April 09, 2010 05:20 PM by Ryan Haidet
It was an interesting journey for the good ol’ Dragonslayer on Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains.Â Benjamin “Coach” Wade developed a love interest with Survivor‘s first female Villain — Jerri Manthey.Â But that’s not all that happened to Coach, who was the latest contestant voted off the island.Â In a conference call with reporters, Coach explained his emotional moment with Tyson, discussed how he was affected by his portrayal last season and described the motivation (trust me — it’s wild) behind all of those numbers he was putting on his votes at Tribal Council.Â Coach, sad to see you go.Â You truly are a one-of-a-kind Survivor contestant.Â At least you’re a member of the jury.
Question: What was the deal with you and Jerri?Â Was there really a budding romance there?
Benjamin “Coach” Wade: It made us a target early in the beginning.Â Tyson and Boston Rob and a bunch of other people come up to me and said, “You’re putting a target on your back.”Â One of the worst things you can do is go out here and have an open-quote relationship with somebody because people are going to want to break that up.Â So Jerri and I agreed early on that we’re just gonna downplay it and not really talk to each other that much.
It’s kind of like what Tyson and I did.Â You didn’t see Tyson and I having a lot of bonding time just because we didn’t want to have that obvious target on our back.
Question: So what about now outside of the game?Â Are you and Jerri an item?
Coach: We’re not an item, but I haven’t seen her.Â I’m looking forward to seeing her at the finale.Â She’s a great woman.Â A lot of character.Â A lot of spunk.Â A lot of independence.Â She’s cool.Â I’m looking forward to seeing her; we can’t see each other until the finale.Â But it looks like that’s coming up in another month, so we’ll see what happens.
Question: How frustrated were you with Jerri regarding the vote against Boston Rob?
Coach: She broke my heart.Â One thing that you’ve got to remember is that when you’re out there every day you talk about who you’d vote out next.Â Every day.Â You don’t know if you’re going to go to Tribal or not.Â You don’t know if you’re going to have an Immunity challenge, and you talk about it every day.Â We had made every decision together. …Â I don’t know what Russell did to her.Â It really saddened me, because I thought we were a team.Â When she did that, it also sealed Rob’s fate.
Question: Last week when we interviewed Boston Rob, he said you didn’t live up to your word when you voted for Courtney.Â He said you were still a liar because you had promised to vote against Russell, which you didn’t do.Â How do you respond to that?
Coach: He called me a liar?Â Man, the gloves are off.Â Let me tell you about the real Boston Rob.Â No — I’m just kidding.Â I could tell you about the real Boston Rob, but I’m not going to.Â I think it’s sad that he said that.Â When Jerri voted out, I had been fighting for him all day.Â It really bothered me.Â (Here Coach tossed out a weird quote from Jacinto Benavent).Â “You meet the warrior when in battle, but it’s not until victory that you meet the gentleman.”Â I’ve always said that there’s honor in defeat more than there’s honor in victory.Â You see the true character of somebody when they’re in defeat.Â For Boston Rob to say that unfortunately shows that he’s not necessarily a gentleman outside of the game.
I don’t have anything bad to say about him.Â I can see why he thought that, but it would’ve been foolish for me to tie up the votes and cast rocks and have myself voted out.Â In addition, put your ego aside, stop acting like the man, lose your hard-on for Russell and get into an alliance.Â Look at what is the ability of all great Survivors — to adapt strategically when a curve ball is thrown.Â Rob didn’t do that.Â Neither did I.Â I’m the worst strategic player that’s ever played.Â But he didn’t adjust and he let his ego get in the way. …
Unfortunately Rob slit his own throat because what should’ve happened is we should have got rid of Courtney.Â Then we wouldn’t have kept losing challenges.
Question: Last season we saw Russell had revealed secrets regarding his independent wealth.Â Did he reveal anything to you guys like that or how far he made it in the previous season?
Coach: He alluded to some things, but he was trying to be very cryptic about things obviously.Â Which I think is good.Â He’s definitely somebody that is a force to be reckoned with, and whether he tells you that he’s got a million dollars or not, it doesn’t really matter.Â He was being very careful not to spill the beans about what happened in his season because we hadn’t seen it yet.Â We were all questioning him, and he was pretty good about not saying anything to anybody.Â I think he was just kind of hiding within a cloak of mystery for most of the time.
Question: In past editions with returning players we’ve seen a strategy to target all of the $1 million winners.Â We haven’t seen that at all this season.Â With several millionaires still left in the game, did you guys even consider that in your strategy?
Coach: That’s a good question.Â There was so many of them.Â If you include Rupert winning the fan favorite.Â You’ve got Sandra and Parvati.Â We didn’t know about Russell, how far he went.Â You look at Rob essentially winning the million dollars because his wife did.Â There was just too many of them.Â I think if there was just maybe one on each tribe it would’ve been easier.Â We did talk about it.Â It did come up in conversation.Â I think that it was something that was in the back of everybody’s mind, but sometimes there’s bigger fish to fry.
Question: Had you made it to the merge do you think you would have made an alliance with JT?
Coach: I think that if I made it to the merge I think you’d see me there on the final day.Â I think that if they would have put me on the Heroes tribe, I think you would’ve seen me on the final day.Â I had so many people on that side, even in the very beginning, that I felt like I could play with because my gameplay would parallel theirs.Â Did I think JT?Â Yes.Â Did I think Rupert?Â Yes.Â Did I think Colby?Â Yes.Â Did I think earlier than that, Tom?Â Yes.Â Did I think Stephenie?Â Yes.Â Those are the kind of people that I wanted to play the game with.Â I’ve gotta tell you honestly when I got out there the first day and saw what tribe I was on, I was like “Holy crap.Â I might get off first.Â They might vote me off first.”Â It was definitely tough.Â I think it was an uphill battle from the very beginning.
Question: What was going on in the moment where you broke down emotionally with Tyson.
Coach: That was a pretty tough moment for me.Â It’s tough to relive now, too. …Â When I got done with my season in Tocantins, obviously a lot happened.Â I lost my job. …Â My reputation took a beating.Â My parents and I were not getting along.Â They didn’t come to the finale and they didn’t support the show.Â They didn’t support me doing it again.Â So I’m trying to come to terms with all that and then all of a sudden, here I am.Â I’m off on another one.
Just going to Tribal Council and having Jeff roll his eyes and smirk at me and say, “Coach, it looks like you’re going to be doing the same thing you did last time — a failed leader.”Â And for Sandra to say that kind of stuff, it just hit me.Â I hadn’t grieved for everything that I had lost in that previous season.Â I can never take that back.Â There’s more than a million hits on those Web sites that say that I’m a liar.Â I can never really undo that damage.Â It’s permanent damage that the media has done to me.Â It just hit me all of a sudden.Â All that I was trying to do out there was chilvarousness. …
I didn’t grieve for the first season.Â I also, no matter how hard I tried, I figured I was going to be painted as the same jackass I was on the first show.Â I was trying so hard to change that.Â It just kind of hit me and I got really really angry.Â You didn’t see that part.Â Then I got really really sad.Â It just broke my heart that all I’ve ever done is go out there and try to do good.
Question: What was the deal with all of the numbers you were writing on each of your ballots at Tribal Council?
Coach: I came into the game with a lot of different combinations that I could have the numbers work in my favor.Â So I have all these different combinations, and I totally wanted to have it be like three different meanings.Â The obvious meaning is that I wanted to spell out “Dragonslayer.”Â The “D” stood for “4″ and “A” stands for “1.”Â So I started spelling out “Dragonslayer.”Â That was the first thing.
But it gets a little bit more complex than that.Â I’m sure you’ve heard of gematria (huh?) where you take numbers adding and subtracting.Â The movie with Jim Carrey in it, “The Number 23″, was kind of famous for that.Â So if you look at the numbers that I wrote down, you’ve got 4 minus 1 plus 8, that equals 9.Â Minus 1 plus 1 equals 2, minus 7.Â That comes up with the numbers 4, 9, 2, 7.Â Genesis 49:27 — “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; the morning he destroys the prey and in the evening divides his plunder.”Â That’s the second meaning.
The third meaning was I tried to group the numbers as I went along the way to the wisest of the wise.Â I love quoting philosophers, so King Solomon for me writing proverbs is the most famous wise king.Â So I grouped it in pairs.Â The first one was Proverbs 4:18.Â The second one was Proverbs 1:7.Â I meant to do that through the whole course.Â Pair them up like this.Â If you read 4:18 you’ll see that it talks about the righteous man, and it talks about shining as a bright star.Â It talks about the righteous man leading out to the end.Â I had all those hopefully that I could have the whole game.
Images courtesy of CBS.