Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
ďIím a TalkerĒ Ė An Interview with Survivor: Cook Islandsí Cao Boiby David Bloomberg -- 10/20/2006
View Printable version of this article
I was really looking forward to interviewing Cao Boi, because I knew heíd have plenty to say. And I was right. So letís get to it.
RealityNewsOnline: Since we didnít get to see the answer on the show, I have to know: What do you call a Vietnamese with three dogs?
Cao Boi: Iím not going to give that answer; Iím going to keep that answer for a few years. People think Cao Boi is so stereotypical, but I never said anything about dog eating. If the producers or the editors didnít want you to hear it, weíll just keep it that way for now. [All of this was said in an obviously lighthearted manner.]
RNO: How much did you know about Survivor before you came on the show?
Cao Boi: I doinít own a TV. I saw two episodes of Survivor the first season. Thatís all I know. Actually I went hiking, and was in a hostel one day and picked up an adventure magazine that had a story about Survivor and Mark Burnett, which gave me a little more insight. So practically nothing. But I like the word ďsurvivor.Ē So when I had a chance to do it, I just thought it was awesome.
RNO: What did you first think when you found out the tribes were divided by race?
Cao Boi: I think itís awesome. I myself have thought about it. I thought why donít they do a Survivor by race. I really thought Mark Burnett was ahead of everybody else and sooner or later it was going to be done. I took it on as a challenge. But the Asian-Americans didnít really show me anything new. I expected them to be that way and they turned out to be as I thought of them.
RNO: What did you expect and how did they turn out?
Cao Boi: I expect most Asian-Americanís to have an identity crisis. They donít really know who they are. They were born in this country and are American citizens. They all speak English and are overachievers. They canít get over that they were born with slanted eyes.
They try to get over their background and there is a lot of anger built up in a lot of younger Asian-Americans. They feel dissed by society. If you are African-American or Hispanic, you eventually become American and people accept you. But being Asian, people would always ask if I understand or speak English. Once weíve talked, theyíre surprised to find out I wasnít born here after their initial reaction.
Asian-Americans donít feel accepted as part of the American culture. So they tried extra hard. If you think those Asian-Americans [on the show] are really intelligent and overachievers, hereís a warning Ė they are only average. They are reactive Ė they donít take initiative, they sit back and react when something happens. As a culture, they often do that.
By the way, I read your site Ė you have a sharp tongue! Thatís good! What did you think of my Star of David?
RNO: That actually gets to one of the questions I was going to ask you Ė why do you wear a Star of David?
Cao Boi: I have extended family who are Jewish, and I donít look at a Star of David as a symbol of a religion, but as a blessing I received from the people. To me itís a symbol of being blessed. Iím really proud of it, itís very beautiful.
RNO: What was your strategy coming into the game?
Cao Boi: I didnít really have a strategy. I like to leave myself open to deal with whatever comes. In martial arts, if you expect people to punch you, they kick you. So you stay wide open. At first I thought I could go under the radar and keep my mouth shut. [At this point, the interviewer has to stifle a bit of a laugh.] But once you get in the game, itís very exciting, there are things that have to be done. My [original] tribe was practically clueless. They are corporate career people, not in survival mode. Even in the military you are given everything except in survival training. You donít think about how am I going to make something out of a tree or a rock.
By the way, that was my chicken trap. We were doing that since we were Cub Scouts in Vietnam, but Yul did it excellently. Very intelligent man.
RNO: What did you do to prepare yourself for the show?
Cao Boi: I prepared mentally, and physically I prepared differently from the others. I believed we would be deprived of food, so I fasted 30-40 days at a time. I was the only vegetarian on the cast. All I did was eat coconuts and drink coconut milk. I meditated and took long walks and relaxed and just was wide open to whatever came my way.
RNO: Were there any restrictions against visiting the opposing tribeís camp?
Cao Boi: I never thought of it as a restriction. I just thought we shouldnít go visiting without permission. We really didnít know where they were Ė we had no idea. We just wanted to go exploring. We talked about it and I said letís go on an adventure instead of just sitting around. Weíre only out there for 39 days at most. Spend some energy and have fun! Itís an adventure. People looked at it as a game, I looked at it as adventure, and we stumbled on them.1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article