Podcast Highlights

Bradley Kleihege (Ghost Island) Tell All – Survivor Specialists (June 4, 2018):

  • Constipation + other digestive issues are extremely common while playing the game. Bradley admits he didn’t have a bowel movement for 26 DAYS. He also said (spread out over a few weeks) in total he was given over 50 laxative pills + liquid laxative, but nothing worked until he was voted out, finally consumed a lot of food + was so sick he ended up having to go to the hospital from Ponderosa.
  • The crew + players have a lot of code words surrounding going to the bathroom – Bradley mentions these include “I have to go visit the coconut grove,” “10-1” (#1) + “10-2” (#2).
  • He also mentions they see Dr. Joe pretty much everyday + that he is highly-regarded amongst the players for his background as a war doctor in Iraq + Afghanistan.
  • My favorite part of this episode so far was Bradley lying about his profession on the show (as many players do to seem less threatening), which is a lawyer. He claimed to be a Geography student and when asked if he could tell the time by looking at the position of the sun, decides to roll with it + whenever anyone would ask the time, he would look at the sun, but then glance over at the cameramen, whose cameras had the time in large numbers on the side + no one ever caught on to it. πŸ˜‚
  • List of food items Bradley consumed in one sitting post-vote out: a grilled cheese sandwich, an entire meat-lover’s pizza, 9 bowls of cereal, an ice cream sundae, chocolate cake + about 30 drinks. And then slept for 36 hours…
Jenna + Julien Podcast – Survivor Chat with Season 26 Winner, John Cochran
  • Production has a helicopter on call 24/7. There are on average ~10 cameras/cameramen at camp on a given day, but varies as the size of the tribe decreases. At immunity challenges, there are 2 cameras dedicated to each player specifically, which adds up to around 30 total cameramen/women.
  • One of the most difficult parts of the game for Cochran, being somewhat of a loner in regular life, was having to be around people 24/7 for 30+ days.
  • Cochran’s tips on how to play a good game:
    • 1 – Don’t be bossy.
    • 2 – Don’t go off anywhere on your own.
    • 3 – Don’t have/create super emotional connections w/ people – try to keep them at arm’s length (so they will feel less betrayed + hopefully vote for you in the end).
    • 4 – Be moderately athletic. Be athletic enough that you don’t hold your tribe back in challenges, but not so athletic that you put a big target on your back.
  • Tribal council can go anywhere from 1-3 hours. Jeff asks a lot of players the same/similar questions – though it may seem like he’s picking on someone specifically in the tv cut/edit, he’s probably asking many/most of the tribe that question also.
  • Once voted off + arriving at Ponderosa, they were each given a full jar of peanut butter.
  • Biggest things producers are not being super smart/super athletic, but rather authenticity, honesty + vulnerability.

Adam Klein Tell All – Survivor Specialists

  • Advice to future players: don’t get too caught up in strategy/numbers/etc. – what matters more in your game is what’s not always shown onscreen – your overall social game/just making friends

Rob Has A Podcast – (Talking w/ T-Bird): Jerri Manthey –– Oct. 2020

  • laughed out loud every single time T-Bird started shouting “QUEUE THE MUSIC!” πŸ˜‚
  • learned Jerri was in a Faith Hill music video for the song “Piece of My Heart”
  • about 49 mins., 15 sec. in, Jerri does a fantastic impression of herself at 80 years-old answering a call to come back + play Survivor on a “Legends” season πŸ˜‚
  • Jerri couldn’t find 1 positive thing to say about or 1 redeeming quality of Russell Hantz
  • says she almost quit All Stars during the terrible storm, but the entire crew ran away
  • Jerri was supposed to be on the 27th Blood vs. Water season w/ her sister, but her sister got pregnant + then was asked to do it w/ her husband at the time, but chose not to
  • she’s been married 3x – the last wedding was Wild West themed
  • back in the day, she went on a date w/ Ryan Seacrest (before he was a big celebrity – he was a radio DJ at the time) + also dated Joe Rogan (nothing nice to say about him either)
  • tried to get on Dancing With The Stars, but was unsuccessful (so far – says she’d still do it)

Absolute Boss Moves:

(will be adding more – here’s a few to start!)

