‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’ exclusive: Rodney Lavoie Jr. on show edit, his real birthday, not returning next season
Rodney Lavoie Jr. was definitely a character on “Survivor: Worlds Apart.” Odds are, you either found the guy very entertaining, or s source of great frustration. He was outspoken, opinionated, and he also spent a good chunk of the game at odds with someone who was generally pretty likable in Mike Holloway (who ended up winning the game).
We got a lot of information today out of our exit interview with Rodney. Not only did we learn a few things about his game, but also some of the criticisms out there about him in the public and why, despite being a big part of this season, he really was not “ready” to go back out and be a candidate again for “Survivor: Second Chance.” (Rodney and Sierra were on the phone with us at the same time, so there are a couple of individual lines from her.)
CarterMatt – So first of all, when is your actual birthday?
Sierra – Everyday! (Laughs.)
Rodney – It’s in September. I enjoyed the birthday during the episode, and then it’s in the episode, and then Jeff’s celebrating it. I’ve been celebrating my birthday all year around! I’ve been getting my Rodney time.
I think there is a perception from some people out there that filming seems to happen in real time, so were you getting people coming up to you on the street the next day being like ‘happy birthday’?
Oh yeah, I was getting people coming up to me being like ‘happy birthday, bro.’ It was cute, though. I got young kids who were doing their school project on me, and they were like ‘happy birthday. I did my project on you.’ That’s the stuff right there that makes you so proud to be a part of this and makes you care so much, that you are some kid’s idol. You gotta just be like ‘wow.’ If you can change someone else’s life by the way you act and they are a fan of you, you will never forget it.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room here for me Rodney, and that’s the fact that you were not on the ballot. Were you at least approached for this?
I don’t know if I was in the discussion, but it was very clear when I spoke to the ‘Survivor’ psychiatrist and doctor that ‘Rodney is clocked out.’ I’m going through an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve been a trooper for CBS. I didn’t tell my family or my friends about my exit, so I have to heal with them, I have to heal with myself, and in my mind for the rest of my life. I didn’t get voted out, so I gotta live with the ‘what ifs.’ I have so many things that are blowing through that I am not ready to close this door and this ‘Survivor’ season. I want to enjoy this. Maybe somewhere down the line they will invite me back and that will be fate, but I am not ready. I’m a smart, strategic player, and I have to plan and prepare myself for it. I don’t want to go out there and force it when I’m not ready.
I think something that is kind of cool about this vote is that you have people like Varner and Kelly, who haven’t planed in close to 15 years who are getting to come back. Maybe we will get a chance to see what Rodney is like five years from now.
Oh yeah, and we’re in an era of social media now, with people promoting that and promoting this. It’s a totally different world now. The people from seasons 27, 28, 29, you kind of remember those faces and they probably got more votes than people who played in the background. You don’t have a lot of footage of them and be like ‘oh, who is this player?’ I’ve realized that there are a lot of really young people who like ‘Survivor,’ and then a lot the old folks who don’t even go on Twitter who are the real fans.
Let’s talk about the edit, since there was obviously a whole lot made at the reunion about it. How do you feel about the way that you were presented on the show overall?
At the end of the day, we all signed the bottom line to CBS. They’re going to show what they’re going to show. If you are going to believe a 45-minute edit and take from it that I’m sexist or this or that, Sierra will tell you or all all the girls will tell you [I’m not]. I’m going to Vegas with Hali and Jenn and Joaquin after this is over. They all love me so that’s all garbage.
I’m a fun-loving guy. I’m comedy first. I want to make you laugh. This is what I do, with the impersonations and stuff that got people going. I loved my edit because I got all the hashtags! I got #TomBrady, #RodneyTime … the list goes on and on! ‘I can hit you with a Mike Tyson knockout punch.’ ‘I’m a smooth criminal like Michael Jackson.’ #ImTomBrady was the #1 hashtag on Twitter that Wednesday of ‘Survivor.’ I got to make all of these sports analogies and I got to talk a lot of smack, but the reason I talked a lot of smack is because I was in competition. Like Sierra’s a competitor. She played basketball. When you’re on that ballcourt, or if you’re playing football 24/7 and you’re on that field, it gets really dirty! You’re going to have to put that on HBO!
So I was saying some cutthroat stuff, calling this person “fughesi,” calling this person a ‘b***h,’ calling this person a ‘motherf****r,’ I was loose and playing off emotion. I was getting myself motivated! When you are in a locker room you rally and [get yourself excited]. I was rallying myself. We are so deprived out there that if you don’t have that inner drive and that inner hunger, just go home. Pack your bags.
You mention exhaustion, and I just talked about this with Sierra. I don’t have a ‘Survivor’ history book in front of me so I don’t know the last person to go to final 4 without any rewards, but have you ever felt at any point in your life like you felt on day 38?
No. I compared myself to the people on the streets who were trying to find a crack rock. I felt like a crackhead. Day 38, I was starving, I felt like I was emotionally going through the craziest rollercoaster of my life, I couldn’t sometimes think straight, I was seeing stars. You can ask Sierra; we would lie down, and we would stand up and fall over flat on our faces multiple times into the sand. People don’t understand the game with them saying ‘Rodney’s whining, I’m sick of his complaining.’ Sierra got to go on the reward helping homeless kids. Carolyn got to go on a reward every three days. Mike got a couple of rewards to get that inner juice to get him fired up for those challenges. I’m going into those challenges on the same beach with no food in my system. I take in 5,000 calories a day and I was so deprived. I so needed to get off that beach; every time I thought I was getting off that beach, and I was promised by Carolyn, it didn’t happen.
It took a toll on my body, because when I got out of the game [for] two months, I had liver and pancreas failure. I had a parasite and I couldn’t do push-ups for like a month. People think it was funny that I was whining and crying and complaining, but if you are in the game and you are getting tortured like I got tortured, you would be feeling what I was feeling.
So I listened to your impression of Max online and it is tremendous. What is your future hold? Are you trying to do more comedy and impressions?
Look me up and let’s do it! I’m all about that. I got celebrity impersonations. Frank Caliendo on “SportsCenter” beat me to the punch with the Jon Grudens and all the sports people, because my Jon Gruden is better than Frank Caliendo’s. My impressions are spot-on! Who knows? Whatever comes my way, I’m ready to do this. I love this lifestyle, I love meeting new people. I met an amazing woman in Sierra, I got to meat this whackjob Mike that I love to death, the competitor he is. I got to meet all of these incredible people that you would never meet if you stayed in Utah, or Boston, or in your home state. I’m so appreciative that I got to do it.
So what’s next for Rodney? Lay it out on the table for me! Look me up.
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