TVSA Interview: Terry Deitz

Written by Tashi from the blog Survivor Exile Island: Interviews on 09 Feb 2007
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Terry bigAfter being ganged up on and fighting back by winning one challenge after another, Terry Deitz sadly suffered the Curse Of The Car and ended up as third runner-up on Exile Island.

If you think about it he actually suffered exactly the same fate as Rob Cesternino did in Marquesas. After masterfully manipulating everyone to get to the end they also refused to reward Rob with a final-two shot at the million bucks.

I caught up with Terry to find out whether he'd managed to remove Danielle's knife from his back - and to perve his pilot slurpiness obviously.

Tashi: Hi Terry. Firstly, thanks for the riveting entertainment of seeing you kick such butt through each challenge!
Terry: I went onto the show to compete - it’s what I told Probst and Burnett. I said : “I’m here to compete, I’ll figure out everything else as I go along.”

Tashi: I was fuming with Danielle for not taking you to the end  - I really felt that she used you and then betrayed you in a big way. You obviously felt the same way.
Terry: I had to use the soft sell with her when we were at the top of the hill getting water before she made her decision. I couldn’t afford to have her get pissed at me by yelling at her and saying: “You can’t backstab me blah blah blah,”.

That’s not me - I couldn’t give her the hard sell whereas Aras had a personal relationship with her - all of Casaya did - where they could yell at each other and then hug each other.

I think Aras almost made her mad enough to choose me but in the end she really didn’t have a chance with me whereas she thought she had a chance with him.

On the night of the finale I pretty much knew Aras was gonna win whereas Danielle and her family still thought she had a chance.

Tashi: Essentially Danielle’s situation boiled down to who she wanted to see win out of the two of you.
Terry: She didn’t approach it that way - she seriously thought she had a chance. In my mind I had to try to convince her otherwise.

Tashi: Do you think Aras’s win was a hollow victory?
Terry: It’s a social game. It’s not all about winning challenges and the like and even though they edited it to have Aras and I going head-to-head in a big rivarly - when we had our argument and apology, that was about the only time we were in each others face about stuff. He’s a good kid - he outlasted and funny things happen to people after not eating for 35 days.

Tashi: That’s just you being nice.
Terry: I’m not gonna sit here and cry about not winning.

Tashi: That final Immunity Challenge was so obviously weighted towards Danielle and Aras - with all Aras’s yoga experience and Danielle being the lightest.
Terry: When I first saw the challenge - Aras and I were both 170 pounds and Danielle was about 100 pounds - and when I first saw what we had to do I thought: “I’m all over this.”

I was a California surfer and I was excited about it at first and thought: “I’ll just surf my way to a million dollars,” but then as we got on that third paddy I realised I was too heavy and Aras was sinking too.

Danielle was rock solid - she would have gone on to the little one and been there until the sun set. There was no way Aras or I were going to win that last challenge and that’s just the way it goes.

Tashi: Exactly. That’s why it was unfair.
Terry. Well … what if the alliance between me and Courtney and Danielle had worked and it was me in the middle? Courtney was a better athlete than Danielle was - she would have outlasted Danielle and then who would she have taken?

I don’t think either one of them would have taken me ‘cos I didn’t vote off anyone. What you didn’t see was that I was bringing in 5 to 10 spear fish a day. Everyone started off not liking me but then they ended up respecting me.

Tashi: As you faced one challenge after the next I was on your side more and more and by the end I was committed fan but at the start I was very unimpressed with how you targeted the girls first - without even trying to make an alliance with them. Misty especially.

You were all going on about how Misty was the weakest and how she botched a challenge but that wasn’t true. What do you have to say for yourself?

Terry: Hehe … um. I don’t know why. I don’t know why Dan and I immediately went after getting Nick and Austin on our side.

As soon as they came I grabbed them and said: “Come on, we’re gonna have an alliance.” As you saw, I tried everything I could - my goal was to get my whole tribe to the merge. I wanted it to be a team thing and I was disappointed in myself when I wasn’t able to help my team get to the merge in tact. I was really bummed that it didn’t work that way.

Tashi: But did you target Nick and Austin first because they were guys?
Terry: Um...

Tashi: It's fine if it is.
Terry: I kind of thought - seeing the guys doing the challenges - it was just my initial thought was: “We need to get them on our side. That will protect Dan and I and help us as a team.”

Then they went off and had fun with Misty and Sally and got massages and Dan I were like “Okay, well we have these guys so that’s cool.”

You know, my wife said: “Okay, look, you can go on the show but I don’t want you spooning with any 24 year old hottie."

Tashi: Haha!
Terry: I was very professional with them the whole time and friendly -  like they were one of the flight attendants on my American Airlines flight deck. I was never overly, overly friendly but I was never mean - you know.

Tashi: I see. Personally I think that the reason the girls got voted off so soon was that those massages just terrified all the guys.
Terry: Oh no, no, no - that’s not true. I just wasn’t gonna go getting any messages. It didn’t terrify me - we had already gotten the guys so I let them have their fun.

Put it this way, I’m a guy, I’m not gonna go around massaging other guys in the hope that they’ll join my side.

Tashi: Okay. Where you totally finished when you found the Immunity Idol?
Terry: It took me 20 minutes to find it and it was a blast when I found it. There wasn’t anyone to celebrate with though - I was just standing there so totally psyched but it’s not like you can jump up and down like you won the lottery.

It took a lot of strain off me knowing that I had that. It was always the ace in my pocket - especially after the merge, knowing that I didn’t have to win every challenge. In essence it got me to the final three. I never had to pull it out and say I had it ‘cos they knew I had it and wouldn’t have voted for me.

Tashi: Do you think you used it as best as you could?
Terry: I tried giving it to Danielle earlier on and she wouldn’t take it, I tried giving it to Courtney and she wouldn’t take it, she didn’t think the time was right.

I probably would have given it to Bruce - tried to get him to come over and given it to him but then he got sick. I’m glad I didn’t give it to Danielle at the end - had I given it to her before we left for that Tribal Council where she had to do the fire challenge against Cirie she would have found a way to wink or give a sign to Aras and they would have voted me. She was not to be trusted.

Tashi: If you were watching the show - who would you have liked to see in the final two?
Terry: It's hard to separate the game like that, but I think I would have liked to see Austin and Shane in the finals. They would have done well reaching the end using their respective talents. They’e both extremely well spoken and the Final Tribal Q and A's would have been good entertainment.

Tashi: Who’s your fave Survivor of all time?
Terry: I modelled my game after Colby, from the Outback, and Tom, from Palau. Seeing that I met Tom after my show and have a personal relationship with him and his family, Tom gets the nod.



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