Exclusive: Matt Bischoff talks 'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/22/2013
Matt Bischoff, a 38-year-old in BMX bike sales from Cincinnati, OH, was voted out of Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' newly-shuffled Bikal tribe during Wednesday night's fifth episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Matt was voted out of his tribe at the season's fifth Tribal Council session after Survivor host Jeff Probst shuffled the tribes, ultimately mixing up the season's "Favorites" and "Fans" at random.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Matt talked about his Survivor experience and ouster from the game. Below is the concluding portion of Matt's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Do you have any idea why the "Favorites" seemed to think that you of all people would be the one with the hidden Immunity Idol, if there was one?
Matt Bischoff: Yeah, I think the most obvious thing in pointing me out would be that I have a great storage unit to place a hidden Immunity Idol. I could've had my beard as a great storage place, but they probably just thought I had it tucked away in my facial hair for some reason.
Reality TV World: Did you have any idea Reynold Toepfer had actually found the idol again?
Matt Bischoff: No. I had no idea. It boggles my mind that the guy found it so quickly the second time, but I literally had zero clue that he found it again. And I was scouring the island to try to find the idol -- as was everyone else -- and I didn't find it because Reynold already found it again.
Reality TV World: Do you think it would have made any difference if you had known about it and told the "Favorites" that Reynold had the idol or do you think they just still wouldn't have believed you and found it super convenient the idol was with the other tribe? (Laughs)
And they may have believed me because Reynold played -- he was a strong player and I think they might've believed he could've been someone like [Malcolm Freberg], you know, "Mr. Idol Finder." I think Reynold was the Malcolm of Gota. He was great in challenges, he was a handsome, athletic dude. I wish that I would have known that Reynold had the idol, actually.
Reality TV World: Four "Favorites" and three "Fans" in each of the two new tribes was obviously the absolute worst outcome that could have happened for the "Fans," and last night's episode was a little unclear on how random that actually was. Going into that draw, were you guys anticipating there was a possibility you could actually end up as the majority on one of the tribes or was it a situation where Jeff Probst just gave you two separate bowls and half the eggs were of each color in there and you knew you'd be the minority no matter where you ended up?
Matt Bischoff: Yeah, I mean, going into it, we knew there was going to be something going down. And I pretty much figured that based on the numbers at the time, I figured it was going to be an uneven kind of deal. And the biggest downfall was the fact that it's totally random, you're smashing eggs and I happen to get on the tribe with the weakest people physically.
I mean, the other team obviously had all the athletes, so I knew that I was doomed in challenges. I mean, you can't compete with those guys, and so I knew it was bad news -- bad news for me.
Reality TV World: So was it just random on who was going to end up on which tribe or was it also random on how many "Fans" versus "Favorites" were going to end up on each tribe?
Matt Bischoff: I think the whole thing was random. I pretty much knew, like I said, based on the numbers that it would probably end up being three of us and four of the other people on the tribe. The way it turned out did not surprise me in the numbers. It was sucky. We were down.
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Had we continued to win any challenges, you know, we won the one challenge over at Gota. And losing the challenges just hurt my game, especially, having to kick people off and going into that tribe swap with uneven numbers. It sucked.
Matt Bischoff: You know, I was the only person on Gota that had alliances with a bunch of different options, but I really never had any major intention of being with Allie, Hope, Reynold, and Eddie, because Reynold and Allie wanted me to be Final 3. Hope and Eddie wanted me to be Final 3. But at the end of the day, you know what's it like -- couples in Survivor are like, "You've got to break up these couples. You've just got to do it."
And from Day 1, I had an immediate alliance with [Sherri Biethman] and an immediate bond with [Michael Snow]. So those were the two main people that I was really, really holding on to. And they knew I was playing both sides because at the end of the day, ultimately Michael and I were the ones that were majorly together doing things on the down low, playing a very strategic, strong game together.
And we even discussed that maybe we could go with Eddie and Reynold at the time. We had options had we of won challenges and not just had to get people out of the game. But it is what it is and I'm psyched I stuck with the alliance I did. The tribe swap ultimately screwed me over.
Reality TV World: What was your take on the whole Brandon Hantz thing and his tribe's decision to forfeit the challenge while you were out there, and has your opinion changed at all now that you've gotten a chance to watch what was happening back at their camp?
Matt Bischoff: I don't blame them for forfeiting the challenge because he was going to be going home. It seemed to me that there was so much hostility and anger that something very bad quite possibly could've happened. And we don't want physical violence. That's just not cool. But I'm telling you, when I stood there and watched that unfold, it was one of the most unbelievable things I've ever been able to witness.
Being a huge fan of Survivor, I was like, "I have never seen this on Survivor. I have never seen this on Survivor -- ever." And Brandon sitting there spilling the beans (laughs) -- no pun intended -- I mean, he's literally telling us what's going on over at Bikal's camp.
So we were getting great intel on what was going on. We were realizing that they don't have it as great as we might've thought they had it. And quite frankly, my feet and my body were so jacked, I was happy to not have to do a challenge and just have immunity handed over. I was like, "Fine, I hope more people go crazy on your tribe, dude, and we can get immunity."
The easier it is and the further I can get in the game, the better off for me personally in the game. So it was unbelievable to witness that and it was kind of sad to see that breakdown though. I felt bad for pretty much everyone involved.
Reality TV World: Was it uncomfortable to watch? It seemed that way watching it from home.
Matt Bischoff: Yeah, it was pretty uncomfortable, you know? It was very -- I felt bad to see someone emotionally break down on this whole deal.
Reality TV World: You were excited Brandon was "spilling the beans" on his tribe, but do you think he gave you anything that ended up helping you? Obviously both sides seem to be sticking together.
Matt Bischoff: You know, I mean, obviously Phillip was in charge or thought he was in charge. So that was good to know, however, to be honest with you, it didn't really help us out at all because it was four against three at the tribe swap.
Phillip, Dawn and Cochran were all going to stay together until the merge no matter what the situation was, so there's really nothing that he gave away that really did help my game out to be honest with you.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor? How did you end up on the show?
Matt Bischoff: I applied. I just went through the application process with CBS. I did the video and just went through the whole process and ended up getting on there. So the dream did come true, man, and I'm completely honored and psyched I got to play this game that I so dearly love.
Reality TV World: Was it just the first time you applied when you got on?
Matt Bischoff: No, I applied in 2003 and no one ever got a hold of me. I said, "Oh, too many people applied for this thing." And then in 2011, I said, "That's not how I live my life. I make things happen."
I told my wife, "I'm getting on Survivor this time, 100% percent." I just believed and [went] forward with positive thinking and following your dreams, man, and I got to do something I've been dreaming of since the first season, man.
Reality TV World: Well congratulations then, but I'm sorry things didn't work out for you better in the end. (Laughs)
Matt Bischoff: Yeah, yeah. Maybe next time! I'm hoping that I get a next time, because I have a lot more game to play.
Above is the concluding portion of Matt's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half. 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.