On Friday, we got a chance to speak with Randy Bailey, the self-acknowledged villain, of Survivor Gabon who was eliminated in the latest episode after adopting a strategy to target votes at himself and then trying to play a fake immunity idol to blindside a member of the other alliance. Randy, is a 49 year old wedding videographer, who seemed to genuinely enjoy his experience in Africa and feels like he bonded with most of his fellow players.
You’ve been quoted as saying you’re not a social person and yet Survivor was a social game primarily and you’re doing this on national tv. I was wondering what’s your motivation for being on the show? How did you get there?
Actually, I can be a very social person and nobody makes it as far as I made it without being so. I’ve chosen not to be a social person in my life the last ten years or so. I know how to do it. It’s that I choose not to. There’s a difference.
What was your motivation for going on the show?
I wanted a million dollars. I wanted to play the game. I’ve been fascinated with the game since Borneo.
And, suddenly you’re saying you are going to burn the house down and you’re going to piss everybody off and yet at that point it didn’t look like you had the idol from Bob, I was wondering why did you do that at that point?
I didn’t have the idol from Bob and I don’t even think Bob was back from Exile Island yet. You know when Marcus got blindsided two weeks ago that was kind of the first nail in my coffin. I made the error of getting in a solid alliance a little bit too early. I did wait ‘til day 19 but with so many twists in the game that even turned out to be a little bit too early. The episode Charlie got voted out I fully thought that was going to be me. And, when it was Charlie that was even just more evidence that I was soon if not next.
After Bob tricked you like that, do you blame Bob, are you angry at Bob or do you think that was just playing the game and that was part of playing the game?
Let me ask you how is that part of playing the game? I mean all that really accomplished was to make a fool out of me and almost guarantee me not voting for him if he was lucky enough to make the finals. So much of the things that we’ve seen the last two weeks although entertaining tv, it’s not good game play. Blindsiding Charlie? There was nothing strategic about that. They just made a decision who’s first Randy or Charlie? Everybody thinks it’s Randy so let’s be funny and do Charlie this week. And, last night Bob dupes me gives me a fake idol, Sugar and Crystal laugh at me, Crystal votes for me and screams . . . well you saw what she did. They don’t know what they’re doing. They could possibly make it to the end of this game, they know I’m going to be on the jury and I get a vote. I don’t get it.
It does seem like this season is a lot more personal and less strategic. In years past, we’ve had people really think way far ahead and even you last night were saying you were voting for Susie because it was personal not strategic. Why is this one so personal? Why is this season so different do you think?
You know, I don’t know. And, what I said there was . . . what they didn’t show and I don’t know how they’ve accomplished it, Susie’s a nice enough woman but the woman does not stop talking. I’ve never seen anything like it. She narrates her entire life and she drove me crazy out there. She attacked me a few times that you didn’t see on the show. The reason it wasn’t strategic was Susie wasn’t even playing the game. She was just floating whichever way the wind blew. That works the way things ended up because there were so many twists. The people that were actually playing the game like Jacquie, Ace, myself, Marcus, Corinne, Charlie we’re the ones that are getting the short end of the stick.
Do you think Sugar’s playing the game? Can you describe Sugar to me?
Sugar made one ally in this game and that was Ace. Not only did she blindside her only friend in the game but she called him an “Ace-hole” when she votes him out. I’m just scratching my head this entire season.
Do you have any respect for her?
None, I hate her. As America will soon . . . She has gotten the most inaccurate edit I’ve ever seen. You know she’s a professional at making these cute/sexy faces with her pound and a half of makeup. She’s looked pretty golden for the first 8 or 9 episodes. I was thrilled last night to see the real Sugar finally surface. I loved her remarks when she voted me out. That’s her and It’s finally baring its ugly head.
What else are we not seeing on tv that you don’t think was accurate?
That’s the main thing because it’s just so 180 degrees off of the real thing. What they’re not showing about Bob, and they’ve edited Bob accurately, they’re not showing his two hour soliloquies about life in Maine. And, they’re not showing him tell the same story three times in a row on the same day. And, that’s nothing against Bob’s character. It’s just after you hear about the time he caught the four pound lobster fishing with his Uncle Billy you don’t want to hear it because you know the end. Bob’s a good guy. But, yeah, Bob’s boring and Susie won’t stop talking. But Bob and Susie though annoying I think are both pretty good people. Sugar’s the worst.
Worse than Crystal?
You know I think Crystal is more playing a part. Crystal’s horrible to watch but yeah more than Crystal. Sugar truly is mean. Crystal, her bark is a whole lot worse than her bite. She knows she’s out there making a tv show and I’m not saying that she’s acting but she’s ramping it up a notch. Believe it or not, I like Crystal. I hate watching her on the show but Sugar, I hated her in the show, I hate her after the show, and I never want to see her again.
Was this just a game where you guys were mad at each other because it was an intense situation and now you’re all friends or are you really not friends with some people after?
Oh, I hate Sugar.
Everyone. And, you think I’m kidding. I know I’m the villain this season. That’s what they cast me for. That’s what they’ve shown on tv, and I love it. What they’re not showing is Marcus and I fishing two or three hours together everyday and Charlie and I sharing a pillow and Corinne and I laughing for hours and Dan and Matty and I bonding. I left the game with a lot of cast members that are friends. I know as a viewer that’s hard for you to believe but Sugar has none. Zero.
I was just curious what did you think last night after Bob revealed that he knew where the real immunity idol was right at the end of the show?
I think you’re talking about next week’s preview.
Yeah, when they showed that. So basically he knew where it was the whole time.
I watched it last night for the first time with you and the previews that they’re showing I’m at Ponderosa drinking beer. I don’t know what’s going on.
Still, does it irk you even more that when he gave you the fake one you now know that he knew where the real one was?
I know what you’re talking about and I can’t answer that question.
What was your plan during the food auction? It seemed like you were just trying to get rid of all of your cash?
What’s 500 bucks? Like Corinne said, “Nothing tastes better than $500 except a million.” And, I just wanted some food and to have fun. And, the plane tickets alone to get to Africa are like three grand that CBS just gives it to us so no, I didn’t want to keep $500. I even tipped Jeff Probst.
Twenty. That’s all I had left.
So your plan wasn’t to go in there and just shake things up at the food auction too was it?
Actually my plan . . . I knew that thing under the blanket was a bathtub. My plan was to buy the beers and buy the bath and just sit there in the bath drinking beer the whole time and not say a word. And, Susie outbid me for the bath so I bought some spaghetti instead.
What were some of the things that you liked about Africa?
I’ve never been overseas. I’ve been to Costa Rica and Mexico and Hawaii and Canada, and Alaska and stuff like that. I’ve never been across the Atlantic, so it was amazing. What a way to see it for the first time. A seven week all expense paid vacation with games and then they film it all and take home movies and you get to watch it on tv. It was great.
Was there anything that really surprised you? Did you have preconceived notions of what it was going to be like when you got there?
Yeah, the location was revealed a month or two before we had to take off so I did a good bit of research on the country so the landscape and the climate and everything was pretty much exactly what I expected. I was checking weather.com every day and looking at the highs and lows and rainfall in Libreville so it was what I expected.
So going back to when Marcus suggested getting rid of that second idol, what was your take on that?
The one we found at the beach?
At the time, there was 10 people left in the game, I was in a strong alliance. It sounded like a great idea. You know I didn’t want immunity, I didn’t need immunity. Throwing it away was great. It kept it away from somebody else getting it. Had we known that we were going to draw numbers out of a hat in an hour and split up again then, of course, it was stupid. But, you know, this is Survivor and at 10 people you merge you don’t pull numbers out of a fricking hat.
If that idol that Bob gave you last night was real, what were your long term plans?
If it had been real, it would have bought me three more days.
So you were just looking for the three extra days?
When Marcus got voted out, I knew that was the beginning of the end for me. If you get three more days, anything can happen. Matty said last night Randy’s not going to win any immunity challenges from here on out. How does he know? These games early on they’re about physical strength and endurance and being twenty years old and yes Matty’s going to kick my ass every time but if it comes down to a challenge of thinking yourself out of a wet paper bag, I win every time.
What did it feel like being among those guys knowing that GC was a problem early on? You didn’t seem to get along with him.
Actually, I liked GC for the first several days of the show and GC said it right in some of his confessionals that the situation just got to him and it reduced him to somebody that he didn’t like. GC does not have the leadership qualities for that situation, and I think he’ll be the first one to admit it. It was frustrating. I was biting my tongue the entire time the first ten days.
How much are you thinking about what you’re going to say at the end?
Actually, when there was 10 people left, I was thinking about what I was going to say at the end, but I was thinking about what I was going to say to the jury because I was a finalist in my mind. Then when things started going south, I’m just going to tribal councils and partying at Ponderosa with my friends and you don’t start thinking about questions until you know who the final two or the final three are going to be and it’s still going to be awhile before we know that. If Corinne makes it to the finals, I’m going to be asking her if we have a future together and if Bob makes it to the finals, I’m asking him why he duped me like he did. So, that was supposed to be funny. [laughter] Laugh when I tell a joke damn it or this call’s over. [more laughter]
When you handed Jeff the idol Bob had given you, did you have any inkling it might be fake?
I was absolutely sure it was fake at the time and let me tell you why before you say Randy’s making excuses. Bob was a friend and Bob was an ally and when he gave me the idol and it was a good fake idol I thought it was the idol, and I thought I was going to pull a good one at tribal council. And, if you remember last night, there’s a clip of me holding up the idol and I say, I believe the exact quote is, “It looks real enough” and me saying that proves that I’m at least entertaining the idea that it might not be real. Do you agree with that?
Being at tribal council when Jeff says if anybody wants to play the idol now’s the time, I look down and look at Crystal and Sugar and they are both laughing their ass off and from that I’m positive that the idol’s fake. But, I don’t have a choice at that stage. I have to play the idol. That’s absolutely nothing to lose. . . . But going to tribal I thought it was real; playing the idol, I knew it was not real.
Other than the fact that Susie drove you nuts, why did you switch your target from Crystal to her in case the idol had been real?
You know, I don’t know. I’m an equal opportunity hater. I wanted Susie out of there as much as I did Crystal. It was like we tried Crystal the time before and that didn’t work let’s try something new.
I want to go back real quick. You know Bob gave me a fake idol that he knew was fake and he votes for Susie. I don’t understand the logic there, you know? And, by doing this he knows I’m going to be on the jury and he knows he has a chance to make it to the end. Does he not want my vote? Sugar laughing at me, Sugar on the ground laughing at me and pointing at me, does she not know that I get to help decide who wins a million dollars? And, Crystal, when she votes and she is up there screaming at the top of her lungs? What game are these people playing?
Last week, Charlie told us that Sugar, Kenny, and Crystal had spun some elaborate story about Sugar having the hidden immunity idol but having played it. Did you buy that story?
Charlie wasn’t saying that to me.
Charlie told us that when you merged that they had told this story about Sugar having played the idol.
They had told a bunch of stories. We didn’t even know if Sugar found it for sure. We didn’t know. When GC quit we thought that GC and Crystal and them had the numbers and we were thinking the only reason GC went home was because somebody idoled him. That’s kind of what we were thinking. Matty told me that GC quits and the water just got real muddy and I really didn’t think that she had the idol.
Why did you decide to give yourself a mohawk at Ponderosa?
Where’d you see that?
On the CBS website.
You’re thinking one thing and I want to set the record straight because what you’re thinking is wrong. You’re thinking that I’m a media whore attention grabbing whatever. And, the reason I gave myself a mohawk was on day one when I mashed my head open, they had to shave a huge patch of my scalp to put the stitches in. And, I not only wanted to see the scar but I needed to start over. I couldn’t have a decent looking haircut with a four square inch bald spot there so I gave myself the mohawk and then after the show was over, I had to start from scratch so I shaved my head completely clean. That’s why I did it. I had to even my hair up. I didn’t like that bald spot. Plus, I look cool in the mohawk.
So early on Randy, you sacrificed your eyeglasses and turned them into a fish hook. Did that effect your being able to see the rest of the game?
Not so much seeing that I have twenty/twenty vision and I’d made fish hooks out of a similar pair of glasses two months before I went on the show.
So why did you bring the glasses?
To make fish hooks.
I want to talk about the difference between your original Fang members and the Nu Kota Members. What was the difference when you did finally get switched up?
You’re talking about the first switch?
Right, right. The very first switch from when you went from original Fang with like GC, Crystal, Kenny over to the Nu Kota.
The difference was like dog food versus filet mignon. I’ve never seen a more inept bunch of bozos in my life. And then when I got over . . . around Corinne, Marcus, Charlie, and Bob, I liked these people. They were smart. They were fun to be around for the most part, and I said to myself I want to play the game with these people.
[Back to the mohawk question, after it is discovered the video is not longer on the CBS website.] I know for a fact that next tribal council I come with a full head of hair so it doesn’t happen yet. It’s also before my arm is amputated. [laughter]
Randy, what did you think of Matty?
It’s funny. Matty’s a good guy and he doesn’t know Survivor like I know it. I think he was recruited for the show and he just started renting the dvds like two or three weeks before we left. It’s funny when we got split up . . . that’s why I didn’t align with Matty at Fang I didn’t think he was smart enough about Survivor for me to want to align with him and when we split up and he was on Fang and I was on Kota I thought that he shared the same feeling for Crystal and those people that I did and when we got split up I thought that he just totally sold that out and got rid of Ace and pretended to be Crystal’s friend and stuff and I lost a lot of respect for him. It’s funny. Watching the show and seeing what actually happened, all the respect that I lost for him I’ve gotten back. Because he stayed true to what we were talking about when we were out there. He didn’t like Crystal any more than I did. And, he didn’t blindside Ace like I thought he did.
Even after you were gone, what was the problem? Why were they losing so many challenges?
No communication whatsoever. Crystal is awful. She now holds the record for most challenges ever lost in 17 seasons of Survivor. Hey, look that up! My tennis shoes weigh 10 pounds. I can’t control the boat. I mean where do they find these people? Gold medalist, my ass. And, even Matty, you saw in the golf challenge where he was unwilling to listen to me. Matty’s a heck of an athlete and a good guy but he cannot see his hand in front of his face sometimes. I hope you see what I was talking about with the golf challenge. Jeff Probst on his weekly blog he says “Randy was 100% right with what he was saying.” The whole problem was communication. If Marcus had been on that golf challenge, the guy’s a natural leader, he would have settled everybody down and said, wait let’s listen to what Randy has to say. And the light bulb would have gone on and he says he’s absolutely right the rules don’t say which way you have to stretch the elastic. Just stretch it forward, drop the ball in, and let’s go home. The difference was communication and intelligence. Plus, I was the same amount of smartness and athleticism at Fang that I was at Kota. Which, you know being 49, is average at best, but it worked at Kota because we communicated. I was helpless at Fang. I hate those people.
You seem to have a real good knack about reading people. Was that something that you thought you had in your back pocket the whole time or is that something that kind of came out on television or on the show?
No, I’ll use a good example of what you’re trying to say but can’t quite put in the right kind of words. I’ll help you out.
When Jeff at the very first tribal council where Jeff appoints GC leader, there’s a clip of me smirking. I look like a cat that just ate the mouse. I knew what Jeff was doing. I knew GC was going to fail miserably. I just didn’t think it was going to be so quick. I could see that coming a mile away and that’s why I went into Operation Crash and Burn and it works perfectly. In hindsight, the worst thing that happened to me was getting switched to a tribe at Kota that I liked. If I’d stayed in the original Fang if there hadn’t been tribe switchups, I would have been the last one standing.
You just seemed to have this knack and I guess it was more specifically GC. You knew he was being set up for failure and you just kind of stepped back and watched it happen.
And, on Day 10 when we pick new tribes I believe it’s Corinne’s turn to choose somebody. Charlie had picked me and I’d chosen Corinne I’m like don’t pick GC the guy has his own agenda, he’s not a team player, he will tear that tribe apart, trust me. And, what happened? You’re right. I’m a genius. Thanks for noticing. [laughter]
Corinne in her confessionals comes across as really, really mean. Like mean-spirited mean. What was your relationship with her and how would you describe her?
I love her.
Is she really mean or do you love her in spite of her meanness?
If I didn’t know better, I’d think she was my twin sister. She calls it like she sees ‘em just like I do. And, she’s pretty accurate with what she’s saying and you know I’m not the nicest person in the world either when I’m in a confessional talking about someone. You’re by yourself and you’re not saying something to someone’s face. We all know it’s going to be played on tv later, but Corinne’s great. She’s probably the smartest person out there out of 18 people and she’s funny and she can read my mind I can read her mind and I miss her to death. I was out with her boyfriend last night until three in the morning drinking beer. Corinne’s great.
Explain what happened with getting hit on the head. What happened that night? Are you okay? Did it all heal up okay?
If you bleed, it’s going to make the tv show. It wasn’t that big of a deal. I had a headache for two days and that was it.
Do you have scars?
Yeah, but it’s under my hair and if it wasn’t under my hair, who cares? The cut was a non-issue.
What did you learn most about yourself in this whole experience?
I pretty much learned that I’ve been right all along that people are basically stupid and they suck and there’s nothing that I can do about it, and I just have to live with it. And, that’s the thing about me. Every snarky thing that I’ve said on the show it’s what people that were watching the show were thinking. I had the guts to say it. That didn’t cause me to get voted off. What caused me to get voted off was all the twists.
How tough was it to play the game when you knew in reality it was just all about dealing with the herd mentality?
The herd mentality? What do you mean by that exactly?
Well, it seems like one person suggests something and everyone else just follows without anyone even questioning it.
You’re talking about being in the original Fang?
It was difficult and not to put a target on my own back I had to be part of the herd. I knew a lot of the stuff we were doing was stupid but the only thing that would be more stupid was to speak my mind. You remember the scene with GC and I and the rice? You boil the water and then you throw the rice in. And, whether you know it or not, it’s a 24 hour a day job keeping boiled water available to drink especially when there’s eight or nine of us left in the game and GC could not comprehend that we were doing the work twice and he made a statement Randy was surrounded by water. There’s a lake right here. All we have here is water. That’s true but we only have about four or five canteens of drinkable water. And, it’s the most frustrating thing in my life.
So basically it’s all what you said earlier. Stupid people don’t know they’re stupid.
And, you know, I envy them. I would love to be stupid. If you’re stupid, you don’t know you’re stupid and you don’t know that smart people exist. Life would be great.
Ignorance is bliss, right?
You could have a horrible job, an ugly wife and you could love every minute of it.
Is there anything you would change about the way you played the game in hindsight?
Yeah, when you watch it on tv, you think of a million things you could have done. I could have found the idol on the beach without anyone knowing but at the time, I didn’t need the idol. I was in a good position. You know with so many twists . . . we picked new tribes from scratch two different times, we draw numbers out of a bag once, and with so many flip flops like that the only strategy is to have no strategy and it’s a shame that happened because it penalizes Jacquie and Ace. They didn’t even make the jury and I consider them as the players that were on this season.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve seen on tv so far?
I got to know pretty much all the characters and nothing’s really surprised me. I guess the two things that have surprised me the most is almost Matty’s loyalty to me and that was really good to see and I was a little bit surprised to see Kenny actually does have a brain because the first ten days that I was with him he was following GC around like a puppy, and I lumped Kenny into the category as a non-player and that kind of surprised me that he is actually playing and he hasn’t played any better game than I did. He’s just been the recipient of more breaks. Every time there’s a flip flop he’s on the winning side, and I’m in a place where I have to dig myself out of a hole.
I’m going to miss seeing you in the game, but I’m going to enjoy seeing you on the jury.
It’ll be fun. Many surprises ahead including my hairstyle.