Original Fans Speak: Joel & Kathy 5 Years After Micronesia

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Rob talks with Joel Anderson and Kathy Sleckman, two members from the original Fans tribe. Joel and Kathy talk about what it’s like to be on a Fans vs. Favorites season, and if the concept is fair. Joel says there is absolutely a disadvantage to be a fan. Kathy thought the concept was brilliant, and she was especially excited to see Yau-Man, who she confesses is her favorite. She thinks the “Favorites” on Survivor: Caramoan are Jeff Probst’s favorites, but she’s not sure who else considers them favorites.

Joel and Kathy talk about what it’s like to be ignored on the edit because the favorites are shown so much. Kathy says on her tribe they all looked like buffoons, but Chet got the worst edit. They think the contrast of the Fans and the Favorites was part of the entertainment value of the show. Rob asks which Favorites tribe they think is the more formidable opponent. Kathy thinks they definitely had more impressive favorites. Joel says their favorites who were known for moves they made in the game, while the current favorites are known for being characters. Kathy and Joel both say they watch every season, but both of them are not impressed by the strategy of the Favorites tribe so far. Joel says he doesn’t enjoy watching people who are trying to become a character– he is a fan of the challenges and the strategy.

Next, Rob asks about the horrible weather they experienced on their season of Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites. Joel said a really big storm occurred after he was voted out on Day 14, but the first 10 days were horrible– including a 4-day stint of rain because it was hurricane season. Kathy says she was stuck with Ami on Exile Island during the worst storm, getting pummeled by rain huddled against a rock. She says the weather destroyed the crew’s camera so it didn’t get captured on film. Joel also talks about Jason was stealing palm fronds from the other tribe’s shelter. Joel says he hasn’t really spoken to anyone from his season since the finale. He wishes more were able to join the reunion, but unfortunately there were some last-minute cancellations. He talks about some of the original alliances — and that Kathy, Chet and Tracy were the obvious early votes, but Joel felt he would have been the next target after those three. He made an alliance of four with Alexis, Natalie, and Jason on Day 2. He says they voted for Mary (Who?) because she was playing Parvati’s game. Joel and Rob discuss how sometimes an alliance of four can potentially work, as long as they don’t let everyone know they are a tight foursome.

They talk about the current fans tribe, and Joel says he’s a fan of Matt based on his beard, tattoos, and personality. Kathy says she would be friends with Michael, and se likes how the two of them work together. Joel and Kathy find Shamar irritating, and Joel thinks he could either go far or be off in the next few days. Rob asks Joel to share what it’s like to be a big guy on Survivor. He says there is no way he could function in the Survivor setting at 320 pounds.

Rob asks Joel and Kathy about the importance of tribal unity when it is Fans vs. Favorites. He feels if they don’t say “A Favorite will not win this game” and come together, then it’s unlikely the fans will make it to the end. Kathy was shocked that their Fans tribe started out with people against each other very early on. Joel agrees that their was an immediate division in their tribe, but agrees that there needed to have been an “us vs. them” mentality, especially when the tribes shuffled. Rob anticipates that a tribe swap is coming up soon on Survivor: Caramoan.

Rob asks Kathy if she regrets the way she left the game. She said she looked back with some regret. She said she was in a great position because Penner and others on the tribe knew she was loyal and weren’t going to vote her out. Kathy also talks about how she regrets going off Zoloft cold turkey prior to Survivor and caused her to go into a mental and emotional tailspin. Rob asks Kathy if this kind of experience could explain Brandon Hantz. Kathy thinks that if she had told the producers that she was on Zoloft she wouldn’t have gotten cast on the show.

Rob asks Joel and Kathy if the Fans this season are doomed to repeat the past and target their own tribemates to save themselves. Joel thinks there is enough strife within the Fans tribe that they will self-destruct. In other words, they haven’t learned the lessons of the first Fans vs. Favorites. Rob wonders if this is part of the Fans vs. Favorites concept as well– that because they are Fans of Survivor, they are naturally inclined to work with the Favorites. Kathy explains how Yau-Man knew her name because she introduced herself early on in the game as a fan of his.

Next the discussion moves to Joel and Kathy’s former teammate, Erik Reichenbach, who’s now playing on the Favorites tribe on this season. They think he missed an opportunity by turning down Phillip Sheppard’s offer to work together. Kathy wonders if his sweetness can help him work his way out of this situation. Joel thinks he can maneuver his way back in because he is strong in the challenges. Rob thinks Erik would be in a great position if he goes up to the fans and tells them he knows what they’re going through and can help them out. Joel thinks he could do that, but it wouldn’t be smart of him to completely turn on the Favorites. Rob asks Joel if the downfall of the Fans on his season was because he and Mikey B played too hard too fast.

Rob asks Joel and Kathy some questions from viewers. They talk about why no one likes Jason. Joel thinks Jason was a little bit like Russell Hantz. Next they talk about why Kathy said “Who?” when Joel was talking about Mary. She said she did hear him and knew who Mary was, but she just didn’t understand how the vote ended up being Mary. They also discuss whether any fans have a chance of winning. Joel thinks possibly Reynold, and Mary thinks Sherri. They talk about how their perceptions changed of some of the Favorites once they meant them. Joel says Ami Cusack is one of the best people he knows, but he didn’t appreciate her when he watched her on Survivor: Vanuatu. Kathy did not like Parvati Shallow when she saw her on Cook Islands, but was charmed by her after she played with her. Rob asks Joel about the challenge where he dragged Chet around, which was one of the memorable moments from their season. Joel and Kathy both say there aren’t any of the Favorites on the current season that they would want to play with. Joel would like to see a Fans vs. Fans season to see which Fans tribe is the strongest. Kathy would like to see the Favorites tribe be made up of the “Sprint Fan Favorite” winners.

Follow Joel on Twitter: @SurvivorJoelWho. Kathy is not on twitter, but she is active in the Previously On Survivor group. Kathy and Joel say their spouses are tired of hearing about Survivor, so they like interacting with the fans and enjoyed the chance to reunite and discuss their season on Rob has a Podcast!

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