CBS Local – The second member of the ‘Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers’ jury has been chosen. We had the chance to interview the latest cast off of the new season, Cole Medders. Here’s his unique perspective (as told to CBS Local’s Adam Bloom and Samantha Bennet) on being marked as the tribe member who eats too much, and his show relationship with Jessica.
AB: At this point in the game after the merge – it seems like the stronger physical players are targeted. What was your strategy after the merge?
C: Going into the merge – I heard pretty quickly that I had a big target on my back and we were now in the minority after that first vote. We found that out the hard way, the Healers. At this point, it’s basically find an idol, win immunity, or I’m probably going home. That was one hundred percent true. But there wasn’t a lot I could do to take that target off my back, especially thanks to Ben. He had done a great job at painting me out as a villain going into the merge. He had told everyone of my eating habits and exaggerated them to a point where everyone would think I was a liability to have around even though those habits stopped at the merge.
SB: We notice as viewers – you often get in trouble for eating too much. How difficult was it to avoid the temptation on the island? How do you stop yourself?
C: I think I would have been able to stop myself had I gone into it knowing how hungry I would get. I did not mentally prepare myself to be that hungry. I think if I had watched the show more, I would have realized how challenging it actually was. I think at that point – by not watching the show enough – I doomed myself to be subject to me getting really hungry like that and making poor decisions.
AB: Is there anything you ate out there that you never thought you would eat?
C: I would say it was my first time to eat an earthworm, but that would be false.
AB: When you saw how close you were to that advantage with the nails – what was your reaction when you were watching it on the show.
C: There were a few moments that I hit myself in the head and the advantage with the nails was one of them. It was so obvious – it was right there.
AB: It’s hard when you haven’t eaten and your mind is depleted to just always be thinking that there could be something to help you in this game.
C: The sad thing was – that was immediately after a giant feast so I wasn’t quite as starved as I usually was.
SB: After Jessica was voted off – how often did you think about her? How were your feelings with her not being in the game?
C: I was torn about it at first. She was the one I could go to to talk to about anything and she actually listened. It didn’t always feel like I was playing the game with her which was probably one of my biggest failings too – not thinking that the game was always going on. I did think about her a lot when she was there. I talked to her every day because I did feel alone and by myself. I didn’t really have any alliances. Even though Joe and Mike were there – they still had their own agenda.
SB: Besides eating, what was the most challenging part about being on that island – maybe things that you weren’t anticipating?
C: Physically, other than the food, it was not a challenge for me. I was comfortable sleeping on the ground. The sand was okay, being dirty, bathing in the ocean – I’d done that regularly in my professional life. That’s what I do for a job. The hardest part for me outside of the food was emotional loneliness. You can’t fully put your trust in any of those people out there. You really miss your family because they’re always there for you and have your back no matter what. You don’t have anyone like that out there. It can be a very lonely game at times. I guess that’s what made me miss Jess more after she left.
AB: Would you want to do this game again?
C: A hundred percent, yes. I think I have all the right ingredients to actually pull it off or go a lot deeper than I did. If I approached the game with more self-awareness and self control – I could do a lot better especially because no one really saw the game I am capable of playing. They just saw my mistakes – on TV at least.