‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Shannon Elkins

There have been some jaw-dropping Tribal Council moments over the years. My favorite? When Dreamz broke his deal with Yau-Man after accepting his truck in “Survivor: Fiji.”

But “Survivor: Nicaragua” nearly topped that last night thanks to Shannon Elkins’s decision to question Matthew “Sash” Lenahan’s sexuality.  Unfortunately for Shannon, his unorthodox line of questioning didn’t do much to keep him in the game. I had a chance to chat with Shannon the following morning to discuss why he isn’t a homophobe, what he thinks of New Yorkers, and what really happened to NaOnka’s socks.

Gordon Holmes: Now, in the first episode you managed to offend women, and this last episode you offended homosexuals. Was there a group you’re sorry you didn’t get a chance to offend while you were out there?
Shannon Elkins:
I really wanted to piss off the white people.
Gordon: Some would say you’ve already…
Shannon: Hey man, are you gay?
Gordon: Am I gay? No.
Shannon: I’m joking with you, man.
Gordon: But if I were gay, I’d be cool admitting it.
Shannon: Exactly! Thank you, my brother. Thank you! Dude, I’m not a homophobe and I’m not a sexist. I’ve been married for eleven years, my brother. I give women props, they rule the world. I said nothing bad about women. But when people watch TV you’d swear they still believe in Santa Claus. It’s called an edit. All I wanted was for after 39 days for the men to sack up and bring home a victory for the guys, you know what I’m saying? I said women beat us in marriage. Are you married?
Gordon: (Laughs) I’m not, but I do have a long-time alliance partner.
Shannon: There you go. If your girlfriend is pissed off with you, your life is going to be miserable until she’s happy again. Am I correct?
Gordon: That is true.
Shannon: There you go, women rule it, my brother. And when Sarah Palin runs for president I’ll be wearing a Sarah Palin t-shirt.
Gordon: You said you’re owned in marriage, how does your wife feel when you say that?
Shannon: She laughs cause she knows she owns me.

Gordon: Now regarding your Tribal Council exchange last night with Sash, you say you’re not homophobic but it could easily be taken that way.
As far as the gay bashing, I didn’t bash any gays. I didn’t say, “I hate gays.” I didn’t say, “Gays are stupid.” I stereotype, my brother. It’s like the show “Waterboy,” people think we ride airboats to work, we have no teeth, and we wrestle alligators for a living. Well people from Louisiana think people from New York are either in the mob or gay. I stereotype like everybody else stereotypes.
Gordon: Were you at all concerned that Sash was in the mob?
Shannon: No, I was concerned that he was gay and I was protecting my (expletive deleted).
Gordon: So, why even ask that question? How would that help your game?
Shannon: Well first of all, you know how an edit works, you’ve been around “Survivor” a long time. That’s not how it went down. I don’t have to ask Sash if he’s gay. Look at the kid, he’s gay. He kept on and on telling me I was a liar. He should have kept his mouth shut and he wouldn’t have been called out in front of America. I said, “Did I lie to anybody in here?” Alina is the perfect example, she told them she was voting for me, then she came to me and told me what they were saying. So, she knew I was straight shooting. But when Sash kept calling me a liar, I’d finally had enough, like I’d been interrogated by the police. I said, “I lied to you because you lied to me.” He said, “When’d I lie to you?” I said, “When you told me you weren’t gay.” That’s how it really went down. As far as me coming out and asking if he’s gay? C’mon man, nobody needs to ask that dude if he’s gay.
Gordon: You mentioned the edit, are you concerned with how the show might affect your everyday life?
Shannon: No, not at all.
Gordon: There was a pre-game interview where you referred to homosexuals using a derogatory term.
Shannon: Whoa, when did I use a derogatory term against homosexuals?
Gordon: It was in a pre-game interview with a different outlet.
Shannon: What’d I say?
Gordon: You used the f-word to describe a homosexual.
Shannon: You must’ve lost your damn mind, I’ve never used that word.
Gordon: Fair enough, I wasn’t there for that interview. What was your relationship with Sash like before Tribal Council?
Shannon: Sash loves everybody. He’s really soft spoken, a little sweetheart. Our relationship was nothing. He was going and telling Kelly B. I was voting her out. I say, “You say you’re going to be in this alliance with us guys and then you’re stirring up all this crap. What’s wrong with you?” There was one point where I called him out and he obviously didn’t like me. He had his minority alliance; he didn’t want anyone white involved.
Gordon: What did you think of the minority alliance?
Shannon: (Laughs) Hmm…I’ll answer like this, if I said that, they’d be going crazy on me right now. But because I stereotype I’m a homophobe. So whatever, it’s OK for him to have his minority alliance, I guess.
Gordon: Just to make sure that you’re getting an opportunity to get your side across, you’re saying you’re not a sexist and not a homophobe.
Shannon: Correct.

Gordon: What were things like between you and Chase before Tribal Council started?
I knew from after Day 1 that Chase had a thing for Brenda, everybody knew it. In the game of “Survivor” you have to break up couples. I think we were strong at first, but then she had him. She knew she couldn’t play me like that so she went with Chase. Brenda is a great player, I hope Brenda wins. I hope she goes all the way.

Gordon: Last night you mentioned that you might have done better on the older tribe. Why is that?
Cause I’m a grown-up, man. I’ve been married since I’m nineteen. I’m thirty years old. That’s a long time to be married. I think it’s five times the rate of people in California to be married. It kind of adds some years to your life. I had to grow up really fast. I was never a twenty year old.

Gordon: Last night NaOnka and Fabio went at it over NaOnka swiping Fabio’s socks. Can you tell us exactly what happened with sock-gate?
NaOnka went out there and she caught her socks on fire. I had a long pair of socks like those Hooters socks that come up really high, you know like the girls at Hooters wear?
Gordon: Umm…I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Shannon: Aw…you’re lying. Don’t worry, your girlfriend won’t read this.
Gordon: We’re fine, she never reads my stuff.
Shannon: I gave her those socks. And Fabio had two pairs of long socks. He had a pair he’d use in the games and a pair he’d sleep in. I gave her my socks, then I found out she was talking smack on me and trying to get me out. I helped prevent her from getting blisters on her ugly feet and she wants me out? So, I got my socks from her. I went and buried them. She went into Fabio’s bag, took his socks and put them on. He finds out that she put his socks on and she says, “He’s too scared to take his socks off of a girl, that’s what kind of people you’ve put me on an island with.” And he’d just stare at her, and she went off on him. She basically sat him down. When you see him there he’s basically crying. She thought someone was sabotaging her or someone misplaced her sock. No, she misplaced her sock cause she found it later.
Gordon: Man, poor Fabio.
Shannon: Fabio is hilarious, he’s one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met. I know they show me bashing him in episode one, but I came back and apologized. There’s footage of me somewhere saying, “I love this kid, I hope he never goes home.” He was the life of the camp, we all laughed at his expense.

Gordon: Alright, word association time. Let’s start this off with NaOnka.
Gordon: Brenda?
Shannon: Sneaky.
Gordon: Alina?
Shannon: Kick ass.
Gordon: Purple Kelly?
Shannon: Who?
Gordon: Purple Kelly?
Shannon: Who?
Gordon: I see what you’re doing there. Kelly B.?
Shannon: Awesome.
Gordon: Fabio?
Shannon: Dude.
Gordon: Chase?
Shannon: Played.
Gordon: Benry?
Shannon: Obsolete.
Gordon: Sash?
Shannon: “Narnia.” Like the movie.
Gordon: “Narnia”?
Shannon: That’s how deep in the closet he is.

Gordon: Let’s finish this on a lighter note. As a New Orleans Saints fan, did it bother you that Jimmy Johnson went deeper into the game than you did?
No man, we’re playing “Survivor.” He can beat me in “Survivor.” But on the football field the Cowboys are stinking it up right now. Jimmy’s a cool guy, he’s a cool dude. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. I’m not mad at anyone beating me. No bitterness here.

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