Exclusive: Matt Quinlan talks about 'Survivor: One World' (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 03/01/2012
Matt Quinlan was voted out of his all-male Manono tribe at the third Tribal Council session of Survivor: One World during Wednesday night's third episode of the CBS reality series' 24th edition.
On Thursday, Matt, a 33-year-old attorney from San Francisco, CA, talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: One World experience and his early elimination from the game -- including whether he felt like he was really blindsided at Tribal Council or was aware he may get voted out of his tribe beforehand, what his plan was that he fully intended to execute before it failed to work, who he thought he definitely had on his side prior to them turning on him, and what he had to say about his cold attitude towards the women's Salani tribe and being hesitant to helping them in times of need.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Matt. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the second portion.
Reality TV World: After you were voted off, Survivor host Jeff Probst said you were the first blindside of the season. Were you really blindsided? Because based on your Tribal Council comments, it seemed like you had a pretty good idea you could be going home.
Matt Quinlan: Yeah, I didn't get blindsided. I felt it wasn't really a blindside -- only in the sense that I didn't necessarily know. I didn't walk into Tribal Council thinking it was the end for me. I thought it was either the end for me or I was going to have my plan work, you know?
And then it became obvious to me at Tribal that it probably wasn't going to work because of all the comments and everything, so at that point, I realized that I was probably done for. But when I went home, I was not shocked.
Reality TV World: So what was your plan that didn't work?
Matt Quinlan: You saw a little bit of it last night. I went to [Troy "Troyzan" Robertson] in an effort to try to kind of shake up the game and to align with him and [Jonas Otsuji] and add that to the [Michael Jefferson] and [Jay Byars] group that I was with and have those five, that was my plan.
It ultimately was to try to get out [Colton Cumbie] -- to either flush his [hidden Immunity Idol] and vote out [Bill Posley] or to send Colton home with his Idol. So, that's what I wanted to do. I always viewed Colton as the biggest threat out there and I think a lot of people view him to be the biggest threat out there, and they were distracted by me when I think they should have been focused on Colton.
And so, I was trying to put together a group that appeared to me to be very loyal, that I could trust moving forward and that was willing to kind of start picking off first Colton -- because I felt like him and his Idol and his relationship with those women and his kind of willy-nilly nature out there was a risk to all of us.
And so, that was my first plan, but of course, my main plan was to get myself into a better position where I was safe and not running for my life.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed you saying you'd spent the first eight days "creating some power" and were now "want[ing] to use it." What power did you think you had created and how were you planning to use it? Was it going after Colton, then?
Matt Quinlan: Yeah, it was going after Colton, you know? And what I was creating was not necessarily one project out there. I think we were all trying to create something while you're there. That's the point is to build this foundation and get momentum going the way you want it.
So initially, it started with the four guys -- Mike, Jay, Bill, and myself -- and we were working with Colton early and then when Colton got the Idol, he kind of went into limbo. And so then it was, you know, nobody was really galvanized yet.
And then it became obvious that Colton had gone to the other side and then I felt like I was very vulnerable. So I tried to switch the game up and get Troy to play with me, and we were going to vote out Colton. So that was my reality out there.
It's easy to watch it on TV and realize when people move on or they don't really have the power, but I think everybody out there -- if you would have polled them at the moment -- would tell you that they had a handle on what was going on. Because all you know is your reality and what people tell you, you know?
Reality TV World: They showed you doing an interview after you guys lost that Immunity Challenge where you were still making some comments about how you planned to "execute some of" that power and it was "going to happen." So is it safe to say that you still thought you were in control of the game at that point, and if so, when did you begin to realize that wasn't the case?
Matt Quinlan: Of course it wasn't accurate.
Reality TV World: I meant the comments. Did you still feel...
Matt Quinlan: Oh yeah, I mean, look, that's actually how I felt. I thought that I had convinced Troy and Jonas to play with Mike, Jay and I. We were going to vote out Colton and Bill and [Greg "Tarzan" Smith] and [Leif Manson] -- they were all coming next, you know?
And so, that's honestly what I believed. I didn't think that I was at risk, but I thought I had done enough to save myself and to set up a situation that would look good for me going forward.
So, that was my reality out there and if you look online at CBS.com, there is a hidden scene [video] of that event where I'm talking to Jonas and we're trying to flip the game up. That tells the story a little bit more clearly about what my plan was.
Reality TV World: So it wasn't until Tribal Council began when you realized things had kind of gone south for you, it sounds like?
Matt Quinlan: Right. Yeah, exactly. When I went to Tribal, I thought, "My plan's going to work with these guys," because they had me believing that they were down for that... or I'm going home. So when I heard that Tarzan started saying things, I realized that it didn't take and that I had been had and that I was probably going home.
So, I was very frustrated of course and annoyed and agitated and what not. So, that's kind of where that attitude came from last night, because I was sitting on that stool feeling like it was the end for me. I felt helpless and I was very frustrated.
Reality TV World: You seemed to be one of the men who had the biggest issue with the men's tribe helping the women's tribe out and sharing things with them around camp. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Matt Quinlan: Yeah, I viewed it as a game and in real life, I would've taken care of them and gone out of my way, as a matter of fact, to try to make sure that they were comfortable and taken care of and all that without any question. But in a game for a million bucks, we're playing Survivor.
When I started, I put on my Survivor game face, grabbed my normal sense of reality and mentality and set it aside and was playing. I guess you could view that as being harsh or hardcore, but it's Survivor, you know what I mean? I'm sorry that those girls were cold and hungry and all that. We were too, so that, we understand.
But it's like, I don't believe that it made sense to bring in the people we're competing in this game against and feed them and warm them and dry them out and everything else just so they would be in a better position to beat us. It just didn't make sense to me.
If I was playing any sport or any game, I wouldn't try to give an advantage or make it easier for my opponent. So, that's how I viewed it and it was more, I think, behind -- like, not in front of the girls -- that I was like, "Look guys, we can't be doing this with them," as opposed to in their face, but I did feel pretty firmly that it just didn't make sense to help your opponent.
I think the guys came around. I think they just left us and you saw that. I know there's also a [video] scene on CBS.com of Jay kind of getting fully down for that concept and Jonas was there.
The only person that I think wasn't there was Leif. I mean, he was pretty sensitive to what they were going through, and I think that's pretty cool, but for the most part, I think the guys were like, "That's your opponent. Let's not help them."
Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the second portion of our exclusive interview with Matt!