Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Matty Whitmore regrets not returning to play again
With season 41 of Survivor 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.
What's not to like about Matty Whitmore? Stuck on one of the most dysfunctional tribes in Survivor history, Matty cruised through the Gabon season with a surfer's smile on his face, seemingly able to find a silver lining to any cloud. That sunny disposition came in handy after he came up just one day short in the game, being eliminated on day 38 after Sugar Kiper forced a final four tiebreaking fire-making competition between Matty and eventual million-dollar winner Bob Crowley. (Maybe he was still high on life after proposing to his girlfriend during the Loved Ones visit.)
Matty was a fan favorite thanks to his laid-back demeanor and positive outlook, but has pretty much dropped off the Survivor map since his season 17 appearance. However, while Matty indeed was asked to play again, he says now that turning down the offer to return is his biggest regret and that he would play Survivor again "in a heartbeat." Read on for more as Matty looks back on his wild Survivor ride courtesy of a Quarantine Questionnaire.
ENTERTAINMET WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you've been up to since appearing on Survivor.
MATTY WHITMORE: In all honesty, I am still doing the exact same thing I was doing before Survivor. I still live in Malibu and teach yoga classes and personal train clients.
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
My proudest moment from Survivor was actually my overall performance. I feel I played a very clean good solid game and I really don't have anything I would have changed except for maybe losing faith in myself during my final fire challenge with Bob, but overall I'm extremely proud of my performance.
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
My biggest regret from my Survivor experience was by far the fact when [then casting director] Lynne Spillman asked me if was interested in playing Survivor again. I turned her offer down at that time. I didn't feel I had it in me, but now, especially due to this nightmare pandemic, I have never regretted it more.
What's something that will blow fans' minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?
Sorry to not be able to give any juicy behind-the-scenes details, but everything that blew my mind as far as I can remember made it to the screen. I wish I had more to give.
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
I feel I got a great edit. I was totally happy with the edit I received. I was completely pleased and impressed with the Survivor organization. It truly is a class-act operation.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
Coming back to society after Survivor was actually very difficult for me. Oddly enough, even though life out there is obviously very stressful, the challenges you face on a daily basis are much more tangible and easy to address - food, shelter, water, heat, the basics - and coming back home to L.A. and reentering the rat race and so-called modern society was extremely confusing and disheartening.
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
There was never a moment I regretted going on Survivor. That experience was such a blessing and I will forever be grateful that I got to experience that adventure.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?
Ya, unfortunately I don't talk or keep in touch with anybody from Survivor except Sugar a couple times in the last ten years. I really don't know why that is or why I am like that.
Do you still watch Survivor, and, if so, what's your favorite season you were not on and why?
The truth is I never saw Survivor before I was on it, and I never saw it after I was on it, but I did watch my entire season though. I think I would much rather play Survivor then watch other people have all the fun.
Who's one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
The one other player I wish I could have played against is Ozzy. I would like to play against him because I always see him out in the water when we are surfing and always see him cruising around Venice. I feel from what I see of him that we would be evenly matched and it would be great competition.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
I wouldn't change one aspect of Survivor, but honestly, I don't think I know enough to say. My experience was absolutely amazing, and I think Survivor is an incredible show.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
Yes, if they asked me to go on Survivor again, I would do it in a heartbeat.
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