Author Topic: Sylvia Kwan  (Read 1412 times)

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Offline puddin

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Sylvia Kwan
« on: January 12, 2007, 09:42:36 AM »
Biography
Sylvia Kwan was born in Hong Kong, where she lived for eight and a half years before moving with her parents and five siblings to Los Angeles. After graduation from high school, she relocated to the Bay Area where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Kwan is the founder and Chairman of a renowned architectural firm located in San Francisco. As Chairman, she is responsible for strategic planning and development for her award-winning firm. She has resided as the Board Chair of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the board of a number of Bay Area non-profit and for-profit boards. She is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Kwan is especially proud of designing the interiors of Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park), home of the San Francisco Giants.

Kwan describes herself as creative, energetic and determined, and according to her husband, holds the unofficial title of “Ultimate Consumer.” In her spare time, Kwan plays tennis, skis, hikes and plays golf. She’s also happy that she finally learned how to swim, because it was sink or swim as a Survivor contestant. Kwan's never met an exercise routine she didn’t like, keeping in shape with Pilates, yoga, Tai Chi, and any new type of gym equipment introduced.

Kwan resides in Marin County with her husband of 26 years, Denis Henmi. They are currently building their dream house, a mid-century modern creation that was inspired by years of designing homes for their clients. Kwan and Henmi have two children, Drew, 18 and Derek, 15. Kwan was born on August 18, 1954.

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor14/survivors/sylvia.shtml

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Offline Texan

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Re: Sylvia Kwan
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2007, 09:30:18 AM »
This is an interview that Trixiego posted at Blows:

IGN Interview - Sylvia
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February 26, 2007 - Survivor: Fiji has seen one team lose consistently while having nothing with the other team winning every challenge and having every imaginable luxury in a game called Survivor. The Ravu team has been hit repeatedly and even though they made fire with a pair of glasses, they still couldn't win. This meant doom for Sylvia as she was voted off her tribe.

We talked to Sylvia about the twists that affected her and who she hopes wins the whole thing. She spoke to us about her reasoning behind dividing the tribes as well.


IGN TV: How did you come to be on the show?

Sylvia: Well, I was discovered. Kind of like Lana Turner. I was down in L.A. for the weekend, because it was my son's eighteenth birthday and we had a big party for him at Monsoon Restaurant. Two casting agents from CBS saw me and said 'you have to be on Survivor!' And I said 'no, no, no, no, no! I don't swim. I hate the water. I don't like snakes.' So I'm protesting, but my two sons and my husband really wanted me to do it.

IGN TV: Had you seen the show before?

Sylvia: I had seen a little bit of the first season and I had heard about all the outcomes. So as they found me that night, then I ran and bought a couple of seasons' worth. So I ended up watching three whole seasons, like a marathon.

IGN TV: When you got to Fiji, was it what you expected?

Sylvia: No way. No, it was much, much worse. I mean the people were much, much worse. The conditions, they were fine. I mean, I was starving and I was completely dehydrated, but the part that really, I never figured out was the people. It was way more difficult than I ever expected.

IGN TV: And you were sent to Exile Island right off the bat.

Sylvia: Yes, that's not a good thing. And also, having to select the tribes was really a losing proposition because I got to go back with the losers and they are going to hate me because I picked the losing tribe. And they didn't get to be with their friends. So whatever I did on that was a big loser. So, Exile for 24 hours, they get to bond and decide to vote me off. Which they did as you noticed. And then, coming back, they are mad at me because I picked them as a tribe, the losers.

IGN TV: Were they mad for that reason? We never saw any of that.

Sylvia: No, you didn't, but that's what happened. They were not happy with me. I mean, they were never happy with me. The winning tribe were probably just fine with me. Although, they did kick me to Exile Island again.

IGN TV: But maybe they did that to give you another chance to find the idol.

