Last night marked the 37th season premiere of the CBS phenomenon Survivor. The newest chapter of Survivor pits adversity against advantage with the David Tribe going up against the Goliath Tribe.

Pat Cusack was the first castaway sent home this season after an accident out at sea caused him to be evacuated to a nearby medical facility. CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Cusack about his unfortunate injury, being on the island and who to keep an eye on moving forward.

MW- Hey Pat, how are you doing?

PC- Hey buddy, you know I’m doing the best that I can in the situation.

MW- Right of course, how’s the back feeling?

PC- The back is good, the back is good.

MW- Can you walk me through what happened from your perspective?

PC- Well, I can give you what I know. I don’t have any memory of anything that happened on the beach after the accident. But we were leaving the immunity challenge and boarding on a boat back to camp and with the cyclones that were coming through the seas were rough, 15 to 20 foot seas and the waves were bigger than the boat.

The captain warned us that the seas were going to be rough so we needed to hunker down and try to stay as close together as we could to try to mitigate the flailing around so to speak. Then next thing I know I’m waking up in a helicopter, landing in a hospital.

MW- Goodness, that’s a brutal way to have the game end for you but fortunately you’re doing well now. Even though you weren’t on the island for long due to the circumstances, what was your impression of being there and getting to see everything first hand.

PC- Oh, well first and foremost it was a dream of mine to go and play the game of Survivor. Its an amazing game and to be in a tropical paradise playing on the world’s biggest stage was truly an amazing feeling.

MW- Did it live up to the expectations you had before going,  did it exceed them?

PC- It was more than I would have ever thought. You’re out in the elements playing an awesome game with complete strangers all vying to battle it out for a million dollars. The water is so beautiful and the beaches are so beautiful, the environment is beautiful – it was definitely more than I expected.

MW- You were able to assert yourself almost right off the bat as a leader for your tribe, was that your strategy going in?

PC- It wasn’t, but just being that I have a construction background and we had the shelter building kit I just kind of took charge. I didn’t want to sleep in the dirt. So I just took the lead to get us a shelter built so I didn’t have to sleep in the dirt. At the time during the game I had no notion that I was rubbing people wrong. Watching it last night I guess people took it that I was being a little bossy. I don’t feel like I came off that way, I was just trying to make sure we had a rough over our head.

People that don’t have any construction experience, they don’t know what to do next. So I had to tell them what to do step for step what to do and I guess it came off as bossy.

MW- Speaking of the rest of your tribe, what was your reaction to finding out the the “David Vs Goliath” theme of this season?

PC- Well we didn’t know what the theme was until we got on that big boat. At the time I was kind of mystified by the team but I knew that I was on the right tribe, I knew I was a David. I see myself as a Goliath because everything that’s ever come in front of me I’ve managed to make good with it but with the story of my life, how I was brought up and I came to be who I am today, it was definitely a David path.

So to find out the theme being “David Vs Goliath” I kind of took it like ‘alright, I’m going to prove why David became a king.’ That’s what everybody is out there to do. We’re all out there for the same reason and unfortunately my stay got cut short but now there’s 19 other people still battling out for that million dollar prize and I wish nothing but the best for each and everyone of them.

MW- Did anyone stand out to you during your time on the island that you feel has the best chance of winning that million dollar prize?

PC- Well I didn’t have any interactions with the Goliaths so I don’t really have too many thoughts on anybody from the Goliath tribe. Now since we’re back stateside I obviously have made contact with them and we’re all a close knit family now. But from being out on the island standing in front of everybody, everybody thinks that they’re going to be the sole survivor.

I had myself picked to win it but now that that’s not the case I believe Christian has a really good shot, Alison has a really good shot. I don’t know who is standing at the end but just by their game play and they’re super-fans so they know how to play the game. They’re both super-super-fans.

I’m a super-fan but I’m not like an internet super-fan. I never went in the chat rooms and media groups, before this whole situation I never even had a smart phone. I had a flip phone when I started this whole process. So I was never the one in on the chat rooms, reddit and all that. These people they really live for that, all the social media aspects of it. But there’s a lot of great players, its going to be a battle. I don’t know who it comes down to though, I only know my situation which is unfortunately on the sidelines now but it’s going to an epic season. Whoever wins is going to be well deserving of it because the game is real and it’s intense.

If you can bottle up all those emotions, put them into one drink and drink it right down then you’ll do fairly well in the game. Whoever ends up winning I stand by them 100%. It’s an intense game and if you can take all those elements, blend them all up and come out at the end as a winner then you deserve it.

MW- Absolutely, it’s not a game for the faint of heart and all the credit in the world to you for going on and giving it your all while you could. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today Pat, hopefully we’ll see you again soon and again so glad you’re doing alright physically after the injury.

PC- I appreciate it man, I appreciate it very much. Thank you!

Catch an all-new Survivor next Wednesday at 8:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.

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