When asked by CBS as to who I wanted to interview at season’s end, the real answer was: Everyone. In a “normal” season of Survivor, I would interview each and every contestant, week-by-week, as they were voted out of the game. But when CBS introduced the theme and twist of Survivor: Edge of Extinction, the format did not lend itself to those traditional weekly exit interviews. So needless to say, there is a lot to discuss now that we’ve reached the end.
Just in case you missed it or are not caught up, please take a read through my passionate (and sometimes angry) response to last night’s Season 38 Finale Recap.
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR MORE, AND THIS IS YOUR LAST *SPOILER* WARNING!
When the dust settled, I had requested to speak with the Final 3 (not yet knowing who they would be), and I also put in a special request to chat with Reem Daly, the coolest and most memorable first-boot in the history of the game. I regret to say that I miscalculated a bit though, and somehow Rick Devens slipped through the cracks…in my head, I had just assumed he’d be in the Final 3? My own fault, surely. But that’s OK, the interviews that I DID get were splendid and eye-opening.
You can listen to ALL of my exit interviews with Sole Survivor Chris Underwood, runner-up Gavin Whitson, finalist Julie Rosenberg and the Warden of Extinction Island herself, Reem Daly, on the latest episode of The FilmSurvivor Podcast (there is also a link at the bottom of this page). But here are some highlights:
From Chris, on addressing some of the haters (like me) who think there should forever be an asterisk by his name in the record book:
Chris Underwood: This was a really aggressive season with aggressive players, strategically, out there. I had to take really, really big swings, and the swings that I was taking, I knew I had to either hit a home run, or I was going to strike out. There wasn’t a “make contact,” I had to hit a home run and do that at every at bat. So I had four or five at bats and had to hit a home run every single time. I think I did that. The jury was not easy, they were undecided even up until that Final Tribal Council, so I really had to articulate why I did what I did, and when they started to see that, I think the tide started to change a little bit. But from a game play perspective, the quality of my moves was greater than the quantity of the moves.
From Gavin, on whether or not he likes all of these major format changes, like Edge of Extinction or Season 39’s “Island of the Idols”:
Gavin Whitson: You know, the game I fell in love with when I was eight years old was classic Survivor. That’s what pulled me in. And I feel like that’s the type of game that I played. I can’t choose what season I’m going to be on or anything like that. But if I was watching Edge of Extinction as a fan? I might think it’s the greatest thing ever, but I knew that it was bad for my game. As soon as I saw Aubry and Wendy and these people I had just voted out walking back in, I thought, this is not good. For next season, I’m excited to see it, Survivor is Survivor, it’s going to be good to me no matter what it is, you know, I do love the game. But there is a big part of me that just loves the classic Survivor, that’s what I fell in love with, that classic “outwit, outplay, outlast.”
From Julie, about the element of sexism that exists in the game, calling her game “emotional” when others didn’t receive that same label:
Julie Rosenberg: There were many times, many moments in the game, where I was just crying. Tears would start coming down my face when I’d be sitting around the campfire. I had some real lows at certain points in the game. Starvation would set in and I’d start thinking about my kids and my husband, and not knowing how they’re doing. I do think that being a mom does put it on another level when you’re out there…so I was very emotional, but at the same time, I think I saw almost every other person out there cry. And I’m the one that gets labeled as being emotional, because I do think that’s who I am. I’m the 46 year old woman out there. And I hate to say it, but I do think there are stereotypes in Survivor, and when a woman plays a very aggressive game…it’s not looked upon highly. But if a woman is playing a subtle game or more of a social game, then that’s not really looked upon as a game-winning strategy either…I think a lot of people wrote me off maybe the first time they saw tears in my eyes, like OK! She’s the crier! She’s the mom! She’s losing it out here. I do think there’s a little bit of that that goes on, for sure.
From Reem…you’ll just have to listen to the ft (below) to find out what she has to say!
Stay tuned for my updated “Most Memorable” Seasons and “All-Time Winners” rankings, as well as a special look ahead to the upcoming Season 39, Survivor: Island of the Idols.
Note: Those that have followed me also know that I am a RottenTomatoes-approved film critic. I encourage you to check out my weekly movie reviews. I am also a movie critic/TV personality in the Detroit area. As always, the easiest way to get all of my Survivor coverage and movie reviews is to follow me on Twitter – @tomsantilli – or on Facebook.
TELL US – SO WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FINALE? HAVE YOU SUBSCRIBED TO THE FILMSURVIVOR PODCAST YET? AND IF NOT, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
[Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe/David M. Russell]