March 08, 2013 01:00 PM by Ryan Haidet
After expressing his desire to quit, Shamar Thomas sustained an injury to his eye and was medically evacuated from Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites. Shamar, who spent most of his televised time screaming at his fellow tribemates, talked with reporters after his elimination in which he admitted how tough it was to watch himself on television — but he’s happy that viewers will at least remember his name. In addition to explaining how he also hurt his finger during the show, Shamar discussed why he believes there was so much negativity with Reynold and explained how his size made it harder to survive in the Philippines.
Question: Many viewers have said you were a miserable castaway to watch on the show. As a viewer, what did you think of watching yourself?
Shamar Thomas: Yeah, it was so tough. I was upset watching myself (laughs). … They didn’t see any positivity and the fun Shamar is gone. I don’t even think people got to see any good side of me. That was difficult because I’m an activist, I love people and I just wish I had the opportunity to be portrayed in a better light. But at the end of the day, a lot of other Survivors, we don’t even know their names (as viewers), we don’t know what they do because they weren’t seen. In one aspect, I’m glad to be a part of the Survivor family and I really got to make my namesake because people will remember my name. But on the other end, how will they remember? Hopefully I will get more opportunities in the future to really show who I am.
Question: Were you ready to leave by the time you were pulled from the game?
Shamar Thomas: I actually sustained an injury to my finger. In the game of Survivor, you have nothing but time to think so I was just thinking about the pain and thinking about what I was going through and it just filled me with a lot of anger. Being dehydrated didn’t help. I never wanted to leave the game that way and I wish I could have went out a bit differently. I wish I could have done at least one more challenge, but with the injury being to my finger I knew if I wasn’t good in challenges and I don’t have a lot in common with these people, I’m not really gonna last longer.
Question: What was wrong with your eye and how is it today?
Shamar Thomas: I have two very very small scars on my eye that won’t really affect me right now, they say. … I got surgery on my finger. I have permanent disfiguration to my finger and a scar on my palm because my hand got infected. My finger will never be straight and that took about three months of rehab to fix. That’s my major issue. I have to live every day that I wake up, I can barely cut my fingernail because I don’t have sensation in my fingertip. That was the hardest part. I’m just glad I got my eyesight. I’m glad I got to be part of the game. I don’t regret anything, man.
Question: How did you hurt your finger?
Shamar Thomas: I had a piece of bamboo go through my finger and actually went to the bone and got infected. My whole hand got infected. They actually had to cut open my palm to get the infection out. It was really really bad. That’s the disheartening part. The part where everybody’s saying, “Oh, you wanted to be out of the game.” But it’s like I live with my finger every day. So it was very tough to hear that kind of criticism. Like I said, I am so thankful for being in the game I wouldn’t change anything.
Question: Do you think it was harder for you to sustain the elements because of your size?
Shamar Thomas: I knew it was the big thing because you see me in the shelter but you don’t see a lot of them around because they were going swimming, exploring the island and climbing rocks. If I got on the boat and started rowing that was all my challenge strength. I had to go at it in a different way. I knew I needed that energy. I knew I wasn’t 120 pounds. I need a lot of water. In my daily life, I drink almost a gallon of water (per day). It’s a lot easier in the Marines because they preach hydration. … A lot of people don’t understand, I was turning down coconuts. I didn’t care about a coconut, I just wanted water. That’s why I was fighting for fire the first day because I knew if I didn’t have water that my life in that game was going to be very very short-lived.
Question: Why was there so much negativity between you and Reynold?
Shamar Thomas: I’m not sure how much he knew about it, but I tried to talk to Eddie about aligning with him and I didn’t include Reynold. So I don’t know if he went back and told Reynold, “Yeah, man, Shamar came up to me.” I don’t know. I’m not exactly sure. I wish things were different.
Question: Is there anything you wish the show would have portrayed about you?
Shamar Thomas: I was chopping down trees. I came home and was like, “Ma, I was chopping down trees and doing all these exciting things.” I just wish that at least I could have got one tree shot in there. But I understand the storylines and I’m just happy that I really got the opportunity that I was even casted to be on this show. For that I can’t complain. A lot of people (viewers) don’t even know their names (other players). The fact that people are like Shamar, Shamar, Shamar, it really makes me feel like I’m a part of the Survivor family.
Question: How did Survivor compare to being in the Marines?
Shamar Thomas: The two are quite different. I can’t compare Iraq to Survivor physically or mentally because I watched my brothers literally die in suicide bombings. As far as the physical aspects of being in Iraq and being on Survivor, it was totally different. In Iraq we had water. On the show, I didn’t care about food as much as I cared about the water. At Boot Camp they make you chug water because hydration is such a major factor. To be on Survivor and not have water, just the water aspect made the game so much harder. I have the utmost respect for all Survivors who have gone through that. It’s like, man, this is actually a little bit tougher than Boot Camp. In Boot Camp they gave us water, you know what I’m saying. In that aspect, Survivor was a lot harder than the Marines.
Question: Some are saying the show has been too stereotypical by portraying black men as lazy. What are your thoughts on this?
Shamar Thomas: Because I am thankful for the opportunity, I don’t really get into that question. I don’t want that to overshadow the importance of me being on the show and me being a real fan of the show. I don’t really like to play the race card because that’s not who I am. I really appreciated the opportunity, so I don’t even really get into that. A lot of people wish that they were there, so I’m not gonna say that race is a major issue. I didn’t have a lot in common with any of my tribemates, so that did play a factor. But as far as race, I don’t really get into that too much.
What are your thoughts on what Shamar had to say? Are you happy or sad he is out of the game? Who is your favorite contestant at this point in the season? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS