April 17, 2009 02:36 PM by Ryan Haidet
Out in the Brazilian Highlands, a Dragonslayer was on the hunt and he found his prey. Coach, who gave himself the aforementioned nickname, executed his plan and booted Brendan Synnott from Survivor: Tocantins. In a conference call with reporters, Brendan discussed his relationship with Coach, what Exile is really like and how his success in the business world affected his time in the game. Plus, this self-made multimillionaire has a new burrito business that’s offering something special — at least for a little while.
A Victim Of ‘The Dragonslayer’
“I am so proud to be part of one of the better nicknames, I think in Survivor history and part of Coach’s master plan,” Brendan said. “Even though it wasn’t his plan, it was Tyson that really got voted off. … Coach takes all the credit for everything no matter what. … It wasn’t Coach that did it — it was Tyson. I think Coach likes to think that he’s orchestrating everything, but he’s not.”
And during the Tribal Council in which he was ousted, Brendan openly admitted he had found the hidden Immunity Idol. “I think one of the things that put a target on my back was the fact I had been to Exile so often.” He said that’s why he admitted he had possession of it.
But the tiny Idol did him no good because he didn’t play it. “I didn’t think I needed it,” the 30-year-old from Vail, Colorado, said. “I thought that my alliance with Taj and with Stephen was good. I thought it was a really fun thing to be a part of that really changed the dynamic of how Survivor was played in terms of having people that were on Exile together form an alliance. Everybody seemed pretty into it and I thought it was good. If I didn’t think it was good, I would’ve played it.”
And even though he was blindsided and betrayed, Brendan says there is no hard feelings. “I don’t really take any of the stuff that happened too personally. We all entered into a game that has no rules and that you have to lie and cheat in order to win no matter what people say. I don’t hold it against really anybody. I just hope the person that plays with the best strategy and has the best game ends up winning this thing.”
Brendan, who was recruited to be on the show, didn’t hold back his true feelings on the player everybody can’t seem to stop talking about — Coach. “I think Coach is a very nice guy, I think he’s a very smart guy. I think that he reads a lot of fiction and a lot of fantasy. And I think he’s lost the ability to tell the difference between what he reads and what he does in his life — and he’s created a new reality for himself. But in the end of the day, Coach is a nice guy and he’s totally harmless. He’s not malicious. He doesn’t really go after people. He just lives in his own world. I kind of feel grateful for experiencing it, it was like nothing I’d ever seen before.”
And he even though there were issues with Coach that he didn’t particularly like, Brendan still seemed to enjoy his company. “I actually didn’t have a lot of antagonistic feelings. I didn’t necessarily like how he treated some of the women on the show. I didn’t think that was real cool. But I also didn’t like how he would talk a big game and then not step up either around camp or in the challenges. Other than that, I thought Coach was overall pretty amusing. I didn’t have any hatred for the guy, I just thought he was like living in his own world.”
Some might argue that Coach’s portrayal is exaggerated, but Brendan says that’s definitely not the case. “This is an accurate portrayal. Coach is also a good listener, he’s genuinely interested in other people, but overall, that’s Coach. Nobody was forcing him to say any of that stuff and he was happy talking about it.”
Who can forget the story Coach dished out as the Forza tribe sat around the fire? In case you missed it, Coach claimed he had been tied up and beaten by people of the Amazon. Brendan said there was so much more to that tale, though. “The story that they showed last night of him being in the Amazon, they skipped the part of him being force-fed pig’s blood and having pig flesh stuffed into different parts of his body. And the witch doctor coming around dancing in front of him. The story went on and on and on.”
In a confessional, Brendan said he didn’t really believe Coach’s stories. And even now, Brendan seems unsure. “Once he’s done with the show, he could come out and prove everything he said on there and I could look like an idiot. Who knows. My general sense of it is he just enjoys the art of storytelling and makes himself the main character in it for the most part.”
But over at Exile Island, there were no entertaining stories filling Brendan’s time. “We had no shelter, we didn’t have very much food at all. It was difficult to make fire, you couldn’t make water very easily. And for me, I was on Exile for nine out of the first 12 days. So the bulk of my time I spent with the other tribe and on Exile. I became pretty familiar with the place. … The worst time was when I was on Exile with Stephen and we couldn’t get the fire started because it was raining all day and we had to spoon all night. As long as it didn’t rain all night, the place was OK. But if it started raining, you were just screwed.”
Successful Business Not A Big Deal
Many have heard that Brendan made millions of dollars after selling a granola company he formed in his 20s. But how did he keep his monetary success secret? Well, he couldn’t. “It got leaked prior to me going into the game that I was going potentially be on the show, so people kind of knew. What was amazing is I thought it might have been a bigger deal than it was in the fact that it didn’t really impact the game. Once you actually get into it, people forget about what happened outside of it and it’s really just about who you are in the game.”
But that didn’t stop the topic from coming up. “It was discussed. People talked about it and when people asked me, I was honest about it. I told them I started a company, and I sold it. But it was never that big of a dialogue.”
A Burrito Promise
And like a true businessman, Brendan pitched his latest deal. “I started a burrito company — it’s called Evol Burritos and we’re doing a big offer. We’re giving away 50,000 burritos. The offer is good as long as this season goes on or until Coach gets voted off. It’s kind of my last ode to Coach.” To get the free burrito, you simply need to go to the company’s site and sign up for a coupon. That coupon, which will be e-mailed to you once the company launches this fall, can be used for one free burrito.
Images courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS.
And in case you missed it, you can watch a video containing images of what took place in the first 15 days (Courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS).
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