SURVIVOR: WC vs BC vs NC – 5/13/15

May 14th, 2015 | 12 Comments | Posted in Survivor 30 - WC vs BC vs NC

Please take some time to read the Coach interview. It’s a very revealing look at a lot of things we didn’t know about him, about Survivor, and about future seasons. Now, let’s see if we can score some Reunion show tickets!

Interview With Coach

Alright folks, this is what we’ve all been waiting for. I’ve been promising for weeks to have a former player shed some light on the show. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to seal the deal with Mike Skupin just yet (his response MAY get into next week’s final column) I was fortunate enough to connect with Coach again, who was incredibly generous enough to share a long conversation with me about his past, the show, and his very frank opinions on players, the production, and even Jeff Probst. Please take the time to read through the whole interview, as interesting responses are given throughout. You won’t be disappointed.

And please, if you have any questions, comments, criticisms or compliments, please send them in and I’ll do what I can to address them. Enjoy…

B: Coach! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. I know you’re a busy guy, so I truly appreciate your time and candor. As I mentioned in my email, I wanted to ask about your kayaking experience because you said it’s a lengthy story. So, what compelled you to undertake it?

C: There was not a lot that goes into it, you know, it’s good to read the book (“A Voyage Beyond Reason”) because – and I’m not trying to promote my book, because I don’t get any money from that – but you really have to read that to kind of understand my mindset. It’s a little bit Into The Wild mentality. I was supposed to take over this business my grandfather started. My uncle took it over, he had no kids, and I was the guy who was supposed to take it over. So I had been groomed my whole life to take over this business, make good money. And then I graduated college and just hated it. I just didn’t want to do it, so I pondered like “where do I go, what do I do? I have to do something brave, I hadn’t done anything brave in a couple years.” So, you know, what can I do?

At the same time, I had talked to some friends that lived up in Puget Sound, and they said, “oh, you should come up, and go kayaking with the orcas, it’s a life-changing experience.” And that kinda resonated with me, and I was working a job I didn’t want to work, and not doing anything – in my opinion – life changing or changing myself. So, I was actually looking at the atlas, looking at Puget Sound on my atlas, I turned the page and there was Baja California, the Sea of Cortez. And I remember reading a Hemingway book about the Sea of Cortez, you know the people down there don’t call it the Gulf California, they call it the Sea of Cortez, and you know, I’ve always wanted to get down there, so I just spontaneously decided to do it. Call it a sixth sense or intuition…I knew I had to get out on that ocean and I said to myself, “I’ll just get away from everybody and take this adventure, and just…be gone.”

And so it kinda evolved from this “Well, I’ll just kayak down Baja, should take me about a month, about 900 miles. And that kind of evolved into something, you know, a lot bigger, a lot more, life changing.

B: How far did you go?

C: Down to Colombia.

B: Oh my God, so it wasn’t necessarily a one-time shot, it was kinda like, pitching camp for a couple days along the Mexican coast?

C: Yeah, I would usually go 7 days without a city. You know, I’d try to make it to the next town, get water, supplies, and then head on out again. There were times where I didn’t see land for a week. There were other times when I’d stop every other day. So, it wasn’t like I was out there, you know, 6 months. But it was certainly lonely, at the beginning it was very, very lonely. And I couldn’t believe I put myself in that situation, but I had made some big bold statements and I didn’t want to go back on those statements. But it’s not like today’s trips where people have cell phones and solar battery pack…

B: It was a simpler time…

C: Yeah, it was just me, and the ocean, and God. It was pretty, it was pretty life changing.

B: And the whole claim that it was “the longest kayaking expedition,” and then other people saying, “No, no, no, that’s not the truth.” Does that need to be addressed?

C: Yeah, sure! Absolutely, you know, it’s worth mentioning because it’s interesting how the media likes to play. People like to doubt. People like to tear down, you know? It’s interesting because I didn’t take this trip for a world record. I didn’t take it for THAT. I took it so I can get out and be by myself. And kind of sharpen myself, and put myself in a situation where there was no turning back.

And it was literally – once every two weeks – it was a life or death type of situation, or it was completely boring, 12 hours of kayaking a day. It was very, very boring, but there were those glimpses of manic-ness, of the life or death situations.

