Recently, esteemed host o' t' new show Pirate Master, Cmeron Daddo sat down for a pre-show conference call where he spilled some secrets, gave his opinions on all t' Pirates, and told us he is definitely not Jeff Probst!
Hmm… I wrote that intro, then plugged it into the Pirate Translator, and that’s what I got. Apparently I write like a pirate all the time! Oh well.
Moving on. I’ll admit that I wasn’t too familiar with Cameron’s work, but after a quick web search, I discovered that the man has a pretty sizable resume. Not only did he have a part in Big Momma’s House, he also got to star in the ultra-cheestastic Models Inc, (which also starred Carrie-Anne Moss. Weird!). I’m sure all of this makes him the perfect one to host Pirate Master.
I wouldn’t mind being a pirate, if I didn’t have to do all of that hard piratey stuff!
Cameron kicks off the interview by talking about everyday life for the Pirate Masters. The producers tried to keep the pirate experience as authentic as possible, (while discouraging the pillaging and raping aspect), which made Pirate Master the ultimate in fantasy-reality.
The Pirate Masters wore period clothing, (with modern shoes to help them compete in the expeditions- more about that later), ate period food and said “Ahoy ye mateys” a lot. The ship could sleep 50 people, and most of the Pirates slept head to foot in wooden bunks. The Captain and his two officers were always afforded better digs though, with actual bedding. They also got the good eats and chowed down on steak, eggs and chicken while the other Pirates ate gruel, stew and whatever else they could forage.
Pirate Master was filmed on a working ship, and the Pirates were responsible for making sure everything went smoothly. That meant that they had to swab the deck, raise the anchors, participate in four-hour watches, (to make sure they wouldn’t be attacked by competing reality TV show pirates), clean the galleys, cook, maintain the ship and clean the toilets. Sounds… glorious.
Cameron notes that an effort was really made to keep the living/ working experience as close to 1730 as possible for the show. All of the maps, compasses, materials and tool were period replicas created by the art department and helped make the illusion a reality for the contestants.
Well, it’s certainly Survivor-esque.
This is a Mark Burnett show, so of course comparisons are going to be made to Survivor. You have a big group of people who don’t know each other, competing in a tropical location for a cash prize. Each week someone gets voted off, and there are physical and mental challenges plus strategizing, alliances and backstabbing.
When asked if Pirate Master is “Survivor on a boat,” Cameron replies that there are some similarities, but ultimately, the shows are completely different. Survivor is about… surviving, but there’s much more to Pirate Master. The competitors are not split into two teams; they live, work and sleep together. The only times they are divided is for the expeditions, where they are split into two teams to compete for gold.
Oh, and that’s another difference between the two shows. While Survivor has a million dollar cash prize for the winner, Pirate Master has a $500,000 prize for the winner, but the winners of the weekly expeditions win gold coins. Which they can then throw into their junk drawers next to some Susan B Anthony dollars, because last time I checked, gold coins were not readily accepted as currency.
Each week, one of the Pirates is set adrift by his peers, which is like Survivor, but unlike Survivor, the Pirates survived each week by “working… not sitting on their bums,” like the lucky Survivor Castaways. Wow! That’s Cameron’s opinion folks, not mine. On difference? Each week, the captain marks three Pirates for elimination, the Pirates have to make their cases and one of them is set adrift. But, if the Pirates have their acts together, they can mutiny and set the captain adrift.
Jeff Probst 2.0.
Many of the questions posed to Cameron were regarding his hosting style, specifically, if he is like Jeff Probst, and the answer is interesting. Cameron doesn’t compare himself to any other hosts, because Pirate Master is unlike any other show. Except that it’s kind of like Survivor.
Cameron sees his role on the show as that of the parent. Every group of bloodthirsty pirates competing for gold needs a parent right? Since he was not present at any of the expeditions, he had to know when the Pirates were lying to him and when he was being manipulated, so the parent in him came out all the time. He was laid back, but not a fool.
Some sound bites, please.
At the end of the interview, Cameron was asked for his opinion about each of the Pirates, and he was only too happy to oblige:
Nessa- A vixen pirate, packs a huge punch and never to be underestimated.
Joe Don (JD) - Always let his opinion be known, no matter what the consequences.
Ben- Young and adventurous. Beneath his southern charm is a southern cunning pirate.
John- Mysterious, dangerous, a loose cannon and too much intelligence. Also a scientist/ Chippendale’s dancer.
Alexis- Brash, bold, Gold Cards and long black limousine. Don’t get on her bad side!
Kendra- Quiet and seemingly harmless. Unthreatening enough to go the distance.
Louie- Big, loud, jolly bearded pirate. Everyone’s friend with a sense of justice.
Christa- Single mom out for adventure. Determined to win.
Christian- NFL’s Nigerian Nightmare. Friendly, and everyone loves him, but perhaps everyone should fear him.
Laurel- Tough to read, impossible to manipulate.
Jupiter- Exotic, original, bold, smart enough to choose her friends and keep an eye on her enemies.
Sean- Chameleon. Ladies man with the confidence to talk himself in and out of trouble.
Jay- Blue collar working class pirate. He’s seen the worst and thinks this group will be easy prey.
Cheryl- Strong, dominant and understands the criminal mind.
Joy- Beautiful, good-natured. Be friends first, and cut throats later.
Azmyth- Physically tough with the personality to stay in everyone’s good graces until he took control.
Finally, when asked why so many people these days are into Pirates, Cameron doesn’t give the obvious answer about Johnny Depp and a very lucrative film franchise. He tells us that the average person gets up every day, drives into work, sits in a cubicle under fluorescent lights for eight hours, comes home, goes to bed and then wakes up and does it all again the next day. For these people, the idea of piracy is appealing because of the freedom and romance of the high seas. Pirates are sexy, and so is sailing and hunting for buried treasure.
Eh, I just like Johnny Depp.
Pirate Master premieres May 31st at 8pm on CBS. I know I’ll be watching with my eye patch on!