May 24, 2010 12:00 PM by Ryan Haidet
When Colby Donaldson first tackled the game of Survivor back in season two, he dominated the challenges and quickly became America’s favorite player. When his third attempt to play the game arrived in Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains, Colby was a very different player. He seemed miserable to be on the shores of Samoa, performed poorly in challenges and didn’t show any strategy. In an exclusive interview, Colby talked with me on the red carpet immediately following the live reunion show in New York City where he labeled this season of Survivor one of the worst experiences of his life.
Read on to see an exclusive video from the red carpet with Colby.
Check out Ryan Haidet’s interview with Colby:
Ryan Haidet — RealityTVMagazine: This was your third outing on Survivor, and it was a whole different experience. What has been the reaction from fans that you’ve run into on the street?
Colby Donaldson: Not much, actually, to be honest with you. I don’t know, they’re all a little surprised just how bad I was performing. I didn’t have a good season. It was just a rough, rough season for me.
RTVMag: You talked about the lack of adventure during the reunion show, did that really change your game that much? It took your mind out of the game?
Colby: No, that was just in response to the fact that I didn’t have any fun. Because if things aren’t going well in the game, at least you can salvage a good time. Like in All-Stars, that was the case. My tribe wasn’t doing well, I wasn’t doing well, I exited early, but I could look back on that season and remember a lot of fun times. Maybe I’m the idiot for going back and playing a game like this. It was probably the single-worst experience of my life, to be honest.
RTVMag: Was it accurate? Did we see the true Colby?
Colby: Did you see the true Colby? Yeah. I don’t think the show’s accurate.
RTVMag: Anything in particular that you think was misrepresented that you can talk about?
Colby: No, but the producers know. I called Probst and he went back and checked the tapes, saw the actual footage that wasn’t shown. … Look, I’ve played the game three times. I’ve never once ever accused the show of a bad edit, and it’s not me, it’s not something I said or didn’t say or anything like that. The viewer doesn’t always get the full picture, and it’s unfortunate, but it’s a casualty of so much being shot and there are only 42 minutes to put together an episode. He (Colby points to Russell) gets all the air time. There’s just a lot of people that just didn’t get a great representation — again not me, but just other people. There was stuff that I saw go on that I would’ve loved for the fans to have seen. Just a lot of — I don’t even know what I’m saying, bro. Whatever.
RTVMag: What is your take on Russell today?
Colby: He’s an idiot. Just as a person. I think he plays a great strategic game and knows how to get to the end. He’ll never win. He’s just an arrogant idiot.
RTVMag: You’re the original hero, how hard was it for you to decide to come back? Was it an instant decision?
Colby: Great question. It was a real struggle to commit to it the second time I played. I didn’t want to go back. This time I was excited, I really, really was. So that’s why it was so disappointing to get over there and have such a bad experience. Because this one I truly, truly looked forward to. I trained for it, I prepared, I could not have been more ready to play this game. I was wholly disappointed.
RTVMag: Would you play again?
Colby: I don’t know. I mean, I said no after the All-Stars and clearly I was lying — I came back and did it again. I don’t know. I don’t see it happening again. I don’t need it. And because my experience was so bad this time, why would I want to go back and do that?
RTVMag: We’ve seen you on Rachel Ray’s show, where will we be seeing you next?
Colby: Got a new show coming out on the History Channel, June 6 called “Top Shot” that I host. We just finished filming it a couple weeks ago. We’ve seen the first two-and-a-half episodes, it’s fantastic and I’m very excited about that.
Red carpet image by Ryan Haidet. All other images courtesy of CBS.
Previous Finale Coverage
Interview with winner Sandra Diaz-Twine:
Interview with second-place finisher Parvati Shallow:
Interview with third-place finisher Russell Hantz:
Interview with fourth-place finisher Jerri Manthey: