“I Knew What I Had to Say”: An Interview with ‘Survivor: Vanuatu’ Winner Chris Daughertyby David Bloomberg -- 01/11/2005
Chris Daugherty looked doomed several times over the course of Survivor: Vanuatu. But in the end, of course, he pulled it off – against all odds! To him, it was all a matter of strategy. Some people questioned whether he did the right thing and made the right choices, but Chris tells us it was all planned out perfectly.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Chris, and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions from RealityNewsOnline! First, congratulations on being a winner who truly deserved to win and played his heart out rather than just flying under the radar. It was fun to watch. In that vein, how much did you study Survivor ahead of time?
Chris: I've watched Survivor since Borneo! From watching every season, I observed the different strategies players used. I also did some research on previous players, to see their background and get ideas for when I would apply. That's about all!
RNO: Did you have any particular strategies coming into it?
Chris: My strategy coming into the game was to team up with a middle age woman and play the Tina-Colby game. But that got shot down when they created the gender war.
RNO: Once you got there and then caused the men to lose the first immunity challenge, how worried were you that you’d be voted off before you even had a chance to really play?
Chris: Before the balance beam ever even happened... When we were walking on the beach to find our camp the first night, I made an alliance with Bubba. By noon the first day, Sarge had approached me about an older player alliance. I spoke with Chad, who had already aligned with Rory and the alliance was complete by nightfall. I was safe 24 hours before the balance beam ever took place.
RNO: You seemed pretty certain that you were going home when you were the last man standing. How much of your ability to turn it around at that point was due to your own play, how much was due to others, and how much was just plain luck?
Chris: The approach I took was to play the sympathy card, and Julie was my infiltration into the woman's alliance. No harsh words to her after she jumped back over to Yasur. That was completely due to my ability to play. With Julie campaigning for me, Leann and Ami had a weak moment and decided to vote out Eliza, so looking at it that way; part of my success came from other people’s play. I think the only lucky aspect in the game was the day of the mix-up. Scout had complete control. Luck played a roll that day, for sure!
RNO: Did you ever throw any challenges to appear as less of a threat?
Chris: Believe it or not, I never threw a challenge. Put in that situation, you become more competitive. A win could bring food, immunity, or a chance to have other players leave camp, separating alliances, causing doubt. So I always gave it 100% in challenges.
RNO: When it was down to you and four women, you told Scout and Twila one thing and Julie and Eliza another. Some viewers (I am not among them) think you should not have directly lied to Julie and Eliza, but should have been vaguer with them about your intentions. Can you set the record straight on why you thought it was the right move to tell a straight-out lie?
Chris: Absolutely, to set the record straight, my intentions were to keep everybody happy. And with the situation I had myself in, anything was still possible. If I come clean to Julie with my intentions, she has time to persuade Twila I'm no good. She had already done it once. Julie was a player! Don't you remember? She flat-out lied to Chad about her loyalty to Lopevi. STRAIGHT OUT LIED! You're damn straight... as I look back, that should have been an EASY decision.
RNO: What factors entered into your decision to go with Twila and Scout to the Final Three rather than Julie and Eliza?
Chris: Twila and Scout was the only way to go! The most controversial player and the physically weakest. Eliza was extremely strong physically and mentally. Julie was t0o well-liked by the other women in her alliance – who by the way were on the jury. Basically, Twila was a sure thing! I played it perfect... Absolutely perfect.
RNO: If it turned out that Twila and Scout had indeed had a Final Two alliance, would you have taken Scout with you at the end, or would you still have taken Twila as the person you could have more easily beaten?
Chris: I was taking Twila to the end no matter what! Let’s just get that out of the way. I talked to Scout to find out just how hard Twila was playing. She was nervous... Scout was honest. She knew it would be Twila no matter what she said.
RNO: Your performance at Tribal Council might rank as the best ever – was anything you said there the truth, or was it all, as Scout said, BS that you knew you needed to say in order to win?
Chris: I knew what I had to say to give myself my best shot of winning. Emotions do factor into the game and Julie brought them out. It's hard with only five people left. Someone you have bonded with will have to go. I told myself to stay the course. That's what I did... I know how to play the game. I told the producers I know how to play the game, and I proved it. Like I told Scout at tribal, it takes a BSer to know a BSer. Case Closed!
RNO: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
Chris: I will be the first two-time Reality Show winner! Time will tell.
RNO: Thanks again, Chris. And once again, congratulations!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Why Chris Won.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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