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Survivor: Worlds Apart Survivor: Worlds Apart castaway Carolyn Rivera lost out on the $1 million grand prize and finished as the runner-up during the live portion of Wednesday night's finale broadcast on CBS.

Carolyn, a 52-year-old corporate executive from Tampa, FL, lost to winner Mike Holloway, a 38-year-old oil driller from North Richland Hills, TX. Will Sims II, a 41-year-old YouTube sensation from Sherman Oaks, CA, finished in third place as a result of the 30th season's final jury voting results.

Host Jeff Probst revealed six votes during the live reunion show. One person voted for Carolyn, one person voted for Will, and four people voted for Mike. Because Jeff did not show whom the two additional votes were for, Mike likely got them. Rodney Lavoie Jr. finished in fourth place, while Sierra Dawn Thomas claimed fifth place.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Carolyn talked about her Survivor experience. Below is what she had to say.

Reality TV World: Given they only showed one vote for you and one vote for Will, everyone is assuming the ones not shown were for Mike. Did you figure that out? Was that the case?

Carolyn Rivera: I'm assuming the same thing. I mean, I really don't know who voted for who, but that's what we think.

Reality TV World: You told Jeff you were surprised you didn't get more votes. What votes did you think you had before jury questioning and how did that change -- if at all -- after hearing everyone talk?

Carolyn Rivera: I don't know if anything changed after I heard people talk. I thought I played a great game and I thought I had more votes.

Reality TV World: Okay, so you weren't sure who might be voting for you? You just figured you'd have a higher number of votes regardless?

Carolyn Rivera: Exactly.

Reality TV World: What about Shirin Oskooi? She told you right to your face she was going to be voting for you, but we saw you get one vote and it was from Sierra Dawn Thomas.

Carolyn Rivera: I don't know if Shirin did or didn't [vote for me]. I think that definitely the whole White Collar connection would have brought us together.

Reality TV World: How much of a role do you think Mike's apology to Dan Foley played in the jury voting for Mike to win? Everyone seemed extremely mad at him until that moment, so do you think Mike won people over with his sincerity there?

Carolyn Rivera: I think that his apology to Dan definitely helped. I think Dan, at that point, was not going to vote for him, and I think that definitely changed his mind.

Reality TV World: Did everyone want Mike out so badly for so long because you guys wanted your core alliance to go all the way to the end together, or did you really want him out because you thought he was truly the biggest threat and would beat you all in the end?

Carolyn Rivera: Mike was definitely a threat. He was a challenge beast, as you all saw, and when his back was up against the wall, he won every single challenge. So, yeah, he played the game hard. He played the game well, and that's why we wanted him out.

Reality TV World: You said you were very proud of the game you played and the jury seemed to really appreciate it. Looking back, what more do you think you could have done? What was the jury looking for that you didn't deliver, or, do you think you did the best job possible and people didn't give you enough credit?

Carolyn Rivera: I think that when you're going up against somebody who just won five Immunity Challenges in a row and saved himself every single week, no matter what game you played -- unless you did something like that -- you're already at a disadvantage.

I think that what I would do differently next time is really connect more deeply with the people on the jury. I think that everybody liked me, but you know, true, deep relationships might have gotten me further if, in fact, you don't win every single Immunity Challenge.

Reality TV World: You were just shy of winning $1 million and then Jeff revealed you weren't unfortunately voted into Survivor's Season 31 cast. Do you feel like you were totally robbed? After the season you had and how things played out at the end, was there almost a little bit of relief you wouldn't have to go through all of that again?

Carolyn Rivera: Oh, never a relief to not go through that again. When you're a competitor, you want to go out and take home the gold. So I think that actually being on this season until the end put me at a disadvantage. Although we had a lot of viewers watching, I think a lot of people suspected that I could win and they didn't want to waste their votes on me.

Reality TV World: I want to go back to the Final 5. Why did you vote for Sierra? I think everyone assumed that she'd be the easiest one to beat at the end next to Will.

Carolyn Rivera: Actually, I had every intention of voting [Rodney Lavoie Jr.] out that day and things just got so crazy. When I found out that every other person on the tribe was voting for Sierra, I thought it would put me out as an outcast and certainly at the bottom of that alliance if I did not vote for Sierra. So that was a difficult vote for me.

Reality TV World: Did you ever get an explanation from everyone as to why they wanted Sierra out? Since you so strongly disagreed with the choice they were making, I wonder how they came up with it.

Carolyn Rivera: I think that Mike convinced -- well Rodney was surely voting for Sierra. I think Will was kind of on the fence but probably voting for Sierra if Rodney was.

And Mike, I think, saw Sierra as the only possible threat that could beat him in a challenge. Because in those few final challenges, Sierra was kind of neck-and-neck with him in terms of who might win the challenge. So, he was thinking about that.

Reality TV World: When there was still a Final 5, whom did you envision taking to the Final 3 with you if you had the choice and why?

Carolyn Rivera: It's so interesting because I had so many different thoughts in my mind. I had an idea that I wanted to go with Mike and Sierra, and then the other two, I had something working with Will and Rodney. So, I think there were different reasons for the two different sets, but I don't know that I wanted one more than the other.

Reality TV World: Dan was a big topic of conversation during the live portion of the finale. You spent a lot of time with him, especially having been part of the majority alliance for a while. Do you believe a lot of his comments were misinterpreted and/or edited out of context, or do you think he was just in a tough spot and didn't know how to handle things once he started feeling some heat?

Carolyn Rivera: Listen, you know, people are such in a different state of mind when you're out there. Things happen. Honestly, I think Dan said things, but I don't think he meant them as malicious as maybe it sounded.

I mean, he can't really take away things that he said that were out there, but you know, your heart can be a little bit different about it, you know what I mean? It's not like it was malicious intent, I don't think.

Reality TV World: So I wanted to ask you flat out if you personally thought there was any prejudice against women while you were out there. Rodney, Will and Dan all had an issue related to that at some point this season, but it doesn't sound like you think so?

Carolyn Rivera: I did not feel like we were, you know, this season of, "Oh my God, these men are crazy." (Laughs) I thought we had a great season. I think that there are a couple of episodes where you saw some fighting, and this season should not go down as the season that was all about fighting, because that's not what it was all about.

Reality TV World: Besides yourself, were there any other former castaways in the running to compete on next season who didn't make it that surprised you?

Carolyn Rivera: As far as the "Dirty 30," no. I thought for sure that Joe was a shoo-in. Honestly, I thought I was a shoo-in. And I thought Shirin might've been the third. I definitely did not think they were going to take four of us.

Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor? How did you end up on the show?

Carolyn Rivera: I actually applied -- I've watched the show since Season 1. I've seen every episode and I applied for four years before I got on.

Check Reality TV World's Survivor page for more interviews with Season 30's Final 5 castaways.
Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 05:11 PM EST
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People News : Britt Nilsson reportedly still dating 'The Bachelorette' suitor Brady Toops after he left the show for her
The Bachelorette 10 Britt Nilsson found love on The Bachelorette after all!

Season 11's 25 suitors had to vote for Nilsson or Kaitlyn Bristowe to become the official Bachelorette on Night 1, and Nilsson lost. However, Brady Toops, who voted for Nilsson to stay, quit on Bristowe halfway through her first Rose Ceremony to follow his heart.

Toops let Bristowe down gently and then asked host Chris Harrison to help him get in touch with Nilsson because he genuinely wanted to pursue dating her. Harrison believed his sincerity, and so the second part of The Bachelorette's two-night premiere concluded with Toops heading to Nilsson's hotel to talk to her.

While viewers won't get to see how things turned out until next week's episode, Toops and Nilsson are currently dating, Us Weekly reported.

"Brady and Britt are still together," an insider told Us of the couple's romance. "They're very happy."

After meeting each other on the ABC reality dating show, Nilsson, a 28-year-old waitress and aspiring actress from Hollywood, and Toops, a 33-year-old singer and songwriter from Nashville, reportedly attended a Nashville Predators game together.

Nilsson appeared on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live this week and played coy when the host asked her about the status of her relationship with Toops. Instead of answering Kimmel's question, Nilsson teased The Bachelorette fans about how Toops had found her in her hotel room crying.

"I guess Chris Harrison felt bad about having let me go, so, he gave Brady my [hotel room number]," Nilsson explained on the talk show. "It is pretty smooth, it's very gentlemanly. I thought it was sweet... He comes to my door and I was very surprised. It will be on the show next week."

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 04:13 PM EST
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Features & Interviews : Exclusive: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' winner Mike Holloway talks (Part 1)
Survivor: Worlds Apart Survivor: Worlds Apart declared Mike Holloway the winner of its $1 million grand prize during the live portion of Wednesday night's finale broadcast on CBS.

Mike, a 38-year-old oil driller from North Richland Hills, TX, beat runner-up Carolyn Rivera, a 52-year-old corporate executive from Tampa, FL, and third-place finisher Will Sims II, a 41-year-old YouTube sensation from Sherman Oaks, CA, in the 30th season's final jury voting results, which Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed during the live broadcast.

Jeff revealed six votes during the live reunion show. One person voted for Will, one person voted for Carolyn, and four people voted for Mike. Because Jeff did not show whom the two additional votes were for, Mike likely got them. Rodney Lavoie Jr. finished in fourth place, while Sierra Dawn Thomas claimed fifth place.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Mike talked about his Survivor experience and victory. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.

Reality TV World: Some of the jury votes weren't shown. Could you confirm if those were also cast for you?

Mike Holloway: Yeah! I'll tell you whatever you want seeing it's over. It was 6-1-1.

Reality TV World: What votes did you think you had before jury questioning and how did that change -- if at all -- after hearing everyone talk at the final Tribal?

Mike Holloway: Going into the final Tribal, I was pretty sure that I could carry the vote just because I felt like I kind of had the No Collars and [Shirin Oskooi]. So, yeah, I knew that I possibly had four votes sitting there, or a good chance at four votes sitting there. So at that point, all I really need is for one person to vote for Will and one person to vote for Carolyn. Just the four votes alone would carry the day.

Reality TV World: So when Shirin told Carolyn flat out at the jury questioning she was going to vote for her, what was going on there? Because the only person who voted for Carolyn was Sierra Dawn Thomas.

Mike Holloway: That was editing. I mean, like, don't get me wrong. She did say a lot of that, or all of that stuff, and to be honest with you, I haven't re-watched the episode to have a better grip on this. Because this final Tribal is an important part of this conversation, but no, I mean, I think it was more -- and maybe it wasn't. Maybe she did just say that.

But I think it was more along the lines of a story leading us to where the story wants to take us. Yeah, obviously there was nobody in the world that [Shirin] was voting for other than me. There's no way. I mean, you listen to all of her exit interviews and everything, you know what I mean? We were really, really tight. 

Reality TV World: You told your mom you went a couple days when no one talked to you. Was that really true or an exaggeration? You really felt victimized? And therefore, is it tough to say you had a great time out there like everyone else said considering you were such an outcast for a while?

Mike Holloway: I'll tell you like this. I don't like that word. I don't like the "victimized" word. I don't like any of that. It was true. For two days, maybe even more, but I mean, I know for a fact it was over 36 hours, and I'm pretty sure it was more along the lines of 56.

But yeah, they came up with a plan that they weren't going to talk to me, so yeah, I was good for the chores around camp and I was to be seen and not heard basically.

Reality TV World: Were you afraid you'd be pulling a [Yung "Woo" Hwang] and [Tony Vlachos] by choosing to take Carolyn to the end after you won final immunity? I know you told the cameras you'd "rather lose to Carolyn than take two goats to the end," but that could've hurt -- or even ruined -- your chances of winning the $1 million when that's what you worked so hard for all season long.

Mike Holloway: Well, at the end of the day, when you lay your head down on your pillow, I think you have to be happy with the choices you've made in life. And that was -- in that moment, that was a choice that I thought through and that I thought in future tense.

I went through both scenarios of Rodney and Carolyn, and I was like, "Carolyn is what I feel like my gut and my conscience is telling me to do. If it works out, great. If it doesn't, then you know what? At least I know I can sleep at night and not have a bunch of regrets."

Reality TV World: How much of a role do you think your apology to Dan Foley played in the jury voting for you? And when thinking about Dan's vote by itself, do you think you had it before you apologized?

Mike Holloway: I definitely didn't have it. I don't know how much it swayed anybody else. But I know it meant a lot to Dan and, you know, the apology, really and truly, was for me breaking my word and not for the action -- not for the strategy of it. It was actually because I was standing right there saying, "No, I'll do it, if you guys do it."

And when I really do give people my word, it's something I don't go back on, even though I did turn it around and ultimately still bought the letter. Ultimately, we all still drew rocks for the advantage, but yeah, I'm a bad guy at that point.

Reality TV World: I was confused by something. At the final Tribal Council, you told the group your social game sucked, that the fact you sucked was your only redeeming quality. But you were Blue strong all the way until you caught Rodney and his little group turning on you and then Rodney convinced your allies you were crazy. You never lied to Dan after the auction. You also took Carolyn to the end because you promised her you would. Why not make any of those arguments? Did you just not think of them under pressure or something? 

Mike Holloway: I think I said those things in self-deprecating mode, where it was more along the lines of, "I'm giving you what you want to hear by putting myself down a little bit." And again, there are pieces that were pieced together, and there was way more to that speech than me just saying, "Well, yeah, I suck." If you're trying to plead your case for a million dollars...

Reality TV World: It probably wasn't the best thing to say. (Laughs)

Mike Holloway: Yeah, it probably was not the best thing to say. But I believe -- apparently if you make a statement like last night, check tape! Jeff Probst is going to check tape and show it to you. So, yeah, maybe I'm wrong there. But I'm pretty sure there was more to that than just that little clip.

Reality TV World: I was just waiting for someone to tell Dan that you weren't lying to him. Because besides the Survivor auction, that's why he turned his back on you. He believed Rodney's claim you threw your alliance under the bus just because you were paranoid and losing your mind.

Mike Holloway: You know, it's one of those things that with [Joe Anglim] left in the game, there had to be a new common enemy. And the next biggest physical threat was me. And I knew that they were coming whenever I got rid of Joe. But I had to get rid of Joe in order to be able to go on a run like I did, because if he's there, I don't go on that run.

And if he's there winning Immunity, at some point, these people are going to wisen up and be like, "Yo, we can get Mike, so let's get him." So yeah, that's pretty much the whole reason why Joe had to go. I loved playing with Joe. I love the kid. I hope that he does so well on [Season] 31.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Mike Holloway. Also, continue checking our Survivor page for more interviews with the season's Final 5 castaways.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 03:44 PM EST
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Features & Interviews : Exclusive: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' castaway Dan Foley talks (Part 2)
Survivor: Worlds Apart Survivor: Worlds Apart's merged Merica tribe eliminated Dan Foley, a Blue Collar player, from the game during last week's twelfth episode of the CBS reality competition's 30th season.

Dan, a 47-year-old postal worker from Gorham, ME, was the thirteenth person voted out of the game and therefore became the season's sixth jury member. His Merica tribe got him out on Night 35 at the season's thirteenth Tribal Council session.

Dan was given the boot after he played the two-vote advantage he had won at a Survivor auction and then Carolyn Rivera dropped a bomb by playing her hidden Immunity Idol. Dan voted for Carolyn and she was gunning for him, so the votes against her didn't count and he had to go.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Dan talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.

Reality TV World: What made you believe so strongly that Mike Holloway was a liar and had just become so paranoid out there in the game? Was it Rodney flipping out on Mike or was Mike's stunt at the Survivor auction in which he almost faked you guys out to get the advantage enough for you to change your mind about him?

Dan Foley: It was all about the Survivor auction. There's a difference between bluffing and lying, and it's easy to sit at home and say, "Oh, you should do this," or, "Oh, well, you should do that." But when you're out there and you're starving and you're missing your family and you're making bonds with these people -- you're making these connections.

Some people come out there and they don't make them. I'm the kind of person that, you know, I tend to make bonds with people. I tend to make friends with people or I piss you off so much that you hate me with a passion that will never subside. It's one or the other from it.

I felt like there was a real connection there with Mike and when he actually turned his back on that letter, to take that from everybody, oh no, that was way beyond pissed -- way beyond.

And, yeah, I was hurt. [Rodney Lavoie Jr.] said it best: "That was a moment where the game's on pause. Let's read our love letters." I mean, I get it, it was a good play, you know? But it was still a crappy thing to do. I said it 100,000 times and I'll say it 100,000 times more.

There's four things in this life that are earned and not given -- trust, respect, forgiveness and family. And when you wrong somebody, you're supposed to earn that forgiveness, and Mike wronged me. But he kept coming at me, telling me that I had to earn his forgiveness. And the more he said that, the more it pissed me off, because I didn't do anything to have to earn it. He did. But he never acknowledged that.

Reality TV World: Many castaways I've talked to this season had no idea Rodney was strategizing so much and had orchestrated the core alliance of himself, [Tyler Fredrickson], [Will Sims II], and Carolyn. He was also ready to flip at the drop of a dime if he needed to or wanted revenge on someone. Did you view him as a goat while you were out there? And if so, would you admit that was sort of a mistake?

Dan Foley: I didn't view Rodney as a goat, but I certainly didn't give him enough credit. And that's for damn sure. I don't know if he's a brilliant strategist per se. (Laughs) Even Tyler said it a couple times, I mean, Rodney jumped ship from us and I think Rodney was perceived as the guy you want to bring to the end.

When Rodney started doing impersonations for that episode -- when he started impersonating Mike and me -- oh, Rodney's stock value went through the roof. It went way through the roof. All of a sudden, people started to question whether it's a good idea to bring Rodney to the end or not.

Reality TV World: Because he was becoming more likeable.

Dan Foley: Yeah.

Reality TV World: So if Rodney actually made it to the Final 3, do you think he'd have a really tough time convincing the jury of any big moves he made? It seems like people wouldn't even believe he was behind some of the gameplay he had.

Dan Foley: I think that would've been an uphill battle for him because of the perception from some of the people in the game, yeah, especially the people that were already on the jury at that point. Because you've got [Joe Anglim], [Hali Ford], [Jenn Brown], and [Shirin Oskooi]. They were never a part of what Rodney had done.

And, you know, it's easy to say, "Oh, no. Rodney, I would have voted for you if you made it to the final!" But when it comes time to put the rubber to the road, would they really have voted for him? Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. But they never saw what Rodney actually did, so I don't know.

I think Rodney can be charming in his own way when he wants to be. I don't know. If he started busting out some Mike impersonations or a few other impressions he does so well, he might have actually charmed his way into a million dollars. I don't know!

Reality TV World: You were considering taking Carolyn and Will to the Final 3 at one point. What other plans were you running through your head? And were you telling ever person in your alliance you'd be taking them to the end?

Dan Foley: Well you have to. You can't just talk to one person and then talk to nobody else, because then you look like [Max Dawson] and Shirin, you know? And that's what ends up happening. So, yeah, of course you've got to run around and tell people. But I was considering all of them.

Obviously I was thinking about a Blue Collar finish with me, [Sierra Dawn Thomas] and Rodney. And I was also thinking about me, Rodney and Will. At no point was anybody considering going to the end with Mike. Nobody wanted to go to the end with him.

Reality TV World: Sierra remained loyal to you and the Blues despite having so many offers to switch things up and make big moves. What do you think of her gameplay and were you actually surprised she stuck with you guys on every vote?

Dan Foley: I'd be lying if I said I was surprised that she stuck with us. I really was. Honestly, it helped my game. It certainly got us further. I mean, she could've flipped at the mix-up, and you know, that could've been the end of us -- the end of me, Mike and Rodney. But she stuck with us.

The gameplaying that we had was solid, throwing challenges and getting rid of really strong players. That's when we got rid of [Joaquin Souberbielle], which was my idea. Sierra and Mike wanted to get rid of Joe and I convinced them otherwise. And that's when I knew that Rodney was making moves because him and Joaquin were tight.

So, all of a sudden, this whole White Collar plus Rodney was five. That's a dangerous number in this game. So, I was definitely surprised. I was grateful. But, you know, I love Sierra. I do. I love that girl with all my heart, and she played a great game in my mind. Other people may see it differently, but I think she played a great game.

To read the first half of Dan's exclusive interview with Reality TV World, click here.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 01:43 PM EST
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Casting News : 'Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance's cast of returning castaways announced
Survivor: Worlds Apart Survivor's next cast has been determined.

Survivor host Jeff Probst announced the identities of the 20 castaways -- 10 men and 10 women -- who will compete on this fall's 31st Survivor edition, which will be called  Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance, during Wednesday night's finale broadcast of Survivor: Worlds Apart.

In a Survivor first, the cast was determined entirely by online voting by home viewers, who were able to select from 32 candidates -- 16 men and 16 women from Season 1 through Season 30 -- during a two-week period which ended last night. 

In keeping with the season's "Second Chance" theme, all 32 candidates were castaways who only previously competed on Survivor once and failed to walk away as their season's winner.

"The idea of a 'Second Chance' season started brewing during our first season, the moment Kelly Wiglesworth lost to Richard Hatch, in the summer of 2000," Probst had explained earlier this month.

"Since their respective seasons ended, these players have been begging for another shot, and this is a fun way to allow our loyal fans to be involved in the creative process."

Probst revealed the voting results during Survivor: Worlds Apart's live reunion show as all 32 candidates sat in the audience with their suitcases ready to go.

The 10 men who will be returning to compete on Survivor Cambodia when it airs this fall are:

 - Jeff Varner, Survivor: The Australian Outback  (Season 2, 10th place)
 - Andrew Savage, Survivor: Pearl Islands  (Season 7, 10th place)
 - Terry Deitz, Survivor: Panama (Season 12, 3rd place)
 - Stephen Fishbach, Survivor: Tocantins (Season 18, Runner-Up)
 - Vytas Baskauskas, Survivor: Blood vs. Water (Season 27, 10th place)
 - Woo Hwang, Survivor: Cagayan (Season 28 Runner-up)
 - Spencer Bledsoe, Survivor: Cagayan (Season 28 4th place)
 - Keith Nale, Survivor: San Juan del Sur (Season 29, 4th place)
 - Jeremy Collins, Survivor: San Juan del Sur (Season 29, 10th place)
 - Joe Anglim, Survivor: Worlds Apart (Season 30, 10th place)

The 10 women who will be returning to compete on Survivor Cambodia are:

 - Kelly Wiglesworth, Survivor: Borneo (Season 1, Runner-Up)
 - Kimmi Kappenberg, Survivor: The Australian Outback  (Season 2, 12th place)
 - Peih-Gee Law, Survivor: China (Season 15, 5th place)             
 - Monica Padilla, Survivor: Samoa (Season 19, 7th place)              
 - Abi-Maria Gomes, Survivor: Philippines (Season 25, 5th place)
 - Ciera Eastin, Survivor: Blood vs. Water (Season 27, 5th place)
 - Kass McQuillen, Survivor: Cagayan (Season 28 3rd place)
 - Tasha Fox, Survivor: Cagayan (Season 28 6th place)
 - Kelley Wentworth, Survivor: San Juan del Sur (Season 29, 14th place)
 - Shirin Oskooi, Survivor: Worlds Apart (Season 30, 8th place)

Below are the identities of the six women and five men who failed to receive enough votes to compete on Survivor Cambodia. Survivor: Worlds Apart winner Mike Holloway had also been a candidate to compete on Survivor Cambodia and finished the viewer voting as one of the Top 10 men, however he became ineligible to return when his Worlds Apart victory was revealed.

 - Shane Powers, Survivor: Panama (Season 12, 5th place)
 - Jim Rice, Survivor: South Pacific (Season 23, 12th place)
 - Troyzan Robertson, Survivor: One World (Season 24, 8th place)
 - Brad Culpepper, Survivor: Blood vs. Water (Season 27, 15th place)
 - Max Dawson, Survivor: Worlds Apart (Season 30, 14th place)

 - Teresa "T-Bird" Cooper, Survivor: Africa (Season 3, 5th place)
 - Natalie Tenerelli, Survivor: Redemption Island (Season 22, 3rd place)
 - Stephanie Valencia, Survivor: Redemption Island (Season 22, 14th place)
 - Mikayla Wingle, Survivor: South Pacific (Season 23, 14th place)
 - Sabrina Thompson, Survivor: One World (Season 24, Runner-up)
 - Carolyn Rivera, Survivor: Worlds Apart (Season 30, Tied for runner-up)

Posted by: Reality TV World staff on Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 01:09 PM EST
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Show Update News : 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' crowns Mike Holloway its "Sole Survivor" winner
Survivor: Worlds Apart Survivor: Worlds Apart declared Mike Holloway the winner of its $1 million grand prize during the live portion of Wednesday night's finale broadcast on CBS from CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles, CA.

"The reason I was able to play loosely was because somebody paid the price for my sins many years ago, Jesus Christ. He allowed me to live this life and have fun, but in the game of Survivor, when your back is completely up against the wall and you know what position you're in [within] this game and the only person that you can trust is yourself, you're able to make moves that otherwise you may not have had the forethought to think of... Just go get firewood all day every day. Blue Collar, work hard. Those firewood walks were strategy talk, looking for the idol, code," Mike said during the live reunion special after his victory was announced.

Mike, a 38-year-old oil driller from North Richland Hills, TX, beat runner-up Carolyn Rivera, a 52-year-old corporate executive from Tampa, FL, and third-place finisher Will Sims II, a 41-year-old YouTube sensation from Sherman Oaks, CA, in the 30th season's final jury voting results, which Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed during the live broadcast.

"I'm pretty surprised," Carolyn told Jeff about getting as few votes as she did considering the game she had played. "I thought for sure that I would get a lot more votes. I'm very proud of how I played."

Jeff revealed six votes during the live reunion show. One person voted for Will, one person voted for Carolyn, and four people voted for Mike. Because Jeff did not show any additional votes for Carolyn or Will, it's likely Mike got the rest of them.

Rodney Lavoie Jr., a 24-year-old general contractor from Boston, MA, finished in fourth place, while Sierra Dawn Thomas, a 27-year-old barrel racer from Roy, UT, claimed fifth place.

Survivor: Worlds Apart's finale began on Night 35 right after Carolyn had played her hidden Immunity Idol to save herself. Mike couldn't believe that Carolyn's alliance proved she was on the bottom but then right when they got back to the beach, they left Mike in the dust and gathered to talk. Rodney asked why Carolyn had hid the idol from them because they were a tight alliance she should've trusted, but then she threw in their face how they had all just voted for her.

Carolyn told the cameras Mike had her back but he didn't have the numbers so she still needed her alliance. There were no more idols or advantages, so Carolyn told her group, "Game on." Mike was still the No. 1 threat left in the game in everyone's eyes.

On Day 36, the remaining castaways met with Jeff for a Reward Challenge.

Jeff instructed them to race under a net, make their way to a table, slide tiles into a target, and then use a machete to transport those tiles over a series of obstacles to the finish table, where they must sort the tiles into pairs. Three of the tiles did not match up, and those three tiles held a code to a combination that unlocked a box. The first person to unlock his or her box and raise a flag would win Reward in the form of some much needed love.

Each castaway was then surprised by a visit from a loved one. Carolyn got to see her husband and partner for over 40 years, Mike got a visit from his mom, Rodney got to see his father, Sierra got a visit from her father, and Will got reunited with his wife.

The challenge came down to Mike vs. Sierra. Mike won Reward, which was some special time with his mother Deborah in addition to an advantage in the next Individual Immunity Challenge. Mike said having his mother spend the night was the best day he could imagine.

On Day 37, Mike and his mother were led to a table where Mike's advantage awaited him. Mike had to blindfold himself and then entered a giant maze in which he had to retrieve four medallions. Mike was given 30 minutes to explore the maze guided by his loved one. When the time was up, he had to stop. Unfortunately, Deborah couldn't really find her own way through the complicated maze so it didn't help Mike much. Deborah felt awful for letting her son down, but she knew Mike would never make her feel guilty.

Later that day, the five castaways met Jeff again for an Individual Immunity Challenge.

Jeff explained each castaway had to navigate his or her way through a giant maze while blindfolded. Starting in the very center of the maze, they had to race to find four medallions in the North, South, East and West corners of the maze. There were guide posts to help them out. Once all four medallions were found, they could look for the immunity necklace.

Rodney helped Sierra and Will during the challenge when Mike had a lead with four medallions. Mike was left out as everyone helped each other.

Mike ended up winning Individual Immunity for the fourth time, guaranteeing himself a spot in the Final 4. The person voted out that night would become the season's seventh member of the jury. Mike was so happy about winning but his back was completely against the wall. He knew if he didn't win the next Immunity Challenge as well, he'd be going home without a doubt.

After the challenge, the alliance of four had to turn on each other. Carolyn didn't have her idol, so she was more nervous than ever. However, she put a Plan B. into action by using her bond with Mike to hopefully get herself into the Final 4. Carolyn talked to Mike and Sierra about getting rid of Rodney. Mike promised Carolyn he wasn't writing her name down, but he admitted it was tough to believe anyone would take him to the Final 3 since he could hear everyone helping each other in the challenge.

Sierra was desperate to work with Mike because she was terrified to go home. She told him that he could trust her because she had been loyal to the Blues throughout the game. Sierra promised 100% on her "father's love," she take out Rodney. The threesome agreed Rodney should go because they didn't want someone who was riding coattails to make it further in the game.

Mike told Rodney the girls were going after him. Rodney asked Mike to go for a walk and he was disgusted the girls were "kissing Mike's ass." Rodney told Mike the girls were faking him out and Mike acted like that wasn't news to him at all. Rodney pointed out that Sierra and Carolyn were looking all buddy-buddy but Sierra had written Carolyn's name down at the prior Tribal Council.

Rodney told Mike that Sierra had done nothing in the game and he'd have a better shot of beating him -- the "vulgar assh-le" over Sierra "the sweetheart."

The only person who came close to beating Mike in the challenges was Sierra, so Rodney assured Mike he could rally Will's vote to get her out. Rodney pitched the three guys going strong, but Mike didn't trust anyone. Mike followed his gut and tried to make the best decision for his own game, but he admitted that if he chose the wrong side, he could be making a million-dollar mistake.

At Tribal Council that night, Jeff welcomed the following jury members: Hali Ford, Joe Anglim, Jenn Brown, Shirin Oskooi, Tyler Fredrickson and Dan Foley. Dan looked disappointed and annoyed when seeing the necklace around Mike's neck again.

Mike told Jeff he was the swing vote and it was "a weird position to be in." Mike announced he could only trust himself. Rodney said he swore his vote on his sister who had passed away so he wasn't lying. Sierra insisted she's trying very hard and deserves to remain in the game. Mike told Jeff everyone's plan was to take weaker players to the end. Will said if Mike didn't win immunity again, he'd be sorry.

After the votes were cast, Jeff read them aloud: Sierra, Rodney, Sierra, and Sierra.

The first half of Survivor's two-hour finale showed that Rodney, Mike, Carolyn and Will voted for Sierra. Sierra voted for Rodney. Sierra became the fourteenth person voted out of this game.

"I've never been surrounded by people who lie as much as these people do, but if they're playing the game as me being a threat, I guess it's kind of a compliment. That's how tonight went. I gave it my best, but it wasn't enough," Sierra said following her ouster.

On Day 38, the remaining four castaways competed in another Individual Immunity Challenge.

The players had to untie knots to open a gate, race up a huge tower, retrieve a key at the top, slide down a giant waterslide, and then make their way to a multi-level obstacle course where they had to use the key to release a bag of puzzle pieces. Once they got the bag and dropped it on a table, they'd head back up. Once they collected all three of their bags, they had to use the pieces inside to solve a lighthouse puzzle.

Mike had all three bags and started working on his puzzle before anyone. Will and Carolyn seemed completely exhausted by this point. Mike's main competition appeared to be Carolyn because she had previously won two Individual Immunity Challenges.

Mike won his fifth Individual Immunity Challenge and guaranteed himself a spot at the Final 3 Tribal Council. Mike therefore received the opportunity to plead his case of why he deserved to be called "Sole Survivor" and win the $1 million grand prize. Jeff explained Mike had joined an elite group in Survivor's history for his accomplishments.

Will said the game had changed him and he hoped to show his daughter at home that when you put effort in, you can do anything. Will congratulated Mike and put the necklace around him. The castaways hugged each other and there was a real sense of comradery and pride.

"It's like being able to breathe for the first time in a long time. It doesn't mean that there's not still a lot of battle to be taken place, but at this particular point, I can still revel in it," Mike said in a confessional before doing his "happy dance."

All the castaways returned to camp arm-in-arm. Rodney joked he couldn't do puzzles. Mike didn't allow his victory to go to his head because his decision of whom to take to the end was huge. Mike escaped from the group to do some thinking. Carolyn chased after him, and Rodney said to Will that although Carolyn wanted to stay in the game so badly, she wasn't going to.

Rodney was convinced Mike would take himself and Will to the end. Mike and Rodney were both voting for Carolyn. Mike told Carolyn he wasn't voting for her because he wasn't joking when he promised her Final 3. Mike wanted it to be core Blue to the end but Dan, Sierra and Rodney all turned their backs on him. Mike questioned if it was a million-dollar mistake, but he was following his gut.

Mike asked Carolyn to vote Rodney. But Rodney and Will were going to vote Carolyn. As a result, Mike said it would go down to a fire-making challenge between herself and Rodney. Mike asked Carolyn to practice making fire and she was nervous. Mike told Carolyn she deserved to go to the end and earned her spot. Carolyn put her game face on. Rodney told Mike he could do something crazy and split the vote or they could all just relax and enjoy a nice breakfast the next morning.

Mike told Rodney he had some thinking to do because Carolyn was asking him to vote for Rodney. Rodney thought he was just trying to secure Carolyn's jury vote while Mike knew all along he was taking him to the end. Rodney said Mike thought it would be easy money. Rodney felt confident he'd end up in the Final 3.

Mike said in a confessional that if Rodney lost the fire-making challenge, it would be "poetic justice."

"Rodney thinks he's smooth-talked his way all the way into the Final 3. Maybe I am making a million-dollar wrong mistake, but I'd rather lose to 'Mama C' than be the guy who just took two goats to the end and won," Mike told the cameras.

Carolyn had trouble making fire and became discouraged. She cried to Mike but he asked her to hold her head up high and not give up.

At Tribal Council that night, once again, Dan looked furious Mike would be going to the Final 3.

Everything played out as Mike had envisioned it. Rodney and Carolyn, after each receiving two votes, were required to make fire. Rodney appeared shocked Mike didn't side with him.

Jeff explained Carolyn and Rodney had the exact same amount of supplies to build a fire and the first person to build a fire tall enough to burn through a rope and raise a flag would win. After six minutes, Carolyn's flint broke and she got another one. The same thing happened to Rodney shortly afterwards. The pair was still going at it after 21 minutes and then 45. Neither of them could even spark a single flame. Rodney ignited one but quickly lost it.

After 53 minutes, Rodney got another flame and made fire. He threw some wood in, but Carolyn got fire only seconds later. It was so close but Carolyn managed to do it and survived. Rodney therefore became the eighth and final member of the jury.

The Final 3 came down to a representative from each of the original three tribes -- a No Collar in Will, Blue Collar in Mike and White Collar in Carolyn. Rodney called Mike a "scumbag Redneck" who made him compete in a fire-starting challenge because he was a scared "little baby." Rodney was furious and said Mike would have what's coming to him. Rodney was convinced he would've won the show if he had made it to the end.

About 10 minutes after that challenge, Rodney had some nice final words.

"I came into the show as an escape -- to get away from all the problems I had back home to do with my family and my sister's death and a lot of frustration. I came out here and I found peace. I put an end to the demons of losing my sister, and it made me gain my sister back and it made me closer to my family. I won't take anything for granted because food and starvation, the simple things in life, are the best things in life," Rodney said after his elimination.

On Day 39, the three castaways reflected on their journeys and enjoyed a big breakfast.

That night, the Final 3 castaways arrived for the last Tribal Council of Survivor's 30th edition. All the jury members returned plus Sierra and Rodney.

Mike, Carolyn and Will faced the jury, who then got to address the three castaways by asking questions, praising them or stating their issues.

Joe said he was an open vote and asked everyone to earn it. Hali asked Carolyn how her "mother role" around camp might've served as a disadvantage, and Carolyn said she was so nurturing and took care of everybody that people may not have viewed her as a real player.

Rodney asked Will how he "kept it real" with everyone on the jury to solidify his position as "Sole Survivor," and Will said he had no knowledge of the game nor was he a physical threat, but he made real friendships and was always a giving person. Will said if no one respected that, it was fine, but he used what he had and he didn't get to the end with luck.

Rodney asked Carolyn what moves she had made. Carolyn explained she got out Tyler and then Dan. Carolyn said once her alliance cast votes for her and betrayed her, she hooked up with Mike as a backup plan because she was always ready and prepared.

Tyler told Mike that he pretty much put every person on the jury in one way or another, so he asked him how he could redeem himself when thinking of a social strategy or aspect to his gameplay. Mike said he wanted to do better socially than he did but clearly failed miserable at that. Mike said his only redeeming quality was that he sucked and maybe wasn't as genuine as he thought.

Tyler told Carolyn he was "heartbroken and gutted" because he had protected Carolyn. She apologized and said it was her most difficult vote. Carolyn noted it pained her and she didn't feel good about and she had to make moves she wouldn't be proud of so she wouldn't end up on the jury.

Sierra asked Will which trait he'd take from the other two players if he could. Will said he liked Mike's work ethic but disliked his approach because he should have led by example. Will liked how Carolyn analyzed things before putting them into motion. Jenn had "no qualms" with anyone and then talked to the jury calling them "bitter and angry" at people who played better than them.

Jenn yelled at the jury saying Mike did everything he could strategically to stay in the game because he didn't have another choice. Jenn said Mike outwitted, outplayed and outlasted while the other two might've done only one of those things. Jenn suggested following the rules of Survivor and if they were super fans, they'd vote for the deserving person.

Dan was up next and didn't want to have to follow Jenn. Dan shook his head at Mike and said he didn't care about the jury and all he cared about was making it to the end. Dan said he better care about them that night because there was no necklace to save him.

Mike told Dan his biggest regret in the game was losing his trust at the Survivor auction, and Mike apologized for that. Mike wanted to be friends with Dan in the future and later said during the reunion show he regretted going back on his word to Dan at the auction, but from a game standpoint, it was horrible strategy not to take the advantage.

Dan told Mike that was the most genuine thing he's said since the auction because he had danced and dodged around what happened up until that point. Dan was hopeful they could mend their fences and then congratulated the Final 3. Shirin spoke next and called out Will for verbally abusing her again. She also called Mike her protector, saying he had saved her and was a genuine friend and real human being.

However, Shirin acknowledged her vote was going to the person who played the best game, and that person was Carolyn. Shirin told the jury Carolyn was like a stingray in that she'd destroy anything that threatened her but she'd do it silently while hidden. Mike, on the other hand, was loud and boisterous about moves he was making. Shirin also pointed out Carolyn was on the winning side of every vote, which was a unique distinction. Shirin called Will a dead fish they dragged in with a net.

When votes were being cast, Sierra was shown voting for Carolyn, Jenn was shown voting for Mike, and Rodney was shown voting for Will.

In Survivor's live reunion special, the cast revealed if Rodney had made it to the end with Mike and Will, he would've received three votes but still lost to Mike. Dan admitted to saying things in poor taste and it was not always the editing that took his offensive comments about women out of context. Shirin also revealed Will apologized to her for verbally assaulting her but only after he got flack from the Survivor audience. Will offered her another true, genuine apology after her complaint.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 03:14 AM EST
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Features & Interviews : Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' runner-up couple Jenny Wu and Jelani Roy dish on the season
The Amazing Race 26 The Amazing Race's blind-dating couple Jenny Wu and Jelani Roy finished the 26th season in the runner-up spot during Friday night's finale on CBS.

Jenny and Jelani crossed the finish line in second place after winners Laura Pierson and Tyler Adams, who also met on the show for the wildest blind date of their lives. Laura and Tyler won the $1 million grand prize on the twelfth and final leg after conquering five continents, eight countries and more than 35,000 miles.

Jenny and Jelani didn't find love on the show but admitted to finding a lifelong, wonderful friend in each other.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Jenny and Jelani talked about their experience on The Amazing Race. Below is what they had to say.

Reality TV World: How long after Laura and Tyler did you arrive at the finish line?

Jelani Roy: Not too much behind them. It was pretty close. I'd say, like, the 10-15 minute range. It was pretty close.

Reality TV World: Are you two happy that Laura and Tyler won? They seemed to rub a lot of teams the wrong way.

Jelani Roy: Honestly, we got along pretty well with them throughout the Race. They were super cool. You don't always get what you deserve, but you can definitely deserve what you get. And they had a good Race, so I can't complain. I'm super happy for them. They performed really well... They definitely deserved it... so, I'm totally happy for them.

Jenny Wu: Yeah, I agree with Jelani. Of course, you know, I think I would've been a lot happier if Jelani and I had won, (laughs) but I think, you know, in that leg, the final leg, Laura and Tyler just ran a better leg than us and they were, you know, amazing Racers at the very end.

So, I think if it wasn't us, then I'm happy it was them. Because from the very beginning, us two teams were like, "Okay, we're going to be going to the finals together. It's going to be us in the finals -- Top 3, Top 3," and we kept saying that from the very first leg. So yeah, for sure, not us, than definitely them. We respect them a lot.

Jelani Roy: We thought we'd be on top, but hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Jenny Wu: Yeah.

Reality TV World: I was going to ask you if you had hope heading to the finish line that you could come in first place or if you were pretty certain Laura and Tyler were ahead of you.

Jenny Wu: You know what? We always looked at it as, like, anything can happen. And even when we were getting to the taxi heading to the [Pit Stop], at that point, we didn't know how far it was.

And so even though we knew they were 10-15 minutes ahead of us, we were like, "Anything can happen." And yeah, for sure, and we were still pleading with our taxi driver, like, "Please, go as quickly as you can! Hurry, hurry, hurry! So much is at stake!"

And we were running, like, our hearts out until we actually saw them at the finish line with [Phil Keoghan]. At that point, Jelani and I, I think we still totally hoped that we could still get there before them.

Jelani Roy: Exactly. You never know what could happen. You could get lost on the way there and not know the exact distance from where the mat was to the last challenge. Anything could happen, so we were like, "Alright, if the other team does something wrong, we could be right there."

Reality TV World: How difficult was that final memory task? Did you do a lot of guessing on the numbers like Laura and Tyler had? And how long did it take you to complete it?

Jelani Roy: No, we were really good with the lock. We got the lock open [quickly] because we knew the numbers and so that was fine. Actually, we were pretty good with the selfies but we obviously didn't take as many selfies as the other teams. But we really only made one or two mistakes in the order, and then rearranging them was difficult, so that's where we lost time.

Jenny Wu: And I think Tyler was really the "King of Selfies" on the Race and took a lot of selfies at a lot of different locations versus Jelani and I.

Most of our selfies were in airports or in the back of cabs, so it was definitely a bit more challenging to determine the location when all of them sort of have similar backgrounds. We tried to figure it out based on the outfits we were wearing. It was like, "Oh, hmm, I think I wore this outfit in Namibia," and things like that.
Reality TV World: How long did it take you to complete the final memory task?

Jenny Wu: Oh my God, when you're there, you're just focused on the task and you lose all track of time, so I have no idea.

Reality TV World: What's your relationship like now? Are you good enough friends that you hang out and talk all the time or what happened after the show?

Jelani Roy: Yeah, totally. We're still good friends. We just, I mean, Jenny was here in New York for the finale. Laura and Tyler hosted a viewing finale party for all of us, which was pretty cool. So we hung out. And the last time I was in LA, we hung out and watched an episode together. So yeah, we talk and hang out. We're still really close.

Jenny Wu: Yeah. We make an effort to communicate through text and phone calls, and every time Jelani is in LA, we hang out. If I'm in New York, we hang out. In fact, right after the Race, about a week after, I was in New York and he was the first person -- and really the only person -- I wanted to see.

We went to his friend's party together and we had dinner together, and this bond with Jelani, it's a lifetime bond. It's unbreakable because we shared an amazing, amazing [experience].

Jelani Roy: Yeah, how many people do you get to race around the world with?!

Jenny Wu: I know.

Jelani Roy: It's pretty crazy what we shared, and it's stuff that only me and her know. And the finish that we had, it was a great time.

Reality TV World: You two worked really well together and finished the Race in second place. But were you disappointed at all that you didn't have feelings for each other? What was your main motivation for going on the show and therefore was not finding love a bit of a letdown?

Jenny Wu: My primary motivation was to race around the world, to be on The Amazing Race and to face my fears and challenge myself in new ways. And I think, through the Race, I got to accomplish all of that, so it's incredible. And even though Jelani and I didn't find love, I found a new friend. That in itself was definitely worth being on the show.

Jelani Roy: Exactly. That in itself is invaluable and obviously anything else is like an [extra] benefit. But the main goal was to win and race around the world and I've been wanting to do this show since high school. I've been watching since then.

Reality TV World: Jenny, when I talked to Matt Cucolo and Ashley Gordon earlier in the season, Matt had told me he sort of had an issue with you, that he thought the Race turned you into something different from how you seemed off-camera. How did you guys feel about that team and what are your thoughts on what Matt told me? Is that a surprise to you?

Jenny Wu: I think, for me, I am someone who is very, very focused, so when the cameras are on and we're racing, for me, the only thing I can think about is the Race and completing the challenge. So I definitely turned into "Serious Jenny" and "Super, Super Focused Jenny." So, I'm not surprised he would say that.

But for me, I just see it as, "This is The Amazing Race and this is my one shot to do this, so I'm just going to put my all into it." It's not that I wanted that to come across as unfriendly or anything, but really, it's like when I'm racing, I have tunnel vision. All I can see is completing the challenges and stuff.

But off-camera, Matt and Ashley, we were having a great time together. I loved everybody on the show and we all have great relationships with each other. But it's sort of like, when you're racing, that's business, you know? And for me, I didn't mess around. I was focused. So yeah.

Reality TV World: You discovered each other's strengths and weaknesses as the Race went on. How do you feel you complemented each other as teammates? Clearly you worked well together.

Jelani Roy: I think Jenny just hit it on the nose right there, you know, how she would always be so focused and she has that "Type A" personality. But that's a great contrast for me because she's just so diligent and always kept us going.

She'd maintain our focus on just trying to win and trying to put ourselves in the best position in each leg. That really complemented me, because sometimes I can have a light-hearted approach and be a little more laid-back.

So she kept us on the grind, and I think for her, I helped her to sit back, soak it in and enjoy it a little bit more. I helped her to calm down, relax, take it all in and keep going. I think we complemented each other well in that way.

Jenny Wu: Yeah for sure. I think Jelani was the perfect partner. At the finish line, Phil asked me, "Are you happy you ran this Race with Jelani?" And I was like, "Yeah, I can't imagine being on The Amazing Race with anybody BUT Jelani," because our personalities really did complement each other -- even though we have similarities like our background of being lawyers and things like that.

Other traits like me being very, very intense and him being able to mellow me out, like, "Hey, let's chill, everything's good." Him being so calm, calmed me down. That just really helped with the Race because that is like -- even though I was able to keep my edge, Jelani was able to bring us back a little bit and just keep calm and focus as well. So I think it worked really, really well for us.

Reality TV World: If you two were to race again like on an all-stars season, what do you think you could do to better prepare for it? Was there anything looking back you think you should have done differently to better your chances of winning?

Jelani Roy: Just little things, like my bag was too big. Watching it on TV, I was like, "Come on, what were you doing!?" So I would pack less. But nothing else really in particular. You just learn from the experience. It's just so important -- and they say it all the time -- to read the clues and pay attention to that.

Being careful about reading the clues and focusing on that, that's one thing. But in particular, outside of that, in order to prepare, nothing on the top of my head.

Jenny Wu: I think as lawyers, we overanalyze situations. So, I mean, if we were to ever do it again, sometimes we just had to -- like if there was an obvious solution or the obvious choice, go with the obvious and not overanalyze certain things.

Jelani Roy: Yes, definitely. I'd agree with that.

Reality TV World: The three teams to finish in first, second and third were all blind-dating couples. What does that tell you? Would you go as far as to say the blind dates had an advantage over the pre-existing couples?

Jelani Roy: We've been asked that and I just happen to think the six individuals on those blind-date teams were really strong and they were paired together. That was probably part of making the pairings, they were looking to find matches, and part of it was just randomness.

I don't think there's an inherent advantage in being a blind-date couple. Maybe there is, but this was obvious a small sample size to test that theory. But I don't think so.

Jenny Wu: I think, in the beginning, the fact we were strangers helped us out, because we wanted to put our best face forward. But I think towards the end, as we got more and more comfortable and we got to know each other more, I don't think that was necessarily true anymore. And I agree with Jelani, I just think the blind daters happen to be very strong individuals.

Reality TV World: Jelani, how long did that football Roadblock task take you to complete?

Jelani Roy: Oh my God, it felt like forever! It felt like all four quarters. (Laughs) I don't know how long it took me exactly, but I know it took me like five or six attempts. So, I don't know. I got there a little late and, yeah, I think it was five or six attempts. So it was not too long, but it certainly felt like forever. My grandma called me to remind me of that the other day. (Laughs)

Reality TV World: What was the biggest challenge you guys had to overcome -- when it came to either a task or working together -- and what came especially easy to you?

Jenny Wu: Honestly, I don't think we really faced any issues or any of the challenges. We didn't even think about using our Express Pass until the eighth leg when we basically had to use it. I think we worked pretty well on Detours together and on the individual Roadblocks.

In terms of something we were really struggling with, I think for myself, the most challenging part was probably Bangkok, because I think that's when I realized I need to learn how to communicate with Jelani in a more constructive way and not lose my temper and let the frustration of the moment and the situation get to me.

So, I think for me, the Bangkok leg was definitely the most frustrating and the most challenging for me, and being able to learn from my mistakes and how I acted on that leg and apply it to the rest of the Race.

Check Reality TV World's The Amazing Race page for more interviews with the season's Final 4 teams.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 05:35 PM EST
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'Dancing with the Stars' pro Val Chmerkovskiy: Rumer Willis created a lot of firsts for me this season
Dancing with the Stars 20 Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy couldn't be happier after being crowned Dancing with the Stars champions.

"It's incredible. I never thought in a million years that I would be capable of doing anything like that, and this whole experience and being able to be partnered with Val has shown me that anyone is capable of doing anything. You just have to have the willingness to go out and try it," Rumer said during a Wednesday Good Morning America appearance.

Dancing with the Stars' twentieth season was Val's fourth time making it into the finals but his first time winning the coveted mirrorball trophy. His victory followed his older brother Maksim Chmerkovskiy's win with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis two seasons ago.

Val confessed Rumer's personality, drive and heart were the main reasons why he was finally able to win the reality dancing competition.

"The first time I met her, there was such a sense of gratitude in her eyes and everything that she did and everything that she said to me. She was just so excited to do the show. I asked her the first meeting, I was like, 'Really? Are you sure? This is going to be tough,'" Val said on GMA.

"[And she was] just so genuinely enthusiastic for the process that she told me, 'Man, I just want to learn how to dance and hopefully make new friends, and that's all I want.' Ten weeks later, we've got a trophy and it just feels amazing."

Val tried his hardest to make for a memorable, enjoyable journey for Rumer. Towards the end of the competition, when he worried he was working Rumer too hard and taking the fun out of the process for her, he cried with regret.

"This season was the first time for a lot of things for me, and like I said, she made me feel comfortable enough to open up and be myself and not be so guarded. I have to thank her for it. She's a beautiful person," Val noted.

"The best part of this show for me was always being able to share the stage with my brother, and you know, I'm so grateful to Rumer for the opportunity to now share the common bond of being Dancing with the Stars champions together. It means a lot to my family... Just to share the stage with people I love means the world to me."

Rumer also gained a more positive opinion of herself throughout the season, having dealt with a lot of bullying and self-esteem issues in her past.

"I think one of the most incredible things about this whole show and being on the show is the incredible response I got from people about sharing my story, and that's who this mirrorball is for, honestly, is for everyone who ever felt like they weren't good enough or felt like they couldn't accomplish something, because you can," Rumer said.

"And even if you don't feel like you're beautiful every day or you feel like you look right, you could do something. If you just work hard and put your whole heart into it, you totally can."

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 04:08 PM EST
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'The Bachelorette' host: Britt Nilsson left with respect and dignity, Kaitlyn Bristowe can be her own worst enemy
The Bachelorette 10 The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison has opened up about Night 2 of Season 11 and what surprised him amidst all the chaos.

Harrison wasn't looking forward to having to tell Nilsson the guys had voted her out of the house because it "dashed her hopes" of being the Bachelorette.

"Britt was supremely confident, and I think her brief time with the guys had only bolstered that confidence. I could tell when I told her the news that she felt like a rug had been pulled out from under her. I truly think she was caught off guard," Harrison wrote in his Yahoo TV blog.

In the beginning, Harrison said both ladies were realistic about the chance things may not work out for them.

"They were careful not to let their mind wander too far down the road. But as the night went on, both of them couldn't help but let their heart and mind go there," he said.

"It wasn't fun having to tell Britt she wasn't the one, and even tougher to have to walk her out and literally show her the door. I felt she handled it like a lady with the upmost respect and dignity.

After letting Nilsson down gently, Harrison gave Bristowe the amazing news she'll be the season's only Bachelorette.

"Her reaction was priceless and incredibly genuine. I thought it was sweet and very telling of the type of woman Kaitlyn is that she didn't really know how to feel or act. On one hand she was extremely excited, but on the other she felt bad for Britt," Harrison wrote in the blog.

"We only showed her mentioning Britt one or two times on the show but she probably asked me about Britt about five different times. At one point she made me tell her exactly how it went down and how Britt reacted. Britt and Kaitlyn are very different people, but they are both sweet, caring women."

Because Season 11 started out with two Bachelorettes, Bristowe had to decide how to handle the guys who had voted for Nilsson to stay on the show instead. She could've gotten jealous and just eliminated those suitors immediately.

"Kaitlyn was well aware of this fact and she really appreciated guys like Jared who admitted they voted for Britt but that they really wanted to stay and get to know her," Harrison explained.

"It's a dynamic no other Bachelorette has ever had to deal with, and Kaitlyn is to be commended for how she dealt with it. Overall, I really like how vulnerable, open and honest Kaitlyn is. It's going to make for a fun, entertaining season for all of us. You can also probably tell Kaitlyn isn't shy about showing her affection with the guys."

But "all might not be lost for Britt," according to the host.

Brady Toops asked to talk to Bristowe mid-Rose Ceremony. While many of the guys thought he was trying to sneak in some extra time to secure a rose, Toops was actually dumping her. Toops said his heart was with Nilsson and so he wanted to leave to track her down.

"[Brady] was absolutely crestfallen when Britt was sent home and he'd been down about it all night. I wasn't surprised when he pulled Kaitlyn aside and let her know he was going home. I was a little surprised when he asked to talk to me to see if he could possibly find out where Britt was staying," Harrison said.

"Brady wanted to know if there was any way possible if he could see Britt again and find out if there was truly a connection between them. I thought Brady was sincere, so we made the arrangements and sent him over to see Britt. You saw the knock on the door, and next week you'll see more of how that moment played out."

As for how the rest of the season will play out, Harrison promises a "wild, emotional ride" with "lots of twists and turns." One of those surprises will be Andi Dorfman's ex-boyfriend Nick Viall, who lost her heart to winner Josh Murray in The Bachelorette's tenth season.

"Kaitlyn is an open, emotional woman, and at times, she can really be her own worst enemy. This is a good group of guys, but you might have noticed there's one more guy that will be joining the ranks that nobody saw coming," Harrison said.

"Nick... will be joining the group vying for Kaitlyn's attention. As you can imagine, this doesn't sit very well with the other guys. I can't wait for you all of you to get into this season, there's so much to talk about."

Harrison also warned fans that next week, when the romantic dates begin, there will be an "explosive ending like nothing you have ever seen on this show before."

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 02:35 PM EST
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Show Update News : 'The Bachelorette' star Kaitlyn Bristowe sends four guys packing, Brady Toops quits to find Britt Nilsson
The Bachelorette 10 The Bachelorette declared Kaitlyn Bristowe its Season 11 star, saw one guy quit to chase after eliminated Bachelorette Britt Nilsson, and eliminated four suitors during Tuesday night's broadcast.

After host Chris Harrison announced Kaitlyn is the official Bachelorette, Brady <SPAN class=st>Toops, a 33-year-old singer and songwriter from Nashville, TN, quit the show to pursue Britt because he thought they had made a real connection.

During the season's first Rose Ceremony, Kaitlyn ousted Bradley, a 25-year-old international auto shipper from Atlanta, GA; David, a 28-year-old real estate agent from Orlando, FL; Josh, a 27-year-old law student and exotic dancer from Chicago, IL; and Shawn E., a 31-year-old amateur sex coach from Ontario, Canada.

The second part of The Bachelorette's two-night premiere began with Chris revealing to Britt the majority of the men in the mansion had voted for Kaitlyn to become the season's only Bachelorette.

Britt tried to hold the tears back and just kept repeating "wow" because she was obviously shocked. Britt was extremely disappointed because she had met some amazing guys and wanted it really bad. However, Britt was still thankful to have been a part of the process.

"I didn't see that coming at all. I want to be a wife and a mom more than anything in the world and I feel like meeting men who are also looking for that and feeling that connection was such a -- I'm still grateful for the experience, but I almost wish I hadn't met them, because that makes it a lot harder to walk away from it," Britt said after being eliminated.

"I'm just so confused and tired and I feel alone. I don't know how many times you have to put your heart out there, and I've never held anything back. What can I do differently? I had a lot of love to give and I do. And I know that I will when the time is right. I just thought it was now."

Chris Harrison then went up to Kaitlyn and shared the same news without any excitement in his voice. She nervously asked him, "Why the long face?" Chris called her the Bachelorette and Kaitlyn was so excited she cried. She asked if Britt handled the situation okay, and Chris assured her that Britt was sad but fine.

"The rest of this journey is about you hopefully finding love," Chris Harrison told an ecstatic Kaitlyn, adding that she'd still have a Rose Ceremony that night and be required to send men home.

Kaitlyn told the cameras it was the best moment of her life. Chris Harrison gave Kaitlyn a moment alone before revealing herself to the men and she called her mom, who sounded absolutely thrilled for her on the phone. Her mom advised Kaitlyn to go talk to her future son-in-law, and Kaitlyn said she had the best group of guys.

Afterward, Kaitlyn entered the mansion and the guys cheered and clapped. She announced that the man she was going to spend forever with was probably in that room.

Shawn B., a 28-year-old personal trainer from Windsor Locks, CT, was so happy Kaitlyn became the Bachelorette, as was Justin, a 28-year-old fitness trainer from Naperville, IL, and Ian, a 28-year-old executive recruiter from Los Angeles, CA.

Joshua, a 31-year-old industrial welder from Kuna, ID, sat down with Kaitlyn and gave her a rose he had welded out of steel. Kaitlyn found the gesture "so hot," especially because that meant Joshua was masculine and good with his hands.

Chris Harrison then brought out the first impression rose. Kaitlyn thought all the guys were so different and great in their own ways.

There were a few guys who had voted for Britt and were a little upset about Kaitlyn being the Bachelorette.

David; Jonathan, a 33-year-old automotive spokesman, Detroit, MI; and Tony, a 35-year-old healer from St. Louis, MO, tried to connect with Kaitlyn, but just like Tony had said, their hearts resonated with Britt -- and her leaving hurt them.

Brady was especially taken aback by Britt's elimination and he didn't know what to do with all the emotions he was feeling.

Jared, a 26-year-old restaurant manager from Warwick, RI, admitted to Kaitlyn he had voted for Britt but wanted to stay and give any potential romantic relationship between them a chance. Kaitlyn actually appreciated his honesty, and it made her realize she needed to figure out who was really there for her still and who was there for the right reasons.

JJ -- a 32-year-old former investment banker from Denver, CO, who has a three-year-old daughter, originally established a connection with Britt but felt he owed it to himself to get to know Kaitlyn. She told him that she'd take him more seriously than the others because he has a child. JJ said talking to Kaitlyn reset how he felt about things.

Kaitlyn told JJ she was really into him and he shouldn't be afraid of that. She said he topped the charts in her mind.

Kaitlyn then talked to Chris, a 28-year-old dentist from Nashville, TN, and she called him "really cute." Chris, who came off mild and very sweet, actually went in for a kiss when he thought no one was watching at an opportune time, and Kaitlyn later joked he had moves and wheels.

Clint, a 27-year-old architectural engineer from Chicago, IL, saw Kaitlyn and Chris kiss as well as a couple other guys.

Kaitlyn told the cameras she wiped the slate clean and started fresh with all the guys regardless of whether they had preferred Britt.

Kaitlyn decided to give her first impression rose to Shawn B. because she believed they had an amazing connection, she found him really attractive, and she couldn't wait to go on a date with him. Shawn B. confessed he was "crushing on" her "really hard."

Kaitlyn and Shawn B. then kissed for the first time and she said it was like a first kiss in elementary school because she had butterflies. Shawn B. told the Bachelorette he hadn't been so happy in a long time.

The season's first Rose Ceremony then commenced and Kaitlyn gave roses to Chris; Joshua; Ben H., a 26-year-old software salesman from Denver, CO; Joe, a 28-year-old insurance agent from Columbia, KY; Kupah, a 32-year-old entrepreneur from Boston, MA; and Ryan B., a 32-year-old realtor from Wellington, FL.

Kaitlyn also handed a rose to JJ; Justin; Ian; Jonathan; Jared; Corey, a 30-year-old investment banker from New York, NY; Cory, a 35-year-old residential developer from Pearland, TX; Daniel, a 28-year-old fashion designer from Nashville, TN; Ben Z., a 26-year-old fitness coach from San Jose, CA; and Tanner, a 28-year-old auto finance manager from Kansas City, MO.

In the middle of the Rose Ceremony, Brady interrupted the process and stepped down to talk to Kaitlyn.

Brady said things had been really hard for him because, although he was "so impressed" with Kaitlyn "on so many levels," his heart was with Britt. Brady therefore decided to leave and go find Britt, which Chris Harrison promised to help him with. Brady said in a confessional the risk of finding true love was worth it.

Kaitlyn appreciated Brady's honesty but hoped the guys would stick around and give her a chance. She thought some of the guys wouldn't want to leave if they just took the time to get to know her better.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 11:17 AM EST
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Show Update News : 'Dancing with the Stars' crowns Rumer Willis and professional partner Val Chmerkovskiy champions
Dancing with the Stars 20 Dancing with the Stars has crowned its first champions to ever walk away with a golden mirrorball trophy.

Actress Rumer Willis and her professional partner Val Chmerkovskiy, who has made it to the finals a total of four times and finally won, were declared Dancing with the Stars' twentieth-season ballroom champions during Tuesday night's live finale&nbsp;results show on ABC.

"It's amazing. Honestly, you guys, this has been the most incredible experience of my life. I know I've said it a bunch of times up here, but I could never, ever dream of not having done this, and I'm so unbelievably grateful for it," Rumer said after dancing her final performance of the season with Val.

Rumer and Val hugged each other and were hoisted up onto their fellow contestants' shoulders. The pair celebrated onstage as Rumer's family screamed with excitement in the audience and chaos ensued.

Rumer and Val were revealed to be Dancing with the Stars champions based on the combination of the judges' scores they had received over the course of Monday and Tuesday night's three rounds of competition and their share of the home viewer votes that were cast immediately following Monday night's final performance show.

R5 frontman Riker Lynch and his pro partner Allison Holker finished in second place. Allison just joined the show last season and was eliminated in ninth place, so this was a huge leap forward for her.

"The whole experience has been unbelievable. The friend I have made in Allison is so unbelievable, and the time we spent together, there's so many great memories and so many laughs. It was such a great experience I'll never forget," Riker said after learning the results.

U.S. Army veteran Noah Galloway and his pro partner Sharna Burgess claimed third place. This marked Sharna's first time making it to the finals.

"The way everyone's acted [inspired me]. I thought three weeks at the most I'd be here and I made it to third place, and I'm so happy with that. And it's because of all the support from everyone who loved what Sharna and I were doing. Even everyone here, when I had a bad rehearsal or a bad dance, everyone would get behind me and be like, 'Hey, keep pushing through.' And I've loved every minute of that," Noah said after discovering he had placed third.

Rumer and Val tied for first place on the combined two-night judges' leaderboard with Riker and Allison after both couples received a total perfect score of 120 out of 120 points for their three dance routines from Dancing with the Stars judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli.

Noah and Sharna finished in third place on the combined two-night leaderboard with 108 total points.

Tuesday night's finale featured the Top 3 couples each performing one last quickly-rehearsed "24-hour Fusion" routine, which combined two different styles of ballroom dance into one complicated number. The challenge completed each couple's scores from the judges for the finals.

Rumer and Val and Riker and Allison each earned a perfect score of 40 out of 40 points from the judges. Rumer and Val took the stage with a foxtrot and paso doble fusion routine, while Riker and Allison danced a salsa and quickstep fusion. Noah and Sharna danced a cha cha and Argentine tango fusion which received 36 points.

During Monday night's broadcast, the Top 3 finalists and their respective partners danced in two rounds of competition in which they gave an encore performance of&nbsp;an old routine the celebrities loved and wanted to improve upon as well as the fan-favorite freestyle.

For a more detailed description of each couple's scores and routines from Monday night's performance show, click here.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 03:25 AM EST
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'The Voice' crowns Sawyer Fredericks eighth-season champion
The Voice (Season 8) The Voice has determined its newest winner.

The Voice crowned Sawyer Fredericks its eighth-season champion during Tuesday night's live broadcast of the NBC reality singing competition's finale.

"Sawyer Fredericks, you won! Team Pharrell wins this season of The Voice," The Voice host Carson Daly announced at the conclusion of the two-hour broadcast.

Fredericks, 16, won after he received the most home viewer votes following Monday night's final performance show, which had also featured finalists Joshua Davis, Koryn Hawthorne and Meghan Linsey competing.

Fredericks' victory also marked the first win for The Voice coach Pharrell Williams.

In addition to Fredericks, Hawthorne had also been a member of Williams' team.&nbsp; Hawthorne finished in fourth place.

Davis, a member of The Voice coach Adam Levine's team, finished in third place.

Linsey, who had been mentored by The Voice coach Blake Shelton, finished as the competition's runner-up.

Posted by: Reality TV World staff on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 12:26 AM EST
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People News : 'The Bachelorette's drunk and inappropriate suitor Ryan McDill is Nikki Ferrell's ex-boyfriend!
The Bachelorette 10 Ryan McDill, who got the boot from The Bachelorette's eleventh-season premiere for being too drunk and disrespecting both Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson, already had romantic ties to someone in The Bachelor family prior to appearing on the show.

McDill --&nbsp;a 27-year-old junkyard specialist who pulled Nilsson's hair, yelled at other suitors and slapped Bristowe's butt on Monday night's broadcast&nbsp;-- previously dated The Bachelor's eighteenth-season winner Nikki Ferrell, Us Weekly reported.

McDill and Ferrell, 28, met in Missouri and began dating in July 2012. They stayed together for about a year before they split in 2013 and then the nurse left home to compete on Juan Pablo Galavis' edition of The Bachelor. Galavis gave Ferrell his final rose&nbsp;at the end of the show, but he didn't propose to her nor did he&nbsp;even say, "I love you."

In March 2014, McDill&nbsp;conducted an interview with Star magazine in which he slammed Galavis.

"Juan Pablo doesn't care about you at all. He's a total zero, and if you've really fallen for him, this bum will only break your heart! I watched the show against my better judgement, only because Nikki was on it, of course," McDill had told the magazine.

"Juan Pablo, he has nothing going on, other than being handsome. He's dull, has no personality, is a terrible listener, is totally self-centered, and doesn't seem to be too bright. I know Nikki as well as anyone, and it would be a huge mistake for her to get wrapped up in this loser. She was absolutely ready to settle down, but I wasn't quite there. And I think it'll be deja vu for her with Juan Pablo."

McDill continued, "We've both moved on, but we still talk, and a part of me will always love her. If Juan Pablo ever did anything to really hurt Nikki, I would waffle-stomp his ass!"

McDill ended up being right for the most part, as Ferrell and Galavis broke up this past October because they weren't on the same page in their relationship. Ferrell always wanted more from Galavis.&nbsp;

Following Monday night's premiere, Ferrell tweeted support for bachelors&nbsp;Shawn B. and Tanner without even mentioning her ex-boyfriend's wild, inappropriate antics.

Ferrell's best friend Andi Dorfman, on the other hand, made fun of McDill by saying he'll never get another date again. Dorfman also gave host Chris Harrison a shout out for "taking care of business."

The second part of The Bachelorette's eleventh-season premiere will air Tuesday night on ABC.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 03:55 PM EST
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Features & Interviews : 'American Idol' runner-up Clark Beckham: I'm in a relationship
American Idol 14 Clark Beckham finished American Idol's fourteenth season as the runner-up, losing to Nick Fradiani.

Nick, a 29-year-old musician from Guilford, CT, received more home viewer votes than Clark, a 22-year-old street performer from Whitehouse, TN, from the final performance show.

Clark was known throughout the competition from singing his soulful, bluesy and jazzy songs he felt best represented him despite criticism from mentor Scott Borchetta and suggestions from the judges. He stayed true to himself and was praised for having fantastic vocals week to week.

During a recent conference call with reporters, Clark talked about his experience on the show and what's next for him. Below is the concluding portion of Clark's interview. To read more, click here and here.

How has being a musician impacted your dating life up until this point in your life?&nbsp; Even though there's no one now, but previously, how has that impacted your dating life?

Clark Beckham:&nbsp; Great question.&nbsp; I've never really thought about it.&nbsp; A personal question, and I don't mind that at all.&nbsp; Thank you for asking it.&nbsp; Obviously I guess it's the initial -- and it can be an attractive thing -- "Oh, cool, he's a musician, that's cool."&nbsp; And that could be an initial attraction.&nbsp;

But sometimes I had someone that I was dating and she was worried, she was like, "I'm afraid that you're going to choose music ahead of me.&nbsp; I'm afraid that music's going to be a bigger part of your life than I am."&nbsp; And it's hard.&nbsp;

It's an interesting balance that I never thought about, but music really is -- and I don't know if this is weird to say or what -- but it's just the reality, it's just how I feel.&nbsp; Music really is, it's like I'm in a relationship with her, "her" being music.&nbsp; I'm just obsessed with it.&nbsp;

This is weird, as I'm referring to music as a "her," but just follow me with it.&nbsp; If we can be cliche and I guess romantic here, I really am in love with her and I can't imagine a life without music.&nbsp; And sometimes I guess maybe that, it can either get in the way of other relationships.&nbsp;

But I really believe with all my heart that when it is right, when I do have the right person in my life in that way, that it won't be conflicting, that it will elevate, that it will help.&nbsp; And I guess I'm waiting for that to happen, for the right person.

Tell me a little bit about what you want your sound to be and what your album will be like.

Clark Beckham:&nbsp; Yes, it's hard to articulate in words, I guess.&nbsp; The best way I can do it is sit down with you, me on guitar and play some original stuff for you and talk you through that way.&nbsp; But pop just stands for popular music, and also AC, like adult contemporary, like John Mayer stuff, that's where I see myself going.&nbsp;

I also see myself going along the trail that Bruno Mars, he's been like a trailblazer in this new, "Uptown Funk" and this new type of music that's wildly successful and people love it.&nbsp; I think I'll make music that's not Bruno Mars, but it's absolutely along that path that he's made.&nbsp;

Also, Robin Thicke is a soul man.&nbsp; He's a great R&amp;B singer in the current day.&nbsp; So, Robin Thicke, John Mayer, someone who doesn't -- really, what genre is John Mayer?&nbsp; John Mayer's genre is John Mayer.&nbsp; It's just the music that comes out of him, people love it because it's good music.&nbsp;

That's what I hope to do when I make music.&nbsp; But I guess Robin Thicke, John Mayer, Bruno Mars, and of course I could probably name countless others.&nbsp; That's the kind of vibe I'm wanting, current popular music but with heavy R&amp;B influences.

Of all the things you've learned on the show and all the advice you've gotten, can you share with me something technical that you will now take forward to implement into your style of music?

Clark Beckham:&nbsp; Sure.&nbsp; Vocally, I've learned that TV music is hard because you sing into the mic and then typically in an artist's career they have two ways of being heard.&nbsp; They have when you're on tour and you're playing for people in concerts and you're going through a sound system, and that's coming out through big speakers live, right there, and that's what you hear.&nbsp;

Or, you have a song come out on the radio, in a recording studio, when you have recording equipment and you produce it, and put reverb on it, and you're in a studio, and you have the best sound come out and produced that way, and mastered, and all that stuff.&nbsp;

Then TV, it's like the live thing, but the audio goes through and goes into the board, it's compressed, and then it shoots up into a satellite, and then it's compressed there, and shoots back down and goes out to everybody's TVs.&nbsp; So, you get a different sound.&nbsp;

It's much, much, much less forgiving, so every note that's just barely sharp, or barely flat, is very obvious in those situations on TV, because of that compression.&nbsp; And then it's compressed again into YouTube, when people go back to watch the YouTube videos, and then they watch it in 360P and a low quality possibly through their phone speakers.&nbsp;

So, it's quite a different sound when it goes through all of those filters and it's compressed and compressed, and listened to that way.&nbsp; So, really I've learned to just, I think, to really be conscious of pitch even more than I ever have.&nbsp; I think that's something that I've been able to get better at.

You mentioned all of your faith and your changes in your style of singing.&nbsp; Quickly, how have you transformed as an artist being on American Idol?

Clark Beckham:&nbsp; I think I've transformed because I think I sing, instead of what [Keith Urban] said on the show to me, I think I sing more in the moment.&nbsp; I think I'm able to get more into the song emotionally.&nbsp; It's really, really, really difficult to get deep into a song in a vulnerable place where you find yourself.

I can get in that moment when I'm by myself in my room just playing guitar, just me and the walls, no one around, but then you have to get in that place on national television for a 90 second song, with cameras, with the judges, with the lights, with the cameras, with fog, and the stage.

And a lot of times in the show, when we just found out that, we made it through and we're running up on stage, and the music starts and then you're singing.&nbsp; So, that is extremely, extremely difficult.&nbsp;

But I have to say after this 10 month process that's been for me, because I auditioned in July, last July, in this whole process, that's something that I've been able to do better is get into the music and get into character, if you will, of the song and do that more effectively.

During the final performance show, you sang "Ain't No Sunshine," and I think we saw you blushing when Jennifer Lopez asked you who you were singing for.&nbsp; I was just curious if that performance was for anyone special?

Clark Beckham:&nbsp; Yes, I remember her asking that, and I was like, "Oh Lord, please do not ask that."&nbsp; But it's interesting because no, there's no one that I was singing that specifically to, and there's no one in my life in that way, in a romantic way.&nbsp;

But it's funny because everyone is like, "Oh, who are singing to?&nbsp; Do you have someone?"&nbsp; The song's about the person being gone, so I don't think it relates to if there someone in my life right now, because I guess maybe it is appropriate because there is no one and the song's about her not being there.&nbsp;

So, I guess no one specific, no, but I just tried my best and I think I was really able to get into that heartbreak and really deliver that.&nbsp; But, no, there was no one specific that I was thinking of.

Any closing remarks, Clark?

Clark Beckham:&nbsp; Just, thank you, guys.&nbsp; I'm glad I got to talk to you all.&nbsp; Again, ultimately I'm very proud of the performances that I've done on the show, and I don't regret a single note that ever came out of me, whether it's on my guitar, piano, or my voice, or any word I said, or anything I ever said on the show.&nbsp;

I think I depicted myself accurately as an artist and what kind of music I love and want to make, and I'm staying true to myself on the show, and I plan on doing that for music's sake.&nbsp; Again, I just thank all you guys for being here and asking me these questions and keeping me thinking.&nbsp; I'm just very appreciative and grateful.&nbsp;

To read the rest of Clark's post-American Idol interview, click here and here.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 02:03 PM EST
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Features & Interviews : 'American Idol' winner Nick Fradiani: I will put my input into everything going forward
American Idol 14 Nick Fradiani won American Idol's fourteenth season after defeating Clark Beckham.

Nick, a 29-year-old musician from Guilford, CT, closed out the finale with an encore of his new single "Beautiful Life." He beat out Clark, a 22-year-old street performer from Whitehouse, TN, for the win after receiving the majority of home viewer votes cast immediately following the season's last performance show.

Nick has been signed to Big Machine Records and is beginning his journey into stardom with the help of this season's mentor Scott Borchetta.

During a recent conference call with reporters, Nick talked about his experience on the show and what's next for him. Below is the concluding portion of his interview. Click here and here to read more.

Is that where you did your student teaching?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, I student taught at East Haven High School.&nbsp; I got my Master's at the University of New Haven, and I coached at North Haven High School and East Haven High School as well.

So the only thing you have left if you wanted to be a teacher is to do more student teaching?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, I didn't actually student teach.&nbsp; What it was, UNH had a program where I went to school at night and I interned at the high school for a year, and that paid for my schooling.&nbsp; So, all I have left is the eight weeks or so of student teaching.&nbsp; I still have to do that.

Other than being excited to sing your own music, which is really great, is there anything else that you've been thinking that you're looking forward to doing on tour, or part of it?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, I'm looking to collaborate with some of these Top 5 people, because we're sitting around in the dressing rooms, we're always messing around with our guitars and pianos and whatnot, and so probably to do some duets with Jax, or whoever, Clark, [Rayvon Owen], [Tyanna Jones], I think that's going to be really cool.

Throughout your whole journey, what's the one piece of advice from the judges that you got that you'll take with you that you think helped you the most?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; I think all of the judges said it at one point, just trying to get me to break out of my comfort zone and just let loose out there.&nbsp; I just needed to get my confidence up, and once that happened it took off, so probably that, just let loose, man.&nbsp; That's what they kept telling me, just break open.

Have you and Scott Borchetta actually sat down yet and had any discussions about your album?&nbsp; In some interviews he said that he could see you maybe even going down a country route.

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, we had discussed that at one point.&nbsp; I think that might be, maybe in a couple of years it could be an option.&nbsp; But I think the direction that the single is, is the direction that I'm going to go into, which I'm happy.&nbsp;

It's where I'm most comfortable at, but we haven't really sat down yet.&nbsp; We're going to be doing that in the next couple days, where I'm going to really be able to put my input in on everything.&nbsp; I'm really looking forward to it.&nbsp; The artistic side of it and the songwriting aspect is what really excites me.&nbsp; I can't wait.

You're hoping to bring along your band with you.&nbsp; Would you maybe be fronting a band, or would your bandmates just come along and play?

Nick Fradiani: Yes.&nbsp; Once you win American Idol, I'm going to be putting out an album as Nick Fradiani.&nbsp; But the music I play needs a band, and it's not like I'm going to be singing to backtracks.&nbsp;

Nick and Ryan, they've been with me for the last four years and we've been through a lot, and without them, I wouldn't have been in this situation at all, and they're ready.&nbsp; We were ready as a band and it just so happened that this happened instead.&nbsp;

I'm really hoping that those two could join me on this ride and the record label could maybe fill the bass and whatever else needs to be used, or piano, or whatever --although we have a bass player too that could maybe come with us.&nbsp; But anyway, I'm just really hoping that they can play with me because they're my best buds and they're ready for it.

With all the advice and all the experience that you had on Idol, was there something new about yourself as an artist you learned that you didn't know before?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, I guess overall I didn't know that I could perform at a high level.&nbsp; I knew I could just sit behind a guitar and play with my band right next to me, but towards the end, I started to learn I could really move around, not that I could dance or anything, but that I could work a stage and get the crowd involved and feel really at home as a front man.&nbsp;

It felt good to know that I could do that.&nbsp; Scott was really working on getting that out of me, and it finally started happening towards the end there.

Well, now that you've had this experience and you have this amazing future ahead of you, how do you think this newfound success will impact your relationships and dating?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Being in music has always made it difficult to have relationships, especially when I'd be traveling a lot, so I'm sure it will make things more difficult, but I try not to look for those things.&nbsp; Hopefully the right thing just happens, and that would be pretty cool.

I'm sure you'll probably put romantic relationships on hold to focus on your career.

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Right.

But if you had to pick three important qualities in a partner, what would they be?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Three important qualities.&nbsp; Humor, I like to laugh and have fun, so I'd say somebody that's funny, somebody I can trust, and somebody that I can just be myself around.

Family is so important, and you and your dad have such a unique relationship.&nbsp; Tell us a little bit about that, and what did he say to you when you were crowned the "American Idol" this year?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, me and my dad have a really cool relationship.&nbsp; He's my buddy.&nbsp; We had this music connection since I was a little kid, so it's been something really special.&nbsp; It was really cool being able to see him after I won.&nbsp; I don't even remember what he said.&nbsp; He was crying.&nbsp; It was an emotional moment there.&nbsp; I'm just so happy that we got to share that together.

Scott Borchetta was an amazing addition to the show this year, such talent from him as a mentor.&nbsp; He said at the beginning that Taylor Swift, whom he's connected with, has that double threat of a singer/songwriter and you have that same thing.&nbsp; What kind of advice has he given you or one of the guest mentors throughout the season that you feel has been really valuable?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, Scott was so helpful throughout the whole season with me.&nbsp; We had a good rapport and we worked well together.&nbsp; He just has given me non-stop advice that really helped me to win this season, for sure.&nbsp;

In terms of one mentor, I think Florida Georgia Line actually helped a lot.&nbsp; They wanted me to own who I am and just rock the stage, and that was when I thought I finally broke loose, was in their mentoring session -- when I sang a Katy Perry song, actually.&nbsp; They were like, "Dude, you've just go to rock the stage, be yourself, and let loose," and that's what I did.&nbsp; And ever since then it went well.

You mentioned earlier in the conversation that you wanted to be the regular guy with the guitar who sings songs.&nbsp; I noticed that the wardrobe they gave you, almost every week and almost every song, you were wearing jeans and a T-shirt.&nbsp; And I'm wondering, did you intentionally choose those kind of clothes to project that kind of image, or were the clothes chosen for you?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; No, I got to pretty much choose what I wore.&nbsp; They would just give me a rack with all stuff.&nbsp; I just felt comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt, and that's all I wanted to do is feel comfortable up there.&nbsp; And as long as the wardrobe signed off on it, I was good to go, so it all worked out.

Was it like that for every contestant, because everyone had this image they were projecting that was reflected in the clothes they wore?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, we all got to pick what we wanted to wear.&nbsp; They went out, and they looked at what we were wearing and they just kind of got nicer stuff, to be honest with you.&nbsp; I would wear $10 T-shirts, and then they were giving me $100 T-shirts.&nbsp;

Nick, any final remarks?

Nick Fradiani:&nbsp; Yes, guys, I just want to, one, just thank you guys, all of you for taking the time to talk with me.&nbsp; I really appreciate it.&nbsp; Yes, hopefully I'll see some of you guys out on the tour, and to please check out the single, "Beautiful Life."&nbsp;

I'm really proud of it, really excited for it, and I think if it could take off it could really help boost my career here.&nbsp; I'm looking forward to you guys hearing this first album.&nbsp; I hope you guys will end up liking it.&nbsp; Thank you.

To read the rest of Nick's post-American Idol interview, click here and here.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 12:54 PM EST
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