.And one day after NBC officially cancelled Medium, CBS scooped it up and Patricia Arquette will now see ghosts right after Jennifer Love Hewitt does the same thing on Ghost Whisperer.More Fall Lineups:FOXABCNBCCBSThe CW  Read more »

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