Exclusive: Bill Posley: 'Survivor: One World's Colton Cumbie not racist
By Reality TV World staff, 03/09/2012
Bill Posley was voted out of his all-male Manono tribe at the fourth Tribal Council session of Survivor: One World during Wednesday night's fourth episode of the CBS reality series' 24th edition.
On Thursday, Bill, a 28-year-old stand-up comedian from Venice, CA, talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: One World experience and his early elimination from the game -- including what his initial thoughts were on his tribe wanting to give up immunity before he agreed to follow through with the plan, whether he believed the act of everyone saying they intended to vote Leif Manson off was just staged to blindside Bill and make him go along with Tribal Council and what he suggested Colton Cumbie's issues were in life as an attempt to explain why Colton would openly express his hatred for Bill.
Below is the second portion of our exclusive interview with Bill. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: So once you guys learned everyone in the tribe had to agree to give up immunity in order for you to be able to do it, do you think that's when Colton and his allies came up with the idea of telling you that they wanted to go to Tribal to vote off Leif? Because I'm assuming you wouldn't have agreed to go to Tribal if they'd flat-out told you, "We're voting you off, we just want to do it three days earlier," you know what I mean? Because obviously there could be a tribal swap coming or something [else that would have changed your fate].
Bill Posley: Right, and in my mind too, I'm sitting there going, "These guys are trying to give up our immunity right now?" I mean, they could throw the challenge if they wanted somebody gone that bad.
Reality TV World: Greg "Tarzan" Smith was shown giving Leif a very public, kind of over-the-top scolding in which it almost seemed like he was lecturing Leif like a child. Looking back at it now with the benefit of hindsight, do you agree with the idea that entire thing was probably just staged for your benefit?
Bill Posley: Initially, no. And the reason why I say that is because later on in confessional, I mean, you can actually see Tarzan go, "We've been betrayed. He's gotta go." And I don't think he would have to say that. He wouldn't have even had to confess that if that's not how he felt at the time. He would've been like, "Okay, here's what we're going to do, we're going to stage this thing."
I think they would've definitely played, you know what I mean? If that was the true way -- if that's how they all truly felt and that wasn't something that was kind of, I don't know, decided later, then I think they would have at least had one thing going. "If we can get everyone to agree, we'll go get Bill" and all this stuff.
So legitimately in that confessional from Tarzan, he goes, "We've been betrayed by Leif. The guy has got to go and he needs to lay on his sword. In a group full of men, you can't have a deserter like this." And I don't think he would have even wasted his breath if he didn't really feel like that at the time.
Reality TV World: What was your general reaction when you heard the idea about giving up immunity? Because they showed [Jonas Otsuji] pointing out that -- likeSurvivor host Jeff Probst has stressed before when tribes have thrown a challenge to vote someone like Russell Hantz off -- Survivor is a game about numbers and you never want to deliberately reduce your tribe's numbers, but then we saw Colton arguing that numbers only work if the person is going to remain on your side once the merge comes. So which those two ideas do you agree with, and do you think Day 11 is too early to think about the merge?
Bill Posley: Yeah, I mean, I think the eleventh day is too early to think about the merge. For me, I'm like, "Here's an opportunity for me. I have an opportunity here to expose Colton for who he is and I have not really gotten the chance."
You gotta understand man, you're out there and you see two people talking for like three minutes and they're talking passionately and you walk over, and the minute you get close enough to have a shot at hearing something, they're just like, "Yes, let's go fishing huh, huh!" And you're like, "What?!"
So you're crazed about all that stuff and you're sitting there going -- I don't know. You don't really get to call people out and talk to them on a group level. So here is my chance to call the dude out on a group level, expose him for who he is, eventually get him to go home with the idol, and really have it out and do it all at once. I'm sitting there going, "If they're going to..."
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I mean, the same result happened. You throw a challenge to give up immunity -- same thing. Same exact thing. You're turning over the ability to continue to keep your numbers to get one person out, like obviously Russell or somebody like that. So, I'd rather take a stand now and in what I believed was the alliance that I had and we do this while Colton believes that they were going to send Leif or I home.
Reality TV World: The show danced around it a little bit, but the broadcasts seemed to suggest there were racial issues behind Colton's dislike of you and you were even shown eluding to [race] during last night's Tribal Council session. So I just want to give you a chance to answer the question directly -- did you feel Colton was racist while you were out there, and has your opinion of that changed now that you've seen the show?
Bill Posley: You know, I wanted to unfortunately, we don't get to see the entire debate. We only get to see snippets of it, and I wanted the world to really know -- or the viewers or the world -- I wanted the viewers to know and the fans that I tried to start or I tried to say, "This isn't a black or white thing. What I think this is, is an ignorant thing."
I think that he does not get to -- he even said himself, he goes, "Poor people like Bill, I don't associate with in my life and I'm not going to -- I don't associate with in my life, and I don't associate with, and I don't want to associate with here." And then he makes the claim and says that, "Country club people are more intelligent and more open," but he's not open to me.
So, that sounded kind of hypocritical. (Laughs) But no, as far as -- "racist" is a very, very strong word and it's a word that gets thrown around so loosely today and it doesn't have the gravity behind it.
Like, my idea of a racist is like Hitler. An ignorant 20-year-old kid from Alabama who hasn't seen the world outside of his country home and his country club and his town, I don't know. That doesn't strike me as racist as it is inexperience, ignorance and sheltered.
Reality TV World: How did Colton end up emerging as this all-powerful Godfather-like figure that apparently had guys like [Jay Byars] and Jonas shaking in their boots, and how big a shock was that to you? I mean, given societal stereotypes and the perception the other castaways seemed to have of him, did you ever envision the guy who was considered the spoiled, flamboyantly gay, rich college kid would somehow emerge as your tribe's Alpha male?
Bill Posley: You know, again, I (laughs) again like, I'm dumbfounded when I find out he's the guy calling the shots behind the scenes. Because he didn't like me, so me and him don't interact on a level where he tries to -- I think he knows better than to try to come and ask me to do something or tell me what to do. He just knew that that wasn't -- I wasn't one of his pawns.
As a matter of fact, I was No. 1 on his hit list. So to come to find that out, I just couldn't believe it. How could these guys, the most -- he is like running around stirring up all this stuff and you see guys like Russell and the damage that they can do in the past.
They come out here trying to play a game where the only true way to win is to eliminate the drama and go forward strong, and the fact that those guys weren't even trying to do that, it's sad. And they played with fear in their hearts and preservation in their minds.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor: One World, how did you get on the show?
Bill Posley: I watched Heroes vs. Villains and it was -- I was blown away. Helicopters come in, physical competition, I think [Jessica "Sugar" Kiper] is running around topless -- I was just like, "Oh my God! Wow!" It just got really intense and that's the game where [Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano] and all these amazing players came back and I was just so flabbergasted by it.
I fell in love with it and so I submitted the application after that and yeah, I saw Heroes Vs. Villains and was like, "Wow, I would really love to go do that. I would love to compete on that level. It'd be a lot of fun." About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.