‘Survivor: Cagayan’ interview: David Samson and Garrett Adelstein

“Survivor: Cagayan” got off to a heck of a crazy start on Wednesday night’s new episode, and there were two people who were in the end caught in the crossfire as a result of all of it: Davis Samson and Garrett Adelstein. In the case of one, you have an extremely successful guy who is the President of the Miami Marlins; then, in another you have a guy with a genius IQ who also is a successful high-stakes poker player.

So what went wrong? There are so many things, and we broke down some of that at length in our full review of the episode that aired last night. Today, we got at least a brief opportunity to hear what the two guys at the center of the show had to say about some of their mistakes, and whether or not what we saw on the show was accurate.

CarterMatt – Garrett, let’s start with this: Do you think that you were set to go home going into tribal council, or is that something that started to form up more after you were there?

Garrett Adelstein – Kass I think is going to claim that she decided at the last second; I’ve heard from others that she told them that. I don’t know. I’m sure if I believe that. I certainly didn’t have the best tribal council. All the tribal councils I watched leading up to the show, I never imagined that I would perform so poorly in a tribal.

Like you said, you did more study and research going into this game than almost anyone who’s ever been on the show. What was so different for you when you were out there that you didn’t expect? As a strong, muscular guy it’s easier to be [affected by the elements], and you also mentioned that the environment is so different than how you [operate at the poker table]. Did these things get in your way?

The answer is close to 100% no. I think that’s a huge cop-out. The reality of the situation is that I used my confessionals at times as therapy, for better or for worse. And in watching the episodes back, I’m regretful that I allowed myself to open up to producers in the way I did. No one out there knew I was down or upset or depressed. I feel comfortable saying that I don’t think it impacted my game strategically. I think I made some marginal if not poor strategic decisions the second half of the episode, but I don’t think that was a function of the elements, and I never thought about quitting or having any sort of relief after being voted out. It was just 100% shock, disappointment, sadness, etc.

David, was what we saw on the show accurate when it comes to how you went home? Do you think that had you chose anyone other than [Garrett] as the weakest, things may have been different?

David Samson – I think you did see [everything]. I was targeted almost immediately just from the way I looked and the way I dressed. There was a reason that I went with Garrett. Had I gone first I would’ve went with Kass, but once Morgan and Trish were already there … I didn’t think that the three of them were going to be voted off … [and] I thought that Jeff was going to do a challenge so that Garrett could win something for the tribe. So I don’t regret that choice, and the reason I didn’t dither was because I was made the leader, we were labeled the Brains tribe from the beginning, so I felt like if I acted like a bumbling idiot they would see through that. So I went the other way, and you saw how that worked out for me.

We saw with Cliff last night a scene of him sharing a little bit of his past. Is that something that you ever shared with your tribe when it comes to your job with the Marlins, and did that play a role in you being targeted?

I didn’t. I just said that I worked with the Marlins and I didn’t say in what capacity. I don’t think it had anything to do with it. I think it had more to do with being the older, smarter male on the brains tribe, and they thought that I would be good at the end. I thought that it should have been a six – nothing vote at the first tribal council. I think that J’Tia should have voted for herself. She was just so bossy and so bad that I didn’t think there was a chance that it would go 4-2 against me. And with Garrett, I thought there was a chance Garrett and I could play out past [what happened early]. And it didn’t work out for either one of us.

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