Brian's Secret For Success

Brian Heidik
CBS/The Early Show
The end to Survivor: Thailand was all too predictable as Brian Heidik, the used car salesman from California outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted all the other survivors to take home the million dollar check.

How did he do it?

"A lot of patience, a lot of patience," he said Friday on The Early Show.. "You had to listen a lot. A lot of people stepped on their own feet, they kind of shot themselves in their own stomachs and they really ruined their chances of proceeding further. I just kind of sat back and looked left, looked right, 'Oh, that happened; oh, really? Did you see that happen? Well, I don't know what happened.' Just walk off," Brian said to The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen.

Deception, he said, was the strategic move he particularly enjoyed. "I liked a little bit going left and saying I was going left but then going right. Saying I was going to do this but yet doing the other. So I had a really good time being a little deceptive. And that's part of the game that a lot of people don't like to admit, that it is a little deceptive. You've got to be a little bit sneaky. But you can have fun doing it."

The plot to win the game began pretty early for this season's champ. As a matter of fact, Brian says he began playing the moment he sent in his audition tape.

"I control your emotions the minute you step foot on my lot. I mean most people don't need to buy a car. But when they meet me, they want to buy a car," boasted Brian in his tryout tape.

On The Early Show, he explained his game referring to runners-up, Jan Gentry, Helen Glover and Clay Jordan. "There's my three. There's my three ends, one disposable, a loyal soldier - oops, and a good friend. This is a business trip strictly. My attire is just beard and bathing suits out here. I'm still in business mode."

In the intense two-hour finale of the show, the four remaining survivors went through three tribal councils and two immunity challenges. Both challenges were won by Brian.

The first immunity challenge presented the four survivors with another elaborate obstacle that ended with downing a boiled tarantula. Brian, though off to a slow start digging up his wiffle ball, caught up and won. Armed with his immunity necklace, he quickly decided Helen was the first of the four to be voted off. The others followed his lead, though he point blank told Helen that Jan was the next to go.

Later the three, Jan, Clay and Brian were sent on a canoe to a cave, where along the way they set floats for each past survivor down the river. When they had reached the cave, they were in store for a grueling challenge in which they were forced to test their quad muscles with a test of endurance. Jan was the first to buckle to the pain and Clay followed soon after, leaving Brian with the immunity necklace once again.

Brian was forced to vote one of his teammates off, and he picked Clay.

"Clay had more enemies than I did. I had no choice but to take Clay. Didn't want to risk it with the lady that didn't have anything to do with us winning or they had a lot to do with being on the island. But there were a lot of mixed emotions towards me because I helped out in a lot of the wins and helping take them down. I would have been pissed at me if I were on the other tribe," Brian said.

The two of them were in the hands of the seven member jury. Each member of the jury was allowed to ask one question to the two remaining survivors before deciding their vote. After the questions, they voted for one survivor.

Although it seemed that Brian would have an easy time winning the votes, Clay gave him a run for his money. Many picked Brian solely because he was the lesser of two evils, meaning that Clay had not done a lick of work since he had arrived at the camp. The swing votes were Helen, who felt that Brian had stabbed her in the back with his vote, and Ted who also thought Brian had an alliance with him.

"Ted was from my understanding out there on the island; he was plotting against me. He would have done the exact same thing I would have done. And I got to respect him and I'm sure he respects me the same way. So he would have been doing the same thing to me in a heartbeat. So that's why he had to go. He had to go. And I wasn't quite sure how he switched. I know he was conniving against me with Helen," Brian said.

As for Helen, she said when casting her vote, "Brian, what happened between you and I happened between you and I. But in the context of the game, I'm a bigger person and can look beyond what happened to me. You deserve to win ... Several of the team challenges, you almost single handedly won on your own, so for that and your work ethic, you get my vote tonight."

Both Ted and Helen ended up voting for Brian, leaving the vote at 4-3 and Brian with the million dollars.