Reality TV World: In your final words you said you put your "trust in a lot of people that wasn't reciprocated." Who were you referring to there?
Reynold Toepfer: Yeah, throughout the entire game, this whole "cool kids lunch table" was not even the reality. At least I didn't think so. I was -- Matt Bischoff, who's from my same hometown, he and I were really close. And I thought he was with me, and so, you know, he betrayed me early on and that really hurt my feelings.
And then the other big significant one would be the new Gota. After the swap, we all became really close and had a wonderful time and talked about, "Okay, we'll make sure that we're the final six, because we'll vote [Sherri Biethman] off first," because no one liked her. So I was really excited, like after my back was against the wall, I had these great new people that I really liked and really seemed to get me.
And then right as we got back to the Bikal beach, they all turned on us and [Edward "Eddie" Fox] and I were back on our own island again together. So that was pretty tough to swallow. I think as a first-time player, you don't realize how much emotional trauma you get from people [turning on] you.
Reality TV World: The editing of last night's show made it look like Andrea Boehlke was campaigning hard to vote Brenda Lowe out instead of you. Did you have any awareness of that at all while you were out there?
Reynold Toepfer: I think maybe that was Andrea planting the seed for later on down the road. I think everyone, with me losing the Immunity Challenge, wanted to capitalize on that and get me out and then get back to business.
And I went around to everybody and still said, "Hey look, I'm a chess piece, I will do anything you want now. You've beaten me and battered me. I will do anything you want me to do! You want me to stick my head up against a tree, I'll do it."
And everyone would just laugh at me, like you know, "You know you are too much of a threat. You're going home." So I came to terms before Tribal.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you went into Tribal pretty much absolutely certain that you were going home?
Reynold Toepfer: Yeah, that was the only Tribal Council I went into where my presumptions were correct. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: On a similar thought, yourself and Eddie didn't even vote for the same person at that Tribal. Eddie voted for Sherri and you voted for Erik Reichenbach. What was up with that? Had you just given up all hope?
Reynold Toepfer: Because before [Tribal], I was like, "Dude, I'm going home." He's like, "Yeah, I know." So we didn't even collude about whom we were going to vote for. And I wanted to take a little jab at Erik so he knew that I thought he was a punk, and Eddie just hated Sherri, (laughs) so he was just like, "This is the only way we can express ourselves." (Laughs)
Reality TV World: When I talked to Malcolm Freberg, he said he had actually underestimated how much Eddie and yourself had clashed with Sherri. And he felt that played a significant role in why she didn't flip and join your alliance of the three amigos. Could you talk about that a little bit? Why did you guys get along so poorly with Sherri, and what sparked all that?
Reynold Toepfer: I'll tell you the ironic thing is that Sherri, had we lost the first Immunity Challenge, she was the one going home. She came in, played the game so hard so early, she made Final 2 alliances with everybody out there.
And everybody was like, "This crazy old lady has got to go." And then because we won that challenge and had a few more days, she really pumped the brakes. And then I guess unintentionally, we made everyone feel on the outside of this strong "pretty people" alliance.
And so, Sherri was the one that they all gravitated towards, and I basically held Sherri responsible for us never winning anything after that, because she was keeping around people that were weaker and I kept trying to yell at everybody saying, "If we don't have the numbers going into a swap, we're all dead."
So I mean, I was pretty open with Sherri early on about how I thought she's an idiot. (Laughs) You can't see the woods through the trees.
Reality TV World: When Brenda cast her vote for you, she said things probably would've gone a lot better for you in the game if you "had been a little more humble." What's your response to that, and where do you think she got that impression from? Do you think she came to that conclusion through her own interaction with you?
Reynold Toepfer: That definitely hurt my feelings. I was surprised by that. I think I've practiced humility in my life very much so, and I think I was misinterpreted out there because [since] Eddie and I were deceived and backstabbed so early on, I think my response to that was I kept my chin up and never cried or begged.
If anything, I just kept fighting, and I think it came off as arrogant. But really, it was more just the act of someone who was hurt, and so, you know, I just kept a really brave face and I guess that face came off as arrogant. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: You made the big decision to give your hidden Immunity Idol to Malcolm at Tribal a few episodes ago. Did you hesitate to do that when he asked you? What was the thought process there, did you think you just had nothing to lose?
Reynold Toepfer: No, my promise to myself going in was that I was going to not be afraid of making big moves and I was going to play to win.
And I saw that as an opportunity where, "Okay, I could hold this idol myself and lift myself through one more Tribal. I'm clearly on the outside. We have to turn this whole thing on its head." If I could go back 100 times, I would do the exact same thing 100 times, and I really did give him the idol with no hesitation.
Reality TV World: Looking back, do you have any regrets or think you could've done anything differently that would've changed how things played out for you?
Reynold Toepfer: Yeah, I think what sealed our fate, I think it was -- you know, me being the underdog story that I went as far as I did and Eddie's still going in the game -- was that we didn't have the numbers against the "Favorites." And from Day 1, I was telling everybody, "This is 'Fans vs. Favorites.'"
And my only regret is that I could not better educate these super fans out of outplaying yourself. They all wanted to play against each other so hard so soon. I was like, "This is way too soon for this."
They're going to be like, "Oh, Reynold doesn't play strategy." I was like, "No, we don't need all this turmoil looks at each other. We need to get cohesive and win and have the numbers going into the swap." So I wish I could have just better gelled with everybody and gotten to that point.
Reality TV World: Had you ever envisioned Eddie making it further in the game than you? Because he didn't seem to do as much as you -- you seemed to play harder -- was it a surprise to you it unfolded that way?
Reynold Toepfer: Yeah, I think there was a bigger target on my back because of challenge performance and because I was working a little bit harder out there, trying to turn people and figure things out. But there's definitely something to be said for just being extremely likable and non-confrontational.
So Eddie was -- I thought that was a great strategy. I was like, "Eddie, we're a good pair. I worked a little harder trying to make things happen and you made us a little more palatable because you're so sweet and nice and funny."
Reality TV World: So it didn't frustrate you at all that you were kind of doing the heavy-lifting and Eddie was benefiting I guess? (Laughs)
Reynold Toepfer: No, and I don't want to say that Eddie wasn't doing the heavy-lifting because he was just doing it in a different way that I think was a symbiotic relationship. I was honestly never frustrated with him. I thought he was an excellent partner in the game.
He made living life on the bottom, on the outside, really kind of a hilarious, fun, great experience. So we laughed a lot out there and it wasn't -- we didn't have to leave this stressful puppet alliance of "Stealth R Us" and all that, so.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor, how did you end up on the show?
Reynold Toepfer: I was one of those -- I was spotted on the street, LA stories. I legitimately am a big fan of the game, but I lived overseas for awhile in my 20s, so I missed about a dozen episodes or seasons in the middle. But I was totally amped and excited, and I think they could see that and that's why I was still cast as a fan.
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