Rob Cesternino talks with the latest player voted out of Survivor Worlds Apart in this week’s RHAP exit interview.
Survivor Exit Interview with Dan Foley, voted out in CBS’ Worlds Apart Episode 13
Rob: Dan are you there?
D: Hey Rob
R: How’s it going Dan?
D: (sigh) I don’t know man, it’s uh pretty tough
R: Yes, what part? The game? Or the talking to people like me?
D: Honestly, uh, I’m a little pissed at people like you.
R: Oh no!
D: Oh yeah, oh yeah, you’ve played the game you’ve seen what they can and can’t do and how they bend things around and yet there’s still trash talk. You know I expected a little more camaraderie, I expected it a little more uh fraternal spirit. But um I get it, I understand, I’m not coming to look for you so relax –
R: Please don’t come to look for me
D: I am not that guy
D: I just, the game is one thing, the level of hate that I got over a lot of editing I was not prepared for some of that. –
R: Alright so where do you think it went wrong, because you know I’ve thought about this quiet a lot, you were the older guy in the cast, which is traditionally one of the most beloved and revered figures in any survivor cast if you go through all the seasons, but for some reason a lot of people did not connect with you, why do you feel like that ultimately was the case?
D: I don’t feel like that was the case, that people didn’t connect with me, but that there are only two kinds of people in this world, people who love me and people who hate me. And there’s no one in this world who are going to say eh, Dan’s alright. The people who say that, they don’t know who I am, they legitimately do not know me. And I knew from episode one that I was going to be in trouble because they didn’t show some of the things Lindsey had said to me, to prompt me to you know kind of lash back out at her. And I’m like alright, whatever they are just running out of time. But day 2 of the game, was my wedding anniversary and I spent half the day crying over it because I missed my wife so badly. And when they showed the whole thing with me and Lindsey the way they did, they didn’t show anything about my wife and I thought why would they not show a guy like me crying that early in the game and I though oh they are going to kill me. They are going to actually look, they don’t want the audience to feel any sort of endearment towards me. And it just went downhill from there.
R: But why do you feel like that was the case?
D: I don’t know. Why – name a food you don’t like.
D: Kale? Okay why not? Why don’t you like it? Who knows it’s just the way your body is. I don’t know what the producers think. They just behave the way they did. But I’m a guy who speaks his mind. And I don’t have a problem with it. And if I stick my foot in my mouth, which I do all the time, I’ll take my lumps for it. But if you portray me poorly, I’m kind of bummed about that, because I didn’t deserve that I didn’t earn that. If I earn my mistakes, I’ll take them, I’ll earn them proudly because my mistakes define me equally as my successes do.
D: So, you know I think there were definitely things that were not portrayed very well, uhm, but I will own what I have done. For example, when uhm after the leaking water bucket challenge, I actually passed out. IT was so hot that day, I live in Maine, I can swim in the ocean in January, I don’t have a problem with that. But I don’t do well with the heat and I knew that would be a concern of mine. And Rodney and I were talking about when you get to know people and you know you pick on each others mothers and your momma jokes and all that. And that was all left out. Well, then Mike gives Rodney a hard time for not doing any work and Rodney then looks at me and I’m still trying to recover from passing and and he goes “Dan you gonna get up today?” And I’m like “Yeah, your mother’s a whore”. Well they showed that so out of context, I look like a total jerk.
R: Yeah, well I don’t think that people had that big of a problem with that, they just felt that that was, you know, you were trying to , you know, joke around with him, and you know, it was a joke that wasn’t received well. I don’t know if people were too bummed out about that.
D: That set the stage because then the whole thing with Sierra happened and they didn’t ashow the things Sierra said to me, and then the whole thing with Shirin happened, and they didn’t show the things Shirin said to me, and for the record I had no knowledge of Shirin’s past, none, zero. I had no idea, I would have never chosen those words. Never. And I said it on the show, and I said it again and again and again, if that truly happened to her, my heart goes out to her, I feel very bad. Nobody should have to endure that, no body should have to go through that, I did not know. I said it as an expression. I said it metaphorically. That is what I – I mean, how many times have you heard somebody say “god I could just kill this person”, do you think they go home and plot murder? Come on. The fact that people took me seriously, you know, I mean I saw the podcast where you had the special emergency uhm man hating podcast, of you know talking the three women talking about me, Will and Rodney –
D: I’m legitimately bad with names, and I apologize, you had the English woman, who was the blogger
D: Okay, and you had the psychiatrist, or the therapist,
D: And who was the other person?
