Exclusive: Danny 'G.C.' Brown dishes about 'Survivor: Gabon' ouster
By John Bracchitta, 10/17/2008
Danny "G.C." Brown, a 26-year-old maintenance supervisor from Portland, OR, had weathered three Tribal Councils, poor relationships with his tribemates, and even a brief stint as the leader of his tribe during his fifteen days in Gabon.
However, with a fourth Tribal Council looming for his Fang tribe, G.C.'s frustration finally got the best of him. After expressing doubt to his teammates regarding his desire to remain on the show, G.C. became the fifth castaway eliminated from Survivor: Gabon.
On Friday, G.C. talked with Reality TV World about his claims that he didn't actually want to go home, what his opinions of his tribemates were, and why his election as the initial leader of the Fang tribe ruined his game plan for the rest of the competition.
Reality TV World: After you had been eliminated, you said in your Final Words video: "For all the people who might say I quit or I just gave up, call it what you want." What would you call it if it wasn't one of those?
G.C.: Hmm, let me see. A "voluntary bow down" (laughs). I just wanted to give somebody else a chance, do you know what I mean? That's what I was really doing. I was like "[Jessica "Sugar" Kiper], you want it? Maybe I'll just let you stay the night."
Reality TV World: during your Final Words, you also said you didn't agree with "the backstabbing and the lying" and "never expected it to be this hard." Backstabbing, lying and hardship are all core parts of the Survivor game. Why were you surprised and what were you expecting?
G.C.: Yeah, I already knew that part of it, I knew I was gonna have to do it. I just didn't wanna have to do it to everyone. I didn't want to have to do it to people I was close with and people who I promised that I wouldn't vote out.
I know that's part of the game, that you eventually have to vote people out, but I was hoping to have the type of alliance where I could just really keep it real with that person and let them know how I'm feeling. Like, if it came to that point and it was [either] me [or] you to go, I'm gonna say "You know, tonight man I might have to write your name down because it's either me or you."
I wanted to have that type of relationship with my alliance. But what happened was everyone just turned on everyone. That's what I [meant].
Reality TV World: On the show it showed a lot of arguing between everybody, but didn't seem to show much of the undercutting, backstabbing and lying [you had mentioned]. Can you give me some specific examples about what you saw among the Fang members?
G.C.: Yeah, there was definitely a couple of people that were on different sides. Like for example me and [Ken "Kenny" Hoang] and [Crystal Cox], we stuck together for the majority of the time and everybody else just kinda seemed like they were doing their own thing and started alliances on the side. There was a lot of.... we were losing so much [that] there was always the talk of who was going to be voted out next because we knew we were heading to Tribal Council. So there was always a lot of [planning] and scheming going on around the Fang camp.
Reality TV World: Where there any alliances that you didn't feel were "backstabbing" and were good for you?
G.C.: Not really, but I would say me and Kenny probably had the best relationship while I was there. He was the person I was always 100% honest with and, well I felt that he was the same with me.
After watching the show I could see that everybody kind of turns on each other when they're not together. But for the most part he was on my side.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on the show?
G.C.: I applied in January and went through a few interviews and just had to wait. There was a lot of waiting.
Reality TV World: Had you applied to the show before?
G.C.: Nope. This was my first time.
Reality TV World: And had you watched the show a lot before applied?
Reality TV World: What were the hardest parts of the game that surprised you?
G.C.: The hardest part was really dealing with the people. I usually get along with people pretty good and really easily.
It's not as easy for me to still deal with you on a level where we may not be best friends, we might not all agree on everything, and you might not like me, but I can respect you in a way where we can still get along.
That just wasn't happening out there because everyone was just constantly being pestered or pestering each other.
Reality TV World: How far into the competition were you when you first got the feeling that you were done and just wanted to go home?
G.C.: (pauses) I never really just said that I was ready to go right at that second. I was just kind of telling people that it was hard for me and I was like "You know what? I feel like going home." But I was just hoping someone was gonna talk to me and be like "This is what we're gonna do." And then the more and more I thought about it and I was like "You know, maybe this ain't for me."
Reality TV World: So do you have any idea how many days it took before you wanted to go?
G.C.: I would say probably within the last three days, because a few things went down and it kinda just pushed me more towards that feeling.
Reality TV World: Before the Tribal Council in which you were eliminated, did Crystal, [Matty Whitmore], Kenny, and [Kelly Czarnecki] approach you to stick around one more week so the tribe could blindside Sugar?
G.C.: Yeah, they did. And I said that would be fine. I was like "You know what, it's up to you. I told you how I feel already so that's it, I have nothing else to say because the decision is in your hands."
I did feel that there was a good possibility that they were gonna try to vote Sugar out that night.
Reality TV World: So you would have been willing to stay?
G.C. Yes. Definitely.
Reality TV World: And so when you went to Tribal Council did you think you were going home or did you think they were going to go after Sugar?
G.C.: I wasn't sure. I thought that because they found that [Immunity Idol] in Sugar's bag that they might want to vote her out because everyone was so paranoid about that Idol.
Even when [Dan Kay] was on our tribe and he went to [Exile] people were getting paranoid and wanted to vote him out because he might have had the Idol.
So the fact that Sugar had been out there numerous times and now she was coming back to our camp, I was thinking "You know maybe they will be so paranoid that they will vote her out." So I really wasn't sure.
Reality TV World: Could you explain the situation with the kayak [in Thursday's episode]? Were you keeping track of the time? Did you want the tribe to leave without you for the Immunity Challenge?
