By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
It was one of the biggest blindsides of the season against one of the biggest power players of the season. Chris Hammons, the trial lawyer from Oklahoma, was bamboozled, as Richard Hatch would say, by Zeke, who he thought was a trusted ally. Months later, Chris still cannot believe what happened at that Tribal Council.
“It was such a shocker because honestly, I was truly blindsided. As soon as I saw my name, I felt like that was it for me. I knew at that point I was history. It is not fun being blindsided,” he told GlobalTV.com
Chris realizing that Zeke has betrayed the trust they had really rattled him.
“I was shocked that Zeke would turn on me. I had felt at the time that we would eventually be at odds against each other but not that early on. It was so tough coming to the conclusion that Zeke was the one who turned on me. I really felt like I could trust Zeke and I was wrong,” said Chris as discussed what it was like being a power player and thus a major target, always.
” Everyone is always like…Well, it is just a game. That goes to a certain extent but it really is personal. You have a ton of time away from family, friends and your job. Some people are risking their jobs by participating. So, to say it is not personal is not true. It is extremely personal. When you are walking down that ramp, you take it in a personal way.”
John Powell: You were a major power player this season. Did you feel that eventually you would be targeted as a threat?
Chris Hammons: “I had a pretty tight core and if I could have gotten Jessica out on that vote there wouldn’t have been a Dave, Ken and Adam alliance. I think they would have all fallen apart and Dave would have stuck with our alliance a little longer. My idea was to have Bret and Sunday, Zeke and Jay. Jay was in that mix too. It just didn’t work out as Zeke and Hannah flipped on me.”
John Powell: From the edit we saw, it seemed like you, David and Jessica could never bury the hatchet after Takali? Do you wish you had and why did you think all of you couldn’t forgive and forget?
Chris Hammons: “Well, it was all about the timing. We had the Paul vote which drew a line in the sand. In the next vote, the majority of the Gen Xers agreed that Jessica made a mistake voting Paul out when she did and we all agreed to vote her out. That is including Ken and David. Dave played the Idol and that further destroyed any trust. We go to a swap so there wasn’t a whole lot of time to make amends or anything.”
“Dave did a brilliant job of keeping Jessica and I at polar ends of the spectrum. I give him a lot of credit for that. He kept us apart and played off of that. Jess and I never had a chance to reconnect.”
John Powell: Apparently, Jessica hid the fact that she was an assistant district attorney, as a lawyer yourself did you ever suspect she was an attorney?
Chris Hammons: “I never suspected she was an attorney. I think she said she was a photographer or something like that. I never had any reason to doubt her. For me, her game felt like Dave made the calls but she was the glue that held everything together. Ken liked her and Adam liked her and Dave liked her. She was more like a Mama Bear to them.”
John Powell: Speaking of Ken, very few other players seemed to get a handle on him or his gameplay. What was your opinion of him?
Chris Hammons: “He is so hard to figure out. He is a super nice guy, well-spoken and I think he is highly intelligent. He was a good athlete too. There is some kind of disconnect though. I don’t know if Ken believed that we were out to get him or something like that but we always wanted Ken involved on Gen X. He was a nice guy and an asset to us. We all wanted to work with him but he didn’t want to talk strategy or anything, at least not with us.”
John Powell: Looking back over your time on the island is there anything that we didn’t see that you wish we had of?
Chris Hammons: “There were some funny moments and a lot of conversations between Bret and I. What would have been interesting is if they would have shown the conversations between Dave and I. There were a lot of conversations. We talked closely about the future in the game and what we were going to do moving forward. That would have been interesting.”
John Powell: As a fan, what surprised you the most about the experience itself?
Chris Hammons: “How personal an experience it is. Everyone is always like…Well, it is just a game. That goes to a certain extent but it really is personal. You have a ton of time away from family, friends and your job. Some people are risking their jobs by participating. So, to say it is not personal is not true. It is extremely personal. When you are walking down that ramp, you take it in a personal way.”
John Powell: I agree wholeheartedly. You are talking about a situation where emotional bonds are formed, there are relationships. People are trying to win money for their friends and family to make their lives better. Survivor is a personal game.
Chris Hammons: “It is certainly more than a game. You have bonds with everyone. I know that Jess and I were at odds but we had good conversations too. At the end of the day though, you are fist fighting for one goal and with that many people colliding, it becomes very personal.”
John Powell: You mentioned your admiration for Gerry Spence who had close ties with Native Americans and you described one of your cherished items would be a medicine pouch given to you by an Indian Chief. We didn’t hear about it much on the show but do you have a strong bond with that community?
Chris Hammons: “I spent about three weeks out on Gerry Spence’s ranch and he gave like 55,000 acres land to various Native tribes. His ranch sits there and he has a trial lawyer’s college. At the end of our graduation, that is when I was given this pouch. You bring it to trial and it is for luck. Quite frankly, I thought if I could bring it as my personal item I might be able to spin it as an Idol too.” (Laughs)
John Powell: (Laughs) Well, it would save you the trouble of having to make one.
Chris Hammons: “I thought I would be able to tell people it was my special Idol and everyone would have bought into it because it is so well made.” (Laughs)
John Powell: As a jury member and a fan, what is your criteria for a winner going into the jury vote?
Chris Hammons: “I did take my role as a juror very seriously. I felt I should put aside all personal issues and I believe I was able to do that. I wanted the winner of our season to be the best out of the people who were left.”
Next time on Survivor…