When Richard Hatch battles a shark, gets bitten by the shark + bites it back. 🦈
  • When Ozzy willingly + strategically sends himself to Exile Island to battle other players out of the game for good, risking his game completely b/c if he messed up any challenges on Exile, he would be out of the game for good himself. Of course, being the badass challenge beast he is, he did exactly what he set out to do, defeating everyone in his path + earned his way back into the game.
  • Season 38 – Chris choosing to give up the immunity necklace + selects himself to battle in a fire challenge against Rick Devens. Granted, it was the only way to guarantee Rick wouldn’t make the Final Three + therefore win the million dollars in a landslide (possibly a unanimous vote), but this is an extremely risky move + the fact that he defeated Rick + ultimately won the game makes him such a badass! (Note: this is the exact move that Domenick failed to make in Season 36 + it cost him the million dollars when Wendell defeated Angela in the fire challenge + joined him + Laurel in the Final Three!)
  • Tony’s “Spy Shack” – period. lol.
  • In Winners at War, when Denise votes Sandra “The Queen” out with her own idol she gave to Denise in exchange for 2 fire tokens. Denise plays Sandra’s idol for herself + then also plays her own idol that she found previously for Jeremy (also on the bottom) + votes Sandra out with just ONE vote. LFG!!!!

Best Tribal Councils:

(will be adding more later on – here’s a few for now!)

  • When Dreamz chooses to go back on his word + not give the immunity necklace to Yau Man (in exchange for a brand-new truck).
  • The Michaela blindside in Millenials vs. Gen X… INTENSE. Easily one of the craziest, most entertaining reactions to being voted out of all time.
  • When Cirie gets voted out of the game… with 0 votes.
  • When Tai, Scot + Jason team up + control the vote using ‘Super Idol’ bravado/scare tactics + when Tai later betrays that alliance to vote out Scot + does not give him the other half of the Super Idol as agreed to stay in the game.
  • Season 38 when almost everyone has immunity + either a real or fake idol play. Rick Devens is a genius for this one… both women played fake idols he made for them to find. Chris had an idol he received for winning a challenge to come back into the game from Exile Island + Rick (who won immunity + is wearing the necklace) plays his real idol for Gavin, who promised in exchange to take Rick to the final 3 the next day if he won the immunity challenge.
  • Ben playing an idol/idols at almost every tribal in the second half of season 35… just kept finding them over + over again + every time the jury was going WILD. lol.
When Erik gives the immunity necklace to Natalie in Survivor Micronesia – a brilliant move by the Black Widow Brigade (Parvarti, Amanda, Cirie, Natalie)
When tribal goes to rocks for the 2nd time in history in Blood vs. Water – either Tyson, Ciera, or Katie would choose a rock that would send them home, when none of them had received the majority of votes the first round. (wild!!)

Favorite Season Themes:

(will add more to this later – here’s the first 3 for now!)

  • Heroes, Healers + Hustlers – really loved this theme because the Sole Survivor should have ALL these qualities/really needs to in order to be able to get to the end + win. I think it made for a really diverse + interesting group of people w/ a wide variety of backgrounds + occupations. I also felt that all groups were equally respectable for different reasons so I liked that viewers were (or at least I was) able to stay objective + possibly even root for members of all 3 tribes, rather than just whichever one you personally relate to most.
  • Beauty, Brains + Brawn – really loved this theme because (again) the Sole Survivor should have + really NEEDS to have all these qualities + it was a great reminder to always “expect the unexpected” in this game, beginning w/ the assumption that the Brawn tribe would dominate challenges by way of pure physical strength + immediately went on a losing streak. Additionally initially shocking was the Beauty tribe being the first to make fire.
  • Ghost Island – this might be my all-time favorite theme of a season because of all the mystery surrounding ‘Ghost Island’ in the game, getting to reminisce about legendary Survivor “dumbest moves of all time” from the past (esp. as a Superfan) + the superstitious vibe overall made it super interesting to watch how it played out!

