Benjamin "Coach" Wade tells In Touch that his strategy heading into Survivor: Tocatins was to "walk the way of the noble warrior." But, when the man who referrers to himself as the dragon slayer, found his former tribe mates turning on him, he knew his days were numbered. "I felt like a lost lamb out there," admits Coach. "There was a moment at tribal council, when I was looking into the fire, before Jeff read the votes, and I thought that it was going to be my time to go. And indeed it was."
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Do you still consider yourself deserving of the title: Dragon slayer?
Coach: Every dragon slayer has its day. Every dragon slayer becomes the dragon and is slain. I loved the season. It didn't show me in a completely well rounded individual, which I can guarantee you that I am, but it was a lot of fun. I think there's only going to be one dragon slayer in the history of Survivor.
I hope so. So, how did your game change after the merge?
Coach: Actually part of the reason why I'm sitting here talking to you is that I didn't change my game. My game was to be a little bit in your face, honest and loyal to a fault, and whatever came my way. I did not want to compromise. It did become more of an individual game so I tried to step up more with the individual immunities and rewards.
Do you have any regrets about choosing to spend those two days on Exile Island without food or water?
Coach: No. It was a wonderful experience. If I were to script an ending for a fallen hero, I would say that was it. It was epic. I took the monastic approach and it was very important for me out there to do that in that extreme condition. I actually learned a little bit more about myself. That was one last time for my mind to tell my body what to do, instead of vice-versa. So it was very, very beautiful experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Now that you're on the jury, what are you watching for?
Coach: I'm watching to see if the stamp that I put on the game is still in existence: The honor, the integrity, the walking in the way of the noble warrior. It's a funny phrase, and I obviously don't use that in normal life, well maybe once and a while, but I'm looking for that person who walks the most noblest of paths.
Who do you think is most deserving of the win at this point?
Coach: At this point I would say JT. But that might change. I think Stephen has a lot going for him in his favor and has the potential to become a real man out there.
What was the hardest part about your 36 days in Brazil?
Coach: Not being able to get into a kayak and kayak down the river. That river called to me every day. They didn't show a lot of it but I went down to the water every day. I sang songs. I listened to it. I had a rock perch that I'd go sit on and just listen to the water gurgle. I'd sing songs and meditate and pray and so I wanted to get out on that river so bad I could taste it.