NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Worlds Apart” scoop! I delved deep into the Nicaraguan wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily in the weeks leading up to the premiere, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.
Name: Dan Foley
Current Residence: Gorham, Maine
Occupation: Postal Worker
Gordon Holmes: Your bio says that you can hunt with golf discs. So, a wild boar wanders into camp and you can go all “Tron” on it?
Dan Foley: (Laughs)
Holmes: You’re going to need to explain that one.
Foley: It’s called disc golf…not frisbee golf, that’s different.
Holmes: We’re not talking about Frolf?
Foley: (Laughs) No, it’s disc golf. They’re similar to frisbees, but it’s different. Like regular golf there are different kinds of discs for different kinds of shots. And instead of trying to put a ball in hole, you’re trying to put a disc in a basket. Essentially, some of them have very tapered edges. If I launched one at you and you tried to catch it? You’re breaking every bone in your hand.
Holmes: What is the benefit of a tapered edge?
Foley: My home course, the opening pin is 801 feet. You’re trying to throw this disc eight hundred feet. Professionals are getting four or five hundred feet. I’m throwing it about three hundred feet. And I’m getting pretty accurate with my discs.
Holmes: What are your first impressions of Nicaragua?
Foley: From what I’ve seen, it’s gorgeous. I haven’t seen much because I’ve been riding around in a blacked-out van.
Holmes: I did that once. It was awful.
Foley: Yeah, I don’t get claustrophobic or car sick. But I could tell that some of my cohorts were a little greenish. But, you wake up and you go to sleep to the sound of the ocean, so it’s kind of like home to me. I was born and raised in Maine.
Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Holmes: Since when?
Foley: Season one, buddy. I’ve been applying non-stop since season two. I’ve sent in over 100 applications and I have physically driven over 20,000 miles to go to open casting calls. There is a very fine line between super fan and fanatic.
Holmes: And you drove by it a long time ago.
Foley: No, no I haven’t. There’s a difference between passion and obsession and I can explain it.
Holmes: Please do.
Foley: I make time for “Survivor” from my family. I don’t make time for my family from “Survivor.” Whenever I have the time and the money, then I’ll go to casting calls.
Holmes: What’s it like to get that call?
Foley: This is actually my second call. I got a phone call in February and I thought I was being punked. The girl on the phone actually threatened me. She said, “Either you believe me or I’m hanging up on you.” To get the second phone call, my heart leapt. I didn’t think I’d get a second phone call. The girl dismissed me a little bit. But, the second phone call I was a little bit more prepared. When I answered the phone I said, “Hello, ‘Survivor.’” And she said, “How could you possibly know that?” I said, “The last time I got a call from a restricted number it was you. And obviously you’ve seen the error of your ways.”
Holmes: So, you’ve met Probst at this point.
Foley: I met him on a Skype interview about a month and a half ago and then met him face to face yesterday.
Holmes: And did you get lost in his dimples?
Foley: I’m too pragmatic to be star-struck by pretty much anybody.
Holmes: That’s a good way to be.
Foley: But it was still pretty (expletive deleted) cool.
Foley: (Laughs) I’m not going to lie! It was still pretty cool.
Holmes: Is it an advantage to be a “Survivor” fan?
Foley: It depends on who you’re matched up with. People can see the fact that you’re a super fan and think that you’re a student of the game and see you as a threat and get rid of you pretty quick. Other times, people might try to delve into what you have.
Holmes: I wonder if knowing these precedents could lead you in one direction while you’re instincts are telling you something else.
Foley: The head and the heart argue with each other. The heart is primal, but logic is learned. People tend to follow their heart when they should follow their head. I think logic needs to dictate this game. And I like to say that common sense is no longer common. Once you stop following your gut, you’re screwed.
Holmes: You said you weren’t going to lie about meeting Jeff Probst, are you comfortable lying in this game?
Foley: (Long pause) Yeah. Oh yeah. Pretty much the only thing I won’t do is sleep with somebody else, and that’s pretty much it. That’s my line in the sand. This is a game. In a game of poker, my dad taught me at the age of ten, “If a person puts those chips on the table, that means he’s willing to let you take those chips.” Why wouldn’t you? And everybody here knows that this is a game. And I don’t behave at a poker table the way I normally would in life. I may try to deceive you, trick you, lure you in, or make you believe things that are ridiculous. This is just a game of high-stakes poker. And the trick to this game is you have to be full of blarney. And blarney is an Irish word that means you have to be able to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they’ll look forward to the trip. And I’m full of blarney.
Holmes: So, you won’t sleep with someone. But flirting is in play?
Foley: Oh yeah. My wife has given me full carte blanche to say anything I have to say or do anything I have to do. My wife Erin has put up with a lot of shenanigans for me to get here. And that woman is the best thing that’s ever happened to a bum like me.
Holmes: Make sure she reads this.
Foley: (Laughs) I will, but I’m not done yet. So, when I’m holding that million dollar check, it’s hers. But, the title is mine. The money can be spent, but pride never goes away.
Holmes: Do you have any experience outdoors?
Foley: Born and raised in Maine, I like going camping, hiking. My very first mountain climbing experience was Mount Washington in the middle of winter. It was negative twenty one degrees with 76 mile-per-hour gusts above the treeline. So, we had negative 80-degree windchill factors. I had a blast. Not a big fan of the heat.
Holmes: Oh no? Well, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.
Foley: (Laughs) Yeah. There are only two things that frighten me about this game. That’s the heat and I can’t stand coconut. Oh God, I hate coconut. Nothing else intimidates me.
Holmes: What happens if coconut is your best bet to keep you going?
Foley: I am not exactly the classic beauty that “Survivor” looks for. I’m a fat, bald guy with a stupid beard. But, I have style. I have panache. And I could stand to skip a few meals. I’m looking forward to the weight loss. I have no problems with the lack of food, I have no problems with the lack of sleep, I have no problems with the cold, the rain. And if it starts raining, the girls are going to love me because I am a walking furnace. I’m going to be at the bottom of the cuddle puddle every night.
Holmes: How good are your lie detecting skills?
Foley: There is a huge amount that you can learn from people just by watching them. There a little nuances. And I can read things like that. If someone walks off, the first thing I’m going to do is look at their eyes when they come back. If they start darting their eyes around, that’s a pretty big signal. You can’t overthink this game. If you play the game nonstop, people will get rid of you because they think you’re an instant threat. So, there has to be a balance between playing the game and not overthinking.
Holmes: If this season has a twist, what do you think it’ll be?
Foley: I was worried that there were eighteen people. Eighteen is divisible by three, so there might be a three-tribe split right from the get-go. But, the clothes that we were asked to send in made it sound like there’d only be two tribes.
Holmes: If you could align with any Survivor, who would it be and why?
Foley: Wow…Russell Hantz, because he can’t win the game. He’s a freaking moron. Coach, he’s an idiot too. I’d align with people who can’t win the game because that just makes my odds better.
Holmes: What are your thoughts on this cast?
Foley: It seems like an all-star cast. We have a Parvati, we have a Colby, we have a Dawn, we have Kim, we have Malcolm, Denise, Brenda, Benjamin…oh, I’m sorry, “Coach.” And you have me, Rupert.
Foley: That doesn’t mean that’s who they are, but that’s my first impression of how these people strike me.
Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.