No Survivor contestant had ever come back to play after being away from the game for so long, but the 11-year absence did not hurt Michael Skupin, as the man with the most famous hands in reality TV history returned for Survivor: Philippines and made it all the way to the final Tribal Council. That’s where things went south, however, as Skupin and Lisa Whelchel were bested by Denise Stapley for the million dollars and title of Sole Survivor. In this post-finale Q&A, Skupin confirms that he thought he had won the game all the way until Jeff Probst read the final votes, and he blames peer pressure at Ponderosa (where the jury members all stay and mingle together) for his loss, even saying that one tribe member threatened blackmail by negatively impacting the jury if Skupin voted him out.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were my episode 1 pick to win it all, so thanks for nothing, Skupin!
MICHAEL SKUPIN: Hey, I gave it everything I had, man.
EW: I know you did. When you showed up in CBS Television City last night, did you still think there was a good chance you had won?
Oh, yeah, absolutely, I totally thought that. Everybody in their mind thinks it’s gonna be them. If you went out there and played your guts out and did everything you could to make it happen, I think it’s probably a realistic expectation that I thought I’d get all eight votes. It’s just the way I played the game. I know what I did, I know what Denise did, and I know what Lisa did and I really thought in the spirit of the game — outwit, outplay, outlast — that I encompassed those three elements the best, and if I had a jury voting on the integrity of the game itself that they would have to vote me the game. READ FULL STORY »