Survivor: The Amazon – Daniel Lue Discusses His Amazon Time… and Rogerby David Bloomberg -- 03/10/2003
Opinion about Survivor: The Amazon contestant Daniel Lue has been mixed among both viewers and writers. RealityNewsOnline had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his time on the show and, of course, Roger:
RealityNewsOnline: The first time RealityNewsOnline talked to you a while back, it was because of your appearance in "WWE Tough Enough." Are you still interested in a wrestling career or are you looking for another reality show?
Daniel Lue: I am a big fan of reality TV and WWE wrestling, and Survivor is the biggest and in my opinion still the best reality show. It would be great if I could combine WWE wrestling with reality TV... WWE could put Roger and me in a Hell in the Cell match at Wrestlemania! Haha... just kidding!
RNO: It's obvious that Roger had it in for you for a while; when did the problem with Roger begin and how did he manage to convince people like Butch (who seemed like a nicer guy) to join him?
Daniel: Starting from Day 1, I became friends with Ryan almost immediately. For whatever reason it might have been, Ryan and Roger did not get along at all, and that's putting it lightly. It seems that Roger was thinking, "the friend of my enemy is my enemy," which was me, and soon after Ryan was voted out his burdens became mine and I was forced to deal with an angry Roger hounding me all the time.
I don't think Butch had a hard time siding up with Roger because they are both similar in age and felt a little threatened by the fact that everyone else was so much younger. I would hate to be the 6th grader sent to Butch's office to face a stinging lecture of, "You're a good boy, but the problem is son, you're still a boy." (That is, if he could even remember my name in the first place.) LOL. You would think this was a matter of age, but Roger somehow got Dave and Alex onto his side as well.
RNO: What do you REALLY think of Roger? (Be as blunt as you want.)
Daniel: I'm sure many people expected Roger to be this season’s sweet Kentucky Joe – you know, the kindly southern gentleman Rodger Bingham from Survivor: The Australian Outback. Their appearances are unmistakably alike too, so what went wrong? This guy is as unfriendly as they come; ordering people around is apparently his favorite pastime. He's very opinionated and won't hesitate to tell people what he thinks. It's hot, we're tired and starving, and throw a cranky old man into the mix and you've got the ingredients for a tribal war. His accusations of me and Ryan being lazy were quite inaccurate as well, and Roger's statement about us not "not contributing" roughly translates to, "I don't like those young guys and I need someone to take the boot if we ever go to tribal council." Roger was really the only person to say that Ryan and I were lazy. But when it's all said and done, I don't hold want to hold any grudges and I would gladly shake Roger's hand and forget about the past.
RNO: What else do you have to say about Roger's characterization that you (and Ryan) were lazy?
Daniel: If there's one thing the viewers should have learned by now, it's that you can't trust everything that comes from this man's mouth! He has expressed his disgust for losing to women, all while claiming not to be a chauvinist. Does that sound hypocritical? It should, and his claim that Ryan and me were not pulling our weights around camp is simply false. On the contrary, I think if they wanted some nice shots of a sloth in the Amazon they only needed to turn the camera over to Roger, who pretty much sat around all the time telling people what to do. Maybe the fact that he's a Vice President of a construction company has made him more used to ordering people around, but it sure didn't work for us. I can only imagine what kind of horror his employees have to go through everyday. Roger is a smart guy, and giving someone the "lazy" label is a powerful tool in the game of Survivor. But if people want to believe that I'm lazy after seeing a quick clip of Ryan and I away from the group, then they are probably the same people that believe Michael Jackson's claim that he only had two nose jobs in his entire life. And if you remember what happened with the "water incident," Roger asked me to get the water, and I said yes. He condescendingly asked me if I can handle it all by myself, and I said yes. He was still standing there so I asked him if he wanted to come along. If that's Roger's idea of being lazy, then call me lazy. LOL
RNO: When Roger and Alex were having their argument about homosexuality, you seemed to be just sitting in the background – why didn't you join in to try to get the rest of the tribe to see what kind of person Roger really was?
Daniel: All in all, by Day 2 everyone in the tribe knew what kind of a person Roger was and where he stood on a lot of subjects. I felt that it wasn't in the best interest of the game to partake in Roger and Alex's debate. Sometimes the best way to avoid a conflicting situation is just to keep your mouth shut, which I felt was appropriate for that moment. Rob was smart enough to do the same and didn't say that Roger was a bigot until he was in a confessional, because to say that outright in front of everyone would have been suicidal. So, if Alex felt so strongly about one thing while Roger felt strongly the opposite, the best thing I could have done was to lay low and hope their differences of opinions would widen a possible crack in their alliance. Soon after that argument my ally Matthew approached Alex to discuss voting off Roger.
RNO: Are you upset that many people on the message boards don't seem to like you much?
Daniel: Not at all. They don't seem to like ANYONE. Before I had applied for Survivor, I noticed that contestants of previous seasons had to endure ENORMOUS amounts of negativity and criticism from fans and the media alike. I admired how these people were able to handle reactions from the crowd after being portrayed as lazy, devious, ignorant, or whatever else on national television. I also recognized that these were the same people who always said that they didn't regret a thing, and it's that kind of mentality that is important going into Survivor. If you're not strong enough to take the heat, then you're not ready to even be there in the first place. You also have to remember that the people who trash Survivor contestants are the ones that have unsuccessfully tried out for the show many times. I have too many positive things going on in my life that I don't need to focus on the negative.
RNO: You said on the morning show that you told Matthew to vote with the group so he wouldn't be on his own – how did you know that Rob and Alex had decided to go against you?
Daniel: He [Matthew] told me.
Also, there is a misunderstanding that has many people confused. When I was explaining to Jeff during Tribal Council my bond with Matthew, he gave a shocked look that would APPEAR to be that I was giving away too much information. The truth is that I wasn't. Everyone in Tambaqui knew about our alliance and we spoke Chinese to each other all the time and around the other guys as well. As for that odd look on Matthew's face, my best guess is that he caught a whiff of Roger's dirty shirt. The poor guy.
RNO: Do you think your statement in Tribal Council about your race and feeling like an outsider was misinterpreted?
Daniel: Yes. I was NOT playing the race card, nor was I accusing anyone of being racist. I think too many people were quick to dismiss this as another case of someone playing the race card when they don't know what it's like being a part of a minority group. Rob might have misinterpreted it a bit, but I was explaining that it's hard fitting in, and being of a different nationality can play a factor, and it does. If a non-Asian was dropped off in Chinatown New York, where most people speak English, I don't think he would be perfectly comfortable there and he most likely would feel a bit like an outcast. I was not using the issue of race as an excuse to attack anyone either, but I do agree that there many instances when people will use race as a way of attempting to cover their own mistakes, which is not right.
RNO: Did you consider the "kung fu" statement – or other similar things – made by Roger to be a racist remark?
Daniel: Quite possibly. I think that his remark was a very poor choice of words, which is unfortunate for this self-proclaiming "wise old man." I can't imagine him ever saying, "I'd like to kung fu chop Ryan," or, "I'd like to Kung fu chop the women," so I do believe that his statements were racially based. I wouldn't have minded if he tried so I could have very kindly reciprocated. LOL. I also think it was unfortunate that Dave was around and instead of standing up to him decided to laugh instead. Where was Dave's so-called integrity in all this?
RNO: You were a Tough Enough finalist, yet Roger was talking about slapping you around. How long would it have taken you to grind him into a fine salt?
Daniel: I'm not sure, but I would mind finding out! LOL. It's too bad because Matthew could have used that salt (and vinegar) in making the fish broth!
RNO: Thanks, Daniel!
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent Survivor articles at the Survivor: The Amazon page and take a look at our sections on Joe Millionaire and The Osbournes. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!