'Survivor: Caramoan's' Reynold Toepfer: Cochran is absolutely the driver of the game
Are you glad you went on "Survivor"? Was it everything you expected or hoped it would be?
"It was an incredible experience. On the episodes, you get to see a lot of the drama and the struggle, but there's also a lot of wonderful moments out there, where you're not tied down ... by regular life. You reflect in a beautiful setting, while you're totally pure because you're not really eating. It's a really shaping experience for sure, in a positive way."
You had kind of a volatile season on "Survivor." Did you see yourself as more of a hero or a villain during your time out there?"
"I would more say underdog. I think -- the way I was portrayed initially came off arrogant and jerky, which I really am not. I hope I didn't come off that way to the people out there. But I think it was kind of heroic the way Eddie and I stuck together and never stabbed each other in the back. We kept our chin up. We never cried or begged or anything. We just kept playing hard. I was able to make it 31 days and Eddie is still going, so I think that's a pretty heroic underdog effort."
What about watching it back? Did anything surprise you?
"I was really surprised at the portrayal of the 'cool kid' alliance early on. I never really felt that way, I had pretty good relationships with several other people that were not Hope, Ali or Eddie. I was really surprised at that.
I was surprised we were being perceived that way even by other tribemates, I didn't think we hung out that way at all. You live and you learn. I think everybody expected us to do that, so any time we did do it, it cemented their preconceptions."
When you were voted off, who did you think at the time was in the strongest position to go all the way to the end?
"When I got voted off, I thought that Cochran and Andrea were just absolutely the drivers of the game. I knew that Dawn was just living life one breakdown to the next out there. I knew that Brenda was an extreme personal Immunity Challenge threat, so unless she could win all the way out, I knew they'd start gunning for her. Who else was out there? Erik? [ laughs] Who? What? He might go to the end, but he's not going to win."
Would you go back if the show asked you back?
"Um, no. Probably not. I loved the experience, I'm so blessed that I got to do it. I'm so happy with my life now, I have a beautiful, wonderful wife, a beautiful 4-year-old son, work could not be better. So I really have no intention of going back out there."
"Survivor" airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.