Posts Tagged ‘woo hwang’

‘Survivor’ Castaway Woo: ‘The Doctors Said They Could Pull Me from the Game’

October 30, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

When the last decision you make literally costs you the million dollars, that’s gotta be the tied for first-place in the “worst moves of all time” competition. So, if anyone needed a second chance, it was Woo Hwang.

Unfortunately for Woo, only one of these Second Chancers is truly going to fulfill the dream of taking home the big check…and it won’t be him.

I spoke to the master of “Ninja Stealth Mode” the morning after his elimination and asked him about his brutal blindside, his relationship with Abi, and his top skee-ball tips…

Gordon Holmes: Did you see last night’s blindside coming at all?
Woo Hwang: No, Gordon. Not at all. Hashtag blindside.
Holmes: When there’s no indication that you’re going home, does it just drive you insane until you can question someone who was part of that vote?
Hwang: A lot goes through your mind. You’re just kind of whacked out. It’s an out-of-body experience. I think that night, that blindside, my name was written down more times than my whole career in “Survivor.” Just the suspense of one vote left and it could possibly be me. I’d never been in that situation. Handing my torch to Jeff and having him snuff it. And him saying, “I’ve got nothing else for you. Get out of here.” I walked away and I glanced back and realized, wow…my second chance opportunity is finished. It’s a really empty feeling.
Holmes: Does it change how you feel about the game? You played with Tony Vlachos so you’ve seen some blindsides. But this is your first time going through that.
Hwang: Yeah, it changes my view in many ways. When I watched the blindside and remembering the conversations that had happened before Tribal. If I had done this, or said this… If I had aligned with Spencer would this have changed? But, you just go with your gut. Everything was set to have Ciera be the decoy, we told Spencer we wanted to get rid of someone who’s not going to be strong in challenges. It didn’t turn out that way. It’s unfortunate because I’ve been sitting here, the game’s been over, but reliving that whole experience is a tough breakup with the show.

Holmes: I was trying to figure out why they’d target you when Ciera is annoyed with Savage. Was it to not send the wrong message to the other classic Bayon members?
Hwang: I don’t think it was entirely Ciera’s call. Kass had a big hand in the decision making. I remember being at the old Angkor and Savage saying, “Stick with us. When we hit the merge I’ve got all the numbers with Bayon.” He said, “I’m really close with Jeremy, Fishbach, Joe, Ciera, Tash…and if you jump on board you can be our man too.” I just remember him never mentioning Kass. And when we were the new Ta Keo tribe, I was talking to Kass and I said, “I feel great with Savage.” And she asked how I felt about Tasha and I said, “I feel great with Tasha. I feel like a part of this big alliance.” Walking away from that and looking back, I realize Kass didn’t feel close with Savage and now I’m part of this alpha male alliance. She was probably thinking, Savage wants Spencer out, so I can get him on our side. So, it’s better to get rid of Woo now because  if he makes it to the merge he’s going to lined up with Jeremy, Joe, Savage…Keith was mentioned…Fishbach. So, I think Kass was instrumental in that vote. So, I don’t think it was entirely on Ciera.

Holmes: On day one, actually hour one…your feet were injured on one of the boats. What happened and how did it affect your game?
Hwang: Unfortunately on my way to swim to the rice, the ladder that led to the boat…I don’t know if there were nails or pieces of wood, but I managed to cut up my feet pretty well. My right, big toe there’s a big chunk missing. A couple of more lacerations on the other side of the foot. And when you’re out in these isolated jungles, you don’t know what kind of infections are rolling around. The doctors checked it out because it was so bad. They usually don’t come out. They said to keep it clean because there’s not much they can do. The doctors said they could pull me from the game because infections were rampant, so I had to keep it dry and clean. That was a big downfall to the beginning of the game. A lot of strategy talk was being conducted in the water. People were walking here and there and I had to stay in the sleeping quarters.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Varner.
Hwang: Hilarious.
Holmes: Wiglesworth?
Hwang: Mom.
Holmes: Wentworth?
Hwang: Question mark.
Holmes:  Shirin?
Hwang: Interesting.
Holmes:  Spencer?
Hwang: Crafty.
Holmes: Peih-Gee?
Hwang: Friend.
Holmes: Terry?
Hwang: Proud father.
Holmes: Kass?
Hwang: Random.
Holmes: Ciera?
Hwang: Question mark…no comment.
Holmes: Vytas?
Hwang:  Yoga instructor.
Holmes: Abi?
Hwang: Fireball.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Savage.
Hwang:  Great guy.

Holmes: You had a very contentious relationship with Abi.
Hwang: I started the game with Abi and we hit it off really well. She came up to me and said, “Hey, Woo. I have this weird crush on you. I think you’re adorable and super cute.”
Holmes: Yeah, she said similar things in her pre-game interview. Hubba hubba.
Hwang: (Laughs) I was flattered and I was thinking this will really help my game. After that first vote, we got back to camp and I tried to apologize to her. And she forgave me. And she said I have to give her my loyalty and never write her name down again. I said, “Yeah, sure. I just want to make sure you’re in a good mood and I’m on your good side.” Because you know how she is.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Hwang: So, I write her name down twice and she still forgave me. She voted out Jeff. She really had some trust in me. Honestly, the relationship wasn’t as bad as you’d think. If I was Peih-Gee I’m sure it would’ve been terrible.
Holmes: Are you willing to admit now that you put Abi’s necklace in Peih-Gee’s bag?
Hwang: (Laughs) That’s so funny.
Holmes: That’s not a denial.
Hwang: (Laughs) Any one of us could’ve accidentally picked up her bag. She was so fixated on Peih-Gee, she wanted her out. Abi’s a great “Survivor” player, character, she’s great entertainment.
Holmes: You were talking about your mother last week and Abi countered by comparing it to her knee surgery. How did that sit with you? It seems like a case of comparing apples to nothing.
Hwang: I don’t hold it against Abi. How do you blame her?  She doesn’t know my real story. All she knows is I might’ve made that story up to get in favor with Tasha and Savage. She’s just thinking of the game. What did happen to my mom is true. But that’s old news because she is healthy and strong. That’s all I’m thinking about. Do I hold anything against her? Absolutely not.

Holmes: You have the best attitude.
Hwang: (Laughs)
Holmes: Seriously. Between seeing Abi’s side of things and your farewell last night…
Hwang: How can I not? These experiences we go through…I’m just so grateful. I try to stay positive as much as possible. Any negative thoughts or regret…there’s not much I’m going to be able to do.
Holmes: One positive is; now that you’re back home you have more time for Chuck E. Cheese.
Hwang: Right?! My fiancée and I get to hit up more skee-ball. It’s best on the weekdays around nine when all of the kids are in bed. The skee-ball section is wide open! No distractions.
Holmes: Are you a straight-up guy or do you try to bank it off of the side?
Hwang: Straight up. The big left and right corner pockets have the most points. That’s my main move. I’ve been getting 34 tickets every token. I’ve been coming out with some pretty nice prizes.

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

‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Woo: ‘I Need to Implement a More Cutthroat Approach’

September 15, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY TV sent me deep into the Cambodian wilderness to bring you all kinds of “Survivor: Second Chance” goodness. So, be sure to check back for exclusive interviews, photos, and behind-the-scenes tidbits. And, follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

[xfinity-record-button id=”4814958312953183112″ program_type=”series”]

Name: Woo Hwang
Season: “Survivor: Cagayan”
Finish: Finalist
Why You Should Remember Him: Woo probably would have won “Survivor: Cagayan” if he had chosen to take Kass to the final two over eventual winner Tony.

Gordon Holmes: You’re probably best known for your move at the end of Cagayan where you took Tony (Vlachos) to the end instead of Kass. That move probably cost you $900,000. What did that expensive lesson teach you?
Woo Hwang: After losing to Tony like that, you learn real quick that you don’t win the game of “Survivor” on a popularity vote. No one liked Tony, but they all respected his game and that’s why he won. So, going into this Second Chance, I realize I need to implement a more cutthroat approach in order to get respect from the jury.
Holmes: On the bright side, I was thinking it must be pretty cool to come into a Second Chance season being known for loyalty.
Hwang: That can definitely work as a big advantage as far as building trust and relationships. “Hey, you can take me to the end and if I say I’ll take you to the final two, you know you can count on my word.” So, I definitely have that reputation for staying loyal.

Holmes: You’re here with three other Cagayaners. Does that work in your favor?
Hwang: I feel like it can work in your favor or it can work against you. I don’t think I’m so inclined that if me, Kass, Spencer, and Tash were thrown on a team to join forces. That’s such an obvious target on our backs. But, if we started the game together and we can manage to discretely go off? We started “Survivor” together. We have that bond. And if we can use it to our advantage we should. But the Second Chance, with other contestants who’ve played with each other, I don’t think they’re quick to think we’re working as one. It’s a brand new season, who knows what we’re thinking?
Holmes: What is your relationship like with that group?
Hwang: People naturally think I would have a grudge against Spencer considering his little speech at the end. But, we squashed all that. I consider us pretty good friends. We talk every now and then over text messages. I haven’t really communicated with Tash much. But Kass? She’s super cool. I communicated with her several time over phone, over text messages. I know her nephew is a big fan of mine. So, we’re cool.

Holmes: There’s always talk of pre-game alliances in returnee seasons. Have you participated in any of that?
Hwang: Not really. With this new concept of “Hey America, we’re voting people in,” I feel like I haven’t been able to talk to many of the contestants. But like…Ciera, I follow her Instagram account. I naturally feel like I know her through her social media. But as far as pre-gaming and socializing, none of that.

Holmes: Have you noticed anyone winking at each other since you’ve been here?
Hwang: Sure.
Holmes: Spill it.
Hwang:  This whole pre-game is a test. It’s part of the game. How much was can endure each other and not give away secrets without speaking a word. And you can see a lot of body language and a lot of eye contact. Who’s letting who go first in line to eat. Who’s sitting next to who when they eat.
Holmes: Whooooooo?
Hwang: (Whispers) I feel like immediately Jeff and Kass. Whenever we sit down to eat they’re always sitting across from each other. Whenever we have downtime to read books, they’re right next to each other and making subtle eye contact. They’re giving each other smiles. But I’ve been doing that too. Try to be courteous and polite. You don’t want to mean mug anyone and give them the stink eye. So, I feel like they’re doing it more than anyone else. And whatsherface…Abi…she’s super flirtatious. She loves to give you a smile, give you a wink. Monica is kind of throwing those vibes out. Nobody is giving negative vibes. Everything is super positive.

Holmes: Is there anyone you’re thinking of making an early target?
Hwang: No, nobody I’m targeting.

Holmes:  Anyone you want to work with?
Hwang: I’m looking forward to working with anyone who wants to work with me. (Laughs)
Holmes: Not the worst plan.
Hwang: I think the person I am, I’m super social. I feel like I’m super compatible with anyone. I feel like we get along well.
Holmes: We totally do. We should work together.
Hwang: (Laughs) Yeah, right?
Holmes: Final two.
Hwang: Sure!

Holmes: “Survivor” is known for its wacky twists. If there are any twists, what do you think they could be?
Hwang: That’s the most nerve-wracking part about the whole thing. I didn’t expect anything in Season 28. But now that I know what we’re going to have to do with the lack of food, sleep, and water… It’s going to be a rainy season. Dealing with that element is going to be tough. But I have no idea what Jeff is planning for twists. I’m just going to take it with a big smile and have some fun with it.

Holmes: Alright, we’re going to play “Align or Malign.” In my hand I have nineteen cards featuring your competitors. You’ll go through them and tell me who you’ll align with and who you’ll malign. Trick is, you only get eight aligns.
Hwang: Malign is not to align?
Holmes: Yes, sir.

Hwang: Kelly…align. She’s a veteran. She’s super hungry and thirsty and wants to win it. And I feel like if I can align with her she can take me a long way.

Hwang: Abi…malign. I just feel like she’s too temperamental. If you’re on her bad side it’s not going to help you at all. It’s going to be hard to be compatible with her.

Hwang: Stephen…align. He seems super loyal. He seems trustworthy. He seems like someone who would be a great team player.

Hwang: Ciera…I would say align. She seems like a natural sweetheart. You want to find someone you’re compatible with and someone who will be a team player.

Hwang: Joe…malign. He’s just way too good. And if you take him to the end, your shot at winning is not too good.

Hwang: Terry…align. I like those old-school players. He seems like he’d be fun to work with.

Hwang: Monica…um…malign. I think she’s too flirty.

Hwang: Andrew…align. Another good team player. He’s strong in challenges and can be a big asset.

Hwang: Spencer…malign. He’s real good. He knows the game really well. I’m going to try to get him out as soon as possible.

Hwang: Tasha…malign. Same thing. She’s a challenge beast, she’s underrated. And considering last season how she managed to make the merge and then win, win, win? She’s going to be tough to beat.

Hwang: Kelley…align. She seems strong. Level-headed…someone I could work really well with.

Hwang: Kimmi…malign. I have a sense during pre-game that she’s just going to struggle out there.

Hwang: Kass…align. I worked with her before and although I didn’t pick her over Tony, we did have talks afterward and she was super understanding. I think she’d be a good teammate.

Hwang: Vytas…align. He just pushes out good vibes. He’s a spiritual guy a lot like myself. I see a lot of myself in Vytas.

Hwang: Jeremy…I would align with him, but I have no more options. Malign.

Hwang: Jeff…I would probably align with as well. He seems like a super funny guy. But, malign.

Hwang: Shirin I would probably malign. After watching her season, she can just get on your bad side. But, I guess that’s not a bad thing to take to the end.

Hwang: Keith, sorry I’m going to have to malign you. Not enough picks.

Hwang: And Peih-Gee…I’ll malign because I used up all my aligns.
Holmes: Poor align allocation, Woo.
Hwang: (Laughs) I know!

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

Survivor: Second Chance” will kick off with a special 90-minute premiere on Wednesday, September 23rd at 8 p.m. ET.

‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Woo – ‘I Thought They’d Vote for Kass to Spite Me’

May 23, 2014

'Surivvor: Cagayan' (CBS)

NOTE: Check out our interviews with “Survivor” winner Tony Vlachos and runners-up Spencer Bledsoe and Kass McQuillen. And, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

Gordon Holmes: I’m not an expert on women. Any woman I’m ever dated will tell you that. But I’ve got to believe that if you say you’re going to propose to someone on national television, you have to do it.
Yung ‘Woo’ Hwang: Have I popped the question? I have not. I’m still waiting for the opportune time. But when that time comes around it’s going to be a beautiful day.
Holmes: Do you have to win a million dollars first?
Hwang: Absolutely not. But, sometimes it’s necessary to take care of yourself before you jump into something major like that. I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.
Holmes: That’s very commendable.
Hwang: Thanks!

Holmes: So, last night Probst asks who would’ve voted for you if you’d taken Kass to the end. What’re you thinking about when all of those hands shot up?
Hwang: Man, Gordon…Probst asks, “Did Woo make a million-dollar mistake?” And you’ve got all your family and friends watching. And all the hands raised. You don’t even need to turn around, you just feel the vibration. It put chills up the back of my neck. I made the decision based on what’s going to get me to the million dollars. It didn’t go my way. Hats off to Tony.

Watch Every Episode of ‘Survivor: Cagayan’

Holmes: Did you think at the time that Kass could have possibly beaten you if the jury knew you went back on your word to Tony?
Hwang: I think if I was lined up with Kass and she had taken me, I think I had a good shot. But taking Kass was a move that I didn’t think the jury would respect. I didn’t make any critical major moves. I didn’t think they’d respect that. I thought they’d vote for Kass to spite me.

Holmes: Spencer called you a dog and said Tony was the master. That couldn’t have been fun to hear. Do you think some of that was residual resentment from the clue incident?
Hwang: Yeah, I’m sure that had something to do with it. But I think he was also bitter. I made a decision that wasn’t in his favor and that probably hurt his feelings and he grew some resentment toward me. I think it was a culmination of my Ninja Stealth Mode and not following through on some of the moves I was considering. But, kudos to him. It’s a game and he’s a major player.

Holmes: We don’t get to see much that doesn’t involve gameplay. That’s why it was so cool to get to see the great moment with you at the school.
Hwang: I appreciate that very much. What a cool experience. When I got called to do the show I felt very blessed. Right there I felt like I accomplished a lot. But being an ambassador for “Survivor” and getting to give back to the country, the Philippines, was something I will cherish forever. Forever. It was one of the greatest experiences I was ever involved with. To walk in the classrooms and hand them things that can help them better themselves educationally…wow.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Trish.
Hwang: A loving, hilarious mom.
Holmes: Kass?
Hwang: Wonderful, a very genuine person.
Holmes: Lindsey?
Hwang: A cool chick. She’s like a bro-chick. She can pound a couple of beers with you, give you a high-five.
Holmes: Tony?
Hwang: A passionate individual.
Holmes: Tasha?
Hwang: She’s a beast. Athletic.
Holmes: Sonic the Hedgehog?
Hwang: Ninja Stealth Mode…Woo Hwang!
Holmes: Spencer?
Hwang: He has a great future. Smart kid. He has a lot of drive.

Holmes: I enjoyed you because it looked like you were having a blast out there.
Hwang: Gordon, you’re playing this game…and you’re on the set with the man. The four-time Emmy award-winning man, Jeff Probst. Just to beon the same stage with Jeff…I couldn’t be any happier. And making a fire, getting dumped on by rain, and you see Jeff and he brings you back to life. I was taking every day as I do with my life. I live in the moment and make the best of it. I move forward with a smile on my face.

Holmes: The hardcore fans like to talk about the best this and the worst that. Taking Tony last night is probably going to put you on the Worst Moves Ever list. Going forward, how do you come to peace with that?
Hwang: I’m never going to regret anything I do in life because I think everything happens for a reason. That’s not a cliché. Everything you do will dictate the course of your life. My decision was based on me feeling like I’d be able to beat him. It didn’t work out in my favor. But, people are saying, “Hey Woo, you’re an inspiration to my children. I want to be like you.” And “I’m going to go out on my next missionary trip and be like you.” Being able to touch people’s hearts is like a million bucks.

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

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