Erik and Eddie finished in fifth and fourth place, respectively, on “Survivor: Caramoan,” after last night’s Finale episode that saw Harvard nerd Cochran crowned winner.
Erik you may remember, made Survivor history his last time in the game, when he gave away his Immunity Necklace only to be immediately voted out, right at the Final 5. This time out, he again left in fifth place, but under much different circumstances. On Night 26 with only a few days left in the game, Erik was medically evacuated due to starvation after his blood pressure dropped dangerously low and he began experiencing dizziness. He was so close to the end but yet so far away from winning, after playing a very curious game that had him on the outside of most every decision. Still, not a great way to go out of the game, especially after wanting redemption after his last time out.
Then there is Eddie, the fireman who fought an uphill battle from Day 1. First getting close to hottie Hope as part of the “cool kids” alliance, Eddie and his partner-in-crime Reynold never could get a leg up in the game, always looking in from the outside of the majority alliance. After the tribal switch-ups, he and Reynold teamed up with Malcolm to form the Three Amigos and they managed to blindside Phillip before things fell apart for them. Still, he was the last remaining Amigo, in part because the other two were deemed as bigger threats, but Eddie nearly lasted all the way to the end. With his fellow Amigos on the jury, he suddenly found himself close to the million bucks, but his hopes were cut short when he was the final person voted out of the game.
I was joined by both Erik and Eddie today as they discussed their time in the game.
So Erik, first question: How are you doing now and what really had happened?
Erik: Well, I’m doing good. We didn’t get to see a lot of what happened on the show, it was kind of a surprise to everybody. So, my brother came to visit during the family visit and he was checking me out, seeing how skinny I was and he noticed something with my leg. I checked out my leg and I had a scar from a couple days previous and there was actually an infection underneath all the dirt. So I was like, whoah, this is bad. The infection was pretty gnarly. Flash-forward to the vote in which Brenda went home, the Survivor medical team had been telling me you need to hydrate and eat as much as you can, but when you’re starving on an island there isn’t much of either of those things. I started to feel dizzy at Tribal Council, I knew that I was at a Tribal Council but I wasn’t really aware of pretty much anything else other than that. I remember when the votes came through, according to what I saw, there were seven votes and half of them were for Sherri. So I actually had thought that Sherri was voted off. I was just trying to stay on my stool. Brenda ended up getting voted out, we walked off and I immediately said I needed a doctor. They were then forced to pull me from the game.
So what exactly was your strategy this season?
As soon as we landed on the beach you see Phillip, you see Corinne, you see Brenda. I said, you know what? This is a bunch of big personalities, they’ll rip each other apart and target each other based on ego, and a number of other things. I thought I had a better chance to just chill out, lay low, not focus on finding Idols because that would put an even bigger target on me. Then at the end, maybe do an Immunity run of some kind.
After what happened the last time you played Survivor, are you happy with your game play this time around? Do you feel any sort of redemption?
I felt a sense of redemption for myself, but I know fans aren’t going to. They’re going to be like, dude, what the hell were you doing out there? You just didn’t get to see a lot of it. I thought I played a much better strategic game, I mean I wasn’t like jumping in front of the camera. I wasn’t doing the whole Phillip Sheppard thing. I wasn’t shown very much at all, but I thought I played a much better game. I was very aware of what was going on. I wasn’t in control of the game by any means but I had a much better understanding of what was happening. So I’m proud of the way I played.
What were the thoughts toward Cochran throughout the game? Was he ever viewed as a threat or did he sort of sneak up on people?
Cochran snuck up on people. I never considered him a threat and neither did anybody else. Me, Dawn and Brenda were sort of a team that stuck together, but we didn’t really think of him as a threat, which is surprising seeing it play out. But that’s how people win, not being seen as threats.
How would the game have turned out for you had you not have been medically evacuated?
I didn’t have too much planned out with my end game, I was worried that people wouldn’t take me too seriously. If I were to tell them that I tried to play a “no-strategy strategy,” people may not have taken me seriously or thought I was a shell on the beach, like I called Sherri. But I thought I had a pretty good shot of winning.
Can you elaborate on that?
I don’t think that even Cochran played a perfect game, in any way. If I could have been in the end up against like a Sherri I may have had a great shot. I thought to some extent that I was liked enough, that they may say, you know what, Erik deserves to win some of it. The way that it was shown on TV, it was like, wow, this was a very strategic season, and it was. But what ended up happening towards the end with Dawn and Cochran, is that they ended up knowing the timing to get rid of people, but they weren’t incredibly strategic. The show I thought sort of over-shown how strategic Cochran was. He was, he was very strategic, but I don’t think he was like a Boston Rob-type or a Parvati-type. So I think I would have had a decent shot because I would have been in the same league as Cochran and Dawn.
How badly were you hoping for a physical challenge when it was just you versus Cochran, Dawn and Sherri in the Final Four?
Eddie: I was feeling pretty good. I had thought that had I gotten to that position, that I had a pretty good shot at making it to the Final 3.
Watching the show back, how do you feel you were portrayed? Did we get a good sense of the real Eddie?
You saw a good side of me, I’m sort of happy-go-lucky and in a good mood, I try to smile every day. But there was a little bit more strategy on my part than you saw, and I did really get along well with everybody while I was out there. You can only see so much on TV, but I’m fine with that.
What was it about Sherri that made her have absolutely no shot at winning with the jury?
Sherri pretty much got the most glorious edit ever on the show, pre-merge. They made her out to be this awesome, strategic mastermind and in reality, Sherri was probably the dumbest player that has ever been on Survivor. She did absolutely nothing. So people just had zero respect for her the entire time out there. I mean, she’s absolutely a nice person and I love her to death now, but out there she was just intolerable at times.
Had Brenda made the Final 3, would she have won your jury vote over Cochran or was Cochran going to win up against anybody?
Brenda would have had maybe a good speech. Only because I wasn’t too sure what Brenda was doing the whole time. She’s a very sweet, very pretty girl, awesome to be around, always happy. Everybody kind of knew what Cochran was doing toward the end, but Brenda could have explained herself and why she was so under-the-radar, and yes, she probably could have won my vote.
You were shown out there as getting close with both Hope and Andrea. Any real relationships formed out on the island?
There are definitely real relationships formed, you definitely bond with people. But it’s about the most stressful situation you can be in while playing a game. I’m happy to say that while everybody was very nice I’m not in a serious relationship with anybody.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli, and at tomsantilli.com as well!
Also, make sure you check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, Survivor Fever.