We were lucky enough to participate in an interview with the latest two eliminated Survivors: Dan Kay, a thirty-two year old lawyer who grew up in Walpole, Massachusetts and Ace Gordon, a twenty-seven year old, who runs his own fashion photography studio and works at Cartier selling jewelry. Both were disappointed with their exits before the merge but more than happy to share their views on the remaining players. Dan and Ace genuinely seemed to enjoy participating in the interview together and weren’t afraid to offer their thoughts regarding a question directed to the other.
Do you think it’s possible at all that you played the game too hard? Has that crossed your mind at all?
I think it was definitely applicable that I had more faith in their potential or capacity to be game playing than they actually were. The idea that I played too hard? Anything’s possible, you know? In retrospect, obviously we would all change how we played the game. But on the same note, there were so many twists and turns you can’t go in with a premeditated idea anymore it’s so fluid. It’s just become haphazard almost. So, yes and no. I think my only regret is the fact that I didn’t console . . . I mean I have multiple regrets in relation to the show . . . I didn’t console Sugar enough that she was okay prior and that’s the luck.
A similar question to you, Dan. In the regret category, do you regret not looking for the immunity idol harder when you were out there?
I looked hard. I just looked in the wrong places. So, given the condition of my body when you think about it it was day four and day five that I was there. We’d only had fire for one night we did not boil any water and fill up any of the canteens. We went to a challenge it was the ball roll up the hill that was really difficult. I sweat a lot. But, you know I was really dehydrated and hungry and given the condition of my body and the exhaustion that I felt I do feel I gave it a good faith effort. I just unfortunately overanalyzed I guess would be a polite way of saying I couldn’t find it. I think I overanalyzed the clue a little bit too much.
I do wonder if you did have it would you have thought to play it that night at the tribal council? Did you think there was a need to play? Let’s say you did have it?
That’s a good question. I don’t know if I would have played it. I definitely would have thought about playing it cause there was a small amount of anxiety that they might be trying to flush it out. But, I don’t think I would have. I don’t think I would have.
Ace and Dan
Who are you rooting for? Who do you want to win?
Dan: He loves that. He’s been saying that all day. It’s funny though. Every time. Who do I want to win? I find myself rooting . . . and again . . . anything can happen. It’s Survivor. I would like Sugar to win. I would also like Matty to win. Or Randy. I think they’re good people. I think they play the game hard and that’s why I would want them to win but you know who knows in this game. Who knows.
I want to know Dan are you an ex-fatty?
No, I am not an ex-fatty at all. [laughter]
Ace: The kid played college ball for UMass and was a safety. The kid flies!
Dan: Yeah, what a trip, what a trip that girl is.
I want to go into Marcus a little bit with you, Dan. Is he in control as much as he thinks and is he as cocky around camp as I saw him last night?
I’ll tell you something. I’m glad you saw that last night. I’m glad it’s starting to come out. We would have these talks. And, I’m sorry I’ll try to answer this as quick as possible. We would have these talks at camp when we switched up tribes and he would say I don’t know if I can trust you, you three old Fang members and we would spend hours. Maybe an hour, two hours trying to convince them that they could trust us and how miserable it was at the old Fang tribe and then I’d ask him, well how can we trust you? There’s four of you. And, he would say “Well, I don’t know what to tell you about that.” And, I never really understood until I read what Jeff said about Marcus being subtlety arrogant. It’s perfect, you know? He’s more concerned with himself than other people and that story kind of exemplifies that. I wish him the best. I think he’s an accomplished person but I do think that’s the case.
With your alliance with Sugar, if you had stayed around would you have kept her around and did you trust her?
Well, I must have trusted her. I gave her her immunity idol back and I didn’t turn on her when I could have assassinated her four times in a row so, yes. I can see doing what she did it wasn’t a blindside although Jeff would love to claim that. I mean I knew I was going. That’s why I stood up before the final vote was read. But on the same note, for god’s sake, I walked out thanking who turned on me. It wasn’t like I went, “Oh Matty!” I said “Thanks Sugar.” There’s a reason. I knew it was coming. But, the whole thing is you know at that point I thought she was the best and most strategic alliance because of the fact she needed me. And the only frustrating thing for me being voted out was not that I got voted out. I mean that’s Survivor. But that the frustrating thing is more the capacity that I got voted out for no reason.
Did you try to purposely lose challenges to thin the herd of your tribe?
How’d you know that? Yes, I wanted to lose . . . I lost the first challenge on purpose. The first Fang challenge. I wasn’t trying to lose challenges at Kota. But the first Fang challenge I wanted to make sure I ended up with Sugar because my saving grace would have been the fact that she had the immunity idol combined with I was hoping Jacquie would stay around and then we could start knocking out . . . maybe pull Matty over earlier. The problem was it was a time factor. You know that even if there is a separation in how people view each other. At least you know each other. It’s like you keep the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
And, later challenges did you throw them or was it just that one challenge?
It was just that one challenge. Later challenges my team just really sucked.
Is your accent real or is it fake?
Dan: Hey, there’s been three interviews and you’re the first one to ask it.
Ace: I know. I’m impressed.
Hey, everybody wants to know.
Oh, I know. All day long everybody’s been is the accent real? Is the accent real? Is the accent real? It’s sort of become part and parcel of a joke. Yes, the accent’s as real as anybody else’s. I mean I lived in England for 8 years. Both my parents are English. You know, it’s one of those things? My accent goes in and out depending who I’m talking to or how irritated I am.
Does that say something about Americans that we have this Survivor and they all were intimidated by you? Thought you were a little more of a threat because of your accent?
In retrospect, the logical thing would have been to fake an American accent during the game and then talk in my normal accent during confessionals. It would have been good tv and it would have helped. I mean there were times that people felt I was more of a snake or more untrustworthy because of the fact I had an accent which is kind of ridiculous if you think about it but on the same note it’s completely applicable because I talked to Survivors post facto from this season.
Well we all watch James Bond.
And, then there was a gap last night between you and Sugar sitting on the end of the dock talking about the idol and tribal council. What happened there? What did she say? Why didn’t she give you the idol? What transpired there?
What happened was more the fact that she’d been on Exile for so long and she was sort of busting at the seams and not in a positive manner either. More she was just . . . her mental acuity was going down at that point and she wasn’t making rational decisions. And Kenny talked to her but that wasn’t really the mitigating factor. She . . . I don’t know. She’s very capable of doing things for no apparent reason. She said that afterwards. You know she’s a friend of mine. She said “Ace that’s the biggest thing I regret you know.” But on the same note the thing that frustrated me was not that she voted me out. It was more the fact that she did it for no reason.
You didn’t think that it was to eliminate the threat after the merge or something?
No, it wasn’t. She honestly didn’t have the capacity to think to that extent. I wasn’t a threat to her I was protecting her for four in a row. It was for no reason. That was the only frustrating thing. I just don’t think she realized that I was still protecting her. But, she just got a bee in her bonnet and that was life.
Did she tell you then that she was going to vote you out at tribal council before tribal council?
No she didn’t but she refused to look me in the face for an hour and a half so that sort of gives you a clue. When somebody’s been laying on you for 15 days or 21 days and then suddenly won’t look you in the face it sort of gives away the fact. That’s why I stood up before they read the final name.
After the tribal council vote did you respect her for playing the game really well or did you hate her or what did you think at that point?
Well, I care about the game and I love Survivor and I was very frustrated that I didn’t . . . I mean I would have been less irate if I made it to the jury but on the same note I’m not going to run around hating people just because of some inane thing we do when we’re starving out in the middle of the jungles of Africa, you know? Obviously, I wasn’t pleased but it is what it is. I’m bigger than that. At least I hope that I can move on beyond that.
Why did Kota continue to send Sugar to Exile every time you won a reward challenge?
Geez, there’s so many reasons. There came a point where we did think it was funny but more importantly from a strategic standpoint I was the only one that had been to Exile besides her and I had talked about it with Kota and I told them it really is emotionally difficult to be secluded by yourself for 24 full hours when you’re already secluded from your family and friends for a significant amount of time and it is not fun and it is not fun sleeping in the cold and at that point we didn’t know if she had chosen comfort so she could have just been sleeping out in the cold and we knew she was an emotional player and I was emotional so we thought that maybe she might just quit and then it got to be the point where we knew she had been out there for three or four times and so we figured that she would be voted out by her tribe at a tribal council a) because she couldn’t bond with them because she was always at Exile and b) if she had the idol she would most likely have to play it again and then it would be in circulation again for one of us and I really think that’s really the main reasons.
Did you realize your Kota tribe mates thought you were eating more than your fair share of food?
No, I wasn’t aware of that. It’s funny because it couldn’t have been a significant amount of food for a number of reasons. First, it’s not like we had a lot of food to prepare for each meal. The pot that we had we would only fill half way up which wasn’t much and so what is it? Like maybe four extra spoonfuls? So I think you saw some of the pettiness that happens and I’m not downplaying the importance of food out there. It’s just I think Corrine has to attack. She has to have someone to focus negative energy on and it happened to be me but what I really found funny was that there came a point where I was actively watching Marcus and how many scoops he took and I was taking the exact same amount but it was always . . . Corrine was always “Extra food! Marcus! Marcus!” Let’s give it to him. She was really, really in love with that kid I felt. So although I was surprised I don’t think it was as much as it looked on tv. Plus, I really enjoy eating food. Actually, someone just brought me in a chocolate chip cookie from Starbucks and it looks fantastic.
What do you think of Randy faking you out in the challenge where you were blindfolded?
That was actually editing.
It didn’t effect as much as they depicted it. Let’s just put it that way. I’ll be PC without getting shouted at by CBS.
Dan: He’d probably already slowed down or the ball was already by him by the time Randy shouted that anyway.
Ace: We’re not saying it’s not true to life we’re just saying it . . .
Dan: I don’t know if it’s so much editing as it just didn’t seem to phase you as much as it looked on tv.
Ace: It just wasn’t quite as detrimental. I usually can tell the difference between a guy shouting and a girl shouting.
Was Crystal’s attitude as bad as what we’ve seen on tv?
It’s worse. It’s really worse. I mean it’s incomprehensible the lack. . . . Honestly, she’s gotten a nice edit so far.
Dan: I think Crystal’s one of those people that outside the game she can be nice at times. Inside the game you’re seeing what you get.
Ace: As long as things are going in her way she was okay. If anybody did anything that wasn’t to her liking it was unpleasurable. Let’s just put it that way.
Ace and Dan
If either of you were on the jury is there anyone you definitely would not give the money to? You know for sure I’m not giving the grand prize to?
Interesting. I think I know why for both.
Dan: If you don’t then you might need therapy.
Ace: You’ve been watching the Amazing Race.
Dan: That’s coming from a guy who’s had therapy.
What are your thoughts on Randy?
It’s interesting. Randy is coming across as making fun of people and being mean and Corrine is as well and Corrine is someone I don’t care for so the normal inclination would be why is it okay for Randy? I personally think Randy does it in good fun and he has times where he recognizes a line. A fine line. That Corrine doesn’t recognize. My thoughts on Randy is that you can’t help but want to give the guy just a hug, you know? He’s kind of like the guy who wasn’t loved enough as a kid. But you’ve got to love him now, you know? I don’t know what it is about him.
You seem to have some animosity towards Corrine. Can you explain that more? Just because she kind of excluded you or what?
I’m dealing with that and I know it’s probably not very mature of me to have this animosity, and I’m working through it but I don’t like people that are constantly tearing other people down and doing it behind their backs and crossing boundaries that I think are the difference between doing it with tact and doing it without tact and I think Corrine has told me some things some personal stories of herself not just things she says but things she’s done and that is probably steering my judgment a little bit. That being said, I know part of working through this is saying to myself that I wish you the best, I wish everyone the best and she’s just someone that probably will not remain in my life.
Ace, what did you think of Matty always trying to flush out that idol with Sugar? Did that give you some trust issues with him?
Of course I had trust issues with Matty. The problem was that he hadn’t proved his loyalty at that point. So, I mean it was just that initial thing once you switch tribes you’ve got to rebuild all the connections you didn’t have with new people. It was really just a timing issue, you know? If I could have started out with Matty, I would have trusted him. It’s just the fact you know people had prior alliances so that was just precarious. He wanted to flush it out. Matty’s a great guy. I’ve got nothing bad to say about him but he had no idea what he was doing on Survivor. Put it this way. He’s a nice guy but he is who he is and he just really didn’t understand how to play the game. And, I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Why did you wear a suit and tie to tribal council?
It’s cold there at night. It was really cold. I personally thought it was kind of funny when you think about what we’re going through and how dirty I am and how cut off and miserable I felt and I said you know what? I’m going to dress up for tribal. My warped sense of humor and then the more I thought about it I was like alright if anyone’s going to be remembered on this show it’s for having a role. I didn’t feel like I had a role. So I figured that might make me more memorable.
We’ll remember you for it.
I’m sure I’ll be remembered for not finding the idol first.
Ace: Or eating too much food.
Dan: [laughing] Or eating too much food. Which I’m proud to be. That’s fine by me.
Dan, what was your strategy going into the game and then after the swap how did your strategy change at that point?
Going into the game my strategy was not to have a strategy. To try and be as relaxed . . . I do think that I tried to include everybody and tried to make everyone feel comfortable and it’s whether I meet them through a friend or if I meet them on the street or whatever I try to extend myself and make people feel comfortable cause I think that the majority of people are either shy or nervous about meeting other people so I knew coming into the game I was just going to try to keep that strategy and try to adapt to the given situation. And, then when they switched up the tribes, I tried to keep that strategy. But with Marcus and Corrine, I couldn’t. Corrine was too overbearing for me. I didn’t even care about making her feel comfortable and Marcus I didn’t feel extended himself towards me and that bothered me a little bit so maybe I was outwitted in that sense. The further it got into the game the more it was a challenge to do that because of the personalities.
And, speaking of personalities, how would you describe Marcus and Charlie’s relationship?
I think they share a bond of going to very good schools. They’re both very accomplished individuals but more importantly I really think Marcus enjoys the fact that Charlie likes him so much. From what I observed of Marcus’s relationships, I think he enjoys when people look up to him and that’s nothing to frown upon. But, I can see why they’re friends.
Remember the log roll challenge? Was that a random pick on who went against who?
Yes, it was. I talked to my mother last night and she said “You know, I really felt like you would do better if you weren’t the first one picked.” And, I felt that way too because not only I wouldn’t have had to go up against Ace but I would have been able to observe a little bit more what was working for other people and then what wasn’t working for them. We did multiple rounds. We did best two out of three. I lost to Ace twice in a row. The first time I was facing Jeff sort of like you would think a normal log roll would take place like you might see on the Discovery Channel. The second time I tried facing Ace and I think the trick was to face your counterpart.
So you guys did two out of three and we only saw the one that mattered?
Can you tell us about Kenny?
What specifically would you like to know?
Do you think he’s playing the game well?
No. In a simple word, “No.” I mean I think he thinks he’s playing the game well. That’s the whole amusing factor of it all. I think he unfortunately thinks he’s a mastermind. That’s respectable. He’s definitely not a physical threat. He has to give himself some sort of props. I think he’s been hanging on coat tails. Following GC’s lead and now following Matty and Crystal and I mean he’s not a bad person.
Are Kenny and Crystal as tight as what’s been shown?
They are . . . yesterday. I guess that would be the appropriate way to put it.
What did you think when Jeff announced that both tribes would be going to tribal council?
I thought I was in big trouble. I really did because at that time Jeff didn’t announce that there were going to be two necklaces so that was a one in eighteen chance that you’re going to win that barrel roll. I like the odds of one in two which is if the tribes stayed together. I had a much better chance of having immunity than seventeen people other than myself. So, one in seventeen. So, in any event I was definitely concerned.
Did Randy get any letters from home?
Randy didn’t get any letters from home. I can understand why. [laughter] No that’s not a complete sentence. It made me appreciate Randy a whole lot more I think because I wasn’t sure. He’d told us before that he wasn’t close to anyone and I wasn’t sure if I believed that or if he just felt like he wasn’t close to anyone. But, when he didn’t get any letters, I really understood a lot more about his personality and why. I think he’s mean because or he says mean things. He’s being brought down to Crystal’s level, not Crystal, Corrine’s level a little bit. I noticed that the more he started hanging out with Corrine the more he would joke at other people’s expense so I think he’s just a guy who doesn’t have a lot of friends doesn’t have a lot of close people. I think he wants that and I think he can have that so the game is great to see him come out of his shell and really be accepted by a lot of people in the game.
Tell me about Bob? Bob seems like a really nice guy everybody likes but he doesn’t seem to have a really great alliance with anyone? Is he going to last?
I’m not so sure that when you say Bob seems like a really nice guy I’m not so sure they’ve focused on him enough yet. I think Bob is a nice guy but I think just like everyone else out there he has personality traits that people are starting to get a little bit tired of. He can talk down to you. He’s been a teacher for a very long time. He is a good guy. He has the ability to go far in this game but nobody in this game has gotten through the game without upsetting people or annoying people. Everybody has been annoyed with everybody. But Bob is a nice guy.
Is he going to do very well?
I think he has the ability to. But, you just don’t know in this game and I don’t know what’s going to happen next with the producers so the sky’s the limit I guess.
It seemed like as we were watching this, I don’t know if it’s the confessionals or how it was edited, but it seems very obvious that you were the evil mastermind that nobody trusts. I’m wondering what the reality around camp was like? Do you think you gave off that impression or did people really think that?
I don’t know. I don’t think I was the evil mastermind. I definitely had a plan. And, I definitely have the capacity to be a Moriarty but that’s a hard question to ask. I think there was a lot of liability because of my accent. It made people decide that I was less trustworthy and I heard that post facto from other Survivor members in our cast that my accent made me seem less likely to trust because I was more an anomaly in relation to the group. So I don’t know. I didn’t have any problems with anybody. I
mean Matty and I hung out all the time when I was on Fang. Same with Kenny people like that and I used to go on walks with GC. On the same note, back at Kota Marcus and I were friends. So were Jacquie and I. So it’s all yes and no. I think it definitely gave me a hinderance that I have the capacity and the nature to be that way.
Ace and Dan
What would surprise us as viewers the most about the whole Survivor experience?
Ace: I think for me it’s the fact that it’s changed so much over the years. It’s no longer a Thailand where people start out with a plan. I think the whole idea of going in with a plan out there nowadays is outdated because of the fact there’s become so many twists.
So many tribal switches and mergers and this and that and the amount of things that can happen it’s so dominate that’s it’s no longer applicable the idea that you go in with one pure strategy and are going to align with this person or do this and I’m going to win. It has to do with luck as well as ability nowadays
Dan: I think for me the most surprising thing that viewers at home would find is how mentally and physically demanding this game is. Watching on tv does not do it justice. How the mind can be affected as time goes on. How physically awful you feel on a day to day basis.
Ace: How much weight you lose.
Dan: The only thing I can compare to is feeling like you have the flu constantly. You stand up and you’re dizzy. You just don’t want to do anything, and I think that probably contributes to the way your mind works out there too. I don’t think by watching the show I don’t think it does it anything close to near what it actually is like.
Were you surprised by anything watching the television?
Ace: Not really. It’s interesting to see people’s true personalities come out in confessionals and things of that nature but otherwise I felt I had a very good grasp of who was aligned, who was doing what and there were obviously as in all things there were more alliances than were actually shown. So I just think it’s exciting to watch.
Dan: I think for me one of the nights when we first got there at the Fang tribe there was a noise that was made that woke me out of a dead sleep. That was the night Randy cracked his head open, and I thought maybe that noise might have been created through the show. Maybe someone was messing with us but when that elephant made an appearance when I was on Kota tribe I was really surprised when I saw that on tv absolutely. And, I’m surprised that Corrine’s personality hasn’t come out more. Those two things.