October 02, 2009 02:23 PM by Ryan Haidet
He’s not the most well-liked Survivor contestant ever, but one thing to say about Ben Browning is that he’s entirely honest.Â Like it or not, Ben says exactly what’s on his mind without any filter.Â And that was a huge factor in his elimination last night on Survivor: Samoa.Â In a conference call with reporters, Ben revealed his strategy in the game, discussed the confrontation with Yasmin and said he wants Russell H. to win the whole game.
Racist Or Not?
Many viewers have labeled Ben a racist after the remarks he made toward Yasmin.Â At Tribal Council when Betsy was voted out, Ben called Yasmin “ghetto trash,” which really rubbed people the wrong way.Â “What you didn’t see was me asking Jaison the question — ‘If somebody’s from the ghetto with poor grammar and they’re white and I call them ghetto trash, does that make me a racist?’”Â Ben said that it had nothing to do with race, but everything to do with how she acted when she visited the Foa Foa camp.Â “How would you feel if someone came into your house and started like screaming at you and yelling at you?Â Would you just sit back and say, ‘I’m just going to let this person try to verbally abuse me.’Â Or would you stand up for yourself?”
He still says he doesn’t feel like he acted out of line.Â “I’m not upset, I mean my family and friends know who I am,” he continued.Â “If people want to label me, that’s their prerogative.Â You can’t really control what other people do.Â I really feel that I took care of the girls on my tribe a lot more than what they’re showing.Â Every day I went and got food for them, water for them.Â I gave them my clothes to sleep in, ’cause they were cold.Â I just tried to make their lives a little more comfortable.Â They just show a lot of the drama on TV.Â If people want to judge me on a little snippet they see on a reality show, then that’s their downfall.Â Not mine.”
And he holds that he is certainly not a racist.Â “Anybody that knows me — my family, my friends — they know I’m not.Â People can think what they want to think.Â Anything can be misinterpreted.Â They didn’t show a lot of the stuff.Â Like I did ask Jaison, ‘If it was a racial comment, then if there was white, would it make any difference.’Â He didn’t know how to answer.”
Conflict With Marisa
Ben, who was recruited by a producer who spotted him walking along the boardwalk in Venice Beach, says his differences with Marisa started before the game.Â “We were all in the airport and she was kind of making eyes at me and I kind of scoffed at the idea.Â And I actually verbally did that and she was kind of offended.Â And I think from the get-go she was trying to like play up to me — and it just didn’t work right off the bat.Â I was not attracted to her, and then after that she was just on this full-on mission to try and make my life miserable.Â But it didn’t fare too well for her.Â She made a few comments to me that weren’t on camera that kind of ended up biting her in the ass.”
Thoughts Of Probst
In our interview with Marisa, she was very clear that she didn’t like Ben.Â But when it comes to Jeff Probst, Ben says there is nothing but love there.Â “Jeff Probst did not hate me.Â I actually like Jeff Probst.Â He’d be somebody I’d definitely want to go have a beer with.Â He’s just a direct guy who calls people on their bullshit a lot like I do.Â I’ve got lots of respect for Probst.Â He did kind of single me out in that challenge, but I have no problem with Jeff Probst.Â He’s a cool cat.”
And Ben is saying viewers were the victims of editing when he was tossed out of the physical challenge for tripping Russell S.Â He said that Probst’s warning regarding the physicality actually came after he was pulled from the challenge.
Friends & Enemies
Believe it or not, Ben says that he isn’t mad at anybody — but that doesn’t mean he’s ever going to talk to them again.Â “I have no ill will toward anybody on the show.Â I don’t talk to Jaison.Â I don’t have his contact information.Â I wouldn’t contact him any way.Â I mean, he’s not somebody I would befriend.”
After watching the first few episodes, Ben said that he believes Russell H. deserves to win the game more than anybody else.Â “I wouldn’t want to see Ashley win.Â I wouldn’t want to see Mick win.Â I wouldn’t want to see Jaison win.Â Anybody else — cool.”
He Made Camp Easy
“I pretty much gathered all the food and pretty much made camp livable for everybody for the time I was there,” Ben said.Â “Minus the social drama, I was definitely the one that was making things happen.Â I was the one that got all the fires started.Â I got all the food.Â I caught a chicken.Â I caught all kinds of stuff they didn’t show.”
But we didn’t really see much of that on the show.Â Instead, we saw him play out his strategy.Â “My strategy was to be very direct with people.Â Obviously, the candy asses that I was out there with weren’t very receptive with being told what to do or how to do it.Â I was just very brutally honest with people.Â I think a lot of people can’t take that.Â They’re so used to people putting on a facade and being somebody that they’re not.Â I was just very forward and direct and blunt.”
Images courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS.