Survivor's Vince Sly: I Played an Aggressive Game
There was backstabbing and double-dealing. The two strongest men clashed over who would be the alpha male. The oldest tribe member became emotional that she was being marginalized. The young girls formed a clique. And the guy who actually cost his tribe immunity faced no repercussions for his failure to deliver during an important challenge.
Are we 100% sure that the Nagarote tribe isn’t the White Collar tribe? Because this sounds like every office job in America.
In the second episode of Survivor: Worlds Apart, the show continued its theme of White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar. In a fascinating turnaround, the White Collar tribe showed off their bohemian side – and a lot more – when Max and Shirin decided to go naked, unnerving their tribemate Tyler. (His awkwardness was endearing and a bit surprising, considering he spent some time as a kicker in the NFL. Locker rooms aren’t known for their modesty.)
Meanwhile, the No Collars of Nagarote tribe imploded. At tribal council, the tribe blindsided Vince Sly, a counselor and coconut vendor from California. He tells PEOPLE what went wrong – and what he would do differently.
First of all, you have the most awesome name of anybody who has ever been on Survivor.
Thanks! People don’t believe it’s my given name, but it is. This is the name I was born with!
So what’s with the feathers in your hair?
I began wearing feathers on a trip to Costa Rica, during a period of time where tribes were celebrating the change of equinox. They were using feathers to breathe the fire. Some feathers were gifted from friends. So I began to wear them to honor the native tribes of Costa Rica. I wore them during casting for Survivor and they dug it.
How did the tribe react to the feathers?
I was afraid that I’d be ostracized immediately as a wacky guy, so I explained them to people for a deeper connection.
But despite your ‘one with the earth’ mantra, you seemed pretty intense.
I played a really aggressive game from the moment I got to the beach. I don’t regret it. I would alter the focus of my intensity, though. Instead of trying to break people down with what Joe said was a ‘penetrating into your soul stare,’ I should probably have focused that energy towards something productive, like finding an idol.
Was it that intensity that got you voted off?
I had a conversation with Nina about Will, and I said that I was hoping that he could remain strong for challenges. She told him, and then it fell apart. When Nina told Will that I was worried about his health, he decided to flip to the other side. I tried to clean it up, but it was too late.
So did you know you were going home?
No. It was a complete blindside. I thought I had a good thing going with Will and Nina.
So you got outplayed by Will?
Everybody out there was playing really hard. There was a lot of strategy going on. Will’s a very savvy player.
Did you consider any other alliances?
The guys considered a men’s alliance, but that didn’t work because Joe started bonding with the girls.
You and Joe seemed to have a weird dynamic. Were you jealous of him?
The first episode didn’t portray me accurately at all. It seemed like I had a crush on Jen, and that I was jealous that she liked Joe better. That was total editing, and it wasn’t accurate about my point of view. It was really hard to watch, because it wasn’t true. I gave Joe a lot of compliments and I wanted us to get along well. I wasn’t jealous of him. He’s a fantastic, highly competent person. He’s a young man; I understand the bravado.
Did anything surprise you about the show?
Just how it affects people. Everyone feels like the center of the universe when you’re out there. Home doesn’t exist. You don’t think about your family, the bills you’ll have to pay, anything. So each player feels like the decision they’re making will impact the whole universe. That’s weird.
And then you come back home and everything goes back to normal?
Not for me. I know the show said I sell coconuts, but I’m also a counselor, too. I’m an easily noticeable person. There are crazed fanatic people who feel like they should have no barriers. People follow me around in the grocery store with their cameras raised. People are popping off videos, grabbing my butt, my shoulders. I feel like because I was portrayed in such an extreme way, it’s hard for people to know me.”
Wow. Are you sorry you did Survivor?
Absolutely not. Did my experience tarnish or taint my opinion of the show? Not at all! It was a fantastic, wonderful, extreme adventure. I’d love to do it again!