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Survivor: Nicaragua — Tyrone’s Torch Gets Snuffed

October 17, 2010 09:00 AM by Ryan Haidet

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Another original Espada tribe member has joined the ever-growing demise of the older contestants on Survivor: Nicaragua.  Tyrone Davis, a fire captain from Inglewood, California, became the latest person booted from the show after a twist brought a tribal swap mixing up Espada and La Flor.  In a conference call with reporters, Tyrone explains the way his character was portrayed on television, offers up his thoughts on former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson and discusses how he reacted to the twists in the game.

Question: What was your initial reaction to the tribal swap?

Tyrone Davis: My reaction was OK, new challenge.  This is gonna be interesting.  The kids are coming!  The kids are coming!  Maybe I had some self-conscious perceptions based on how we did on some of the challenges.  That was basically it.  I was like, OK.  We gotta do what we gotta do.  I quickly started sizing people up to see who was what, and who did well in the previous challenges. …

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Question: Was there relief that Marty was leaving the tribe and did you get the feeling this was your opportunity to take on that leadership role?

Tyrone: Not at all.  Total opposite.  I don’t feel that Marty had control of the tribe.  Maybe that’s what’s being portrayed on TV.  In my opinion, Marty didn’t have control of the tribe, and I didn’t ask for control of the tribe either.  I was kind of put in that position. …

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Question: Why do you think you became such a big target — especially after NaOnka said she was ready to leave?

Tyrone: I think I was a threat.  They were threatened by how strong of a player I was.  After seeing how it portrayed on TV, it was probably perceived that I thought I was the daddy or that I was dictating.  That’s not at all the case. …

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Question: Do you think you should have stayed quiet when you got back to camp after the tribal swap?

Tyrone:  No I don’t think I should have stayed quiet.  Of course there’s always the what ifs.  I mean, I could have said nothing, and there would have been some type of consequence to that as well.  But I think I played the role of the Wal-Mart greeter.  The kids came over, I said, “Hey welcome guys.  This is now the Espada-La Flor tribe.  We’re working together.”  Then I basically told them what we had been doing.  Then I asked them for their input. …  Basically what I was doing was try to welcome them over.  Just like if I welcome someone into my own home.  “Hey, if you need towels, they’re in this cabinet.  If you need more pillows or blankets, they’re over here.  Sugar is up in this cupboard.” …  It wasn’t a dictatorship as it appeared on television.

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Question: Were you surprised at how they singled you out for eating most of the chicken?

Tyrone: That was a little bit of a surprise to me. …  What happened there was I made sure everyone ate.  I ate after everyone else.  In fact, people started digging in and one person was off somewhere on a walk, and I waited until they came back.  It might have been a few minutes, but I made sure that they got there before I had any.  I didn’t take all the chicken that was left after that, I was just the last person to eat.  Other people came and had seconds and stuff.  I made sure everyone ate, and I got my share.  If you look at it again, what you saw Tyrone eating was bone.  Chicken bone.  Gristle.  Cartlidge.  If you look at it again.  You didn’t see me eating like Fred Flintstone a dinosaur leg.  That was just the presentation and perception.  Just like the whole thing where I’m giving a speech telling the kids what to do.  It wasn’t like that at all.  I was welcoming them.  Just like anyone would welcome anyone into a new environment. …

It was a difference in generations and styles.  Looking at the show it was evident that we had on the older tribe more structure, organization, coordination, and a little bit more loyalty — if you can even use that word in this game.  The kids were all about themselves, a little more chaotic and didn’t care about the things that mattered to the older tribe.

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Question: What was it like getting a pep talk from Jimmy Johnson?

Tyrone: It was just a pep talk.  It wasn’t that big.  That was probably the one time I did something just to play the game.  I’m very self-motivated and that doesn’t mean immune to being inspired by others.  Jimmy Johnson is great at what he did.  This is not the ball field.  This is a game.  You’re obviously a great, proven leader in your arena and I’m a good leader in my arena.  ‘Cause I lead people, too.  He leads people to win millions of dollars in football championships.  I lead people in a situation where they could live or die.  We go into burning buildings.  That pep talk was whatever.  It was cute. …

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Question: What about that challenge when Jimmy T. said you wouldn’t drop out and let somebody else compete?

Tyrone: I didn’t really have a problem coming out. …  We made a plan.  We talked about it, and said this is what we are going to do.  That’s fine, but the way Jimmy T. went about it wasn’t an annoyance, he was a hindrance.  He was like a heckler on my own team.  I actually had to tell him to shut up.  The last barrel was the furthest away, of course it’s easy to say you would have nailed ‘em all if you would have did it. …

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