Why Survivor's Gay Guy Wears "Manties"
by Angel Cohn
After last week's tribal merger on Survivor: Palau, 32-year-old Texan hairstylist Coby Archa was the first cut. The wisecracking troublemaker earned his tribe mates' wrath by blatantly attempting to ally himself with newcomer Stephenie and acting bitchy when he felt left out by Koror's tough-guy clique. (As a newly minted member of the jury, however, he may yet have the last laugh.) While TVGuide.com initially pegged this scantily clad gay guy as another Richard Hatch, he grew on us and we were bummed to see him go. Fortunately, this convo with Coby about his hair and wardrobe issues picked us right back up!
TVGuide.com: You were so much fun to watch. Survivor won't be the same without you.
Coby Archa: I had a good time — a real good time. [The remaining contestants] are not going to be entertaining, but it will be fun to watch them eat each other. And don't worry, I'm going to give you some good [final] tribal [council comments] to look forward to.
TVG: What a tease! As this season began, you bonded with Angie, but then you didn't pick her to join the Koror tribe. Do you regret that?
Coby: [Smirks] Aren't I awful? I stabbed her in the back and twisted it. I'm just cruel. Hindsight is 20/20. Do I wish Angie had been on my team? Yeah. But, at the same time, I didn't pick her because I knew she had a target on her back, and so did I. I think we would have stuck out too much.
TVG: This season's Survivors were stranded with only the clothes on your backsides. What was the deal was with those teensy underpants you wore?
Coby: Don't be jealous of my manties.
TVG: Manties? Very funny. But weren't you uncomfortable?
Coby: Totally. I didn't want to be on national television in a pair of black bikini underwear, but Survivor is good at tricking you, and we didn't know the game was going to start. Those were the clothes I had on.
TVG: What would you have worn if you were prepared?
Coby: I probably would have worn something that was breathable and not denim. That is my fashion tip for the day: Don't take denim to a tropical island.
TVG: Did you get rid of your big, unruly beard?
Coby: About an hour after getting voted out of the game. I could not stand it. After eating some pizza, I ran for a razor and shaved it off. Sasquatch is not my look.
TVG: Good plan. You gave a up a shot at immunity for doughnuts. Were they worth it?
Coby: The doughnuts were worth every lickable bite. Really, it wasn't about the doughnuts; it was a strategic move on my part. I knew I was going to jump [off the post] first before I even got there. I was going to call their bluff on the game. Either you want to play this with me or you [want to vote me off]. I'm not going to sit up here all day long begging for you to play with me. [But daring them] obviously didn't work.
TVG: Did you give up?
Coby: No. I stirred up a lot of trouble before I left. At the end, I was trying to play the Jonny Fairplay card. I was going to be the crazy a-hole that nobody liked, in hopes that somebody [would] want to take me to the final two.
TVG: But reaching the final two doesn't necessarily make you a winner.
Coby: Right, but that is all right. I didn't care about winning. I cared about playing the game as long as I could, and if I won the $1 million, then great. For me, it was the life experience. That is why I had so much drama with Tom, because he kept getting in the way of my experiences. He drove me out of my mind.
TVG: Did you get along with anyone?
Coby: [Laughs] In the beginning, I got along with everybody, but once we kept winning and winning and winning, things changed. I did get along with my whole tribe, including Tom. After a while, I just got so bitter and twisted against everybody that, toward the end, I wasn't crazy about anybody. I think I knew my time was up, and I was an unhappy little kid storming off the playground.
TVG: You were less than subtle about letting Steph in on the Kororian secrets. Why?
Coby: It was strategy, in that I was trying to help Stephenie, because I really like her. It wasn't to get her to trust me or vote with me. At that point, I had no numbers. It wasn't going to do me any good, but I thought it might do her some good.
TVG: You mentioned several times that you always felt left out of sports as a kid. Did you ever feel like part of a team on the island?
Coby: I totally felt like I was part of the team when it came to challenges. But when it comes to camp life and playing the "game"? No. That is why I got so bitter and twisted. No matter how good I was in challenges or how much hard work I put into the camp, still nobody wanted to play with me.
TVG: I loved when you kicked James' butt during the wrestling game.
Coby: That one was good.
TVG: He made some comments about the fact that he lost to a gay guy. Did that bother you?
Coby: No, because I loved James. Any kind of trash he talked was welcomed. I think he's great.
TVG: Would you ever do another reality show?
Coby: Sure, only because I am an experience junkie. I would love to do The Amazing Race. But I think Rob and Amber are going to ruin that for me, because if they win, there is no way they'll put me on.
TVG: Who would you take with you?
Coby: I'd take my best friend. We'd add some drama because I'd probably scream at her. But [if I chose someone] from Survivor, I think it would be fascinating if Wanda and I were on The Amazing Race. She could sing, I could do the challenges, it would be great.
TVG: What's next for you?
Coby: I'm going back to Tyler, Texas, where I own a salon. [I'll] be enjoying my family. That's what matters in life, being with your family. That is what Survivor taught me.
TVG: So no acting aspirations?
Coby: I'm not going to move to L.A. and chase down that dream. Honey, there are enough people out there. If something came to me, great, but I'm not chasing it.
TVG: Wait, so you didn't go on Survivor for the money?
TVG: And you aren't trying to break into showbiz?
TVG: So you really went just for fun?
Coby: I just had a lot of skeletons in my closet that I wanted to bury. Being on a team sport was one of them. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. At the end of my life, I can say I've been there and done that. I've been in TV Guide. I can die a happy man!http://www.tvguide.com/news/insider/050421b.asp