Bryant Gumbel started right in, and spared no punches. He wanted to know if Gaither was shocked when he was voted out of tribal council. When Gaither said no, Gumbel pushed him, saying, "Oh, come on."
Gaither again said no. "You have this, like, feeling in the pit of your stomach that you know it's you. And it's undescribable. But like that whole, when switch happened, I knew it would be me."
Gumbel asked if it happened because he joined the Boran team with "two people who really couldn't stand you, and maybe with good reason."
Gaither agreed. "Well, you know, in the game I mean sure."
But he went on to praise his former teammates. "Frank and Teresa are terrific people, and in the game they were - they were playing deck of cards, their hand. And they had a great hand and they played it wisely."
Asked if he was hurt that the vote to oust him was unanimous, Gaither replied, "not at all."
He went on to describe his attitude about "playing" Survivor. "This is just a game, you know. And it's one of those things, as a competitor you have to go in there - go in full speed. You have to go in there thinking you're going to win."
Gumbel reminded him of his boast in an earlier episode that "you might as well write me the check and hand it to me, because I'm shooting for the stars, and I'm gonna get there." He asked Gaither, "Was yoru confidence ill-founded or did you just screw up?
"You know, Bryant, my whole lie I've learned that when you go into competition, you can't have doubt. When there's doubt, there's hesitation. And when there's hesitation, there's weakness. So going into the game, you know I was full speed ahead, man. I was going to win the game. I didn't have a doubt, thinking, well runner-up would be good, or fourth place would be good. I went in thinking, I'm going to win the game."
Gumbel wanted to know what Gaither thought of the switch; was he caught flat-footed, was it fair?
"I had no idea. The game is so unpredictable. It was brilliant TV. It was just a shocker. And I think it was brilliant on their part."
Gumbel then asked him why, when he got to the new tribe, he didn't "play it quieter. We saw you taking Ethan out and trying to lobby and be political."
He replied, "A fish out of water. That's all. It's called floundering. You know, when the switch happened, I was just literally, you know, you get flustered. There's so much emotion in this game. No one can understand that unless you've been there and been through it. When that happened, my whole world was jus shattered. I mean, everything was ripped out from under me. It was one of those situations where I was trying to save face and it didn't work out."
Gaither talked about some of his fellow contestants and his strategy. Gumbel wanted to know how Gaither - a boxer, wrestler, soccer player - could put up with "Lindsey, who is just whining out there and complaining the whole time."
"You know, she's just an emotional girl. She's really sweet," he said. He went on: "It was one of those things that the reason I joined with the younger group was I knew going in there that I'd have a target on my forehead. I needed to align with people that were, not say weaker, but people that would rely on me to win challenges, to gather firewood, to get the water."
Gumbel interrupted, "Translation - people you could manipulate."
Gaither said, "Oh no, not necessarily. It's one of those things. It was a game. It was a strategy I went in there thinking this and I followed through with it."
He also said that, "truly, I loved big Tom." But he went on to qualify it, "He's such a nice guy, or seemed like it."
Gaither said he was hoping his exposure on Survivor would help kick-start his acting career. "It's a dream, it's a passion. Something I love. Whether or not this is good or bad, I'm not sure. Only time will tell. But I'm just having fun with it."
Asked what the best part of the experience was, Gaither replied, "Just being in Africa. Everything about it. Meeting these people was terrific."
And the worst part?
"There wasn't one. Carpe diem, just seize the day. Everything was great."
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