Sylvia: Right, well, but you know, I have a different spin on that. We'll know later, but I'm thinking, if you remember at the food challenge last night. It was our tribes' turn to up somebody, so it was me. So I got up there and selected the giant octopus and then they put whoever they wanted to put next to me against me and they chose Dreamz! The formerly homeless person who will eat anything? So that is when I began to think, this is now, I've had lots to think about it, what I think is they might have believed that I was a threat. Because why would they put up Dreamz? That's like overkill, against little old me? So, I think they were under the impression that maybe I was stronger than I was. Maybe not physically but maybe they believed that I had some leadership qualities, which of course my tribe never let me have.

IGN TV: On the surface it seems like there are no leaders on Ravu, but are there leaders and they aren't claiming it?

Sylvia: They're not claiming it. I actually said at one tribal council, because Jeff kept asking 'Is so and so a leader?' and finally, when it was my turn, I said, 'Well you know, I think it was Rocky and Mookie who were the leaders.' But now that I've had more time to think about it, I think it's Earl. Quietly kind of calling the shots behind the scene. He reminds me a little bit of Yul. Cause he's just sort of in the background, he never gets anybody mad, except Rita. Rita and he didn't get along too well.

IGN TV: Ah, the vote for Earl did seem to come out of the blue.

Sylvia: Right. You didn't get to see any of the behind the scenes. Neither did we. Only when that vote came out did I realize, oh man, they didn't get along, did they? Although, if you saw episode one, you heard Earl dissing her pretty early. So there was something going on.

IGN TV: What were you thinking as all 19 of you were working together to build a shelter?

Sylvia: I was thinking that we weren't going very fast and I was thinking that a lot of people were disappearing. What happened was in fact they were disappearing. Because I found out later at the end of the second night that Dreamz told me that eight or ten of them had gone off to look for food, which is legitimate, because you can't have nineteen people building a shelter. Somebody has to find food. Eight of them went out and got lost and two of them went out and found them, so there were ten. They all met at the beach. Somebody said, 'Hey look, there's ten of us, why don't we form an alliance now. Now we have an alliance against the nine of them and why don't we vote all the four old people off now.' That's me and Yau-man and Cassandra and Gary. So he told me all this stuff at the end of the second night. And he said 'Oh, by the way, the two leaders are Liliana and Rocky.' And then he said 'You got to talk to all the old people and tell them that we got to form a new alliance, I'll come over to your side, and there will be ten of us now against nine of them.' So I go and talk to them for a little bit and then boom the challenge started and I was asked to divide the tribes.


IGN TV: So what was your strategy with dividing the teams?

Sylvia: My strategy was to take the ten that Dreamz had told me about and I split them in half. So five and five with each of the leaders being on separate teams. And after that, I just started filling people in. I did all kinds of stuff. First, I did the women as you know, because see frankly, I knew them better. I didn't know the guys very well because I wasn't one of those sexy hot babes that they were chasing around. So I was able to observe them more than having them come on to me or anything like that. So I observed the strong ones, the smart ones. So after I got rid of the five and five, there wasn't much more to do after that. Jeff kept going 'Are you dividing them accurately? Are they even?' and finally I looked up and I said 'Uh oh, Ravu looks smaller than me.' And I only had two guys left, Edgardo and Mookie. I decided Mookie was stronger and so I put him on the Ravu tribe. And that was it. I should have stopped Jeff and said 'Oooh, can I start over?'

IGN TV: So you thought Ravu was the weaker tribe?

Sylvia: They looked weaker to me. Physically, they looked weaker. But as you can see, the first two challenges, we won physically. We only lost the puzzles. And here we had a Yul guy, three Berkley-ites, we had some smart people but we still couldn't do the puzzles.

IGN TV: Are you happy with how you were portrayed?

Sylvia: I wasn't so happy after episode 2. It was all that bossy stuff. I know that I'm not really bossy. I am a leader, I have to admit that. But if you heard Jessica's exit interviews, she always said 'No, Sylvia was just a gentle leader, she just did everything by collaboration and consensus.' And that's the way I am in real-life. But that just didn't work at all here. As soon as I opened my mouth, they assumed I was bossy. If Gary had taken over the construction job, because he was a contractor as well, they would have admired and thanked him and never voted him off. So the women and men thing, being a leader versus bossiness, it's unfair, but it's life. I'm convinced that if Gary had done the whole thing and I was working with him and he was the boss, they would have never said a single word.

