Exit Interview: David Murphy Talks SURVIVOR REDEMPTION ISLAND

While many will argue that the introduction of “Redemption Island” is SURVIVOR’s biggest twist this season, some… okay we like to think that the far bigger surprise has a little something to do with the fact that for the first time in the history of the series, ousted contestants will have to face off against… us! Yes, you’re reading that correctly, theTVaddict.com is honored to have been asked to take part in the traditional one-on-ones with each week’s eliminated contestant, the seventh of which was David Murphy.

With the numbers stacked against your tribe [Zapatera], is it safe to say that you saw this coming?
David Murphy: Getting voted out for me at least was fairly predictable just because I knew what was going on after I lost the last immunity challenge. As for Redemption Island, I really screwed myself on that one, I was building a “House of Cards” that would stand the test of time, not focusing on being the fastest one to reach eight feet. I had seen it before where people had problems getting their “House of Cards” to stay up so in the back of my head I was thinking that I don’t want to be the one who gets two inches form the top and then have it all come crumbling down. As you saw from the episode, had there been even the slightest breeze you’d be talking to MIke and not me today. Suffice it to say, it was nobody’s fault but my own.

Was there any attempt on your part to ingratiate yourself with Ometepe following the merge?
From the beginning of the merge, literally one of the first things I did was approach Rob — alert him to the fact that I was morally flexible so to speak — and kind of lay it all out on the line. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, Rob got what I was saying, but I could tell as soon as I said it there was no room for that. And I understood why, not at that moment, but surely there after it became readily apparent that Ometepe’s alliance was pretty much air tight and there was no room, no need for them to be broken apart. Rob had control over them all and from his perspective he needed to keep them intact because he knew he had all these people who would do what and when he wanted. Had he allowed their to be any fractioning at the beginning of the merge he would have put himself in a difficult position.

The amount of control Rob has exerted over his tribe has been nothing short of remarkable. Was it a surprise to you, considering how quickly your tribe turned on Russell?
Well I think it’s interesting in that, before Rob and Russell were sent to either tribe I think the dynamics of the two tribes were very different to start with. I think whoever was put with Zapatera would have been screwed. The people at Ometepe were much more pliable than the people at Zapatera. I think Russell would have faired much better had he been on Ometepe, he could have done his dumb girl alliance again and been sitting in a situation where he’s got a handful of people that he can kind of manipulate. It was the luck of the draw for rob to get that position and Russell got the short end of the stick.

Was watching Phillip accuse Steve of racial overtones as uncomfortable for you, as it was for us watching at home during last week’s tribal council?
Nobody could have anticipated that. It was so far from where things had been, yeah there was animosity, yeah people weren’t getting along between the two tribes, but that conversation went someplace where you can’t really come back from.

Do you believe Steve’s comment, that saw him call Philip “crazy” were racially motivated?
I’m not one to speak as to what Phillip’s life experiences have led him to, or what his beliefs are in terms of how he interprets things. But I don’t think anybody would argue that when Steve says Phillip was acting “crazy,” or whatever the exact words he used were, it was based entirely on the action of what Phillip did and how he portrayed himself. Furthermore, for Phillip to take that to something that’s such a controversial subject, it’s unfortunate that it happened and I think it casts a cloud over the entire tribal council that night. But if Phillip’s goal is to alienate himself to the point where he’s the ideal person to sit next to in the end he’s certainly building that framework very well.

Is Phillip for real? And by that we mean, is there any chance he’s simply concocted this personality as part of some ingenious strategy, or is he really… shall we say… that unique an individual?
You know I would love to be able to answer that question but I honestly don’t know. What leads me to believe that he is really this unique are the interviews. If it was all strategy, at some point during the interviews he would tell people that I’m playing these people so well that they think I’m a lunatic, they all think i’m a lunatic! But you’re not going to get that, you’re not going to see that, at least not that I’m aware of. My impressions of it is that the truth lies somewhere between the two. I definitely think he’s hamming it up for the camera, but I don’t think this is entirely an act. The anger that he has displayed on a couple of occasions is not concocted, that seems very natural, it’s a very natural knee-jerk reaction that he has erupting on people.

Now that you’re out of the running, do you have a rooting interest?
Well regardless of who it is, I would love to see it be someone from Redemption Island, just to give some meat to that part of the game and have somebody get the opportunity and really fight through that whole experience. If you can sit down at the end after doing that I think you’re in pretty good shape.

Speaking of Redemption Island, do you think Matt has what it takes to endure? The preview for tonight’s episode teases somewhat of a breakdown on his part.
I didn’t notice it personally in the time that I spent with him, but definitely watching the preview for this week’s episode you can see that he is feeling it and I can’t blame him at all. I would definitely not be happy having spent twenty-something days, almost all of it by myself. But you know, he’s hanging in there and if he is able to focus mentally at each of the duels, I think he stands a very good shot of getting back into the game. And if he gets back into the game you know nobody would really want to sit next to him at the end.

It’s almost as if he deserves another shot next season, seeing as though he’s barely got to play the actual game of SURVIVOR.
No, that’s for me.

So you’re ready to go back?
I have been chopping at the bit, I would love the opportunity.

SURVIVOR airs Wednesday at 8PM on CBS (Global TV in Canada)

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