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Survivor: Thailand - Interview With Ted Rogersby David Bloomberg -- 12/27/2002
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Ted Rogers, Jr., came in fifth on Survivor: Thailand and was well-liked by most viewers despite being somewhat of a lightning rod for two of the most controversial moments on the show. I was given the opportunity to interview him and ask him about these and various other parts of the show:
RealityNewsOnline: Hello! I guess we'll just jump right into the questions. Did you have a strategy entering the game? If so, what was it?
Ted: Absolutely - luckily for me, my strategy was strong and successful, though it didn't take me to the end - it weathered the storm. The first part was to adapt. Whatever the situation brought about, I was going to adapt by playing low-key and aligning myself with strongest people on the tribe. I initially tried to ally with Brian because I knew we were the strongest two in the tribe. But I didn't 100% rely on that. If that wavered, I had planned to try to ally with somebody else to go further.
Part two was that I knew I brought to the game mounds of leadership experience and wanted to be a silent leader - setting the vision, mission, and tone of Chuay Gahn tribe. This enabled us to get to where we wanted. I looked at myself as the CEO of Chuay Gahn where Brian was the president.
RNO: Hindsight being 20/20, how would you have altered your strategy?
Ted: The only thing I would have changed is near the end, when I relied too heavily on Helen brokering the deal with Jan and left it in her hands to take care of that. I wish I would have gone to Jan and let her see the logic of she, Helen, and I in the final three rather than Clay.
RNO: When I spoke to Helen, she indicated that Jan was not really able to have a discussion about strategy. Did you have same experience with Jan as Helen did?
Ted: I never talked strategy with Jan at all. I didn't think she was emotionally stable enough to handle strategy talks - I thought she might break at the seams and maybe tell others our strategy. She was not strong enough to handle the pressure. So I chose not to talk strategy with Jan. I relied on Helen to talk strategy with Jan because I knew she was closer to her.
RNO: Did you feel you were represented accurately on the show?
Ted: Absolutely 100% yes. The only thing I wish wouldn't have happened was that I wish the show were longer than an hour so we could see more than 40 minutes of a three-day timeframe. A lot was not shown, but what was was 100% accurate.
RNO: What was your favorite non-televised moment?
Ted: Good question. One of my favorite was all the singing around the campfire that we did - we did a lot. We also got to know about and listened to family stories that all the contestants had. That was one of my favorites. Another that really sticks out was time that Brian and I went hiking in search of water. We were climbing up the mountain but everything was jagged rocks - real treacherous. The fact that we did it together and were successful - and were also able to lose the cameraman, which was an accomplishment in itself.
RNO: When you actually got to see the shows, what surprised you the most?
Ted: The thing that surprised me the most was some of the comments made behind my back. The confessionals were impressive and showed different characteristics of people that were not seen during the time of game. Brian portrayed himself as a very nice individual who I thought could be trusted (though I knew he couldn't at a certain point in the game), but he didn't seem so cold and calculating as he was in the confessionals.
RNO: Moving on to a topic you knew I had to ask about, when I talked to Helen she indicated that you had approached her and asked her if Clay had made a racist comment. Why did you ask about that?
Ted: We were basically, prior to that, talking in general about racism for some reason. No particular reason. And I think that conversation came up because Helen was surprised that I was so close to Clay. I said I wasn't close to him but I was cordial to everybody. I don't judge a person by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. We got on the subject of racism and in that conversation, basically out of blue, I asked her that question. To my surprise - because I was not expecting her to say yes - she did say yes. And it really really ruffled my feathers. I really detest racist people. I tried to find out what he said but she wouldn't say specifically. I respected that and at that point of the game didn't think she was making it up. There was no reason for her to make that story up. She described an event where she walked up on this as it happened. So I wanted to make sure that Clay knew I knew.
Another thing is that I noticed Clay harbored a lot of hate - not racist hate, but just general hate of some people who may have done him wrong in the past. So I was like, you should move on, not harbor a lot of hate.
[Later in the conversation, Ted came back to this again.] About the racist statement - I want to clear something up. I was really leery about mentioning it. I didn't want anybody to feel this was an angry black man trying to play the race card because he lost. That was not my intention at all. I only did this because I despise racist people and I wanted Clay to know that I knew those remarks were made and I wanted him to know how I feel about racists.1 2 Next-->
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