Posts Tagged ‘matt bischoff’

‘Survivor’ Castaway Matt: ‘I Wish I Had a Sweet Name Like ‘The Beardinator”

March 21, 2013

Matt Bischoff and Jeff Probst (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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I’m not a fan of tribe swaps. On paper they look like a good way to break up alliances and shuffle dominant tribes, but in practice it often makes challenge threats less valuable before a merge (which is the only time being a challenge threat is valuable) and messes up people who have been playing strong strategic games.

Maybe Matt Bischoff wasn’t the strongest challenge threat, but he was playing a good game up until this point. With his buddy Michael by his side, the duo had quietly positioned themselves as the swing votes in the Gota tribe.

One crack of a paint-filled egg later and Matt is out of the game. Not fair.  But “Survivor” isn’t fair. Neither is life. These are the days of our lives.

I spoke with the bearded wonder the morning after his elimination and asked about his near Stealth R Us Too induction, his alliance with Michael, and his first-hand account of Brandon’s blowup…

Gordon Holmes: I’m a little annoyed that we never got a really good shot of your back tattoo while you were out there.
Matt Bischoff: (Laughs) I know, man! I know. What can you do? Got a lot of stuff of my beard though.

Holmes: Seemed like there was a lot of confusion before Tribal last night. Can you walk me through what happened?
Bischoff: Leading up to Tribal Council everyone was freaking out about this immunity idol. They weren’t sure if one of us had it or not. Corinne was especially freaking out. My strategy was to be completely honest; I convinced them that I didn’t have it. They believed me. They thought that Julia had the idol because Julia did not try to strategize or save herself at all with any of the favorites. I told them she’s just not a very talkative person, I can guarantee you that she doesn’t have the idol. I knew it was one of the three of us going home.
Holmes: Did you think it could be you or were you blindsided?
Bischoff: Was I blindsided? Sort of, but not really. I thought it was going to be Julia. But I think I was their safest bet. They knew that I did not have an idol. I wasn’t pissed off at anybody. I think it was just bad luck. I don’t feel like I could’ve done anything to save myself at that point.

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Holmes: The thing I’m having trouble with is Julia comes to you and Michael and says, “Let’s target Dawn.” But then she never goes to the favorites to get the fourth vote that’s necessary to send Dawn home.
Bischoff: She just came to Michael and I and said, “Let’s vote Dawn.” And Michael and I were just trying to appease Julia by saying, “Yeah yeah, that’s cool.” Michael and I thought that it was going to be Julia.  Julia messed up the challenge for us. She was supposed to be this puzzle wizard but she messed up the whole challenge. She was the weakest physically out of all of us and we knew we were playing a super physical new Gota. She just didn’t talk strategy with anyone.
Holmes: Even if you guys did try to target a favorite, do you think there were any cracks that you could have exploited?
Bischoff: Those four were so strong. They were sticking together until the merge no matter what.

Holmes: You and Michael were on the receiving end of quite an impressive sales pitch from Phillip regarding Stealth R Us. Was there ever any follow up about initiating you two?
Bischoff: It was pretty comical. Phillip is hilarious, dude.  I was trying to keep a straight face, but in my mind I’m thinking this guy is out of his mind. We were kind of initiated into his group. We were playing along with his silly plan. Michael and I felt confident that we were on his good side. But, I guess I wasn’t really a member.  Which is a problem, I wish I had a sweet name like the Beardinator.
Holmes: That’s the big disappointment of last night. Not that you were voted out, but you missed your opportunity to be given a Phillip-official nickname.
Bischoff: I know! Oh well…maybe next time. (Laughs)

Holmes: Last week you had your game face on, ready to face the faves in an immunity challenge. Next thing you know you’re witnessing one of the weirder moments in “Survivor” history when Brandon and Phillip start going at it.  What was Gota’s take on that?
Bischoff: I was in complete disbelief of what was going on. My thing is, I’ve never seen anything since the first “Survivor” ever…that was pretty much the most bizarre, crazy thing. But, I was super stoked. First, my feet were jacked. I didn’t want to compete in a challenge. And the fact that we got immunity and Brandon’s telling us everything that’s going on over at their tribe. I knew it wasn’t all fun and games at their tribe, we thought it probably was. It gave us a confidence boost. Maybe this is going to switch things up and be good for us. I’m very psyched that I got to witness that part of “Survivor” history.

Holmes: Reynold seems to have all of the tools to be a solid “Survivor” player, but he keeps making all of these weird missteps.
Bischoff: Now, I love Reynold, I think he’s a strong competitor, he’s great at carnival games, but I don’t think he really got the game of “Survivor.” I was playing them so hard. Basically blindsiding both of their girlfriends, Allie and Hope, two times in a row. Then it hit him, “Wow, you guys are really playing the game.” I was like, “No crap, dude. This is ‘Survivor.’” We’re from the same town, he invited me, he said, “My parents live in Cincinnati, I’d love to have you over for dinner when the game’s over with.” And then when we voted off Allie he got all pissed off and said, “I take back that invitation for dinner.”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Bischoff: It was hilarious, he was like a little kid pouting. I love all of those guys, and despite that I lied to them, we had to break up that cool kids alliance. And I think Eddie and Reynold still trusted me and would have played the game with me later on down the line.
Holmes: Michael Skupin made a good point about him fist-bumping Eddie after finding the second idol. Did you guys know he had found it?
Bischoff: No, I didn’t have any idea. It boggles my mind that he found it a second time so quickly. All of us were looking for the idol once we knew it was back in play.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Cochran.
Bischoff: Sun burned.
Holmes: Phillip?
Bischoff: Crazy.
Holmes: Dawn?
Bischoff: Amazing.
Holmes: Corinne?
Bischoff: Awesome.
Holmes: Sherri?
Bischoff: Sneaky.
Holmes: Michael?
Bischoff: I love him.
Holmes: Reynold?
Bischoff: Carnival master.
Holmes: Eddie?
Bischoff: Player.
Holmes: Julia?
Bischoff: Quiet.

Holmes: I really enjoyed your alliance with Michael. It’s like you were leading the tribe, yet playing under the radar.
Bischoff: Michael and I had a great alliance. Michael and I had a hand on everything that was going on. Sherri, who was part of our alliance, she was the one freaking out. She was talking to every single person. So, people didn’t want to tell her much information. Michael and I would just calmly walk in the jungle and discuss everything that was going on. We had a strong bond and alliance. I feel Michael was the strongest strategic player out there. We were playing very hard and it was an honor to get to play with Michael.
Holmes: That’s my issue with tribe swaps, sometimes they punish strong players and rescue bad ones.
Bischoff: It screwed up my whole game. In the end Corinne wanted to keep Michael, or “her gay” as she called him. And they knew I didn’t have an idol. I can’t be pissed. I would’ve done the same thing. I would’ve been a force to be reckoned with, I get along with everyone and I’m a likable guy. It sucks though.
Holmes: No idol and not gay.
Bischoff: (Laughs) That’s correct. Maybe if I pretended to have an idol hidden in my beard and pretended to be gay I would’ve last longer. Maybe next time I’ll use that strategy.

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

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Fan Matt Bischoff: ‘I’m a Pretty Conservative Guy’

January 29, 2013

Matt Bischoff (CBS)

I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.

Name: Matt Bischoff
Age: 38
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Occupation: Brand Manager of Two BMX Brands

Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Fans” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the returning players.  They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.

Gordon Holmes: What does a brand manager for a BMX brand do?
Matt Bischoff: I’m in charge of everything. All of the riders that ride for me. I develop new products. I deal with international distributors. I do a little bit of everything.
Holmes: Do you ride yourself?
Bischoff: Yes, I’m a pro bike rider. But, now that I’ve gotten older it’s transformed into more of the business side of things.
Holmes: I’m unfamiliar with the industry, so to be clear, we’re talking about bike tricks, X Games kind of things?
Bischoff: Yeah, it’s BMX like you see on the X Games.
Holmes: So you can do all of those crazy things like going off a ramp and spinning the bike around…
Bischoff: Going off of rails, all kinds of dangerous things. But, I always remember to wear a helmet.
Holmes: Is it going to be weird spending the next month and a half without a bicycle?
Bischoff: No,  because lately I’ve been so consumed with working. So, there hasn’t been as much riding going on the past couple of months anyway. And preparing to go on the show, I’ve been doing other activities. I didn’t want to get hurt. It’ll make me appreciate it a little more when I get back.

Holmes: You are a “Survivor” mega fan.
Bischoff: Yup.
Holmes: How many times have you applied?
Bischoff: I sent in a video, and the second I sent it in I told my wife I was getting on this show.
Holmes: This was your first application?
Bischoff: No, I applied back in maybe 2005. I sent in a video and never got a response. For years after that, I thought there are so many people who apply, I’m not going to even bother. But, that’s not my motto in life. I make a lot of things happen. A lot of people call it “The Bischoff Effect.”  It’s not being lucky, it’s being proactive and following your dreams. And I made the video and that’s that. I’m super stoked that I put my mind to it, I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.
Holmes: Why do you think you were picked?
Bischoff: Because there are a lot of facets to my personality. I look a certain way. People judge me a certain way because of the tattoos, the gnarly beard, I ride BMX. But, I’m a pretty conservative guy. I love my family. I love my kids. I love just hanging out and spending time with them. I have a major sensitive side to me. Some men are afraid to cry, I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Saying goodbye to the family was emotional.

Holmes: You’re the lead singer in a band. Is there any lead singer syndrome in you? You know, where the lead singer has a big head?
Bischoff: (Laughs) No. Singing in a band, being with a group of people, working with BMX people, I know how to find my place and when I need to shut up I can shut up. I don’t have this super cocky attitude. Sometimes you have to sit back and observe and not ruffle too many feathers in this game. I don’t think I’ll have that problem. But I can be a leader if people aren’t stepping up.

Holmes: You have a hell of a beard.
Bischoff: (Laughs) Aw yeah.
Holmes: And Hans Langseth pretty much rules your life?
Bischoff: He rules my life so much that I have a tattoo of him covering my entire back. He is the man from Norway with the world’s largest beard. His beard was 17.5 feet long when he died. I’ve just been fascinated by him. I’ve actually started to let my beard dread, because the only way to achieve a mega beard is by dreading. Everyone’s  hair has a genetic terminal length. I’m going for the gold medal in the longest beard. I’m dedicating my life to see how long it’ll grow.
Holmes: When was the last time you were clean shaven?
Bischoff: Seven years ago. But I’ve had a beard ever since I could grow facial hair. It’s funny, because I can’t stand shaving my face, but I shave my arms and my chest and things like that.
Holmes: I’ve got to ask, can I see the tattoo?
Bischoff: Yeah, man. (Matt stands and unveils his back tattoo.)
Holmes: Wow, that’s really good work.
Bischoff: Yeah, Chris Garver from Miami Ink did that tattoo.

Note: Matt’s back tattoo is huge and very impressive. Hopefully they give us some good shots of it this season.

Holmes: As far as your “Survivor” gameplay goes, how do you feel about lying?
Bischoff: Here’s the deal, anyone who watches the show has got to realize that there is lying and deceiving and backstabbing. And even when you feel comfortable, you can be blindsided. I’m going into this game knowing how it works and I’m going to do whatever it takes to win. So, if that means backstabbing a friend? My goal is to win and I’ll do whatever it takes. You can’t play this game completely honest. But, after the game is over, everyone should respect who wins the game.
Holmes: It’s easy to say that when you’re the person winning this game. If you were a jury member, could you vote for someone who you thought was the best player but had stabbed you in the back?
Bischoff: You’ve got to respect people that make it farther than you. If you backstab me, I’m going to have an emotion of being pissed off. But, I’m going to vote for someone like you over someone that would ride coattails and not play the game.
Holmes: So, no respect for coattail riders?
Bischoff: This game takes a lot of luck and big moves and I think a lot of people want to sit back and chill and watch the game. I’ve got to be able to spot opportunities and make big moves when necessary.

Holmes: What are you going to do with that million-dollar check?
Bischoff: Invest in my future and my retirement. Buy a house in a better school district.
Holmes: Good dad.
Bischoff: Yeah, invest the money for my family’s future.

Holmes: If there is going to be a twist, what do you think it will be?
Bischoff: I think it will be Fans vs. Favorites. That’s my opinion. I could be totally wrong. But, I think there are going to be returning players. I think it could be a tribe of newbies versus a tribe of people who come back. I could be completely wrong.

Holmes: Any early impressions of your fellow cast members?
Bischoff: In my mind I’ve given these people nicknames. We’ve got “Jersey Shore” and “The US Marine” and there’s the “Model Dude” and there’s some attractive young women. A bunch of blondes. So, we’ll see how their work ethic is. Will they be laying under the sun or putting in work? If they’re not doing any work, I’m not going to complain about it and be like Phillip bitching at them to do stuff.

Holmes: If you don’t feed me, I’m a (expletive deleted). Do you have any problems like that with lack of food, lack of sleep…
Bischoff: There’s three things in my life that get me really irritable; if I don’t have sex for a  period of time.
Holmes: Well, I’ve got bad news for you on that one.
Bischoff: (Laughs) If I’m hungry…
Holmes: More bad news.
Bischoff: Or if I’m tired.
Holmes: It’s a clean sweep.
Bischoff: (Laughs) I definitely think those things will make me irritable. I don’t know how it’s going to affect my personality, but I’m going to try to roll with the punches as best I can.

Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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