“Survivor” is back for its 36th season and this year’s show plays up a spooky theme. 20 contestants started in Fiji on a land called Ghost Island where mistakes from castaways of the past will bring brand new twists to the game. Jacob Derwin found out the hard way just how crazy this season is going to be.
Derwin talked about his “Survivor” experience with CBS Local and explains why he was voted off the island.
How would you describe your experience on the first episode of “Survivor: Ghost Island”
Jacob Derwin: It was watching a man desperately fight to survive for about two hours.
What was the difference between living the experience and watching it on TV?
JD: Out there, I knew I was in trouble pretty much immediately. I knew people were talking about me. I never heard the language. Hearing the exact language and terminology was kind of funny. It made me make a couple of faces when I was watching at a bar with a couple of my friends.
What was the most surprising thing you heard?
JD: The special comment was funny from my dear Stephanie Gonzalez. The idea that I had zero social skills was super funny. The truth is that I was connecting with some people and not the majority. I didn’t connect with Michael, Brendan, Libby or anyone like that. I connected with Laurel, James and Stephanie and that wasn’t enough people to connect with.
What would you have done differently?
JD: There’s a lot of things you could do differently. It’s hard in the moment because I was really trying everything. I didn’t want to be fake. I was willing to try anything to get myself through. I guess if I could’ve changed anything, I would’ve done more CrossFit before getting out there or maybe spending some more personal time with people like Michael. As it turns out he’s just a teenager, so maybe I could’ve connected with him on some level. Instead, I felt like I was immediately pretty much isolated.
What was the best part of the experience for you?
JD: Being there is awesome. I’m a big fan of the show and it was cool to see the scale of it in person and see the production and the sunrise and to go to Ghost Island, which was a twist we didn’t know about. To be around all that kind of history is crazy for a guy like me. It’s really something to be in the middle of it. It was such a crazy, wild experience.
What’s next for you?
JD: I’m teaching. I’m a music teacher and I’m working on getting some work in the voice-over field for my pipes and working on music. I’m pursuing all the creative passions I still have and trying to make those connections in those worlds. Maybe six days on “Survivor” won’t help too much, but that’s not why I was there in the first place. We’ll see what happens next.