NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to be for all sorts of “Survivor: Cagayan” back-stabbin’, torch-snuffin’ fun. Check out our interview with “Survivor” winner Tony Vlachos and keep checking back for the rest of my exit interviews with the final four. And, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.
Gordon Holmes: You…damnit…you…
Spencer Bledsoe: (Laughs)
Holmes: I get your bio and you’re such a little…
Holmes: It’s all, “Yeah, I’m like John Cochran, but I don’t suck.” And, “Everybody else is gonna get their butt kicked because I’m so good at chess.”
Holmes: I’m thinking this kid is dead in the water. And then, you go on and become the fan favorite. What the heck is your problem? What’s wrong with you?
Bledsoe: It’s pretty ironic, right? I think you thought it and saw it. Casting thought it and saw it. And most sane people who were reading that bio thought it and saw it. Like my mom said, I was setting myself up to be the first one out. I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. So, I guess the benefit of that is I can only surpass expectations.
Bledsoe: And luckily I did.
Holmes: Was this all a ploy to punk Jeff Probst…wait do kids still say ‘punk’?
Holmes: To troll Jeff Probst?
Bledsoe: No. I would never troll Jeff Probst.
Holmes: Cause that I can support. I’m on board with that.
Bledsoe: I would never troll Jeff Probst. That said, Jeff Probst is definitely fun to mess with. During casting I found it really fun to rile him up and antagonize him. We had a lot of healthy sparing matches.
Holmes: You are a “Survivor” super fan. So am I. My first season that I went out for was “Survivor: Gabon.” I remember when I was on the way there, I was really concerned that I would see something that would make me hate it.
Bledsoe: Like being disillusioned with it?
Holmes: Exactly. Like if Probst was a jerk, or I’d find out it was totally fake. Did you have that concern?
Bledsoe: There were so many other things that I was worried about, so I wasn’t concerned. Luckily, that wasn’t something I needed to worry about. It’s not fake. Jeff Probst is not a jerk. He has a temper, but he’s a nice guy overall. “Survivor” is as real as you think. It was in no way a letdown getting to live it out.
Holmes: Back when Jefra was thinking about flipping, you had an idol that nobody knew about. That could have tipped the scales over to your alliance. Why didn’t you make that move?
Bledsoe: I think it was a moment where I saw the opportunity coming and going and in “Survivor” that happens a lot. I think in that moment I assessed the situation and said it might be risky to act. And I underestimated the risk of not doing anything. I wish I had been quicker on that gut instinct that was to come clean and share the idol.
Holmes: Do you see that moment in your dreams? Do you wake up in a cold sweat?
Bledsoe: (Laughs) Yeah, that and the final four immunity challenge. I see those in my nightmares.
Holmes: I talked to Jeff last week and he said you’d be someone they’d definitely be interested in bringing back. What do you take from this experience that you can apply next time?
Bledsoe: Instincts would be first and foremost. When you have a thought bubble come by, act on it. I was worried about taking a risk. I don’t think I fully realized that not only are risks necessary. But if you don’t seek out the right risks that you’re going to end up with the risk of doing nothing. So, taking more calculated risks. Also, focusing on the short term. In that obnoxious bio I said I could see my win ten moves in advance. What I should have been doing more is focusing on the next three days. And I wouldn’t take it to the extreme and have an “anyone but me” strategy like Sandra (Diaz Twine). But some people plan too far in advance.
Holmes: We also need more chess analogies.
Bledsoe: Yeah! The only good one was I told Tony that we were all his pawns.
Holmes: As a “Survivor” fan you must’ve loved the final two.
Bledsoe: Yeah, but part of the benefit of a final two is when people know there’s a final two. Because then they can’t make these final-three deals and just go securely to the end. I think the final two being a surprise took away some of its draw.
Holmes: Because instead of having a fourth person on the outs, they should be thinking about who they can trust in their three. I thought you played it as best as you could. Did you think at any point Tony was going to turn on Woo and keep you?
Bledsoe: Yeah, it felt a little like I was making something out of nothing, and part of that was because of Tony’s clever bluff that he could use his idol at final four. But, at the time I thought he was considering it. I thought it make sense. But, in retrospect, I’m not sure if he was giving it too much serious consideration. I think that while I thought it was a no brainer, I think Tony had a more accurate read on Woo and that he could rely on his sense of loyalty to take him to the end. That’s something I didn’t see coming.
Holmes: Before the season starts, everyone is asked which former player they’re like. Most people say Parvati Shallow or “Boston” Rob Mariano. But after your speech last night, apparently you’re David Murphy from “Redemption Island”?
Bledsoe: I was like David Murphy meets Erik Cardona or something. I think if you’re a fan and you’re in the position to care about who wins, why not try to influence it? People might say it’s not the role of a juror, but I had a goal to see the right person win.
Holmes: I have an interview with Kass later on that I anticipate will be very lively.
Bledsoe: Yeah. You can bet on it.
Holmes: So what is real-life Kass like?
Bledsoe: Wow…real-life Kass. Kass is introverted. She’s very much in her own head and sometimes you don’t know what she’s thinking because of that. You have to dig and make an effort to get to know Kass. I think Kass is probably a much nicer person than a lot of people think. I think she has a lot of really good qualities. I think she gives a good first impression. When I first met her I really liked her. She’s an interesting lady. I think circumstances just really brought out the worst in her as far as day-to-day living and some of her more villainous qualities coming out.
Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Trish.
Bledsoe: I’ll say confused.
Holmes: As “Survivor” fans we like to talk about the best this and the worst that. Woo’s move to take Tony to the end has got to been seen as one of the worst ever, very reminiscent of Colby Donaldson taking Tina Wesson to the end of “Survivor: The Australian Outback.”
Bledsoe: Oh yeah.
Holmes: Where do you think it ranks?
Bledsoe: Worst move ever? I would say…it’s way up there. Maybe top five. I can’t remember how big of a goat Keith (Famie) was perceived, but it has to rival that.
Holmes: Keith was viewed as quite the villain, but he didn’t do much wrong. That was back in the days where Richard Hatch was a bad guy for starting an alliance. Because that’s so evil.
Bledsoe: Yeah, evil alliances, which are now the lifeblood of the game.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes