Paul Wachter has never texted in his entire life. But there is one thing he has done: having the honor of being blindsided on Survivor. It was a rollercoaster ride for Paul on this season of Millennials vs. Gen X. He got caught in a cyclone, collapsed due to what he thought was a heart attack (but ended up being dehydration), and was the second person voted out of his tribe.
But between all of that, he was the Big Kahuna around camp, seemingly running the show. Things overall seemed to be great! However, suspicion about a male alliance between Paul, Chris, and Bret led the ladies to join with Ken and David to vote out the 52-year-old mechanic from the Florida Keys. How and why did it all go wrong? We asked Paul that when he called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105) on Thursday, and here are some highlights from our chat.
On his big medical scare:
“I consider myself a pretty strong, tough guy, and living in the Florida Keys, dehydration is something you live with every day. But that was excessive, it was scary, and it happened very quickly. I started feeling a little drawn the day before — a little tired. But I didn’t pay any attention to it. We were very hungry at the time so I assumed that was it. And then it went from there to the next day where it spiraled, and it spiraled very quickly. I went down very fast and before I knew it, there were people staring at me… and there were quite a few minutes where I really wasn’t sure where I was.”
On watching the medical intervention play back on TV:
“The hard part was with my family. I had my wife sitting next to me and my youngest daughter and my youngest son — they’re 17 years old. The hard part was you can tell people what it’s like, but when they saw their dad go down, my daughter cried. It was humbling.”
On if his daughter cried when he was voted out:
“She was pissed. That’s really the extent of it. She was very angry about the whole thing.… Because when you see people you think are your friends come behind you and cut your throat, or talk behind your back… when you see it happen in TV it’s very humbling.… The girls came in behind me and cut my throat.”
On accusations that he was all talk, especially with the fishing:
“We did catch fish and that was Ken’s play, but when you see Ken on the show, that was the most I heard him talk the whole time I was there. We come from different ends of the world. He’s a very subdued guy and I’m a real loud guy.”
On if he got too comfortable:
“Oh, yes, by far. And I swore I wouldn’t. Make no mistake: I lost the game myself. No one is to blame for getting voted out more than I am. What you think you say, what you think you do, what you think you feel when you’re out there starving, talking, scheming, working — and then what you really find you say later are completely different things. That whole thing with the girls with me talking about ‘If the guys are aligned, I’m going to go with the guys’? In my opinion, I thought I had said, ‘If the guys are going to stay together with the girls, we were all going to stay together.’ That’s what was going through my head. And Jessica took it completely different, that it was going to be an all-guy alliance, which we knew we didn’t have. It was only me, Bret, and Chris. We didn’t have David. We didn’t have Ken. When you get blindsided like that, it’s really kind of surreal. I was 150 percent comfortable. I brought all my stuff with me, but I thought for sure I was safe.”
On if the Millennials out-smarted them with their strategy in the challenge to not try and have everyone carry the bags over the balance beam:
“We didn’t make a tactical error, and that’s why I thought CeCe was going home. We had already strategized to do it exactly the way the Millennials did it. There was no question. We strategized and said, ‘Whoever can’t do it, drop the bag, and go.’ I went three-quarters of the way across the beam, I dropped the bag, and went. We all had a plan. Actually, Chris came up with the plan. It just wasn’t executed like that.”
You can hear the entire interview on SiriusXM On Demand. Also, check out an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s Survivor below, and make sure to read my full episode recap as well as our weekly Q&A with Jeff Probst.