March 21, 2013 4:46pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'Survivor: Caramoan': Fan Matt on His Biggest Regret and Brandon's Meltdown
The fans just can't catch a break.
Even after a tribe shake-up on Wednesday night's Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites, another fan was voted out at tribal council.
Longtime viewer Matt Bischoff -- a 38-year-old from Cincinnati who works in BMX bike sales -- got voted out by the favorites alliance after he was deemed too big a threat because of his close alliance with Michael Snow.
On Thursday, he talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what he wishes he'd done differently and what he really thinks about Brandon Hantz's meltdown and Phillip Shepherd's "Stealth R Us" nicknames.
THR: Did you know you were the one being voted out before going to tribal?
Matt: No, I would say I knew it was either Michael or myself or Julia. I was hoping it was Julia, and thinking that, but in the back of my mind, I was really nervous going into tribal that it would be me. It was a shock. The first time I saw my name pop up, I knew at that point I was going home. It was a devastating feeling. I'm a huge fan of the show and played such a great game, and going home sucked.
THR: Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?
Matt: I played the different scenarios through my head, but I really don't regret my game play. I felt like I was playing a great strategic game. Michael and I had a great bond and alliance; Sherri as well. Then the tribe shake-up happened, and my strategy going into that was to get people to trust me. I was completely honest with them. I was hoping to get their trust and use that to my advantage. In the end, maybe I was too honest. But that was my strategy at the time. I knew that the four [favorites] would stick together no matter what. We were at the bottom of the totem pole.
THR: Do you wish you'd not been so convincing in telling them you didn't have the hidden immunity idol?
Matt: One thing I could have done differently is not been so blatantly honest that Michael and I were working together, and maybe lied and bring out some fake little idol. But that's not really me. And at the time, I was doing what I thought would best further me in the game. I had a really strong bond with Dawn, especially; our hearts and souls are really similar. I had her on my side, I thought, and I had a great relationship with Phillip, and with Corinne, but she definitely loved playing with a gay person [as she said multiple times in Wednesday's episode]. Mike was "her gay" this season, so maybe I could have pretended to be gay and she would have wanted to keep two gays and gotten rid of Julia.
THR: If there hadn't been a tribe shake-up, do you think you would have gone farther in the game?
Matt: Yeah. I truly am not trying to be cocky at all, but I definitely felt the way the game was going and the relationships I had with everyone, I felt like I could have gone deep into the game. It just very unfortunate that the tribe swap led to the end of the game for me.
THR: We didn't really get to see the fans discussing Brandon Hantz's meltdown afterward as much as we did the favorites. What was going through your mind while that was happening?
Matt: As a huge fan of Survivor, I've seen every single episode ever, and that was the most crazy thing I've ever witnessed. Literally, being a part of it, it was history in the making. It was completely insane. I was psyched; we were getting intel on the other tribe. Someone was going crazy and they were basically forfeiting the challenge and handing us immunity. I don't give a crap how we win immunity; if the other tribe freaks out, bring it on, as long as I get further in the game. It's a hard game on you mentally, and it's hard to see someone break down like that.
THR: You also got to play with Phillip for a few days. What are your thoughts on him?
Matt: He is hilarious, man. I think Phillip is pure comedy. When he was trying to get Michael and myself into his "Stealth R Us," I was listening to him, and in my brain, I was thinking, "This is hilarious." I like Phillip; he's a cool guy and a good guy and funny and kind of out there. I had fun with it. It was fun going along with his little antics and laughing about it.
Survivor airs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on CBS.