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|Subject: “I Was Always Thinking Out There” – RealityNewsOnline’s Exclusive Interview with Survivor: Gabon’s Ken Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:59 pm|| |
by David Bloomberg -- 12/16/2008
Ken made it to the finale and then was sent home in fifth place, so he has a lot to talk about. Does he think he was the most strategic player this season? Did he get too cocky? Also, Ken sets us straight on a lot of things that he says happened quite differently from what was shown. Read on to find out more!
Ken was probably the most strategic player of the season, and yet he voted for one of the least! What was up with that? Also, what happened with the whole fake idol situation with Corinne and Bob? Ken has a lot to say, so let’s get to it!
RNO: Hello, Ken, and thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at RealityNewsOnline. When you came into the game, did you plan to be as strategic and sneaky as you ended up being?
Ken: (Laughs) I knew I wasn’t going to be a physical threat, so I knew I had to be under the radar in the beginning, keep cool, and build some alliances, then make some power moves to take out threats to win the game.
I based my game play on Todd from Survivor: China because I thought he was a great strategist. I’m always rooting for the main strategists like Todd, Cirie, and Rob Cesternino. I think they are the ones who make the game, so I tried to base my game play on something like them.
RNO: One of your more famous moments was confronting Corinne on who "deserved" to get voted out. Do you feel that the most deserving person won the game, and/or got voted out each week?
Ken: For me, everyone in Gabon had a chance to win the million. Nobody deserves it more than anybody else. I was pretty mad at Corinne because she was saying Marcus was so great compared to everybody else and putting him on a higher pedestal than everybody. I was pretty pissed, he got outwitted and outsmarted. This is Survivor, not a charity event. I was there to compete for a million dollars. I think everybody who was out there deserves to have a chance to win the game. As far as the final three goes, yeah, they made it to Day 39 and everybody up there deserved to win the million dollars.
RNO: Why did you never try to flush out Sugar's idol, yet you tried to flush out Corinne's idol the first time?
Ken: Because since Day 10, when Sugar was with me to take out Ace, I said, “Don’t worry, I have your back. We’ll go to the end together.” Matty and Susie tried to flush Sugar’s idol out, but I always had her back and I saved her so many times. That’s why I didn’t flush it out – because I thought she was on my side.
RNO: Speaking of which, from what we saw, it looked like you were perhaps confused about when the idol needed to be played, because otherwise there was no reason to have Crystal vote against Corinne. Can you explain what happened there?
Ken: They edited it way off. I knew the idol was fake because I saw Bob going in and out – he ripped a head off the immunity necklace and took some beads from torches and made his own idol. Before Tribal Council, I asked Bob and Corinne, “If I put down Matty tonight, will you give me your jury votes?” They said yeah and they’ll also convince the others in thejury. I wanted to take Sugar and Crystal to the final three.
I knew I’d lose Matty as a jury vote, but if he made it to the final three, I had a chance to beat him. That’s why I told Crystal to put down Corinne, because I wanted her jury vote. I knew at that time she didn’t know I was playing her, and she even said in her final words that she hoped for me and Bob.
RNO: But that put you in an awkward position with your alliance.
Ken: No, I told Crystal and Sugar I was putting down Matty and they were totally okay with that. That’s why when we got back, Sugar was like Matty’s going next. He was whining a lot but I never promised him anything and never wanted him to go to the final three because he flipped on me. Sugar was okay with that.
I knew 100% the idol was fake. I was playing Bob and Corinne. I really didn’t flip on my alliance – I was with them the whole way. They edited it the way they edited it.
RNO: I have to admit that I still don’t understand how you could be mad at Bob for not handing over the immunity necklace and letting you vote him out. Can you explain that?
Ken: The thing is, I was playing Bob and came back and played him some more. The thing was, I didn’t ask for the necklace – he made the deal in the first place. He said, “I’m a man of my word.” After he won it, he kept having some side deals within that deal. When he won it, he said, “I’ll give it to you if I think you’re going home tonight.” I knew at that point he was lying to me, he was playing me.
I wasn’t mad that he didn’t give it to me, I was mad that he said he had integrity and didn’t lie. He wouldn’t admit he lied to me. He kept saying he would have given it to me if I wasn’t going to stab him in the back. He was never going to give it to me in the first place and I wanted him to admit that.
RNO: You noted in the reunion that you’re a fan and you know that everybody who gets cocky in Survivor always has a big downfall. So why didn’t you realize it at the time you were playing?
Ken: I got ahead of myself. At that point, it was too hard for me to even stop. Everybody would come to me and ask what to do. At that time, I couldn’t say, “What do you think?” I knew I was in a bad position when you become the leader of something. When we got back to camp, I was taking care of Sugar, Matty, Crystal – somebody had to lead that old Fang tribe.
I had to take control to make sure things would happen certain ways, not to play the game with emotion. There was a chance to take out Bob instead of Randy, but everybody was playing with their emotions. Look what happened at the end – Bob came back. Once you get too cocky, you think you know how to play the game, there’s always twists and turns and things end up differently. I should have played more of an under the radar game later.
RNO: If you had reined in that cockiness, what would you have done differently?
Ken: I was cocky, but I was cocky in confessionals. They edited it to make me look extremely cocky, but I was not that cocky. I was cocky to make bold moves. You can’t have any doubts in yourself. If you have doubts in yourself, that’s a bad thing. I was never cocky in front of people, but behind the scenes I was – just not like they edited me. I would tell Crystal and Sugar all my plans. I should have played more under the radar and not taken charge. But someone had to step up.
