Every season of Survivor there is a castaway that stands out from the pack, this season that player was Christian Hubicki. Hubicki, an engineer and scientist by trade, seemed to have a bull’s eye on his back from day one and fell one vote shy of tying an all-time record for most votes against in a single season.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Hubicki earlier today to discuss his time run on the island, the challenges of mental fatigue and his friendship with The Mayor Of Slamtown.
MW- Good morning Christian, how are you?
CH- I’m doing well, Matt! How are you?
MW- All’s well over here man! Now, it seemed like you were on the chopping block from day one this season. You came very close to setting an all-time record for votes in a single season of Survivor, what was going through your mind when your time finally ran out at this week’s tribal?
CH- My first thought was, ‘Oh dang I’m out, but man, I dodged a lot of bullets.’ It was certainly a thing where I knew that every vote I survived was precious and I couldn’t take anything for granted. When my number finally came up I knew I outlived my shelf life in this game based on how much I was targeted. In a weird way I was proud.
MW- Why do you think you were such a target and your name continued to come up over and over?
CH- I think a big part of it was that I was pretty socially affable and I had an instinct to connect with everyone out there. I wanted them to enjoy being around me. I never wanted it to get to a point where I was annoying people and I had to go. I thought about that a lot in the early game. I feel like in the early game people get voted out because they’re annoying and I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to be the opposite of that. I wanted people to enjoy having me around and want to see me stay.
So that’s the way I played it and maybe I did that too much. When I started being targeted by Angelina at the merge, I think she said in a secret scene that she wanted to work with me so much she realized everyone probably did as well and that set the tone for the rest of my game. From then on it was like they couldn’t let me stick around anymore or get to the end. Once you’re a target people don’t forget.
MW- What was the most difficult part of the game for you?
CH- The hardest part for me was the mental fatigue. When you’re sitting at home watching the show you have all the answers and everything seems so easy because you’re well fed and well rested [Laughs]. When you’re playing the game, I can’t describe just how mentally stricken you are, you’re so deprived. There were times I was sitting around and couldn’t even remember how many people were left in the game. I can’t tell you what I would have done for a note pad and paper so I could stare at everyone’s names and think of potential alliance combinations.
I was sitting around the campfire seeing people I didn’t necessarily associate with one another and realizing they could be in an alliance. I literally never thought to put some people together because I was so mentally deprived.
MW- That’s a very unique experience you and everyone on Survivor goes through. After all that time on the island with limited food and sleep, how do you feel you’ve been changed as a person now that you’re back in your everyday life?
CH- I think the thing I take away from this experience for my everyday life is that I should not be afraid to engage anyone on the level that I want to. I was worried going into the game that while I get along well with engineers and scientists in my department, I didn’t know how these people from other walks of life would respond to me. How would a Carl the trucker respond to me talking about factorials? I didn’t know.
It turns out the answer is quite well. It translates well to people of all stripes, people of different interests and backgrounds. Just that knowledge that I can engage people across the social spectrum, I can’t forget that.
MW- I bet you never thought you would befriend The Mayor Of Slamtown…
CH- John [Hennigan] is so awesome! I think that may have been the start of me really realizing how confident I should be with people. I was able to go up to him and be confident he wasn’t so self-serious that he would take “Slamtown” seriously. I thought I could joke with him about Slamtown and he’d be up for it…and he was!
He was so witty and quick and I had such a grand time talking to John. A professional wrestler, how cool is that?
MW- It certainly was a lot of fun to watch you #Brochachos. I think I know the answer already to this last question but I have to ask, if you were called to be on another season would you want to play the game again?
CH- It’s certainly something I would take very seriously. Obviously I have a lot of things here at home. I have to make sure the trains run on time, I run my own laboratory now and I have to make sure that wouldn’t crumble with my absence. There were so many experiences out there that I can’t describe how riveting they were. That’s something I would definitely weight in making the decision on whether or not to play again potentially.
MW- Alright so you’re saying there’s a chance. Thank you so much Christian, it was fun to watch you play and really great catching up with you today!
CH- Thank you Matt! Same to you.
Survivor returns for its season finale next Wednesday at 8:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.