Todd Herzog, winner of Survivor China: Interview

Obviously that's my angle. Like, I didn't interview anybody last year, because there were no gay contestants last year. Like, James at one point mentioned you were a 'stewardess,' so I'm wondering, now was that some slight? Or does Todd jokingly call himself a stewardess, but we didn't see that?

I call myself a flight attendant. James is just one of those people, he can't even remember your name. He still calls me 'Old Boy,' because he doesn't know my name. (laughs) So, the fact that he called me a stewardess, I laughed. I laughed hysterically. 'We got ourselves a stewardess,' (imitating James), and I was just like, 'Oh, James...'

So, how does this work... obviously you're a big fan of the show, so has your perception of the show changed now that you've gone through the process? You've seen behind the curtain, how they can edit you to look...

The only thing that's changed, in my opinion, is I will now have way more respect for the people out there, because I didn't realize what they go through. I didn't realize just how hard it was.

What was the hardest part?

Just imagine, you know, sitting in the mud with the same pair of underwear you'd had for days and days and days, being eaten alive by bugs, with a sunburned nose, where nobody really likes you because they all want to backstab you, and you're constantly thinking, lonely, and hungry. I mean, it's the top of the line point of miserable.

How do you feel about how you were portrayed on the show? Was it pretty accurate, or did they twist things for storylines a lot?

For the most part, they portrayed my game very well. In real life, I'm not going to backstab all my friends and whatnot. But the game as far as I played it? Absolutely. That's exactly how I was. That's how everybody was out there. You can't really hide who you are, especially when you're in an element like that. It does come out. Although, in real life, if I were to meet somebody and then want to blindside them, no, that would be pretty ridiculous.

And did you really think, right from the beginning, I could really do this? I could win?

I wouldn't have played the game if I didn't actually think that I could win, because I knew from the second I was out there that I could do it. I really did. It was just a matter of getting to the end and pleading my case. And that's part of the fun of the game, it tests you, and that was my favorite part. I loved being pushed.

And, this year, I don't know if it's me or just the editing, but it seemed like going into every tribal council, it seemed like no one had a clue what was going to happen. They twisted it so it was like, it could be this way, it could be that way. Where in past seasons, you sort of knew what some of the people were thinking. This year was chaos every time.

In all reality, the game was complete chaos. I think that's why we were one of the better seasons. We've had such great ratings and what-not, it's been overwhelming. People like to not know, for sure. They like to be surprised. And it kind of was that way. I remember out there when I was ready to vote for somebody, I kept thinking to myself, 'Ooh, this is going to be a good one when they show it, because it's going to come as a shock.'

What's it like interacting with the cast now? You always hear from the jury (and I never understand this every year) people talking about trying to play an honest game, and it was just about trying to make friends. And it seems everyone who says that is always in the jury, and that's probably why they're in the jury and never in the final three. There's no way to do that effectively.

You know, that's just the thing I really don't understand. You're going to make friends out there, whether you like it or not. You really are, because you do nothing but sit around and talk about yourself and hear other people talk about themselves. You learn to love each other. But if you went out there expecting just to make friends and go on a vacation, you're stupid, because this is a hardcore game. And you're not playing for a new car. You're playing for a million dollars, you know? I don't think I even realized what this million dollars can do for me. So, the people who just say, 'Oh, I just wanted to be friends,' they shouldn't be on the show. I don't think so.

You can be their friend after day 40.

Exactly. And I am their friend. I let people know that yeah, we built relations, but I had to lie to you. And I'm sorry, but that's how I got here. And that's how you're over there.


jenniferhomes's picture

He is such a great charming

He is such a great charming character.. It's good that they're seeing each other - understanding the insta-celebrity and how to navigate it is tough for a lot of people, maybe Todd can help Spencer make it through unscathed. Hate to see Super-Butch Twinkie get all his filling squished out.