RFF Archive > Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden

Congrats to Bob Crowley!

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TARAsia Fan:
One word for Bob. Classy! :cmas9 :cmas9

marigold:
From TVGuide Hollywood 411

Survivor: Gabon Finale Winner

Bob Crowley, a Physics teacher, is the SURVIVOR: GABON.

We also talk to the runner up Jessica 'Sugar' Kiper and Matt Whitmore

about the smells of the wild and how sexy it is to sweat it out in the desert.

marigold:
Another interview with Bob includes Susie and Sugar:

Survivor: Gabonís Finalists Sound Off

After 39 days in the lush savanna of Gabon, high school physics teacher Bob Crowley, 58, outlasted his 17 other competitors to become the winner of the 17th season of CBSí Survivor. But along the way, the Portland, Maine, resident got a mighty boost from under-the-radar Jessica ďSugarĒ Kiper, 29, the pin-up model from Brooklyn, who saw him as a father figure since her own dad passed away before the show began taping. Snagging three votes to Bobís four was Susie Smith, 48, an assistant teacher and hairdresser from Charles City, Iowa. PEOPLE talked to the three finalists about the results and what the game meant to each of them.

Bob Crowley:

How did you feel sitting with the final two, waiting for the results?
I was real nervous! I knew I had the original Kota votes, I was pretty sure I did, but when I realized that Randy was going to be the swing vote, and I was just very nervous. Then, I sort of went blank there. My whole family was sitting in the front row and it was just so fun to see them so excited.

Your wife Peg went out to Gabon and surprised you there. Was it great to be able to share this with her in more ways than one?
That was without a doubt one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. In fact, we have taken still photographs from the TV of the moment when she was sneaking up on me! That is one of the highlights of our life, and one of the highlights of my time in Africa.

Do you thinks physics will come into vogue from your appearing on Survivor?
I am more excited about the fact that being a teacher ó that I hope this will gain more respect from people for all teachers. I think that would be a wonderful thing, making someone believe in the teaching profession.

Did you know before tribal council that Sugar regarded you as a father figure or did that surprise you?
No, it wasnít until tribal council that I began to realize the impact I had. I wasnít trying to counsel her in her decision and then knowing that Matty was like a brother to her, it was a tough position she was placed in, sort of like a Sophieís Choice! I met some wonderful people and made some friends for life.

Not only did you win the million dollars, you won a Sprint Fan Favorite prize of $100,000. Did you know beforehand what you would spend the money on?
No, because I thought it would be bad luck! I owe a lot of money on my house and on my kidsí education, I still have a daughter in college, and my wife and I never had a honeymoon, so I think now it will be really fun to put her on a plane and go over to Africa and spend more than four hours with her over there!

Are you happy to be reunited with the fake immunity idol you made while on Exile?
Yes! And itís actually in pretty good shape! I am not sure what I am going to do with it, really, but I am sort of a collector of things.

Susie Smith:

You got three votes to Bobís four. Were you surprised? Hopeful?
You know, the only person I was confused about was Randy. I think Marcus, Charlie and Corinne were very loyal to Bob because they were on Kota, so I wasnít disappointed that they didnít vote for me; I knew that was going to happen. Apparently my speech didnít mean anything to Randy ó he was more upset about the cookie thing! And itís funny because I think a couple times heís told me thatís what cost me. But I told him, ďItís okay, Randy. Iím not the type of person who is vindictive. You did what you did and you donít have to explain it to me.Ē

Did you expect the tie that led Bob to sit with you and Sugar in the final three?
I really thought it would be Matty with us in the final three. But itís funny, because I asked Sugar if she was sure she was going to vote out Bob. She had told me yes and I said, ďbecause if you donít, it could be a tie and then there would be a fire challenge,Ē and then that went in her head. So I feel like now itís my own fault! But Matty would have probably beat me but heís a great kid, too.

Bob is an educator and so are you. Are you happy he won?
Oh, yes. I feel like we are getting the message across. Itís not even a hard message. Itís simply to try. To me, it felt wonderful. I told Bob before, I was never afraid to go up against you and Iím not afraid to go up against you now. You are very deserving and if you win, great! Same thing with Sugar. And Peg, when I first saw Bobís wife out there and saw them coming over the hill, I thought, ďOh, Bobís got time to be with his wife,Ē and I started to cry. I got to talk to her for a while and oh, what a beautiful lady and very nice. She got along great with my husband, too, I guess. And what weíve got in common is that we are older, wiser and married for more than 25 years. I hope what we can show America is what itís like to be committed and work hard.

Are you in good shape now?
On the show I lost 23 pounds but I knew to eat in moderation, I did not gorge myself right away. Iíve gained 6 pounds back ó thatís not too bad! I am a sweet eater but I did not eat immediately much chocolate or candy. The first night I got back, I still felt like I was in the jungle and was asking if Bob and Sugar had enough to eat and my husband was like, ďYouíre home now!Ē

Jessica ďSugarĒ Kiper:

You were the truest player in the final three. Was that your strategy all along, to manipulate from under the radar?
I did have the strategy to have an alpha male in the first half to carry me along and when that worked, I didnít believe it! And then after I killed my best friend, then I figured nobody was safe and it was more about who was going to go next and itís not going to be me. The thing is, why didnít anybody ever vote me off? It would have been really easy ó hello! ó to blindside me.

How great was it to have your sister join you and to be able to honor your father in Africa?
That was really the most awesome thing because my luxury item was going to be my fatherís ashes, so the fact that they let my sister do that, because thatís what I wanted to do, to have him out there to hang with me for awhile.

How comical was it that Kota kept sending you back to Exile?
Every time I went there I was like, ďJust send me again!Ē Except for that one time when Crystal made me cry because she said they were all starving, I was like, ďBut I will still eat this pineapple!Ē I totally expected to be underestimated going in there.

Bob did mean a lot to you. Can you remember a particular moment?
There were so many moments with Bob. Before the game, Bob did a couple things for me. This is when we werenít supposed to talk [to each other]. Bob would show me a drawing of an alligator or crocodile or whatever they have in Gabon and then heíd kind of show me where it was so I could go look at it. Then one time we were doing interviews overlooking the water and he had some binoculars with him and he saw some dolphins and he handed me the binoculars and the last time I saw dolphins was with my dad on a sailboat and from that moment ó I mean, I told the psych doctor before we started playing the game that I wanted to be on a team with the man in the bowtie and the bald, enlightened rich guy, which would be Ace! And I was the third on that team. Pretty much everything worked out as if I wrote it myself.

Link: http://tvwatch.people.com/2008/12/17/survivor-gabons-finalists-sound-off/

marigold:
An interview with Bob:

Exclusive Survival Strategies with Survivor Gabon Winner Bob Crowley

After 17 seasons of Survivor, one of the strongest competitors to ever don a tribal buff emerged in Gabon, Africa when 57 year old high school physics teacher, Bob Crowley, came out from underneath the radar to claim the title of sole survivor and take home the million dollar prize in Survivor Gabon. Not since Survivor Outback, when Colby Donaldson dominated almost every immunity challenge, have Survivor fans seen such a fierce and resourceful player than Bob Crowley. After keeping a low profile for most of the season, Bob seized control of the game when he created two fake, and highly believable, immunity idols to turn the tables on his tribe mates before going on to win five consecutive challenges to shift the balance of power in his favor. After 17 seasons, Bob's accomplishments in Gabon rank among the most memorable moments in the show's history.

The morning after the live finale of Survivor Gabon, in which the final three of Bob, Sugar and Susie finally learned who the million dollar survivor would be, we caught up with the state of Maine's most famous physics teacher for an exclusive chat shortly after Bob Crowley touched down in New York City after catching the red-eye flight from L.A. Since we were glued to our Survivor seats for the entire season of Gabon, we couldn't wait to find out Bob's secret to success.

THE DEADBOLT: Hi, Bob. Congratulations.

BOB CROWLEY: Thank you very much.

THE DEADBOLT: Are you surprised that no one flushed out Sugarís immunity idol during the entire game?

BOB: I was totally flabbergasted and got to looking and thinking, ĎHave they forgotten?í While I was there, I wasnít, because Crystal and Kenny had told me that she had played the idol. Thatís why when I went to Exile Island I looked for twelve hours one day and four hours the previous day for it. So until I watched it on TV I didnít realize she had it. Till this day I donít understand whether they forgot she had it or what the deal was. Kennyís strategy of flushing, which is why Corinne got voted out, that wasnít to vote her out so much as it was to flush the idol out.

THE DEADBOLT: Yeah, that didnít make sense to me either.

BOB: A lot of the things the other tribe did didnít make sense. However, it got Crystal and Kenny, the two probably least athletic people in the game, very close to the final three.

THE DEADBOLT: When you look back now, are you surprised the fake idols worked so well?

BOB: You shouldíve seen them, they looked pretty cool. Actually I [thought], "Oh, gosh, if I gloat Iím going to fall down the stairs on the way here." But the idol was kind of nice. It came out much better than I thought Iíd be able to do. Then the second idol was much easier because - I donít know whether you guys figured out what happened, but the individual immunity necklace had five medallions on it that matched the ones the idol had that we threw in the ocean. I just wrenched that thing off and added a few other trinkets that I stole from the torches. They canít sue me or arrest me for stealing stuff from the torches. So I stole the stuff off of the torches and Corinne gave me the beads off of her bottle that she purchased at the auction.

