Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Chet Welch explains why 'my edit on the show sucked'
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.
“I hurt my head.”
“I don’t care.”
That exchange between beauty pageant coach Chet Welch and Incredible Hulk lookalike Joel Anderson became an instant classic when it first aired after a reward challenge on Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites. Unfortunately for Chet, there were not a lot of other standout moments for the Pennsylvanian with a passion for rescuing animals. Chet found himself on the outs early with his tribe while having to endure the open disdain of Joel. Even worse, he injured his foot on a challenge, which led to him eventually asking his tribemates to vote him out of the game.
Just how hurt was that foot? In his Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire, Chet reveals that he actually had surgery on it while still in Palau. “I was not kidding when I said I hurt my foot,” says Chet. “Production and Jeff [Probst] just blew it off.” Chet also weighs in on his edit in no uncertain terms: “My edit on the show sucked. I could tell in my interviews that Jeff LOVED me in auditions, but HATED me on the show.”
Regardless, Chet was a big part of what many people — yours truly included — consider the best season of Survivor ever. Read on to see what else he has to say and learn what Chet is up to now.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you’ve been up to since appearing on Survivor.
CHET WELCH: Since Survivor, my world has been busiest ever. Not only have I continued to work with the Miss America Pageant, but I was honored with the Miss America Academy of Honor Award, Miss America’s most prestigious award. I was with the Miss America Pageant for 39 years. Also, my partner, Bob Cherry, and I purchased a 100-acre farm where not only do we raise Scottish highland cattle which we show all over the nation, we raise exotics such as camels, water buffalo, llamas, New Zealand kuna kuna pigs, peacocks, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, etc. Not what people expect out of me after watching me on Survivor.
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
My proudest moment from Survivor is odd. It is actually when Cirie said on the torch ceremony that, “The chickens were never the same after Chet left.” Cirie picked up on my connection with animals.
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
My biggest regret: I was way too nice. That is not me.
What’s something that will blow fans’ minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?
Something that people did not know about me on Survivor was that I actually had to have surgery on my foot in Palau after the game. On my medical records it states, “Gangrenous wound left heel.” I was not kidding when I said I hurt my foot. Production and Jeff just blew it off.
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
My edit on the show sucked. I could tell in my interviews that Jeff LOVED me in auditions, but HATED me on the show.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
There was no real culture shock after coming home, except I am still cold.
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
I never regretted being on the show at any time. Only regretted some of the people I had to play with on my original tribe.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?
I still talk to many Survivors. The following have been to my farm and stayed: Mickey B., Alexis, Kathy, Eliza, Yau Man, Jonny Fairplay, Cirie, Bob Crowley, Jeremiah, Elyse U., Charlie, Russell Hantz, Boo Bernis, Natalie White (I am the only one she talks to), and a few others.
Do you still watch Survivor, and if so, what’s your favorite season you were not on and why?
I still watch Survivor. I truly do not have a favorite season, but some were just boring.
Who’s one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?I wish I could have played with Jerri. She and I would have gotten along very well.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
If I could change something it would be to STOP brining back production favorites until they win.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
If I was asked to play again... absolutely.