Survivor Exit Interview with the First Player Voted off of Kaoh Rong

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Rob Cesternino talks with the latest player to be eliminated from Survivor: Cambodia in our weekly exit interview podcast.  Then, Rob welcomes back Jordan Kalish (@JordanKalish) to talk about what went down on this week in Survivor History

Survivor Kaoh Rong Exit Interview with Darnell Hamilton, who got voted out on February 17, 2016

Full Transcript of the Exit Interview provided by Molly Jackson

Darnell: What’s up Rob?

Rob: King Darnell. Your Highness. How are you buddy?

D: I’m so excited to speak to you. Not this soon, but I’m excited to speak to you.

R: Well I am excited to speak to you, Darnell. And I really, I couldn’t believe what I saw on my TV last night. I wish that I didn’t have any goggles so it could just be blocked out like the murky water, so I couldn’t see anything.

D: [laughs] Yeah, yeah man it was tough.

R: Alright, well this is what I couldn’t really get a good read on watching the episode last night. Did they vote you out because of the goggles or was there more going on there? Because when I spoke with Boston Rob a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about this and he said when you like somebody and it’s somebody you want to keep them around- they screw up in the challenges it’s like eh no big deal, but if it’s somebody you want to vote out anyway and they screw up in any way, you say oh we gotta vote them out because they screwed up in the challenge. So was that the case? Did they want to vote you out anyway and then you losing the goggles was just a convenient excuse?

D: Well, I knew my name was in discussion before, you know um, me and Cyd was pretty much like at the bottom. Um and, I know Alecia was a wildcard, the original alliance was Jen, Scot and, um Jason. And, so like they want to take me out because, if they take me out then that just frees up Cyd and all these other potential, you know, possibilities. Um, I feel like for Scot, it was more of a “oh he messed up let’s get rid of him”. Jason, I think it was more strategic.

R: So why weren’t you able to get in good with those other two guys?

D: The other two guys, they just, they, for one, I really didn’t trust Jason. Jason was making alliances with every single person. I mean, he was out there making alliances with Alecia- everyone had an alliance with him! Scot, he just, I don’t know if he just didn’t like me or whatever was going on, you know. Um, it was just maybe to them I was the weakest male, I don’t know.

R: I don’t know, I’m not buying that. Did they feel like you and Cydney were a pair?

D: Yeah, I think so.

R: Mhmm.

D: I think that was, because me and Cyd, I mean we weren’t always together like that but then we were. And even like, it was a lot of stuff like I was with Alecia sometimes, I was talking to Jen, so it’s like you know, I think it was a lot of discussion about an all girl alliance as well, so people were paranoid.

R: So was the outcome of the tribal council a surprise to you or did your gut that never lies tell you that it was coming?

D: I knew it was coming. Um, Scot, after the challenge, would not even look at me. Didn’t even want to talk to me, anyone who was in the shelter. Jason told me like “look, no Alecia”, and he’s like “I can only take so much stupid”. And then you know, I was sitting there just laughing but Scot was just sitting there like looking like, saying absolutely nothing to me. And that just was like a red flag to me like ok I think they’re trying to send me off, I think they’re going to probably take a shot at me.

R: That’s interesting to me, about the difference between how Scot might have viewed this and how Kyle, or Jason- I don’t know I’m still confused on what to call him, I’ll call him Kyle- that the way he might have viewed it. Do you think that that has anything to do with Scot’s background coming from the NBA, that’s like hey, you took the shot and you missed so you’re the person that needs to go home.

D: Yeah, without a doubt. I think that’s just, Scot just, like I said I think he’s just oblivious to what game he’s playing, he has no clue what game he’s playing. And what’s really surprising to me, for a guy that you know, you played in the NBA how many years, you wasn’t really a starter, you should understand what it’s like to, you know, have to fight your way up. So, I just, I couldn’t understand it.

R: Did the fact that he was in the NBA, did that mean anything to you? Because coming into this season we were wondering if that would be a turnoff for people to find out that he had played professional basketball and probably had money. Was that a factor for you at all?

D: No, not this early. I mean yeah, in all our minds we’re like okay like you know he had his money, let’s give it to somebody else but early in the game you’re thinking about winning challenges, you’re not really thinking about that right then and there. That’d be towards more closer towards the merge or a tribe swap or something but not this early in the game.

R: So, last night the vote was a 3-3 tie when they first went up there to do it, but we were unclear watching the episode that was it a factor that Kyle heard your story about your struggles and then he was talking with Jennifer like “boy I don’t know which way to go”. Did you feel like that he switched his vote because of your story or you felt like they were trying to flush the idol and they wanted to do a 3-3 tie to make sure that if anyone played an idol that they wouldn’t have gone home?

D: I think that uh, it was more of an idol thing. Like look, if someone has the idol, you need to um, flush it out. You know, I think that my fate probably was uh sealed already, but I think the discussion probably was like maybe Scot, I mean Jason, got cold feet on the situation, like I don’t know, like I don’t know. I think the original plan was to get me out.

R: Okay, so speaking of flushing, let’s talk about when you ended up going out into the ocean- [laughs]

D: [laughs]

R: did- one, do you feel like did that bother anybody? Was that a factor where they felt like “okay well I don’t like that Darnell is going to the bathroom in the ocean”? 

D: Absolutely not. Look, I know everyone’s talking about that like, “man he was right by the shore” and everything, no no, that wasn’t, we had a designated area. I went to the designated area and I let them know. You know, everybody knows, Rob you played this game, you understand, you don’t wanna be caught by yourself. So I was like, you know what, I’m going to the bathroom, I’m letting you all know.

R: Buddy system.

D: Yeah, yeah. [laughs] I was like I’m going over to the bathroom and they’re like “oh no, what you doing, what?” and they start screaming, I’m like, oh man I’m embarrassed. Now you know, like you say, all eyes on me at that point. Plus, I watched Dan last year, I didn’t want to lose my manties either. [laughs]

R: Yeah. [laughs] Right, like another postal worker.

D: He really helped me.

R: So were you annoyed that they blew up your spot then?

D: Yeah I was, I was like come on now, like that’s embarrassing.

R: Right.

D: Everybody’s like, everybody talks me like “Darnell, you did what in the ocean, like why? Why?” I tell people like you know, that’s, it’s better to do it in the ocean than the woods somewhere. Like, what you gonna to wipe with?

R: Right, right.

D: The aquadump is very refreshing, believe that.

R: I hear it’s very refreshing. So when- how come Alecia didn’t get any blame for not being able to put the puzzle together? It feels like everyone was on you about the goggles, but Alecia went out there and then had to sub out with the puzzle. Because, you guys basically had made up all the ground that you guys lost for when you guys couldn’t find the oars under the water because of the goggles.

D: Yeah, um, that’s another thing I couldn’t understand. I just think that the plan was me and they were just like whatever, we know how Alecia is, whatever, let’s just go with Darnell. I mean, I didn’t understand it either, I was just like, and I even said you know in tribal like look, you took forever to put the puzzle together! You know, and then there’s a lot of things like we couldn’t really see the puzzle from where we were standing, like I had no clue how close we were. I mean, they told us how close we were, but um they said it was like one piece, and like you really can’t see and she was just standing there like she was, I’m like oh my God. [laughs] Who’s gonna teach y’all the puzzle?

R: What are you talking about Darnell, she’s a mental giant!

D: Yeah, alright, okay. I don’t think she’s a mental giant.

R: That’s what she said!

D: Yeah, yeah that’s what she said alright. Yeah, I heard her.

R: What did you think about when Alecia tried to vote for you and didn’t take the cap off the marker?

D: Oh my God! I thought, that was, it was uh, that was a Survivor first! That was the first thing I ever said, I just asked like can somebody please give me a [giant?] for that, please. It’s like, you know, you didn’t mean to do it, you write and you’re like oh it doesn’t work, like she was on like the second letter and she’s like “oh!” [laughs] It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

R: It was divine intervention. [laughs]

D: It was like no, not Darnell, no, I’m surprised she wrote the right name down!

R: Now, I couldn’t tell from the episode, it seemed like Cydney was annoyed with Alecia, did you have any sort of negative feelings about Alecia?

D: No, uh I used to always tell her, like Alecia’s Alecia, like she’s different, like, some people can’t tolerate that like she’s, you know, Jason and Scot was really hard on her. A lot of people was like oh my gosh, she just- especially Jason- like she’s just so dumb. I’m like, she’s just different, and-

R: Well, what do you mean she’s different?

D: She’s just, she’s Alecia. That’s all I can say. I was thinking for a word to call her, it’s just Alecia. That’s all I tell her, Alecia’s Alecia. Like she’s just, I mean, the stuff that she does, you’ll be like why? But that’s just how she is.

R: Right.

D: It doesn’t make sense.

R: It wasn’t like she was pushing to get rid of you at all, it was almost like those two guys just said to her “hey, shut up, trust us, we’re getting rid of Darnell and just go along with it”, right?

D: Yeah, because me and Alecia actually, we clicked on the island, I was cool with her just like Cyd or Jen, like I was cool with a lot of people, but, you know um, it didn’t save me.

R: Were you surprised that Cydney on the revote ended up voting with the group against you?

D: No. Um, like I 100% know that like people who play the game know, like, you can’t put a target on your back, and someone tells you to do something, I mean it’s smart as a player to do what they tell you. I mean, otherwise like, we already knew where we stood, so I mean if you don’t, then guess who’s next?

R: Can you tell me a little bit more about Cydney, because I don’t really have a good read on her yet. All I know is from her bio, she’s talking about how she’s Cydney but then sometimes she can turn into her alter ego Storm, and then she has another alter ego Rebecca. Did you know that she has all these personalities?

D: No, you really can’t tell, it’s so shocking, like when I read the bio I was really shocked. Like, that’s not how Cydney is, no. I mean, she really got snappy at tribal, you know, with Alecia, but yeah. So I guess Storm didn’t show her face. Cydney is not, she’s very, she’s one of the nicest people I know so I don’t forget that.

R: Alright. So I was terrified when I watched the episode and we saw the whole thing going on with Jennifer and the bug in her ear.

D: Oh my God.

R: When that was happening, did you just think that she was crazy or did you believe what was going on? Talk about that whole scene.

D:  Absolutely not. Look, when we first heard the story, I think Alecia came up to me and was like “uh Jen has a fish in her ear”, I’m like “what?”

R: A fish?

D: Yeah, a fish! I was like, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, a fish? Like you know, and then um Alecia’s like just go in the water, let it swim out. [laughs]

R: [laughs]

D: So we’re on the island and I’m just like okay whatever. But you know so Jen was working, the next thing you know she’s on the ground, screaming like in pain, I’m like what is going on? Like, are you hurt? Do you want attention? Like, are you playing a game to that level, like you know, I’m confused. It wasn’t until that night, like she’s on the raft, she was in so much pain you could tell. Like, it was terrible. All night she was like in pain and um, they called medical over there, they put some liquid in her ear, next thing you know you see this ugly bug come out, like oh my God. Like people say it was tiny, this was a good size for something like that to be stuck in your ear. So, that was tough. And like I said, Jen is one of the toughest people that I’ve ever met. To have something like that, and you could see that blood like it was really going down, it was tough seeing that.

R: Darnell, I would have been happy that I got voted out after that, I would have said okay well I got voted out but thank God I don’t have to get a bug in my ear tonight.

D: [laughs] Nice try Rob, but you’re a gamer man, you would’ve been out there no matter what.

R: [laughs] No, no that’s it, once I saw the bugs I would’ve quit. Can you talk about the conditions, because we’ve been hearing so much about, oh my God, that this is such a brutal season, but it really is something that when we’re just watching it on TV, you can’t tell if its 80 degrees or 120 degrees. So how bad were the conditions?

D: It was uh, it was the hottest ever. And you know, it wasn’t just that it was hot, the humidity was, it was bad.

R: Mhmm.

D: I got sunburnt. Like I got sunburnt all on my back, my whole back was just shot just from the sun. It was so hot. And then the fact, and a lot of people don’t know this, like that first challenge, none of us had water. We were really relying on coconut water and then it rained the first night, so we were like super dehydrated. And, you take that into consideration, you know, I was proud of our tribe because we fought. We had no water. We felt like that it was, you know, I really felt really bad about it, that’s why I was really upset about the goggle situation because we struggled for those 3 days, it was tough. And it wasn’t just, it was a lot of things from the heat to the dehydration and the bugs were terrible.

R: Mhmm. I get it, I believe you. Darnell, I was so bummed out last night. I really, uh, wanted you to stay on the show, that I could tell that you are a real personality so uh, bummed out to see you go but I hope to hear more from you in the future and all the best Darnell.

D: Oh yeah, we gotta do a podcast, and tell Nicole that I’m sorry,

R: [laughs] Yeah.

D: Matter of fact, I’ll tell her myself, I’ll tell her myself. Because she got offended when I didn’t add her, so I’ll tell her myself.

R: You were talking about sunglasses and you should’ve been taking about goggles for the ugly people that are on the island.

D: Oh yeah, Rob that’s a good tip right there.

R: Alright Darnell, all the best buddy, okay?

D: Alright.

R: Alright take care, bye.

D: Okay, bye.


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