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Survivor: Palau’s Coby Archa Opens His Own Salon

September 09, 2011 09:00 AM by Ryan Haidet

Coby Archa became the first member of the jury on Survivor: Palau (season 10) back in 2005 when he lost the first individual challenge.  Since he competed on the show all those years ago, Coby has made several career moves in the hairdressing industry.  Shortly after the show was over, Coby moved to California, but now he’s back in Texas with his very own salon.  I recently had the chance to catch up with Coby through an e-mail conversation where he revealed a lot about his own salon.  Plus, he dished his thoughts on Jeff Probst’s style and offered some details on the celebs he’s worked with throughout the years.  Who does he thinks has the worst hair on television?  Which previous castaway did Coby say sometimes looks like a pedophile based on their hair?  Read on for the full exclusive interview!

Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine:  Tell us a bit about the Coby Archa Salon. When did it open?  Where is it located?

Coby Archa:  We opened right before Christmas of last year. It was just me and a few friends.  We started to look into it and thought if it is meant to be, it will be.  It is located in Tyler, Texas (and) after a long haul in California I am back home in the lone star state. And no, not everyone in Texas has big hair.

RealityTVMagazine:  How long has it taken you to reach this point?

Coby Archa:  I have done hair for 18 years, so being on TV didn’t make this happen overnight.  I think that is the only frustrating thing about reality TV — people assume any success is due to your TV fame, not 18 years of hard work.  The only thing the fame got me, is you can Google me and find pics of me in my underwear.

RealityTVMagazine:  What has the response been like?  Do people coming into the salon recognize you from Survivor?

Coby Archa:  Yes they do just walk in and that can be a bit awkward, I must admit, so if anybody wants to make an appointment to just meet and talk, do it that way.  I love when children ask me questions about it though, and they get excited.  That is very sweet.  I HATE talking about Survivor to people who have never watched the show.  If you don’t get the game, you don’t get me, so don’t ask me about it.  People don’t get that this REAL experience for us is not JUST a TV show.  I have had the awesome chance to meet some amazing people like a young woman named Felicia.  She is special needs and the biggest fan.  I sat with her for hours talking about the show, swapping stories.  If it wasn’t for the salon with my name on it, she never would have found me.  Moments like that are amazing.

RealityTVMagazine:  Have you had any past Survivor contestants come in as patrons?

Coby Archa:  Not many of my Survivor friends get to Tyler, Texas.  Though Jake from Thailand does live here, too.  I got more of them in California.  I, of course, did Jenn Lyon’s hair till the day she passed.  She flew anywhere for me to do her hair.  Jenna Morasca keeps threatening to show up and have me make her blonde, but Ethan and I don’t think that would be the best look for her.

RealityTVMagazine:  Who would you most like to see come into your salon as a patron?  If you could give a makeover to anybody, who would it be?

Coby Archa:  Out of Survivors, it would be Johnny Fairplay.  He has such great hair, but sometimes he lets it get too long and stringy — then he looks like a pedophile.  I like it better short, full and BLOND.  Besides, I am sure his nasty self needs a good, hard shampoo.

RealityTVMagazine:  What is a typical day like at the salon?

Coby Archa:  You know, since I have done this before I have learned to pace myself.  I do love my job, so I can work myself to death if I let myself.  My daughter helps with that.  A great day at work isn’t as great as time with her.

RealityTVMagazine:  Who has the worst hair on television?

Coby Archa:  If you asked me this question two years ago it would have been Britney Spears, but now it is Christina Aguilera!!!  Her hair on The Voice was the ugliest mess I have ever seen.  She looked like a drag queen version of herself.  Brit still looks a little crazy with those bad extensions, but ‘Tina’s weave takes the cake.  I keep thinking if I was younger I would make a drinking game out of it — take a shot every time Christina’s bangs look crimped!

RealityTVMagazine:  What would you do to change Jeff Probst’s style/look/hair?

Coby Archa:  I like Jeff’s hair, though I do think he is dyeing it a bit dark these days.  Lol.  Once you get a certain age — male or female — that dark, fake color can be a bit harsh.  Sorry Jeff, but it is true.

RealityTVMagazine:  What is your take on the way Survivor has evolved since you played it?  Do you like Redemption Island?  Do you like seeing so many returning players?

Coby Archa:  To remind you, my season was the last season to not have the hidden Immunity Idol.  Much less all these extra islands and twists.  I like the idea of an Idol or two, but to re-hide it and give it back  three or four times out in one season is a bit much for me.  I do like returning players, but as a hardcore fan, give me a Christy from Amazon, Kelly from Borneo, Brandon from Africa.  I want to see old players that have changed and I miss, not people that have played five times each.

RealityTVMagazine:  Would you like to return to the game again?  What would you do differently?

Coby Archa:  OF COURSE I WOULD!!!!  We all would.  Even the people who quit all say they would do it again.  The main thing I would do differently is play for a million dollars.  I didn’t have a daughter to take care of the first time I played, and believe it or not, kind of lost track of what the actual prize was.  Lol.  I thought I had already won just to be cast.

RealityTVMagazine:  What else has been happening in your world since Survivor?

Coby Archa:  I did go work for Kim Vo in California for a few years.  Got to do a few famous peoples’ hair from Molly Shannon to Bethany Frankel (and) found out Bob Saget is a douche.  I quickly discovered that working in Beverly Hills wasn’t for me.  After a few women grab the brush out of your hand and tell you that you are stupid, it can be quick to be done with that lifestyle.  I did learn a lot, but they can all kiss my ass and follow me to Texas.

Coby’s salon is by appointment only.  You can reach them by sending an e-mail to CobyArchaSalon@yahoo.com.

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Photos submitted by Coby Archa.

Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor |

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