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ďIíd Already Won Everything I Wanted to WinĒ Ė An Interview with Survivor: Chinaís Chickenby David Bloomberg -- 09/21/2007
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Some reality show contestants give short answers to specific questions. Others like to tell their stories. Chicken is definitely in the latter group. In doing so, Chicken was probably the most talkative first-eliminated contestant Iíve ever talked to, and one of the most talkative contestants, period. We might not have seen much of it on the show, but he had his reasons and he made up for it now. Indeed, he answered a number of my questions before I could even ask them. So read on to see what he had to say.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Chicken, and thanks for taking the time to talk to RealityNewsOnline! What was your strategy coming into the game?
Chicken: Iíll tell ya, when I caught the flight out of Charlotte to JFK, I had a game plan. After preliminaries to the day I left, I had a game plan. I watched many many episodes in my chair at home, [thinking] you need to do this you need to do that. But then I said Iím just going to be myself, Iím not gong to fit a piece of the puzzle that a I think would fit in. I was going to be myself, period.
Basically, thatís what I did the whole trip until last night, I took one day at a time. But a lot of people were talking about being really disappointed. Iím not disappointed. Iím very proud to be a small part of this for many different reasons. And Iíd go back tomorrow.
Itís not a money thing, itís just the people that you meet and itís hard to talk to these people. Theyíre basically from a different culture. Itís just like last night, they drug that old frame out of the woods. I had enough sense to know even if we made part of he shelter out of this thing, itís not going to hold together. They thought they found a flipping gold mine. Thatís when I first spoke and said this is not going to work. You canít make something out of nothing. I just voiced my opinion and that was the last time I did, they wouldnít listen to me.
Then we slept in the rain and walked in the mud, the circumstances were bad for them. For me, I walk in the mud every day. When weíre sorting cattle, we donít take the day off because itís raining or because the mudís a foot deep. When we got into that truck at the first of the show, there was about three or four inches of mud. They said, ďoh good gracious, the mud.Ē Iím thinking to myself, ďyou ainít seen nothing yet.Ē
I donít criticize these people and I hope they donít criticize me. This cast is absolutely super. Sixteen people from 16 different walks of life. Theyíve done an extraordinary job of casting these people. That is what I like about this show. I donít care where youíre from, rich or poor, youíre all even. And how it plays it out is whatís great about this game. It requires a little bit of luck and depending on who you are, maybe a lot of luck.
When I landed in China, Iíd already won everything I wanted to win. From that day on, it was just a plus. You take a great journey and youíre at this party, and you really donít care what happens. People think youíre strange if you donít care about money. But moneyís not the issue for me. This was the greatest trip in the world for me. Iíve never flown, Iíve never rode a boat. I didnít miss nothing.
RNO: Speaking of the experience, what was your opinion of the ceremony at the Buddhist temple and the way Leslie walked out?
Chicken: Leslie shouldnít have done that. This is my opinion. Jeff was very very clear on his instructions Ė this is not a religious ceremony. He explained more about Buddha than you saw. I was astonished with the temple. Iíll never forget the temple and what Jeff said at the start of the game. This is a way of life for these people and when they invite you in, a perfect stranger, [you should honor it].
What you seen last night took about three hours. This is a big part of their culture and theyíve shared it with you. Itíd be like bringing 250 Chinese people on the farm Ė itís a culture shock. Buddha is not religious, itís like Confucius. Buddha and farming is not really on the same level but Iím using it as an example.
When I took that long walk after the game, I was disappointed. Today Iím not and that temple was extraordinary. It marked me. Iím sure the other 15 people wonít give the same answer. Thatís what makes this cast so good and what makes this show.
Iíve watched a ton of Survivor. You can play all you want to in your chair. But weíre all very unique people from very unique places with a very unique way of life. Those are the pieces that make a great show. This is a great season, going by the cast and what Iíve seen last night. I think it was a good kickoff to one of the better seasons in the last three or four years.
RNO: You mentioned that you gave your opinion and they didnít listen, so you didnít give it anymore. I understand why you decided to back off when people on your tribe werenít listening to you, but why did you appear to go to such an extreme to avoid answering questions when they were asked of you?
Chicken: (laughs) Itís like, I made a ton of suggestions at first. I build things. Youíve got all this know-how, but it didnít show. They went a couple days without water and I didnít because I was drinking water in 20 minutes and eating kiwis in 20 minutes, and these people did without. I voiced my opinion and they were talking about college days and partying. This goes on all day the first day.
Me and Peih-Gee wanted to get it done. Weíre in the middle of nowhere playing the greatest flipping game in the world. We want to get stuff done and everybody else wants to sit around talking about parties and music. I canít relate to that. Thatís when the 16 different people from 16 different places come in. Nobody was talking about hunting or fishing or farming.
When I came out of that temple and saw the other seven people, I knowed I was in trouble. I thought about it and said, ďjust be yourself, whatever happens is going to happen.Ē When Iím trying to tell you something and you donít want to listen, they just brush it off.
On the second day, when they asked me and I didnít want to answer, then it became an issue. I could have gotten down on my knees and kissed their behind and built their shelter. But thatís not the way I am. Then the next day Iíd have to kiss their behinds again. You do something for me and Iíll do something for you.1 2 Next-->
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