G.C.: No. [The tribe] knew that we had a little bit of time before the [Immunity Challenge] started. There was a place that I go fishing [that was] not far from our campsite or dock. So I went to go fishing so we could eat some fish before the challenge because all we had was rice.
I went out there and I just lost track of time because I was having fun out there fishing and I was catching stuff. They started calling me and I was like "Oh damn! I need to get back to the camp" so I just immediately left. I didn't hesitate and try to prolong it. As soon as I heard them call me I ran to the boat, hopped in, and got back to camp.
Reality TV World: Survivor castaways don't need to voted out of the game in order to quit -- you could have quit the game at any time. Had that possibility crossed your mind? Or had you decided to stick with it until you were eliminated?
G.C.: I was there until I got eliminated. There was no way I was ever going to be asked to get picked up or anything like that. I was there until I got voted off, or I won. That was it.
Reality TV World: What did you think of Sugar's Tribal Council comments about the Immunity Idol? Did you take that as an admission that she had found it?
G.C.: Well we actually knew that she had found it because Crystal had gone into her bag and seen it...
Reality TV World: But do you think that she knew that you guys knew she had it when she was saying that?
G.C.: I don't think that she would really think that we had gone through her stuff. I mean, we did and Crystal did. She probably didn't think somebody would really look in it, but it happened, and [Crystal] found it. There was really nothing much that [Sugar] could say because we already knew.
Reality TV World: Could you speak a little bit about your relationship with Crystal? At some times it seemed like you two got along alright but at other times you two were at each other's throats.
G.C.: Yeah it was one of those relationships. (laughs) I think Crystal is... she's the type of person who I would probably talk to or hang out with in real life or whatever. But out there on the show it was just difficult to deal with her sometimes. I have a strong personality [and] she has a strong personality and, you know, we just kind of butted heads sometimes.
That's all it was, I have nothing against her or anything like that. It is what it is.
Reality TV World: Ok, and what was the misunderstanding in last night's episode when Crystal made the comment about you eating your rice?
G.C.: I was like, I was already tired enough (laughs). I'm hungry enough. You don't have to tell me to eat my rice because I'm starving! I'm gonna eat my rice without you having to tell me.
She just came out of nowhere and she just said that, and I was like "Where the hell is this coming from? Why are you saying that?" And she just kept saying it, and I was like "Please shut up," or "Shut your mouth" or whatever I said. (laughs).
Reality TV World: Going back to the first Tribal Council, when you offered to become the tribe's leader -- and then seemed to take a step back immediately after -- had you just been trying to get the idea out there and maybe make yourself look good? Or did you actually want to be [the tribe's] leader?
G.C.: No, I didn't want to be the leader, and I actually didn't offer to be the leader. They pretty much raised their hands... Jeff was like "[Whoever] wants G.C. to be the leader raise your hands," and that's how it happened. I never said "You guys pick me to be the leader, I want to be the leader of this tribe, I think I'd be a good leader" or anything [like that]."
I was just trying to fly under the radar and just try to go unnoticed. After they [made me the leader] I feel like I was put in a position where I didn't want to be in because there's no way for a leader to go unnoticed and go under the radar. I know that leaders get voted out for the decisions that they make in the game and I don't want that on my back.
I just wanted to be, like I said, just a guy who's around camp helping out and you really don't notice him that much, and he just helps on the challenges or whatever and you just keep him around. But it didn't work out like that for me.
Reality TV World: So is that why you chose to relinquish that leadership role so soon after in the next episode?
Reality TV World: Were you surprised how aggressive Jeff about the issue by pushing someone to step up and become a leader?
G.C.: Yeah. I was very surprised. I wish he wouldn't have done that, because I think that would have changed a lot of things as far as how my game went. But you know, it is what it is.
Reality TV World: You and [Randy Bailey] clearly didn't get along when you guys were on Fang. Did your mutual dislike happen instantly or grow as the days passed?
G.C.: It kind of progressed over the days. The first couple days I was like "Wow, this guy really surprised me" because I wasn't able to talk to him before the show started, and just by looking at him I was just thinking "You know this guy is probably someone that I would not hang out with." He just had a mean look on his face all the time and I was like "Man, what's wrong with this dude?" And after hearing him talk the first time I was like "You know he's kinda funny. He's alright."
Then once the whole leader thing happened that's when it just switched. All of the sudden he came out of nowhere and was like "G.C. you need to do this. You need to do that, and G.C. you need to do this," and I'm like "Wow where's this coming from? Why are you going to ask me to be the leader and now you got all of these ideas for what we're doing?" (laughs)
Dan was kind of the same way. There [were] a few things that led to me saying that I didn't want to be the leader because once I had that title everything changed!
Reality TV World: Ace Gordon seems to be a "love him or hate him" kind of guy. What did you think of him?
G.C.: I think Ace was pretty cool actually. I know that a lot of people don't like him, but I respect him. I like him because he is different and he's pretty unique. He might not be like me and we may not agree on everything but he's still a good guy.
Reality TV World: After the tribes were reshuffled [last week] did you think that the tribes ended up better or worse for you?
G.C.: I kind of feel like it was better because I really didn't get along with Randy and Dan and now they were on the other tribe. And we didn't really have any girls in our camp either and [after the shuffle] we had a couple girls like Kelly and Sugar. [Jacque Berg] was there for a minute [too], but that was pretty cool. I didn't have to look at those old ladies anymore.
Reality TV World: Is there anyone that you'd like to see win?
G.C.: Yeah man. Somebody from the Fang tribe, hopefully.