'Survivor 46's Tim Spicer Calls Q and Hunter "Childish"

Tim Spicer

Survivor 46 is here! Every week, Parade.com's Mike Bloom will bring you interviews with the castaway most recently voted off of the island.

By Day 14 of Survivor 46, college coach Tim Spicer had been accepted to multiple alliances. First, there was the Siga state school, which Tim had a close connection to. But he also got brought into an alliance in the "Big Six," a cross-tribal connection that could run the merge. But, despite a game predicated on keeping his cards close to his chest, Tim let his Siga preferences be known to Dean Q Burdette. As a result, the Big Six rescinded Tim's acceptance, in an emotional blindside that had Tim stop on the way out of Tribal Council in tears.

Though it remains to be seen if Tim ever pooped on the island, he hit the beach moving. He made a quick bond with Ben Katzman, and promoted a parent connection between himself and Maria Shrime Gonzalez. But despite his good feelings about Maria, he sensed early on something was brewing with the Siga women. And while the vibes were unified and lighthearted on the surface of the vibe tribe, the footwork continued underneath with the intensity of a tango. Jem Hussain-Adams rehid her Beware Advantage, then blamed it on Tim. This led to a blunt conversation between the two where they both called out each other's games, yet fiercely denied the accusations. The battle of the Siga sexes finally got tested on Day 11, where Tim got the last laugh when Maria ultimately sided with the men.

Earlier that day, Tim went on a journey with Q and Hunter McKnight. It was suggested that, as the three biggest physical threats, they stick together at the impending merge, each bringing a "plus one" along. While Tim agreed to the idea, it became clear immediately to everyone that the Sigas took precedence for him. It took him a full day before he even brought the alliance up to his plus one Maria, and he spent "Mergatory" trying (and ultimately failing) to protect Moriah Gaynor. A random split put Tim in a group with the three Yanu members, his bestie Ben, and Hunter. To him, breaking up the Nami bloc was first priority, and that was the last straw for Q. After the Yanus spent the afternoon going back and forth on which Siga would go, they ultimately said, "Who's your daddy?" to the self-proclaimed sexiest dad to ever play Survivor.

Now out of the game, Tim talks with Parade.com about what led to his reaction to his boot, how he felt like a "lone wolf" in the game, and how an on-island epiphany affected the way he viewed his family.

Related: Read our Survivor 46 pre-game interview with Tim Spicer

Let's start with where things ended. You were clearly emotional after being blindsided, to the point where you stopped halfway out of Tribal Council to wipe your tears away. Did that come from the heavy emotion that was apparent across Tribal? Or a reaction to being blindsided?
Oh, the actual effect of actually being blindsided. I mean, I think I got an inkling in the Tribal a bit. Jeff's fielding questions. People are saying different things. I get into the point where it's like, "Why am I pitching? Why am I saying, 'I'm not a threat'?" So that blindside hurt. I came out the jungle raging. I wasn't really ready to go home. I definitely had a lot more game left. But the more you sit with it, it was time.Bbecause if not, I would have sat on the jury. And I think I would have been more upset, watching what was happening to people after I had been a victim of it too. [Laughs.]

So what did you expect the plan was going in? We got something in the episode about there being a split between Hunter and Ben. Did you expect a Yanu to join you and Ben to get Hunter out?
I didn't really expect Yanu to join us. They had really been moving how they wanted to. They had been safe, really, for the last two votes. I expected somebody to wising up and get Hunter out. I knew that I wasn't voting for Ben. That was never in my play, because that was always my number one. I remember after the challenge, we talked about who might vote for, sitting on the water, waiting for people to lose. And we agreed that Hunter is the threat and he needs to go. We got him alone. But people had other plans or were nervous about other things.

Well, on that note, the big reason why you're talking to me today is that Q felt that, in pitching to get rid of Hunter over Ben, you were showing your cards that you wanted to stay with the Sigas over this "plus one" alliance. Were you aware of that perception?
I mean, not totally. I didn't think I had that many options. The more and more I watched the show, I was like, "Damn, nobody was really rocking with Tim," until it was Ben and I. I never had an alliance, not even on the Siga tribe. It was the Siga boys. But by the time I got to merge, everybody hated Siga. So I didn't really feel like I had that many options. I never really trusted the "plus one" alliance. I think Quintatvius and Hunter were acting girlish by going to Maria before I can get to Maria. I thought that was childish. Why would you go say it before? Why do you have to confirm it yourself? I thought that was just too controlling for me. And that rubbed me the wrong way. So I couldn't really rock with the plus six. And it was too early to count out six people out of 13 in a game of Survivor. New era, old era, what world do you live in where that will ever work? I'd love to see how it plays out.

So let's talk about some of your relationships. As you mentioned, it seemed to us like Ben was your number one ally. But when you're asked to name your "plus one" on the journey, you say Maria. Talk to me about your dynamic, and why you chose to omit him.
I chose to omit Ben because I wasn't giving up my number one. Who are these two guys to say you have to tell me your number one? And the question was, "Who do you trust the most?" I didn't know if Ben was going to be there after the journey because we had to go vote. So what if I say I trust Ben and Ben ends up going home? Tim doesn't have a good read on anybody. So he's a threat, we got to get him out.

I said Maria because I did trust her and it didn't matter. And once again, these guys are counting out six people. And we're going into Mergatory, I'm going into my first vote. So I'll throw a name out there because I least thought I could trust Maria enough to just go with the plan. But then seeing how she thought of me as her number three was interesting. Yeah. And she still went with Tim's plan. So I don't know where I stand with a lot of people. But "Benevolence," yeah, he was my number one. I ommitted his name because I wasn't giving up my number one to two people I've been competing with the entire season. 

Let's stay on Maria. It's clear you invested a lot in that parent connection. But, as you point out, she recently said that you were her number three ally at best. What was your reaction to that?
I think the bond was parental; it was strength. We were the strongest people on the tribe when it came to challenges. She's married, I'm married. We talked a bit about that. And I guess we might have been the most open about our situations at home. We didn't see it a lot, it was interesting to see her and Charlie. I thought that was cool. Because he's a Siga anyway, so it didn't matter. But seeing her say that, I gave her a call. I'm like, "Yo, let's go ahead. I didn't even know I was your number three. But if I wasn't your number one, that means you voted your number two Moriah out at [Mergatory]." So I don't really care. But it's really all good.

I noticed last night that you passed the time in that challenge by shouting out the family members of a bunch of contestants. And I was there for the first Immunity Challenge where you did the same to cheer Maria and Moriah on. It really seemed like you were a leader and motivator for Siga throughout the game. But that's something that could also work against you, as people see how big of a social threat you are. Was that something you thought of out there?
No, not really. I was supporting my tribe at that point. And at the end of the day, it's not like we're out there on our phones. What else am I going to do besides learn about the people? I'm sleeping on bamboo next to you. So I didn't think it'd be something used against me or that people were that fragile that that would make them think I'm a threat. We've never won a challenge first place. No, I didn't think it'd be a problem.

And I wasn't raised like that. If you're gonna lose a challenge, or if you're competing with someone, you can still acknowledge greatness, or you can still support them. We still have grand gestures, and we're kind to people. If I think I'm gonna lose something, I'm gonna be chill, I'm gonna just keep playing the game. But if I'm competing with somebody that I really think has a chance, I'm gonna give you your credit. I'm gonna shout you out. I don't think you could beat me. Well, I clearly proved that wrong. [Laughs.] But I'm gonna still shout you out. I think it's good camaraderie; it's good for the competitive nature. Don't be a sore loser before the game's even over.

On Siga, you were very wary of a women's alliance from the beginning. And it built into this weird dynamic with Jem, where you would call each other out on what the other was doing, but also deny the accusations being thrown at you. Talk to me about how things evolved throughout the premerge for you.
Day One I picked up on it. Because we had to do the Savvy challenge. And I said in my head, "I'm not doing the Savvy challenge because I'll be away from the group. I'd rather have three with me than two". And so I picked up on the girls because they were whispering. We're walking through the jungle. We're getting to know the map. And I hear the whispering. I see Jem, Mo and Maria like talking to each other. So I knew that was how the game goes.

Also know that, in my culture, in my household, the way I was raised, my mom, my grandma, my wife, my aunties, they call the shots. And so I perceived these women to be smart, and that they'll get a guy out of here before they vote a fellow lady out. And then with Jem and I, I wanted to see if she could be honest. I think there were some jokes we had out there, we could talk to each other honestly, no filter. And I got to talk to her about it, and she lied. And I didn't really know when she was telling the truth, but it didn't feel comfortable. And so at that point, she was a target. She didn't want to work with me, and she couldn't tell me the truth.

Were you aware at the time that she was trying to get people to believe you were the one who planted the Beware Advantage?
Absolutely not! I think I think people, including myself, were shocked that I was the target. And that's why I said I was the lone wolf. I watched the show, and I'm like, "Nobody was rocking with Tim." And that's okay. But I had no idea that they thought, "Tim was playing hard. Tim might have the idol." Or that Jem was trying to put it on me. I didn't know that at all. They did a good job covering it up.

When I spoke with you in the preseason, you were struggling with homesickness. And there was a secret scene where you wake up on Day 9 and talk about how you've changed your mindset on being the provider for your family and traveling for work to spend more time with your kids. Talk to me about how you came to that epiphany, and how did that affect your life after you left the island?
I mean, just coming to that conclusion, you're away for such a long time. And I had already been used to being away, but it kind of made me feel like I took the family for granted. What's the point of doing all this work, if you can't raise your kids, or if you can't be with your wife? And something in me nine days in, I'm triggered. I need to reevaluate my situation in life. I also think, since the game, I've been able to kind of pick and choose and control my schedule a little more at the point where it's about negotiating my time and not just my salary. And I think that's been more important for my family, more important for my boys. My sons play baseball, and so spring is busy for us. It just seems like I have a little more control over it now. And we'll see how things go in the next few months.

Last thing I want to ask. Speaking of things you may or may not have control over, we saw you ask "Tiki Man" when you were going to poop out on the island. Did it ever end up happening in the game?
[Laughs.] Shout out to the Tiki Man. We named the episode. No, I didn't poop until I left Fiji. Right before we get on the plane, I finally had a bowel movement. But I wasn't eating enough to pass anything. And, despite the tears. I wasn't vulnerable enough to go squat in the ocean where somebody can just go and catch me slippin. So it didn't matter, but I'm glad it finally happened before I got back to the States.

Next, check out our interview with Moriah Gaynor, who was voted out in Survivor 46 Episode 6.