Russell Swan was the fourth Matsing member voted out of “Survivor: Philippines,” and his frustration was very apparent at the Immunity Challenge. He tells Zap2it it’s been hard to get over that frustration and disappointment.
Are you glad you went back to “Survivor”? Or was it more frustrating than anything else?
“It’s interesting. I anticipated what some of the questions would be based on my initial experience and I thought how am I gonna answer these questions? It’s interesting, I’m finding myself having difficulty because where I really am is this place of overall not doing well … I don’t want anybody to think I’m suicidal or anything, but this has been difficult. In the midst of it and trying to be down in the weeds in terms of what happened, what are you feeling, why the rage, why the humiliation, why the sadness — on the continuum of this thing, I’m finding difficulty answering those kinds of questions because it’s a real introspective exercise.”
Were you surprised Denise and Malcolm voted you out, Malcolm in particular?
“Um, surprised … um, not necessarily. To his credit, the guy was there to play and that was pretty apparent day one. I wouldn’t call it surprised. Is it shocking? Even if the handwriting’s on the wall, it’s like being thrown in an ice bath after being in a sauna for 20 minutes.”
Talk a little bit about Immunity, with you smashing pots and talking to Jeff. We didn’t get the impression at the end that you were saying you’re perfect or anything, you just seemed frustrated and disappointed.
“Yeah, I mean, that’s – you hit the nail right on the head. This recurring theme here is just this profound sense of disappointment. And that I am a disappointment to my family, to myself, and really at the end of that challenge, it was, ‘OK, now wait, did I do something wrong here spiritually? Physically?’ When you’re in that state, you’re looking for an explanation about why this is happening in the midst of this very frustrating situation. It’s this grasping for anything that would help explain why these huge, continued defeats are happening and that carries over even until now. It’s part and parcel of where I am now, trying to figure all of that out.”
You said right after you got voted out that you would not be returning to Survivor. Is that still true? You won’t go back?
“I’m not sure what I said exactly. All I can tell you is even now, what I want to do is lock all of this away. Interviews, I was really disinclined to even do these. My inclination at this point is to foster, feed, water, tape into those things that are more important than this thing — my family, my career, those are the things I want to focus on and I want to kind of lock this away. Knowing, however, that I still am going to get something beneficial from the experience.
I do know right now I am interested in making all of this right now go away until such time as I’m in a better spot to unlock it, unpack it and look at it square on and full on to figure out what did I mean, what did I say, what really did happen.”
At this point, when you were voted out, did you think Denise and Malcolm stood a chance?
“All I will say is that from what people see, and what I know about them, is that they’re both fierce competitors, so anybody that will short change them or count them out on any day, in any way, would be making a huge mistake. Both of those two, I have a tremendous amount of respect for in terms of their capabilities and their game play. I wouldn’t see how anybody would be able to come to the conclusion that their chances are minimized in any way.”
“Survivor” airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.