I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.
Name: Michael Snow
Hometown: New York, NY
Occupation: Event Planner
Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Fans” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the returning players. They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.
Gordon Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Michael Snow: I’m a huge “Survivor” fan. I’ve been watching for a number of years now.
Holmes: When did you start?
Snow: I want to say four or five years ago. It wasn’t because I wasn’t interested in it, I just never had a television. So, when I started watching television I found this show and said, “Whoa! This is crazy.” I immediately thought, I want to do this and started sending tapes in.
Holmes: How many times did you apply?
Snow: I’m bad with little, minor details, but I think four or five.
Holmes: Are you bad with names?
Snow: No, I’ll be fine out there with names, but if I see you four years later I’m going to be like, “Oh, yeah…you…” I used to be good, but as I get older it’s flitting away. If I’m ever with you and don’t introduce you to people, it’s because I don’t remember your name.
Holmes: I’m the worst. I had a girlfriend where we had a cue that if I squeezed her hand three times quickly, she knew to introduce herself to people whose names I didn’t remember.
Snow: See, I’ve already forgot your name…
Holmes: Don’t feel bad about it, if I didn’t have these bios in front of me, I’d have forgotten.
Holmes: You don’t like crazy.
Holmes: I have a hunch that some crazy is coming your way soon.
Snow: Oh, I anticipate running into crazy people. I don’t like crazy, but don’t we all live with crazy every day? I’ve had roommates, friends, coworkers who were just bananas, but it’s not a problem. It drives me crazy when people aren’t making any sense.
Holmes: You’re a theater guy, as am I. There seems to be a ton of crazy in that industry. Does that background help you at all?
Snow: Absolutely. I’m very easy-going. I have a long line of patience. But, I do reach that point where I just can’t take it anymore. I’m not worried about it. I’m not going to seem like a jerk because I’m not just going to fly off the handle if someone acts crazy. It’d have to build up.
Holmes: Do you have any concerns about how you’ll be able to handle the lack of food, lack of sleep, or lack of water?
Snow: Well, if I’m not eating my fuse is much shorter. That’s just something that I’ve known going into this that I’m going to have to really keep in check. It’s easier for me to handle that when I’m around people that I don’t know so well. With a bunch of total strangers, I’ll be on my best behavior.
Holmes: Why do you think you were cast?
Snow: That’s a good question!
Holmes: That’s why I asked it.
Snow: I’ve actually been wondering. I think there’s a lot to me. I’m serious, but I’m also a giant goofball. I’m empathetic, but I can be very frank. I think they saw a lot of different things. Here’s a guy that will say what’s on his mind, but he’s not a blabbermouth.
Holmes: I don’t see a giant goofball when I look at you.
Snow: You don’t?
Holmes: You seem perfectly respectable.
Snow: I’m not going to be goofy for goofy’s sake. It comes out in moments.
Holmes: As a “Survivor” fan you are surely aware that lying happens in this game. Have you set any limits for yourself as far as deception goes?
Snow: No, I’m surprised when people think that can play without lying. I’m not going to tell lies just to tell lies. I think the best lies come out of some truth. You bring out a lie when you need one. And if anyone thinks they can go through the game without lying, they’re fooling themselves. Even not saying something is a form of a lie.
Holmes: Is there anything about your personal life that you’ll keep a secret?
Snow: The one thing I considered doing was keeping my age under wraps. But, I don’t want to get caught in any kind of lie that’s stupid like that.
Holmes: I don’t think you need to lie about your age.
Snow: Yeah, but I think I’m the oldest one here.
Holmes: But you look perfectly fit. As long as you can contribute in challenges you should be fine.
Snow: But, people are so savvy now, they’ll find any reason to vote you out.
Holmes: Sophie from “South Pacific” is a good example. She’s very young, but she struck me as an old soul. The question is, can you talk to a young person and make it seem like you’re equals.
Holmes: Do you deal with younger people well?
Snow: Yeah. I work with, not kids, but this past couple of years I’ve been working with people from 23 to 30 years old. That isn’t a kid, but they’re from a different generation.
Holmes: What mistakes have you seen on the show lately that you’re hoping to avoid?
Snow: As a viewer, I find it frustrating when you see people who need to make a big move and they don’t do it. Hopefully, I’ll have the wherewithal and not be exhausted if that time comes for me.
Holmes: Any plans for the million bucks?
Snow: My partner and I want to get a house in New York.
Holmes: Oh, real estate in New York is so affordable.
Snow: I know. We might be able to afford a nice one-bedroom apartment if I’m able to win the million dollars.
Holmes: Is he also a “Survivor” fan?
Snow: He is. He loves watching it with me and talking about it.
Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it will be?
Snow: Returnees? The returnee thing…do I want to play against returnees? Yes. But, I also don’t want to because I think they have a huge advantage. If we have to play against returnees, we have to be really smart about it.
Holmes: Are there any returnees you’d want to see?
Snow: I don’t think they’d send “Boston” Rob out again. I’m a big fan of the show, so I’d like to watch them play. Maybe some of the good players like Russell.
Holmes: Do you have any experience roughing it?
Snow: I grew up in Maine, so we did a lot of work on a farm. I come from a place of having to rough it a little bit. Shovel (expletive deleted) and take care of animals. We went fishing and hiking and camping. But, I don’t do it anymore, that’s going to be the interesting part.
Holmes: Any first impressions of this cast?
Snow: Well, the one thing I like is there’s a huge guy. I hope he’s on my tribe. He looks like he’s going to be really fun to play with. There’s a lot of younger people. I wasn’t thinking that I’d be worried about my age, but everyone looks so much younger. I don’t want them to see me as the old person right away.
Holmes: What do you think their first impression of you will be?
Snow: Here I am, a guy from New York City…I don’t look like I’m from the country. They may see me as kind of a smart guy. They might think, “Oh, let’s make him do the puzzles.” Which might not be their best choice.
Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.