September 21, 2012 10:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
Tattoo-covered Zane Knight hit the ground running on Survivor: Philippines by making alliances with everybody on the Matsing tribe. But after they lost the first Immunity challenge, Zane tried a strange strategy by telling the group they should vote him off because he was terrible in the challenge. While it ultimately bit him in the butt, Zane felt his plan would help him see how much control he had over the tribe. Surprise! He had none because they booted him out of the game by a vote of 5-1. In an interview with reporters, Zane said that his elimination was a total surprise because he was convinced they were sending Russell Swan home over him. What else did Zane have to say? Did he recognize Lisa Whelchel? It’s all inside…
Question: When you saw the three veterans arrive, who were you hoping would end up on your tribe?
Zane Knight: When I saw Skupin, everybody knows Skupin is a monster. So you do not want to have that pissing contest with him. Russell is so hard core. I mean, everybody knows Russell gave and gave and gave until his body wouldn’t give no more. Then he was pissed off about his body not giving no more. So, Penner was the one I was like, “Come on man, give me Penner, because I think I can get in here with him.” From the beginning my mind started changing about what I wanted to do if I got Penner.
Question: Were you disappointed to have Russell on your team?
Zane Knight: I wouldn’t say disappointed, but yeah, it’s a certain level of knowing how much harder now the game is gonna be. Or knowing how much harder it’s gonna be to make a move. You’re going solely off of looks (at the first moments), you know what I mean? …
Question: Were you actually convinced Russell had the hidden Idol or was it simply strategy to tell the others he found it to make him a bigger target?
Zane Knight: I knew he had it. I knew he had something. Something was good enough for me. All I needed was a reason to go after him. He’s a really nice guy and he’s really easy to get along with, so it’s hard putting something against him. So I needed something to go after him for. When I saw him shuffling around in his pocket over there on the beach I was like, “OK, that’s it.” I didn’t even really need to know that he had it, I just needed to know that he was doing something shady. Then I asked him point blank about the Immunity Idol, he tells me, “Oh no. Uh uh.” That’s all I needed. I just took that back and told exactly what was told to me.
Question: Did you think you were going to be voted out or was it a total surprise?
Zane Knight: I had no clue! I didn’t think for nothing it was me! I knew Russell was gone! I’m like, “I got it locked.” It was a total total surprise to me.
Question: So please explain your thought process behind the move in which you basically asked your tribe to vote you out, but behind the scenes you said it was a way to feel out the tribe.
Zane Knight: You either have total control or you have no control. … If I throw myself at the mercy of them, I say, “Look, I suck. Send me home. This is so unfair. I shouldn’t have to deal with this. I suck.” You know what I mean? Then, they come to me one by one and beg me to stay. “Look, man. You don’t suck, man. You did awesome in the challenge. You’re good. Let’s get rid of Russell, that’s what we need to do.” Then that makes my plan. It turns me into Coach, you see what I mean? It makes me not think that I’m in control, it makes me control the whole tribe. Then it’s at my mercy to get rid of the ones that I want to get rid of. You see what I mean?
Question: Was there any chatter among the Matsing tribe about Lisa Whelchel? Did anybody recognize her?
Zane Knight: No. You look around and you make assessments as far as outward appearance and I think she got referred to as the soccer mom. …
Question: What did you learn from the short time you were there?
Zane Knight: Awareness. Everything in life, everything that you do, is a chess game. That’s the thing, you gotta play chess. You can’t get ahead of yourself, you can’t be cocky and you can’t let your head swell up because that’s when you miss stuff. That one little moment, think about it, if I hadn’t of told Malcolm and Russell (about having alliances with everybody), what would have happened? You see what I mean? That one little slip, that one little wrong move puts you in checkmate.
Question: Was there a part of you that wanted to leave the game?
Zane Knight: No, no part at all. Ever. There’s no need to even sign up for it if you ain’t ready for all that it gives you.
Question: Was it more of a challenge than you expected?
Zane Knight: Oh, good Lord, buddy, it was like going to the Marines. Yeah, it’s a total life-changing experience. It really puts you in check. You really gotta take care of yourself to get along out there.
What do you think of Zane’s comments? Were you bummed that he was voted out first? Do you think his arguments make sense or are you just more confused? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS