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Being a Threat Is the Best Reason to Go: An Interview with Survivor’s Burtonby David Bloomberg -- 10/24/2003
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Burton had tried to set up Christa by convincing Drake to throw an immunity challenge. Instead, he ended up as the first Drake member to take that long walk out of Tribal Council. RealityNewsOnline had a chance to ask him some questions about his time on the show, why he wanted to throw the challenge, what he thought about how others behaved, and much more!
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Burton, and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions from Reality News Online! Let's start at the beginning of the show and move forward from there. Did you know that Rupert had "pirated" items from the Morgan tribe at the village and what did you think about it?
Burton: In the village, Rupert told a couple of us that he had already gone into pirate mode and stolen some of their shoes. My first reaction was that we should give the shoes back since those are personal items taken into the game that are meant to be "off limits" to the others versus shared items you are given or acquire in the game. Then, it was so hectic, that I really did not care since Rupert would have gotten into trouble if there was a problem.
RNO: You and Shawn seemed to take charge early, which led to some feelings of alienation among your fellows. Were you aware of these feelings and did you do anything to address them?
Burton: There were a lot of things that we had to get done right away in camp and in the village so Shawn and I started talking about that and got our thoughts organized so we could accomplish what we wanted to in a well thought out manner. If we would have waited for anyone else but Rupert to take charge and do something, we would still be waiting. The fact that we are both leaders and logical thinkers made this come naturally. We knew we did not want to be seen as leaders in the camp, but someone had to step up or we would have looked like the Morgan tribe, so we got things done. We did not know others would feel alienated and to be honest, that seems ridiculous to me after watching the show (many people were immature or insecure which we did not know, and that seems to be the reason for some of their feelings). Had we have known or if people just said something, we could have addressed it, but instead they just complained off camera.
RNO: Do you think that if you would have flown under the radar a bit more, you'd have been better off?
Burton: My plan was to fly under the radar, but that is not easy and that is not how I am in daily life. From a leadership role, I did not want to be "the" leader, but naturally I was going to be a leader in the tribe. If anyone stood out as a leader, it was Rupert and we were happy to have that. From a physical standpoint, I could not hide who I was, and in order to make sure we won, I had to go all out in the challenges so there was no holding back. Likewise, only a few of us could get the really big logs we needed for the fire, so it was obvious that some were much stronger than others.
RNO: What did you do to prepare for Survivor – did you watch old shows, study strategy, etc.? – and what was your strategy coming in?
Burton: I began reading survival books, but soon realized they all said the same things and I had basically learned all of that information when I was in the process of earning my Eagle Scout badge in Boy Scouts. I also realized that if you look at past contestants, you don't even need survival skills to do well in the game. I then started studying past Survivor shows and reading game theory and strategy books as well as books on group/team dynamics. My strategy was to try not to stand out, good or bad, and contribute to the tribe while getting to know the other players. I pretty much did that, but since we had won so many challenges, I was definitely seen as a huge threat to others right away – especially when it came to swimming challenges.
RNO: Why is it you never went on looting missions but instead the tribe always sent a woman?
Burton: I did not want to go on the first two looting missions because I thought the Morgan tribe would be really upset with whoever went and in the long run it would not be a good thing. By the third looting, I was hoping to go and told everyone that I wanted to go, but they sent Trish instead. I wanted to take advantage of the time to get to know the other tribe in order to form alliances later in the game.
RNO: What led up to your suggestion that Drake should throw a challenge – was Christa really THAT bad that you felt you needed to get rid of her right then and there?
Burton: Christa, for no reason, would start stirring things up. It was pretty annoying when things were going well that she would start antagonizing people and start a fight, and it was not how I wanted to continue the game. Additionally, I knew she'd be a wild card later on and probably go after me, so she was a good one to get off for my strategy. Others thought it was a good idea also, and even though they voted against me, Rupert and Trish agreed that Christa should go.1 2 Next-->
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