Survivor Cambodia contestants speak out about their "second chance"
Survivor, the granddaddy of reality shows, returns to TV3 on Monday, with yet another reboot of the classic backstabbing show.
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance features 20 former players – all losers, by the way – who were voted back into the game by the viewers. The cast includes an original member from the very first Survivor, as well as a couple from the most recent series.
Because players these days have had years to study the game and devise strategy, not to mention that they've all see each other's games, Survivor is throwing in a few twists.
The two that have been revealed so far involve the immunity idols.
The hidden idols won't resemble each other, which should create some confusion and allow some crafty survivors to make their own and try to pass them off as the real thing.
There also will be idols in plain sight at immunity challenges to test the players grit. Can they grab one while not falling behind in the challenge, and can they do it without everyone seeing it? Time will tell.
Two of the returnees say their first Survivor outing saw them achieve some personal growth, but left them desperately seeking redemption
"I don't have any bad things in my life, except Pearl Islands. My exit, it's haunted me for 12 years," says Andrew Savage, who was eliminated from the seventh season of the show. "And I'm not over it. And to cure my Survivor pain, I need to give it 1000 per cent. I'm gonna leave everything I got in this game, and it will be epic."
Savage, 52, finished in 10th place in his season. He is in the Bayon tribe, while 23-year-old Spencer Bledsoe is in the opposing Ta Keo tribe.
"Last time I played Survivor, I was frankly, cocky," says Bledsoe, who finished in fourth place in the Cagayan season that aired last year. "I thought about Survivor in terms of chess. But I have done a lot of maturing. I've done emotional growing in that time. People are not chess pieces and they need to be related to on a human level. Being more emotionally aware, I think I'm in a better place in life than I've ever been to play and win this game."
Meanwhile, for retired Navy fighter pilot Terry Deitz, his second chance comes exactly 10 years after he was the third-place finisher on Survivor: Worlds Apart.
Deitz says the game has changed since he played it a decade ago when a special immunity idol and his athletic prowess took him to the end.
"There's a new school in the way it is played," says Deitz, who, at 55, is the oldest competitor this season.
"When I played the first time we cared about the whole tribe and winning as a team," he says. "Now there is a game within a game, a kind of Big Brother thing going on," he says.
For Deitz, his second appearance didn't come without drama. Son, Danny, a high school lacrosse and football player, spent much of the past northern summer in Boston Children's Hospital after it was determined he had an enlarged heart. Diagnosed in May, shortly after his father left to film the show on Koh Rong Island in Cambodia, the high school junior was put on a waiting list for a heart transplant.
"I can't say how we handled it," Deitz says when asked about what happened and how he learned about the emergency going on at home while filming the show. "You just have to see how it plays out on television."
And as far as the overall experience, Deitz says it was well-worth the second time around.
"I'm glad I did it," he says. "It was a crazy ride and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it."
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance debuts on Monday at 4.30pm on TV3.