Exclusive: Tyrone Davis talks about 'Survivor: Nicaragua'
By Reality TV World staff, 10/14/2010
Tyrone Davis' Survivor: Nicaragua experience seemed to be going pretty smoothly when he and his fellow Espada tribe members voted James "Jimmy T" Tarantino off at the tribe's Night 11 Tribal Council, paving the way for tribal outsiders Jane Bright and Holly Hoffman to go next.
However things took a bad turn when Survivor: Nicaragua's Espada and La Flor tribes were shuffled the next day -- leading to Tyrone's ouster at the game's next Tribal Council session
On Thursday, the 42-year-old fire captain from Inglewood, CA talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: Nicaragua experience -- including whether he was surprised to be voted off, what he thought about the tribal shuffle, if he really ate most of his tribe's chicken meal, and why his tribe didn't just kill their rooster instead of a hen if egg production was so important.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode seemed to make it look like you were surprised to be voted off, was that the case?
Tyrone Davis: No, not at all. I wasn't surprised. No. I actually anticipated it, because when the kids came over I knew it was about numbers.
There were four of them and four of us and I knew actually it wasn't four of us and was actually more like three and a half, because Holly is a loose cannon.
And as I predicted, she was going to side with the kids. Because she thinks she should have been gone a a long time ago with the [original] Espada tribe.
Reality TV World: So you went into Tribal Council believing you were going home then?
Tyrone Davis: Ummm, I went into Tribal -- I didn't give it a whole lot of energy. But I knew there was a possibility that I'd be going home for sure. I thought maybe NaOnka was a frontrunner but I knew it was a possibility so I wasn't like in shock, no.
Reality TV World: Well I'm asking because we never saw you talking to Holly after the swap or anything like that. Did you do that [and it wasn't shown] or did you figure [her defection] was such a done deal it wasn't worth bothering to waste your time?
Tyrone Davis: No, we talked briefly. That was about it.
I didn't put a lot of energy into it, because me and Holly didn't connect a lot. And that's based on some dealings that happened in prior [episodes] and things [shown] on the show.
So no, we didn't connect a lot and I realized that we didn't connect a lot, for various reasons. But what I did do was talk to Yve and let her know that, "Hey, me and you are probably going to be the target because we're the stronger two [original] members of the Espada tribe."
And I asked her to connect with Holly, if she could connect with Holly, because it was all about voting -- all it took was one vote from the other side, you know what I mean?
If one of them would have voted with us, or one of us would have voted with them. And I knew Holly wasn't bothered...
Reality TV World: Were you surprised when Brenda picked Marty, Jill and Jane, or when Holly picked the La Flor foursome that she picked? Did any of the selections surprise you?
Tyrone Davis: No. I actually thought I would have been one of the ones to get picked to go over [to La Flor by Brenda]. I did think that, because I know I did well in all the challenges.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I was going to ask you about that as a follow-up. It seemed strange that Jane got picked instead of you by Brenda. Was there some type of [unaired] rule that you were aware of that prevented Holly or Brenda from picking more men if they wanted to try for a physically strong tribe?
Tyrone Davis: I don't remember exactly. I don't remember it being -- I thought I remember them saying "pick whoever you want." Or it might have been two girls and one guy or something. I can't remember specifically. Yeah, I don't know why.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like once you got left behind with Daniel, Yve and Holly you realized you were kind of cooked and with a pretty weak threesome, is that right?
Tyrone Davis: Basically. (laughs)
Reality TV World: (laughs)
Tyrone Davis: I was pretty much screwed. And you put more concisely than I ever did, yeah.
It was a weak threesome, period. I didn't have any strength [with me]. I was by far the strongest member of the Espada tribe, [both] physically and mentally.
Reality TV World: I lot of viewers have been wondering if "egg production" was the big concern with the chickens, why you didn't just kill your rooster. Did the entire tribe not realize roosters don't lay eggs?
Tyrone Davis: Well, from what I remember, I didn't know one way or the other. Like I tell people, I'm not a "chickenologist," I don't know.
So there were a couple of folks who lived on a farm or ranch or said they were familiar with all that stuff a little more than I was. So all I could do is take their word for it.
I think the thought was we have two chickens and one rooster and that kind of rooster -- I thought we had two chickens, right?
Reality TV World: You had two hens and a rooster. They're all chickens. (laughs)
Tyrone Davis: Yeah, two hens and a rooster, right. I think the logic was that somebody said that a hen produces more if they have a rooster around. So I don't know if the rooster gets the chicken -- I mean the hen -- aroused and then the hen does it's business or whatever.
I don't know. But that was the thought... I think everyone knew the rooster didn't lay eggs. We knew that roosters didn't lay eggs.
But two things [came up] that I remember -- one was that we had two hens and we'll get rid of one hen and we'll keep one hen, so we still have a hen and they weren't producing many eggs anyways.
The other argument was that the hen produces better when they have a rooster around... I don't know.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode made it look like your initial disagreement about killing the chicken and then the fact that you seemed to eat more than your share of it afterwards was the final nail in your coffin. But it sounds like you don't feel that way.
Tyrone Davis: Yeah, it wasn't about the chickens. If you think about it, if you look back on it I asked everyone and I made sure everyone else got chicken first.
I ate last and I asked people. I said, "Did you get enough? Are you good? You're good, okay." And then I said [it] again afterwards.
And then I took what was left, and I didn't take all of what was left. I took a little piece.
I do that every day at work, I make sure my firefighters eat before me. Like if we go to eat lunch out somewhere, I make sure they all eat and order first. Because if we get an emergency call, that way they'll have their food and I'll go without.
So just look back at it, and you never saw me eating me eating "chicken," you saw me eating bones. That's because they left [meat] in all the bones and there was little itsy, bitsy pieces of meat that I guess they were too good to eat or whatever.
Sh-t, I was like, "Well, I'm going to eat it! There's some flesh on there and I'm going to eat it!" Period. That's what I was doing.
It wasn't that. If you look back, all I was eating was bones.
Reality TV World: You were still rocking the boat a little bit with some of the castaways before Tribal Council [with the chicken killing] though. Was that something where you realized what you were doing but you didn't care at that point because you had a pretty good sense you were going or...
Tyrone Davis: Nah, I didn't really give the possibility that I was going a lot of energy. If it's my time, it's my time. That's the way I kind of went at it.
And the chicken thing, I expressed my opinion and a couple of other people expressed their opinions. Chase expressed that he was in agreement with me but he did it smart.
Some people don't make a decision at all, or they act as though they don't have a viewpoint because they're afraid if their viewpoint is unpopular they're going to be ousted.
Reality TV World: What was your impression of Marty while you were out there -- how much of all the scheming we've seen were you aware of while you were out there?
Tyrone Davis: Oh, I was aware of most of it. I even said it, I said it at some point. I said, "Marty's out for Marty." He said, "Let's stick together and have a strong tribe" and I was like, "Marty's out for Marty, that's who he's out for." And it's obvious!
It is what it is. I haven't been surprised by anything I've seen from Marty, I had him pegged. I pretty much pegged everybody on my tribe for who they are, really.
Reality TV World: What did you think of NaOnka? Did you think she might actually follow through and quit?
Tyrone Davis: Nah, but I wanted her to! That would have been cool, because she was annoying.
She didn't carry on like that when she came over to our side, because I know how to manage all the drama she had going on.
Reality TV World: Four out of the first five -- and all of the last four -- people voted off have been men this season, which is unusual given tribes typically tend to value strength before the merge. What are your thoughts on that -- do you think it's just a coincidence?
Tyrone Davis: Nah, I didn't even think about it, I didn't even realize that until you said it. I don't know, I don't have a perspective on it one way or the other. I think people vote the way they think is for their best interests. And I guess we worked.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor? Had you applied before? How did it come about?
Tyrone Davis: Somebody approached my buddy. He was working at another fire station and they said, "Do you know anybody is over 40 -- athletic, has a witty personality, a fun personality -- who is going to be interested in Survivor?"
And my buddy gave me the information and I just called and said "what the hell." What's the worst they could say -- the worst they could say is "no."