QUICK NOTE: The good folks at XFINITY sent me deep into the Fijian wilderness to bring you an exclusive look at “Survivor: Ghost Island.” While I was there I conducted interviews with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and the entire cast. I also captured exclusive photos and other behind-the-scenes tidbits. So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.
Name: Angela Perkins
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Current residence: Cincinnati, Ohio
Occupation: Army Veteran
Gordon Holmes: I’ve been asking people why they think they were cast, but I think I have a pretty good idea why you were cast.
Angela Perkins: And why is that?
Holmes: I think you’re a badass.
Perkins: (Laughs) That’s what my son would say.
Holmes: Is that not how you’d describe yourself?
Perkins: No, not really.
Holmes: Then why do you think you were cast?
Perkins: I have no idea. I’ve questioned that since the beginning.
Holmes: Well, it’s too late now.
Perkins: I know! (Laughs) It’s like jumping from a plane, if you’re in the door, you’ve got to go.
Holmes: Your bio says that even when your mouth is shut your friends know what you want to say because your facial expression talks. That sounds like something that could get you in trouble on “Survivor.” Is that something you can control?
Perkins: I don’t know if I can control it, but I may be able to make up for it. I can see the reaction from somebody else. I’m giving them some kind of aggressive gesture. I may not mask it, but I can act on it.
Holmes: Is there anything about your backstory that you’re going to keep from people?
Perkins: Not that I would lie about. I don’t think I will share my military experience. A lot of people would never think I was in the military for twenty years. I deployed several times. I’m going to keep it to myself unless it is brought out.
Holmes: It seems like you’ve already had some pretty extreme survival experiences.
Holmes: What do you make of all of this? Is this a walk in the park compared to what you’re used to?
Perkins: No, because I think it’s not physically…it’s mentally and social. That’s what you struggle with. I’m a leader. So, that definitely can get me into trouble as far as the game.
Holmes: Leaders end up with targets here. Can you pull back if you need to?
Perkins: This is going to be a challenge. I’ve never had to. I recently retired and my kids have grown up to where they can take control of themselves. I’ve always been in charge. So, it’ll be a different side of myself. I hope that I can. My family members said that’s my strongest attribute and my weakness.
Holmes: Are you a big “Survivor” fan?
Perkins: I am.
Holmes: For how long?
Perkins: Since it started, except for the parts where I was deployed.
Holmes: Are the kids fans?
Perkins: They watch it, but they aren’t big fans.
Holmes: Some people set boundaries as far as lying, cheating, stealing. Have you set any boundaries for yourself, or does anything go?
Perkins: No boundaries, game on. I’m going to allow it to develop. I don’t have any really big secrets. Ethical decisions? It’s a game. I don’t think I’m compromising my ethics or religion by playing the game.
Holmes: What about flirting?
Perkins: I’d use it. It’s a natural instinct for a lot of people.
Holmes: Is there anyone back home that’ll be upset if they see you flirting?
Perkins: No, I’m recently divorced.
Holmes: You’re in the dark as far as themes and twists. Any guesses?
Perkins: Looking at the dynamics of the group, I go back and forth as to what it could be. I see it as Males vs. Females. I don’t think it’s like “Worlds Apart” because it’s so many young people. The way we came in, the majority of them seems to be the middle class or upper middle class, so I don’t think that’s a division. There’s really only two older people. There could potentially be three of us.
Holmes: Alright, I’m going to give you two “Survivor” situations. You let me know which one you’d rather deal with.
Holmes: Align with a Hillary supporter or a Trump supporter?
Perkins: Hmm…Trump supporter. They seem to be aggressive and not afraid to speak their minds. That way I know what’s coming. I’ll know if I have to make a big move or not. A Hillary supporter is more reserved, quiet, polite.
Holmes: Steal a vote or eliminate a juror?
Perkins: Eliminate a juror.
Holmes: Endurance challenge or word puzzle?
Holmes: Align with a racist or a sexist?
Perkins: Sexist…no…yeah…if I align with a sexist, it’s not as emotionally connected as a racist. I could give two (expletive deleted) if someone doesn’t like me as a female. Or doesn’t like a male. But when race is involved I get very sensitive. Because when I was a kid, my family was more or a minority. And I didn’t know this. I grew up around a lot of black people and Mexicans. And I didn’t know much about race until we moved into an all-white community. There was only one black girl in my school and she was my friend. That’s when racism was exposed to me. So weird. I didn’t know.
Holmes: Voted out first or before final Tribal?
Perkins: Before final Tribal.
Holmes: Align with an adulterer or a tax cheat?
Perkins: Tax cheat, it hurts financially, but not emotionally.
Holmes: Lose the family challenge or win and have to decide who to take.
Holmes: Caught stealing food or idol hunting?
Perkins: Idol hunting.
Holmes: Align with a super fan or someone who doesn’t watch the show?
Perkins: Someone who doesn’t know the show.
Holmes: Dance challenge or karaoke challenge?
Perkins: Dance challenge. I can’t sing or dance, but screw it.
Holmes: What kind of first impression do you think you put out there?
Perkins: It depends on who it is. If I go to a bar or a social gathering, people are a little set off because I have a strong demeanor about me. I’ve been told I’m aggressive and intimidating. But, once people get to know me they say, “Oh my God, you’re slightly crazy.” I think I have a resting observation face, if that makes sense. I’m always trying to be situationally aware.
NOTE: The cast members do not know each other’s names at this point. I showed Angela a picture of each of the competitors and asked her to share her first impressions.
Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Ghost Island” – Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 8 pm ET.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes