Exclusive Interview: Erik Huffman of 'Survivor: China'
Exclusive Interview: Erik Huffman of 'Survivor: China'
Those Zhan Hu tribe members have fought tooth and nail to stay in the game since the merge on Survivor: China.  Last night, Erik Huffman was eliminated, leaving Peih-Gee Law as the only Zhan Hu member left in the game.  An immunity necklace sitting on Peih-Gee will keep her in the game for a few more days as she fights to make it to the finale.  Erik was a quiet force in the game, which worried some of his fellow players.  He was well liked by just about everyone and gave a solid effort in every challenge he competed in.  He never made waves and sometimes, found himself out of the loop.  He's no Survivor expert, and is very new to the game, but Erik has grown to love it and can't imagine not having had this experience.  Today, he talked to BuddyTV about challenges that were thrown and romances in China.

Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.

Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV, and today, I'm talking to Erik from Survivor: China. Hi Erik.


I'm wondering if this is the first year that you tried out for Survivor, and if it's something you'd been wanting to do for awhile.

This is absolutely my first time applying for Survivor, and I had not watched the show at all until this year.


Yeah. Well, I started watching a little bit of Survivor: Fiji, and I thought why not go for it. It was something that I thought I would never do, and I thought I would never be able to survive, honestly. Once I started the application process, I got really excited about the game and started watching previous seasons. I think it's one of those games, and one of those shows, that when you start watching it you get into it and literally can't stop. You can't get enough of it.

What part of being out there was the hardest? Was it the heat, or the hunger? What did it for you?

For me, the hunger was probably the hardest thing, and I knew that going out there. What I was worried about the most was what if I can't eat, and that's exactly what happened. We really didn't have much food at all, and I don't know how much you can tell from the show, but we really didn't eat that much. We had some rice, but most of the time we couldn't even start a fire cause it was raining all the time. Furthermore, our rice got moldy at Zhan Hu camp and it was really bad. I think my lowest moment was right before the merge, around day 18 or day 19, and I really thought I could die.

When they did the tribe switch and sent Frosti and Sherea, were you surprised? Did you think you might have been one of the ones to go?

What's funny is, when we were first told that we got to pick two of the Fei Long members, in our minds the tribes were not equal. We had been losing every challenge, so we thought that was something to even the tables basically. We thought we were just going to be gifted with Aaron and James at first, and in my mind I thought wait a minute, they're probably going to pick two of us as well. So when they did pick Sherea and Frosti, I wasn't surprised. I didn't think that surely they must have considered me. If they knew they were probably going to get rid of Aaron and James, I figured they would want to try and have another physical force on their team. Frosti was a good competitor, but physically he was just smaller, more of an acrobat.

I'm wondering if you can clarify whether or not you knew that Jaime and Peih-Gee were going to throw the challenges when the tribes were switched up.

Peih-Gee and Jaime and I were a very strong alliance, so we had all three discussed what should we do, we've got this opportunity. We decided that we were going into the first immunity challenge, the swimming challenge, and we were gonna win it. So, I went in thinking that we had all intentions of winning that challenge. Before the challenge started, after I was no longer able to talk with Jaime and Peih-Gee because we had already started swimming, apparently they think they saw James, Todd, and a couple other people from the other tribe sort of communicating. Whatever they saw, whatever Jaime and Peih-Gee saw, it freaked them out.

By that point, it was too late for them to tell me, so I worked my butt off trying to win, and I could hear Jeff Probst saying "Zhan Hu making no progress." I was like, "Oh dear". I smelled something funny, so I was just like, "Okay, great, they've thrown the challenge". I was a little mad. I felt like I was forced to trust their judgment call, but I had to trust that they were still looking out for my best interest at that point. I think they were, so that's what happened.

Well I'm sure everyone's asking about your relationship with Jaime, but here's the deal: when she talked to us she didn't really give up too much information, but when we interviewed Dave, he said you guys were together in China and are still together today. Would you like to comment on that?

Well, I don't know if we're supposed to be together or in contact, but we have been seeing each other here and there. She is very, very dear to me. I love Jaime to death, and I'm just really excited about seeing where the relationship goes. She's someone who I hope is going to be in my life forever.

Are you looking forward to the live finale? That's gotta be something that's totally different from filming out in China.

Yeah, I am looking forward to that. I don't know what to expect because, like I said, I've only watched one season of Survivor and I don't even know if I've seen the finale show. I'm looking forward to it, I think it's going to be really cool to see everybody again in regular, normal life in the United States. In North America. I hope I get some time to actually hang out with everybody from the show, cause there really were a lot of cool people.

Well we can't wait to see you on the live finale and see what happens with the jury. I just wanted to thank you so much for your time, Erik.

Of course, thank you so much.

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)