He’s become the clown prince of Survivor — the guy it is impossible to look at or listen to without bursting into hysterics. Benjamin “Coach” Wade. First off, he calls himself Coach. Then there’s the fact that he looks kinda like Steven Seagal. And don’t forget to throw in the fact that everything that comes out of his mouth is either a quote-a-day calendar recitation of Sun Tzu or Nietzsche, or some sort of absurd just-barely-escaping-death encounter that “cannot be found on the Internet.” He brought pure comedy to Tocantins, even if it was unintentionally. But what else can he bring to Heroes Vs. Villains? Does the guy actually have any game? [Coach goes to his famous quote book to address a possible Tocantins alliance, plus on location video after the jump.]
The guess here is: not enough. I sense that the other players look at Coach as a joke more than anything else. No one I spoke to in Samoa before the game started seemed worried about his actual gameplay. Coach could use that to his advantage and just keep everyone amused while they go after each other, but I fear he simply won’t be able to sit idly by and let that happen. The dude has a craving to be in on the action, and I can’t help but think that means he’ll try to make some big moves that will eventually backfire on him spectacularly like in Tocantins.
And he’s already eyeing his first kill. Like several other contestants, Coach was worried about a pre-game alliance that needed to be broken up. “There is an alliance there I see brewing from Micronesia — Parvati, Amanda, James,” he told me while on location just before the game. “I see them making covert eye contact with a half a dozen people. Cut the head off of the dragon, right off the bat. If she’s on my tribe, I love her, she’s gorgeous, sexy, sweet, she’s subtle, but she is conniving and Parvati must go.”
My question back to him then was, well, what about a Tocantins alliance with you, Tyson and J.T.? His answer was delivered back in pure Coach-speak: “Sun Tzu says that when your enemies are far, make yourself appear close and when you are close, you must seem far away.” Meaning, basically, yes, in his mind they have one, but they’re not going to act like they have one. I have no doubt Coach is counting on a Tocantins pact, but I also have no doubts that Tyson or J.T. (should they both end up on the same tribe at some point) would have no problem dumping the Dragon Slayer on a moment’s notice. Coach considers himself fiercely loyal, but loyalty could be your downfall in a game like this, and a funky ponytail will only carry you so far.
To see Coach in truly rare form, click on the video below. (And to enjoy interviews with all the Heroes and Villains, head over to our bursting-at-the-seams Survivor video hub.) This is the eighth in a series of daily profiles. If you missed our first seven, there are links to Cirie, Boston Rob, Sugar, Randy, Amanda, Tom, and Danielle below the video. Up next tomorrow: Cook Islands‘ Candice Woodcock. And for all the Survivor scoop, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Okay, take it away, Coach…
Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS