As Survivor: Redemption Island's first jury member, last night's eliminee had a front-row seat to one of the most uncomfortable Tribal Councils ever.
Actually the dour defense attorney couldn't appear less happy about his experience on the reality competition, but he did share some interesting insights about Phillip's allegations of racism, how Special Agent Samurai Sheppard measures up to dragon-slaying Coach Ben Wade, and more...
Q&A With Castoff (and First Jury Member) David Murphy
Were there any signs of racism in the tribe while you were there?
No, there was nothing that could have been remotely construed as racism. The comments to Philip about his behavior were based solely on his behavior. I can say that through personal experience; the statements I made to Philip were based strictly on his actions, and there were no racial undertones to anything. I think the viewers can see how irrational his behavior is at times, and for anyone to construe statements based on the observations of his behavior as of anything other than observations on his behavior...I think that is ridiculous.
What was that Tribal Council clash like from your viewpoint as a spectator?
Watching that whole issue go down at Tribal Council was quite amazing to me. The fact that someone could not see that their behavior warranted the comments just further proved the point of how irrational his behavior is. [Phillip] cannot see it. He wants to make it something more than just a statement on how he acts towards other people and conducts himself in the day-to-day life at camp—that just bolsters the statement [that he is "crazy"] itself.
Almost every Castaway has called Philip crazy to his face. Why didn't Jeff point that out in Tribal Council, or was it just edited out of the show?
There was a lot more to the conversation than what was aired at Tribal Council. I think that's about all I can say.
Do you think Philip is genuinely crazy?
I am not a trained psychological expert so I have no statement on Philip's actual medical state.
How would you compare Phillip to Survivor's other great character, Coach?
I think one big distinction is that Coach actually showed up and played the game. Coach contributed, Coach was a competitor. Philip is just a bag of bones that is sitting out there running his mouth and hasn't really done anything to play the game to contribute in terms of challenges—he is just kind of there. They both have this grandiose belief of who they are in terms of their personalities, but it just seems that Coach has something to back it up with.
Why do you think Matt keeps winning?
That's an interesting question...why he keeps winning. He keeps beating other people. I don't think that there is any big mystery to it, really. There is no deeper issue going on. He has done better than anyone else has in each of the duels that he has competed in.
So you don't think he has God on his side?
I am not even going to go there.
Do you regret throwing the challenge to get Russell out of the game?
I was not fully in support of the decision to throw the challenge, but it became one of those things where I had to go along with what the majority wanted. It's kind of ironic, because the one time I do bite my tongue is the one time it comes back and haunts us in the long run. I think we all know now that is was a wrong thing to do.
Why didn't you align with Russell?
Inside I did want to, but there was no advantage to me doing that with the way the numbers were laid out. I did not think there was any possibility of swaying anyone else to go with them and had I tried to persuade anyone else to go with them that would have pretty much put me on the outside of the core alliance. And based on the overall resentment towards Russell from the very outset, I didn't think I had much of a choice other than to go with the core Zapatera group.
Were you a fan of the game before you were cast?
I had never seen a single episode. I subsequently watched a great deal of it— like 12 seasons in the six weeks before I left—but I had not seen a single episode until after I was going to be on the show.
Is Ralph—who has probably misspelled every Castaway's name when voting at Tribal Council—smarter than he seems?
I don't know that Ralph is deliberately misspelling people's names, but he is definitely not as unintelligent as he may be perceived. There are different forms of intelligence—he may not be the most educated person in the world but he is certainly not an unintelligent person.
[Note: This one's for you, Marty Piombo.] Why do you think that you guys were more pampered—for example, with construction materials at the outset—than the season 21 cast?
Well there was zero food to be found, and the weather conditions were pretty awful. I think it rained every night that we were there. The rain was like standing in the shower, every night. I cannot speculate [why we were treated differently] but it was miserable in terms of the weather.