“I Tried to Be Trusting and Other People Are There to Slit Each Other’s Throats” – RealityNewsOnline’s Exclusive Interview with Survivor: Tocantins’ Brendan
In the battle of Coach vs. Brendan that played out this week, Brendan ended up on the losing side, even while he held the immunity idol. Why does he think the Jalapao threesome stuck with Coach? Why didn’t he use the idol? And what does he really think of Coach and all his stories? Brendan answers all these questions and more, right here!
The story of Jalapao was a tale of Brendan vs. Coach, the Dragon vs. the Dragonslayer. The Dragonslayer won, but what does Brendan think of Coach? Why didn’t the battle come to a head sooner? Brendan answers these questions and more, so read on to find out the answers!
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Brendan, and thanks for taking the time to talk to RealityNewsOnline!
RNO: Starting at the beginning, what was your strategy coming into the game?
Brendan: Coming into the game, I didn’t necessarily want to be a leader because I saw what would happen based on past seasons. When we first started the game, a lot of people don’t realize this, but I named Coach “Coach.” We were paired up in the first challenge and he told me he was a coach. I figured we could use a coach so I asked if I could call him that. I introduced him as that, so I thought I’d be okay. But then he proved incompetent as a leader.
RNO: Besides that, what kind of strategy did you plan?
Brendan: I kind of tried to lay low and work hard. I was kind of excited about going to Exile Island with the opportunity to get the immunity idol, which I got but didn’t play. (Laughs.) Other than that, just get my team to the merge with numbers. That would put me in the best position. But when I was on Exile so often, nine out of the first 16 days, I spent so much time away from camp. I crafted the Exile alliance with Taj initially because I didn’t know what was going on at my own camp and didn’t know if they were talking about me. So I kind of pushed my Exile alliance through, which kind of made it until last night.
RNO: Last week, we saw Taj and Stephen worrying that the Exile alliance was off because you hadn’t talk to them. Did you realize they were so concerned?
Brendan: As soon as we got to the merge, I got a knot in my stomach. The game radically changed. In the first part of the game, other than voting off Candace, we didn’t really have to in-fight, it was just leading the team to victory. As soon as we got to the merge, I was like, this game is really different now. I didn’t really know how to react. From there, everyone knew that I was with Taj so much that I tried to purposely distance myself from her initially. By the time I got to her, she wasn’t making eye contact with me, but I didn’t know if she was just acting like I was that we didn’t have any type of alliance or whether or not she had turned. Obviously, she had turned.
RNO: How surprised were you to watch the show and find out the various plots that were all going on at Forza camp?
Brendan: A bit more surprised at last week’s episode than I was at this week’s episode. You get a certain sense of paranoia when you’re there. You don’t know necessarily what’s reality and what’s not. In the last episode at one point, I followed Tyson out with Debbie and right at that point I could tell something was going on. But in my own head, I was like, I have this plan and if it works, it would be the best alliance in Survivor. The best way to make that work was to keep that immunity idol for one more Tribal Council. Then we would have eight people left and the four of us in the Exile alliance could control the game.
There was such tension not because I wanted tension but because Coach wanted to run the tribe – I didn’t want to, but Jerry threw me under the bus by saying I was a better leader.
Timbira had a bunch of really strong personalities on our tribe, compared to Jalapao. We hid those as long as we won immunity challenges, but as soon as we stopped playing as a team, they all kind of reared their ugly heads.
RNO: Why do you think J.T., Stephen, and Taj decided to go with Coach and Tyson instead of you and Sierra?
Brendan: Looking back on it, they were down six to four and at that point, it’s best to go with what the majority wants to do. I think they were masterful at that – they morphed into whatever strategy the Timbira wanted to put in place except for my own personal strategy. I remember being in conversations with them and I would be like, “I think we should vote out Coach,” and they would just agree with me. Looking back, anytime somebody agrees with you wholeheartedly, you should think they’re after you.
When Jalapao came over, Joe was obviously hurt, so the only real threat to win challenges was J.T., and he worked so hard at camp and ingratiated himself with everybody and everybody loved him. Stephen and Taj were not any type of threat, so they all became nonthreatening and turned all the threats to the Timbira tribe.
RNO: Last night, you said that getting J.T. to the finals and having him win was the same as you winning – can you explain that?
Brendan: Once we got to the merge, it just didn’t feel right. Playing the game all about me and going after everybody else wasn’t something I was too into. J.T.’s story is a pretty amazing one and out of everybody left, I was like, if he wins it, it will change his family’s life for generations. I had an awesome time with him. That was probably my mistake – I tried to be friendly and trusting with folks and other people are there to slit each other’s throats.
RNO: What are your true feelings about Coach?
Brendan: I think Coach is utterly amusing. I think he is delusional. I think he is generally a pretty nice guy for the most part. I spent basically the whole time with Coach, other than my time on Exile, and he is all about himself. You rarely meet somebody who likes to talk about himself with such utterly long sentences with big words that are not factual. A lot of people on the tribe, especially the women, didn’t like him because he talked down to them, which is really not cool.
He makes great television and he is a character in every sense of the word. In the end of the day, he’s a nice guy and harmless. If he had malicious intent in him, it would be a different story. I don’t know what world he lives in, but it was sure fun to be a part of it for a little while.
In the show, when he did his symphony conducting, I used to get him so riled up. I said when somebody comes out and introduces the conductor, it’s a long introduction and then their hair goes flying around. I asked him what he does. He went into a tirade and gave his whole introduction and got his hair going for 25 minutes. It was so goddamned amusing!
RNO: What percentage of his stories do you believe are actually true?
Brendan: I think Coach is an incredibly smart man and a voracious reader. I think he reads a lot of fantasy. I think he enjoys the fact that he combines his knowledge with everybody else’s reality and creates Coach’s world. The stuff he comes up with, the stories are too good, they are pieces of what he’s read in the past. Last night when he was telling that story about being captured and beaten, I asked specific questions like how much he paid for the helicopter, and he couldn’t really answer them. That to me was really the tell. The other thing is if you look up his stories online, nothing every been written about them except what he wrote himself.
RNO: When you said, at Tribal Council, that you had the immunity idol, did the others seem to take it as a joke?
Brendan: No, I think everybody kind of assumed I had it. Taj outed me and went to the other side – everybody believed her story, which was obviously true. They just started talking about it and I said it in jest but there is a lot of truth said in jest. I was fine with everybody kind of assuming that I had it.
RNO: We’re running out of time, so do you have anything else you’d like to tell us about your time on Survivor?
Brendan: I had a blast. It’s one of the most brilliant social experiments ever and I’m just happy to be a part of it at one point.
RNO: Thanks again, Brendan!http://www.realitynewsonline.com/cgi-bin/ae.pl?mode=4&article=article8833.art&page=1