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“Everybody Makes Mistakes” – Reality News Online’s Interview with Survivor: South Pacific’s Coachby David Bloomberg -- 12/19/2011
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Unfortunately, when we get to the end and have so many finalists, I can’t get a one-on-one interview with each of them and have conference calls instead. Coach was not in a particularly good mood during this interview call. I don’t know if it was because of the results or he didn’t like the questions or what, but he certainly was a bit on edge, as you’ll see by some of the comments he makes. We’ll begin with the best questions, which coincidentally happen to be the ones I asked, and finish with questions asked by others on the call.
Reality News Online: After the way you were shown on your first two times on Survivor, did you feel you needed redemption? And do you feel you received it this season?
Coach: Being the grandiose guy I am… (referring to a statement Sophie had just made about him when she didn’t realize he was on the conference call line, but then he also laughed it off)… the thing is I played three times and all three times I played differently. I feel blessed to experience it all.
The first time I wanted to be the biggest character. If Sophie thinks I was grandiose now, she would’ve hated me then. The second time I wanted people to see the sensitive side. I like to do things big. This time I said I’m going to actually play the game.
Do I think I needed redemption? Survivor does not identify me. You saw Russell there that clinging to that identity. It’s a great experience, a great chapter, but I’m cool with who I am. I feel like playing redeemed me in the eyes of the audience and I connected like I never have before. I’m good with everything.
RNO: If you hold true to your religious beliefs, how could you make a mockery of praying to find the idol when you already had it, essentially meaning the whole thing was a sham?
Coach: Go back and watch that episode because you weren’t listening! [See, I told you he was on edge!] I prayed for a victory in the challenge – Brandon brought up the idol. I never prayed for the idol.
RNO: But weren’t you suggesting it?
Coach: I never prayed for it. When we found the idol, I told [Albert and Sophie] every day we need to tell people. When I saw Brandon walking around like Russell, I was glad we didn’t. We shared it – I don’t feel bad. I made mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes.
I think the prayer thing escalated – like I said yesterday [at the reunion]. I pray every day. The only difference is this time people wanted to pray in public. Brandon wanted to pray. It seems like we’re praying every single day but nobody made a mockery of it.
RNO: You are a religious man in life, but how much did you use religion in the game as opposed to going along with what you actually believe? For example, Edna told me that the tribe used religion to basically control Brandon. How do you respond to that?
Coach: The big difference in my game is that in the past I said this experience stripped you of the shackles of life; this will change your life for the better. that just pissed everybody off. This time, you got 18 people are out there for diff reasons and I wanted to be compassionate and figure why they wanted to be out there. With Brandon, he was there for his own agenda, partially to clear the Hantz name, partially to figure out who he was. Did I talk to him about the thing that connected us? Absolutely. Did I use that against him? No, but it was common ground. I did use his word against him. I made sure he promised us things we could count on. He was a loose cannon but he wasn’t going to compromise who he was.
Question: Did the jury vote surprise you?
Coach: Any fighter will tell you they go into the final round hoping to win and expecting to win. I thought it was going to be close – maybe five to four. It was tough but you look at the questions. If you had sequestered them and they weren’t allowed to talk, you get a different outcome. You look at Dawn’s question, she didn’t ask Albert and me a question, obviously how are we going to get her vote? I thought it was going to be closer but I had a feeling in my gut that Sophie won. I was disappointed but at the same time I was happy Sophie won.
Question: Was there anybody whose vote you expected but you didn’t get?
Coach: I think the three of us thought we were going to win. That was the beauty of our alliance. (Sophie jumps in to say: Exactly.) It wasn’t me, Cochran, and Edna. We all thought we had a legitimate shot to win.
It was interesting going in there. I wish it would have been more fair in terms of people not already making up their minds. I was surprised at Ozzy’s vote. I had to overcome more than anybody. I came in as a character who didn’t add any value except as TV. I think I overcame a lot and as a returning player, I would have voted for Ozzy even if I didn’t like him, but he’s a whiny little bitch. He’s going to be waiter ten years from now, I don’t think Sophie, Albert or I will be that. [Another example of him being rather on edge!]
Question: Sophie and Albert said they carried you not the other way around. What do you think of that?
Coach: I think it’s great. Everybody at that time is going to say things like that. Did Albert think he was in control of the game? Yeah. Did I? Yeah. Did Sophie? Absolutely. We all carried each other. It was good times, bad times. it was a mutually benefiting alliance. We all helped each other. All three of us helped each other.
Question: A situation that bothered people was you saying God made the decision to vote off Brandon. Was that the truth?
Coach: The jury, I think they didn’t want to hear anything. I tried to talk about the times I did make a mistake which was pretty few and far between. I entered into contracts with people and they broke those contracts and I felt I could get out of those. Ozzy lied to me so there was no chance in hell I was going to let him get to the end with us.
I told Brandon to his face, if you give up immunity, you’re going home. I prayed and said I want to do the right thing. It was sincere. I’m at peace with it. I’m a pastor and I don’t think I did anything subversive or hypocritical in my walk with God.
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