‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Castaway Interview: Ben ‘Benry’ Henry

Survivor” has taught me a lot over the years. Terms such as “Immunity Idol,” “Tribal Council” and “Dominant Alliance” were foreign to me before I became hooked on Mark Burnett’s reality juggernaut.

Ben “Benry” Henry can be credited with enhancing my “Survivor” vocabulary too.  I’d never heard of a “Dirt Squirrel” until he blasted Alina Wilson with the memorable nickname.

I had a chance to finally get insight into this unique term the morning after he was voted out of game. We also had a chance to discuss his faux alliance with Sash and Chase, how he could so callously stab Fabio in the back and how he feels about murdering Jane’s chicken friend.

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Gordon Holmes: Alright, what’s a “Dirt Squirrel”?
Ben “Benry“ Henry:
A dirt squirrel is a two-legged female that scavenges for nuts and often displays moral inconsistencies. That is my exact definition.
Gordon: Why would you describe poor Alina that way?
Benry: I caught a lot of heat for that comment, but there’s a lot that the viewers didn’t get to see. I think everyone around camp would agree that she’s a dirt squirrel. A very nice girl, but she’s a dirt squirrel. Especially the night she went home. She was scrambling, she said, “Benry was stealing bananas. Back in week one, you guys didn’t even know about it.” And numerous people were telling me that she wanted me out. This fired me up a bit.

Gordon: Now, Chase and Sash didn’t seem to trust you at all. Were you shocked with how it went down with them leading you one way then stabbing you in the back?
My biggest downfall was putting as much trust and faith as I did into Sash and Chase. Last night was sort of tough to watch. I had it on DVR and I had to rewind because it was like “Did Chase just say, ‘I haven’t trusted Benry this entire game?’ Or did he say, ‘I have trusted Benry.’” And he said, “I haven’t.” I was really surprised at that. I don’t know what I did to steer him away from trusting me, but I obviously did. I put a lot of trust in Chase, I saw the kid playing with his heart and emotions right off the bat. He had a tough time lying and being deceitful to people. So I saw him as a physical threat, but very honest. And we’d talked about not voting for each other unless it was for the million dollars.
Gordon: How about Sash?
Benry: Sash was shifty throughout this entire game. I knew that. But for some reason when we came back to camp that day and Holly and Jane and Chase were on that reward, I put a lot of faith in Sash. I thought he’d maybe swing that way. But they all agreed that I was a big physical threat, and I very easily could have won my way into the final three.

Gordon: I’m kind of on the fence with Jane right now. On one hand she’s funny and she’s tough and on the other she started a blood feud with Marty over perceived slights and she’s holding a memorial service for a chicken. How do people feel about her around camp?
Watching that thing with the chicken last night was a trip. I saw the little memorial in front of the cage, but I never saw the little memorial service. I never saw her shed a tear.
Gordon: You missed the eulogy.
Benry: Yeah, I started laughing to be honest. I didn’t get to meet Jane until the merge and I found her obnoxious. Doing her fish dance…you’d be taking a nap, finally get your eyes closed and she’d come over and do the fish dance. But she grew on me. She’s an amazing lady. She’s got some super human strength in her. It was really cool to get to know Jane.

Gordon: Fabio’s my boy. We’re St. Louis guys. And you stabbed him right in the back. Was that hard for you?
Dude, I felt so bad. I knew I was so screwed. But I sort of felt like I had Holly and Chase in my back pocket. And I felt like if I could get to one more Tribal Council that I could realign myself and weasel my way into a new alliance. And it’s a dirty game, and it’s for a million dollars. But it was tough for me to pull Fabio aside and lie to his face. And I can even see it in my own eyes, watching last night that it was tough for me. But Fabio’s my boy too. He’s a homie.

Gordon: Nothing this season has sent shock waves through the “Survivor” universe quite like the dual quitting last episode. What was your take on NaOnka and Purple Kelly throwing in the towel?
We had to go to Tribal Council. It was pouring that night. And we got back to the camp and we were soaking wet. We could’ve been under our tarp and dry for the night. That was an annoying aspect of that. Also, there are a lot of people that apply to this game that would have loved to have been in their shoes. The jury would’ve died to still be in the game. It was frustrating to watch. But my initial instinct was, let them go home, we’ll have two less people to go through.

Gordon: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Brenda.
Beautifully deceitful.
Gordon: Shannon?
Benry: Meathead.
Gordon: Sash?
Benry: Dirt rat.
Gordon: Fabio?
Benry: Fabio’s a one of a kind.
Gordon: Alina?
Benry: Dirt squirrel…have to do it.
Gordon: Dan?
Benry: Uncle Dan the man…he’s a passenger lucky to have a seat.
Gordon: Holly?
Benry: Big heart, just a huge heart.
Gordon: Let’s finish with Jane.
Benry: Jane has hidden superhuman powers.
Gordon: I noticed you called Sash a “Dirt rat.” Is that similar to a dirt squirrel?
Benry: Yeah, it’s a basically the male version. He’s a shifty little dirt rat.

Follow Gordon on Twitter for ‘Survivor’ news: @gordonholmes

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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