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Survivor Cagayan – Exclusive Interview With David Samson and Garrett Adelstein

david sam

Garrett Adelstein

It was a double elimination episode last week on Survivor Cagayan with two members of the Brain’s tribe gone.

It was also a double interview so had to hastily scribble out the question to David asking if he thought poker player Garrett was a complete p***k. For the record they have cleared the air and are good mates, maybe being the only two of Ponderosa for a few days assisted in rehabilitating their relationship.

We discussed JTia and whether she should have been allowed to be on the show, why the brains tribe appears to be a bit of a basket case and strategy.

Reality Ravings: David, what made you go on a show like Survivor. You are head of an organisation [Miami Marlins] were you worried about your reputation? 

David Samson: No not at all. I did it because it is something I have always wanted to do and I have always wanted to do. In life why not do something great even if you are going to get criticised for it. I don’t care about that.

RR: When did you know that you were going to be split up into three tribes and did you think you were in the right tribe?

DS:  We did not know until the game started. We had no idea. The game started I looked around and I saw Morgan, Jefra and Alexis, and I saw Tony, Sarah and Cliff on the same tribe so I got a little suspicious. Garrett looked like he could be on any tribe I knew something was going on.

RR: What about you Garrett why did you end going on the show? Did you send in an application or were you cast?

Garrett Adelstein: I was recruited, they saw me at a bar. I realised what a great opportunity it was. Both in terms of having a life changing experience and doing something I have not done before. I think in life we always to do things that other people really want. I think this really put the icing on the cake for me after going online and reading about the 1000’s upon 1000’s of people who have been trying to get on for a decade plus. I just fell on the winning lottery ticket.

RR: Obviously there is editing involved on these shows. We saw be selected as the weakest link in the tribe, was that the reason you decided to target David be kicked off the tribe or was there some other strategy involved. 

GA: It was a combination of a couple things. On Survivor you get so few opportunities with your actions. To illustrate where your allegiances are. Unfortunately for David the first action put something in my head that he was someone who wanted to work with me. In the short or long term. I think we saw a couple of different confessionals from him confirming that. Strategically there was a good math behind that. Basically how our tribe was eventually set up there were three pairs of twos – David and Kass, J Tia and Tash and me and Spencer. On day one I really went to work on Kass in hope she would end up going with us and once David left which would me Spencer and I would have a majority of three. I think all the viewers ended up seeing how that played out. It did not work out for me.

RR: David being appointed leader was obviously a poison chalice. What was your strategy going into the game or were you just playing  it by ear? Did you have a strategy before you got on the island?

DS: Of course I had a strategy. It was to stay under the radar, just go with the flow and get past the early part of the game before really getting going. Really focus on shelter, fire and water in the beginning. Survivor is the greatest show in the history of television because it comes up with something new every season. What was new was someone had to be a leader. That was really the end of my strategy when they chose me as leader and I had no choice but to act like a leader and that hurt me. I think it is going to hurt LJ and Sarah the other leaders too as it is very hard to be in that position at the beginning of the game.

RR: Is the brains a bit dysfunctional, you lost the first two challenges. Is that because you are not working well together or that is just bad luck in play?

David: The first three days were completely dysfunctional. No chemistry and no ability to work well together. It was a disaster. It was unfortunate. The next three days, I watched the same episode you did and it continued. Voting out me and Garrett the first two, as much as Garrett wanted to get me out and it did not work out for either of us and the brains tribe is worse off because of it.

RR: Did you know Garrett was targeting you?

DS: It did not occur to me that Garrett or the other people would not want to vote off JTia. Who would not want to vote her out? She was a lunatic, she was lazy, she was crazy. If Garrett wants to get rid of me then do it day six or day nine.

RR: Maybe they have seen those seasons with Special Agent Phillip who is a bit nutty as well. Was that the same for you Garrett that you did not have to take your immunity idol now as you’re sure JTia’s is going to be gone?

GA: Sure. Just to reiterate what David said there is a delicious irony choosing to get rid of someone who is now a good friend of mine instead of the clearly mentally unstable girl and that eventually leading to my own demise as well. I had a lot of confidence going into that second tribal council. To be honest it is hard to even construct a scenario where someone could feel more confident in the situation. This is someone who was very dislikable. Not one person, in particular Kass really had a vendetta against JTia. Someone who threw two challenges and is easily one of the poorest challenge competitors we have ever seen and someone who takes our only food source when we are starving to death and last and arguably the most important I think strategically for Kass it was decision. She was third of fourth in that alliance at the moment and I have serious doubt the Brain’s ability but to finish last in the next few challenges. It is a situation as I was shocked as David was. It is a mistake to not always bring it to every tribal council.

RR: You both mention that JTia is mentally unstable should she even be on the show? Is she dangerous out there?

DS: She was not dangerous. She was just crazy and lazy. People react differently to their surroundings and to hunger. She thought she was going home so she thought she would take everybody’s food which I just think is silly and I don’t think it is good game play or helpful. However she is still there and we’re not so maybe she is the smart one.

GA: You compare this to the Brandon Hantz situation, I would argue pretty strongly in both cases that the casting department at CBS did nothing wrong. They are fully in their rights to cast whoever they want in the show. I think it is impossible for someone  to predict how they would act in these extreme circumstances and even if they did I think are making a television show.

Survivor on GO Thursday nights at 8.30pm.


1 Jason { 03.07.14 at 8:33 am }

I was sorry to see Garrett get voted off – I would have liked a few more episodes of him wandering around in his little black trunks!
Yes, they should have voted off J’Tia – she was even worse in this week’s episode’s challenge!

2 Ali { 03.07.14 at 2:03 pm }

That was a great interview RR. I wish you had asked David whether GQ had come knocking with a fashion spread proposal, because here’s a guy who, when propelled into a hostile Survivor castaway environment, stops to lecture everyone on the difference between a suit and a co-ordinated ensemble. He’s my kind of player – pedantic AND fashion conscious.

I’m not surprised Garrett was “cast” and hadn’t applied because he wasn’t playing by the “rules”, like someone who has studied the game over many seasons. I was fascinated by how rattled his Tribe were by that. I think that reflects what happens in wider society: the person who unsettles everyone by being a maverick gets punished.

3 Carrie { 03.07.14 at 7:13 pm }

Props to you Ali for being so insightful regarding Garrett. You are spot on.

4 daisy { 03.07.14 at 8:38 pm }

I love the comment too Ali. Fashion conscious on Survivor Island. He must have imagined he was The Admirable Chrighton.

And yes, funny how those who had learned the Survivor formula couldn’t handle someone not playing accordingly. Not really so smart of them.

5 Sioux Denim { 03.08.14 at 12:35 am }

Really interesting interview on a few levels….and how the hell does a bar tender get a gig on this show without applying…i know looks are good but sheesh, the guy is just a dick!