March 22, 2013 07:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
After the tribal swap put Matt Bischoff with the weaker newly formed Bikal group, the Cincinnati native realized his time was limited. In a rather disappointing elimination, Matt (and his rockin’ beard) were booted from Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites as the solid Favorites foursome held strong and sent him packing. In an exit interview with reporters, Matt revealed that he was blindsided by the vote and also discussed why he believed his strategy was strong. Plus, Matt explains the fun way in which he’s been watching the show at one of his favorite bars with fans each week. Jump in and read on!
Question: Were you blindsided by the vote or did you have some sense you were getting eliminated?
Matt Bischoff: I didn’t know I was going home. Here’s the deal, it was somewhat of a blindside. I knew going into Tribal I was nervous. Corinne was especially freaking about this possible hidden Immunity Idol that Julia had. They thought Julia had an Idol and they knew that I did not have an Idol. My strategy was to be completely honest. Maybe that bit me in the butt, but at the time I was trying to gain their trust and make them like me and trust me. I knew it could possibly be me. It was one of the three of us. The second that I saw my name get written down the first time, I knew I was going home. It was heartbreaking, dude. I was playing, to me, such a good game. Then the tribe swap happened and it just sucked, pulled the life out of me, man.
Question: Why didn’t you and Michael find a way to get Phillip out of the game?
Matt Bischoff: The four of them: Corinne, Dawn, Cochran and Phillip, were staying together no matter what until the merge. There was no breaking into them. Could I have tried to throw Phillip under the bus or something? Maybe, but I literally don’t think that it would have done anything but immediately, definitely would have gotten me voted out. I just don’t think they would have broken their alliance. It just wasn’t happening. We were at a disadvantage, four to three. We knew if we lost challenges that one of us was going home. Unfortunately it happened to be me.
Question: How did you form such a close bond with Michael and how would you describe your friendship?
Matt Bischoff: Michael is one of my favorite people. He’s a dear friend of mine and we just completely hit it off out there on Survivor. We both have really laid-back, hilarious personalities. They didn’t show a lot of Michael and I completely laughing our asses off the whole time. Singing songs, doing funny stuff, we were dying the whole time. Michael and I were playing a very strategic, subtle gameplay and really just had a lot of power in the game. We were doing it kind of on the down-low. I had a great relationship with Sherri and an alliance with Sherri, but I was able to just really work with Michael through the cracks and it was unbelievable playing with him. He’s a very strategic player. People stereotype, “Oh, gay people that have played before, maybe he’s not strong or athletic in challenges.” Michael is an athlete. He was strong. He’s a runner. And he’s very competitive. It was great to play with him.
Question: It seemed you empathized with the Favorites after Brandon’s explosion.
Matt Bischoff: That was one of the craziest things I’ve ever witnessed being a huge fan of Survivor. Seeing the whole Brandon Hantz freak out was unbelievable. It was definitely a part of Survivor history whether you love it or you hate it. It was crazy. I truly did feel for the other tribe. … At the other end, I knew that I would be playing with people from that tribe. So, establishing a relationship and just being who I am to those people, it just felt good to tell what I thought. I definitely think that when I went over and joined forces with them that they realized I’m a genuine guy. I was hoping it was gonna help me out in my game.
Question: Who did you consider to be the most dangerous player out of the four favorites on the new Bikal tribe?
Matt Bischoff: At the time it seemed like Phillip was in charge. He was kind of telling everyone what to do around camp and everything else. Quite frankly, it’s amazing that people went along with it. It appeared to be Phillip. Phillip was more blatant about things, but Cochran, I think, is sitting back really analyzing the situation and knows what’s up. Ultimately, Cochran might have been in a little more control than people thought.
Question: There was some dissention between Phillip and Corinne. Did you notice that?
Matt Bischoff: I did not pick up on that at all. The four of them seemed so tight. They basically told us, “We gotta win Immunity because we are sticking together no matter what. We want you guys to be around, we like all you guys, but if we lose one of you guys is going home.” It was no secret. There was no trying to vote off one of them, ultimately. It just sucked. At the end of the day, we lost against a strong team and one of us was going home and it happened to be me.
Question: Since none of you on the Gota tribe knew a thing about Malcolm, did you guys discuss the mystery surrounding him at the Fans’ camp?
Matt Bischoff: When we got out there and this long-haired dude comes out of the helicopter, we’re like, “Who is this guy?!?!” We had seen everyone else’s gameplay, but we didn’t know what this Malcolm guy was about. But we knew if they brought him to play back-to-back that there must be something special about Malcolm and he was not to be underestimated. He was a force to be reckoned with in the challenges. So, we definitely talked about it and tried to decipher what his deal was. He’s a very very strong competitor.
Question: How have you been watching the show each week?
Matt Bischoff: I go to a local bar that I grew up in watching the show. It’s been really cool spending time with my family and watching things unfold with my friends. It’s just been a really really cool experience?
Question: What has it been like watching the show each week with fans at that bar?
Matt Bischoff: It’s a true honor. Cincinnati is a huge market for Survivor. So many people see on me on the streets and they’re just really big fans of mine. People are coming out of the woodwork, old co-workers, old friends, high school people. It has just been an amazing outpouring of love and to be able to share that with all of these people is an unbelievable feeling that I’m very proud of and stoked that I’ve got to do this.
Question: How did you get selected for the show?
Matt Bischoff: I just went to CBS.com in 2011 and just made a video, sent in all the application stuff and someone called me. The rest is history. I applied. I’m an applicant. I applied in 2003. That’s the only other time I’ve applied for Survivor. No one ever got a hold of me. I said, “So many people apply, there’s no way I’m getting on this show.” Then I was like, “You know what? That’s not how I live my life. I make things happen in my life.” So I told my wife, “I’m making a video, I’m getting on Survivor this time.” Sure enough, I did. It was just a dream come true to play the game that I love so very much.
Question: Would you want to play the game again? If so, what would you do differently?
Matt Bischoff: Would I play Survivor again? Hell yes! I think about it every single day. I want to be able to play the game that I still had in me. Would I have done anything any differently? You know, I feel like I played a pretty damn, good game up until I left. Maybe I wouldn’t be as honest by telling people I don’t have an Idol. I am who I am, dude. When you saw me out there, it’s me. I’m Matt Bischoff. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I love people. I love the game of Survivor and I feel like I played really well. I’m pretty much the only one on Gota that had multiple alliances, man. I felt like I was in a really good spot. In the end, it’s a game. Luck plays a part of it — and I got screwed.
Question: Had you found a hidden Immunity Idol, would you have been able to hide it in your beard?
Matt Bischoff: (Laughs) Oh, most definitely, dude! I have so many species of bugs and critters that are in there now, I could have just slid it right up in there, dude. It would have been no problem. It’s like the best hiding spot ever.
What are your thoughts on Matt’s comments? Is there anything he said that you found surprising in this interview? Were you sad to see him get eliminated from the game? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS