Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Todd Herzog relives his China triumph
With Survivor filming for seasons 41 and 42 indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EW is reaching back into the reality show’s past. We sent a Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire to a batch of former players to fill out with their thoughts about their time on the show as well as updates on what they’ve been up to since. Each weekday, EW will post the answers from a different player.
He came. He saw. He conquered. Todd Herzog didn’t just win Survivor China, he fulfilled a life’s dream, and did it in convincing fashion with the finest final Tribal Council performance in Survivor history.
And that’s not all he did. Apparently, Todd also ran into some dude fishing! That’s one of the revelations the China champ shared in his Quarantine Questionnaire. It’s been 25 seasons since Todd dominated the competition, so what does he have to say now about his time before, during, and after the game? Read on to find out, and bear witness to the best post-Survivor diet of all-time!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you’ve been up to since appearing on Survivor.
TODD HERZOG: Since Survivor, I’ve done lots! I’ve traveled the world and crossed off half my bucket list, I went to rehab and got sober (woot!), I started dating a wonderful guy who I proposed to a year ago and are expected to get hitched next year because COVID screwed up our plans for a wedding this year! Currently I’m a toy maker, I customize little figures to look just like “you” or someone or something of your liking!
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
Winning, lol! I have been a fan since day one. I dreamed of playing! In high school I was voted most likely to appear on Survivor and formed a club for the nerds that I called the Survivor Club! We ended up having almost 60 members and we gathered together to watch every week! Being on the show is all I dreamt of, so winning was obviously icing on the cake!
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
I don’t have any regrets, I did what I came to do! Regretting my experience wouldn’t help me in any way.
What’s something that will blow fans’ minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?
On day 2, I went exploring, and I went so far that I stumbled upon someone who actually lived in the jungle! This man was minding his own business fishing on the lake and looked at me confused, so I panicked and just ran away! After that, they put up signs saying don’t pass this point.
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
So this is one of my favorite questions! I remember asking one of the producers if my edit was going to be the “sneaky one” and he said to me, “If you don’t do it or say it, we can’t make it, so how you appear on the show is how you act.” So when I hear people complaining about a poor edit I think “Maybe you’re just that way.” Sometimes we just don’t like looking in the mirror.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
It was VERY weird. I remember I went to go see the 5th Harry Potter in theaters when I got home, and I bought a giant party bag of M&Ms, brought into the theatre I ordered a large popcorn (for myself), ate half the bag of popcorn and then poured the ENTIRE bag of M&Ms into the popcorn and ate it all before the previews even finished!
There was another time that I was outside and heard thunder and my first response was to take off my clothes so they wouldn’t get wet! But then I realized I’m at Walmart, Todd, not in the jungles of China!!!
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
No, never! Absolutely not. I asked a producer one day what his favorite show was and he said Seinfeld, and my response was, “Me being here is like you being cast on Seinfeld in a leading role for 1 season!”
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?
Leslie Nease, Peih-Gee, are the people that closest to from my season. Leslie moved to Utah so it’s much easier to stay in contact with her and Peih-Gee actually designed my and my fiancé’s wedding rings!
Do you still watch Survivor, and if so, what’s your favorite season you were not on and why?
Of course I watch Survivor! I still get together with all of my siblings every week! (Which is why I’m very upset it’s not returning this fall) It’s a whole family tradition. As far as my favorite seasons not including my own, I weirdly loved Second Chance, because I have a crazy obsession with Spencer Bledsoe! I also loved Kaoh Rong because WHAT a phenomenal cast!
Who’s one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
Obviously, the queen, Sandra, and, of course, Spencer Bledsoe!
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Fiji, but I feel like the different countries and locations was almost like a cast member in it of itself and was an added challenge to “surviving” in the game. I miss seeing the different cultures, I miss seeing the exotic reward challenges, and I miss learning things about countries I wouldn’t know otherwise!
Finally, would you play again if asked?
Dalton, is that even a question? ABSA-FREAKIN-LUTELY! My bags are already packed and in the closet waiting.
Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"