Rodger "Kentucky Joe" Bingham, the father figure with a heart of gold, is the latest casualty from "Survivor: The Australian Outback." Friday he visited the The Early Show to talk with co-anchor Jane Clayson.
Bingham is the 12th survivor to be ousted. Four people now remain in the Outback to compete for the $1 million prize that goes to the sole survivor.
Clayson wanted to know how Bingham he felt about being "evicted."
"Well, you hate to see yourself get the big X put on your name here right at the last, but I went about as far as I could so it worked out all right," he replied. "I felt I had given it my very best shot."
His exit was from the Outback was bittersweet. Before the last tribal council, he told Tina that if it came down to a vote between him and Elisabeth, he should be the one to go; Elisabeth needed the money more. Clayson asked whether he regretted saying that.
Bingham was adamant. "No, no. I felt like it was going to be me or her. I thought maybe she could go ahead and go farther. I have no regrets whatsoever."
Questioned about his strategy for playing the game, he said, "The last thing my family told me was 'just be yourself.' I thought I could play the game. It is a game. You know it involves backstabbing, lying, things of that sort. But everyone knows the rules."
Still he admitted, "But for me personally, I found it a little hard to do after I got to know some of the people. I found out I wasn't as good at actually playing the game as I thought I would have been."
Clayson asked if he was able to make it through the game without ever lying or manipulating anyone.
"Early on, when Debb got voted off," he said, "she asked me not to vote for her so it wouldn't be unanimous. I told her I would not. Then I got in there and thought, well, if I'm not seen as going along with the group, then they're going to try and figure out who cast the opposite vote."
Asked whether he was still living with the guilt of that vote, he said, "It did bear on my mind."
Mental games aside, Bingham the oldest castaway - was proud of his physical prowess. "But as far as the survival end of it goes, the actual getting by, providing food, building huts
I was probably, along with Mike, one of the two best out there."
Clayson wanted to know how the non-swimmer felt about his steep plunge into the river.
"For me that was probably one of the biggest moments of my life to tell you the truth. I knew it was going to be a jump off a cliff, but I figured it would be between 12 and 15 feet. Then we got out there and it was between 50 and 60 feet. I guess the principle is the same whether you're going off a 3-foot diving board or off a 50- or 60-foot cliff."
He went on, "I have no recollection. I don't remember hitting the water. And I don't remember being in the water."
And ever the gentleman, "Kentucky Joe" even had nice words for everyone's favorite villain. "Jerri has her god points. I know they showed a lot of bad points ... But she was nice."
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