Sometimes in life, you can see something coming and can’t do anything to stop it. That’s what happened to Brendan Shapiro on episode three of “Survivor: Ghost Island.” He had a feeling people were coming for him, but he couldn’t convince anybody of it before it was too late.
Shapiro chatted with CBS Local about what went wrong for him, the greatest challenges of the game and the biggest shocker to him from last night’s episode.
How would evaluate how everything went down on last night’s episode?
Brendan Shapiro: It was tough watching it back. I knew what happened before it happened, but you don’t know how the edit is going to make it seem. The one thing that was missing from it was that I had kind of sniffed out the old Naviti folks’ plan. I had a sense they were going to go for either Michael or me. Watching the edit and having them talk about how we never suspected it was kind of funny because I had it figured out. I was talking to Kellyn a couple of hours before the Tribal Council and we were having a heart to heart and she is incredibly sweet and empathetic. I told her the next day was my birthday, which is a true story, and I really hoped to still be playing the game on my birthday. I saw a tear come to her eye and she turned away really fast to try and hide it, but I saw it. I went running to Michael and told him I knew they were coming for me. He had a hard time believing they would go for one of the guys that early. He really believed they were going to put it on Stephanie or Jenna. He really believed it was going to be Stephanie. When I was out there, it played out like a slow motion car crash. I could kind of see it coming, but I couldn’t get out of the way. Last night was like reliving that. Having said all that, people have been really kind to me since and the pill is a little easier to swallow.
What was the most surprising part of seeing Michael save Stephanie and not you?
BS: I hoped that I had been able to convince him. Actually right before he got up to play the idol, he looked at me and said ‘I think it’s Steph.’ He had already told me that and I tried to convince him otherwise. But, one of the things that goes on out there is that it gets crazy right before Tribal Council. I was hoping that maybe he had overheard a conversation or something in that last hour before we went to vote and after I had talked to him. As Steph was reading the votes, I just hoped that it wasn’t going to be my name. I wasn’t surprised when my name got brought up.
How would you describe your “Survivor: Ghost Island” experience?
BS: For anyone that’s ever wanted to play or dreamed of playing, I can say that it is every bit as real, hard, exciting and rewarding as you’d hope it would be. It was way shorter than I wanted and it was a tough thing for me because I tried to get there for 16 years. It was really disappointing. For the time I was there, it totally measured up to everything that I ever hoped it would be.
What was the most challenging aspect of the game for you?
BS: Two things. One, I came in a little bit leaner than I wanted. I was really losing weight fast. I was losing about a pound a day. I was really running on fumes. We had very little food out there, I was probably getting 200 calories a day. That’s probably less than a tenth of what I usually eat. That was hard because I would fall down from a head rush with some frequency and that was tough. In terms of game play and strategy, I think the hardest thing to do is to balance playing for tomorrow versus playing to win. If you go too much on the side of looking down the road, you’re not going to be around tomorrow. If you look too much at what can I do to be here tomorrow, you may get to the end and have no chance to win it. I think that’s the biggest challenge for anyone playing that game.
Finally, what’s next for you?
BS: Life as usual. I’m lucky, I have a great family and I’m all into my kids’ sports and I’m a teacher and I’m fully invested in all that. I’d love it if “Survivor” were back in the mix at some point in the future. I’d gladly do that in a heartbeat, but for right now I’ll carry on with family and friends.
Watch “Survivor: Ghost Island” Wednesdays at 8pm EST/PST.