IGN TV: So what happened with the idol before tribal council, how deep did you get that hole and did people around you ask what you were doing?

Sylvia: This was the very last day before the tribal council before I was going to be voted off so I knew that if I didn't find it then, it was over for me. I didn't have a night. The third clue said 'while your tribemates are asleep, go over there and dig very deep.' Well, a - I didn't have a night and b - I couldn't dig very deep because I had nothing to dig with. The dirt was very hard there by the way. You saw me using a coconut shell. I did the best that I could. I did about a sixteen-foot wide swath by about a three-foot wide swath. I dug everywhere under there that was relevant to the clue. Which was under the highest part of the arch of the cave. I think I came close, but I never got any indication that there was an idol there. I'm sure that it's there. I'm sure I'm right.

IGN TV: Did your tribemates know what you were doing?

Sylvia: I'm pretty sure but it didn't matter because off to tribal we were going and if I didn't find it, I was not going to come home.

IGN TV: Who do you hope wins the whole thing?

Sylvia: I'm kind of rooting for Dreamz, because he deserves it. He's formerly homeless. It just makes a great story.

IGN TV: What are you up to now?

Sylvia: I'm just back doing my architectural practice. All my clients really want to talk to me now. And if any other opportunities come up, I'd love to have them.

---------------------------------------------------------------

So Dreamz came back and spilled the beans about the alliance right away. Kind of supports the idea that he'd rat out Edgardo and Alex's plan later on and renege on a promise to Yau-Man.

Offline Texan

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Re: Sylvia Kwan
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 09:31:04 AM »
Interview with Sylvia
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Murtzcellanious: Murtz Jaffer Interviews Survivor: Fiji's Sylvia Kwan
Posted By Murtz Jaffer on 03.01.2007

Undoubtedly the best Survivor interview that I have ever done, this is a must-read. Sylvia is open, honest, candid, funny and amazing.

Murtz Jaffer: Hey Sylvia.

Sylvia Kwan: Hi Murtz.

MJ: Hi, how are you?

SK: Great!

MJ: So you're an architect and you were on Survivor. Can you tell me a little bit about the strategy that you drew up before you went out there?

SK: Hahahaha. Good play on words. Well, my strategy was developed from conversations with a lot of people who had watched Survivor a lot more than I had including my sons and my husband. And they said to me, everybody, 'do not be a leader in the beginning.' 'Do not stick your head above the radar.' 'Just go low low low key, quietly, do your work.' 'Go pick up the firewood.' 'Go bring the water for the tribe.' 'Don't make waves.' That was my strategy.

MJ: I think it is fair to say that your game was severely impacted right off the bat when your tribe said that you were the leader. That you were the one that they all looked at and respected. So when Jeff pulled you out, and you saw that there was an uneven number of people, did you think 'oh my gosh, that's a threat, they might even get rid of me before the game starts'?

SK: Well, you know, fortunately I never had that thought. Because if you should have seen the look on my face, it looked like I was going to collapse! (Laughs). Instead, what was going through my mind was now that they are even (nine and nine), now that I have to select the tribes, what am I going to do? What you didn't see on TV which I should tell you was really interesting was that he (Jeff Probst) actually dragged it out further. Made my life even more suspenseful! So Jeff said 'so Sylvia, what do you think we ought to do with you?'

MJ: (Laughs).

SK: Like my suggestion was going to have any impact right?

MJ: Right, well I would think that you would have said 'well put me on either team,' because then whichever tribe you went on would have the majority right?

SK: Ooooh! I should have said that! Darn, I didn't. But I said, because I was kind of looking at the short-term benefits, I said 'Jeff, what I think should happen is that I should step out of this game and watch them play.'

MJ: (Laughs). You didn't actually say that, did you?!

SK: I did!

MJ: And what did he say?

SK: He said, 'well yeah, you're right. You don't have to play this challenge, you're not going to have to play this challenge but we're sending you to Exile.' I said 'NO!' And there's good news and bad news on Exile, he further said. 'The good news is, you're going to find an immunity idol clue.' 'The bad news is, it's full of snakes.' Poisonous sea snakes. I said 'oh my god!' And then apparently he said (and I didn't hear it, but maybe you heard it) because I think by then my mind went blank, but he said when I got back that I was going to join the losing tribe. Did you hear that?

MJ: I did. I did hear that. But I am sure that it's a different story when you are watching it on TV and you're actually there.

SK: I didn't hear it. But you know, honestly, think about if he had done what I said. What if I had just gone in and watched them play and I am just kind of like an observer and then when they're done…

MJ: You can just basically pick up the pieces.

SK: Yeah. Exactly!

MJ: Right, right, right. Now, let me ask you this. What was the thought process in the way that you divided the teams? I think you did an absolutely phenomenal job. I loved the strategy of basically picking one person that's like older like Gary and then balancing him with like Yau Man for example. How did you pick them?

SK: None of the above. Isn't that funny? How you saw it… you know you saw the results. And the result to me was almost completely incidental.

MJ: Because everybody was saying that like 'oh my gosh, I can't believe how poised she was' because I really believe that you could not have picked better teams than the ones that you did.

SK: Really?

MJ: Yeah.

SK: Okay, let me tell you what I did! Here's what happened…

MJ: DREAMZ! Tell me about Dreamz.

SK: Oh, you knew about that?!

MJ: You're talking to Murtz Jaffer, of course I knew.

SK: Oh man, you're a good researcher!

MJ: (Laughs). So he told you that all of the young people had basically gotten into this alliance of 10?

SK: Yup. The Dreamz story was that there were of 10 of them, they formed this alliance and the two leaders are Liliana and Rocky. And they are all young and they all decided to vote you four old people off.

MJ: Let me stop you right there. What I wanted to ask you was, these 10 people, when they got together and put this plan in place, what were the old people doing? Did you just allow them to go off? Didn't you know that was what was going to happen?

SK: Of course not. We were building the shelter. Now, can I just tell you that the four old people were building the shelter?

MJ: I am not surprised.

SK: Can I just tell you that we were doing our job. Because that's our work ethic.

MJ: And so instead of working, they are putting this evil scheme together. So how did that impact how you picked the tribes?

SK: Alright, so what I did was… as you noticed, I wasn't that obvious. I didn't start with them (the two leaders). What I did was, honestly, the reason that I started with the women first was because I knew them better. I felt like I knew almost every single woman 10 times better than I knew the men. Because you know, it's just woman-bonding.

MJ: Totally, totally. It makes complete sense.

SK: So I just went ahead and did the women because I thought, okay, I am going to get that out of the way and I knew that Liliana was on Tribe A (whatever that was). Then the first thing I did was… didn't I pick Rocky…

MJ: I think you did. I think you picked him relatively early.

SK: So what I did was by picking Rocky first or among the first of the guys, I made sure that I didn't paint myself into a corner. I got rid of him early and he was opposite whatever tribe Liliana was on. And then after that, I knew that I had split the women four and four. Sorry, I meant half and half. Whatever it was, I can't remember who they were. And so now I was left with the remaining men that had formed this alliance. I knew that there were people like Edgardo, Alex, Dreamz of course, but Dreamz didn't matter…

MJ: Mookie…

SK: And Mookie. I knew that. Was there anyone else that I forgot?

MJ: No, I think you got the power players.

SK: Okay so then I knew that it at least had to be two and one or whatever. So I knew that I had to split those but then here's what happened. At the very end, the whole time I am doing this by the way, Jeff is in my ear going 'now, are you sure you are doing this equitably and I am looking at him going 'Jeff, shut up. I don't care. I just want to split those 10 people up.' I paid no attention to the physical relevance.

MJ: And it is so fascinating because it completely worked out that way.

SK: So then I suddenly realized, oh my goodness, that I had put a bunch of smaller people on what would be the Ravu tribe and I had a bit of a panic moment when there were only two left. There was Edgardo and Mookie.

MJ: And so you put Mookie on the weaker team because you thought he was stronger?

SK: Exactly. And I think I was right. Mookie was very strong.

MJ: Now, why do you think Dreamz tipped you off? If I am Dreamz, and I am in this alliance of 10, I don't want to make any waves. So why do you think he came up to you and said, 'hey, we gotta break this up.'

SK: Oh, he was very clear why. He said to me, 'Sylvia, they did it. I was with them. I said okay. I am not okay with it anymore. It's not right to kick you all off.' He felt really bad. This is what he told me. Do I believe him today? I don't know.

MJ: (Laughs).

SK: How do I know? First of all, I left Dreamz and went to another tribe. And secondly, I never saw him again. So I don't know if what he told me was actually made-up or real. Now that would be intriguing huh?

MJ: That would be a good question for Dreamz.

SK: I can't wait to talk to Dreamz after this whole thing is over and find out if he was just jerking me around!

MJ: (Laughs). Now tell me what was it like coming back to Ravu from Exile Island? Did the tribe hold you responsible for the loss since you put them together. Like 'she's the one responsible for our loss because she's the one that put our lame team together?'

SK: Yeah.

MJ: Is that how you felt?

SK: In a nutshell, yes.

MJ: So then how did you work your way back in?

SK: I never did.

MJ: And that's why you're here talking to me?

SK: Uh-huh. I never was able to. I tried to do a number of things. I tried to get close to Yau Man but Yau Man was a man who was looking out only for himself.

MJ: (Laughs).

SK: No, I mean seriously. He was smart and he knew that his number was up any day now because he was also considered a weaker member of the men's area. So he was chopping coconuts and later on when we got fire, he was making water like there was no tomorrow. He basically said that he was going to work until his skin falls off because otherwise he thought they were going to vote him off. So he was looking out for his viability. The only person that responded to me in a positive way was…

MJ: Rita?

SK: Rita. But at the end, even she didn't come through for me per se.

MJ: Now when you got back, were you surprised that they voted Jessica off, because first of all, I didn't see that coming and secondly I just don't see how they could start the game by voting off the hottest girl ever!

SK: Oh I know…

MJ: And I know that you and Jessica had like this bond so you must have been shocked and I don't think I have read anywhere what your reaction was to seeing Jessica gone.

SK: Well, you should write it down then because nobody has asked me! But I am telling you. Jessica and I, and Cassandra and I really bonded in different ways. Jessica and I bonded because for some reason, the two of us gravitated toward each other. We found out that we were the two sleepyheads. We both had narcolepsy. And so while the rest of them were running around and you know screaming at each other, or flirting with each other, or kissing each other or humping each other… whatever they were doing…
MJ: (Laughs).

SK: (Laughs). The two of us, I swear to you, were like 'shut up, we're going to sleep.' So we would like spoon and we would sleep in our little spoon thing. Whether it was raining or whether it was cold, or whether it was noisy. And so when I came back, I knew she was on Ravu and the first thing I said after everybody said hello was 'oh, where's Jessica because I am going to sleep with her tonight.' And they all looked at me with the most sheepish look you have ever seen on anybody's face and they said 'ooooh' and then they went on to explain what happened. Honestly? Hearing what happened, Murtz, I am thinking they really had no option. Think about it.

MJ: To be honest with you, Sylvia, I have seen every season of the show many times and this is the first time that the boot completely came out of left field. Because she's young, she's athletic, she's good-looking, she's got the thing going with Rocky. To this day, I don't understand that first vote. I am sorry to say your vote made sense, Erica's made sense, but Jessica's made no sense at all.

SK: Well, who would you have thought?

MJ: What do you mean? On the first vote? I'd say somebody annoying. Like Rocky or something.

SK: Ahhhhh.

MJ: You know what I mean? Jessica was soft-spoken. She was athletic. She was young. She's exactly what the first boot isn't supposed to be.

SK: No, she's supposed to last until the middle.

MJ: Precisely. You know your Survivor!

SK: The pretty ones they keep around for eye candy. Not to mention the fact that she was the sweetest person on earth. I love Jessica, more than I can say. The thing is, at that point (and I hate to tell you this) but the men were considered important. And nobody knew that Anthony wasn't going to pull his weight at that point. It was too early. And Yau Man, the reason that they didn't vote him off is because he was chopping coconuts until the cows came home.

