‘Survivor’ Castaway Malcolm: “JT Was Trying to Screw Us, 100%”


“Survivor: Game Changers” (CBS)

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Malcolm Freberg: I love/hate you right now.
Gordon Holmes: You love/hate me?! What did I do?
Freberg: You picked me to win, you jackaloon!
Freberg: I need the adults in my life to save me from myself sometimes, you should have known better.
Holmes: Let me paint a picture for you; a sweaty me in the jungles of Fiji and you with your gorgeous mane of hair saying, “Oh no, we’re going to do this together. Pick me to win and we’re gonna take this whole thing.” My only crime is believing in you.
Freberg: You’re not allowed to put blame on me today. I’m very tender and fragile and I just want to be spooned. So really, you can’t be mean to me today.
Holmes: We’re all hurting today.

Holmes: Alright, I stayed up last night coming up with the perfect opening question when I really just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. But, I’m a professional, so here’s what I came up with; what the (expletive deleted), man?
Freberg: (Laughs) I’m feeling the exact same way. Months and months later, I’m going to try to help you out and explain what happened, but there’s going to be some guesswork involved.

Holmes: JT goes up to Brad and says you’re targeting Sierra. Do you think he was screwing you guys or was he trying to trick them?
Freberg: JT was trying to screw us 100%. He goes over there and says, “They’re voting for Sierra.” And he didn’t do that for idol purposes. I don’t know if JT knew about their idol. But, he was trying to tell Brad he was safe because that was JT’s closest ally at the time. And, he wanted them to vote for Sandra. I think had JT felt that it was going to go that way, if he felt the other tribe was going to listen to him, he would’ve voted for Sandra instead of Sierra. The biggest thing that wasn’t really shown was JT freaking out before the vote because he got the feeling that they weren’t going to vote for Sandra.
Holmes: Do you think there was a point where he told them to vote for Sandra?
Freberg: Oh yeah, absolutely. Didn’t they show that?
Holmes: I don’t think so, it’s a blur.
Freberg: He absolutely told them to vote for Sandra. I think three-quarters of the way through Tribal, and they only showed half a dozen of those huddles, but there were at least twenty. We were standing up and moving around. And at one point he looked terrified. I think he knew they weren’t going to go for Sandra, but he didn’t want to tell us what had happened.

Holmes: Was the plan always to vote for Sierra?
Freberg: Yeah, it seemed pretty straight forward. It was six on five. Our thought was that she’d never find an idol. I love her in real life, we’re friends outside the show. She’s a rodeo girl, but she hates getting her fingernails dirty on “Survivor.” The consensus was that’d she’d be the last person to find an idol. And the idea that someone would hand it off, like Tai did, didn’t cross our minds. It was a huge move so early in the game. You’d have to be 100% sure to give up your own safety in a blind, pre-merge vote. Obviously JT made it a lot easier on them. And even if he flips, we could probably pull in Hali.

Holmes: Hali told Sandra to vote for Brad. The way it worked out, it would’ve saved you. Do you think this was a plan of hers to get rid of him while allowing her to vote for you and look like she had stuck to tribal lines?
Freberg: I like Hali. But, I can’t explain her thinking. She had a habit of saying things at Tribal that don’t make the most sense. With Hali though, we wanted to keep her safe. There was a feeling that the game was going to keep going along the original tribe lines. We couldn’t know that she was in such a terrible spot. We didn’t know what went on with the Caleb vote. So, we were trying to keep her safe. And we didn’t think we needed her vote because we thought JT was with us 100%.

Holmes: The original concept of the show was; you’re a community and every three days you’re going to vote someone off. Before anyone had ever thought of an alliance, you’d imagine someone would be voted off because they weren’t helping around camp or they weren’t getting along with everyone. You were voted off by a different community. Twists are twists and it’s weird to say something is unfair, but was last night unfair?
Freberg: Obviously I feel that way because I’m talking to you after a couple of episodes. (Laughs) It crossed my mind at the time. It doesn’t feel quite right. I think that the social aspect is the best part of my game. So, not even having a chance to talk or play with these other people before Tribal is sort of…well…it’s a first. It’s not like any vote before. At first I thought it was unfair to the other tribe. We were so confident going into that Tribal. I felt bad for the new Mana. And if a twist goes bad for you, you’re going to hate it. If they ever do it again you’re going to hear me screaming on Twitter. From a game perspective I’m a super traditionalist. Put one idol out there and do straight votes with no twists and I’m the happiest guy. But, it’s hard for me to knock it as a fan, because it was great TV. And whenever it’s something like that that’s so talked about, that’s why we get to do this seventeen years later. You can’t be mad at it.
Holmes: Oh, I can be mad at it.