So, the newspapers and the media got a hold of this trip before I left, and again I’m not thinking of a world record, I could care less. In fact if I WAS thinking about a world record, it would have been a world record because – at that time – the longest solo kayaking trip in the Guinness Book of World Records was 900 miles approximately. And now, it’s a girl who went down the Amazon – which I’ve done! – and that was 2,000-2,200 hundred miles. I went 6,000 miles!

Look, if I wanted to break a record, then I would have documented it and I would have contacted Guinness beforehand, you know? They would have checked up on me along the way, but it wasn’t about that. But the newspapers, the Orange County Register, and then CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox…all those people, they got into it and started making fun of me, like, “this guy is gonna die out there.” I still have all those videos… So they’re the ones who kind of said, “Wait a second, here’s what the record is, so…this is gonna be a record. If you do this trip – what you’re talking about – then it’s gonna be a world’s record.” And again, I didn’t care about it, but once they started talking about it,

B: You have to respond…

C: I’m not a fool, and I do love the spotlight. So then I started touting it. And when I did my video for Survivor, I talked about it – and again, the current record is two thousand, some guy claims to have gone nine thousand miles around Australia, not documented, not getting into the Guinness Book of World Records – and for a while, it really bothered me because, it wasn’t my idea in the first place, and for the media to come out and say, “Wow, you know, this guy’s the man,” and then after for them to say, “Yeah, this guy’s full of shit.” You know, it really bothered me.

But then, that transformation – the last decade of my life – you know, I’ve had all these great adventures in life, Survivor being one of them. Survivor was not the pinnacle of my life, it never will be, at one time those kayaking trips were the pinnacle of my life, but having done so much… I’ve just had a great life. I’ve had opportunities to coach college soccer teams for two decades and win a lot of games, and go on Survivor three times, and write a couple books, and do a couple movies, and you know, it was all great, it was all very grounding.

Although, the first time I went on Survivor, it blew my mind that people didn’t relate (to me) more. But I get it now, I understand the machine. I understand the mentality of the people out there. I totally get that. So in retrospect, should I have shared experiences in my life? Yeah, I think so. I would have probably done it a little more cautiously, but it’s all good. I’m glad I did it, and I’m glad I told it, and as Marco Polo said on his deathbed,

“I didn’t tell half of what I saw, for I knew they would not believe.”

And I kind of figured that I’m taking that motto into my life because…a bunch of people are after me to do the Amazon book – a sequel to the first kayaking book – a lot of people have asked me for that. And I’m not really in a place to do that yet, there’s a lot of shit that happened out there, I’m just not quite ready to do it, but anyway, I don’t walk around talking about these stories because I was in some pretty gnarly situations, and, if people don’t believe it, then that’s their loss. I don’t care…

I’ve done more – this is unfortunately where I get a little bit arrogant but I don’t walk around being arrogant, I’m just a down-to-Earth guy – but, when I was 21, I had done more than most people have done in a lifetime. And when I was 30, a little part of my brain said, “why don’t you just go live on some island somewhere and just chill out.” I’d found quite a few really cool islands that are off the beaten path, you know. “Why don’t you just go and live a simple life?” But there’s something inside of me that just keeps driving me to do more. And again, if people don’t believe it, I could care less.

B: It sounds like you undertook your expedition for your soul, which is how all of us should be taking trips. Not to take snapshots, not to put them in a book, they’re basically to build your character and collect some memories of a full life. And not a life lead that you regret.

C: Absolutely.

12 thoughts on “SURVIVOR: WC vs BC vs NC – 5/13/15

  1. Thanks for the Coach interview. What a contrast to his seasons ( I only saw two) and this one. Oh well, here we go limping into the final. Sort of sorry to see Dan go, a final three of Dan, Rodney and POS would have really summed up this season.

    The big question is, did Moobs play of the extra vote cause Carolyn to play her idol or was she going to play it anyway? Plus why did Moobs use his extra vote? Well I guess he thought someone would join Mama C and Mike and his extra vote would save him . He was wrong. I can see a reason to use it, but I see more reasons not to use it.

    The way the game is now, shows how bad a move it was for Mama C to turn against Tyler last tribal. With Idol gone, if she does not win immunity she is gone. If she does, Mike is gone, and then following week, she is gone unless winning immunity.

    Is Rodney intentionally performing so bad as to not seem a threat? I am surprised he did not cut off his foot with his pathetic tosses.

  2. Your picks for Second Chance… We cant’ be friends no more and I dislike your thoughts so much that I am not even going to respond to future blog posts (I have to respond to this one so you know that) 😉 No, I agree with most of your thoughts, disagree with some too, but that’s what makes life fun. Imagine the horrors if everyone agreed with everyone… That being said, since you mentioned it, I want your picks for Survivor: Legends (you can wait until the end of this season, gives you a reason to write another blog entry or two during the downtime between seasons!) 10 men and 10 women. Since they’re legends, I’d say they’d have had to play long enough to at least reach the Jury, but I’ll let you decide that. I also see no problem inviting past winners as it is Survivor: Legends after all. We’ll make-believe the final reward is $5 million this time around.

    Onto the recap and my thoughts on the show…

    I agree, the teams seem evenly matched. Then I started to cry… then I laughed… then I cried some more. Let’s stare at these letters and they will magically form themselves. Even Jeff realized “Oh my… These guys have no clue, they’re not going to get it without help…” Hey guys! I say it all the time… at least once a season… Guys? Come on… Man, I could sure go for a hamburger with all the onions and tomatoes and lettuce and mayo and mustard… what’s the word I’m looking for Rodney? A hamburger with all the… what is it? It’s usually not grammatically correct but that’s ok cause it’s how it’s said… LOL, Rodney even beginning to catch on “Hey guys I think he’s hinting at us.” Sierra: Shut up Rodney you’re stupid and he’s stupid. Oh it was beautiful. Sad, but beautiful. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard during an episode of Survivor in a LONG time.

    OMG… Pobrecito Rod gets denied a reward challenge… AGAIN…. Oh please Survivor gods… PLEASE I want him to go without the final few days. No rewards for Rodney. Make it so! It’s too freaking enjoyable watching him complain and act all put out even though he doesn’t seem to realize that each time he gets the chance to complain about not going on a reward he’s actually ONE STEP CLOSER TO A MILLION DOLLARS. Next week he’ll complain again, even though he’s 1 of 5…

    As I’ve been predicting, Dan would find a way to blow his advantage.

    I think Mama C was comfortable going into tribal, but as soon as Dan got up I turned to my wife and said “If that doesn’t spook her into playing her idol, she’s an idiot.” I definitely think she was concerned, but I think she may have been blindsided if not for Dan playing, and thus wasting/ruining his advantage. Dan of course played exactly as expected and was an idiot to the very end. Thankfully the final three can no longer exist of the three worst people ever to make it to the end (and honestly that’s saying a lot, but rest assured POS is making it to the end so long as he keeps his mouth shut from here on out, and even then, he’ll probably make it to the end. He’s getting no votes. He’s a sure pick for the end.)

    I want to extend my thanks for reaching out and getting Coach’s thoughts on a lot of Survivor things. It was an interesting Q&A session!

  3. I literally jumped up and cheered when Mike won Immunity. And I clapped with glee when Mooby had his torch snuffed out. Not the best of seasons…but All in all a satisfying episode.

    With the ridiculous gaff of including Mike and Carolyn in the voting pool for Second Chance…I just don’t see either of them being the big winner. I truly feel Mike is the most deserving of those left so it makes me sad. If you watch the Ponderosa videos…Dan’s is a classic. What an unaware fool that man is…he thinks he was “A Hero”. wow. Do you suppose he is watching the episodes now and realizes that Mike was RIGHT?…nah…Dan is far to convinced of his own righteousness.

    Turns out Sierra’s uncle is a member of a barrel horse forum I am on…and he asked her to explain about her wonky eyebrows:
    ” This is what she said. “I got in a bad accident as a kid, a scar on my eyebrows doesn’t grow hair. They are tattooed so I actually have an eyebrow. When I’m not living on an island, they don’t look that bad haha. Another question is my neck. It’s a bad scar. Two surgeries to remove a precancerous lump.”
    Straight from the horses mouth. Just thought you all might have wanted to know.

  4. God job Fish! Loved the interview with Coach too! I too watch Ponderosa and Dan would be in for a sad, sad reality check except that I don’t think he will actually believe he is an asshat, I think the will trump it up to editing. Also, how do you react to a stranger saying, “nice tits” to your wife? Do you say, “you’re right” because it is true? Do you get offended but say nothing because you want to get into a street fight? Or do you just let it go? How does a man react to something like that? I should probably know the answer because it has probably happen to me a lot but I just don’t remember and I asked my husband but he doesn’t remember either.

