March 23, 2012 08:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
Colton Cumbie will definitely go down as one of the nastiest villains the game of Survivor has ever seen. His time on Survivor: One World was filled with hurtful words, his actions were embarrassing and he was simply rude. In his exit interview with reporters, Colton revealed a lot of details about his strategy that we didn’t see on the show. For example, he said his closest ally was Jay the entire game and he actually wanted to give his Idol to him. But when he was told the Idol had to be given to somebody on his current tribe, Colton decided to keep it. He also discussed his game-ending medical emergency by revealing he actually didn’t have appendicitis like they had thought. He was sick from a bacterial infection. One other thing, whether you love him or hate him, Colton wants to come back and play again. Does he regret anything? How does he think he could have won the whole game despite his nasty comments? This is a wild ride of an interview, so sit back, relax and enjoy!
Question: What is it like watching yourself on television when you are saying mean things to other people?
Colton Cumbie: Obviously watching some of the certain parts in episode four, I was uncomfortable watching that. Obviously I don’t wanna be seen as someone who would treat people that way. As far as dealing with it, in my personal life, there haven’t really been that many people — actually there haven’t been any people who have just like attacked me. I kind of feel like when people want to go on the attack they kind of take to the Internet because you can kind of hide behind a screen name and a Twitter account. People who have met me in life, I me, I’m recognized all the time. If people don’t recognize me just from looking at me, as soon as I open my mouth they’re like, “I know that voice.” There have been people who are admittedly not fans of mine and have said things like, “We thought you were the most deplorable person on planet Earth.” Then they actually get to talking to me and I take pictures with their kids and this, that and the other. And they’re like, “You’re really not like you are on television.” I’m like, “Well of course not, because it’s just that — television.” We’re totally different people in the real world than you see on television, in some cases.
Question: Can you explain your decision to keep the Immunity Idol?
Colton Cumbie: I actually was going to give the Immunity Idol away had I been able to give it to who I wanted to give it to. Jay was my closest ally in the entire game. We were like super close. I actually wanted to give the Idol to him. If you saw in the episode I asked Jeff, “Can I give it to someone?” and he said, “That’s up to you.” I said, “OK, I want to give it to Jay.” Then I was informed you have to give it to someone on Manono. Due to Jay and I’s relationship, I didn’t want to do anything that would potentially screw up his game. As much as I appreciated what all the people on Manono had done for me as far as following me around, I didn’t want it to come back and hurt Jay’s game in the end. That’s why I opted to keep it. Plus, I’m a villain. Of course I have to do something selfish. … Jay was the person I was the closest to and you never saw me have a single conversation with him the entire time.
Question: Would you have been happier to be blindsided than to be medically evacuated?
Colton Cumbie: I feel like I don’t have closure in my game. I feel like had they all grown brains and said, “Let’s get rid of Colton and the Idol. Let’s blindside him,” I would have been like, “Props to them. They got me.” But they didn’t get me. I got taken out by something that was totally out of my control, their control, everyone’s control. That’s what’s so disheartening about it, the way in which I went out. I didn’t get blindsided. I kind of feel like I was in the middle of writing my Survivor story and then I just ran out of ink and kind of left there to dangle in the wind.
Question: How is your appendix now?
Colton Cumbie: I actually didn’t have appendicitis. I had a severe bacterial infection. The lining of my intestines, my stomach, it was all really inflamed, which is what was causing the headaches, the pain, the fever. It all kind of mimmicked symptoms of appendicitis. I was sick and vomiting and couldn’t hold anything down. I actually was flown to a hospital. They treated me with a round of antibiotics. Then I got back to the U.S. and I still had some infection, so I had to do another round of antibiotics. It was just this long drawn-out ordeal. It was awful.
Question: Are you all better?
Colton Cumbie: I am. I’m all better. I’m fat again (laughs).
Question: If you had made it to the merge, what was the plan you had in place?
Colton Cumbie: I had it all planned out. … Going into the merge I was planning on getting rid of Chelsea immediately because I knew about her and Kim’s relationship. I knew they were close and I wanted to cut off Kim’s right arm because I wanted Kim to have to come with me and kind of go along with whatever I wanted. My ideal final four was gonna be Jay, Troy, Kim and I. I knew there was no way in hell I was gonna win the final Immunity challenge. So if Kim won it, I was gonna get rid of Troy. If Troy won it, I was gonna get rid of Kim. If Jay won it, get rid of Kim. Sitting in the final three I was basically just going to make the argument, “Look, I was the most underestimated player in this entire game. None of you thought I would get here. I literally had to claw, scratch and fight my way to the end.” I think I would have had a valid case. We’ll never know.
Question: In this social game, how on Earth can you win after treating some of your tribemates so badly like they way you acted toward Christina?
Colton Cumbie: First of all, the Christina thing, I had already apologized. Whenever I got sick that night and I was like laying my head in her lap, I apologized to her. I was like, “I’m really sorry that I was mean to you.” She was like, “You’re fine, sweetheart. I know we say things sometimes that we don’t mean.” I really was genuinely sorry for the way I treated her. Then when I got sick at the last part, I told her, I was like, “I’m really sorry.” And I honestly did consider giving her the Idol, but then I was like, “This poor child. She would not know what to do with this. She’ll think it’s a necklace.” So I refrained from giving it to her. Even like Michael and I had a confrontation, and he came up to me and he apologized to me. … He was like, “If you get to the end, I swear to you I will vote for you, because anybody who has run shit like you have deserves to win.” I think that was kind of the all-around thought process. “Who cares how this kid gets to the end, he got there when we all should have gotten rid of him. But we didn’t.”
Question: If Jonas were on the jury, he seemed to worship you, his vote probably would have been yours.
Colton Cumbie: Tarzan would have voted for me. Jay would have voted for me. Troy would have voted for me. Kim would have voted for me. I can think of just five people off the top of my head that I know would have had those votes locked no matter what.
Question: Do you like being this season’s villain?
Colton Cumbie: It’s kind of one of those things, you might as well just embrace it. It is what it is. Yeah, I’ll own my title. I’ll wear my crown with pride (laughs).
Question: Going into the game were you playing up your character on purpose to be the biggest villain or did you really want to win?
Colton Cumbie: I wanted to win. Right before we went into the game, Jeff Probst asked me, “Colton, do you think you can win?” I said, “Jeff, if I didn’t think I could win, I wouldn’t be here.” I don’t sign up for anything unless I think I can win, whether it be a board game or a potato-sack race. I hate to lose. I went in kind of assuming that I would be a villain simply because I knew how I wanted to play. But I didn’t really care about being the villain. The things I said to the camera, there was obviously underlying humor to the majority of the things I said. There really were some cruel things that I wish I could take back or change. For the most part, the Republican comment, the Helen Keller comment, “Knock that Munchin back to Oz,” that was all supposed to be funny.
Question: Do you have any specific regrets regarding things you said/did on the show?
Colton Cumbie: I regret the way I handled the Bill situation. The only issue I had with Bill was he was kind of obnoxious and loud. I just didn’t think his jokes were funny. I’m not here to belittle him, I just had a problem with the fact I felt like he was gonna get to the end, use his financial status as a means of saying, “I deserve to win because I need this money.” If I were sitting on the jury, you’ve got Tarzan who’s a plastic surgeon, you’ve got Troyzan who’s a world-renowned photographer and you’ve got Bill who’s sitting there saying, “I really need this money.” Obviously you’re gonna give it to him because that’s just human nature. That’s kind of what I had a problem with. I took it to a level it never should have gone to. I regret my remarks to him, Christina and Leif, but at the end of the day I’m also kind of glad that I said it because I got to see myself through other people’s eyes. I get to grow as a person because of saying those things. Otherwise, had it not been for Survivor and me saying those things, I probably would have just went through life thinking all of this is OK.
Question: Some people say you went into this season actually playing for a future season. Would you say it’s true that you created this character to be remembered well enough just so you could be brought back to play again?
Colton Cumbie: I went into it to win this season. … I find it hard to believe anyone would go into the situation to be brought back. Honestly, if you’re gonna win your best chance of winning is gonna be your first time around. Obviously I showed my entire hand, not even just a few cards. I laid down my whole hand and was like this is what I have. For people to say, “he just wanted to be brought back,” I think that’s stupid. Why wouldn’t I have wanted to do the best I could this time? Obviously, for obvious reasons, I didn’t get to finish my story. So I hope I get to go back for another season. …
Question: How is it you were able to have so much control and nobody seemed to question it? Why do you think you got away with that?
Colton Cumbie: This is gonna sound very pompous and arrogant, but I don’t really know how else to put it other than I can’t stress enough, like, I can be a very charming person. I know when you watch me on television you think I’m evil and you want to stab me in the face (laughs). I really can charm people. I know how to get people on my side. You saw me do it to every single one of these people. I just know how to do it. It was a gift. God did not bless me with a high IQ, he blessed me with charisma (laughs).
Question: It seems you will be criticized on nearly everything you said on the show because you are such a villain. One of those statements I think a lot of people have been criticizing is when you said you’re a Republican and you don’t believe in handouts. But then you accepted the hidden Immunity Idol from Sabrina. Can you explain that?
Colton Cumbie: I’m glad you brought this up. I haven’t been asked about this. Obviously I can totally see where people would make the connection between that comment and the hidden Immunity Idol. But here’s the thing, the hidden Immunity Idol I actually did have to work for in a roundabout way. I had to put on an Emmy-worthy performance at that (first) challenge. What you don’t see is I’m supposed to throw the first Immunity challenge and the girls agreed that if I threw it they would give it to me. Well, Kourtney broke her arm and if you notice, when the guys discuss whether they’re going to keep Immunity or not, I didn’t go anywhere near that huddle. Then they told me, “You tell Jeff.” Susan Lucci would be proud. I started boo-hooing. I told Jeff, “We didn’t earn this. It’s awful.” The girls are all like, “Awww, bless his heart. He really did try.” So they did give it to me. I think the difference is, I did try to do something to benefit them. They would literally come over to our camp and say, “We want fire, but you’re not getting anything.” I just felt like that was different in that sense. And, you know, she had to give it to someone, so why not make that person me?
Question: Was there anything more with the decision your tribe made to sacrifice Immunity to voluntarily go to Tribal Council that we didn’t see?
Colton Cumbie: They wanted it to be kind of shocking, they didn’t want it to be blatantly obvious what was gonna go down at Tribal Council as far as who was going home. But I went to Leif and I said, “Look, you’ve already betrayed us. You’ve already pissed us all off. Your only shot right now is agree to what we want to do and just go along with it.” I said, “You’re not going home” and he was kind of like, “How do I know?” I said, “Really, you don’t. You just have to take my word for it, but you’re not going home. The thing about it is, if you don’t go along with this we’re just gonna throw the next challenge and get rid of you anyway.” … He was like, “All right, I’ll do it. I’ll go along with it.” So he pretended that he was gonna go home. That whole little beat down he got from Tarzan, you’ll notice I’m smiling the whole time because I know it’s fake. I know that he’s really not going home. I just thought it was wonderful acting on their part because Tarzan was like, “You did a bad bad thing.” Leif’s like, “I know. I know.” Bill was just so excited that he thought the target was off him at that point. But I had other plans.
Question: How did your maid react to the comments you made about her at that Tribal Council?
Colton Cumbie: Oh my gosh (laughs). First of all, I hate when people call her our maid. She’s fine. This is the woman who literally had changed my diapers since birth. She literally is like a second grandmother to me. She’s like a member of our family. She knows me and my personality. She’s used to my snarky comments. She thinks I’m funny. She actually stood up in church and told everyone at her church that I was a nice person. She was like, “I just want y’all to know that.”
Question: Who do you think has the best chance to win?
Colton Cumbie: As much as it pains me to say this, I feel like the boys are gonna fall apart without me. You see Kim and you see Chelsea and they really seem to know what’s going on. They seem to have it all together. I’m rooting for Jay, but I’m also rooting for Kim just on principle alone. I feel like, in the game, there are honestly like four people who really knew how to play the game. I felt like I knew how to play. I think Kim knew how to play. I think Troy was playing a pretty good game and I think Matt knew how to play. That’s what he went home first. Right now I would say Kim probably has the best chance of bringing it home.
Question: Has this game changed you?
Colton Cumbie: It did. I’m from a town of 3,000 people. I’ve had the same best friends since I was 4 years old. I’ve grown up kind of in this bubble, per se. I think it’s really hard for people who haven’t really been in my shoes to envision how that’s possible. Like, how have you not interacted with people that are different than you? But I really haven’t. It hasn’t been by choice, it’s just the cards that were dealt to me. I’ve realized that it’s OK that people are different than me. Survivor really opened my eyes to people who do lead different lives than I’ve led. That’s OK. It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round. That’s kind of what I learned from the experience.
Question: Would you go back and play the game again?
Colton Cumbie: Yes. I feel like Natasha Bedingfield — the rest is still unwritten. I want to go write it.
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