February 13, 2013 12:00pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'Survivor: Caramoan': Malcolm Freberg Reveals His Strategy the Second Time Around (Exclusive Video)
Malcolm Freberg was so upset about coming in fourth place last season on Survivor: Philippines that he didn’t hesitate when asked to play the game again.
"If I'm sitting at home and playing checkers with my brother, and he beats me on the last move, I’m going to force him to play again with me," Freberg told The Hollywood Reporter of his rationale. "On the day I got beat, I was so fired up and not pleasant to be around."
Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, Calif., revealed that he was asked to return for another shot at the $1 million prize within 15 minutes of his being voted out the first time.
"I said, 'Of course, are you kidding?'" he said. "My torch had been snuffed, and I was sitting there, trying to figure out where the world went from under my feet. I was pretty heated and immediately ready to go again."
Freberg said he had only two and a half weeks to prepare for the next season, which pits fans against favorites.
"My body was not in the same place [as the first time he played]," he said. "Obviously, I starved for 38 days. And my diet [during the two-and-a-half-week break] was at that very point top section of the food pyramid: ice cream, cookies, cake. I was very glutinous, packing the weight on. Physically, I was not in the same shape. I was nervous."
While Freberg is careful not to reveal too much about the upcoming season, he did say that he knew he had to change his strategy the second time around -- considering he didn’t ultimately win the title of Sole Survivor. (He also came in second to Lisa Whelchel for the fan favorite award.)
"I was the only person on day one that nobody knew anything about because Philippines hadn’t aired before we starting filming [Caramoan]," he said. "Going into it, I knew I'd have to play it step by step and see what I was able to cultivate as far as relationships and the social game. These people really have relationships with one another. I needed to make the best first impression."
But, he added, going through 17 straight days of rain in the Philippines prepared him for the worst that Mother Nature could have thrown at him and his fellow competitors. He also said it wasn't hard to tell his friends and family that he'd been asked back a second time before the official announcement, considering that he had gotten pretty good at keeping secrets his first time on the show.
Asked if he would play a third time, Freberg isn't so sure.
"My mom needs a break from having to watch me get beaten -- it's hard on her," he quipped.
Viewers might remember that Freberg famously refused to share his hidden immunity idol last season, instead preferring to keep it as a souvenir for his mother. So where does she keep it?
"Above the fireplace," he said. "It doesn’t match a single thing in her living room, but she doesn't care."
Survivor: Caramoan premieres at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS. Watch a clip from the premiere, which is exclusive to THR, below.