Reunited and It Feel So...Well, Okay
Bryant forgets that he just asked Ethan what "the difference was," and so asks the same question again. Did he play the game, as his mother advised, with the most integrity? Ethan thinks integrity had a lot to do with his victory, but he thinks many of the S16 played with integrity. He tells Bryant that you don't have to be "evil and back-stabbing and a villain" to succeed on Survivor -- just to succeed as a news host. Okay, so he doesn't say that, but I'll bet he's thinking it. So maybe he's not thinking it, but I am. In any case, according to Ethan, playing fair, trying really hard, "and just hop[ing] for the best" were an integral part of his win.
Bryant "There Must Be Fifty Lays to Leave Your Wife For" Gumbel next asks why Kimj picked Ethan over Lex Loser to compete against in the final two. She says that -- all together now -- it was the hardest decision she's ever had to make, because she respected and cared about them both. She got to know both men very well in Africa, and doesn't think she could have won against either of them. She claims to have based her final decision on the fact that Lex Loser had already won so many things, and then turns to him and says, "Obviously, not the million. Sorry, darling." She says that since she knew she couldn't win, she picked the person whom she next thought most deserving of the victory. Bryant is surprised that Kimj didn't think she could "prevail against Lex [Loser]," and she insists that Lex Loser was very well-liked among the tribe. She explains, "A lot of the comments that he made that seemed negative were not made to us." She then basically says that Lex Loser was nice to their faces and a bitch behind their backs. Bryant thinks Kelly would disagree that Lex Loser was a nice guy in Africa, but Kimj insists, "Kelly is one vote." Kimj then says she can name four people off the top of her head who would have voted for Lex Loser. She admits that it might have been a 4-3 final vote instead of 5-2, but ultimately she didn't feel any more confident going up against Lex Loser than Ethan. Bryant asks Lex Loser if, in retrospect, his "undoing" was being "out in front too much," and Lex Loser says he didn't know any other way to play the game. He says it's easy when you're watching the show to think you could hold yourself back, but when he got to Africa he only cared about winning. He doesn't know if that was the best move strategically, but claims that was his unalterable mindset. Bryant then asks Tom if he's more satisfied or frustrated to have gotten so far in the game. Tom says it's "flustrating"; he'd rather be in Ethan's place with the million dollars: "He's goin' back first-class and I'm gon' walk!" Bryant asks Tom if, upon making the final four, he thought, "Hey, I can win this thing!" Tom says he did think he could win, and "obviously a mental challenge wasn't what [he] was hopin' for." He adds, "You know, I'm a goat farmer, not a rocket scientist." Bryant thinks that's terribly funny, if not terribly original. Tom says he, Ethan, and Lex Loser had a strong alliance about which he felt very comfortable. He sadly says, "The chips fell where they may, and I can live with it." He doesn't say he'll just dust off those chips and eat them as a snack.