‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Brendan Synnott

It’s been the hottest topic of this season’s “Survivor.” Will Ben “Coach” Wade, the self-professed “Dragon Slayer,” get the best of the man he dubbed his “Dragon,” Brendan Synnott? Well, when the lance finally fell, Coach found himself victorious.

We had a chance to talk to Brendan after he was voted out of the game to get his thoughts on Coach’s nicknames, tall tales, and sexist attitude. As well as his thoughts on the other players. (Wait, there are other players?)

Brendan: How’s it going?
Hey, Dragon!
Brendan: (Laughs) …Yes?
Gordon: If I had to hear Coach give the dragon analogy one more time…
Brendan: Oh my God. It’s just one of Coach’s different personas that he likes to slide himself into. It was totally amusing.
Gordon: How many different personas did you see while you were out there?
Brendan: I saw the soccer coach, the outdoorsman, the orchestra conductor, the chef, the dragon slayer, the guy that does push-ups every morning, the yoga zen master, tai-chi passed down tradition that nobody else in the world knows. They didn’t talk about this, but while he was doing all of his moves out in the water. When he came back I asked, “Hey Coach, what are you thinking about while you’re out there?” And he said, “I have a thousand knots tied visually in my head and I untie them one by one.”
Gordon: (Laughs)
Brendan: And I was like, “Shut the (expletive deleted) up.”

Gordon: Here’s a little fun fact for you, when he said that meditation process couldn’t be Googled, because it’s immune to the power of Google or whatever. That may work on you because you were in the middle of Brazil and have no Internet access…but I do. There are thousands of entries for it.
Awesome. I would like to see a Web site that has all the Coach-isms and just refutes all of the (expletive deleted) that comes out of his mouth.
Gordon: Do you believe any of them?
Brendan: I think Coach is a very smart guy, and I think he’s totally harmless. I just think he’s delusional and he’s a voracious reader. And I think he has created a reality for himself that is based on the stories he reads about. And he blends them brilliantly.
Gordon: Do you think Tyson and Deb believe the stories?
Brendan: No! Nobody believes him. It’s so amazing and harmless, and if Coach wasn’t there we’d be lonely and bored. It’s good comedy.

Gordon: You said that he had called himself “Dragon Slayer” when you were out there. Were you aware that he had a cute little nickname for you?
I didn’t know I was the Dragon. If I did I would have played the game a little differently. But I had heard the name “Dragon Slayer” tossed around. And Coach, he loved nicknames. When we first started out the game, we did that long trek. And he introduced himself as Ben the soccer coach. And going into the game I wanted to put somebody else in the leadership role, so I said, “Well, you’re a coach, can I just call you Coach out here?” And every nickname you gave him he’d just eat up.

Gordon: I think you lucked out, cause “Dragon” is way cooler than Sierra’s nickname, “The Bowel Movement that Comes Out of the Dragon.”
Brendan: Poor Sierra has just been getting hated on lately.
Gordon: We’re not seeing the basis of this. Tyson in particular seems to hate her.
Brendan: Sierra has the tendency to say whatever’s on her mind. And particularly, what was on her mind was focused on Coach. And Coach would talk down to women, and Coach talked down to Sierra pretty often. It just drove her nuts.

Gordon: Now Tyson seems to hate everybody, which I guess is a noble thing, if you’re going to hate, hate equally. But, is anyone on to him?

Brendan: Tyson’s personality as the game got farther got bigger and bigger. I don’t know how big it can eventually get. It’s clear that he’s been trying to hold it back. And now that he’s winning challenges, it’s getting larger and larger.

Gordon: Did you have any idea that you’d be the one to go?
I didn’t realize how long my head had been on the chopping block. But, my team kept winning immunity so they couldn’t get me off. But you’d notice things; people would stop asking you questions about things that are going on around camp.

Gordon: Do you think you waited too long to pull the trigger on the Exile Alliance with Taj and Stephen?
Brendan: Once we got to the merge, I had spent so much time on Exile that my tribe thought something was up. So once we got to the merge, I purposefully ignored Taj. And I had told Taj I was going to do this. Because once we get there we can’t be obvious about it. But, once I did reach out to her, she just game me lip service, and I knew that wasn’t good. In hindsight, having the immunity idol in your pocket, I should have played it. Obviously.

Gordon: You said that taking JT to the finals would be an acceptable end for you. Is that how you came into the game? Just wanting to get to the finals?
Brendan: I love winning, but I wasn’t going to win at any cost. I wanted to have a great time and have a great adventure. But once we got to the merge, I just got a terrible knot in my stomach. I didn’t like being in a situation where everyone’s stabbing each other in the back all the time. So, rather than focusing on myself, I thought it would help to bring someone who deserved it. It was a mechanism for me to cope.

Gordon: Now, I’m told there’s a woman out there named Deb.
(Laughs) Yep.
Gordon: Now I haven’t seen her, if she is out there, could you tell me what kind of game she’s playing.
Brendan: Debbie is out there. She is a very sweet person. I don’t think she came into the game with a lot of strategy. I think she is just kind of going along with what the stronger players around her have said.

Gordon: OK, word association time…Stephen?
Gordon: Erinn?
Brendan: Talks about herself.
Gordon: Sierra?
Brendan: Clingy.
Gordon: Taj?
Brendan: Just fun.
Gordon: Tyson?
Brendan: Hilarious.
Gordon: And you knew this was coming…Coach?
Brendan: My hero!
Gordon: See, that’s a good attitude to have.

Gordon: So what do you take from your time in Brazil?

Brendan: I had an amazing time. To me, going through such a unique experience where everything’s taken away from you, is something I strive for in my life.

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