February 11 when Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains premieres on CBS, Randy Bailey will be a member of the villains tribe, and rightly so. Randy freely admits that in his real life he avoids human contact whenever possible. He didn't like anyone but his dog, and then his dog died.
He isn't just saying that for the cameras, either. Randy is a prickly person to talk with, prone to saying rude things, and he exudes the uncomfortable energy of an introvert. Despite that, he's one of the most likable and sympathetic people on the cast.
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Randy's unfiltered honesty can be very funny. He really tells you how he feels about things, andyou get the sense that he has a pretty good right to feel upset with the world.
The episode where he got blindsided in Gabon was Survivor's equivalent of Carrie. The whole tribe set him up to look like a fool and then busted up laughing while Jeff read the votes. Who wouldn't understand if he wanted revenge?
When I talked to Randy at the Survivor 10th Anniversary Party he told me why he chose to work in the wedding industry, why he takes issue with the central premise of Heroes vs. Villains and about the lucky lady who might be visiting him in Samoa.
I've heard that if you had made the family reward challenge you planned to have a bunch of fans you had never met come out. But other places I've heard no one was coming. What was the case?
No, I wouldn't say fans. I had a friend from school - who was my family visit - whose wife got seriously ill that week. He couldn't come out. Had I not been booted on Day 30 they wouldn't have said "Randy's friend's wife is in the hospital." They would have said that Randy has no friends. There's no one here for his loved one visit.
Better TV. Just like in the episode where I got a letter from home. They didn't show that. They showed me on top of the crater, looking like an idiot without a letter. But I had a letter.
Who's coming out this time?
I can't tell you. You'll have to watch. But she's got a rack like you wouldn't believe.
I look forward to seeing it. Why film weddings? Why that career?
I don't shoot them. I edit them. I don't go to weddings.
How did you get into that?
I'm good at it. I'm not just good at it. I'm great at it. I don't have a boss. I make decent money. I work in my living room. No schedules.
Sounds good. So do you feel more at home around villains or heroes?
Villains? There's no such thing. There's a tribe of villains - ten of us. But everything's
relative. There's really bad and not so bad. Same thing with the heroes. And I've
got news for you. Some of the heroes are a million times worse than the worst
I was surprised to find out who was on each tribe. It wasn't obvious to me that Parvati and Courtney were villains.
Obviously I'm a villain. Obviously Boston Rob is a villain. Obviously Colby is a hero. But there are people who are in between who are going to surprise you.
What kind of people did you want to align with?
You know, I'm 50. A lot of those people are 28 or 30 and they've been friends for six, eight or ten years. They go all the way back. I've only been a Survivor for a year or two. I couldn't compete with that. So I went in with nobody. I had no friends. The only person from my season was Sugar and she hates me. So my plan was to sit back and let other people fight their battles while I watch.
So you wanted to have no alliance, really.
Right. Under the radar. See what happens. That might get me first out or it might get me deep into the jury. I don't think you can win like that. But if you can get half way then you can make your move, and then you can win.
-Interview conducted by Henry Jenkins
(Image courtesy of CBS)