Malcolm from Survivor: Game Changers shares scoop on that insane joint Tribal Council
What a way to go. I mean, a terrible way to be sure, but what a way. Malcolm Freberg ended up being the big casualty from the most chaotic Tribal Council in Survivor history. A Survivor: Game Changers joint Tribal Council where two different teams had to attend to vote out a single person went haywire when J.T. and Hali both appeared to defect to the other team. But Brad then ignored J.T.'s plea to vote for Sandra, and once Sierra played Tai's hidden immunity idol, Malcolm was the unwitting victim. We asked the ousted player about all that madness and more when he called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105), and you can hear his responses below on the EW Morning Live podcast. Here are a few highlights from our chat.
On his initial reaction to what happened as it happened:
"Before we got there we were like, '18 things have to go wrong in a row for me to go home tonight.' And it was just dominoes falling, one thing after a frickin' other. And then when the idol comes out, you're like, ‘Don't hand it to Sierra. Don't hand it to Sierra.' And then she walks up there. At that point, you get that feeling in your gut. I kind felt like I had to poo really bad. And then I just close my eyes and I don't think I spoke to anyone in a pleasant manner for a few days."
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On being visibly distraught, including crying during his final words, after being voted out:
"I have a friend who calls it Bing-Bonging because you can't watch Inside Out without crying when Bing Bong dies. For me, as a huge fan of the show, I always assumed I would get a third shot at it and that's sort of a soft cap a lot of times for when people play Survivor. So I'm thinking in my head, ‘Okay, this is my last time. It feels like it's my time.' And so for it to go that south that quickly, it's a chapter of your life ending a little bit. It was less the shock of the game and more, ‘Wow, Survivor is kind of over now, and that was a little hard to swallow.'"
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On if he would come back for a fourth time if asked:
"Yeah, once I have glued the pieces of my broken heart back together I'll consider it. That doesn't even count as a time, I don't think. I hadn't started playing yet, really. I had just started hanging out, doing the social thing, making friends. I didn't even get to make the moves. So yeah, if they give me another shot there is no question I would come back again."
On how long it took him to figure out what happened at Tribal Council with all those moving parts:
"I still don't have a 100 percent grasp on everything that happened. In the immediate aftermath, trying to go through my final words crying like a baby, I really didn't know what the hell had happened. And then you start putting the pieces together over the next few days. I still don't have it all figured out."
On if J.T. would have still told Brad where their votes were going if he had known Malcolm would be their target:
"Me and J.T. were bromancing hard and whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears for days before that Tribal Council. It was sort of underplayed on the show just how tight we were. He thought it was going to be Sandra, and I think what happened is — and I know this for a fact — he started bugging out towards the end of that Tribal Council. He might not have known, but he had a strong feeling they weren't going to go the way he wanted them to go, the other tribe. So he might have voted Sandra had he thought they were going to go Sandra, but when he kind of caught wind they weren't doing that — and I still don't know if he knew about the idol, I still don't know about that — but I think once he got the feeling that they weren't going Sandra, he jumped back on board with us to vote Sierra.
"We were tight and he really started bugging out at the end of that Tribal Council, because I think he knew that they weren't going to listen to him. So you saw him with his head down. I think he was crying on his way out of Tribal too. He had his head down and was freaking out long before we even voted. I think he knew he had screwed up. But then he wouldn't tell us. He wouldn't tell us what he did. He kept telling us, ‘Malcolm, I'm freaking out.' And I'd be like, ‘Why?' And he would just shake his head and put his head down.
"If he had told us what he had done, that he had told them straight up who we were going to vote for, then everything changes. But he's like a kid who only half admits what he has done wrong to lessen his punishment. So it all went south from there: J.T. kind of having a sense that this was not going to go the way he original thought and regretting everything he had done, and shaking his head and freaking out was the biggest thing you didn't see [on TV]."
On what was going on with Hali:
"We didn't know what had been going on with their tribe and knowing they were so adamantly against the original Mana tribe that was Caleb and now her in turn. So we didn't know she was so hard on the outs over there, so we just thought, ‘Let's leave her out of this vote. We don't need her.'We thought we didn't need her — and it really wouldn't have made a difference, I suppose, because she just would have jumped on Sierra with us — just to insulate her from her tribe. Stay safe! Stay safe!
"There was a very real sense, especially after that Caleb vote, that the votes were going to go along the beginning tribe lines — that they were going to keep picking us off one by one if we didn't do something to go after them. Again, we're thinking so confidentially because we have the numbers going into this vote, it was a discussion before we got there — ‘Just keep Hali safe. Do whatever we can to keep her around a little bit longer.' So we got there and she was like, ‘I'll do whatever you guys want.' Well, no, just hang out girl. Be calm, stay down, and survive long enough so we can hook up again later."
On what they would have done if J.T. had revealed before voting that he told Brad they were going for Sierra:
"He would have [betrayed Brad] at that point. ‘Cause he was freaking out toward the end of that Tribal, and once he got a whiff that they weren't going along with him and he wasn't as tight with Culpepper as he thought — if he had just told us, well, Sandra would have probably slapped him at Tribal. But then we would have ended up landing on Tai or Debbie likely. We wouldn't have said Culpepper because we knew J.T. was close with him and a lot of what were doing we had to keep J.T. happy because we needed his vote. We would have landed on Debbie or Tai and you'd be talking to one of them instead of me." <iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/314093130&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" class="" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>
Listen to the entire interview — including parts about whether Sandra shifted the target by boasting that she wasn't going home that night, why they did not just vote off Hali since there is no way Mana would have given her the idol, and what is was like watching it play back on TV — above, right after our chats with The Expanse's Steven Strait and The Walking Dead's Christian Serratos, or subscribe on iTunes to listen on the go. Also make sure to check out our Survivor episode Q&A with Jeff Probst as well as Dalton's full recap, and for more EW Morning Live podcast news, follow us on Twitter @EWMLPodcast.