Ralph Kiser had his torch snuffed buff burned on "Survivor: Redemption Island" last night, taking his glorious man-sweater with him.
The hirsute farmer made plenty of off-the-wall comments (with a Southern drawl so thick CBS often resorted to closed captioning) during his 33 days on the show, but we were most surprised by what he told us today.
To start with, "Rob is not really playing the game."
In fact, Ralph's opinion of Mariano has us wondering just how many votes the frontrunner will receive at the final Tribal Council...
Q&A With Ralph Kiser
What's your opinion of the way Rob is playing the game? Rob is not really playing the game. Rob is letting them play them the game.
Most fans, including Rob himself, say he's playing nonstop.
Well, I look at it different. He's letting everybody else cut their own throats. [With everyone hating] Phillip, [he said,] "Hey, we've got to keep Phillip here." They [treat Rob] like he is a little angel. Rob's strategy—he's played it something similar, every time I watched him on TV, based on way back, when Big Tom and all of them played. He will tell you one thing and shake your hand and grin and then do the opposite, and get that sneaky look and s--t-eating grin, and he done it again last night to Grant. Over a little money people will go any way, do anything, and he's [willing] to do it.
What's your opinion of Phillip?
With Phillip...I ain't gonna say he's crazy. Phillip I think is playing the game. He is the best player I have seen so far that has played the game, that's left. He's trying to make enemies and he's not doing it. You think you'd get rid of the enemy. They're not trying to get rid of him. I think Phillip is doing the best at the game playing—because I don't think that's himself, in real life, out here in the real world. He is the best player.
Which player annoyed you the most?
Probably the two ladies that sit around and didn't do nothing.
Did that include Andrea, or just Ashley and Natalie?
Ashley and Natalie. Andrea was a working little girl, she had a heart to play the game, she just had a leader that told her not to play the game with us. They didn't really do nothing, Natalie and Ashley. They kind of bothered me because you're there to play a game—but that might have been their way of playing it: Just lay around and take it easy.
Why did you clash so much with Russell?
He thought I was too much competition—me and Russell was two toughest guys on the team. Russell had it in for me too, the way that he acted and the way that he gave me some looks and I figured Russell had to go or I'm going to be the one that's gone. 'Cause he is going to really try and knock me down, and I believe he would've. To be honest with you, I wish that I was on the other team. I would have rather played the challenge against him instead of with him.
Do you regret that Zapatera threw the challenge to get rid of Russell?
I stayed out of the challenge that was lost. I'm a firm believer in giving it all we've got. The challenge at the time, the key to the game is win—win, win, win—and that's the reason why I decided, "Ralph, you sit down and let them win it, and if they do, it's fine; if they don't, it's fine." But I didn't get any part of it. That's the way that I look at it.
Is there anything you wish viewers knew about Ralph that we didn't see on the show?
Yes, I wish there had been some tougher challenges. I believe I would have done a whole lot better. I'm not good at easy stuff. That might not make sense, but the harder the brute challenges are, the better I believe I would've done. But I was tickled to death I made it 33 days.