    PS I think you are an edgy writer.

  5. doc: I know what you mean about a contrast in seasons. Survivor used to have a bunch of great players, a handful of mediocres, and a couple zeros. Now, we’ve been getting a bunch of zeros, a handful of mediocres, and a couple great players. It’s sad…
    -I think him playing it prompted her to play her idol, but you’ll never know until she spills the beans. He could have put one vote toward someone in his alliance, just to be safe, but he wasn’t good at playing smart, just safe.
    -Getting rid of Tyler was so dumb IMO at that time, because she always had the idol to protect her. She could have whittled one more off, before turning on Tyler. Bad move…
    -Yeah, his grappling hook throwing is on par with…his ability to win challenges.

    that guy: Whew! I thought I had lost you… Love the idea of picking Legends. Let me get my thinking cap on. I’ll have to plan it with Steve, if it’s not gonna be next week. Stay tuned.
    -That’d be great if Rodney rolls a gutter ball all season. Something tells me only one of them (Rod or POS) will make Final Tribal, because I don’t see either of them winning any critical challenges.
    -True about Dan. He’s just a big walking Moob. Did you read in his interview with Cockring where he rips Coach? What a dumbass… And in his Ponderosa video he claims Mike has no self-awareness! Look in the mirror, Fat Man and Little Boy…
    -Thanks for recognizing the Coach interview. It was neat speaking with him and not just exchanging emails.

  6. hathor: The season seems to be improving, which may just be a subconscious by-product of nearing the end. Sound plausible?
    -And like I said before, Dan’s Ponderosa video is chock full of surprises. He must really think he’s liked? Can you imagine being around that guy every day?
    -Interesting about Sierra, very good to know. I was wondering about those things. Thanks!

    susie: Thanks, Toots! Yeah, unfortunately, I don’t think Dan will ever “get it.” He’s too self absorbed to think he’s coming across as a douche, even though he claims to be able to own his mistakes. He doesn’t even think he made mistakes. Remarkable.
    -I didn’t have the opportunity to address the “nice tits” comment because we were on a hike and she was ahead of me. I didn’t even know it happened until I caught up with her and she told me. I’m not about to go running up a hill to say, “Hey, that’s not nice!!” and, in fact, she did have augmentation, so they do look NICE! As long as someone doesn’t grab them or tell her they want to grab them, I’m okay. I’m not one to make something out of nothing, and I pray there’ll never be a time I need to become the dude in “Coward of the County,” by Kenny Rogers. And if it’s “probably” happened to you a lot, your hubby must be a lucky man… 😉 I’m so edgy…

    Thanks for everyone’s comments. We’re almost home, Toto!

  7. Interesting interview with Coach. I went to the College he was a women’s soccer coach at when he went on “sick leave” to be on Survivor for the first time. Of course, we all had to watch to see how he did and that is what really got me into watching Survivor every single season. It was a small College so I was around him a lot, but I don’t think I ever spoke directly to the man, but his players loved him.

    I am so relieved Dan is gone. I would have been extremely disappointed if it had been Dan, Will, and Rodney in the final three and of course, Rodney, the misogynistic, whining, unable to even come close to winning immunity challenges idiot would have won.

    I have to disagree with you on Carolyn and Mike accidentally being “spoiled” on the “vote for me” videos. I think it was strategic to some degree to throw us off, but maybe I am just hopeful. I haven’t watched Jeff’s interviews to evaluate whether he was backtracking or not.

    I think my biggest gripe this week is Sierra. She literally refuses to stick her neck out, take any form of leadership, make any moves let alone “big” ones, and for some reason she thinks this is a game winning technique. I honestly don’t think there is a single final three she can find herself sitting with she will win with and I don’t understand why a seemingly intelligent woman can’t figure that out. I am sure she is counting on Will and Rodney at this point, but I think Rodney will beat her simply because as arrogant and annoying as he is, he can point to all of his strategies that took him there. He did have the strategy of a big alliance of 7, with a 4 he actually planned on being his real alliance. And it has basically worked. What can Sierra say? I did well, but not great in challenges. Also I didn’t annoy you as bad as these other guys. Anyway, I am just very frustrated with her because she has had so many opportunities to shake things up and make herself a contender in the process and she just never would.

    Carolyn has done a few things, she has made some intelligent decisions (even if they annoyed me) when it came to who to align herself with at the right times when it was in her hands, she found the idol and then more importantly actually kept it so well hidden from her tribe mates that she was able to blindside Dan when she chose to play it. She has won two immunity challenges and overall been very athletic for an older woman.
    I don’t care for her, but she will win any final threes that don’t include Mike at this point.

    Will/POS has no hope for winning at this point. Nether does Sierra. But I think they will both be in the final three. It is down to who is the winner that will be sitting next to them.

  8. Just want to throw out that I completely agree with you oyoung1117. POS and Sierra seem like solid choices to take to the final three at this point (especially Will who will surprise me if he manages to get even one vote, Sierra may sneak in a vote or two, but I don’t see her winning against Carolyn or Mike and probably not against Rodney). My dream/hope is that it’s Mike/Carolyn/POS (Again, if POS doesn’t make it to the final three I’ll be surprised, he’s too easy a choice to drag along at this point). I feel Mike would probably win that but it’d be the most interesting (IMO)

  9. Oyoung: Thanks for writing in! What’s the name of that college? Just for my own knowledge. I’ve heard that he was fired from there since he lied about getting “surgery” during that time. Would be good for some perspective…
    -I respectfully disagree about the Mike/Carolyn situation. I don’t think there was any intention of “throwing us off the trail,” and I don’t think it was a total “Whoops, we made a boo-boo.” I think there was just a breakdown in communication and someone failed to mention certain things to certain people. But what do I know…? Coach said Probst was backtracking, and he would know more than me, but that doesn’t mean he’s 100% right, either.
    – Re: Sierra. This is why I love Survivor. Because on one season, a player like Sierra (who makes it to FT) would be lambasted for being a “tag-along.” Similar to Monica vs. Tyson/Gervase. And on another season, she could win the damn show, like Natalie vs. Russell. Hell, Natalie beat Mick and he was the LEADER of Foa Foa at one point. It just proves a point that each season is an unique “event” where you can’t apply another season’s logic to determine who wins this time. I’m quietly (or not so quietly) hoping that Sierra goes to the final with Rodney and POS and CONVINCES the jury to give her the win, based on the fact she’s not an asshole. That’s a huge part of the game, too, and with a young/anti-asshole jury, that may be all she needs. Thinking ahead, if it came down to that 3, I think Hali/Jenn/Joe/Shirin/ could all vote Sierra, so she’d only need 1 vote from Mike/Carolyn/Tyler/Dan for the win, and I don’t think that’d be impossible. And she’s pretty…
    -I agree with you on Carolyn. Maybe the whole idea of including her and Mike is because the show knows she won, and it’s their way of getting Mike back out there…?

    thatguy: obviously, based on what I wrote above, this also applies to your comment (and, thank you!). Again, I think Mike is the most deserving, with Carolyn 2nd, which is why one of them will go next. My guess is Mike. I think Sierra will continue voting with Rodney/POS to get rid of one of them, and then that final immunity challenge will determine who’s going (as it always does).

    Can’t wait for the finale! I’m going to do something different this season for it, so expect some surprises in Thursday’s column. Shhhhh, it’s a secret…. Will also be posting Mike Skupin’s answers to the questions I sent him. It’s much more brief than Coach’s, natch, but I’m happy to squeeze it into the final recap. Until Thursday, vote, and enjoy the finale. It’ll be a doozie!

  10. Pingback: The Bachelorette Season 11 Kaitlyn – Episode 1 Recap, News & Notes, Tentative “Bachelor In Paradise” Cast List | Reality Steve

  11. It was Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO. I don’t know if the administration originally intended to fire him for pretending to be sick although they said that was their reason, because they didn’t actually do anything until the show had been airing awhile and his edit was so negative and bizarre. But his players were livid about his dismissal, so I think that says something about his character.
    And I didn’t really think about Sierra’s approach in consideration of the actual jury. Now that you mention it I do think a final three involving her, Rod, and Will would actually go her way. Because she has Shirin, Joe, Hali, and Jen for sure. Rod would have Dan, Tyler, and Carolyn, and Mike would be up in the air, but I bet he would go with Sierra.
    Like I said I am hoping it is Carolyn or Mike. Mostly Mike. Which is interesting considering in the early days of his “I am the only one working here” tantrums I couldn’t stand him. I do think Mike will probably be the next out. After that who knows?

  12. Get your votes in for the next season’s cast! One final day to do so!

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