Interview: Emma’s experience meeting four Worlds Apart cast members

In case you weren’t aware, Emma has somehow become our go-to field reporter for all things Survivor. Actually, “somehow” is inaccurate; it’s entirely because of her proximity to Los Angeles-based Survivor happenings. It certainly isn’t for her photography skills, as demonstrated in her post about visiting the Survivor exhibit at the Paley Center.

This time, Emma ended up meeting four players from Survivor: Worlds Apart in a Los Angeles bar. How did this happen? What was it like? You have so many questions? So did I, that’s why I asked her all of them. (It should be obvious, but bold text below is from John. The responses are Emma’s. )

First of all, if you were making a list of “weirdest things that have happened to you because of the internet”, where does this whole thing- from the first conversation through the actual meeting- rank?

In terms of weird things? Probably number one or two. Depends on whether this is weirder than when that guy tried to add me back on Facebook twice within a week of me deleting him. This was definitely the most surreal thing that’s happened, at least.

So how did this go from Twitter joke to actual meet-up?

After joking about it on Twitter,

Max- datewithcochranemma
Exhibit A: “Joking about it on Twitter.”

Max sent me a DM saying, “No joke! Let’s hang out and geek out some time!” There was some talk back and forth about what part of town we’re in and scheduling, when Max said he hadn’t figured his week out and would get back to me on a time to get dinner. A few days later, he said there would be a viewing party that Wednesday and that I should go. So I did!

When you heard that the guest list was expanding to include Will, Carolyn, and Vince, what was your reaction?

Fear. My reaction was fear. These were the contestants that hate young people, and I’m between Jenn and Hali’s age. Would Carolyn know about you and what you said about her? Would she know that I’m connected to your podcast? Irrational fears obviously. No one knows who you are besides Max and Shirin. But good lord, what will hanging out with Vince be like?

Yeah, it’s a safe bet that the first time Carolyn or Will read or listened to anything from us was the last time, unless they’re fans of criticism. But we’ll talk about them first, since I imagine that you have the least to say about them. What was Carolyn like? Did she immediately find your enthusiasm for Survivor annoying?

I don’t believe I was ever properly introduced to Carolyn, but I was amused by the fact that everyone at her table wore a suit. She and Will interacted with Max a bit, mostly by taking pictures. Mostly though, Carolyn and Will were with each other when not with their own friends/family.

Since this was the episode where this happened (Will sliding like a limp corpse dot gif), what was Will’s reaction?

Max and Will were talking when I arrived, so Max introduced me to Will. He offered me some food, which I didn’t partake in due to it being meat oriented, and that was pretty much it. He seemed jovial though. He was cracking up during his fall.

After the episode he and Carolyn were hugging each other and everyone not there with Max was chanting “Mama C!”. The pair of them also did the “I believe I can win” dance thing again.

Mama C! Mama C! I briefly saw you on TV!
Mama C! Mama C! I briefly saw you on TV!

How did Will react to the preview for next week?

The Carolyn group as well as the Will group were very clearly not into Shirin. Not full on booing, but definitely grumbling. I didn’t notice a major reaction from Will during the preview, but it’s possible I missed it due to Max telling me that it was going to be a “teachable moment.”

So as you’re watching the episode, are you getting insight into the cast from anyone there?

It was a decent-sized group, and I was at a smaller table of four, which included Max. People were definitely there to watch the episode, so there wasn’t a ton of real talking; it was mostly just exclamations. Max would whisper stuff every now and then, but given that he was off the show by then, his insights were largely due to having already watched the episode, plus a few things that others had told him. For example, he made sure I paid attention right before Dan ate the M&M, and Rodney’s impressions.

After the episode is over, did you discuss with Max about his experience with Survivor- teaching it, going through casting, and finally playing?

Between the three of us, we did discuss Max’s experiences. I learned more about what his class was actually about, and he admitted to enjoying making little challenges for his students more than the actual class itself. Although he was approached for the show, he did say he had tried to get on for years.

Apparently he also got really sick after he was voted off, and was quarantined for much of his stay at Ponderosa. But he did go on the pre-jury trip, which was to Costa Rica.

So where was Vince during this time? I was promised there would be Vince!

Vince wasn’t at the viewing party, but then we went to a restaurant afterwards and he showed up there. We were sitting in a booth outside, so he literally hopped over from the sidewalk into the booth. Then he asked the server if there was anything gluten free because he has an intolerance and she marks off what is. He decides not to order anything because “nothing jumped out at him.” He hung out for a bit, then hopped out of the booth onto the sidewalk again to go make food at Max’s. It was like 10:00 at that point, so why he hadn’t already had dinner, I don’t know.

“As a coconut vendor, I seek truth, not gluten.”

During the time Vince is there, did you talk to him? Did you ask him if he’s now “seeking truth” by living on Max’s couch? Did he smell your hair? Was he drinking something that looked like a bird shit smoothie that he called “tea”? Did he not order food because he didn’t have anything to barter with?

I was sitting next to him at the restaurant, but was too nervous to say much directly to him. No hair was smelled, no creepy advances were made. Vince did admit to eating a lot of Domino’s in college, which ruined the illusion a bit. He was disturbed that I still occasionally order food from there.

How could you not throw out “Tell me your thoughts on Burning Man,” and then just step back and listen to Vince talk for ten minutes straight about coconut vending and personal spiritual oases?

I’M SORRY. Honestly, he didn’t even act that new-agey and weird.

He did say he went to Malibu and apparently there was a oil spill and he talked about seeing a dead seal, which was just sad. Then again, there has been no evidence that I’ve seen online of any sort of oil spill or tar residue or anything so…

For your next assignment, can we have you track down Malcolm and discuss more appropriate facial hair options for him?

I believe Malcolm is more geographically convenient for me, so if anyone can let me know what bar he works at, I’d be happy to show up with a razor and shaving cream.