Most Underrated Players:

(just listing a few for now – planning to keep adding to this)

c’mon, just look at those guns! 🀠
  • Alecia Holden – Alecia is a wildly underrated player from Survivor: KaΓ΄h Rōng. It was really, reallyyyy tough to watch 2 grown men (one of whom has a young daughter + should be ashamed of himself for not being a better role model) straight up bully her just because she’s blonde + a woman. Jason and Scot were consistently disrespectful from the very beginning by choosing to call her “Blondie” instead of her name + repeatedly put her down by ridiculing both her mental + physical abilities –– yet SHE IS THE ONE TO MAKE FIRE FOR THE TRIBE. She was the only one unwilling to give up on this task, while the “men” laid in the shelter for several hours. I wholeheartedly believe Alecia not only could have, but would have gone a lot further in the game had she either been placed on a tribe other than Brawn (in the same season) or cast for a different season than Scot + Jason.
  • Corinne Kaplan – Corinne is one of the smartest, funniest and most clever + entertaining women to ever play. I think she got too bad of a rap than deserved in the Gabon season for a few ‘harsh’ comments, but to me, she’s easily one of the most relatable players w/ a “tell it like it is” attitude that was really refreshing to see in a game oversaturated w/ subtle manipulation. All I could think while watching her scheme was “I’m not sure if I’d want to play with her (out of pure intimidation), but I 100% want to be her best friend – we’d get along.” (and I really never say that about anyone!)
  • Jay Starett – Although I was a Michaela fan as well, the blindside he led against her was a big move, especially considering that they were currently in an alliance, indicating a turning point of the game in the Millenials vs. Gen X season. This move alone would be enough to make his game respectable, but he also won challenges, found an immunity idol + played a strong strategic game. (also, one of the most genuine players to ever play the game in my opinion, or at least came off that way to those watching at home)
  • Janet Carbin – As the oldest woman on her tribe, Janet was inevitably going to have a rough time staying in the game, but proved her worth immediately when she was the first person to make fire for her tribe! As if that wasn’t already impressive, Janet absolutely nailed the first few challenges utilizing her lifeguarding skills, when she got her tribe a huge lead by hooking their rope around a target on her first attempt + then showed her extremely strong swimming ability as she kept pace with an Olympian! Janet was also the first person to be wise enough not to take Boston Rob + Sandra’s offer on Island of the Idols because she took the time to analyze all possible outcomes instead of immediately jumping in + blindly agreeing the deal. Janet was able to get along with every person on her tribe + has that special ability to mesh well w/ all types of people in the world – that’s one of the biggest signs that someone has what it takes to be the sole survivor. I love how caring, thoughtful + well-spoken she is – I would feel very lucky to have her on my tribe to weather the storm that this game is with – also, her beautiful tribal council speech about gender equality brings me to tears every time. (begins @ 4:51)
  • Clarence Black – yes, he blows his entire game almost immediately (2x) when he 1) takes 2 cherries while everyone else only takes 1 from the can the tribe’s sharing + 2) splits a can of beans with another player who’s not feeling well while the rest of the tribe is off getting water + says he only opened it for the sick person, but really incriminates himself by also eating the other 1/2 of the can. however – had he not been trying to get back in the good graces of the tribe, I think he would’ve beaten Theresa in the challenge where they had to hold their arm over their head or a bucket of water would drop – but he made a deal w/ Theresa/the tribe to let her win immunity for a promise of safety for that night’s tribal + for a food reward right then + there. i think he could’ve gone a lot farther + been a really strong player if he had just held out right at that moment. he’s also one of my funniest Survivor moments (5:40)– “I’ve talked to each of those chickens personally and I’ve informed them that they’re on notice.”
  • Dreamz – won the final immunity in Survivor Fiji, which made him the first ever African American male to make it to day 39 in the game. when he went back on his deal w/ Yau Man (Yau Man gave Dreamz a truck he won in a reward challenge in exchange for Dreamz to promise to give Yau Man the immunity necklace at final 4 – if he won), i believe it was Dreamz just purely acting out of self-interest (not selfishly – because he was thinking of his young son + giving him a better life), but who could blame him??? he tells us all about the way he grew up + how he was homeless for awhile, so i think his mindset wouldn’t allow him to give up a shot at the million because any chance > no chance. i think he just lacked social game. i felt that the pain in his face was true, raw emotion that wouldn’t be there if he had been strategizing or calculating – pure human internal struggle all over his face.

