By: John Powell – GlobalTV.com
With 24 hours in a day and only 40-or-so minute episodes, we as Survivor viewers don’t always get to see everything that happens on the island each season. There just isn’t enough time to show every moment or delve deeply into every castaway’s story. Some editing decisions though make you scratch your head and this is one of those decisions.
According to the latest Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers jury member Cole Medders, an interesting and vital part of the last Tribal Council was not shown. As viewers might recall, Mike Zahalsky went on a tirade challenging the ethical behaviour of the larger, dominant alliance.
“Out there, people are very passive aggressive. They just hold those grudges against you quietly until they can vote you off.”
“Mike came out strong with what we ended up calling his “Statue of Liberty” speech. Mike was taking this moral high ground and it was really targeted at Ben [Driebergen] and Chrissy [Hofbeck]. Both of them had been pinning a lot of stuff on me and Joe [Mena], depicting us as these bad guys. Mike saw them as hypocrites; at least that is what he told me. Mike then pulled out a fake idol and handed it to Joe and he also pulled out his idol. From that point on, I knew I was going home,” said Cole describing what took place.
Cole guesses the scene wasn’t shown because it really had no impact on the final outcome. Cole knew he was leaving not only because the heat was off Mike and Joe but Devon [Pinto] let him know earlier back at camp that he was being targeted by the others.
Cole was thankful the issue was brought up at Tribal because he felt that others, namely Ben, were maligning his character for quite some time, exaggerating things or totally fabricating events to make him look terrible to the others.
“It was a little unfortunate. I felt what I was doing for the camp was largely unappreciated and that was because Ben was able to put his spin on things. I would get up every morning. I would start the fire for the whole group. I had cooked breakfast before anyone had woken up. That was a good job on his part putting a target on me but Ben would go around telling everyone that I was cooking extra rice for myself, I was tampering with it and he exaggerated to people what I did back at Yawa. He actually made things up but people believed him. I was out fishing every day for everyone. J.P. and I would catch a lot of fish. I did as much work around camp as I could,” said a frustrated Cole.
Cole admitted at times he was not very self-aware but his behaviour on the island was not as awful as some people were making it out to be.
“I will admit there was a day on the Yawa Tribe when I did go and take peanut butter without asking. I took two bites of peanut butter but that was the extent of it. I did catch and eat a fish all by myself but that was only because I was the only one fishing and I needed to replenish the energy of diving down, swimming around the ocean that particular day,” explained Cole who has since hammered things out with Ben.
John Powell: Have you spoken to Ben Driebergen about the issues he had with you and the things you claim he said on the island about you?
Cole Medders: “I have talked to Ben and his issue is that coming from overseas and serving in the military sharing food is what they did. It is a huge deal to take food. The last full season he watched was Millennials vs. Gen X. He was having flashbacks of Taylor. He just remembered hating Taylor. He was never able to get past that. All he could see when he looked at me was Taylor, but that was just as a player not a person. We are definitely on great terms now.”
John Powell: I spoke to Jessica Johnston weeks ago and she said you are a great person but you are just friends now. We saw you get very close to Jessica very quickly. Did the strength of the attraction throw you at times and how did it affect your game?
Cole Medders: “It just kinda happened. Jess is one of those people who has a very bright, bubbly, overflowing personality and is very attractive to be around and easy to be around. That was very refreshing on an island where a lot of people are being secretive and manipulative. Jess was always very honest and open. That made day-to-day live very easy. She was a joy to be around. It really sucked to see her go. Once she left, I felt that I was truly by myself.”
John Powell: The Healers were pretty much doomed at the merger. Was there anything you guys could have done to change things?
Cole Medders: “Jess and I talked about that to a great extent. If we had thrown a couple of challenges on the Yawa Tribe and sent Ben [Driebergen] or Lauren [Rimmer] home that would have saved Roark [Luskin] and Ali [Elliott] too. We could have had the numbers going into the merge.”
John Powell: You have been able to watch the show and take everything in. Is there anything you wish the producers would have shown about your gameplay or your personal time on the island?
Cole Medders: “When it comes to strategy, there wasn’t much on my end. (Laughs) It wasn’t my strong suit out there. I was pretty new to the game and yeah, you saw my strategy at its finest. I wish they would have shown me being me around camp. Ninety percent of the time, we were all good around camp. We were laughing and having fun. I was out fishing and enjoying myself. We all got along pretty well. You are just seeing a few moments when some crazy drama happened.”
John Powell: You said you would definitely play again if asked back. How would you play any differently and what has the Survivor experience taught you as a person?
Cole Medders: “I definitely need to be more self-aware. I was just doing me, how I usually do. I can be very oblivious in my personal life. In my daily life, my friends will call me out on it and let me know. Out there, people are very passive aggressive. They just hold those grudges against you quietly until they can vote you off. Definitely, in my private life I am not so oblivious and I am spending more time with my family now.”
John Powell: You are now a member of the jury who will ultimately decide the winner. What went through your mind as that day of decision approached?
Cole Medders: “I didn’t want to be known as a bitter jury member. I had a lot of reasons to be bitter. There were some people who did me the wrong way out there, however, that is not what the game is about. I wasn’t about to hold that against those people. I voted for whoever played the best game. A good game in my opinion is a well-rounded one, you are strong in challenges, you actually have survival skills as being able to contribute around camp is a big deal to me. You have to be a good social player too.”
Watch Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers Wednesdays at 8 et/pt on Global.
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