One could easily point to Mick as being too glossy for reality TV. With perfectly hairsprayed brown locks, a chiseled face and a medical blue sweater, he's got an airbrushed quality to him that is wholly Los Angeles, where he works at Cedar-Sinai hospital.
I choose to look at Mick from the opposite perspective. He didn't hit the mark as a TV character because he didn't play to the cameras. Mick is an anestheseologist, and presumably brilliant, in a way. But he is also a low key guy, and when I caught up with him on the red carpet he answered most of my questions concisely, in simple language. Mick could be described as 'pleasant,' even 'agreeably bland.' He wasn't a great television character, but he's definitely real. Just don't touch the hair. It's not quite as real as his personality.
Mick told me which former Survivor he admires, whose jury vote he thought he might have gotten, why he believes Foa Foa got decimated, and how he kept Russell from burning him. One never would have thought of the words 'old married couple' to refer to Mick and Russell. But read on.
How do you feel about being called Doctor McDreamy?
I think it's kind of corny, to be honest
Were you a fan of the show before competing on it?
Did you model your strategy after anyone in particular?
Being in residency over the past couple of years, watching TV was a luxury that I didn't often have time for. But I liked Ethan Zohn. He seemed like a really good dude with a good heart who did well.
Is it opening yourself up to criticism to say to the jury, "I played with integrity"? Is that an effective argument?
Well, obviously not. I guess it wasn't. I felt like I did, though. I'm not sure where specifically they would have found that I didn't maintain that.But that's the truth of the matter.
Can you define the word 'feckless?'
It basically means spineless. You know? Weak.
When did you learn what the word feckless meant?
It's one of those words that just has a certain sound to it where you can sort out what it means. I actually looked it up when I got home to find out what the exact definition was. But I already had a pretty good idea. I knew it didn't mean 'My favorite person.'
Were you surprised by the final outcome?
Not really. After the last Tribal Council it was pretty obvious in my mind that she had it. Did I hope that I was going to get one vote? Absolutely.
Did you have someone in mind you thought might go your way?
That's a good question. I thought Brett might. He and I are pretty tight. Outside of that it's tough to say.
You got a lot of flak for your leadership role.
I did. Yeah. Yeah.
Why was that?
It's a role that I really didn't feel comfortable with, and it shows. I didn't handle it very well for the first couple of days. But in my own defense, we basically had two people who said from the get go that they weren't going to be told what to do. Ben and Russell. There was no right hand man. No one stepped up to say, "Yeah, let's do this," which I think is important in any leadership role.
What would it have taken for Foa Foa to have won instead of Galu?
I'd like to say the matchups - physically - weren't quite there. Our girls were smaller. We didn't have this big, dominant guy like Russell [Swan] in terms of size and such. Do I feel like the matchups could have been better? I do. But at the same time, we were getting pummeled every challenge.
How did you keep Russell from burning you the way that he burned so many others? Was it luck?
You keep in touch with the other alliances and make sure you know what's going on in people's heads, as close as you can. There were times when I had heard he was gunning for me, and we'd talk about it. I'd say, "I heard this. Is this true?" And sometimes it would be like an old couple. We'd sort things out and move on.
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-Interview conducted by Henry Jenkins