Exclusive: Russell Swan talks about 'Survivor: Philippines' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/12/2012
Russell Swan was eliminated from his Survivor: Philippines' Matsing tribe during Wednesday night's fourth episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.
The former Survivor: Samoa castaway was voted out of his tribe at the season's fourth Tribal Council, which was also the fourth elimination vote for Matsing, after tribemates Malcolm Freberg and Denise Stapley banded together to get him out of the game due to the fact they had formed a strong pre-existing alliance and therefore chose to remain loyal to their word and friendship.
In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Russell talked to Reality TV World about his short-lived Survivor: Philippines experience and how everything has been so emotional for him since being on the show -- including the context behind him making bold comments such as "It was like a festering wound;" "Don't worry, you're not going to read about me in the newspapers;" "What he says has no credibility with me," and "Hate on Russell du jour."
Below is the concluding portion of Russell's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Do you think your Samoa evacuation played a role in how passionate you were about the game once you began competing your second time around on Survivor: Philippines?
Russell Swan: Another excellent question and the short answer [is] absolutely. I'm pretty sure, now again, as I unpack this thing, I maybe will get to see that maybe the way I'm looking at this thing now -- and actually as I start to think about this, it was like a wound -- a festering wound. It looked like it was healed but it wasn't.
And going back in just knocked the scab off and started right back, but now, the wound has festered over that time. And so, I'm pretty sure that that had a lot to do with it, and in fact, one of the things that's been interesting as I've gone through these interviews is that several of your colleagues have had to remind me, "Okay Russ, look. This is just a game dude."
And I told them all, and I'll tell you, "Don't worry, you're not going to read about me in the newspapers. I'm not jumping off a cliff." But this was significant, you know? This was something that had a lot of -- a tremendous amount of meaning. And again, I'm asking that question, "Russ, you're putting too much into this thing. You've got a great life.
You've got an excellent marriage that is actually healthy and functioning, a wife that allows you to do this again when, you know, you had gotten sick and almost died, and all of this type of stuff -- a great daughter, a phenomenal career.
And so, my life is fine. But this -- there's a coloring that this puts on a lot of things and it shouldn't, but it does. I find it, as I kind of disassociate as much as I can, quite fascinating that I am at this point. I was so intense, but yes, it meant a lot and I -- would I have done things differently? I don't know. I just think it's all part of a psychological profile.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed Malcolm saying you lacked self-awareness and he had had low expectations of you on Day 1 and you had "met those low expectations throughout the entire game." What's your reaction to that comment -- I'm assuming it was a bit of a surprise?
Russell Swan: You know, again, this is a what? 22 -- I forget how old Malcolm is.
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Reality TV World: He's 25-years-old.
Russell Swan: It's talking about the self-awareness of somebody who's soon-to-be 26. So, I'm not going to put a whole lot of creedence into that, but people say what they want to say. That profile, by comparison, is what some other people are saying about me.
So, trust me. I'm not really concerned nor do I really react to it at all. I mean, until this guy has the self-awareness -- you know, of seeing one of his parents in a casket, see a child be born, have to pay a mortgage -- until that time, what he says has no credibility with me.
Reality TV World: What happened with the leadership thing? You had boasted that you weren't going to be the guy that got suckered into being the leader and were going to let someone else fall for that, but it almost seemed like you couldn't help yourself and it looked like everyone else kind of took a step back -- making you step forward into that role by default. Do you believe that was going on? What are your thoughts on that?
Russell Swan: I don't know. I don't know what happened. I think it goes back to your -- again, in the fullness of time as I begin to unpack this, I think I'll be better at answering these types of questions. Because I really don't know.
I've tried basically to just not think about this Survivor thing, because it's just been so ridiculously present in my life in a way that's not positive. And so, I've basically said, "You know what? Lock this away."
And in fact, I can't wait for these interviews to be done because I want to get on with it. I want to be done with this [whole thing]. I need to be away from it. And so, to think about that issue, I think it could be some of what you asked and what we've talked about in terms of the carry-over in Samoa -- maybe some lack of self-awareness on my part in terms of maybe something inherent in my personality.
I mean, I don't know. I just haven't taken the time -- nor do I want to, at this point, to kind of analyze that until I get past the emotional part of -- "Well, whatever, go to hell. I know I sucked, but go to hell."
That's what I'm thinking and that's not helpful. That's not helpful; That's not mature. I don't mind if I look like a smackass on the TV program, but then to carry it over into this would be something that would be along the lines of lacking maturity. I'm hoping that I don't at this point. I'm knocking on 50 for crying out loud.
Reality TV World: What do you think your tribe's problem was? Why do you think you guys lost all four of those first four Immunity Challenges? Do you have any insight on that?
Russell Swan: No, I don't. Again, it's one of those things where after I kind of got over the issues with, like, "Dang, wow, that really happened" with Samoa, I was able to sit down and think about things. I was like, "Oh God, that was really stupid. Why did I do that?" Or, "Oh man, I really blew it there."
You begin to kind of analyze and I just have not done that here yet. I'm more into, "Okay look, I've got to be healthy and just kind of walk away from this now, because I've got other cares in my life that are continuing and that need my full attention." Survivor can wait.
So by the time I get to the finale, and I see everything kind of play out and I've had time to kind of let other people get thrown under the bus, I can go back to my Twitter account and not worry about all the "hate on Russell du jour" for the day.
I'll be able to just kind of turn the temperature down on everything and kind of look at it from an intellectual perspective and try to figure it out, because it is baffling. You know what I mean? It is baffling, because you know, people can say how much I sucked in that challenge. But okay, so, but, how does that play into last night? What happened there?
Reality TV World: After you were eliminated, you were shown suggesting that you're done with Survivor. Was that just a heat of the moment comment or is that definitive.
Russell Swan: Yeah, everybody's asking that same question. It's interesting. I didn't see that comment. So, it's interesting but, again, what I'm thinking is -- and I'm just re-supposing what that was I said to now. And it's almost [like], look you know, I've got to put this on the shelf. This is taking up too much room, and I don't know if it was that.
But if someone was to ask now, that's what I'm talking about. I want to be done with Survivor right now. I want it to completely go away, because it's just sucking up too much oxygen, and I need to get on with some other things that are much more important than this TV show.
Above is the concluding portion of Russell's interview. Click here to read the first half.