RNO: Even in light of that, do you think you were the most strategic player this season?
Ken: This season? Definitely. There weren’t a lot of strategic players. Randy was a very strategic player, Ace was a very strategic player. Somewhat Crystal too. Anybody else this season, they didn’t know what they were doing out there. But I was one of the most strategic players – I was always thinking out there. I thought of every situation and how to take advantage. And it played out pretty well for me.
RNO: You voted for Susie. But considering you were such a strategic player, why her?
Ken: When I came to Tribal Council, I wanted everybody to be honest with me and answer the way I wanted them to answer me. I wanted certain answers from each player.
I asked Sugar – I wanted her to say she was a mastermind playing me since Day 1. She didn’t say that. With Bob, I wanted him to tell me that he was playing me and never intended to give me the necklace in the first place. But he said he played with integrity and was totally honest – total bullcrap. Just be honest. I just wanted him to admit it.
With Susie, she was the most honest. Without her, Kota would have dominated – she flipped when she needed to flip. In the last immunity challenge, she gave it her all. I thought she played a pretty good game, though she rode coattails. But she’s not physical and wasn’t as smart as a lot of players out there. That’s why I gave it to Susie.
RNO: Why did you still believe Sugar immediately following her betrayal of you to vote off Crystal?
Ken: During Day 10, I made a pact with Sugar and said I’d take her to the end. I made a promise to her sister during the loved ones visit to get her to the end. She didn’t like Crystal very much, I loved Crystal. Sugar was always telling me to bring in Matty and vote out Crystal. I said no, she’s very loyal. Sugar had been targeting Crystal way before the last few episodes. I figured she was out to get Crystal but she gave me her word and she trusts me. I didn’t know she’d backstab me that much. I’m a different player than Crystal. She kept saying she wanted me and Matty in the final three, all the way back to the merge. I figured that’s why she took out Crystal. That’s why I thought she was still with me.
RNO: After Sugar answered your final Tribal Council question about why she voted you out, you told Sugar, “For some reason, I don’t believe you.” Why didn’t you believe her?
Ken: Because she said I was a huge threat. When you look up there, there was Matty and Bob, the biggest threat in the game. Come on, how am I more of a threat than Matty or Bob? It didn’t make any sense to me. The jury hated me! I was someone you wanted to sit next to in the finals. But she wanted to take Bob and Matty. That didn’t seem right at all.
RNO: Here’s a topic that has been simmering for a little while. Charlie told me that when Dan, Susie, and Randy came over in the tribal switch, they told him you had been calling him “fag” behind his back. Do you want to explain what that was all about?
Ken: I’ve never said that f-word. During the early days of Fang, everybody was talking about everybody in the other tribe. People mentioned Charlie and said he’s definitely gay. Randy was like, “You should snuggle next to Charlie,” but I said I’d rather snuggle with the hot girls. Randy would say the f-word, but once the tribe switched, it was great strategy for him to talk down on us so he could get into their group. He said anything he could to make us look bad and stay with them at the merge.
When the tribes merged, I finally met Charlie and he kind of distanced himself from me. I tried to talk to him and he thought I was a homophobe. When we went to Tribal Council, I knew Charlie was going home and I made sure to note that Charlie wasn’t going to go home because I was discriminating against his sexuality. I don’t’ discriminate against anybody. I told Charlie, I never called him the f-word. Are you going to believe me or Randy? You can believe hearsay but I made sure to tell him. I’m voting you off because you’re a strategic player and the idol [event] and I made sure he knew I took him out because of that.
RNO: Why did you have such a tight alliance with Crystal?
Ken: I had a tight alliance with Crystal because we were together since Day 1 out there. She was an Olympic gold medal champion and I was a video game champion.
She was so real out there and I knew someone real, whatever she said, she wasn’t lying to me. She was expressing her heart to me. I knew she wasn’t going to flip on me. I gave her my word, “I’ll be with you no matter what.” Who would have thought me, the video gamer, would get along with Crystal – she’s huge compared to me, it was the craziest alliance. I loved her and I still love her today. She’s just great. We got along really well.
RNO: I heard from some previous contestants that Sugar received a princess edit, leaving out some of her more unlikable behavior. What do you think?
Ken: I think it’s true. Sugar got the best edit of the season – they gave her the sweetheart role and she wasn’t like that. She cried a lot and was annoying a lot of people out there. She was very demanding and wanted things her way. I would cook rice with tuna and she’d insist that the tuna was on top of the rice. I’d ask if we couldn’t just mix it in and she’d say no, it had to be on top. I’d have to cook it her way.
For the edits, I was the evil guy – they made me to be the villain. My cockiness came from confidence in the confessionals. I played the game and took out people who were in my way. I knew I had to throw out all emotions and play the game. I get so attached to people and take care of them, like I took care of Sugar. It’s just hard, you can’t play with emotions.
RNO: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your time on Survivor?
Ken: In the beginning of Fang, they made us seem like we didn’t have any alliances, but I made an alliance with GC since Day 1, he was one of my close friends out there. I feel bad about the way they edited him out there. He and I were the providers of Fang in the beginning. Everybody had alliances – Matty and Susie flipped out of my alliance with Crystal and GC.
Other than that, Gabon’s a great place. I enjoyed every minute out there. It was a crazy experience to even play Survivor. I was happy to even be cast to play one of my favorite games.
RNO: Thanks again, Ken!