'Survivor: Philippines' Exit Interview: Zane Knight
The first 'Survivor' Season 25 player gets voted off the island in a big-time blindside
By Sona Charaipotra Sep 20, 2012 2:42PM
He fancied himself the next Russell Hantz, but would-be puppeteer Zane Knight found himself on the other side of a big-time blindside this week as the first castaway to be voted off on "Survivor: Philippines," the 25th season of the long-running CBS reality hit. And he never even saw it coming. We caught up with the tire repairman from Danville, Va., to chat about going home first, his anti-Russell agenda, and who he's rooting for now.
MSN TV: So that was quick, huh?
Zane: Yeah, that was sure short-lived. But America seemed to be very receptive to me. So that was cool. You don't get many times where you can make your mark on something huge like "Survivor." If I had to, I'm glad I had to go big. And all in one episode. At the end of it, I'm proud of it. How many people get to leave this game saying that?
So we didn't see that blindside coming -- but it seems like you didn't either.
Oh my goodness, girls, you didn't see my face when Jeff did that count? I was absolutely shocked. Even when I looked at Jeff, I was like, 'Are you serious? You just let this happen?' You see what I'm saying? He should have had some kind of administrative control. They should have came in and said, 'Aw, time for a re-count.' Sudden death or something. I was hoping at any time that he'd pull out a Redemption Island.
Were you gunning for Russell or did he just make it convenient for you?
No, I said it from day one -- I'm going after any veteran they put with me. Because watching these people like Coach, like Russell Hantz, they run the game. The only basis that they run it on is that they're returning players. All the others run to them to say, 'Tell me how to build a fire.' 'Tell me where to find an idol.' Russ knew coming that he wasn't gonna be able to let go of that. So he just made it easier for me to go after him. Where I messed up at was telling them what I was doing. I thought that if I kept the fellows strong, we could pick off the chicks. But Malcolm didn't see it like that.
Speaking of which, who do you think was the mastermind behind the blindside?
Really, I think it was Malcolm. Malcolm is an awesome player. He's so far in every sense of the word a survivor. I hope in the duration of the season, that doesn't change. He's playing it low-key, but he's pulling the strings, making things happen. That's fun for me, to watch that. I am a fan, first and foremost. I loved watching yesterday -- I was on the edge of my seat. It was like a football game. It's really cool to see "Survivor" get back to what's best at -- the surprises, the blindsides, the shocking turn. That episode was awesome, it got right back to it.
So given Malcolm's master-minding, is that who you're rooting for?
No, I never root for anybody -- I'm a fan of the game, how it unfolds, how things can turn in a minute, like they did at council this week. Whoever makes it to the end deserves to be there -- whoever gets it, they're the one.
You were a fan of the show. Did you have a role model going into it?
Oh, this is going to sound weird coming from a Yankees fan, but Boston Rob is the man. I mean, when you think "Survivor," you think Boston Rob. Or Russell Hantz. Coach. You wanna leave a big mark on the game. That's why I'm proud. I think I did that.
Was forming multiple alliances your strategy going in, or was that something you formulated after seeing the lay of the land, so to speak?
That's something I was born with. Just naturally, in every day life, that's the kind of person I am. Coming into this game, I knew right off the bat, I gave a 110 percent, I thought on my feet, I did my best in the moment. I feel like that's the best strategy you can have. I'm 50-50, there ain't no in between. You either love me, or you can't stand my ass. So if I can catch them off guard, it makes them love me. The best thing you can do when you see someone giving you the cross-eye is to go on up to them and talk to them and show 'em what you're about.
Do you think you'd play again?
Oh, without a shadow of a doubt. And not just me -- I think America wants to see me play again! Bring it on. I'm ready. The sky is the limit. I would be more than happy to go back -- but I'm open: "Big Brother," "Amazing Race." But as of right now, I'm just enjoying it like you guys are.
"Survivor: Philippines" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Sep 21, 2012 3:58PM
One of the dumbest and worst players in Survivor history. He tells his tribe to vote him out because he's exhausted and out of shape and may have cost them the challenge. Then he realizes he probably shouldn't have said that and tries to play it off as a strategy to get Russell out. WTF? This is after he makes and alliance with EVERY player on the tribe. I don't think he thought that one out very far.
I don't think anyone wants to see him on "Survivor, 2nd Chance".
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