‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Andrew: ‘There’s Nothing Holding Probst Back from Throwing Everything at Us’

"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY TV sent me deep into the Cambodian wilderness to bring you all kinds of “Survivor: Second Chance” goodness. So, be sure to check back for exclusive interviews, photos, and behind-the-scenes tidbits. And, follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Name: Andrew Savage
Season:
“Survivor: Pearl Islands”
Finish:
Tenth Place
Why You Should Remember Him:
The leader of the Morgan Tribe was sent home after eventual finalist (and one of two returning Outcasts) Lil turned against him.

Gordon Holmes: You have always been one of “Survivor’s” great “What If?” stories with the whole Outcast twist. Put me in your shoes all these years later with you finally getting that second chance.
Andrew Savage: It’s surreal. I’m honestly not sure how it happened. The beautiful things about “Survivor” is the twists, the turns, and the blindsides. And there’s no greater blindside than the Outcast twist. If you think about 30 seasons of “Survivor,” how many twists and blindsides and how many folks were in the cross-hairs? It less about me, it’s more about the Outcast twist. The super fans were up in arms. They were screaming that Mark Burnett had jumped the shark. It was against the very fabric of “Survivor.” Once somebody is out, you’re out. You can’t bring them back in. So, I think me being on the “Second Chance” list is about redemption for the fans being vocal. Saying, “We didn’t like the Outcast twist. It happened, but you’ve got to give Savage a second chance because he was in the cross-hairs and he got bit in the butt by it.
Holmes: I’ve been doing this since Gabon. Every now and then I’ll ask Probst, “Who do you want back?” Your name always comes up.
Savage: I love that. You just gave me goosebumps.
Holmes: One of the criticisms about the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is how recency bias plays into it.  So, I was concerned that people like you who are interesting characters, but haven’t played in twelve years were going to passed over for newer names.
Savage: I was stunned. Twelve years ago I didn’t make the jury, right? And I’m on a list with some kick-butt folks. Many of them, final three…final four. The outcry of support and cheering for me was stunning. And frankly humbling. I was in awe of the super fans.

Holmes: If you and I arrive on the beach on day one. What do you think I remember about Andrew Savage and his gameplay?
Savage: I hope that you remember that I had a bunch of younger kids on my season. I was the oldest guy, I was 39.  And I didn’t tell a single lie. My tribe, we were the Morgan Five once Lil (Morris), and Nicole (Delma), and skinny Ryan (Shoulders) were gone. We loved each other. There was never a hint that anyone would vote for me because I always had their back. I have a great work ethic. I support people. I hope that’s what they remember. Twelve years later I’m still fit and I’m a decent guy.
Holmes: Decent guys don’t do as well these days.
Savage: That doesn’t really work in the new “Survivor.”
Holmes: I did the press for “Worlds Apart” and to set a baseline I asked, “Will you lie? Will you flirt?” And to a person, everyone there said they were fine with lying to get ahead.
Savage: It’s a totally different game.
Holmes: Where are you with that?
Savage: When I started “Pearl Islands” I was ready to lie, cheat, steal, do whatever it took. I landed on the Morgan Tribe and the five of us immediately bonded. Game over. I didn’t have to lie. If I were in a different situation, I’m happy to lie. In life, my word is my bond. I’m wired in a way that I don’t lie. This is not real life. Going into the “Second Chance” season I’m going to have to lie my butt off. The trick for me is being able to sense when others are lying.
Holmes: And how old are you now?
Savage: Fifty one.
Holmes:  Where do you get off being in such good shape?
Savage: (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m 38 and I’m a sweaty, gross mess out here.
Savage: My wife is ten years younger. She keeps me young.

Holmes: You’re the only Pearl Islander out here. Any concerns that you might end up on a tribe that has people from the same season?
Savage: I think it’s a disadvantage to be with people from your own season. Woo, Tash, Spencer, and Kass have a lot of baggage. Look at what Kass did to them. I think that’s a disadvantage. I like that I have a clean slate.

Holmes: Having twelve years away probably gives you a very different perspective than someone like Joe who was out here less than a year ago. What has that distance taught you?
Savage: At the end of the day, “Survivor” strips you of everything. It strips you to your core. You can only be who you are. Jonny Fairplay had this persona. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of the Jonny Fairplay persona that is him. Outside of the game we’re friends, but inside the game I hate him. So, I’m just going to be who I am. I don’t have a choice. If you’re lazy in life you don’t come on “Survivor” and have a great work ethic. If you’re a (expletive deleted) in life you don’t come on “Survivor” and be a great guy. It doesn’t happen. So, I’m going to come in and give it everything I have and have no regrets. I’ve got regrets from “Pearl Islands.” And that’s what’s been tormenting me for twelve years. That’s why this is an epic dream.

Holmes: Who’s an early target?
Savage: A bunch of folks. I think Joe is an early target. I don’t know Joe at all. I loved him in his season. If he’s on my tribe he’s not going home. I’m going to do everything I can to keep him. I think he’s got a big heart. I think he’s a loyal kid. Physically he’s a stud. I looked at his bio, he loves playing sand volleyball. I’ve played for fifteen years. If you’re going to play sand volleyball, there’s something in you that is gold. I think Shirin is a target based on her last season. She’s a powerhouse in terms of being a super fan and she’s absolutely brilliant.
Holmes: You two also work for the same company.
Savage: She’s a Yahoo! executive. As am I. I don’t know her very well. She’s an engineer, I’m a lawyer. We’ve got 13,000 employees. It’s a huge campus.
Holmes: I went to Penn State and people are always saying, “Oh, you must know Tom.”
Savage: (Laughs) I think Kass is a big target. Chaos Kass. How can you trust her?
Holmes: That nickname is hard to overcome.
Savage: I think Terry’s a big target. He’s a pretty smooth operator and he’s a beast.

Holmes: There’s a lot of talk of pre-game alliances. Have you formed one? Have you heard of any?
Savage: I’ve heard of some pre-game alliances. I have not partaken. For me, I was voted out twelve years ago. I flipped off “Survivor.” This is b.s. I’m done. I’m not the typical “Survivor” contestant. It’s very incestuous. You’re part of the “Survivor” family and there are 400 of them and they hang out together. They go to charity functions. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s what they do.
Holmes: (Laughs) Let’s be clear, Andrew Savage has no problem with charity.
Savage: (Laughs) Right. But I’ve got this amazing life going on. And I’m just not in the “Survivor” world. So, I don’t know anyone. You probably heard Brad Culpepper had made a list and he’d invited folks to his Tampa estate to hang out, drink, form alliances.
Holmes: Now that eleven people didn’t make the show, the laundry is being aired.
Savage: Well, when I heard about it I was angry because I didn’t get the call. (Laughs) But then I thought; that seems so stupid. It’s against the rules first of all. And then, you’re painting a big target on your back. I haven’t spoken to any of the nineteen. And that list is amazing, I can’t wait to get to know them.

Holmes: You experienced a big crazy twist. If there is one this season what do you think it could be?
Savage: Remember “Africa” where they switched tribes very early? I think there’s going to be a lot of twists like that. You’ve got two tribes of ten. That’s a lot to handle. My guess…based on nothing…is that there’s four tribes of five. You’ve got some studly women. Kelly Wiglesworth could beat most of the guys, even me. You could have a tribe of three women, two guys and they would not be at a disadvantage. If I’m Probst, four tribes of five, then a crazy swap to keep us on our toes. And the beauty of the “Second Chance” season is that everyone on this list has been through “Survivor” hell. The old saying is, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” There’s nothing holding Probst back from throwing everything at us. We should know better.


Holmes: Alright, we’re going to play “Align or Malign.” In my hand I have nineteen cards featuring your competitors. You’ll go through them and tell me who you’ll align with and who you’ll malign. Trick is, you only get eight aligns.
Savage: I love that! That’s very cool.
Holmes: You guys did a hundred pre-season interviews, so I was trying to figure out something unique.

Savage: I would say Keith…align. He’s a got a big heart, he’s good in challenges. He’s a couple of years older than me. But, I can trust him.

Savage: Jeff…malign. Don’t trust him. Body language. He has no love for Savage.

Savage: Kelley Wentworth…beautiful heart. Total stud. Her bio indicates that she has a lot of love and she’s loyal. Definitely an align.

Savage: Abi-Maria…love her. Big heart. Spitfire. She’s an align.

Savage: Peih-Gee…malign. She’s brilliant. Don’t get a good vibe from her. Haven’t talked to her. Don’t trust her.

Savage: Monica…doesn’t bring much to the table. Sweet girl…fellow lawyer. Probably not good in challenges. Probably a ride-the-coattails kind of person. I don’t see a lot of value there. Malign.

Savage: Spencer…love him. Genius. Great endurance. Captain of his cross-country team. That’s a tough sport. And he’s going to be, if I’m lucky enough, he will be my brains. My strategist.

Savage: Stephen…not a chance. Malign. His claim to fame is coming up with a brilliant idea and convincing you that it’s your idea. Next thing you know he votes you out.

Savage: Align with Joe. He’s a beast. And my take on Joe is he’s very loyal and trustworthy.

Savage: Love Jeremy…clearly an align. The reason I say that is because he’s a great athlete, he has two daughters, his luxury item in the past was a bracelet made by his two daughters which is my luxury item. My daughters made a bracelet for me. There isn’t anything I don’t love about the guy.

Savage: Let’s do some easy ones. Chaos Kass…malign. Enough said.

Savage: Kimmi…malign. Don’t see a lot of value.

Savage: Wiglesworth, kind of a wild card in my book. Word on the street is she’s not into alliances and likes to vote her heart. That doesn’t work in “Survivor.” I think she is clearly an incredible athlete.  She has my respect…so…align.

Savage: Vytas…don’t know the guy. Heard he had a strained relationship with Aras. I’ve heard that Aras and I have a lot of similarities. That tells me that Vytas and I won’t mesh too well. Malign.

Savage: Tasha…if I had more people to align with I’d put her on my side. But I’ll say malign cause I’m running out of people.

Savage: Terry…I don’t think he’s trustworthy. I think I’ve got to get him out as soon as I can. I just don’t trust him. Malign.

Savage: And Woo would be an align, but I’m maligning him because I don’t have enough. I think he’s a good guy, I think he’s trustworthy, I think he’s physically capable, but I’m running out of numbers.

Savage: My fellow Yahoo! Shirin…love her…she’s a genius. Align. She and Spencer will be hopefully my strategists. My weakness will be the strategies. I can handle the challenges. As super fans I need their eyes and senses…their chess mentalities.

Savage: Ciera…wild card. I heard she was on the Culpepper list. Wasn’t happy about that. Malign.

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

“Survivor: Second Chance” will kick off with a special 90-minute premiere on Wednesday, September 23rd at 8 p.m. ET.

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