‘Survivor’ Gen-Xer David: ‘People Tell Me I’m Likable, But I Never Believe Them’

David Wright (CBS)

David Wright (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): David Wright (42)
Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, CA via Philadelphia, PA
Occupation: Television Writer
Hobbies: 3D printing puzzles.
Pet Peeves: Sudden, loud noises; people who don’t use a turn signal; people who believe in ghosts and psychics; people who are late for dinner; people who incorrectly use the word “nonplussed;” people.
Three Words to Describe You: OCD, nervous, and paranoid.

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.

Gordon Holmes: Your bio here doesn’t say what happened when you played Magnus Carlsen in chess. You kicked his ass, right?
David Wright:
(Laughs) Unfortunately he beat mine. But, the guy’s a robot, so there was no way I was going to beat him.

Holmes: You’re a TV writer. Where have we seen your work?
Wright: The sexiest credit I have is “Family Guy.” But, right now I’m developing an animated series with Rhys Darby, he played Murray on “Flight of the Conchords.”
Holmes: It’s like you’re following in John Cochran’s footsteps…backwards.
Wright: Yeah, it’s a reverse Cochran. The show is folding in on itself.

Holmes: You mentioned that you have trouble fitting in, but based on the past 45 seconds, I feel like we’re already best friends.
Wright: (Laughs) Sure, I can fake it for a phone call.
Holmes: That hurts.
Wright: (Laughs) Sorry. I hope I can fake it for 39 days. I have a lot of anxiety. I’m a very nervous guy. Social situations aren’t my favorite, which is the stupidest thing you can say for someone who’s about to play the hardest social game in the world. But, I’m very good at solving puzzles, so I can contribute in that way. I’m good at using humor to endear myself to other people. People tell me I’m likable, but I never believe them.
Holmes: You’re doing well so far.
Wright: Well, thank you. (Laughs)

Holmes: Have you made any progress on this “living forever” thing?
Wright: I love that you have my file. Yeah, I haven’t died yet so I think I’m doing pretty well.
Holmes: That’s actually an excellent point.
Wright: It’s so stupid, but I think about death every day. And I know that’s dark to talk about, but I don’t ever want to die. I run, I exercise, I eat right.

Holmes: I’ve been doing this since Gabon.
Wright: Wow!
Holmes: I know…Earth’s Last Eden. And you have the longest list of pet peeves I have ever seen.
Wright: That’s my thing, man. I don’t like touching people, I don’t like hugging people.
Holmes: I think you’re in for a rough run, my friend.
Wright: (Laughs) I think I am too. But as long as I use the confessionals to vent and work through my anxieties and then reset and go back to my tribe, everything will be fine. Hopefully.

Holmes: You mention that having OCD is a factor. How are you going to adapt to one of the most chaotic environments imaginable?
Wright: I could not be more concerned. The aqua dumping is my biggest concern. You do your business and then you wait ten seconds and walk away. Why do I need to know that?! Germs are disgusting to me. I don’t know if they give you any hand sanitizer. Probably not.
Holmes: I’ve been to some tribe camps in my day and I’ve never seen bottles of hand sanitizer lying around.
Wright: That’s going to be a problem. I don’t like being touched to begin with and now I’m going to be touched by people with poop on their hands.
Holmes: (Laughs) Wait, why do you have to wait ten seconds?
Wright: I think you’re supposed to let it float away.
Holmes: Can’t you wave it away with the water?
Wright: I’m about to find out.
Holmes: I’ll interview you when this is all over, be sure to let me know.
Wright: (Laughs) I’ll give you all the tips.

Holmes: Do you have any issues lying?
Wright: Oh no. I wouldn’t want to play the game “Survivor” if I had an issue lying.
Holmes: How about flirting?
Wright: I don’t think I can flirt. I don’t have that muscle. I’m really good at solving puzzles, but the one puzzle I can’t solve is “How to get a girlfriend.” I’m 42 years old, like what the (expletive deleted).

Holmes: If you find out someone is lying to you, is that something you can compartmentalize or will you fly off the handle?
Wright: I hope I wouldn’t lose it. If someone I thought I could trust lies to me, that is going to be an issue. But confrontations are one of the biggest ways to get yourself voted out of the game. So, I’ll have to roll with it. I think it’s important to find one person to trust. That goes a long way.
Holmes: Does hunger bother you?
Wright: I don’t eat a lot of food as it is. But this past month I’ve eaten whatever I want, which is something I don’t usually do, and I’ve put on six pounds.
Holmes: How do you deal with paranoia?
Wright: I don’t. (Laughs) If you have any tips I want to hear them. I’m the most paranoid person in the world. When I play chess, there’s this phenomenon where you see ghosts on the board. You see things that aren’t happening.

Holmes: What are your thoughts on the other players so far?
Wright: I haven’t seen everyone yet, but I saw this one guy get off the elevator and he’s going to be the new Russell Hantz. This guy is a bruiser. And I think he’s going to be on my tribe so I’m already afraid of him.

Holmes: If there is a twist, any guesses as to what it could be?
Wright: I think the theme is young vs. old…which they’ve done before. Maybe Millennials vs. Generation X or something.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Wright: John Cochran. I think we could relate to each other, we could trust each other. Like a brain-trust. I’d lump in Stephen Fishbach and Bob Crowley too. I think Bob had a really good moral center. He lied, but he wasn’t a (expletive deleted) about it.
Holmes: This is the true Brains tribe you are describing.
Wright: It really is.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Wright: Cats.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Wright: Beer.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Wright: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetable?
Wright: Vegetable.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Wright: Democrat…actually, I’d say liberal.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Wright: TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Wright: Oh God, is there a third choice? Swimming.
Holmes: You’re going to have some fun out there.
Wright: (Laughs) I hate the sun.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Wright: One good friend.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Wright: A nice home.
Holmes: Smart of funny?
Wright: Smart.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Wright: Parvati.
Holmes: A big vacation or a big TV.
Wright: A big TV.
Holmes: Working alone or with a group.
Wright: Working alone, although I know that’s bad for this game.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Wright: Dragons.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Wright: Careful planning.
Holmes: And finally, Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Wright: Jeff Probst, c’mon!

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

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