He may have had God on his side, but Wisconsin dairy farmer Dirk Been, 23, became the fifth ”Survival” contestant to get voted off the island of Palau Tiga. His Tagi teammates apparently thought his preacher-style pep talks were more annoying than inspirational, all of which comes as a surprise to Been. Here’s EW.com’s exclusive chat with him.
You seemed kind of out of it when you got the boot. What was going on in your mind?
Complete shock. I never even thought about getting voted off. I knew I was going the distance. No doubt. I knew I was very valuable to the tribe. They probably just thought I was too good and they didn’t want me around beating them in the physical challenges later on. It was probably the best thing they could have done, getting rid of me.
Are you still in contact with the other 15 ”Survivor” contestants?
I talk to my better friends on the phone and tried to contact everybody else over email. Sean’s the person I’m closest with. He and I talk frequently. It was like a college dorm roommate situation with us.
You spent a lot of time with your Bible. What in particular were you reading?
Lots of things, but one verse kept coming back to me. In Hebrews 11, God makes a promise: He rewards those who search after him. That was really comforting.
So who from the Bible would you have brought with you?
Besides Jesus, of course, I’d bring along David. [There is] story after story of him hiding out in the wilderness and then overcoming odds in the name of the Lord.
Who was the Goliath on the island?
Well, me and Sue [the truck driver] definitely went at it at times. We were completely opposite personalities. Two different leadership styles. I don’t know that I’d ever like to be stranded with her again.
If you couldn’t have brought the Bible, what would you have brought?
A CD player. I love music. I’d have brought the Beastie Boys, some Michael Jackson, and a little Kid Rock, probably.
Beastie Boys? Rudy, the 72 year old ex-Navy SEAL, would have loved that.
I think Rudy would have dug the Beastie Boys. He’s probably a big fan already, isn’t he? Rudy is an individual. There’s no doubt. He’s from a different generation, but he’s cool.
Watching the show now, do you feel you were fairly portrayed?
Who I was on the island was who I was in real life. That’s 100 percent me out there. That’s a hundred percent us out there. In fact, they could have showed more embarrassing things. I think it was the third time me and Sean made it to the water hole and we still got lost. We were making fun of the girls because they’d hung these little rags to mark the trails. We were like, ”We’ll never need those wussy girly rags.” But after an hour [of searching], we didn’t care how wussy they were.