Posts Tagged ‘zane knight’

‘Survivor’ Castaway Zane Knight: ‘I Thought I Had it Locked’

September 20, 2012

Zane Knight and Jeff Probst (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Starting next Tuesday, I’ll be squaring off against a “Survivor: One World” favorite in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player. Also, starting October 1st, we’re bringing back the “Survivor” Question of the Week where Jeff Probst and I tackle a wide variety of “Survivor” topics. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

There might not be a more obvious “Survivor”  case of “Woulda, coulda, shoulda” than Zane Knight. The 28-year-old tire treader was all over the map last night making alliances, planning back-stabbings, and wreaking havoc when all he really needed to do was be himself.

I talked to Zane the morning after his elimination and found out about the crazy weather, the secret alliances, and how close he came to getting Russell Swan out of the game…

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Gordon Holmes: What happened? I thought I wasn’t going to get to talk to you until December after the finale.
Zane Knight: I was looking forward to talking to you in December! (Laughs) After they wrote my check. You know, you only get one way to play this game and I feel like I played it the best I could. I was a little premature, maybe if I’d put a little more forethought into Russ’s way with the court there. I said from day one,  “No celebrities,” so I went after the celebrity. I take pride in what I did.
Holmes: I feel like you crammed 39 days of “Survivor” into one episode.
Knight: (Laughs) I’ve been watching “Survivor” for a while now. I tried to take key components from the best players. Just genuinely awesome TV. You know, in life you’re not promised tomorrow, so why would you think you were promised tomorrow on “Survivor” island? I tried to break it in as hard as I could.

Holmes: You said, “Vote for me” to the Matsing Tribe. Was that your Brandon Hantz moment where you were testing everyone’s loyalty?
Knight: Exactly, you build this rapport with people, and I was going to make them work for me. It’s a character thing. Russ’s been in this game before. He knows how to play with people’s emotions. And like he said, “You don’t know how something you say is going to affect any other person.” So who was to know that he’d play ‘em like that. And I can’t put it all on him, I was too cocky. I thought I had it locked. The rest of the day I spent gathering fire wood until we went to get rid of Russ.

Holmes: Looking back, what would you have done differently?
Knight: The only thing is I would’ve been quiet.
Holmes: (Laughs) Well played.

Holmes: They didn’t touch on this too much, but the weather was insane during those first three days. Tons of rain, I remember your hands were all pruned-up and water-logged.
Knight: Aww man, just sheets of rain pelting you. You’re sitting there trying to build a shelter or pick up firewood, and like you said, your hands are so water-logged you can’t hold onto a piece of wood. The weather always comes with “Survivor.” You’re going to have heat, or cold, or rain. So, it’s expected. It adds to the game.
Holmes: You looked miserable when we were there.
Knight: The weather always comes with “Survivor.” You’re going to have heat, or cold, or rain. So, it’s expected. It adds to the game.

Holmes: What’re the tribe dynamics right now at Matsing? Did you know Malcolm and Denise were partnering up?
Knight: No idea at all. Malcolm, you build a camaraderie with people and you think you’ve got them locked. At the end of the day, he was playing his own game. I never saw Malcolm sneaking in like he did. Like I said, I was too cocky. I gathered wood till it was time to send Russ home.
Holmes: You were convinced that Russell was going home?
Knight: I was convinced! It was locked. That’s my game. (Laughs) It was as a big a surprise to me as anybody.
Holmes: Are Roxanne and Angie a unit?
Knight: Not that I saw, but that’s the way the game works. At one moment you’re best friends, the next you hate their guts. You have to watch the season to see how they vote.
Holmes: OK, if you insist, I’ll watch the season.
Knight: (Laughs)
Holmes: But now that they’ve voted you out, why bother?
Knight: You know what, a lot of America felt the same way. And I don’t think that’s me having a big head.
Holmes: Well, I think a lot of people pre-judge you based on your appearance. But I certainly enjoyed you. I was genuinely disappointed to see you go.
Knight: Hopefully if I made my mark and Jeff appreciated me and y’all appreciated me, you might get to see me again.

Holmes: I liked seeing you and Angie getting along. It’s one of those things on the show where two people from different walks of life, once you strip them of their comforts, they can get to know each other and enjoy each other.
Knight: I can pretty much get along with anybody. Angie reminded me a lot of my sister. She seemed kind of…at home for me. She’s pretty easy to get along with.

Holmes: Alright, first word association of the year. Let’s start with Angie…
Knight: Free.
Holmes: Malcolm?
Knight: Funny.
Holmes: Denise?
Knight: Hard to get along with.
Holmes: Roxanne?
Knight: Casual.
Holmes: And Russell?
Knight: Hardcore.

Holmes: Alright, jumping back into that. You said Denise was hard to get along with, when it seemed like she was making strides to get to know you better. What am I missing?
Knight: She’s one of those people that you don’t ever know. In the back of your mind you’re always thinking, “Maybe.”  It’s not that you can’t trust her, you just can’t assess her.

Holmes: A lot of people leave “Survivor” changed people. Has your time out there affected your outlook on life?
Knight: Oh my goodness, I am proud to be an American. It changed my whole philosophy. It changes the way I sweep the floor at work, the way I shop for groceries, the way I cut my grass. There is no aspect of my life that wasn’t impacted. I don’t care if you come of 1st or 26th, if you can say anything bad about this game, you didn’t play it right.

Holmes: When you were out there, you mentioned that your wife is a fantastic cook. When you got home did she have something special waiting for you?
Knight: Oh my goodness, I come home and the first thing I had was meatloaf. Good old southern cooking. I had an awesome meal waiting for me. I couldn’t get it all in me there was so much there.
Holmes: What?! I love meatloaf and my girlfriend never cooks it.
Knight: You need to come on down here, bro.
Holmes: Deal.

Any Questions? Ask me on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Philippines’ Pre-Game Interview: Zane Knight

August 31, 2012

Zane Knight (Gordon Holmes)

XfinityTV.com sent me deep into the wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of “Survivor” stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

Name: Zane Knight
Age: 28
Home: Danville, VA
Occupation: Tire Repair
Tribe: Matsing

Gordon Holmes: Laziness is one of your pet peeves. What’re you going to do on Day 28 when someone’s lounging on the beach while you’re getting firewood?
Zane Knight: I told them before, I hope I don’t vote myself out.
Holmes: That’s very rare.
Knight: (Laughs) Yeah. I’m already looking around and seeing a bunch of supermodels. You’ve got people that spend ten and twelve hours a day in a gym. That’s the time I’m working. If you’re going to sweat, get paid for it. And we’re going to be on a show called “Survivor.” If you’ve got six-pack abs and you’re starving to death, what good is it? Put yourself some extra pounds on, have something to lose. Go about this game in a survivor mentality.
Holmes: But if you see somebody being lazy, are you someone who can weigh the social implications of going after them?
Knight: Oh, I’m on your ass. I’m not scared. Where I come from, you don’t live off the government. You go to work every day. If you can’t find a job you go to a staffing agency or you work under your means. People say that all the time, they say, “Oh, I’m a manager, I can’t go to work at McDonald’s.” If it comes to paying your light bill you can, you know what I mean? And I’m the kind of person, I’m going to sweep up around camp, I’m going to stack firewood. I’m going to do what I gotta do to make sure we’re a success. And if you’re laying around acting like you’re on a vacation, then you need to go home.

Holmes: You hate laziness and sprinkles. We share those pet peeves. I know why I dislike sprinkles, why don’t you?
Knight: Cause I’m a man. (Laughs) Sprinkles can be taken in any light. Sprinkles are life. You’ve got guys that can’t grip a tackle box. Don’t nobody color my hair. If I got a zit, I’m going to walk around with it for a couple of days until it goes.
Holmes: Oh, I was just going to say I don’t like sprinkles because they make such a mess.
Knight: Not only that, they’re hard and crunch and break your teeth. I hate ‘em.
Holmes: Like only 40% of them end up in your mouth.
Knight: They get everywhere. You find them in your pocket when you wash your clothes.
Holmes: My girlfriend gets these cookies that are awesome. They’re always soft and they’ve got frosting on them, but they’ve got these sprinkles on them.
Knight: Are you talking about the cookies they do in the seasons? The Walmart cookies?
Holmes: Yes!
Knight: Those are awesome.

Holmes: You’re wearing a Yankees hat. You have a Yankees tattoo.
Knight: I love the Yankees.
Holmes: You are from Virigina. How does that happen?
Knight: I don’t want to say that me and my daddy don’t get along. We have different paths. We didn’t go fishing and stuff like that. So, when I started my first real job the boss man kinda took me under his wing. And my daddy was working. He didn’t have time to spend goofing off because he was making money for the house. I respect that. I’m not saying he’s a bad dad. But this guy was paid. He had time to go to baseball games and stuff like that. My whole life I’d been a Baltimore Orioles fan. But he took me to a Yankees game and when I walked out on that field, man. It was right behind first base. The hot dogs and the vendors…it was just baseball.
Holmes: This is old Yankee Stadium?
Knight: This is old Yankee Stadium. It stuck with me man. And ever since then I’ve been a die-hard Yankees fan. I couldn’t let go of it.
Holmes: Non New Yorkers who root for the Yankees are often accused of being frontrunners.
Knight: No, no, no, I rooted for the Yankees even when we sucked. When (George) Steinbrenner died, I felt like he was my grandpop. I love the Yankees.

Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Knight: Yes. I mean, I’m not a die-hard fan by any means. When I first met Jeff (Probst) I told him he was a (expletive deleted). The celebrity thing doesn’t do much for me. “Boston” Rob (Mariano) is what made me like this show. He showed me that there’s a callous way to do things and a repented way to do things. He came in here and he was cutthroat and then, the third time around (Editor’s Note: Technically his fourth) he was like “I need to win this money, this is my last shot.” He kind of made it his own.
Holmes: He had a real character arc, going from this brash kid to this seasoned adult.
Knight: Yeah! He learned the way of the game. From watching him, my hatred of Boston makes me want to throw that in his face. I want to win this money my first time with a Yankees hat on.
Holmes: They’re going to let you wear the Yankees hat?
Knight: I don’t know. That’s still up in the air.
Holmes: How do you feel about playing against people who do consider themselves to be die-hard “Survivor” fans?
Knight: You would not stay in my tribe knowing as much as you know about the game. You’re too much of a liability to me.

Holmes: You’ve been out here with the cast a few days. What are your first impressions?
Knight: No competition at all. It’s one guy, he’s a little bit taller than me. He’s got a shaved head and a mustache. He seems to be a good ol’ boy. He had on cowboy boots. He seems like he’s going to be my confidant. Me and him are going to run this game. But he’s the only challenge I see. Everyone else has six-pack abs and bleach-blonde hair. Not that I’m talking down on them. What we’re going out there for is not to be on TV, but to be the sole survivor.

Holmes: Are you prepared to lie?
Knight: No. I don’t need to. Just like Brandon (Hantz). Brandon taught me a lot about this game. When they went to Tribal Council that night he said, “You know what, send me home. If this is how you want to play and how you want to do each other, I don’t need this.” And you see how long he stayed. You don’t have to lie to get ahead. You put your head down, you work hard, and people respect you for it.
Holmes: There are some lovely ladies here. Will you be flirting?
Knight: No, I’m married. My wife would kill me and all the chicks on this island.
Holmes: (Laughs) You’re setting up a lot of rules for yourself. That’s tough to stick to in this game.
Knight: Yeah, you gotta be in the moment in a game like this. But at the same time, you know what you’d do in the moment in front of your old lady.
Holmes: I guess you have to appreciate that anything you say could be broadcast on CBS.
Knight: Oh, you know it’s coming on TV.  Let’s put it like this. I’m not making any rules, but I’m not doing anything my wife would be ashamed to see.

Holmes: I’ve been asking everyone this question, if you could align with any former “Survivor” player, who would it be and why?
Knight: I would probably pick Phil (Sheppard) because “Boston” Rob was a genius. He kept Phil around, he kept making excuses for him. He took him to the end and when the jury voted Rob got the money. And that’s what we’re here for. You’re not going to get a lunchbox out of this. “Survivor” is about the money. We’re here to get that check.

Holmes: Ok, what’re  you going to do in December when you’re a millionaire?
Knight: That’s right, I am going to be a millionaire. My wife is probably the best southern cook you’ll ever meet in your life. It oughta be against the law that she doesn’t have her own restaurant. Girl can cook anything.
Holmes: What’s her specialty?
Knight: Anything! We had some leftovers from a Mexican restaurant, long story short, she threw in some rice and some cheese and whatever else and made a casserole dish that was better than the stuff we had at the restaurant.
Holmes: Why aren’t you fatter?
Knight: (Laughs) I gotta try real hard. It’s the job I work.

Don’t miss the premiere of “Survivor: Philippines” – Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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