Interview: Michael Snow talks ‘Survivor: Caramoan’

If not for a major shift minutes before Tribal Council on Wednesday (April 10) night’s “Survivor: Caramoan,” not only would Michael Snow not have gone home, but his name probably wouldn’t have been written down a single time.
The votes were supposed to go against Malcolm, but sensing a move to send her packing, Andrea urged her alliance to switch from a complicated, Favorite-alienating vote, to the seemingly more simple elimination of yet another Fan. And, indeed, it appears to have been easy enough to make that shift, as Michael departed the game with a blurred display of his middle finger and the kiss-off, “You Turkeys.”
To some degree, Michael deserves credit for having made it past the Merge at all. He was the last Favorite standing from the three who made a straggling minority in the motley post-swap Bikal tribe, having watched Julia and best bud Matt go out earlier. And the writing was on the wall after last week’s episode, in which Michael’s fiercest ally, Corinne, was blindsided.
In his exit interview, Michael discusses the turkeys who voted him out, his relationship with Corinne and the one good thing about getting voted out early.
HitFix: How spontaneous was your “You turkeys” departure from Tribal Council?
Michael Snow: How spontaneous? Yeah, that was pretty spontaneous, because that’s something that comes out of my mouth all the time. That wasn’t something I thought of [beforehand]. I was just so stunned. I didn’t know what was coming out of my mouth.
HitFix: And who would you say you were flipping off?
Michael: You know, that wasn’t anger. That’s just me. I give people people s*** all the time, so it was meant from a place of humor. I’m not really confrontational. So it wasn’t really me being pissed off. It was me going. “You losers! You turds,” you know. It was kinda towards everybody who voted for me. It wasn’t towards anyone in particular.
HitFix: You obviously knew about your alliance targeting Andrea, but how much had you known before watching last night’s episode about how close you came to not going home?
Michael: I was not surprised by much. That’s why I wasn’t super-worried. That’s why I was kinda surprised. I really thought that if our plan didn’t work — which I really didn’t think it would, because I wasn’t sure about Dawn at all — I really was thinking that they were going to be splitting the vote and that’s where our plan would have into play. I really thought they were going to split it between Reynold and Eddie, so I was super-worried, so I was really kinda surprise. The only thing I really didn’t know was happening was that Eddie had kinda said that we were playing the Idol. The fact that Reynold showed the Idol, Reynold was offering his Idol to me, so I’m sure he offered it to Malcolm beforehand. So a lot of that stuff was not a surprise.
HitFix: Tell me about Reynold offering you the Idol. We didn’t see it, so what happened in that conversation?
Michael: Where there was one moment where I think it was Reynold, Eddie and I were sitting in the shelter and they showed us talking and that’s kinda one of the moments where we were just trying to figure out what was going to happen and how we were gonna try and get this thing to work. And he said, “You know, I’ll give my Idol to you guys.” He’s like, “I’ll give it to you” and I think he offered it to Eddie. I didn’t know if he really would, but he offered it to me. That just wasn’t my game to take somebody’s Idol, especially if I thought it was them going home.
HitFix: So it wasn’t you game, but how much regret have you subsequently had about not taking it?

Michael: Oh, of course! I’ve had regret about that and I’ve regret about the fact that Dawn came to me earlier in the game and said, “Who are you voting with?” and she said she was with us. And I have regret of the fact that I didn’t chase her down and really put the screws to her and make sure she was gonna be with us. There’s a ton of things I could regret, but it is what it is. I’ve just tried to remember the fun of the whole thing, rather than the regret of what I could have done.
HitFix: How active did you feel like you were in the alliance that you were in and could you or should you have been more active, do you think?
Michael: Yeah, well, I felt like I was a really active player out there all the time, but those particular days, the last couple of days, I was really working letting Reynold be my voice, because I was so worried about being a target at that point, since Corinne had been voted out. So I really kind of went into the shadows a little bit and let things kinda play out around me and tried to to just side into this alliance and hopefully make something work. So yes. I could have played a little harder and that’s one of those regrets. It’s one of those things that maybe, if I had been really super-agressive, then I would have been sitting there the next day.
HitFix: You mentioned Corinne going home last week and maybe not lobbying Dawn hard enough in this episode. Had you realized before watching last week’s episode the role Dawn played in Corinne’s elimination?
Michael: Yeah. I knew how close Dawn and Corinne were and as soon as we got back to the beach, it all spilled out how it all played out. I knew that night and I knew it was Dawn and Cochran, but I was wasn’t super-pissed at them, because I knew they were playing and I knew they, all of a sudden, were very wary of Corinne’s strength and who she was saying was with her and all that kinda stuff. I wasn’t really super-pissed at them, but I knew it has happened that way.

HitFix: For several weeks at Tribal Council, you kept saying that you were a potential swing vote and you kept pitching yourself to people, but we only saw minimal interest. Was there interest from unexpected people in using your vote that maybe we didn’t see?
Michael: Not really. I had been working those Bikal members since the tribal swap really hard. I had been trying to get them to trust been. I had been playing this really close-to-the-chest game of not being too anxious or too desperate or anything like that, so I really was putting a lot of my money on the Corinne-Dawn-Cochran threesome and letting them bring me in slowly, is what I thought was gonna happen. Other people said things to me like, you know, Erik had mentioned at some point. But Erik wasn’t running around planning a lot of things, so I didn’t really put much stock in it. And Andrea… People said stuff to you, but you didn’t really believe anything unless somebody started giving you information, you know? Somebody could say, “Hey, we need to work together real soon.” Sure. But until you start telling me what’s going on, I’m not gonna really believe you. I’ll say to you face, “Yeah. Let’s work together.” But I’m not gonna believe you until you start giving me information.
HitFix: Who do you think made the biggest mistake in not aligning with you, in not giving you that information?
Michael: Well, they didn’t make mistakes, because I got voted out. But I would have to say Dawn. She was putting it out there so often that we could work together and she was so afraid of being on the being on the bottom of her alliance and the fact that no one would want to take her to the end because she’s the nice mother-lady with all the kids, so nobody would want to take her to the end, because she would win. So she was putting that out there and I felt that that was going to come around at some point, but it just never happened. She just kept putting it out there, but it would never come true. So I think she made the mistake. I would have gone to the end with her, because I think I would have beaten her.
HitFix: How did you feel about how quickly Corinne wanted to latch onto you out there?
Michael: She latched onto me, because she knew that I have a sense of humor, immediately. She was like, “OK. Here are these new people in this tribe…” We left the swap when we got our new purple buffs and I said something to her and she was like, “Oh, hello!” It was immediate. She knew that I had a sense of humor that I would appreciate and we just started joking around and she was just easy to hang out with. She’s a very outgoing, social person and she’s the life of the party, basically, out there. So we connected pretty much right away.
HitFix: When we talked last week, she gave me the impression that the edit she got, with her constantly calling you “her gay” and all of that wasn’t really representative and that you guys had a truer friendship than that. It sounds like you feel that way as well?
Michael: I think maybe she’s a little worried about it’s coming across, but it didn’t bother me at all. To me, her saying that, she’s using that for comedy’s sake. If it’s coming from a good place, I think it’s hilarious. It didn’t bother me. I didn’t think, out there, she was being condescending to me in any way and I don’t think, watching the show, she was either. I think she genuinely liked me. We got along because we got along, not because I was gay. We didn’t sit around and talk about… gay stuff? I don’t even know what that would be. We didn’t talk about boys. We didn’t talk about drag queens and gay pride marches and stuff like that. We just talked about stuff. We bonded over our sense of humor.
HitFix: Did you have any interactions at all with Phillip out there? You didn’t get a Stealth R Us nickname. You didn’t get a double-agent assignment. What was up with that?
Michael: [He laughs.] I definitely interacted with Phillip. I was with him about half of my game. With Phillip, the first few days over there, I was like, “Wow. This is not the guy that I remember watching on television. This is an older, respectful, intelligent, thoughtful guy.” As time went on and you saw him get angry about things or he came at me trying to manipulate me in a lot of ways and coming to me with lies and trying to get me to do stuff all in the guise of “I will trust you if you do this” kinda stuff, it just made me more and more wary of him and more irritated with him as he would fight with people and boss them around. It started out fine and then by the end of my game, that was the one good thing about getting voted out, I was just like, “See you later, Phillip. I don’t have to be around you for a long time.”
HitFix: Talk a bit about your alliance with Matt and how things might have gone differently if he hadn’t gone out when he did and you guys had been able to continue to work together.
Michael: You know that in “Survivor” that you just can’t fully trust anybody, but that being said, Matt was the person I trusted the most out there. He came to me with that trust and we played an open, honest game together as well had a great time. We were laughing. He’s hilarious. We were cracking each other up and really having an adventure and playing the game really hard and it just sucked for that to end, not only the friendship, but the trust in planning your game. We were screwed when we got over to that tribal switch. We had gotten to the Merge together, I don’t know… Having that trust and working with somebody, that’s a real comfort in the game.
HitFix: Matt certainly blamed the tribal swap for his elimination. Do you feel that it also doomed you?
Michael: Yeah, but I would say there were different stages. The tribal swap, I made it through the tribal swap, so I have a different perspective on it than him. Unfortunately, he and Julia went and they were two of my closest allies, but I played really hard to get through that tribal swap. I worked my game all the time. So I was proud to get to the Merge at that point, but then I really felt I was climbing an uphill battle once I got to the Merge as well. So the tribal swap was a different thing for me.