‘Survivor’ Millennial Adam: ”Survivor’ Has Been My Dream Since I Was Nine’

Adam Klein (CBS)

Adam Klein (CBS)

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): Adam Klein (25)
Current Residence: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Homeless Shelter Manager
Hobbies: Board games, poker, browsing the “Survivor” subreddit and travel.
Pet Peeves: Bullies, long lines and smokers.
Three Words to Describe You: Intelligent, confident and personable.

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Adam Klein: You’re not going to come out on location and win the first challenge?
Gordon Holmes: Nope, I get to do all this over the phone. And that challenge thing isn’t a big deal, it’s only like eight in a row. It’s not that impressive.
Klein: (Laughs) Aww…c’mon.
Holmes: You just got right on my good side and we’re only twenty seconds into this.
Klein: I read everything that you put out.
Holmes: You’re already my favorite. This speaks very well of your social game.

Holmes: The first thing that leapt out to me from your bio is your relationship with your mother who is battling cancer. 
Klein: The hardest part about this for me is leaving my family. Especially with all that’s going on with my mother’s cancer. We need something to look forward to. We need some goals that will give us something special down the road. When I first told my mom that I got on, she cried and she said, “You have to go on. You have to do this.” So, I’m not just doing this for myself. I’m doing it for my entire family. I want to be at the finale and get my million-dollar check and be able to hand it over to my mom in the audience. That’s the dream.
Holmes: It’s going to be awesome. Is this situation going to be something you keep to yourself when you’re out there?
Klein: I think that I have to. That’s going to be really hard for me to do because my family is the most important thing to me. And it’s definitely something that could be used against me. Jeremy (Collins) kept the fact that he was going to have a kid from his tribe. And this is a big sympathy point kind of thing where someone could theoretically say, “I don’t want to go to the end against a guy who has this kind of story.” It also could be something that I may need to share at some point. It’s going to be hard to bottle that up for 39 days. So, if I find someone who I feel I can really trust, it may bring us closer together. But initially I’m going to keep it to myself.
Holmes: It’s terrible to think about this, but in “Second Chances” there was a situation where someone left the game when they learned a family member was having a medical emergency. Have you planned for this?
Klein: “Survivor” has been my dream since I was nine years old. But, I love my family more. If there’s any chance that something terrible happens, I’m going home. Bottom line. They know that and they cast me in spite of that.
Holmes: Nine years old?
Klein: Yeah.
Holmes: I’m so old.
Klein: (Laughs) Sorry about that.

Holmes: You mentioned bullying as one of your pet peeves. We’ve seen a lot of that lately.
Klein: Yeah.
Holmes: Now, it’s one thing to bully or to be bullied, but it’s another thing to witness bullying. Usually the bully has power, if you stand up for the bullied person, it might cost you. What’s your instinct?
Klein: Like everything in “Survivor” it depends on the situation. I don’t want to get myself in a position where I’m going to be in trouble early because I did something that put me on the bad side of the majority of the tribe. But at the same time, when I was at summer camp in the 4th grade, I was bullied myself. You may find it hard to believe, but I was fat and obnoxious…well…I may still be a little bit…so I understand that. And the work that I do, I work with people who have been marginalized and gone through tough times. My heart goes out to anyone who’s facing difficulties. It’d be hard to bite my tongue if I see some real cruel things out there.

Holmes: As a super fan, I’m assuming you have no problem lying.
Klein: No problem at all.
Holmes: What about flirting?
Klein: (Laughs) I knew you were going to ask that! I was upset that you didn’t go to location last time so you could ask Joe Del Campo that question.
Holmes: (Laughs) It’s my job to get a baseline for how everyone thinks they’re going to play. I used to only ask the flirting question to the pretty young people, but that made me feel horrible. Everyone can flirt. I ask everyone now. Stop dodging the question, Adam!
Klein: (Laughs) I think I’m more likely to be the guy who is the flirtee rather than the flirter. If someone thinks they control me based on that, that’s going to be good for my game.
Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger, extreme temperatures, lack of sleep?
Klein: I actually am fine with hunger. I sometimes don’t eat until dinner. My mom’s not happy about it. Sleep deprivation will be tough. And extreme temperatures will be the worst. I get a little cranky and ornery when it’s hot. I’m going to have to put on my happy face.
Holmes: How about paranoia?
Klein: I think it’s going to be a little fun for me. This is what I signed on for. “Survivor” is a 24/7 game and I’m prepared for it.

Holmes: Have you seen any of the other players yet?
Klein: Very briefly I saw two other people. I haven’t seen the people I expected to see from finals. I’ve only seen quick glimpses of people.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it’ll be?
Klein: I’ve been racking my brain for months. At first I thought…they were asking a lot of questions at casting about my political history. Working for the Obama campaign…but then I found out I’m on the red tribe, so that doesn’t really make sense.  I think we’ll start at twenty, with two tribes. Then at eighteen go to three tribes. I know they liked how the tribe switch-ups worked during “Second Chances.”

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Klein: Probably Yau-Man (Chan). I love that guy. I feel like Denise (Stapley) is a strong ally that I could talk to and work through the game like she did with Malcolm (Freberg).

Holmes: We’re under a time crunch, so I’ve prepared a lightning round. Cats or dogs?
Klein: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Klein: Beer.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Klein: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetables?
Klein: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Klein: Look at my bio. (Laughs)
Holmes: Fair enough. Books or TV?
Klein: TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Klein: Sunbathing.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend.
Klein: Many casual friends.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Klein: A nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Klein: Smart.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Klein: Parvati.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Klein: Jeff Probst…it’s not even close.
Holmes: A big vacation or a big TV?
Klein: Vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Klein: A team. Definitely.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns.
Klein: Ooo…unicorns. Nice.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Klein: Careful planning.
Holmes: And finally, Gordon Holmes or Dalton Ross?
Klein: Hmm…Gordon Holmes. (Laughs)
Holmes: You almost broke my heart with that pause.
Klein: But when Dalton asks, I’m going to say him.
Holmes: You (Expletive Deleted).
Klein: (Laughs)

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

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