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Survivor’s Bruce: ‘Ponderosa was not fun’

Survivor’s Bruce: ‘Ponderosa was not fun’

Survivor’s Bruce: ‘Ponderosa was not fun’

Bruce Perreault. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS.


By John Powell – GlobalTV.com

Watching Bruce’s Survivor journey I couldn’t help but to think back to my kid’s first day of high school. As he prepared to get off the bus I leaned over to give him a hug and wish him a good day. He reacted as if I had offered him a balut for lunch. For those who don’t know you have seen baluts on many reality shows in their “gross food challenges”. Baluts are a common street food in the Philippines. They consist of the developing embryo of a bird boiled inside and served from its own egg shell. Yeah, I would pass on that too.

My son’s reaction was grounded in the fact that he was in high school now and I had committed a “dad faux pas” by offering him a hug potentially in front of his friends. A classic dad mistake. Bruce’s mistake from the way he tells it is that the players looked at and viewed him also as an older father figure which is part of the reason, part because Bruce takes ownership of his often curt behaviour on the island, why he butted heads with them. They didn’t want to be told what to do or how to do it from someone who symbolized or represented a parental figure especially one from a generation who is notorious for not sugar-coating criticism.

John Powell: Bruce, what has it meant to you to get that second chance to play again?

Bruce Perreault: Oh, man! To get the second chance to play again it means the world to me because I’ve done a lot on this show that a lot of people haven’t even had the ability to do! I made the merge! I won two immunity challenges and other challenges which keep my tribes from going to tribal council! I found a hidden immunity idol! I made the merge and had a merge feast! It was all encompassing for me and I truly, truly appreciate enjoying this right now!

John Powell: Now I have to ask you this question obviously because “mama didn’t raise no fools” on your part but what convinced you not to use your idol? Was Emily that effective in her pitch?

Bruce Perreault: It was circumstance and her pitch because we’re trying to figure out exactly what’s going on and “who’s who in the zoo” and who’s going to be voted out. I tried as hard as I could not to throw names out there. Then, all of a sudden after a great conversation with Julie, Emily comes to me. Emily, who I’ve been in constant communication with since we merged together. I’ve never lied to this young lady. I’ve always told her the truth but she asked me about something and in my mind she did the very same thing. So, when she came to me she said: “Julie’s not working with you.” My mind says: “Wait a minute. Wait a minute.” My thought was to figure out the numbers and see if we can get Julie out. How we can have her voted out of the game. That would do two things. One, get someone out who was mentioning my name and two, be able to weaken Reba. That conversation with Emily was very, very, very, very, very trusting on my end. (laughs)

Bruce Perreault. Photo: CBS.

John Powell: Unfortunately, we saw how some of the jury reacted to you being voted out. How were things in Ponderosa?

Bruce Perreault: I’m not one to sugarcoat or hide anything. I made it abundantly clear to the people that I was in Ponderosa with that this was going to come up. Ponderosa was not fun. Not fun. The reason why Ponderosa was not fun is because having been through Season 44 I was the King of Ponderosa. Maddy (Pomilla) was the Queen of Ponderosa. We were both there and we greeted everyone who came in. The general consensus, the general unspoken rule is when someone comes up they’re now dealing with a whole bunch of stuff.

From Day One there I got goosebumps. It’s a very strong reaction. There are a lot of questions being asked of me. Why do I do this? I didn’t really have time to gather everything together…There’s so much going on but it continued on during the days going forward. Finding out that no one was willing to work with me and all that stuff came to a head and it just made my experience at Ponderosa nothing like it was for Season 44…It made it something that I wish was a little bit different but the good thing is that since then I’ve had conversations with every single person and I just love them all the death.

John Powell: Realistically, looking at some of those comments made on the show, a lot of them can sting very deeply. How did you deal with all of that as it is hard for all of us to look into the mirror from time to time?

Bruce Perreault: One of the ways that I was able to process everything that I saw was actually through the lens of me showing emotion to my tribemates. After multiple conversations both with myself and with (an expert), Survivor gives us great resources to be able to talk these things through, I really don’t think that they looked at me as a player in the game. They really looked at me as kind of a father figure and that kind of nuisance.

I didn’t have emotions until I showed emotion. Because if you remember I was quoted a couple of times that I played this as a game. It was a game to me 100 per cent. I didn’t want to get into the emotional part of it. I didn’t want to do that. When the whole thing with Emily took place gameplay and emotions intertwined. I couldn’t get the two untangled. That was something that not everybody got a chance to be able to see because those emotions were in confessionals. It was emotional…I never really was able to connect to many on an emotional level.

Bruce Perreault. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS.

John Powell: Now, I’m a father and I get how we can be perceived at times as irritating or a bother by our kids. Now, I am generalizing here but those of a younger generation really don’t like to be mentored or told how to do things. Many want to find their own way. Some also don’t take criticism very well, at least criticism that isn’t sugarcoated. Do you think there was a bit of a generational rift between you and the younger castaways at times?

Bruce Perreault: If you can allow my math to kind of take place right now. At the time, I’m 46. Katurah, unbeknownst to me, she was 44 at the time. That’s a 12 year difference but in the show, she was 30. So now, add four more years. It’s like 16 years of a difference between myself Kellie and Kendra and Jake is another two years. That’s 18 years.

I technically, aside from Katurah, I technically can be their father…Think about this, if your father ever came to you and said: “Go take the garbage out!” You might answer: ”Oh, Dad! What the hell?”, while you’re grinding your teeth. It was almost like everything that I said was a dad talking no matter how my voice inflected whatsoever. Whether if I was aggressive with it, which I don’t think I was, but it came across to people that it could have been aggressive, or if I was joking around it was: “Well, that’s my stupid dad!” or “Dude, that’s dumb dad joke.”

What made it easier for the demographic that I was with is that they can then go talk to each other because they’re all in the same age bracket. That’s what made it so hard for me to break through and not have that annoying “Dad” thing. Give me a couple of 35-year-olds playing as a 35-year-olds. Give me a couple of 40-year-olds and then things would be completely different because then people will understand and more willing to understand where I’m coming from. I’m not coming from a place of malice. I’m not coming from a place of being bossy. I don’t care about your feelings. I do what I say and I try as hard as I can not to deflect that on people but sometimes it just comes out.

John Powell: Talking about perspective, Katurah was like my French Bulldog, Jax, when it comes to you. As soon as he gets something on his mind, he has such a narrow focus. He’s laser focused on that and nothing can dissuade him from that. What was you impression of Katurah and her mission to get you out week after week after week?

Bruce Perreault: Week One and Week Two were okay. I had a watch party for the premiere and then I really couldn’t hear what was going on. I was in my basement. I was sitting with Maddy Pomilla and Helen Li from Season 44 and we watched the premiere.

We’re watching and I’m just like: “That’s weird.” And then like Week Three comes four, five and six and I’m just like: “Oh my god! What is going on?”

Bruce Perreault and Jeff Probst. Photo: CBS.

It is crazy that I had this this rub on people. With Katurah, I didn’t know how strong it was. I had no idea how strong it was. Whether it be from something that I said or something that I did, I wish I would have known about it.

I was sitting with Katurah and told her that’s a dumbest idea I’ve ever heard? In the course of saying it, I’m like: Oh, my God! You’re so stupid!…I went down to the beach and told the camera crew to give us a second and this is not for the show. I apologized to her. Remember, I didn’t put any real emotion into the game. It was all gameplay but at that moment in time I put some emotion into it. I told her: “I’m so sorry.” I thought we could be okay to move on. That’s why when I was sitting here talking to Katurah about the idol I still wanted to work with her. I had my peace.

John Powell: Obviously you cannot tell us who you voted for but what aspects of the experience were you weighing on your mind as you came to your decision?

Bruce Perreault: There was no thought beforehand. I wanted an open mind the reason being is that I wanted to see what that person did to that point…I just kind of wanted to gather my information and not make a decision. I didn’t want to make a decision because at the final tribal I would battling against a decision I’ve already made (at Ponderosa). I was trying to figure out who it is that I want to vote for depending on all the stuff that I gathered, the things that I heard at the final tribal and then go from there.

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