Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Pat Cusack regrets 'getting on that f---ing boat'
With Survivor filming for seasons 41 and 42 delayed 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.
Of the 590 contestants to have competed on Survivor, nobody got a rawer deal than Pat Cusack. Not Wanda Shirk and Jonathan Libby on Survivor: Palau. Not Cirie Fields on Survivor: Game Changers. Not Chrissy Hofbeck, Ryan Ulrich, and Devon Pinto on Survivor: Heroes v Healers v Hustlers. No one. Not even anyone who got medically evacuated after getting injured in the natural course of the game.
That's because Pat Cusack was not injured in the natural course of the game. He was injured on day 3 during Survivor: David vs. Goliath while on a boat transporting him and the rest of his tribe back from an immunity challenge loss after a cyclone. (In a twist of Survivor-esque proportions, the person he appeared to save from being eliminated in the first vote with his injury was none other than Nick Wilson, who then went on to win the entire season.)
It was a brutal blow for Pat, a Survivor super-fan who had been trying for years to get on his favorite show. And when he finally did, his dream was dashed due to an off-camera transportation injury that had nothing to do with the game. Now, in his Quarantine Questionnaire, Pat looks back at his heart-wrenching journey, a hilarious bathroom misadventure, and what might have happened had he never found himself "getting on that f---ing boat."
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you've been up to since appearing on Survivor.
PAT CUSACK: Hey, Dalton, Pat Cusack here. Well, since the show I've just been working my ass off. I had to take care of my mom at the end of last year before her passing in October, so now I'm just trying to put my life together without her.
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
Well, to say the least I have to say my proudest moment on Survivor was body-slamming John Hennigan because come on, the dude's a badass wrestler! Yeah, on a real note, just wanted to say just making it to the show and seeing my kids so proud for all the years I spent trying to get on the show and then finally getting there — that alone is an accomplishment in itself.
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
I really don't have any regrets of going on the show. But I must say if I did have a regret I regret getting on that f---ing boat because that was the f---ing downfall to everything that I worked for — between applying, putting myself out there, and trying to get on the show. And having what happened happen, that's probably my only regret.
What's something that will blow fans' minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?
Oh, there's probably a lot of things that fans didn't get to see because they weren't aired, but one thing that comes to mind is when I aqua-dumped. It wasn't pleasant because this is coming from a person that never swims in the ocean really, so now having to s--- in the ocean… well, my timing wasn't at all on point, because as you know, when aqua-dumping you want to dump when the waves are receding, not when the waves are coming in because it leaves for a very, very big mess on the beach.
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
I feel as if my edit was kind of on point. I am usually a straightforward person, so when it comes to getting certain tasks done, I do kind of take the lead and sometimes can come off pretty pushy and bossy. But, at the same time, with storms coming in and no shelter, my first priority and only concern was keeping myself and my fellow tribemates safe and covered.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
Coming back home after the show was kind of strange, and never being away from my family it was kind of weird. It felt as if I died and was reborn. The everyday struggles compound, and the mood and feelings for not only myself but my wife and kids also. We kind of felt disconnected at first, but slowly things came full circle.
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
My only regret to going on the show was that I promised my wife I would make it to the Loved Ones visit so I could get her to finally get on a plane. As we know, that wasn't the case. But she had said to me upon my return home that having me live my lifelong dream of playing Survivor was better than any plane ride she could have ever taken. Man, I love that woman.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?
The Survivor family is just that, most of us are still connected in some ways whether through WhatsApp or Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc… We don't get together quite often, at least not myself and everyone else, but I'm sure a lot of the contestants, especially in my season, do stay in contact occasionally from now and then. We wish each other a happy birthday and see what's going on in their lives with having children and getting married. So we do stay in contact, but, we all have our own lives, especially with COVID.
Do you still watch Survivor, and, if so, what's your favorite season you were not on and why?
Well, that's a silly question because as we all know I am a super-fan so I do still watch. I occasionally watch past episodes on all the websites and follow all the posts from @survivorCBS on social media so yeah, I do still love the game and would still love to play the game again. However with Covid we just don't know when we're gonna get back to normalcy and filming.
If I had to choose a season that I prefer the most, I would have to say Africa, only because it actually brought the contestants to have to actually bear the harshness of the landscape in the environment that's true Survivor.
Who's one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
If I had a choice to play specifically with any one player, I would have to say it would be Rupert, only because people looked at him the way people looked at me as this big guy — probably loud, obnoxious, and some of them things were true, so the similarities that we share are kind of the reason why I would've loved to have played with Rupert. We are loud and big but teddy bears at heart.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
Survivor has come a long way since the birth of the game. When the game first started, survival was the big part of the game. Then, of course, as the years have gone by, it's morphed into a more socially manipulative game, and I myself would like to see them bring back old school Survivor with not so many advantages and comfort. Let's break down the game, make it a true survival game, and separate the men from the boys and the women from the girls.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
My only thing that I could say to truly put it in outright words is "Does a bear s--- in the woods?" Absolutely I would play again! All I'm waiting for is a phone call, so Jeff Probst, CBS if you're listening or reading, call me! I'll be there in a minute.
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