THE DEADBOLT: Youíre not the first to use a fake idol, but do you think that you set a precedent where nobody will believe in the idols?

BOB: I hope so. Itís nice to freak out future survivors. It was slightly better than just a stick.

THE DEADBOLT: How difficult was it for to know that you had to set Randy up? Did you think twice about doing it?

BOB: Yes, but I didnít feel good about it. And, geez, in hindsight - God, Iíd hate to give up the million bucks, but in hindsight had I known they were going to be as mean to him when he got voted out - I just, I didnít like that. It went over the top. But what the bottom was, it was clear to me that they had sort of figured that I was a bigger threat than Randy was and Randy was disposable at any time and that I might not be. It was real clear to me that it was Randy or me. I just thought it made more sense to save myself for one more week and thatís all it did. It saved me for one week and then I was able to take it one week at a time from there.

THE DEADBOLT: Are you guys on speaking terms now or is he still mad at you?

BOB: Randy? Actually, Kenny and I - heís doing much better - but boy, Kenny was the one that was really angry with me. It doesnít make any sense, but I think itís more of an immaturity on Kennyís part. He was so angry that he didnít have any control and that he didnít fool me.

THE DEADBOLT: Kennyís explanation that you owed him didnít make sense to me either. How did you view that?

BOB: I viewed that as sort of an immature [issue]. He just thought of himself as such a strategist. I think he thought it was like playing video games and I guess he thought I wasnít paying attention. So I think he realizes now he got arrogant. He said to Sugar, ĎIím going to make Bob look like the stupidest survivor ever.í And I think that aggravated Sugar and I think thatís one of the reasons she told me.

Although Randy and I, on the other hand, I like Randy and he doesnít like me. So thatís great, opposites attract. Randy doesnít like anybody. Randy said to me a couple of weeks ago, ĎNo hard feelings.í He understood it was a game. He was a little bit upset at the time and he also appreciated the fact that I was more than upset with Sugar and Crystal. I mean, I was not a happy camper when I came back to the camp and I donít think what they showed on TV entirely showed how angry I was.

THE DEADBOLT: How much do you think your ability to relate to high school kids played a factor in relating to the younger tribe members?

BOB: I think it was real helpful. The thing is, I deal with high school kids all of the time. See, essentially, I only deal with seniors and at our high school physics is a senior subject. An eighteen year old senior or a seventeen year old senior is not that far away from the younger crowd. And the other thing is that my daughter and my two sons are twenty five and twenty seven, which is right in there with that whole crowd. And we have a lot of young people at the house and I deal with them a lot, and I think that really helped me in relating to them and befriending them and understanding them.

THE DEADBOLT: At what point did you feel you had a real shot at winning the whole thing?

BOB: This question has been asked quite a bit today and I donít want to sound like Iím dodging the question, but I was absolutely certain I was going to take the game when he [Jeff] turned that last vote over. There was no point in the game that I thought I had won. A couple of times people had said something to that effect and I just felt a curse to even think that. In the game of Survivor nothing is certain until Jeff turns over the last vote at the last game. Heís sort of like the fat lady that sings.

THE DEADBOLT: What was the hardest aspect of the game when you were back at camp with the others?

BOB: Without a doubt the hardest aspect of the game was the mental game, the psychological game. It is an incredible game of chess only they were all individual thinking - Trying to figure out the mental part of the game is without a doubt the most stressful and the most difficult.

THE DEADBOLT: So a little bit of paranoia sets in for everybody?

BOB: The paranoia sets in. I donít know why. See, I didnít get paranoid. I think, probably when they voted Marcus out, I think thatís when I had the line, ĎYo, Iím history,' even though I teach science. I just sort of accepted my fate when it came down, as opposed to worrying about it. I think that probably allowed me to have a clearer mind when it came to doing challenges and making decisions.

THE DEADBOLT: When you got the message from your wife, she said that she hoped you were having fun out there because itís what you like to do. How much were you in your element out there?

BOB: I was one hundred percent. When it came to the environment, the survival aspects, thatís my ballgame. I got that, hands down. But when it comes to dealing with people and being able to - You know, Kenny had me hook, line, and sinker. I had no idea what a strategist he was. In dealing with the people, that is not my game. Although, apparently itís becoming one.

Link to the article: http://www.thedeadbolt.com/news/105312/survivorbob_interview.php

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