What is first important to understand is how Dreamz grew up and the realities that he lived through. Never before had Survivor cast a person who had been actually homeless for parts of his life. Dreamz grew up in legitimate poverty and without many chances to breakthrough those financial struggles that were holding him down. It should be no surprise that Dreamz had never owned a car because in his everyday life, there was no way he could have afforded to buy one when he was more worried about finding food and shelter. For many people a car is just something everybody owns and uses, for someone in Dreamz’s situation, a car is a pipe dream of luxury.


Top 5 Immunity Challenges

I know 100% my biggest challenge strength would be endurance. As a runner, I live Mind > Matter every single day. Here are the immunity challenges I believe I would win in order from 1-5 (with 1 = most likely to win and most want to try).

That being said, throwing back one of Jeff’s special ocean milkshakes might prove more difficult than I imagine, but it’s still one I’d love to take a shot at. πŸ˜‚

Slide Puzzles

That one time Zeke replied to me on Twitter sharing how he absolutely owned that slide puzzle in Survivor Millenials vs. Gen X… amazing. TYSM.

Update: I tried the app! On my first attempt, I finished a 16-square slide puzzle (below) in 4 minutes. I have no idea of what a good time range for solving it would be, but felt pretty quick for a first attempt!

Favorite Quotes:

– Rodney Lavoie Jr.
  • Winners find a way to win – losers find a way to lose. – Coach Wade
  • Every opportunity is a setback + every setback is an opportunity. – Rick Devens
  • It’s important for me to have people on my team who are gonna do what I tell them to do, and not know that I’m telling them to do it. – Boston Rob
  • Always think about your next move. – Boston Rob
  • I may not be the strongest one of them, but I can guarantee I’m tougher than every single one of them. – Boston Rob
  • It’s better to play with me than against me. – Boston Rob
  • You got to hustle if you want to make a dollar. Everybody knows that. – Boston Rob
  • It seems like no matter what the situation is on survivor, I have to do the dirty work, because everybody else is too stupid to do it. – Boston Rob
  • I play to win. – Colby Donaldson
  • I don’t know how to quit, it’s just not in me, I never quit anything in my life. – Colby Donaldson
  • I can honestly say I’m proud of the way I’ve played this game, can you? – Colby Donaldson
  • That’s someone I can see myself aligning with, until it’s time to cut his throat. – Sandra Diaz-Twine
  • You know how some people forgive but don’t forget, well I don’t forgive and I don’t forget. – Sandra Diaz-Twine
  • I never give up, I never surrender, I never admit to fear. – Rupert Boneham
  • I love seeing people cry. When you crush their dreams. – Tyson Apostol
  • My feeling always is, if I thought of it, somebody else has thought of it. – Jonathan Penner

“…anything to make you happy, baby, I just wanna make you happy… and then, after the race, you can make me happy…” 😏 – Amber to Rob, Amazing Race

Mark Burnett – Jump In!

  • “Some may call it ‘stubborn’ (it is), but belief in gut decisions means sticking to your guns, even when others say you’re wrong.”
  • Always be brave enough to change your mind when you know you should.
  • The bottom line is that only results count––how you arrive at them does not.
  • Better decisions are made by relaxed people.
  • Be an optimist + a dreamer. Expect greatness from yourself + the best kind of unexpected surprises will find their way into your life.
  • “jumping in” = having a conscious faith in your own abilities
  • put embarrassment of being in last place aside + keep your integrity intact by finishing what you set out to do
  • it is always better to simply push on + finish (what you started), no matter what – by doing that, you’ll continually beat stronger + more talented people who can only operate when things go well.
  • the ability to keep your intended outcome in mind while constantly analyzing whether your actions that day are taking you closer to or further away from that intended outcome is critical to success. you must constantly pay attention, make adjustments + have the courage to drastically change your strategies + actions to make the plan work.
  • “by testing beyond endurance, man learns how to know himself” – Charles S. Houstoner

Favorite Survivor Players

1Boston Rob
2Colby Donaldson
3Coach Wade
8Richard Hatch
11Mark the Chicken