Good Guy Gabe's A Goner

The street in the Lower Ninth Ward is covered in heavy dried mud as the water begins to drain from the area, in this Sept. 26, 2005 file photo in New Orleans. Rita struck two years ago, Sept. 24, 2005, a Category 3 storm whose 120-mph(193-kph)winds and 9-foot (2 3/4-meter) storm surge ruined every structure in the southwestern Louisiana towns of Johnson Bayou and Holly Beach, bringing similar destruction to southeastern Texas. (AP Photo/Ric Francis,File) AP (file)

Imagine going on Survivor and not planning on "playing the game" or worrying about winning a million dollars. Well, that's exactly what Gabriel Cade says he did, and it cost him - big time. In a unanimous vote, he became the latest contestant to get kicked out of Survivor: Marquesas. He spoke with Bryant Gumbel about his rather interesting perspective on playing - or rather not playing - Survivor.

Gumbel wanted to know why Cade wouldn't play the game and why he wasn't in it for the money.

"Because everything changes. When you get on an island with seven strangers and you start building a world. Especially when you have two weeks to just get along, and form these great emotional bonds. And you've all sort of created this great social dynamic. And what's happened is you have eight people who went out there for the individual struggle for survival. And suddenly you've got eight People working individually for the survival of all. It was very, very cool," Cade said.

"But if you felt that way, why did you even apply," asked Gumbel.

"Like I said, things change when you get on the island. You know, when you don't have to play the game and then suddenly it's looming in your face, you think, what's going to be more valuable for me to take out of this, the game or the experience? Am I going to come out here and say, that a million dollars is more important to me than anything? Because people will do anything to win a million dollars. And it wasn't. I thought, 'This is my big shot. This is my big chance to go out into the world and test some of my principles." And I think I did pretty well."

Gumbel asked about the ethics of the game - were they the same as in life?

Cade replied, "My answer would be, everyone is on their own journey. And for some people, the journey is the destination, and for some people, it's sort of a faceless road and all that matters is where they're going. So ethics are on an individual basis. I wasn't out there to tell anybody else how to play the game."

Gumbel pushed him a bit. "Does that mean that those who play it best and those who are manipulating others to succeed are less ethical, more unethical?"

"Not a bit," he answered. "They just have different objectives than I do. I never -- when this started happening, when I started imagining that the game would become more than me going out there to physically outwit, outlast, outplay a couple people for a million dollars, then I decided I wasn't going to judge anybody. Because my objectives were very different obviously than 15 other peoples were. 15 people applied to win a million dollars. And I did too. But it wasn't my first objective."

The Rotu tribe had a lot of harmony before the switch, Gumbel noted. Would Cade have been better off it the switch hadn't taken place?

Cade agreed. "Absolutely. When those guys showed up at our camp with their torches, it was 'game on'."

Gumbel was curious about his relationship with John - the self-proclaimed leader of Rotu. Did Cade think John was manipulative?

"I never saw a leader in our tribe. I always felt like everyone contributed in every way that they could," he said. But he added that he and John were "great friends."

"John and I had a relationship long before he started thinking about the game. Our friendship was solid before the switch. When the switch happened, that was the beginning of the end, and I knew it. And I knew that people that had come out there to win a million dollars were going to start getting the ball rolling, because now it was time."

He continued, "You don't see a lot of what's going on behind the scenes. But if you don't care about it, then you relax. And you don't stress out about it. Would I say John was manipulative? No. Would I say John went out there to win the game? Absolutely."

Gumbel asked, "Up until the end, you still could have saved yourself. I mean, you could have gone to the three ex-Maraamu, Sean, Vee and Rob, and voted with them and had a standoff. Did it occur to you? Did you toy with the idea?"

"Absolutely. Tears. I was in tears thinking about the idea. I wanted so badly for the experience not to be over. But you just have to make a choice. The experience or the game. They're mutually exclusive. You can have a wonderful adventure and have more fun than anybody else or you can go out there to win the game and you end up coming back and watch yourself on TV and see the things you said to these people and all of their friends and family and the whole country is watching you. And you've got to be able to do that. You've got to be able to come back here and watch yourself. For me I had to be able to be proud of what you did."

And Cade said he was proud of the way he behaved. Except for the rap. He wished the producers hadn't shown it, even though Gumbel told him it was pretty good.

Gumbel commented: "It looked like you and Sean and Rob were getting along pretty well there. What happened?

"We were (getting along). We all were. It was -- everyone really got along well. Sean and Rob, when they came over, they came from a very, very different tribe and lifestyle than we had going on. But they brought their relaxed atmosphere, which was good for us. We did the morning show a couple times or the wake-up show and it was fun. And it helped them adapt to our tribe. So it was nice."

"Are we seeing a true portrayal of Sean?" asked Gumbel.

Cade replied, "You're only seeing 44 minutes of 300 hours of footage. So this isn't a very accurate portrayal of anyone. But, the transition was very difficult for Sean. I mean, anyone that wasn't raised in the mountains of North Carolina climbing trees and hiking up the Appalachian Trail is going to have a psychological mental, emotional and physical readjustment when you go into the situation like this. I had a real advantage over most of the people out there in terms of adapting."

Cade is an adventurer and is looking forward to more. He's already lived in Europe and led adventure trips in France. He has been to South America, climbed volcanoes and hiked the Appalachian Trial.

His stint on Survivor has already paid off in offering more adventure opportunities. This was his first trip to New York. And if he gets really brave, he might even try a New York cab ride. He thinks it "looks really interesting."
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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