Despite the shakeup that ended Nicaragua‘s older-versus-younger gimmick, another member of the original “Team Geezer” was sent packing on Survivor this week. Fire captain Tyrone Davis, 42, spoke with PEOPLE from his home in Inglewood, Calif., about his controversial chicken consumption, playing with the kids and possible racial tension in the jungle.
Let’s get the most important question out of the way. How much of that chicken did you actually eat?
Not a lot at all, seriously. I was the last to get a piece of chicken. I made sure everyone got some first and then I cleaned their bones when they were done. I was eating gristle. I was not Fred Flintstone eating a giant pterodactyl thigh. I was eating what other people said they were finished with and I made sure to ask if they were done.
Should you have refrained based on being the sole save-the-poultry vote?
We should have saved the chicken, but I was outvoted and I wasn’t about to pass up eating it after it was cooked.
Do you blame the chicken-eating incident for your ousting?
That was probably some of it. But I blame several things. One was the power thing. As a leader, you have a big target on your back. My strength: I was a threat because did well in all of the challenges. Holly’s switch: There was a generation gap. I think there was probably some racial motivation as well.
That requires further explanation.
Please don’t spin it that I was playing the race card, but things took place that weren’t shown on TV that lead me to believe that [race] was a [possible motivation] with some people, like the unfounded intimidation comment. I didn’t do anything to try to intimidate anyone. I wasn’t barking orders. Every time I spoke, I spoke with a soft tone. Some people have other issues that spilled into the game. That speaks to their insecurities. Racism is an insecurity, in my opinion, and it exists in America. I don’t think the vote was based solely on that. I’m not even saying that it was based largely on that. This is a social game. All those things – insecurities, biases, backgrounds – come into play and it was still on me to manage those things to my benefit. I didn’t.
How did things change when you started playing with the "kids"?
We had one mindset on the older tribe and that was to stick together and contribute at camp. The kids were very individual. We boiled water everyday before we drank it and they didn’t. It was a lot of stuff like that. They want to do what they want to do. They said I laid down the law and told them what to do when they first got to camp. I was just telling them how we did it but we were open to whatever ideas they had to make it better for all of us.
Who is playing the best game?
I can only speak on the folks that I spent time with, so I’d say Marty. He’s very good at the game. Chase is shifty but has that old country boy charm. And Benry is crafty like a chameleon.