'Survivor' Interview: Shannon on Gays, Chick-fil-A, and Tribal Council
Thursday, September 23, 2010
When we first saw Shannon Elkins, the pest control co. owner from Lafayette, LA, he seemed poised for Survivor greatness. He seemed to have it all: the physical strength, the vitality, the looks, (the hair), and the good ol' southern boy charm that has led other contestants, like season 18 winner J.T., to win the title of "Sole Survivor." But then Shannon opened his mouth, and we quickly learned that he will say whatever is on his mind, tribal council be damned.
Shannon went on Survivor for the experience, and to put another notch in his belt. Before his time in Nicaragua, the married father of three said he had never been much of an outdoorsman. "I've never been camping a day in my life until Survivor" Shannon said. "I'm more of a Chick-fil-A and hamburger patty kind of guy; I had never really had rice before Survivor." Even though he dropped a staggering 20lbs (in 6 days; get me on Survivor) in his short time out there, he really didn't think much of the physical aspect of the game. It was the social part that seemed to plague Shannon and keep him from lasting long enough to win the whole thing.
It seems fitting then, that the former contestant Shannon feels he is most like is Survivor pariah, Russell Hantz. "I'm straight forward like Russell, but much prettier." After watching Shannon's only two episodes, it's safe to say that he certainly had Russell's social game on lock.
Shannon doesn't have much to say about his onetime alliance mate, Chase, and the way he fell under the spell of Brenda. "The guy thought he was on a different show, he thought he was on The Bachelor, passing out roses." He also thought that he would have fit in better with the older tribe, seeing as he has been married for a long time, and past all the petty drama that seems to be dragging down the La Flor tribe.
Heading into tribal Shannon says he knew he was going home. "Why do you think I said all that stuff? Chase changed his vote on me and I knew I was going home." That is why Shannon says he went down in a tribal blaze of glory, making sure he got everything off his chest before Probst had a chance to snuff out his torch.
There is one thing Shannon regrets about how things went down during tribal, particularly his out of left field questioning of Sash's sexual orientation. "If I am guilty of anything, I am guilty of stereotyping, and I apologize for that." Shannon says that he knows "not everyone in NYC is gay, just like not all people from Louisiana are like characters from The Waterboy."
When asked who he would like to see win Survivor: Nicaragua, Shannon replied without hesitation. "Being that I am a competitor, and I want the person who beat me to win, and I think I lost to Brenda not Chase, I'm rooting for Brenda to win it all.
(Image courtesy of CBS)