Exclusive: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' third-place finisher Will Sims II talks
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/22/2015
Survivor: Worlds Apart castaway Will Sims II lost out on the $1 million grand prize and finished in third place during the live portion of Wednesday night's finale broadcast on CBS.
As a result of the 30th season's final jury voting results, Will, a 41-year-old YouTube sensation from Sherman Oaks, CA, lost to runner-up Carolyn Rivera, a 52-year-old corporate executive from Tampa, FL, and ultimately to winner Mike Holloway, a 38-year-old oil driller from North Richland Hills, TX.
Host Jeff Probst revealed only six votes during the live reunion show. One person voted for Will, one person voted for Carolyn, and four people voted for Mike. Because Jeff did not show whom the two additional votes were cast for, Mike likely got them. Rodney Lavoie Jr. finished in fourth place, while Sierra Dawn Thomas claimed fifth place.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Will talked about his Survivor experience. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: What votes did you think you had prior to jury questioning and how did that change -- if at all -- after hearing everyone talk?
Will Sims II: I thought going in that I would have Rodney's vote, because we were going to stay true to each other until the end. But, you know, I was up against -- I didn't have the resume to win. I was going up against Mike and Carolyn, who was one of the tough competitors out there. She had two immunities and I had none, so there was nothing you could do about that.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you getting one vote didn't come as much of a surprise to you.
Will Sims II: Oh no. The only thing that surprised me is that Carolyn only got one vote from Sierra. I thought she would've had more.
Reality TV World: Why did Sierra become the target before Carolyn when you guys all agreed Carolyn needed to go at the previous Tribal Council when everyone, except Mike, had voted for her? How did Sierra all of a sudden become the bigger target?
Will Sims II: Well, when we had the loved-ones visit, some of us overheard Sierra telling her father that she was just out of it, that she couldn't do it anymore. So, that was our reasoning. We knew that "Mama C" could beat Mike [in Immunity Challenges]. She was a challenge threat herself, so we rolled the dice and we chose Carolyn.
Reality TV World: So you truly wanted Mike out because he was a big threat and not for personal reasons, like you wanted your core alliance to go to the end together and Mike was the only outcast? Is that right?
Will Sims II: Yeah, we had to get rid of Mike. We knew if Mike made it to the end, he'd win.
Reality TV World: How much of a role do you think Mike's apology to Dan Foley played in the jury voting for Mike to win? Everyone seemed extremely mad at him until that moment.
Will Sims II: No, I don't think it's the apology. I think he apologized to Dan to make sure he had Dan's vote. I don't think the jury was going to be swayed. I think, you know, these are Super Fans and players, and they respected the game Mike played. The only thing that shocked me out of that was Carolyn not getting more than the one vote.
Reality TV World: There's been a lot of talk that you just rode people's coattails the whole way. Would you own it and say that was the best strategy you could do considering your physical limitations and knowledge of the game, or does that claim frustrate you because you think you had done more you didn't get credit for?
Will Sims II: I think a little bit of both. I mean, I did make moves. Me and "Mama C," I wish they had shown more of the strategy that we played. Because actually, me, her and Rodney were very strategic. Everybody came to us for a vote, and you guys never saw that. And as far as riding people's coattails, I don't care. I got to the end. I played my game. I wasn't a threat. Why make yourself a threat?
Reality TV World: Did you think Rodney was running things while you were out there to a certain extent? Because he believed he had orchestrated the side alliance of you, Carolyn, himself and Tyler, and was convinced he was in charge.
Will Sims II: You know, people are not giving Rodney a lot of credit. I mean, Rodney was a very strategic player. He, you know, once Blue blindsided him with the [Joaquin Souberbielle] vote, his mission in life was to let them know they had made a mistake.
They should've trusted him and let him take a little bit of a leadership role. And the people that didn't trust Rodney trusted me, so I had his back and he had mine. So, that's what we did.
Reality TV World: During the Reward Challenge when your wife was there, Jeff made a comment like you almost seemed like a totally different person out there. Do you regret not putting that much effort into everything you did beforehand? Because you were clearly capable.
Will Sims II: No, I put effort in. I just made this challenge a little extra special that's all. (Laughs) I was never going to be good at challenges. I mean, we knew that from Day 1. I could only just do my best. Some challenges, I was better than others. But, you know, there's nothing you can do about that. It's not all about challenges. I mean, socially, I can play the game better than anybody.
Reality TV World: What's your viewpoint on the whole Dan controversy? Do you think some things were edited out of context?
Will Sims II: I think a lot of Dan's comments were taken out of context. It made it look like Dan was just going around bashing women, and he was nothing like that. I wish they had shown the funnier side of Dan, because Dan's a great guy. Dan is just brutally honest. Sometimes people are not used to that, I mean, he'll tell it like it is. But as far as being disrespectful and degrading, that's not Dan Foley's nature at all.
Reality TV World: You had your own share of issues with Shirin Oskooi but made a sincere apology to her during the live finale. Did you talk to her after the show? Even with your apology, things still seemed pretty tense and your wife didn't seem happy about the things Shirin was saying onstage.
Will Sims II: Oh yeah, well you know, Shirin wants to continue her little 15 minutes of fame, and that's on her. I owned up to my mistake and apologized, but she's never going to admit to the things she's done to us. And she was the only person in our season that everybody had a problem with, so is the problem us or is the problem her?
Reality TV World: Looking back, do you think there's anything you would've or should've done differently to better your chances of winning or do you stand by all the decisions you made thinking they were the best ones possible at any given time?
Will Sims II: I had to play my game and do what's best for Will. I'm the one going home, not the people watching me on TV. And the only thing I could've done better was perhaps do better at challenges, but other than that, no. I was happy.
Reality TV World: Since you had little knowledge of Survivor before playing and struggled a bit to learn as the season progressed, would you want to play again or do you think that one time was good for you?
Will Sims II: I'd absolutely play again in a heartbeat. Coming from my situation, I had 12 hours of notice that I was leaving the next day. I think that's a hell of a job. I don't think anybody could've done what I did in that short amount of time.
Reality TV World: You seemed concerned about setting a good example for you daughter. After watching the season back, do you think you made your family proud and liked the way you came across on TV?
Will Sims II: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one incident is not going to define the season and it doesn't define who I am. As you saw, no other woman on that cast had nothing but positive to say about me, and they all came up to me after the show and said, "You know what? You were the nicest guy or person to me out there in the game."
So, you know, that's what matters to me. And I wanted my daughter to see that when you make a mistake, you apologize for it. Now, whether they accept it or not, that's on them. But you do whatever you need to do to let that person know you're sorry, and that's what I did. So, that's on [Shirin].
Reality TV World: Could you elaborate a little more on how you were cast on Survivor? Was it your first time applying?
Will Sims II: Yeah, it was my first time applying and they saw me and my wife's prank at the gas station by Jay Leno. It was called "Pumpcast News" and it went viral in three days. We had 25 million hits and they asked me to come in and that was it.
Check Reality TV World's Survivor page for more interviews with Season 30's Final 5 castaways.