MJ: One of the things that I didn't understand was why you were picked to go back to Exile Island for a second time. Didn't Moto think that would give you even more of an advantage (with the hidden immunity idol)? I guess they don't know about the whole thing.

SK: No, no, no. They knew that I was going to get that idol clue. Here's what I think. I can only conjecture at this point. My guess is that they knew that I was already on Exile and I was isolated from my tribe. They also saw me on the main island when we were all together acting all leader-like and I think that they might have guess that I could potentially become a leader and therefore a threat for the merge. You know, with my brain thing going? So they probably thought, 'if we sent her back a second time,' she will be so isolated completely from her tribe that we won't have to worry about her anymore.

MJ: Now you also said that you seemed to have a pretty close relationship with Rita. Maybe you can explain why the heck she voted for Earl. That totally came out of left field!

SK: That vote was I think her biggest mistake, honestly. First of all, in her defense what she said to me was 'Sylvia, I will never vote for you.'

MJ: So she didn't lie to you obviously?

SK: Correct. But guess what I heard? 'I'm going to vote for Anthony.' That's what I heard! So can I give you another confession? I told her about the idol.

MJ: You know what, you just took my question away. Because my next question was when you left… see, one of the things that I really liked about your game was the fact that as soon as you got to Exile Island and you read that first clue, you were like 'I can't tell anybody about this because I don't want them finding out.' So immediately, I was like she knows how to play. So was there this like sense of duty to you about helping out the people that helped you?

SK: Right. Exactly. What happened was that Mookie was so angry at Anthony that day. The last day. In fact, right after the challenge was completed (the eating one), he came up to me and he said 'We HAVE to get Anthony out of here… he is so annoying!' He was just so angry. So I am thinking, great, my butt is saved for another day. So he goes and talks to this and talks to that. My mistake was that I never talked to anybody directly myself because he was doing it for me. So what happened was somewhere along this conversation, they switcheroo'd. I am pretty sure it was Earl. See, Earl had Anthony's back because they had this black alliance going. And he already lost Erica and he wasn't about to lose Earl. So I am pretty sure that Earl changed the vote.

MJ: See, the reason that Survivor is so good is because it is an individual game. People playing for themselves. No loyalty. If you have any kind of an advantage, why would you share that with Rita? I guess only because you knew that it was all over for Sylvia.

SK: Now remember, the mouth-eye thing. The mouth to me was 'oh, we're voting Anthony off.' The eyes told me they were voting me off. I didn't believe them. I had a pretty strong game play that I was going to be taking the hidden immunity idol clue with me and I thought why not give it to people who cared so much for me. Rita, of course…

MJ: It's true. It's true. It makes sense…

SK: Does it?

MJ: I mean it does if you're like a caring person which I guess you are.

SK: I guess not because…

MJ: She didn't really end up having your back. Rocky said that he and Mookie were partners-in-crime at Ravu and this was clear at the food challenge when Rocky stood up for Mookie's taunting of Lisi. This was strange because Rocky voted for Mookie at the first tribal council. Did they really call the shots at Ravu and how did they become such fast friends?

SK: It just happened kind of naturally. They realized they were the two strongest males. But let me tell you something else. I think Earl was quietly leading the tribe and nobody knew it. Now I realize it.

MJ: And finally, when you watched the episode where Yau Man said that he 'searched' you for the idol, how hard were you laughing?!

SK: I wasn't laughing. I was peeved.
MJ: Are you serious? I thought that was the funniest moment of all time!

SK: Are you serious?

MJ: Yeah, you didn't think that was funny?

SK: I thought it was really annoying and sneaky of him.

MJ: Wow, we voted that as one of the funniest moments in Survivor history.

SK: Oh, isn't that funny? It's great. I love it.

MJ: What's next for you Sylvia?

SK: Just pounding the pavement, being an architect now and designing some great projects here in San Francisco.

MJ: Sounds great, thank you so much.

SK: Thank you!



 

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