Exclusive: Terry Deitz talks 'Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/30/2015
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance lost Terry Deitz to a family emergency, switched up the tribes again and concluded with the new Ta Keo tribe snuffing Yung "Woo" Hwang's torch during Season 31's sixth episode Wednesday night on CBS.
Terry, who previously competed on Survivor: Panama, was woken up in the middle of Night 13 by host Jeff Probst, who arrived with news his son Danny was in the hospital and his situation was serious enough that doctors and Terry's wife wanted him to come home immediately.
At the end of Wednesday night's episode, Survivor aired a clip of how Danny has since undergone a successful heart transplant and is currently doing great. To read what Terry had to say about his son's condition, click here.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Terry also talked about his experience on the show. Below is a portion of what he had to say. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Before the first swap, who did you think you were aligned with on Ta Keo and did you think you were in a good spot?
Terry Deitz: I think I was probably overconfident. I thought we were in a good spot. I thought we had a strong five, and we did, and it was kind of the group that was working on the shelter and a couple of others -- I mean, I thought even [Spencer Bledsoe] was in with us.
So, that type of thing. And I was probably a little bit overconfident. A seemingly easy vote turned into something that turned into a blindside at my first Tribal.
So basically, when Jeff Varner comes down and starts talking to [Peih-Gee Law] and [Kelley Wentworth] in the middle of the Tribal Council and said, "This is my second chance and I'm not letting anything get in the way of it," basically like a tie vote, maybe.
So I thought that was the worst we could do -- was a tie vote at our first Tribal. I knew it wasn't going to be a fun night and as I walked up to vote, when I looked down, I'm looking at that little camera near the podium going, "He just dropped a Varner bomb!"
I thought it was funny because he had dropped a couple of bombs during the show. And so, I knew we were in dire straits, and at that point, I was just hoping it wasn't me.
Reality TV World: So after the swap, you appeared to be on the bottom of new Ta Keo with Kelly Wentworth, however, you noted a few times your tribe was filled with No. 1 Draft picks so you probably wouldn't have to worry about it. How confident were you in your position then?
Terry Deitz: I wasn't confident in my position but I was confident that we weren't going to lose. How's that? At least for two out of three we weren't going to be the bottom tribe and lose something. I was really confident about that.
But you know, what we did discuss -- there were a bunch of other confessionals there -- I'm talking to [Kass McQuillen] or I'm talking to [Joe Anglim]. I mean, Joe and I talked a bunch because being good at the challenges and stuff like that, we kind of wanted to shield one another because if only one of us went to the merge, that's an easy target.
So, you know, there were some other things talked about, but for the most part, people were talking about winning and there wasn't a lot -- not that it didn't happen -- but there wasn't a lot of game talk, or at least I didn't get [that sense].
It's the kind of thing where you want to get in on a conversation about it but you don't want to be a pain in the ass, because then people are like, "Ahh, all he wants to do is talk about the game! Blah, blah, blah." And I kind of just wanted to get to know everybody first and build relationships before starting to get into the gameplay.
And then five minutes before that, before I went out spearfishing, we thought that we'd be a strong six. And then on TV when I'm out spearfishing, you see [Keith Nale] for the first time saying, "We're going to stay a strong five."
So I immediately texted him and was like, "Dude, I want my shorts back!" Because I had given him my shorts. But as you saw, you know, that night, my game was over. And it was about coming back here and making sure my son had a second chance.
And the whole thing, even just the trip home, Jeff and his team immediately went to like "Code Blue" and it was amazing how quickly they put together something for me and my family in order to get home. I can't thank him enough and the people at Boston Children's and everything.
This summer had so many highs and the worst days of my wife and I's life. Everything was so compelling that, I swear to God, I did not project myself in the game at all. And it's a lot of "what ifs" you know?
On the boat ride out of that base camp, Jeff and the psychologist look at me and they're like, "Deitz, you came out here as the old guy trying to prove that you can do well in the challenges," which I think I did, "and you tried to prove yourself in the social game, and you did that too in two weeks. You did what you said you were going to do."
So in a sense, I felt satisified with my second chance. I kind of came back and was able to prove a couple of things. But, you know, I was at the bottom and then a situation presented itself and I got off the bottom. So, that worked out pretty well.
Reality TV World: Whom did you think would've been the next voted out at Tribal Council if you had stayed in the game?
Terry Deitz: It probably would've been Spencer next. And the reason was because it wasn't Spencer the first time. And again, just because I was off the bottom at that point, the vote at that point was everyone talking about, "Okay, who's going to go," and why they wanted them to go.
Everybody had different reasons why they wanted to keep Spencer. I actually wanted to keep Spencer because we were getting our ass kicked in the challenges and Spencer is good at that. [Shirin Oskooi], not so much. So, to me, that was my mindset right there, and again, I didn't have any run-ins with Shirin.
She's a new-game strategist, but I had a run-in with Spencer after that first vote. So, in my mind, I'm sitting here trying to be strategic, like, "Alright, don't get emotional about this," even though me and Spencer had a little thing.
We needed him in the challenges. So that was my decision. And everyone sat around to make a decision and we ended up splitting the votes in case Spencer had the immunity idol, it would be flushed out, and then somebody was going to go home.
Reality TV World: Joe was a huge asset to your tribe both in challenges and in his attempts to provide food and make shelter for everyone. He also thought he was in a tight, secure alliance with most of you. Was the consensus to get rid of him immediately after the merge or were you guys actually considering keeping him around for a while after that?
Terry Deitz: Joe is a Renaissance Man. I mean, the guy can do it all. He hunts, he fishes, he camps out, he's an artist, he's good at puzzles, he can dunk a basketball. I mean, the guy is amazing.
He and I wanted to get back with, say, [Andrew Savage] and [Jeremy Collins]. We did do a lot of talking about that, like, how to project ourselves forward. And we wanted to kind of keep each other safe.
So, we were all, "We're a strong five!" Well, I don't know, but we'll see how long this five lasts going forward and how things happen because obviously they split the tribe up again. So, we'll see how that all works out, but yeah, we wanted to protect each other.
Click here to read what Terry had to say about his son's emergency medical condition. Be sure to check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of his exclusive interview.