Holmes: It looked like you and JT were targeting Sandra. How serious were you about that? Because she’s looking like the shield of shields at this point.
Freberg: JT and I got really close. Half an hour after the swap me and JT were bromancing hard on the beach. I was cheating on you.
Holmes: Yeah, how hard was this bromancing?
Freberg: (Laughs) You’d be sitting at the camp staring at us, twiddling your thumbs. So, we were tight. And my old tribe encouraged it because we needed to bring people to our side. But, Aubry and Sandra are feuding hard. Every time it comes up for discussion Sandra doesn’t like Aubry and Aubry doesn’t like Sandra. When JT starting throwing around the name Sandra, I was like “Sure, whatever.” But everyone’s name comes up. I couldn’t tell you who would’ve gone home if we’d gone to Tribal alone. I wanted Michaela gone, to be honest with you. And if it was a regular Tribal Council, Varner might’ve been in trouble because he blew a huge lead in that challenge. It was much worse than it looked.

Holmes: Sierra and Hali are acting like they’re not Dirty 30 buddies. Do you buy it?
Freberg: Yes and no. Me and Hali were on good terms on the first tribe. The game is playing out so divided along the tribe lines. It was just us vs. them. So, to see Sierra say what she said about Hali at Caleb’s Tribal Council, it’s like, “Holy (expletive deleted), Sierra.” It wasn’t surprising in the context of the way the game was playing.

Holmes: Was there any chance to look for the Nuku idol?
Freberg: Yeah, besides JT stranding us on the raft. Where we were like, “Good move, JT. This is hysterical. You’re toast if we go to Tribal.” After that, we had a group hunt before the last Tribal. We went out looking for it as a team. We were digging, and we came up empty. Early on I didn’t look much because it seemed like the game was moving so slow. Playing too hard put a target on people. I just sat on my hands and it was driving me crazy.

Holmes: I’m going to blow your mind. I want to try a word association exercise.
Freberg: What’s that?!
Holmes: I know. It’s this crazy new thing I’m trying. Let’s start with Tony.
Freberg: Thoroughbred.
Holmes: Sandra?
Freberg: Honey pot.
Holmes: Hali?
Freberg: Loca.
Holmes: Aubry?
Freberg: That’s my girl.
Holmes: Caleb?
Freberg: Donkey Mode Cow-Weenie.
Holmes: Troyzan?
Freberg: Biggest penis I’ve ever seen on a man.
Holmes: Oh.
Freberg: Fun fact.
Holmes: Varner?
Freberg: Sassy pants.
Holmes: Michaela?
Freberg: Abi-Maria.
Holmes: Oh…I was going to ask why you were targeting her. Nevermind. Classic Ciera?
Freberg: (Laughs) My twin.
Holmes: Let’s finish with JT.
Freberg: Son-of-a-bitch, bastard idiot.
Holmes: (Laughs) Subtle. Actually, let’s do a few more since you were at a Tribal with them. Sierra?
Freberg: Giant.
Holmes: Tai?
Freberg: Manipulated.
Holmes: Debbie?
Freberg: What the (expletive deleted)?
Holmes: And Brad?
Freberg: Impressive.

Holmes: My heart and soul are bruised…but I think they will heal.
Freberg: (Laughs)
Holmes: You are the wind beneath my wings. You are sunshine on a cloudy day.
Freberg: (Laughs)
Holmes: (Expletive deleted) (Expletive deleted)
Freberg: I feel the same way. It’s going to be hard to do the rest of my interviews with this erection I just sprouted.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Freberg: (Laughs)
Holmes: Sprouted?
Freberg: And that’s how we end interviews.
Holmes: And scene.

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

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