Brad Virata of 'Survivor: Cook Islands' Interview

By Jeff Walsh

Brad Virata went on Survivor to break stereotypes and win a million dollars, but only accomplished one of his goals. He was voted off the show on the show's eighth episode, but became the first member of the jury that decides who wins the million dollars. On Sunday, December 17, he will be on the jury that selects the million-dollar winner and appear live on the reunion show that follows. Throughout the show, Virata seemed to be having fun with the whole notion that he was playing a game, rather than follow the stressful (albeit possibly more successful) path of other people on the show. Whenever the game had a twist, he was there smiling and taking it all in, while everyone else winced, plotted and schemed. Chatting with him on the phone, it becomes very clear that is just the way he handles life. Talking to Oasis exactly a week after his being voted off the show, he was still upbeat and engaged after days of a rigorous publicity schedule. In fact, he laughed so freely and often during our interview, I just removed the (laughs) marks from the transcript, because without the audio or knowing his take on life, they actually came across as excessive. But on the phone, they were playful and addictive, and really did help paint a picture of his great outlook on life. Virata, the fashion director for Lucky Brand Jeans, recently spoke with Jeff about his life on and off the show:

Hey Jeff!

Hey Brad, how are you doing?

I'm doing well. How are you?

Doing alright, but you were supposed to last on the show until my site launched, man! You've messed it all up.

I know. I ruined everything, didn't I? Once again...

I was planning to go for the whole timely 'Look, we was kicked off yesterday, and here he is on Oasis,' but we can't do it now.


Are you glad to be back in the world of razors?

I'm very glad to be back in the world of razors.

So, you said being on the show was the "best worst experience" of your life?

Yeah, it was the best experience just because you learn a lot about yourself and what's important to you. While you're on the show and you're on the island, you're depleted of all these things that you take for granted. And then the worst is dealing with all the different elements. Basically you're starving. You're having to juggle all types of personalities of people you normally wouldn't hang out with in normal, everyday life. But overall, it was a good role. I'm glad it's over.

See, I thought you said "best worst," like, of all the worst experiences in your life, it was the best. I didn't realize it was the best and worst.

Yeah, it was like best backslash worst.

OK, there was that unspoken slash in there.

Yeah, I should have said that. That would have been pretty funny.

When I first heard it, I was wondering why it wasn't the worst best experience of your life, in that case.

Right? Yeah, I know. But, yeah, it was a good role and I'm glad it's over. Back to reality now. Well, my reality.


the mouse that roared's picture

Hey Jeff, This guy seems

Hey Jeff,

This guy seems really cool and everything, and I like the fact that we're getting articles and interviews on Oasis. Don't get me wrong; they're fun to read. But it would be nice to have more representative people if you're going to do interviews. Surprisingly, there are not just gay males on this site. Not even just lesbians. In fact, there are bisexuals, queers, transgenders, genderqueers, and some mixture thereof. Just think about it.


No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless; there is too much work to do.--Dorothy Day

jeff's picture

The initial interviews...

Have all been done in this order for timing reasons.

Jim Fall, posted three days before his movie aired nationally.
Jeff Manabat, needed to go up in advance of the holidays to coincide with holiday CD contest.
Brad Virata, Survivor Finale is this weekend.

The initial hope was the site was launching in November, so I've just been pushing the interviews that have to go up first. A lot of the more celebrity-driven interviews always happen moreso around timing with books, CDs, DVD, movies, etc. than anything else, though. Harder to get people to do interviews when they aren't promoting something. Many of the interviews will coincide when people are hitting San Francisco on book tours, concerts, etc., as well, so that's also an element out of my control.

But what you are asking for is definitely not off my radar. The next interview will be female. And we have a diverse mix on the schedule. Hey, at least they haven't all been gay WHITE males. :-)

In the next couple of weeks, there will be reviews of Broadway shows that are more suitable to a youth audience, because I'm on the east coast right now and getting review tickets to shows (but steering toward shows with some angle for cheaper tickets (student rates, contests, lottery seats, rush prices, etc.) to sync it with our audience a bit. So, it will never be even, it's sort of what hits my radar, where I am, etc.

Of course, the best strategy... send me private messages such as: Why don't you interview (fill in author's name), and point me at their website, etc. There's a safe bet a lot of people aren't even on my radar yet. And, once I get the Oasis groove going better when I'm back home in January, there will also be more opportunities for ya'll to start reviewing books and other stuff.

There will be a page going up in the near future (once I get all the back interviews manually entered (it takes me about 2 hours to post a year's worth)) about what the criteria is to be interviewed in Oasis, as well.

It's early, lots of time to tweak things yet.

I'm a total myspace whore (and by whore, I mean I use it to sleep with people, I'm not on it often), so ADD ME AS A FRIEND

the mouse that roared's picture


Sounds like you've put some thought into it. I have been reading stuff on afterellen, and it is good to hear some gay male stuff going on. Just as long as it doesn't stay that way. :)

No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless; there is too much work to do.--Dorothy Day