‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – ‘Danger’ Dave Ball

We’ve learned a lot of things during this season of “Survivor.” Never feel safe at tribal council, never choose shampoo over a tarp, and most importantly, never question the way Shambo prepares chicken. “Danger” Dave Ball made the mistake of starting a chicken fight with Shambo, and now he’s sitting on the jury. We caught up with “Danger” Dave the day after his dismissal to get his thoughts on Russell’s crazy strategies, Laura’s misleading portrayal, and Shambo’s culinary talents…

Gordon Holmes: “Danger Dave!
“Danger” Dave Ball: Gordon…I don’t know your nickname…
Gordon: Feel free to come up with one for me.
Dave: “Throbbing” Gordon!
Gordon: Oh…
Dave: Not bad, huh? They don’t call me “Danger” for nothing, baby!
Gordon: I wasn’t sure if I’d be talking to you or Monica, so I have to shuffle some of these questions.
Dave: Like “How good do I look in a bikini now that I’ve gained some weight back?”
Gordon: How good do you look in a bikini now that you’ve gained some weight back?
Dave: Spectacular!
Gordon: I don’t think I like where this interview is heading, “Danger” Dave.
Dave: (Laughing) I think you like it just fine, “Throbbing” Gordon.

Gordon: Alright, let’s get back on track here. You’re on this show called “Survivor” and there’s a gentleman named Russell who seems to be a dominant force on that show. What was your impression of him while you were in Samoa?
Dave: Skeevy. You could tell he was just a fast-talking, shiny-haired…well, if he had hair…used car salesman.
Gordon: When he’d come to you with ideas like voting out Shambo, did you know he was playing you?
Dave: Did it look like I bought it?
Gordon: Not really.
Dave: I’m just checking. That’d be stupid. I’m dangerous in a very real way where Shambo is dangerous in a completely different and also real way. She’s dangerous with instability where I’m dangerous with game-playing prowess.

Gordon: Now that you’ve watched the show and seen Russell’s behind-the-scenes maneuvers, how do you feel about him?
Dave: At first I thought he was a little crazy with that strategy, but in a weird way I can see how it made his tribe so weak they had to depend on him. It’s like an aggressive form of co-dependence creation.  It’s a bold move, and you have to give him that.
Gordon: Does it bother you at all that he’s become somewhat of a fan favorite?
Dave: Yeah, a little bit.
Gordon: I talked to Laura and she said they’re not showing how aggressive he’s been.
Dave: He was pretty aggressive and obnoxious behind the scenes.
Gordon: Last night they discussed his oil company, but he has also said he was a New Orleans fire fighter. Is everyone buying this?
Dave: When he told me he was a fire fighter, I believed him. Because why would someone lie about that, and why would I care? Part of me thought it was true, because how horrible of a person would you have to be to lie about something like that? It wouldn’t surprise me if he goes home and someone punches him right in the face. That’s a line you don’t cross.

Gordon: I heard a rumor from John that you have the title of the player with the highest IQ in “Survivor” history.
Dave: That is a pretty, pretty loaded rumor, isn’t it?
Gordon: And you were told this?
Dave: Jeff Probst actually said it in the pre-game online stuff.
Gordon: And John said the worst thing to happen to you was knowing you had the highest IQ.
Dave: You know, John doesn’t really know how to play the game, so he wouldn’t know what would work. He really relies on his brain, but he has a certain kind of intelligence instead of a well-rounded spectrum of intelligence. And, he’s a little insecure about it.
Gordon: Did it ever come into play?
Dave: It was a little stressful, the first day the chief had to pick players, and our chief chose Shambo as the smartest one. The very first thing out of Jeff Probst’s mouth was, “Dave Ball, how do you feel that you didn’t get picked to be the smartest one.” And I was like “You son of …” He’s outing me. I was so mad. I just thought it was some kind of bone he had to pick with me.  But then when I went back and watched the show I realized he didn’t have a bone to pick at all, I just made this face like, “Are you kidding me? She’s a retard!”
Gordon: Dave, there’s one thing I won’t stand for, and that’s anyone calling Jeff Probst names.
Dave: Have you got a man crush, Gordon?
Gordon: A little bit.
Dave: “Throbbing” Gordon, ladies and gentlemen.
Gordon: Do you think John was jealous he didn’t get the title of best-looking rocket scientist in “Survivor” history?
Dave: Oh no, John’s like Fabio. That’s what I called him before I actually knew his name.

Gordon: OK…let’s get to your buddy Shambo.
Dave: She’s a piece of work isn’t she?
Gordon: Indeed. Did that chicken fight go down the way they showed it? Did she just go ballistic on anyone who dared to doubt how she was preparing the chicken?
Dave: Yeah.
Gordon: And we never got any closure on this question; how was that chicken?
Dave: I didn’t really get any because I had a moment where I decided to go out on the beach and chill. I won every single reward while I was out there. I ate better than anyone else. By the time I made it back all that was left were a couple of feet. So, I learned to eat chicken feet. And you know what? It was good enough for my grandparents during the depression so it’s good enough for me!

Gordon: You guys were portrayed as being mean to Shambo, but we never really saw it. Laura especially seemed to get a bad rap. What can you tell us about her?
Dave: Laura is a champion. She is one of the best people I know. She is a touchstone. I will love and cherish her for the rest of my life. If I had to choose a team to go back using five people you give me Laura, Brett, Erik, and Kelly and I’ll beat anybody in the game of “Survivor.” We didn’t shun Shambo, Shambo just has so many demons from the past. And she took out her rage on us. We worked so hard to be nice to her that we were snapping at each other. We were holding in our frustration with Shambo who is mentally and emotionally ill.

Gordon: Now, you mentioned a Brett? I’m sorry, there’s a Brett in this game?
Dave: Gordon, watch your mouth, buddy. Don’t be funny. Brett’s a champ.
Gordon: I’m not going to disparage this person, I just don’t know who he is.
Dave: Then why are you asking a question about him?
Gordon: If there is a player named Brett out there; what’s he doing? What kind of strategy is he employing?
Dave: Dude, he’s the best player in the game. He is as smart as I am, smarter because he has a handle on the social game that I didn’t. He was my touchstone. He’s a smart guy, he’s a great guy, he’s my best friend.
Gordon: Has he been making moves we haven’t seen?
Dave: Absolutely, he and I controlled the game up until Russell and Shambo pulled off the crazy upset.
Gordon: You were about to get really offended if I said something bad about Brett.
Dave: I was.
Gordon: I think you have a man crush on Brett.
Dave: I am not particularly moved one way or the other by what you think.
Gordon: (Laughs) We could man-double, you and Brett, me and Jeff.
Dave: MAN DOUBLE! “Throbbing” Gordon, out on the town.
Gordon: You’re going to get me in so much trouble.

Gordon: OK, word association time. Let’s start off with Jaison...
Dave: Weak.
Gordon: Mick?
Dave: Nice guy.
Gordon: Shambo?
Dave: Crazy.
Gordon: Jeff Probst?
Dave: Awesome.
Gordon: Natalie?
Dave: She’s adorable.
Gordon: Coconut bowling?
Dave: (Laughs) Pathetic.
Gordon: Laura?
Dave: Champion.
Gordon: Brett?
Dave: Champion.

Gordon: What do you take from your time in Samoa?
Dave: This weird rash that I can not get rid of…just kidding. I take a family. Brett, Laura, Kelly…they’re my family, dude. I love them. I’d do anything for them.

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