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Survivor: The Amazon – An Interview with Dave Johnsonby David Bloomberg -- 04/10/2003
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RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Dave, and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions from RealityNewsOnline. What was your strategy going into the game and how did it change when you found out that the tribes would be split by gender?
Dave Johnson: My strategy was to be as non-confrontational as possible and try to remain out of the leadership role. I had hoped that friendships built early on and later potentially won immunity challenges would propel me far into the game. The gender split added an interesting twist but didn't change my initial strategy.
RNO: You were one of the youngest members of Tambaqui. How did you wind up forming an alliance with the two oldest members rather than people closer to your own age?
Dave: The "alliance" initially had Alex also included. After Alex was picked [by Jenna in creating the new tribes], I chose the older men who I knew would not turn on me and vote me off. My thoughts were that this move would secure me a position into the merge at which point I could rekindle friendships and move in different directions if needed. The younger members like Rob I felt I could not trust.
RNO: After Jenna told you how close she and Heidi were when you were choosing the new tribes, why did you choose Heidi for Tambaqui, then choose to spare her from the boot - leaving her free to rejoin with Jenna after the merge?
Dave: I had hoped that a friendship with Heidi would lead to a new potential alliance with her and Jenna. I wanted to have a backup plan if the old Tambaqui alliance disintegrated. I didn't think that Roger would last long once in the merge and I had hoped that having as many female allies as possible would keep me in the game longer.
RNO: Roger told us last week that the guys put together a list with the order of the women to vote off before even getting to know them. Why didn't the three remaining male Tambaqui members modify this list as time went on, especially after buttering up Christy so much?
Dave: Butch's buttering of Christy was ridiculous. I think he was so engrossed, he didn't realize how overly unnecessary he was becoming. Christy's win on the balancing log in reality was much less needed than how it appeared on the show itself. I didn't realize that the list of women was so concrete. The game is dynamic. Things change quickly and frequently.
RNO: For that matter, the list Roger told me about (in order of boot: Janet, Jeanne, JoAnna, Deena, Christy, Shawna, Heidi & Jenna) seems rather skewed to keep around the younger, nicer-looking ones as long as possible. Was this "strategy" as based on looks as it seems?
Dave: I don't know why Roger based that list. I thought of it more as a suggestion than an actual plan.
RNO: Did you have any idea Rob was so resentful of you – what did you think of his comments upon watching his confessionals?
Dave: I didn't realize Rob was so resentful. I think he doesn't give himself enough credit about his looks and ability to meet women. I am sorry he feels such dislike.
RNO: It seemed apparent long before you were voted out that you were seen as a physical threat. Was it as obvious to you, and did you consider throwing a challenge or two?
Dave: I came to the game to be myself, try my best, and have a good time. I would rather win challenges and be a threat than to sit back and hope the remaining contestants would ignore me. The worst situation I can imagine is to throw challenges and then get voted out regardless. I would hate to look back and wish I would have performed better when I knew I was holding back.
RNO: Were you surprised that everyone voted against you, including even Butch and Heidi?
Dave: No. The game is individual. Everybody has their separate individual strategy on how they are going to get to the finals. I think Butch and Heidi went with the majority. It wouldn't have made a difference anyway.
RNO: Did you not realize how much Roger's attitude was affecting everybody else, or did you know about it but just figure that the original guys' alliance would hold true anyway?
Dave: I knew Roger's attitude was affecting everybody else. I thought previous connections I had with Alex, Jenna, and Heidi and relations I was building with Deena would allow me to quickly switch into a new platform quickly once Roger was removed. I assumed that I would be informed once that move was made.
RNO: What single action would you change if you had it to do over again?
Dave: Have somebody else pick the tribes and remain out of the spot light.
RNO: Thanks for your time, Dave!
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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