R: That was Shandy, she is another survivor podcaster
D: Okay, so Shandy, it was really disturbing to me that when you asked about me, and some of the things I said, she came down on me very hard. Really hard. And then to your credit, you actually said to her “You know, I’m just trying to play devils advocate here, but how is that different than Lindsey saying she wants to break Rodney’s jaw and feed it to him” and she laughed. She actually laughed at that. She said “I don’t see that as a big deal”. Isn’t that the actual root of misandry? Isn’t that the ansolute antithysis of misogyny? Because it should be. Both were reprehensible, but why is mine worse? I didn’t even mean it literally. I am presuming that Lindsey didn’t either
D: But why is one so much worse then the other? It shouldn’t be.
R: Yeah, you know Dan, I just feel like where you get into trouble is like the two wrongs don’t make a right. And I feel like even back when the whole thing happened with Sierra, I felt like what you tried to say was like “hey, uhm, you know, I’m sorry for what I did but I only did what I did to you because you did this to me”. And I feel like when you bring back what the other person did, in the first place, I feel like it almost undercuts the apology that you try to give.
D: Absolutely. 100% I agree with you. But this is where I am disappointed in you. Because you know damn well something must have happened. Something must have happened that they didn’t show oyu. What they didn’t show you was that when I went to, we got tree mail, for the blindfold challenge. And we knew what it was. And I said well this is perfect. Well this is my challenge. And I said I am arguably one of the best voices ever in the history of survivor.
R: That’s true
D: And Sierra turned and looked at me and went “uh, I don’t think so, you don’t take direction well”. And then I said “excuse me?” and then Kelly jumped on board and said the same thing. Now, we all have our own baggage, okay, I’m the fat guy. I own it, because that’s who I am. And I got picked on a lot when I was a kid. A hell of a lot. The fat kid never does well in school, and stuff like that. And every time they made me sit out of a challenge, I felt like the fat kid who couldn’t get picked for dodge ball again. And I didn’t say anything. Because I didn’t want that, I didn’t want that label all over again. But, things like that hurt. And I’m not trying to compare to any body else, but I’m just saying for me. So when we got back from tribal council of voting Lindsey out and I berated Sierra, and I admit it, fully, but what they didn’t show you was so did Kelly.
D: Kelly was up on Sierra as well, now if all of a sudden a women’s on board, maybe I would have been perceived a little differently. So when I went to apologize to Sierra then next day, I started off by telling her “listen I feel really bad, I’m really sorry about the way I approached you”, I said “I don’t disagree with what I said, but it was the wrong way, it was the wrong place, it was the wrong time, and I was still really upset, you know, about what you had said to me”. And she goes “what did I say to you?” and I said “what you said to me about tree mail and how I don’t take direction well.” And she goes “that has nothing to do with anything, those two aren’t the same”. That’s when the cameras showed you, let me get this straight it’s okay for you to attack me? But it’s not okay for me to attack you? Now if you had seen all of this, would it have looked a little different to you?
R: I’m sure, I’m sure that it would. And I, there is so much of this stuff that we have to talk about, but we only have so much time Dan and I would love to just ask you a couple questions about the game.
D: Got it.
R: Because, in, let me, and hopefully you feel like I am being fair to you, I don’t think that game wise there was too many decisions that you could have made that you didn’t make. I feel like where it was almost frustrating though was that Mike was coming to you seemingly with things that were correct, or true, and you didn’t believe what Mike was saying. Even though I felt like you were between a rock and a hard place where either you could go with Mike and potentially lose to him in the end if you got to the end with him, or go with the other guys that you were with but Mike was being sincere and probably was right about that there were plots happening against you, were you aware that there were people trying to take you out and Mike was right about that?
D: I was more than aware, as a matter of fact, I was trying to strike before Mike was. Mike and Sierra wanted to get rid of Joe before we got rid of Joaquin. And I said that Joaquin is the bigger threat because we knew that him and Tyler were still tight. We knew that they were still tight with Carolyn because she was always winking, waving and nodding, every time we came to challenge. We didn’t know anything about Shirin at that point so we had to believe, we had to presume they were lying about her as well. So they were four strong, and I said “Rodney’s gone”. Rodney is gone, he is in Joaquin’s pocket, he is gone. I said if we go to the merge like this with Joaquin in the game, we are all done. And Mike was like “I don’t know, I don’t know “ and he woke up the day of the memory challenge and he saw the two of them just right on each other’s hip and he looked at me and goes “you’re right, Joaquin’s gotta go”.
So the fact that Rodney was doing things? I was well aware of it. But we all were. I mean, everybody just kept, I mean they said it last night on my episode, Mike comes over and says “Look at Dan and Rodney just lying in the bed there”, that’s the look of someone that doesn’t have a care in the world”. And both Carolyn and Sierra said “he’s crazy, he’s loosing his mind”. And that’s how all of us felt. We felt like he was losing his mind, because Mike, it’s a game, everybody is coming for everybody at some point.
R: And so –
D: And the day the merge – I’m sorry, go ahead.
R: We’re just really running close to the end.
D: I know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry Rob.
R: Go back to the auction, and so do you feel any differently about what Mike did in the auction then you did at the time, knowing that he felt like he had overheard this plot to take him out at 9?
D: You know something, I didn’t, I know that I was trying to be dismissive towards him, and I know that it was seen that way, and to a certain extent it’s true, I was, because if somebody could take out Mike and it wasn’t me, I’d be thrilled. Everybody knew Mike was a threat. Everybody knew Mike had to go. Everybody wanted Mike to go. And the more crazy Mike got, you know, the more we pushed back saying “Mike it’s not time, it’s too soon”, the more it just drove him over the edge. I mean, he swears up and down that he was right on board and we all saw it, Rodney was talking to him. He was 100% right. And to his credit, but it’s not like we didn’t know that everybody was plotting against everybody.
D: So you go to the auction, Mike tries to make a move, and no matter how he plays that, if he never goes back, or if he does what he did, he still public enemy number 1 now. More so then he was already.
R: The decision to play the extra vote on Carolyn, what was it that you were hoping to accomplish by putting another vote on Carolyn.
D: So basically my logic was, you know again, to use my own mind I can do basic math, there is no sense playing the extra vote when there’s six people in the game, when there is an odd number of people left in the game, because potentially that will make the numbers even, and does me no good. I wanted to play it when there was an even number of players, therefore making it odd, hopefully putting the advantage on my side.
R: So you though that maybe Sierra had voted with Mike and Carolyn?
D: What had happened was Sierra came to me and said Will’s talking about jumping ship, and now Will had just gone on that reward with Carolyn and Mike –
R: Got it, got it.
D: So now she’s telling me that Will is looking at flipping, that makes the vote 3 – 3, my advantage turns it 4-3, we win.
R: Got it, makes sense
D: And Will actually said at tribal council last night, uhm, “if Dan’s got that advantage, he better use it tonight.” He came right out and said it. But they never showed that.
R: Dan, did playing the advantage, do you feel like caused Carolyn to play the hidden immunity idol?
D: That seems to be the real popular question today. And I gotta tell you, I don’t think so. I think Mike had gotten it into Caroyln’s head enough that it wouldn’t have mattered, because she could have very easily thought that we were going after Sierra, uhm, because when Carolyn asked me, I said I listen, I want to take Sierra out. And as soon as I said that, she went straight to Sierra and said “Dan’s coming for you” . So, she could have thought the other way, but I really think she was going to, maybe I’m wrong, I could be completely wrong, but I really think she was going to play it no matter what.
R: Okay, Dan, last question in 10 seconds or less, do you feel like having the advantage ultimately is what cost you your game?
D: No. Uhm, Tyler made it pretty clear that I was a threat, he was a threat, there were still threats in the game, and I think the advantage was, I went out in a ball of flames with it. I played something that’s never been played before, and I get stumped with an idol, and I was blindsided.
R: Dan, I know there’s so much more to talk about, and I know that it must be frustrating for you that you feel you haven’t had your chance to tell your side of the story, so if you want after this is all over and you want to come back and take more things up with me, once we get through all this craziness, I’d be happy to give you that opportunity Dan.
D: Listen, if you’re willing to have me, I’d be thrilled.
R: Alright Dan, thank you for giving me so much time today and uh , take care okay?
D: Alright thanks Rob.
Special thanks to Kelsey Ioannoni for the transcript of this interview
Be sure to join us later today when we speak with Aras Baskauskas on the Episode 13 recap show.
Watch this week’s Survivor Know-It-Alls