Colby Donaldson is a Survivor icon. It's a shame Richard Hatch wasn't able to do Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, as the series' original villain. But they did bring back the original hero.
The best part is, I kind of feel like we're seeing Colby for the second time. Sure, he came back for Survivor: All Stars; but his heart wasn't in that, and it showed. The humor and energy just wasn't there.
Colby has vowed to fully commit to this season and play to win it all, which will be great for the series if the other contestants let him get very far. But remember, Colby wasn't just a good looking guy in a cowboy hat. He was an action hero. Can he still own a monopoly on the
challenges 10 years after the Outback?
I asked him that, and we talked about some of the things that have changed since he played the first time.
Can you still dominate in the challenges?
Well, I'm not as young as I used to be. I'll tell you that. It was one of those things where CBS gave me the opportunity to come back and I really felt like I could at least be competitive. I never said I could go back and pull this thing off. I mean, I believe I could. But I'm not so bold as to say I'm as dominant as I used to be. This is All Stars. You've got a lot of alpha males in
there. We've all got a fair shot at it.
Were you looking for a partner like Tina from Australia?
Anybody that tells you that they can do this game without an alliance is full of #%$@. You absolutely have to have an alliance. It takes so much to navigate through this game. So yeah, you're going to have to tag up with somebody. It's more important now than it's ever been.
What surprised me was how aggressive it was from the beginning. It used to be that you had at least five minutes to reminisce, find out how people are, how their families are doing. That's not the case anymore. You have to go into this game and immediately start plotting and planning and trying to strategically place yourself in the game. Part of that is finding an alliance.
One of the things that does seem different about the series now is that there's so much less background about the contestants. Their real life identities are really de-emphasized in favor of constant strategy. Would you say that's a reflection of the editing or the actual game?
It's an evolution, is what it is. In this case, you don't need to show all that background because people already know it. So you don't have to get into all of the minutia of who people are where they're from. Let's get straight to the game, and that's exactly what happened.
Are you a bigger threat than an under the radar player like Danielle here?
[Danielle laughs] We're all privy to everyone else's strategy. We've all seen each other play. I
think the key to this game is coming in with a different strategy - taking it 180 degrees from the way you played the game previously. I don't know that that's going to work but it's what I would suggest would be your best bet; because I know Boston Rob. I know exactly how he's going to play the game. He'd better pull some new rabbit out of the hat if he's going to fool me. That sort of thing. It adds a whole other level of challenge to the game, but it's also the
intrigue of it. It's why we want to come back. To win you've got to be the best.
-Interview conducted by Henry Jenkins