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“It Definitely Took a Toll on My Body”: An Interview with Survivor: Exile Island’s Bruceby David Bloomberg -- 04/24/2006
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Bruce became a favorite contestant of many viewers this season, and it was sad to see him carried out of the game on a stretcher. In this interview with RealityNewsOnline, he tells us what the diagnosis was and how he’s doing now. Also, why did he make decisions the way he did in the game? Read on to find out!
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Bruce, and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for RealityNewsOnline’s readers. First and foremost, I hope you’re okay and have not had any lasting effects from your illness. What was the diagnosis?
Bruce: Since my systems shut down, my colon was backed up and put pressure on my urinary tract, resulting in excruciating pain. I had over a quart of urine backed up, which could have had fatal results if the toxins were not removed.
RNO: How long did it take you to recover – and are you back to your old self now?
Bruce: I was in the hospital for three nights and I think that in another month, I will be back to myself physically. I feel good but it definitely took a toll on my body.
RNO: Is there any indication that your illness could have been caused by drinking water filtered through fabric rather than boiled, as you did earlier in the game?
Bruce: No, I think it was just food blockage. I think it was eating too much food too fast (from the Panamanian Village Feast).
RNO: Moving to the game, what was your original strategy and how did it change as the days passed?
Bruce: I wanted to come in like a Mr.“Miagi” (quiet wise old man) who gives suggestions at the right time when needed based on my experience with students. However, when I was sent to Exile Island (not once but twice) and then returned to the game, I had to let everyone know how valuable I was because I had no other alternatives because everyone had already made their alliances and I came into the game late.
RNO: It seemed that for quite a while, there was a basic lack of respect among some members of Casaya – did you feel that way and how would you describe some of your cohorts like Courtney and Shane?
Bruce: In the beginning, some of the members were rude to me from when I came off Exile Island and I did feel like I was disrespected for several days. I was never included on the strategy of the Casaya tribe or how the voting was going to go during the first Tribal Council.
I didn’t know that Shane was coming off a three-pack-a-day cigarette addiction and 30 shots of espresso and so his unpredictable explosive personality caught me off guard; so I had to be cautious around him in the beginning. Once I got used to him and he calmed down, I did respect him for the way he was playing his game.
Courtney gave me the feeling that she didn’t like me and you could see how she voted against me on the last challenge. Though insecure, I know she had a big heart and a free spirit.
RNO: Just before the merge, you seemed to feel almost like an outcast in your tribe. After the merge, you had a chance to jump ship and chose to stand with Casaya. Why did you make that decision?
Bruce: I always did feel like I was the outcast on the Casaya Tribe and I had a tremendous respect for La Mina but now at the merge, we were going for individual immunity and I knew I would have a much more difficult time competing against them because they were tremendous athletes.
RNO: Following up on that, why did you decide against moving to Terry’s alliance over the course of several episodes – was there anything that could have convinced you to go?
Bruce: I think if the Casaya tribe became more dysfunctional or more rude, I probably could have talked to Danielle and Cirie to go over, but I was in a better position to stay with the Casaya tribe. I was thinking long-term to stay through to the final four.
RNO: Did the results of your last reward challenge show you where you stood in the tribe’s hierarchy?
Bruce: I felt that the tribe respected me on the whole and it opened my eyes to become more focused mentally. Maybe at the moment, I would have thought about teaming with Terry more and probably battle harder in the challenges.
RNO: If you could have stayed, what was your plan for progressing to the end of the game?
Bruce: Terry and the Immunity Idol was a key point. Either he was going to be in the final four or keep winning the immunity necklace. So I was planning two scenarios. If he was in the game, it would have been Danielle, Cirie, Terry, and me. If he was voted out, I would still be in the game, Cirie and Danielle could have paired with me. Aras would have been voted off and Shane second. Aras was just a tremendous athlete.
RNO: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your time on Survivor?
Bruce: For me to be selected out of tens of thousands experience was an honor. I don’t think there is anything else like it that one can experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I am in great appreciation to Mark Burnett, Tom Shelly (EP), and the CBS Crew for my opportunity and if anyone dreams of being on Survivor, just keep applying.
RNO: Thanks again, Bruce, and again I hope you’re doing well!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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