After 28 days of existing without much food or comfort, the tribe was thrilled to participate in the Survivor Food Auction. As Natalie devoured a $200 peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Monica tore into a $340 roasted chicken, John Fincher shelled out $300 for a giant slice of apple pie. But when the host, Jeff Probst, offered to let him trade his slice for an entire pie that could be shared by four other starving players, John didn't think twice about keeping his slice for himself, which put a target on his back. "Certainly the pie was good, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have done things differently," John tells In Touch.
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Did you at least enjoy your slice of apple pie?
John: I did enjoy the pie. It was good. It was definitely worth a million dollars and getting voted out of the game for one slice of apple pie after 28 days without much food. No! I'm kidding.
Where you completely blindsided at Tribal Council?
John: It wasn't a complete blindside. I started to figure it out. A day before Tribal Council, Dave was supposed to go home. When Dave didn't really scramble for votes, I realized that something was amiss. And when I didn't know exactly what was happening at Tribal Council, I figured out that either they were going to ax someone that they thought I'd try to protect and they couldn't tell me, or they were going to vote for me. As soon as Jeff read my name, I knew what was up.
Did you have any idea Monica wanted you gone?
John: Monica and I have been gunning for each other from day one. I knew I couldn't trust her. But my main thing was to develop a dynamic in which it appeared that there was a major, major threat of a girl alliance between Monica and Laura. That was my strategy to protect myself immediately after the tribes merged, because I was a strong physical competitor. I should have worked with Monica better. Actually, I offered to work with her after Laura was eliminated, but unfortunately for me, Monica didn't have the ability to be flexible in her relationships.
I imagine you've been watching the episodes, so did you have any idea about what Russell was doing or that he wanted you eliminated because he confided in you that he had the immunity idol?
John: I loved Russell's pranks. I was very amused and entertained. I wish I'd thought to burn someone's socks! Russell is the best there ever was in this game. It's a real pity that he and I were cast in the same season. I could have done a lot more if he wasn't there. And if Russell and I were on the same team, heaven forbid, it would have been an even better season. It would have been spectacular, and there would have been fireworks from day one.
As a member of the jury, what are you paying attention to at future Tribal Councils?
John: What I want to know is, is there someone out there who knows more than me? And I don't mean that like I'm the smartest person of all time, I mean, am I going to be surprised by what's about to transpire or did I have a pretty good handle on who was making moves and controlling the game? I'm waiting to see if someone is going to rise up and cut the head off the Russell snake or if things are going to continue to go as planned.
Who do you think deserves to win?
John: I could go down the line and say very positive things about the remaining contestants. But I think Russell is playing a very, very good game. And I think he's made a few critical moves that were necessary to get us to the position that we're in now.
Would you do it all over again?
John: Absolutely. I wasn't relieved at all to be eliminated. I wanted to be in the game. I didn't want food or a way out. I could have gone 30 more days. I wanted to be put right back in the game. I'd definitely do another season in a heartbeat.
What are you doing now?
John: I currently just wrapped a feature film with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. I'm just kidding. I am back in the office and back to work.