‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Woo: ‘I Need to Implement a More Cutthroat Approach’


"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

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Name: Woo Hwang
Season: “Survivor: Cagayan”
Finish: Finalist
Why You Should Remember Him: Woo probably would have won “Survivor: Cagayan” if he had chosen to take Kass to the final two over eventual winner Tony.

Gordon Holmes: You’re probably best known for your move at the end of Cagayan where you took Tony (Vlachos) to the end instead of Kass. That move probably cost you $900,000. What did that expensive lesson teach you?
Woo Hwang: After losing to Tony like that, you learn real quick that you don’t win the game of “Survivor” on a popularity vote. No one liked Tony, but they all respected his game and that’s why he won. So, going into this Second Chance, I realize I need to implement a more cutthroat approach in order to get respect from the jury.
Holmes: On the bright side, I was thinking it must be pretty cool to come into a Second Chance season being known for loyalty.
Hwang: That can definitely work as a big advantage as far as building trust and relationships. “Hey, you can take me to the end and if I say I’ll take you to the final two, you know you can count on my word.” So, I definitely have that reputation for staying loyal.

Holmes: You’re here with three other Cagayaners. Does that work in your favor?
Hwang: I feel like it can work in your favor or it can work against you. I don’t think I’m so inclined that if me, Kass, Spencer, and Tash were thrown on a team to join forces. That’s such an obvious target on our backs. But, if we started the game together and we can manage to discretely go off? We started “Survivor” together. We have that bond. And if we can use it to our advantage we should. But the Second Chance, with other contestants who’ve played with each other, I don’t think they’re quick to think we’re working as one. It’s a brand new season, who knows what we’re thinking?
Holmes: What is your relationship like with that group?
Hwang: People naturally think I would have a grudge against Spencer considering his little speech at the end. But, we squashed all that. I consider us pretty good friends. We talk every now and then over text messages. I haven’t really communicated with Tash much. But Kass? She’s super cool. I communicated with her several time over phone, over text messages. I know her nephew is a big fan of mine. So, we’re cool.

Holmes: There’s always talk of pre-game alliances in returnee seasons. Have you participated in any of that?
Hwang: Not really. With this new concept of “Hey America, we’re voting people in,” I feel like I haven’t been able to talk to many of the contestants. But like…Ciera, I follow her Instagram account. I naturally feel like I know her through her social media. But as far as pre-gaming and socializing, none of that.

Holmes: Have you noticed anyone winking at each other since you’ve been here?
Hwang: Sure.
Holmes: Spill it.
Hwang:  This whole pre-game is a test. It’s part of the game. How much was can endure each other and not give away secrets without speaking a word. And you can see a lot of body language and a lot of eye contact. Who’s letting who go first in line to eat. Who’s sitting next to who when they eat.
Holmes: Whooooooo?
Hwang: (Whispers) I feel like immediately Jeff and Kass. Whenever we sit down to eat they’re always sitting across from each other. Whenever we have downtime to read books, they’re right next to each other and making subtle eye contact. They’re giving each other smiles. But I’ve been doing that too. Try to be courteous and polite. You don’t want to mean mug anyone and give them the stink eye. So, I feel like they’re doing it more than anyone else. And whatsherface…Abi…she’s super flirtatious. She loves to give you a smile, give you a wink. Monica is kind of throwing those vibes out. Nobody is giving negative vibes. Everything is super positive.

Holmes: Is there anyone you’re thinking of making an early target?
Hwang: No, nobody I’m targeting.

Holmes:  Anyone you want to work with?
Hwang: I’m looking forward to working with anyone who wants to work with me. (Laughs)
Holmes: Not the worst plan.
Hwang: I think the person I am, I’m super social. I feel like I’m super compatible with anyone. I feel like we get along well.
Holmes: We totally do. We should work together.
Hwang: (Laughs) Yeah, right?
Holmes: Final two.
Hwang: Sure!

Holmes: “Survivor” is known for its wacky twists. If there are any twists, what do you think they could be?
Hwang: That’s the most nerve-wracking part about the whole thing. I didn’t expect anything in Season 28. But now that I know what we’re going to have to do with the lack of food, sleep, and water… It’s going to be a rainy season. Dealing with that element is going to be tough. But I have no idea what Jeff is planning for twists. I’m just going to take it with a big smile and have some fun with it.

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.
Hwang: Malign is not to align?
Holmes: Yes, sir.

Hwang: Kelly…align. She’s a veteran. She’s super hungry and thirsty and wants to win it. And I feel like if I can align with her she can take me a long way.

Hwang: Abi…malign. I just feel like she’s too temperamental. If you’re on her bad side it’s not going to help you at all. It’s going to be hard to be compatible with her.

Hwang: Stephen…align. He seems super loyal. He seems trustworthy. He seems like someone who would be a great team player.

Hwang: Ciera…I would say align. She seems like a natural sweetheart. You want to find someone you’re compatible with and someone who will be a team player.

Hwang: Joe…malign. He’s just way too good. And if you take him to the end, your shot at winning is not too good.

Hwang: Terry…align. I like those old-school players. He seems like he’d be fun to work with.

Hwang: Monica…um…malign. I think she’s too flirty.

Hwang: Andrew…align. Another good team player. He’s strong in challenges and can be a big asset.

Hwang: Spencer…malign. He’s real good. He knows the game really well. I’m going to try to get him out as soon as possible.

Hwang: Tasha…malign. Same thing. She’s a challenge beast, she’s underrated. And considering last season how she managed to make the merge and then win, win, win? She’s going to be tough to beat.

Hwang: Kelley…align. She seems strong. Level-headed…someone I could work really well with.

Hwang: Kimmi…malign. I have a sense during pre-game that she’s just going to struggle out there.

Hwang: Kass…align. I worked with her before and although I didn’t pick her over Tony, we did have talks afterward and she was super understanding. I think she’d be a good teammate.

Hwang: Vytas…align. He just pushes out good vibes. He’s a spiritual guy a lot like myself. I see a lot of myself in Vytas.

Hwang: Jeremy…I would align with him, but I have no more options. Malign.

Hwang: Jeff…I would probably align with as well. He seems like a super funny guy. But, malign.

Hwang: Shirin I would probably malign. After watching her season, she can just get on your bad side. But, I guess that’s not a bad thing to take to the end.

Hwang: Keith, sorry I’m going to have to malign you. Not enough picks.

Hwang: And Peih-Gee…I’ll malign because I used up all my aligns.
Holmes: Poor align allocation, Woo.
Hwang: (Laughs) I know!

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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