‘Survivor’ Champion Mike – “Rodney Played a Great Game. A Scary Game”

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: Just because the season is over, doesn’t mean the fun is over. Check back for exit interviews with the “Survivor: Worlds Apart” final five.  And, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Mike Holloway: (Singing) Gordoooooooon.
Gordon Holmes: Aww…that’s the first time a millionaire has ever sung my name.
Holloway: Oh man, I’ll sing it from the rooftops, buddy. How are you?
Holmes: I don’t have a million bucks, but I’m feeling like a million bucks because I got to watch you take home the big check.
Holloway: I appreciate it, you should feel like a million bucks. Didn’t I hear that you’re getting married?
Holmes: Yes, sir.
Holloway: Dude, that’s worth a million dollars. Finding a good woman to put up with our (expletive deleted).
Holmes: She’s worth way more than a million bucks. And she puts up with so much (expletive deleted). Can I get a happy dance for that?
Holloway: Dude! I just got up, I’m doing a happy dance right now.
Holmes: Are you the only person I’m talking to today that doesn’t have a hangover?
Holloway: People were trying to buy me beers and shots, but I knew we had interviews today.  But, some people got a little…on the side of not sober last night…we were blindsiding sobriety.
Holmes: This is the part of the interview where CBS begs us to talk about “Survivor.”
Holloway: No, this is your time and my time, brother.

Holmes: Alright, Rodney vs. Carolyn. I was under the impression that a lot more people liked Rodney then they were letting on. So, were you worried that Rodney might sway some votes or did you want to take Carolyn along because it’d seem like you were taking someone strong?
Holloway: Taking nothing away from Carolyn or Rodney, I felt like I could beat either one of them in the finals. But, the fire decision was to show the rest of the jury, “Hey look, we’ve been out here so long and these guys are taking 50 minutes to make a fire.”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Holloway: (Laughs) I had to show the jury, I couldn’t tell them. It’s like Dan, I couldn’t tell Dan that he was on the bottom. I had to show him. But the decision to take Carolyn over Rodney was that Rodney had turned a page in the game. Rodney had started being very humorous. And at the end of the game in “Survivor,” humor goes a long way. And I don’t think Rodney’s getting enough strategic respect for the game that he played.
Holmes: Agreed.
Holloway: He put together an alliance of people that he should have never been able to pull. When I left the game, I was like, “Oh Rodney. Rodney, Rodney, Rodney.” But then I watched his moves from the edit and pairing that with the experience of being there, and he played a great game. A scary game.

Holmes: When I talked to Dan about your move at the auction, his argument seemed to be that his lies were strategic, and your move with the letter was personal. Where did you stand on that move?
Holloway: The auction move strategically was brilliant. Socially it was like getting a hangman’s noose, putting it over a tree, getting on your horse, and letting the horse ride off with the noose around your neck. I was really upset with myself that I did lie. In that moment I went back on my word.
Holmes: Before the game we talked about lying and you said that your family is your family and the players aren’t.  I think we used the term “Harder Mike.” You were going to lie.
Holloway: Yeah.
Holmes: It’s so different once you depend on these people, they become your family.
Holloway: I went into the game on the fence about whether I wanted to be a hero or a villain. You can play both.  It’s not something that I’m proud of. That particular lie…but my Mom told me, “You’ve got to do whatever you have to do to win this game. You’ve committed yourself to play this game. If you’ve got to lie, cheat, steal, backstab to win the game.”

Holmes: When Will and Shirin had their confrontation, you came to Shirin’s aid. Was there any part of you that was thinking, “Well, as long as they’re not yelling at me” or did you have to step in?
Holloway: No strategy there. I was abused as a child. It’s in my bio. I was sexually molested as a child. That kind of stuff hits home for me. It’s a hot-button issue. I heard what was going on from very far away. So, I was running into camp, and if it was going to blow up my game or not, I didn’t care. That’s a young lady right there being attacked, not just by one person, but by the other people there as well…just sitting there. And it’s tough because a lot of people have never dealt with a situation like that before and it’s easy to just step back. But, there were people that I stood up for in the game, and thank God for my two beautiful angels, Shirin and Jenn Brown. They stood up for me at final Tribal. Before that those girls had a special place in my heart. But for that reason alone, they will always have my respect.

Holmes:  Your mom got to play a little bit last night when she steered you the wrong way in the challenge. When you got home did you let her off the hook or did you keep quiet?
Holloway: My mom was so beside herself. She thought she had ruined my whole game. When I got back home I said, “Mom, what are you talking about?” I got to that first medallion so quick that they weren’t able to focus. I grabbed that thing…Gordon, I grabbed that first medallion…we can ask Jeff Probst to go back and check the tape, I guess.
Holmes: I hear he does that now.
Holloway: (Laughs) Apparently he does. But I let my mom off the hook. I broke down in front of her and let her know that I won that challenge convincingly. She’s so awesome. When she came out there she was 100% selfless. She gave me everything I needed in that moment to make it the rest of the game. She gave me such an advantage in that challenge.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with So.
Holloway: Stunningly gorgeous.
Holmes: Vince?
Holloway: My friend.
Holmes: Nina?
Holloway: Amazing woman.
Holmes: Lindsey?
Holloway: Firecracker…fireball.
Holmes: Max?
Holloway: Professor…wait…astute, intelligent, massive gameplayer.
Holmes: Joaquin?
Holloway: My bro!
Holmes: Kelly?
Holloway: My bae.
Holmes: Hali?
Holloway: You can have a PhD in Hali Ford and still fail the test.
Holmes: Joe.
Holloway: Joey Amazing.
Holmes: Jenn?
Holloway: (Laughs) My little hero.
Holmes: Shirin?
Holloway: Lifelong friend.
Holmes: Tyler?
Holloway: T-Freddy…sit there and look pretty.
Holmes: Dan?
Holloway: Love you, Dan…but go postal, brother.
Holmes: Sierra?
Holloway: My boo-boo
Holmes: Rodney?
Holloway: Misunderstood, amazing dude.
Holmes: Will?
Holloway: Will got the call 12 hours before we started filming. He’s a lovable No Collar.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Mama C.
Holloway: Challenge beast.

Holmes: You won the million, my mom has a huge crush on you.
Holloway: (Laughs)
Holmes: But do you have a Rodney impression?
Holloway: Oh man, no…YOU’D BETTER RELAX, BRO!
Holmes: (Laughs)
Holloway: That’s all I’ve got. Rodney is so good at impressions that I would never try to jump on his train.

Holmes: When we were out there you and I  talked about a dude from Texas who played the game, dominated challenges, and lost. Now we’ve got a guy who did that and won. So, now who’s the best player from the Lone Star State?
Holloway: Kim Spradlin.
Holmes: Oh yeah…excellent point.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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