‘Survivor’ Castaway Paul – ‘I Had No Idea Jessica Was a Lawyer’

'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: How’s it going?
Paul Wachter: Ducking between storms right now. We’ve got this hurricane coming.
Holmes: Oh, that’s right, you’re in Florida.
Wachter: Florida Keys, that’s right.
Holmes: Well, I certainly hope you don’t have any problems.
Wachter: Thank you.

Holmes: You seemed pretty confident going into last night’s Tribal. Did anything tip you off that things might not be going in your direction?
Wachter: No. The alliance of six that we had going was strong, it was tight. And the three that flopped; Lucy, Sunday, and Jessica…they flopped against the three of us. They did that on their own accord. We had no idea. And I wasn’t the only one. Chris was surprised, Bret was surprised, everyone was looking around like, “What the heck is going on?” That’s “Survivor,” as soon as you get comfortable you go home.

Holmes: Based on the editing, it seemed like the catalyst for the flip was you saying that you’d let Jessica know if there was a male alliance and she was out. As I’m watching this, I’m thinking that Jessica is a lawyer and a lawyer’s job is to pay attention to semantics and every word has a weight and a purpose.
Wachter: I had no idea Jessica was a lawyer. She told us that she was a photographer. Jessica and I had a really tight alliance and friendship away from the three girls. One of the things I always talked to Jess about was that she was so paranoid about every little things that happened. So, I should have watched my words better. What I thought I was conveying was that the six of us were staying together. But, it came across wrong. It didn’t make sense for us to split at that point. There were only three of us. We didn’t have Ken and we didn’t have David.

Holmes: Speaking of Ken; he’s fit, he’s a provider, he doesn’t seem to ruffle any feathers. Why wasn’t he a part of that core six?
Wachter: He didn’t connect with anybody in the group. He didn’t talk to Bret, he didn’t talk to Chris, he didn’t talk to me. He really stuck with talking to the girls. We tried, it’s not like anybody disliked the guy. He’s a great guy. He comes from a completely different world that I do, but he’s an awesome guy. He just did not want to talk about the game with us. We tried desperately to keep him in our alliance. He would’ve been perfect with us.

Holmes: Whenever we saw you, it seemed like we were getting someone’s opinion of you. And usually that was a negative opinion from someone like David or CeCe. Was there anything we missed about you that you wish they had shown?
Wachter: Well, I think what “Survivor” does is it peels back your skin quite a bit. Honestly, there were certain things that I thought that were portrayed a little bit strongly. But in reality, the person you think you are and the person you are can be a little different when you’re on screen. Some of the things I saw, and some of the things I said…I surprised myself. When you’re tired and you’re starving and you’re beat up, you’re dehydrated, you’re physically and mentally beaten down and you’re still in a competitive game…it’s a humbling experience. So, no…I’d say most people who know me would say, “Yeah, that’s how he really is.”
Holmes: I’ve been doing this for years and my opinion has always been that the environment kind of releases the real you with the volume turned up a bit.
Wachter: Exactly right. The only thing that surprised me was how much Ken spoke. He was talking to people, he just wasn’t talking to us. I don’t know why he didn’t. Maybe he felt that that was his best way to go.

Holmes: Walk me through what happened during your heat exhaustion scare.
Wachter: It was a slow process. It started the day before. I didn’t recognize it, but I should have. I was getting really weak, I was drained. But everyone was drained. We’d been through an evacuation, we were working on getting fire for five days. And then everybody was beat up. I just assumed I was in the same situation. And then the next day, that scene where you see me sit down and I asked Bret to give me a minute…when I laid back I don’t remember anything until I had Dr. Joe looking at me. It was a surreal experience. I knew I was in trouble, but I knew I wasn’t in that much trouble. I was just scared that they were going to pull me out of the game.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Lucy.
Wachter: Strong-willed.
Holmes: Bret?
Wachter: Strong-willed.
Holmes: Chris?
Wachter: Excellent guy.
Holmes: David?
Wachter: Quirky guy.
Holmes: Ken?
Wachter: Calm guy.
Holmes: CeCe?
Wachter: Interesting person.
Holmes: Rachel?
Wachter: Strong-willed.
Holmes: That’s a popular one. Jessica?
Wachter: Motivated.
Holmes: Sunday?
Wachter: Well-rounded.
Holmes: Let’s try the summit kids. Will?
Wachter: Immature.
Holmes: Jay?
Wachter: Bright.
Holmes: Figgy?
Wachter: Awesome.
Holmes: Taylor?
Wachter: Fun.

Holmes: Were you trying to make inroads during the summit?
Wachter: What happened to me was, I don’t know if it was because I was the oldest, but the kids really wanted to meet me. Once we had our snack of peanut butter and jelly, we all went for a swim. As soon as I jumped in the water, I turned around and all the kids were right behind me. They were asking me a million questions. And most of the questions were survival questions. How do you do this? How do you do that? The game connection, I think David and CeCe were crazy game connected. While I was just talking to the kids.
Holmes: Did you know David had an idol at that point?
Wachter: We all suspected it. We all asked him, he denied it obviously. Everyone around camp gave it a 90% chance.

Holmes: Alright, please stay safe during the storm. Jeff Probst won’t be boating out to take you to a Fijian resort.
Wachter: Right! (Laughs) Although, there was nothing resort about where we stayed. It was a cement box.

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