Gordon Holmes: You know, Boston Rob’s first season didn’t go as well as your first one did…and now he’s got a giant head on an island.
Rick Devens: And isn’t that what we’re really all going for in the end?
Holmes: You keep plugging away? In fifteen years we’re going to have Devens Island.
Devens: (Laughs) From your mouth to Jeff’s ears, Gordon.
Holmes: I’m not going to let this die. I’ll stay on him.
Devens: I’m in!
Holmes: As an anchor, you know how TV and stories work, there had to have been a point where you realized that you were becoming the main story. When did it hit you?
Devens: Probably when I played the idol and Ron went out. When I played his fake advantage. That’s when I realized, man, this jury is locked and loaded for me. I’d won some immunities, I’d found some idols, just showing all of that was going to take some time. I just caught fire. I kept winning and finding other idols. Then at Tribal it was all “Devens, Devens, Devens.” Even if I wanted to go back, which at times I did due to the threat status, that ship had sailed.
Holmes: Your gameplay was very polarizing. The classic fans don’t want people finding so many idols and the new fans seem to enjoy the chaos. But at the end of the day, you’re playing the game you were presented. You’re not about to turn down an idol.
Devens: (Laughs) Right?! What do you want me to do? I’m out there playing as hard as I can. Part of that is idols. I would have loved to have worked with some of these folks but it was just not going to happen. Those doors were closed to me. That’s why I had so much time to find these things, and it takes a long time to find an idol. I would say, I’ve gone back and watched some of these earlier seasons and I love them. But, 38 seasons of it is going to get pretty dull. So, I’m excited that “Survivor” is constantly changing things. Last night at the final Tribal we got to see the debate between Gavin and Chris about, “What is classic ‘Survivor’”? I think any player that doesn’t go out there and take advantage of every rule in the game is making it more difficult on themselves. If I can find an idol and that means people on Reddit get upset, but I can stay in the game? I’ll go ahead and find that idol.
Holmes: Sorry, Reddit.
Devens: Yeah, sorry.
Holmes: You had been the victim of someone hanging on to half of an idol. Did you consider pulling that move with Chris?
Devens: There was never any doubt from me that I was going to give Chris the half back. The only reason I hung onto it at all was that I wanted to motivate him to help me find the hidden immunity idol that everyone was searching for. “I’ll give you this once I’m safe, then we’ll both be safe tonight.” I see what a strategic mistake this was. I believe it cost me a million dollars. And in hindsight, now that I’ve met his family. He’s a strong dude, he would have been fine. It’s the move I should have made. But in the game, there was no way I could have done that to him. After our time at the Edge of Extinction…I very much betrayed him. We were close and I totally blindsided him. He was really kind of broken out there…and we had a lot of time to talk about how much this affected his family and future. We developed a very real friendship. So, when he came back into the game, I did not have the heart to not give him that half back. I really believed back then that it would have done serious damage to my friend.
Holmes: I don’t think a lot of people appreciate the constant paranoia that takes place in the game. I’ve talked to players who say it is a cloud hanging over you. And, I’d imagine it goes away at the Edge of Extinction. That has to count for something, right?
Devens: Yes, absolutely. That was the difference between me giving my vote to Gavin and me giving my vote to Chris. I thought all three of those finalists made a great case, but I spent six days at the Edge of Extinction. And the Edge of Extinction is hard on you, but it’s not hard. You don’t do anything. I could go away and take a four-hour nap with no repercussions. In the game I would never go away for four hours and I certainly wouldn’t want people to think I was napping. You are constantly grinding in the game and if you’re bad at it you get sent to the Edge of Extinction. I don’t think the Edge of Extinction is much of a game at all. Everyone tells you everything. You just last, you just exist.
Holmes: I thought it was really interesting that three of the last four people to be eliminated from the game voted for Gavin. So, he got votes from the players that appreciated how tough the in-game road is.
Devens: I think that that’s true. For me, every step closer to the end, the game gets so much harder. So, it does make sense to me that the people that were in the game the longest would respect that the most. I was shocked when I was voted out of the game and learned that Chris had a shot to win. I didn’t think he had any chance to win based on the time he spent in the game. Weird season, brother.
Holmes: No joke.
Devens: Live by the edge, die by the edge. That’s my motto.
Holmes: That might be the headline of this piece.
Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with…Chris.
Devens: C’mon, God!
Devens: Dude! Reem is tough.
Holmes: Her name is also a verb.
Devens: You get reemed every day.
Devens: The best dude in the whole bunch.
Devens: So funny. Funniest person out there.
Devens: A close second! Entertaining.
Devens: She is a badass.
Devens: Tall…no…a competitor.
Devens: I just want to say “Disney” and “food.” He’s a down home guy.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Julie.
Holmes: The Sia award?! I didn’t see you save a single chicken!
Devens: Well…let me tell you…I saved a hermit crab by finding it a home in a secret scene.
Holmes: Oh yeah!
Devens: I think that was my commission as a hermit crab realtor.
Holmes: You’re telling me that’s a $100,000 hermit crab?
Devens: That’s my boy right there! Ol’ Hermie and I. They never showed with the chicken, and I can’t imagine that Sia knows about this, but after Wendy had left the game, we’re more than halfway through the game and people are constantly trying to catch these chickens. And I was sabotaging the catching of the chickens. I could get by without it. Three of them lived until the end of the game. They got fatter every day. All they did was eat bugs and avoid us. I called them “Huey, Dewey, and Louie.” Some people called them “Keith, Reem, and Wendy.”
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes