Quick Note: Be sure to come back throughout the week for interviews with the rest of the final seven. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.
Here’s a fun little snippet from a moment “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” champ Tyson Apostol and I shared about four and a half years ago after he’d been voted out of “Survivor: Tocantins”…
Tyson Apostol: I figured I had the game all sown up. I was already spending money out there.
Gordon Holmes: I know, you were going to buy a fur, you were going to buy a tiara…
Tyson: And I was also going to get a Ferrari and dip it in gold.
Gordon: That would be awesome.
I had a chance to speak to the newly crowned Sole Survivor the morning after his win and asked him about his dominant victory, his early injury, and his extravagant tastes…
Gordon Holmes: And how is it going, Mr. newly-minted millionaire?
Tyson Apostol: (Laughs) It’s crazy, right?
Holmes: It is truly awesome. I actually dug back into the archives and you said that you’d “get a Ferrari and dip it in gold.” Let’s get on this.
Apostol: Man…gold’s at an all-time high now. We might have to go with a silver or…I don’t know…a nickel?
Holmes: It’s breaking my heart to hear you depriving yourself so soon after your triumph.
Apostol: That I can’t get the one dream in my life, the gold-dipped Ferrari?
Holmes: This ruins my whole afternoon.
Apostol: Gordon, I don’t want you to feel this way. Get CBS to give me more money and we’ll definitely do it. Actually, we might be able to do one of the smaller models. I just think with gold prices where they are it’s getting more scarce.
Holmes: Alright, we started off on a bad note.
Apostol: Let’s reach out to the readers to send in their gold coins and their gold teeth. Let’s get it done.
Holmes: We can do this.
Apostol: We should start a kickstarter.
Holmes: I like that it’s not even gold-plated, it’s gold-dipped.
Apostol: I’m imagining these giant tongs. You grab the car and then dip it in this vat of gold. You let it dry, then put it in my front yard.
Holmes: Then you just toss out the excess gold.
Apostol: You just pull the plug at the bottom of the gold vat.
Holmes: You had to have a good feeling leaving that Tribal Council. When you see Rachel, what did you say to her?
Apostol: I told her I had a pretty good shot. And that was really it. I didn’t have a real great feeling of how I did until after the Tribal Council. Leading into it I thought the jury was so upset with me that there was no way. And then, when I heard everyone’s questions I was like, “I’m probably going to win this thing.” And it’s funny because every time I’ve played I’ve come back fatter than when I left. In Tocantins I was 165 when I started. When my family saw me I was 185.
Holmes: So they’re thinking first boot.
Apostol: Yeah. So “Heroes vs. Villains” I left at 175 and came back at 190. So, this time I came back 15 pounds lighter. Rachel had a pretty good idea, and I definitely told her there’s a good chance. My parents, I let them believe what they wanted. My brother told me that my dad said, or he alluded to because my dad doesn’t talk like this, “Well, I think he’s second or third because I don’t think they’d vote for him to win.”
Apostol: So basically my dad thinks I’m too big of an (expletive deleted) to win this show.
Holmes: I said the same thing in my pre-season rankings. You had all these things going for you, but I didn’t know how you’d do in a final Tribal Council. Apparently you do pretty well. You told the story of how you felt when Rachel was voted out. How much of that was real and how much of that was to gain sympathy from the jury.
Apostol: It was all genuine, but it was also to get on the jury’s good side. It was calculated, but it was genuine. Going into it I needed to show the jury that I was human. So many people were like, “You’re like a god, Tyson. You’re so gorgeous and perfect in every way.” I needed to bring it down a level.
Holmes: I wouldn’t give the million dollars to someone who has so much genetically.
Holmes: That’s smart.
Apostol: I was thinking I need to show I’m human. I can be there. That helped a lot, but even more than that was Gervase and Monica talking.
Holmes: The moment where you asked Rachel if she’d had fun was awesome. But, it kind of killed your reputation.
Apostol: (Laughs) What reputation did I have?
Holmes: People might start to think you’re a nice guy.
Apostol: Yeah, I really hope it doesn’t go that far. (Laughs) We’ll see. I might have to go on a fourth time to bring the bad-boy reputation back.
Holmes: Nice, kick babies, punch puppies.
Apostol: I really don’t cry that much. For some reason this time with Rachel leaving and then getting closer and closer was emotional.
Holmes: We didn’t hear about your shoulder much after the original injury. How was it holding up towards the end?
Apostol: At the very end I had the full range of motion, but it was tender. I didn’t have the strength in it. Now, I have all the strength and it only aches a little bit. I went and had an MRI and it is going to be 100%. There’s no cartilage damage. It’s just going to be a little sore for a while. I’m 35, so things don’t heal like they used to.
Holmes: Gervase said a few times that he thought he could beat you. What made you think you could beat him?
Apostol: It wasn’t so much that I thought I could beat him, I just thought I had the best shot with Gervase and Monica. We’d all committed the same crimes since day one, pretty much. And, the underdogs are always the heroes. They get the cheers and the praise, so if one of them got to the end they’d have a great shot at winning. Seeing how the votes played out, maybe I could’ve gone with different people. I really thought it’d be close with Gervase until we got through the final Tribal Council.
Holmes: Monica spent a lot of time with other factions. Had you just given her leeway to appease the people on the bottom or was she actually worrying you guys?
Apostol: I felt like she was really solid. But she’d just go off. And we’d tell her time and time again, there are four people here, just stay in the shelter with us. It’s going to make us more comfortable, it’s going to make you more comfortable with us. And then she’d be like, “OK, I’m going to go talk with Ciera by the beach for three hours. We’ll have a great time, then you’ll see us hugging and crying and smiling. But don’t worry about it.”
Apostol: It was hard, but she was always with us. But she did like to spend time with everybody. But you could tell her loyalty was with me and Gervase.
Holmes: The jury knock against her was they didn’t know who she was. Do you feel like you and Gervase got to know the real Monica?
Apostol: Um, I think so. Yeah, we knew the real Monica. What we saw on TV was the real Monica. She might be more reserved than people would like her to be. That’s just Monica.
Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association…
Apostol: Is that a new thing you do?
Holmes: Nope, this guy’s a one-trick pony.
Apostol: Just kidding.
Holmes: You cut deep. OK…Gervase?
Apostol: A lot of people said “teeth” but I think mine are better. I don’t want to pay him that compliment when people didn’t pay me the compliment I deserve. But, let’s just say “teeth.”
Apostol: Did I say “hell raiser” before? (Laughs) That’s what old people call kids on Halloween night.
Holmes: She’s a whippersnapper.
Apostol: (Laughs) Yup! That little carpetbagger.
Holmes: Laura M.?
Apostol: We have to be positive with Tina here…
Holmes: I agree.
Apostol: She deserves a positive word. Let’s try “loving.”
Holmes: You’re killing that rep.
Apostol: I don’t need a rep, dude. I’ve got a million dollars.
Apostol: I told you he’d beat me in a stretching competition. Let’s just say yogi. These are too hard for me. I need full paragraphs.
Holmes: I’m not here to tell the Sole Survivor what to do. You do whatever your comfortable with.
Apostol: And then you’ll bend my words to make me look like an (expletive deleted).
Holmes: And to make me look awesome. Precisely. Let’s try Rachel.
Apostol: Aww…sweet, sweet angel.
Holmes: Before last night, people remembered Tyson for the blunder during “Heroes and Villains.” Now they’ll remember him as a champ. How are you going to respond when people bring up the “Heroes vs. Villains” incident from now on?
Apostol: (Laughs) I don’t know. I don’t really care. I’ll say “That was stupid.” I’ll just jump in my gold Ferrari, and it’s not going to go anywhere because it’s too heavy. I’ll just sit in it and be like “Suck it.”
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes