Some people are Villains because of their cutthroat game play or their enraged outbursts. Not Tyson Apostol. He’s a villain because he will smile to your face and then shred you to pieces with his razor-sharp comments during confessionals. That and, if he is to be believed, because he’s totally awesome.
Sadly, all the awesomeness in the world couldn’t save him from Russell Hantz’s latest jaw-dropping tribal council manuever.
I spoke with Tyson the morning after his shocking dismissal from the game to find out why he thinks Russell’s bold idol move was really his way of quitting, why he isn’t afraid to show his sensitive side, and who else is targeting Boston Rob on the Villains tribe.
Tyson Apostol: Hey, Gordon.
Gordon Holmes: Hey, Tyson. I wasn’t sure if I was getting you or James, so give me a second to bust out my Tyson questions.
Tyson: I can be James, too.
Gordon: Really? OK “James,” so you got a lot of grief over your argument with Stephenie. Do you think something like that is going to hurt your reputation out of the game?
Tyson: (Imitating James) No, I got a really good edit the first two times and it’s good to finally see the real person I am. And I still get Hooters for free every time I go in, so it doesn’t matter.
Gordon: So there are some perks to being a “Survivor” contestant?
Tyson: (No longer imitating James) I guess so, I haven’t gotten that perk.
Gordon: Wait, was that Tyson or was the James?
Tyson: Oh yeah, sorry. That’s hard. This is hard, dude.
Gordon: Let’s try some Tyson questions.
Gordon: Now that you’ve seen Russell play in Samoa and Heroes Vs. Villains, are you less shocked that he’d make such a bold move with the idol?
Tyson: We all knew he was finding the idol. There was a twenty-foot trench around like ten trees. He took the shovel from camp, and he walked out, and he just started shoveling around for the idol. And we all watched him. And Coach came up to me and told me he had the idol.
Gordon: Do you think Russell knew that his idol trick was going to work and that he had flopped your vote?
Tyson: I don’t think up to that point he’d done anything really strategic. I think that last night he was ready to go home. I think it was a move of desperation and he knew that his alliance was on the bottom. And he also knew that we were splitting the votes like that. And I think that he was pretty sure he was going home, but out of one final hoorah he did something that would make him look good on TV which was be a gentleman and give the idol to a girl.
Gordon: Do you think that move moved Coach at all?
Tyson: In my closing statement I kind of alluded to him winning some alliances with that move. More so the fact that he told Coach that he was his inspiration for being honorable.
Gordon: During last night’s tribal council it became obvious that once the idol was played that if you had voted for Russell that your alliance could have rebounded to boot him. You mentioned your vote was motivated by hot dogs, and in the end your vote cost you some hot dogs.
Tyson: (Laughs) Hot dogs really aren’t my favorite food. But I guess when you’re starving and hungry they’ll become your favorite food. When you get voted out of the game they give you food and it’s usually better than hot dogs.
Gordon: What’d you end up having?
Tyson: I think I had some ahi tuna, and…what’s that cake with like liquid in the center?
Gordon: Like a lava cake?
Tyson: A lava cake. I had like five of those. And then I had horrible, horrible diarrhea.
Gordon: This conversation has taken an awful turn.
Gordon: There’s been a lot talk about a possible Micronesia alliance. Had there been any talk of a Tocantins alliance with you, Coach, JT, and possibly Courtney (who is close with the Tocantins cast)?
Tyson: Yeah, I think when you have any kind of connection it’s going to be talked about. The Micronesia alliance was definitely mentioned. The All-Star cast alliance was mentioned. Anybody who’d played together, anyone who lived in LA or on the East Coast. What I tried to do in the game was to stay as far away as I could from the possibility that I was aligned with Coach or JT.
Gordon: Last night the Boston Rob alliance appeared as if out of nowhere. Were there smaller alliances within that?
Tyson: They don’t really show that at all, but it was originally me, Courtney, and Rob were an alliance. And then we brought Sandra in really quick so it’d be us four to the end. And because of my previous bond with Coach he knew he could come to me with stuff. And, he was tight with Jerri. Jerri wanted Rob out because of what happened during the All-Star season where she had to go home to keep Amber there.
Gordon: OK, let’s bust out some word association. Jerri?
Tyson: Wannabe granola.
Tyson: This one’s so easy, dude. Dragon Slayer. A sensitive Dragon Slayer.
Gordon: Aww…that’s nice. Courtney?
Tyson: Ooo…attitudinal? Is that even a word?
Gordon: I’ll check the dictionary. (Fun Fact: It is!) Russell?
Tyson: Russell? (Laughs) There are so many for Russell. Pig pen.
Gordon: (Laughs) Danielle?
Tyson: I guess I should say something about her ridiculous boobs.
Gordon: Well, I don’t know if you have to.
Gordon: One of the things we saw from you this season was you helping Coach out when he was upset over things Sandra had said at tribal council. Does it bother you that people might get a positive impression of you from that moment?
Tyson: Yeah, that kind of ruins my hard a— image, doesn’t it?
Gordon: Yup, a little bit. Because before you were talking about winning the million dollars and getting a gold-plated car and a man fur and a man tiara, and now you’re a nice guy, you’re Coach’s buddy.
Tyson: I have all that now, so where do I go from there?
Gordon: So when people expect you to zig you should zag?
Tyson: Yes, that saying works perfectly. The thing is, there’s obviously more to me than they’ve shown on either season. And there’s more to everybody. They can’t show everybody’s most intricate details. So for them to show me and Coach having a genuine moment, I’m not opposed to it. But I’m thinking, “OK, these people are going to think I’m a tenderhearted person.” And it didn’t hurt, it just made the housewives like me for more than just my looks.
More “Survivor” Fun: Check back Friday for a live chat with James Clement at 3:30 p.m. ET.