Going into “Survivor: Worlds Apart,” we do not necessarily think that we were insane in thinking that Will Sims II was going to be a lighthearted, comical person to watch. The man was famous mostly for singing Bon Jovi karaoke on “The Tonight Show”! However, what we had here was a guy that at times was a source of comedy, but also became a subject of a national conversation after the way he treated fellow castaway Shirin Oskooi over a dispute following the Survivor Auction.
We did spend a minute or two of the exit interview with Will below talking about the Shirin incident and the reaction to that, but at the same time we also felt like there was a good bit of time spent on the subject at the reunion last night. Therefore, we also wanted to get a sense of where Will’s head was at a variety of other key moments in the game.
CarterMatt – So let’s start with this: What happened with the sandwiches?
Will Sims II – We made rats. We didn’t have the ingredients to make some bread, so I made rats.
Before the show you were known mostly from that ‘Tonight Show’ video that was fun, and on the show it started that way before things obviously changed later on. Did you feel the perception of you changed, and what have you felt the reaction has been like?
It’s been positive! I think there was one moment where people were upset, but they understood … I haven’t had any backlash at all. Everyone that has come up to me has said ‘yea, I like you, can I have a picture with you,’ yeah.
I don’t want to spend too much time on what happened with Shirin since I know it was a big focus of the reunion last night, but I do want to ask this: Do you think there is a disconnect between how you view what an apology is and what Shirin does, or is there something deeper there?
For her, it’s something deeper. I can’t get into the mind of Shirin. I can only own up to my mistake and apologize for it; either she is going to accept it or not accept it. Forgiveness is not for me; forgiveness is for her. If she is going to hold onto it, that’s on her. I did what I was supposed to do.
Let’s get into some of the game stuff now, because I want to go back to the move that you made to get rid of Vince, which hurt my heart because he is tremendous television. What made you want to make that move?
I didn’t trust Vince at all. I didn’t trust him, and I knew if I had voted with him and Nina and we got Jenn out, I know that if we had lost the next challenge, he was going to go against me and I would have ticked off Joe and Hali. So whatever Vince would have said, ‘we got to get rid of Will, he’s not good at challenges.’ I would have been gone. I had to get him before he got me.
I think you would own up to this, but your performances in the challenges in the first part of the game was not on the level of some of the other players.
They were special! My performance in the challenges was entertaining and special.
Well, you did still find a way to stay in the game despite that. How did you manage to do that? What sort of arguments did you make to other players to convince them that ‘hey, I’m not going to be good in challenges, but I can be here for you when it comes to loyalty, to working around camp, or other things.’
That’s what it was. They liked me. They weren’t big fans of Nina and Vince, and that worked to my advantage. The two challenges that we lost, they were gone. I knew if we lost again, I was gone! Everyone knew that, but I had proven my strength, which was my social [game].
Let’s talk a little bit about the merge when you flipped and joined the other group. I asked Jenn and Hali about this earlier this season, and they didn’t know why you did other than saying that maybe you wanted to play with people who were older and [more like you]. Was that it, or did you flip because those were the majority numbers?
Hali and Jenn and Joe stopped talking to me! When we had the switch I started talking with Carolyn and we clicked, and I started talking with Kelly and we clicked. Going into the merge I said ‘okay, I’m still with the No Collars,’ but after the merge we stopped talking and I had to do what was best for me. Me and Rodney clicked, and then we had our conversations, and then we had our alliance and the alliance within the alliance. The axis of evil was born!
Come around that point, we never really heard your name brought up as a target, even after [what happened with Shirin]. Did you really feel like you were ever in danger going into final six, final five?
I didn’t feel any danger until probably the final six. Once Mike started winning, we got to a point where we had to dig into our own numbers. Dan had his advantage, Mama C still had her idol. No one was safe.
This is really thinking outside the box. Had you gotten rid of Joe earlier in the game, would that have enabled you or someone else to target Mike earlier? It seems like Joe being there really saved Mike in a way because it took the target off of him, and by the time Joe was gone you really didn’t have [many] opportunities to take out Mike.
I don’t know. I didn’t want to get rid of Joe, especially on our tribe because we were close, and I think he told the girls ‘we need Will. He may not be special in challenges, but we need him. He’s going to be loyal for us.’ That’s why I wouldn’t turn my back on Joe until the merge.
There were other people who could have beat Mike. We thought Tyler had a great chance! Joe just came out so strong, so we couldn’t get the numbers to get Mike out because Mike was the leader of the Blues. We couldn’t say ‘let’s get Mike out before we get rid of Joe.’ Their mind was already made up. At that time it looked like [Joe was the biggest threat], but then it was too little, too late and we were like ‘damn, Mike is the bigger threat than Joe.’
One last thing for you Will: What was it like seeing your wife out there? When you saw her, you were almost a different person in that challenge.
It was everything that I was out there for came full-circle. We’re out there to better our families and to win a million dollars. To see her and give me that boost of energy, it’s like Jeff said (does Jeff impression): ‘Will, who has never been in any challenge, is the first out of the gate!’ It just shows that we needed that, because we were almost out of food at that point. The loved ones gave us that internal drive to [get us to compete] … I went for it. I know I didn’t win, but I gave it my all.
Let’s just make one thing very clear: Maybe Will just hasn’t seen the backlash, but it is certainly out there. We certainly still do not agree with his perception on things about what happened with Shirin, but it was interesting to hear his thoughts on some other aspects of the game. We’re sure that people have been coming up to him for pictures and the like, but very few people are going to approach you on the street and get into confrontations.
If you are so inclined to check out the rest of our “Survivor” finale coverage, including interviews and the “Second Chance” cast, head over to the link here! Also, sign up now to score some other TV updates on everything we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)