(CBS) – Episode two, castoff number three. Survivor is pulling no punches in season 41 as we already have our third elimination and this time it was neurosurgeon David Voce who had to watch Jeff Probst snuff out his flame.
CBS’ Matt Weiss spoke with Voce to discuss trying to sleep without clocks, competing on the island and what lead to his blindside elimination.
MW- Hello David! Sorry we’re talking a lot earlier than you had probably hope but you’re still part of a very small group of group who even get to the island so I hope you’re still proud of that. What was your reaction to setting foot on that island and living out a dream?
DV- So for me and several other people we were cast before COVID And then that all fell through and so to finally be out there, there was just this overwhelming excitement. Especially after COVID and quarantining and finally being free to be around people. You can feel just the the vibe, even from the crew, everyone was just so excited to be out there.
I lived a dream, even thought five days was way too short, it’s crazy how much of those five days are permanently seared into my memory now. It was just such an incredible experience and coming back and trying to describe it to people is hard. It’s literally like a drug where you get this high of being out there and then it’s taken away.
I feel like I need the next hit, it’s just an incredible adventure, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and I’m really grateful for it.
MW- That’s a very unique thing like you said, being on the show during COVID. Obviously it’s far from everyday life but was there any sense of normalcy that at the very least you could be around people again?
DV- Survivor is not normal at all. [Laughs] Before going out there a lot of people would say Jeff has that line of it’s going to rock you to your core and people talk about mental health and it’s all true. We were on an island, it’s 24/7 non-stop living with people from all different walks of life, all different backgrounds, and being able to kind of create a society together.
Those taglines that we hear over and over again, that really is what it is. You know you don’t have the cell phones, computers, the work schedules everything that all goes out the window. It’s this weird society that’s happening, you go out there and it’s just this incredible microcosm that happens. It’s kind of mind boggling how quickly you fall into this small society that you’re creating. It really just kind of teaches you what’s important in life, and kind of resets your mind, how to kind of approach life.
MW- Even things like not knowing what time it is, I imagine that has to really throw you for a loop?
DV- The hardest part is waking up in the middle of the night. You feel pretty rested so you think it must be close to morning and then like 10 hours go by and it’s still dark out. You realize ok maybe it was only like 7pm. [Laughs]
MW- You also got to experience a few challenges, so walk me through what that’s like when you step up to that starting line?
DV- Yeah, I mean it’s adrenaline rush. You just have complete adrenaline pushing you through those challenges. It’s hard to describe how intense those challenges are. Everything is so heavy, everything is so intense.
You know that sweat challenge was way underrated, we almost didn’t finish, that was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. Our thighs were bloody from the chafing, we had scars all over the place. We were just completely wiped out.
So what you see on TV, just know it’s way harder. You think ‘oh I can do that, that’d be fun’ and then you get out there and it’s a totally different ballgame. You do have time to strategize, but it’s not a lot. So in that last challenge, the water challenge, you saw me in my underwear because I was supposed to actually swim and then last minute Tiffany said she could do the beam and they wanted me on a puzzle because I could do puzzles.
So everything just kind of is happening the way it happens because everything’s moving so fast. It’s incredible the out there but it’s also like, I’ve got to perform.
MW- And also like you said you’re doing it on not the best night’s sleep and very little food, so you’re mind isn’t really where it needs to be either I assume.
DV- Exactly, yeah. The best example of it is Tiffany last night, love her to death but what in the world happened? I mean she just lost all touch with reality.
What you saw was Liana be like this is idiotic, and Evie being like what is happening? Evie told Deshawn that Xander is going home, he has these idols and that’s why she told him everything. What you didn’t really see is when Evie got back from that trek she only had about five minutes with us, and that’s why she was like wait what, why does Tiffany, want to do this?
But there was no time and I think if there had been even a little more time Evie would have said, then let’s split the vote. Let’s do a two-one vote so that we can still get out Xander and if he plays something then Voce will go. So it just did not make sense, and you see that and Tiffany saying I don’t have any food I’m not thinking straight and just the paranoia and complete lack of any sense that set in.
MW- So when you are staring down that moment and you realize you might be going home, what was that moment like for you?
DV- Honestly, that was such a blindside. I knew as soon as the first vote was read and it was my vote for Tiffany I was like uh-oh. You never want to see your vote first. That’s kind of when I realized that and honestly, it was just devastation.
After you get voted out it’s kind of a whirlwind and you’re sitting there getting your final thoughts and this was a total blindside. I said at the time I guess it was my relationship maintenance but I actually take that back a little. At that point I just felt like I was close to people, I thought I had real bonds with people, and I did have those bonds with people.
It’s just that when stuff hit the fan, I didn’t actually realize that stuff was hitting the fan. I don’t think that that was a lack of self awareness, I think it was just a pure moment of Russian roulette mayhem. There were so many advantages, there were so many twists, it was just like this huge cluster. It was just a matter of where does the bullet go and it went for me, which sucks but that’s Survivor and that’s life
MW- Well hopefully we see you back out there sometime, like I said you still made it to the island which is a huge accomplishment in its own right. You handled yourself well out there and it was great catching up with you today!
DV- Thanks Matt, take care!
Tune in next Wednesday for another all-new episode of Survivor 41 on CBS or stream it live with Paramount+. Check your local listings for more information.