Travis and Presley, The Winner of The Greatest American Dog Season 1

Among the twelve hopefuls, Travis with his dog, Presley were declared as the overall winner of the new reality competition program, Greatest American Dog.

The Dog Owner

“Originally from Perry, Oklahoma, Travis grew up with all kinds of animals, including dogs (specifically pointers). He received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications and Public Relations (with a minor in theater) from Oklahoma State University.”

“After college, he moved to Los Angeles where he currently works as a bartender while pursuing an acting career. He describes himself as funny, tough, competitive and sensitive. He says that both he and his dog, Presley, play hard and sleep hard. He is not a fan of dogs in clothing/costumes.”

The Dog

“Presley (a sixteen-month-old pure bred boxer who weighs 53 pounds) loves to play non-stop and his best tricks involve visual commands. Travis describes Presley as hyper, intelligent, affectionate, ultra-friendly and playful. He knows how to shake, stay, heel, lay, back up, kiss and play keep-away on command.”

About Greatest American Dog

Debuted on July 10, 2008, Greatest American Dog brings twelve extraordinary teams of dogs and owners in one compound and will compete against each other in several challenges. Each week, the three judges namely Victoria Stilwell, Allan Reznik and Wendy Diamond will expel one dog and their owner.

Travis and Presley, even though they were at the bottom three for three consecutive meetings, were still the last team standing at the end of the race and receives $250,000 and the title, THE GREATEST AMERICAN DOG.

Other than Travis and Presley, my personal bets were Ron and Tillman and Laura and Preston.

Information courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 49: Too Easy for Russel

Last week (episode 12), John took the fall. The series of events were evident. I knew it would happen. John’s playing style was great but his strategies were all over the place. It seems like he needed to pause for a while and rearrange his plans in the correct positions.

Jeff Probst wrote a lengthy blog post about this episode and he was totally right. John committed three HUGE mistakes:

1) ” John made was in making a deal with the one guy you simply cannot trust – Russell. Russell is nothing if not consistent and he is consistently untrustworthy.”

2) “Russell used John like a mercenary. By convincing John to switch sides, he got what he needed which was another Galu member voted out.”

3) “The biggest moment of the auction was John deciding to not share the apple pie with the rest of the tribe…

Whenever you are given a selfish vs. selfless choice, you ALWAYS choose the selfless option. Always, always, always. Survivor is a social game. John could have used that pie to buy a lot of good will from a lot of people…”

Perhaps, John already knew he was going to Ponderosa that night. Whatever happens, either he would win the immunity or not, everybody would still gun for him.

In some cases, it’s a nice move for John to not share his pie to anyone. That was a selfish game, yes, but he went home not really in an empty stomach. Haha.

Jaison on the Rise

One of the stand-out character in this episode twelve was Jaison. His strategy was growing. It was nearly like he was not only relying on Russel’s plot. When Jaison bought that “advantage clue” during the auction challenge, he started turning the tables on his side.

And that paid off. Jaison outlasted Dave during the immunity “don’t-let-the-rope-slip” challenge.

“I was so happy to see the advantage pay off for Jaison. Not because I’m rooting for him but because I respect big moves. Spending all of his money for one advantage was a big move.” Jeff Probst wrote.

All Too Easy for Russel!

Episode 13 was without any doubt the best episode to date, next to the MERGE where Erik was blindsided.

As expected, Evil Russel’s social game was still on. Evil Russel was not stopping. Evil Russel, the brilliant strategist. Evil Russel was invincible. All things were very easy for Evil Russel. If you put it in tennis terminologies, Evil Russel was like the greatest all-court player to play SURVIVOR and luckily, that made this season even more exciting.

Russel was in a rough position when he played his first immunity during the merge. He was paranoid that time and that was understandable. However, Russel went back on track and tried his very best to correct his errors the next episode and the next and the next.

SURVIVOR SAMOA is all bout Russel although he can’t be in the finals. No matter how wicked his plans are, this millionaire plays a strategic social and competitive game everybody must look up to.

I wonder, is there anyone out there who can stop Russel? After this episode, there are only six of them remaining (Mick, Jaison, Natali, Shambo, Brett and Russel). Anyone?

Brett, The Only Remaining Galu in Aiga

I thought Shambo would win this week’s “bowling” Immunity Challenge. She already got the fire, the drive and the experience to hit those pins unexpectedly, Shambo came short in the final round and for this, Jaison won immunity again.

The Foa Foa Four + Shambo ousted Dave. That was predictable. I expected it.

However, the episode was not yet finished.

There’s still an Immunity Challenge. As what Jeff Probst said: “Nobody ever said all challenges would be created equal. If there is one consistent element of Survivor challenges it’s that they’re typically not things you can practice at home. When’s the last time anybody…. had to jump on a board to launch a bag into a basket 12 feet in the air.”

Brett jumped his way to win the Immunity Challenge. That was his first and his way of answering all the “Brett Who?” comments circulating around the web. Brett for the win, anyone?

For Monica, she could not anymore flirt to survive another day.

Monica’s strategy to piss Russel off did not do anything good. It was the biggest mistake on her part and I was wondering why she did it.

I was sure there still a way to escape the cut but as I see it, Monica somehow chose to waste her chances.

For that, Brett was the only remaining Galu in Aiga. Shambo is now a part of Foa Foa. But don’t lose hope, Brett has still his chances. Brett can survive. He only needs to hit the right buttons to survive and be with the right people in Aiga (perhaps, with Mick, Jaison or Natalie).

But unexpected things can happen. Brett was the only one left in my Dark Horses and Wild Cards Bets and I’ll still root for him.

On the Next Episode

Survivor Insights 48: Aras Sings Well!

Aras Baskauskas was one of my first-impression-pick to win Mark Burnett’s SURVIVOR. At the time of the taping (Survivor Panama Exile Islands), Aras became the second youngest male winner of the reality-competition program.

After SURVIVOR, Aras became the CEO of TundraGear, continued to teach yoga in Santa Monica and surprisingly embraced the world of singing and guitar-playing. Posted below is his first music video entitled “Silence” and first time listening to it, it was good. The lyrics speak a lot and Aras digs deep to unfold the real emotions for this song. He claims he likes Norah Jones that’s why, he’s into slow and acoustic type of genre.

“I really can’t say what genre my music fits. Thats not because my music is so unique that it doesn’t fit into any box. Rather, its simply because I don’t know too much about genres,” Aras said.

“The subject matter of my songs is highly personal, and even painful but, making the music has been effortless and cathartic. Music has given me that gift to finally allow myself to feel all those emotions I’d never given myself permission to feel before.”

I was hoping the girl in the video was Danielle DiLorenzo, his runner-up during the competition but that’s not Danielle, her name is Karina Deyko.

Born and bred in Santa Monica, the maternal grandson of T.V royalty Macdonald Carey and having played college basketball, Aras says an epiphany while tossing up whether to play basketball professionally in Europe changed his life forever.

You can catch Aras other songs in MySpace. Song producers must look onto this and give this sole survivor a large bite in the commercial world. With powerful lines like “Keep running in circles” and “You thought your heart was a weakness,” Aras proves one thing. He sings well!

Survivor Insights 47: Galu’s Self-Destruction Continues

What gone wrong with Galu?

They started this game as the front runners. They only lose one immunity challenge. Their teamwork, their confidence and their urge to win was all high even after they need to let go of Russel S, their leader.

However, things went crazy during the first three tribal councils as Aiga. Ousting Erik was understandable. Erik was a threat, physically and mentally and that sole reason alone, Erik was blindside and became the first member of the jury.

The next Tribal Council as Aiga was totally a surprise. Galu unanimously voted for Evil Russel. They thought Russel was no longer in possession of the hidden immunity idol but Russel’s time was not finished. He played the idol again and for that Foa Foa votes were counted and Kelly took the cut instead.

Episode 10: The hidden immunity idol was back in Aiga’s camp once again. Dave and Laura tried to stop Russel H but nothing happened. Russel overpowered them and this…

Evil Russel and the Hidden Immuty for the Third Time

“THREE IDOLS!  Come on.  You have to give him some credit.  Check that, a lot of credit.  We’ve had hidden immunity idols for a long time now and up until this season nobody has ever thought to just start looking for them, with or without a clue.  Russell was so on top of his game that he gave us Producers a run for our money.  We were as shocked as you are that he continued to find them before anybody else.” Jeff Probst wrote in his blog.

Moving forward, Mick won the immunity challenge outplayed Jaison and Brett. That means, the remaining Galu could only gun for Natalie or Jaison.

At Tribal Council, the votes were tied at 5-5 for Natalie and Laura. However, things went crazy for Laura and John voted for her after the tie.

And Shambo was glad. I could not understand why former Galu allowed themselves to blindside one of their own (Erik and Laura) when they would have voted for Shambo. Erik and Laura were true to Galu while Shambo did not like her tribe from the beginning. Clearly, she has trust issues with anyone in Galu.

Too late for a change though. Shambo belonged to Russel H now, her (60-40) loyalty was in Foa Foa. It’s Foa Foa 4 + Shambo against the original Galu (John, Monica, Brett, Dave).

Trust Issues

“Galu actually had a very solid idea.  It took some doing, but Galu actually game up with a good plan.  Convince Foa Foa they are taking out another one of their own – John.  In fact, Monica did a very good job of working Foa Foa trying to convince them the vote was for John.  Trusting anybody is tough on Survivor, but in terms of pure performance, she did a great job of justifying why she would not vote for Laura but would vote for John.”

Jeff was very correct in this part. Monica was already flirting her way to success and if you ask me, I was confused why she sided with Mick and Jaison and gunned for John. She could have convinced John to oust Mick or Jaison but I don’t think that will happen. John was threatened by Monica’s persuasive skills.

If you remembered, John wanted Monica out during the merge. It was supposed to be Monica sitting in the jury’s box, not Erik, right? To make the story short, there was a broken-trust-issue between Monica and John that’s why Monica sided with Mick and Jaison.

John: Going Up or Down?

“But John’s no dummy.  Getting even one vote at tribal council is never a good thing.  Getting four votes is way too risky.  It suddenly becomes too easy for someone to “change their mind” and just vote you out.”

This tenth episode was for John. His game plan was on. He was taking risks and that’s unbelievable. This is what SURVIVOR is all about, right? The only downfall is; what John did this episode gave me a feeling that next week, another Galu member will still take the fall.

As I see it, the John-Russel-deal will not work at all. Of all the people in Aiga, why John chose to make a deal with Russel H? The man was already in the most powerful position and if he felt threatened by John, Russel can instantly thrash him off.

John’s only hope was probably to win an immunity necklace next week or perhaps, something else not yet seen will happen?