Second boot this season is Shannon Elkins, one of the more outspoken Survivors this season. Read on as Mr. Elkins explains his more controversial comments about women, gays, and New York, and how disappointed he was to be stuck on the La Flor tribe...
Looking back, do you have any regrets about talking so much at Tribal Council?
No. I knew I was going home. They did say in the episode that it was five-five, it was actually....I mean, yíall have interviewed Survivors before, and Survivors know that when you go on the night before you actually go to Tribal, if your people arenít looking at you in the face and making eye contact with you and theyíre kind of keeping their heads down and avoiding you, you know theyíre voting against you.
So, I knew I was going home. Six-four, easy. Iím glad Kelly voted the other way and I wish Alina wouldíve and Fabio because what it does now, it puts a little target on their back for sticking by me. So I knew I was going home. I wouldíve did like a robot and not have said a damn thing if I thought I was staying, but I knew I was going home. So thatís why I kind of went off on everybody.
Did you have any issues with Sash going into Tribal Council, or was that all in the moment?
That was pretty much all in the moment. A lot of what you donít see....you understand edits, being fans of the show. What really happened was that I was dealing with Chaseís bulls*** for six days, about how heís a fine country music singer and he has to show his image as honor and integrity and respect and loyalty, and all of that crap and sob stories. I was dealing with that for six days and was thinking he was on my side. But then again, I knew he was in love with Brenda.
So when it came down to it, I knew he wasnít going to give me the rose that night because he was with Brenda. But I was just making out like this is who yíall are going with, Chase, this weak guy that Brenda plays marbles every night, with his little balls every night. Yíall were going to go with this weak dude thatís lying to you? And then the whole time Iím trying to make my point, I have....because I didnít lie to anybody in the game, Alina was the best one to stand up for me and say that Shannon is the only one straight-shooting right now and Chase is the only one being wishy-washy. And she was playing both sides, because she told me.
After being so strong the week before, why is the tribe so splintered? Is it Nay, Chase, Brenda...is it one person?
Well, no. Like I was explaining to you about Tribal, I knew Brenda and Chase were in love with each other, or he was in love with her. She was playing him like a fiddle and in Survivor youíve got to break up those relationships. I wanted to be with the alpha male because Iíve watched the season before, Iíve watched a few other seasons, and the whole time Russell and Rob spent all their time beating each other up instead of playing the game and beating everybody else. Thatís what I wanted to do with Chase.
But I think we had a little downfall because we had some drama go on between NaOnka and Fabio and he couldnít get his sock back from a girl. NaOnka probably wouldíve beat him up anyway. So that was some little drama. When youíre going into a competition as a teammate - I played basketball five-on-five, you have to be a unit, and thatís what happened going into that challenge.
After approaching Chase about Brenda, do you think you could have approached Brenda instead to get rid of Chase, and flipped it on him?
No, because the whole time Chase is out there agreeing with us and saying that sheís going home. Behind our backs - Iím talking about the five other people besides him in our alliance - behind our backs heís going to her and telling her everything thatís going on, and nobody else knew that. If they did, they didnít bring it to my attention, or I wouldíve tried to work something out there. But the vote and everything got changed on me after I was out there and weíre about to go into Tribal.
So thatís why I went in like I said Sash was coming at me, coming at me, coming at me. And when he came at me, Iím like, "Okay, look, fine, I lied to you because you lied to me." And he said, "When did I lie to you?" I said, "When you told me you werenít gay." Thatís how that came out. I never questioned the guy about his sexual preference. I donít care. I mean, who am I to judge him and what he does? Iím no one to judge, I promise you that, man.
It came off wrong. I was trying to show them that look, Chase is a liar. Iíve already showed you all that. This guy who I stereotyped, or that I'm guilty of stereotyping and thought he was a certain person, I felt he was lying to me about it. I was like, if heís lying about who he is as a person, heís going to lie to you all about the game. So thatís the point I was trying to get across. I wasnít bashing anybody. I was just trying to get that point across that the guyís lying to me and he will lie to you all, you know?
You mentioned in the first episode that you didnít want the girls to gang up and win this season. Did you feel threatened by the women?
No. The only woman I felt threatened by, and I think the other women on our tribe did [also], was Brenda. As far as game knowledge, I think she was on my level and she was the one on that side that we felt was a threat. But what happened was - I would have loved to team up with Brenda, but what happened was...I went with Alina and Kelly B. on our side. Whenever I picked those two girls to go with us, they felt the same way and wanted to get Brenda out. Now on Survivor, it doesn't matter how big and strong you are. They don't care about strength in challenges, they want someone who will make the biggest move.
So these girls knew, getting her out would have been good. But physically-wise, sheís a good girl to have with us. So, if we donít give these two girls Alina and Kelly B. the vote that they wanted, they could turn it around on us next time we go to Tribal and then BAM. I already had a target on my back and then Chase would too because heís a bigger guy. They might turn it and get us out. I wasn't looking for that next vote, I was looking for the future of the game. I knew if I won that vote against Brenda, that Iíd have went a long ways. But Chase had already had it, they had already fell in love on day one so I wasnít gonna try to go in there and take his girlfriend.
Let me clear up something on the sexist side about not wanting a girl to win. I was just joking about the...I mean, Iím married, been married since I was nineteen. I know that women can dominate weak men. Like, Chase was just weak! Heíd just hand over his whole Survivor deal to Brenda, like ďHere, play for me.Ē And thatís what women are good at getting from some of those guys. Thatís all I was basically going at.
You said that you knew right before Tribal what was going to happen, was there something specific that clued you in?
Well I know Ben is gonna kick me in the butt for saying this, but before we went in, itís like ďGame offĒ right before you go in. But thatís when everything was changed on me, so I felt kinda like, ultimately betrayed. Everybody thought the vote was going 6-4, Brenda, but Chase realized he had to give either me the rose, or Brenda the rose, and he couldnít let go of his little boo, so he gave her the rose. And Ben had to go with Chase because Ben was probably scared of me. I donít blame him coming from him, but...so he went with Chase too. Kelly B. obviously switched her vote on me after she saw me going off on everybody, she was probably a little nervous. But she saw who was being real and who wasnít, so thatís good. Everythingís okay.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
The only thing I could have did, to ensure me one more show, was just vote out NaOnka. I mean, that was the easiest...she was a sitting duck, that was a piece of cake. But it just wasnít the move to get me the furthest in the game, you know? That would have made me one more show - big deal! I was still a huge target, but once I got Brenda off my back, I wasnít. That was my move to go to the jury, was to get Brenda out.
What part of Louisiana are you from - rural, urban?
Iím from Lafayette. Actually I was born in Texas but Iím from Lafayette here in Louisiana.
Youíd never been out in the wild before?
No, Iím not a big hunter/fisherman. I like to try to stay clean and get me a shower or two a day and I like to brush my teeth, my brother. [laughs]
What were your feelings upon arriving in Nicaragua?
I was really nervous at first about what I was gonna do with my hair! After I realized that youíre so dirty and stinky and I was dealing with nine other children that I had to tame like cats out there, I really didnít have time to think about my hair. After that went away, what was next for me was, ďDude, how I was going to wipe my ass when I took a s***?Ē [laughs] That was my biggest problem. After the second or third day, and youíre all stanky dirty, you just roll with it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be though, I'll tell you that.
What do you think are the chances for La Flor moving forward?
I think because of the way the challenges have to play out, theyíre not going to be too physical, so I think La Flor will do well. As long as NaOnka and Fabio can put that little dumb high school crap aside, and Fabio just submit to her because he canít beat NaOnka up, then I think that theyíll be fine. But you canít go into competition with everybody disliking each other, you know what Iím saying? You wonít win, you wonít go far. Thereís no telling what would have happened if Brenda went home and I stayed, there would have been super fireworks. I would have had to send Chase home, I would have had to send Sash home, it would have been on. I donít know how well weíd have done in challenges either. But after about four or five days out there, I kinda wanted to lose anyway - I was like, letís get this voting off people started.
How did you guys lose the challenge?
Iím not gonna blame anybody because we lost as a team, but I think that I definitely should have been the shooter. Iíve been shooting basketball since I was big enough to pick up a basketball. So I think I should have been the shooter, but Ben stepped up, he wanted to take that challenge. I already knew I was a target, so who am I to say, ďNah, I think I should...Ē That puts an even bigger target [on me], so if I do happen to lose, itís an even bigger target. So I just let him shoot, I was just the little runner. I think we lost the challenge mainly before we walked in, like I said. We had a little tiff between NaOnka and Fabio - that kind of setting, you gotta go into these challenges as a unit, you know, everybody be on the same page. But when you got that fussing going on, that was in the back of Fabioís mind the whole time he was playing, Iím sure, the crap he was having with NaOnka. Not to mention, he was probably scared out of his little green shorts because he knows NaOnka would whip him. So, we needed to go in as a unit and we didnít. Thatís what did us in, I believe.
What did you think when you found out it was old versus young this season?
Aw, it sucked, man. If you seen my face whenever they swap us up, Iím like, talking to Jimmy [Johnson], like damn, I wanted to play with you, Jimmy! I knew I was going to be the oldest on the young tribe because Iíve been married since I was nineteen and Iím thirty years old, so I had a lot of experience in life. I looked at everybody else and saw a bunch of little mackers out there with me. So I knew it was going to be hard to take all these cats to the water bowl and make them drink, even though they knew they needed to drink, they just couldnít do it because they werenít there. Whereas, if I could have been with some of the older people that I could relate with, I think it would have been a lot different outcome. Iím not bitter, Iím glad I got the experience. It was great.
Why do you think you were such a target? Why were you voted off?
Why do I think I was a target? Because you stand me up with any of those other little kids on my tribe and you tell me why you donít think I was a target. I mean, Iím physically dominant over any one of those guys. I could probably beat the other four of them by myself.
Does that mean they should have kept you around?
Yeah, but thatís not the game anymore. The game now, since Russell, itís not about whoís strong, and keeping your tribe strong, itís about you staying strong and making your tribe weak so they need you. And thatís what was going on. Itís not about the strongest guy, they knew they didnít need me physically because they were playing the older guys. They thought that they could beat them without me, and they can and probably will. So itís about making the biggest move these days in Survivor, not about keeping the strongest guy around.
What were your thoughts on the outburst you made towards Sash? Did you feel as though you came off as homophobic?
First of all, I apologize for one thing, and thatís stereotyping. I stereotyped Sash, I stereotyped New York. Those other people were stereotyping me, no doubt. But they canít sack up and say it. They probably thought I was a hillbilly from Louisiana, but they just couldnít say it and they wouldnít say it to my face because itís not their personality. I don't care what Sash does in his spare time. I don't care what anybody does, and who am I to judge? I'm not perfect by any means, you know what Iím saying? The reason why I came at him like that, like I said earlier, I went at Chase for everything he said he was. I went at him and proved he wasnít. The only conversation I had with Sash was when he told me that he was genuine, but I felt he wasnít. I felt he was acting a certain way so I called him on what I thought he was. That's my personal opinion, thatís nobody elseís opinion. I said look, I think the guyís lying to me and I wanted to show that if he lied to me, he would lie to yíall to further himself in the game. So thatís where I went with it. I didn't bash gays. I'm not a homophobe and I'm not a sexist. It was all about the battle for a million dollars. You didn't see all of it. You didnít see the guy press me to the point, on and on and on, calling me a liar. I was like, look, dude, Iím lying to you because youíve been lying to me! And thatís when it went that way. Iím sorry people feel that Iím bashing the gay community, and thatís not it at all, man.
If you really watch the show, you can tell in the editing, the voice didnít even sound like it went, you know? Iím not taking back anything I said, itís out there, but thatís not how Tribal went. You only saw about 30 to 40 percent of it, thank God, because it went a lot crazier than that, but it was fun. But thatís where I stand on it. Iím not bitter, Iím not a crazy person. I went in there pissed off because people were lying and trying to say I was a liar. I was just defending myself.
How is it youíre from Louisiana and have never eaten rice?
Iím a very picky eater! I should be a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A. I eat so much damn Chick-fil-A, the nuggets and everything, Iím about to grow wings. Or start laying eggs. [laughs] But I eat a lot of chicken and beef, my grandma kind of spoiled me to where if I didnít like it, I didnít eat it. I never eat any seafood, Iíve never had a crawfish. I just donít eat those foods. Call it weird. Maybe itís the Texan in me.
Who would you like to see win the competition?
I always want to lose to the best, man, so I think Brenda orchestrated this, so letís let Brenda win! I don't want to lose to somebody who loses.