January 02, 2010 12:00 PM by Ryan Haidet
One of the least-featured contestants on Survivor: Samoa, T-shirt designer Brett Clouser bounced to center stage in the last few episodes when he dominated at the challenges.Â The last Galu member standing, Brett was able to make it to the final four, but lost the last Immunity Challenge to Russell, which sealed his fate as the final member of the jury.Â After the live reunion show, Brett talked with RealityTVMagazine‘s Ryan Haidet about his strategy, the bizarre question he asked Mick at the final Tribal Council, his reasons for voting for Natalie to win and discussed what it’s like dealing with fans.Â And yes ladies, this 23-year-old is single.
Read on to see an exclusive video from the red carpet with Brett.
Check out Ryan Haidetâ€™s interview with Brett on the red carpet:
RealityTVMagazine — Ryan Haidet:Â Talk about what it has been like dealing with fans.
Brett Clouser:Â It’s interesting.Â I think it’s to some capacity comical in the sense that people are like, “Oh you’re Brett from Survivor.”Â I played the character of myself so the person that I was in the show was myself.Â After the fact I’m like, “OK, well that’s still me.”Â But it’s just the fact that it’s me being viewed by millions of people.Â So it’s an interesting dynamic.Â I don’t necessarily buy into that, nor do I drive any value or worth in people on a large scale knowing me.
RTVMag:Â How are the ladies treating you now?
Brett:Â There are options I guess. …Â At this point in time with the show and my business and everything, things are pretty busy.Â So I don’t know if I’m necessarily in a position to seize a romantic relationship.
RTVMag:Â Now getting into the game, everybody from Galu was a huge fan of yours.Â How does that make you feel knowing if you would have won that last Immunity Challenge you would have won the game?
Brett:Â Bringing me back to that moment.Â Yeah, it’s bittersweet.Â I remember watching it tonight, and in my mind I replay that over and over again — that last challenge essentially for me for $1 million.Â And I knew going into it, the way I played the game I created strong social ties with most of the people on my tribe,Â I think minus probably one or two.Â So I knew I was in a great position there.Â So at a certain point in the game I’m like, “I’m doing this for you guys.”Â Unfortunately it didn’t work out in my favor, but so is life and you gotta kind of roll with the punches.
RTVMag:Â During your confessionals in which you were talking about Russell taking you to the end of the game, people in the live audience were laughing.Â Did you really think he was going to stick to his word?
Brett:Â No.Â If you looked at my mannerisms, it’s a face of disbelief, or lack of belief.Â Anything Russell said in terms of gameplay I knew he was BSing.Â I have a pretty good head on my shoulders and I knew what he would say to me and what his motive for saying that was.Â It was nothing I ever would’ve actually thought he would’ve taken part in.
RTVMag:Â Let’s talk about why you voted for Natalie to win the game.
Brett:Â I think the TV viewers are like, “Oh why didn’t people vote for Russell, the greatest strategic player ever?”Â I don’t know what they say, but that’s the way I think it was somewhat presented.Â He played an aggressive game and the strategy is easily identified to the television audience.Â Natalie’s strategy — similar to my own — not as easily identified to the television audience.
As you saw, you probably wouldn’t have expected my gameplay to have interacted with these other people.Â We played a very socially strategic game.Â Russell played a strategic game in other areas.Â Those areas of which were communicated to a mass audience, whereas Natalie and myself it’s a little bit harder to communicate those points.Â We all played the strategy that we thought would take us to the end, and ultimately that led to Natalie in the end.Â She was very relational, she actually engaged with people on a human level and in the context of the game that’s not necessary, but she actually did it.Â For that reason alone, beyond other reasons, I had to vote for her.
RTVMag:Â How did you get selected to be a contestant?
Brett:Â I quit my job to pursue a clothing company I’m working on.Â The shirt I’m wearing right now is one of those.Â I went to Las Vegas for a trade show and a few casting associates came across my path and they brought the idea upon.Â Then I ended up going through the whole interview process and applying, and all that stuff.
RTVMag:Â Were you a fan of the show before you got to play?
Brett:Â Yeah.Â I had been a huge fan earlier on.Â You know, Richard Hatch — commend the guy, good heart.Â Old school though, I think my favorite Survivor is Rudy.Â Just a good man and I loved the way he played the game.
RTVMag:Â We didn’t get to see much of your personality.Â What is something quirky about you that fans didn’t get to know?
Brett:Â I like to make people feel socially awkward.
RTVMag:Â Hence the question you asked Mick at the final Tribal.Â What was that all about?
Brett:Â Essentially I think that was an example of actually my personality coming to life as they showed it.Â Basically, it’s a very silly question.Â If you forgot, he asked Mick what they would do together on a bro-date. On a surface level it’s like, “Why did he say that?Â Was it for comedic purposes?Â Was it for strategic purpose?”Â It was a combination.Â Strategically, I wanted to say, “This is the way I played the game.Â These are the things I deem important — being able to be relational.”Â He chose to play a game where he was claiming to have integrity and to be kind of relational, so I wanted to validate that.Â …Â I wanted to see what registered within himself about me, because that’s really the only litmus test I had.Â I couldn’t really ask him about other people, it was just my own context.Â So I was like, “On a bro-date what would you do?”Â It was silly, but I wanted to see to what level at which he engaged me as a human being, because I felt like his strategy coincided with similarly to the way Natalie played — and myself.
RTVMag:Â So have you had your bro-date yet?
Brett:Â Sadly no.Â But we’re fine.Â Actually I’ve seen him.Â Good guy.Â We’ve got to have that bro-mance go on.Â You know.
RTVMag:Â What’s next in line for you?
Brett:Â I’m going to get some food.Â No I’m kidding.Â Sorry.Â Total failure.Â Next up for me, is I have a clothing company, which isn’t really next up.Â It was what I had been doing.Â The shirt I wore in the game was one of my own. …Â The name of our company is “The Monument Of Our Hearts.”Â The Web site is TMOOH.com.Â The gist of the company is a convergence between apparel and advocacy.Â Essentially using clothing as a means to promote healthy body image and self-esteem.Â What we want to do is kind of contest what people read in magazines, what people see on the runways. …Â I think our society has kind of created a very skewed perception of beauty, and unfortunately people have bought into that and tried to live through that.
You’ll see this shirt, from an external vantage point it’s an upside-down heart.Â But as you look down, it’s in proper perspective, and it’s right-side up.Â What that’s supposed to be is a reminder to not worry or define yourself by how people are going to perceive you.Â But rather define yourself internally, and to be the person that defines you rather than allowing things around you to define you.
Red carpet images by Ryan Haidet.Â All other images courtesy of CBS.
Check out Ryan Haidetâ€™s interview with Natalie on the red carpet:
Check out Ryan Haidetâ€™s interview with Russell on the red carpet:
Watch Ryan Haidet’s interview with Mick on the red carpet: