Burton was the fourth victim of Jeff's torch-snuffing, due to a thrown challenge. We had the opportunity to ask him some questions, and here's what he had to say:
Did you think you had a tight alliance with Jon, or were you aware that he was a loose cannon?
While I had somewhat of an alliance with Jon, I knew he was the swing vote and that he was going to make the final decision - I was hoping he would vote with me and not against, but was not 100% sure to say the least. He was definitely a loose cannon and I knew that he spent a lot of time with Christa which did not make me feel too comfortable, but he lied pretty well and played both sides off each other.
How do you think Rupert's "kidnapping" affected the outcome of the Tribal Council?
Before watching the show, I thought I would still be in had he been around, but after seeing episode 4, I realize I would still be gone - unless they got me instead of him which they probably would have done. He lied to me saying we had an alliance and then went and told Christa and Sandra what I had said and I am sure he would have voted against me, so it did not change much.
What was the worst part about having the tribe intact for 12 consecutive days?
The fact that you were stuck with the same people day in and day out and you could not get rid of anyone was a little annoying. It is a game of elimination and we did not have a choice over who was going home when the Morgan tribe voted people out, so from a strategic perspective, they could have been voting people off that you wanted to align yourself with. People that did not help in the challenges at all and did not really pull their weight around camp (yet were happy to eat all the fish that other people caught) were still in the game. In my opinion they would have been voted out in the first week or 2 had we have lost so we could keep our tribe strong. In my position having that many people around that knew I was a threat was not a good thing so I wanted to get rid of some of them.
Why didn't you offer coconut milk to the other tribe members who weren't part of your inner alliance?
If you have ever seen how much milk there is in one coconut, you will know it would be hard to share it 8 ways. It was not intentional and at the time, and I did not even realize it had happened. There were other coconuts they could have opened and shared, so it was not a big deal, they should have gotten up and opened another one. It is pretty annoying when you cannot do anything without including everyone in the tribe without some people complaining about it.
What was your strategy going into the game? Where did it go wrong?
I wanted to align myself with other strong players so that later in the game, the stronger, more threatening, players were not outnumbered and picked off by the other less threatening ones. If you have seen the other seasons, usually the "threats" are soon to go after a merge and I was trying to set up the game so that we were not outnumbered. My plan was to fly under the radar, but that was challenging and that is not how I am in daily life. From a leadership role, I did not want to be "the" leader, but naturally I was going to be somewhat of a leader in the tribe. From a physical standpoint, I could not hide who I was, and in order to make sure we won, I had to go all out in the challenges so there was not holding back. Likewise, only a few of us could get the really big logs we needed for the fire, so it was obvious that some were much stronger than others. I basically was perceived as a threat early on and that was used against me in voting.
In your elimination confessional, you claimed to be perhaps the best player ever to play the game. Yet, you were the first on your tribe eliminated. What do you think went so wrong that you were voted 6-2 to go?
It was actually 5-2 (Rupert wasn't there to vote). I knew going to tribal that Jon was going to be the swing vote and even though I thought he would be on my alliance I knew there was a chance he would go against me. Well, it turns out the latter was the case and that was the vote that sealed the deal for me. After seeing the show, I also realized that Jon was close to Shawn and could influence him. My guess about what happened was that on the way to tribal, Jon told Shawn to jump ship on my alliance because it was sinking and from a strategic standpoint, it makes sense. What Shawn did, and what anyone else would/should have done was change alliances once one was broken. Had Shawn and Jon voted as we talked, it would have been 4-3 the other way.
Overall, I was confident in my ability to win challenges and to help out more than the average player in the team challenges. I was also one of the only ones (I would say Rupert was the only other one) that could have actually "survived" on my own. My experiences adventure racing, mountain climbing, camping, as an Eagle Scout, and education have prepared me for anything that could have been thrown at me from a game standpoint. The hard part for me was that all of those strengths turned out to be my greatest weakness and therefore I was voted off.
Why were you so anxious to get rid of Christa that you were willing to throw an immunity challenge? What didn't we see?
Christa, for no reason would start stirring things up. It was pretty annoying when things were going well that she would start antagonizing people and start a fight, and it was not how I wanted to continue the game. Additionally, I knew she'd be a wild card later on and probably go after me, so she was a good one to get off for my strategy. Others thought it was a good idea also, and even though they voted against me, Rupert and Trish agreed that Christa should go.
You decided to throw the immunity challenge, yet also decided to sit it out and not participate. Do you regret not taking part in that challenge?
The tribe decided to throw the challenge, not just me, but that was not obvious on the show. I sat out because I knew if I participated in it, I would not be able to just rollover and let them win, so by sitting out, that was my contribution to not winning. Do I regret not taking part? If I would have, we would have won the challenge and that was not the goal at that time, so no.
If we continued to beat the Morgan tribe in all the challenges, yes, we would have been stronger and have had more people. My thinking went like this: if there is a merge at 10 (as that is when it usually happens) then we could go in 8-2. Then Drake would vote out the 2 Morgans (assuming they did not win individual immunity). Then there would be 3 strong players left, Rupert, Shawn and me, that would be targets of the rest because of the chance to win immunities. Rupert or I would go first or second and so on. That would leave me in 7th or 8th place - basically settling for an average position. By eliminating some of the less threatening players earlier in the game, I would have increased my position later on by hopefully having more strong players that could form a bigger alliance than the non-threatening players.
Oops, sorry about getting the vote count wrong. Thanks to Burton for taking the time to answer, and to CBS as always for the opportunity!