There's something unnerving about Tyson Apostol. Part of it's that he's tall, 'Nordic underwear model' handsome and pure muscle. But it's more than that.
Tyson says vicious things about people he knows well, and narcissistic things about himself. But if you look at him for some sign that he's kidding, you won't get one. There's not even a glimmer of recognition that he's said anything socially awkward.
Survivor is available on Amazon Prime.
Is Tyson putting everyone on? Is he playing a character, whether it's on the show, or talking to a reporter over dessert? Does he wait until people look away and then laugh about how well he had them going? Or is Tyson cold blooded?
Tyson trashed some of his fellow contestants, gave me his unique perspective on being a villain, and commented about one Survivor hero's alleged taste for illegal cigarettes. He may well have been joking, but he said it with a completely straight face. That kind of awkward ambiguity is the nature of Tyson.
So what about it? Are under the radar women a bigger threat than alpha males like you?
No. It depends. If you have time to vote all of the under the radar women out then they're not a big threat. But you kind of have to get everybody on board with that, because it is true. You kind of get to a certain point where you have to be wary of them. But I don't know.
The first time they did All Stars Amber won. The second time Parvati won. Watching at home, you just want to say "Okay, Danielle's going to win. I can see it coming. Why doesn't somebody stop her?"
I don't know if Danielle's smart enough. I don't want to call her stupid, but you have to be at least a little intelligent to play under the radar and still win the game. I don't think Danielle has it in her to do that.
Candice, maybe. Candice.... I hadn't thought of that. Candice could. She's quiet but she's a little smarter, so she could probably do that.
In the challenges you're going up against Colby, Tom, James, Rupert and JT. Do you have the horses to match up?
Well, I think if it's brute stregnth we're going to have a hard time. But if it's anything where we have to use our brains a little bit? I think in terms of brain power they're no match for us. I think it matches out okay. As long as they put a puzzle in there somewhere those guys are screwed!
Rupert's not a puzzle guy?
I can't really picture him doing crosswords on Sunday mornings. I mean, he might. I hear he smokes a lot of weed. Doesn't he do that instead of crosswords?
I did not know that.
Yeah. Come on, bro!
You talk about being a Mormon but you come across as a villain on TV. How do you reconcile those two sides of your personality?
I didn't think I came across as a villain. I thought I was the hero of John Everyman. Joe Sixpack.
But you come across like you think you're better than Joe Sixpack.
(Indignant pause) I am.
-Interview conducted by Henry Jenkins