Tuesday, February 18, 2014

EXIT INTERVIEW. Survivor South Africa: Champions' Zan Lang: 'They saw my weakness which was my temper'.

On Sunday evening Zan Lang (24) who told his Utara tribe in Survivor South Africa: Champions on M-Net he's had enough and is quitting, got his wish when they voted him out and sent him home.

TV with Thinus caught up with him, as Zan Lang explained why he decided to quit the show, why he wrote that Solly is a coward and why he doesn't need to be loyal to anyone.

Zan Lang explains what "broke him down", whether he was surprised or not that people actually wanted him to stay, how he feels about how he played the game, what he would have done differently, and what he want to say to his tribe members in hindsight.

Zan, you did explain in Sunday's episode of the show why you decided to quit. Is there possibly anything you want to say to put it into more context, or want to explain exactly why you decided to make that decision.
Basically it has been a while coming for that decision, I had been playing with it in my mind for a few days.

Ultimately what pushed me to make the final decision was just not gelling with my tribe like what I thought that we could have. Basically just being physically weak and emotionally weak. I was really, really missing home and my family, my friends, my girlfriend and the people that I love.

It was an emotional decision at the end and that's basically how it happened.

What I saw - its a question with an "a" and a "b" - what I saw when you wrote your card of who you voted for, you wrote on the card that Solly is a "COWARD" in capital letters, and then you also wrote that you don't need to be loyal to your tribe. 
I was wondering why you wrote those two things?
I wrote Solly's name down because him and I didn't gel from the beginning, from the first day on the beach.

I just felt that Solly was a bit ... a bit ... naieve. He had a lot to say but not a lot to contribute to the tribe, especially around camp. And him and I had personal problems. We just didn't get along from the beginning. That's why I wrote his name down.

And with the loyalty thing, I believe that family comes first when it comes to anything - your family and your friends. People that, on the tribe, that I didn't really get along with or actually like cared to much about, were Solly and Marion because they were pushing me to the edge on a daily basis.

So I wrote that down just to let them know that my loyalty lies with the people who are important to me and the people at home that I care about - not with people that I just met and have spent nine days on an island with.

Then I wanted to ask, looking back, is there something that you would have done differently?
Prepare emotionally and mentally more for the game than I did physically. I ultimately think that the game of Survivor is more rather an emotional and mental game and that's what you need to prepare for much more than what you need to prepare for on the physical side.

That's all I put into it pre going onto the island - I trained every day and I got my whole body into what I thought was the perfect mix to to take it further in the game. And ultimately that came back to bite me not preparing mentally and emotionally for the internal battles that happened at camp.

How do you feel about how you played the game while you were there?
Well, I think that I could have taken more care of my temper, and kept my emotions at bay and my outbursts because I honestly - when you're on that island you're in a completely different mindset to what you're at home and are around people that actually know you.

So I would have kept my opinions to myself a little bit more. I came across a little bit too strong at the beginning where people thought I was being a bit bossy, when in actual effect I was just trying to help the tribe get further in the game and to make things at camp a little bit more comfortable so that wouldn't necessarily have to struggle throughout.

When I got there and I started recommending people on what we could do to improve things, maybe people took that as me being bossy and outspoken. But I was really just trying to help my team.

Is there something that you would like to say to them now in hindsight?
Well, seeing now what actually happened behind-the-scenes and what I didn't know was happening while I was there - like I said I wasn't too much in it with the strategy game as well - they saw my weakeness which was my temper maybe, and getting a little bit headstrong and putting my opinion across maybe too often.

So I would have definitely, probably tried to make more alliances with people on my tribe. Maybe be a little more friendly towards them, even when I didn't agree with what they were planning or doing or saying. I think maybe keeping to myself my opinions probably would have helped a lot.

Did it surprise you that you wanted to quit and be off the island, and then actually there were people who wanted you to stay and not vote you off?
No it didn't because I had initially spoken to Mark and I've spoken to Stephen and Shane before I had actually spoken to Buhle on the island.

All three of them, Mark, Shane and Stephen all said that they did not want me to leave and that they would rather vote for someone else that night. 

But again, when you're in that frame of mind even if people are trying to tell you that you need to stick around, once you've made your decision - and its an emotional decision on that sort of level being on that island in those conditions - your emotions do take hold. 

So, that why eventually in the end I handed over the flint to Buhle in the end because I thought they were still gunning for Buhle. And I made good friends with her on the island and we got along well. So I would have rather protected her which is what I ultimately tried to do with the flint. 

And that's how it happened. Next time, if there ever is a next time, I would play the game more strategically than just strength wise in the challenges.

What was the most difficult thing for you?
Definitely the lack of food. You don't actually realise when you're sitting at home and you see Survivor, you don't think, you know, they're eating the odd fish, they're getting the odd banana here and there. 

So you don't know that if you don't get any food, you don't eat. And the amount of food that we were eating - we were living on coconuts and that's not much nutrition in a coconut. So that really broke me down. Because I normally eat like a horse at home.

So that took a toll on my body and my strength in the challenges as well. When I don't eat I do get emotional and I do honestly have outbursts of maybe anger and I've been trying to work on that since I got back from the island to turn my whole experience into a positive.

I wanted to actually ask you as the last question what you've learnt from this experience?
I've learnt a lot from the experience. First of all I've learnt what you can live without and the luxuries that we have in modern day life.

You don't necessarily have to have those to be complete or anything like that. Another thing is that when you're out there you do need some sort of emotional connection to someone. You do miss home. And you miss the small things in life.

And ultimately its made me appreciate the small things in life. It's made me appreciate my friends a lot more. Its made me appreciate just being at home with the loved one. And I mean, honestly its made me a better person and I've learnt a lot from it.

I deal with people totally differently now compared to before I went to the island and being on the island. I'm a lot more outgoing and a friendly person now. 

And I want to turn the whole experience into a positive and see how I can maybe help improving other people's lives back in my hometown.