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Gordon Holmes: What are you doing to me?! That was terrible! I was a wreck.
Pat Cusack: Oh man, trust me…I’d rather not be in this interview.
Holmes: And how are you feeling?
Cusack: I’m good, rehab is good. At this point I’m doing good. Obviously my emotional character is probably worse than my physical character, but that’s part of the game, I guess.
Holmes: This all happened off camera. They don’t film the transportation from the camps to the challenges. Fill in the blanks, what happened?
Cusack: We finished our challenge and we’re on the boat to head back to our camp and the seas were rough. There were probably 15-20 feet seas. And you’re in this little boat. Captain Travis…I think it was him…he told us, “We’re going to be in some rough seas so everyone scoot to the back of the boat. Just try to stay stable.” Well, when the water is that high you get waves from the north, south, east, and west. From what I gather from everything we took a big wave and that’s pretty much the extent of my memory of it until I woke up on the heli.
Holmes: When it was all said and done, what was the diagnosis?
Cusack: I have some spinal deterioration in my second and third vertebra.
Holmes: But you’re doing better now?
Cusack: I’m good, I’m better. I’m back 100%. It’s just one of those things where I guess it wasn’t in the cards for me.
Holmes: Who did you watch the show with last night?
Cusack: I was with my wife, my kids, and all my closest family and friends. There was about 400 of us at the premiere party.
Holmes: They’re all there, obviously you’re fine and in one piece but that still must’ve been quite a horrific shock. What happened at the screening?
Cusack: I knew when it was coming. Everybody was in great spirits. I was walking around and meeting everyone and having a good time. When that part came around I was sitting at the table with my wife and kids all around me. I was ready for it, but I wasn’t because I don’t have a memory of it happening. Everyone who saw it on national television is seeing it as I see it. My wife and my kids, they’re so happy and proud that I got a chance to do it. Their love and support drives me every day.
Holmes: If the David tribe had gone to Tribal last night. Who would’ve gone home?
Cusack: Not me. (Laughs) It definitely wasn’t me. In the days leading up to the challenge I’d gained relationships with Carl, Davie, and Jess. We had a strong alliance and we were going to bring in Christian and Bi. Nick was going to go home. That was the game plan. Obviously I don’t know for sure because it’s a game of deception, but I was pretty confident.
Holmes: The impression I got from Nick was he wasn’t helping around camp, he was playing fast, and it took him a while to make an emotional bond with people. Is that accurate?
Cusack: Yes. As soon as we arrived at camp, myself, Davie, Carl, we started making a shelter. You’ve got to have a roof over your head. Nick was walking around, cutting coconuts…not really putting an effort forth. We have to protect ourselves, we have to get out of the elements. And he wasn’t doing his part. It seems like he didn’t have the initiative to find something to do. He had to be led like a sheep to water. He was more worried about finding Tree Mail. Look dude, we’re not getting Tree Mail for a few days. We know we’re not going to a challenge today.
Holmes: Your name was tossed around a little bit. Was that surprising to you?
Cusack: It was. At the time I didn’t know. But, watching the show, I was a little surprised. In everyday life, I am a go getter. I take charge, especially with my construction background. I was kind of the GC on the job. I was making the effort to secure our bed and it came off a little stern or rough to people. Hey, it’s a game of social politics.
Holmes: Were people searching for idols? Did anyone find an idol?
Cusack: I was searching when I could, so I’m sure everyone else was. You see somebody dart off and your first instinct is “Where are they going? Why isn’t someone with them?” And if you see two people go off you think they’re working together. Your head is on a swivel.
Holmes: Alright word association time. Let’s start off with Carl.
Cusack: Awesome family man. He’s a cool cat.
Cusack: She’s a mom, she’s from Kentucky. She’s eccentric. She’s out there.
Cusack: She’s a nerd. (Laughs) She’s the “Ferd” as we called her, “Female Nerd.”
Holmes: (Laughs) Jessica?
Cusack: She’s a sweetheart. Same age as my daughter, so we took a liking right off of the jump.
Cusack: She’s kick ass. She’s a tough girl, she ran away from home at a young age and caught herself up in the MMA world. She’s a tough cat.
Cusack: He’s the comedian. He’s a clown. He’s the life of the island. He’s always having a good time.
Cusack: The language barrier was a little difficult. She’s got different color hair, she’s always got that sassy language.
Cusack: He’s a good dude, don’t get me wrong about saying he’d be first out. He’s good, he’s all about family, he’s had a rough life.
Holmes: Let’s finish up with Christian.
Cusack: He’s my nerd. (Laughs) He’s my robot. He’s funny, he’s super cool. You look at him and you can tell he’s a nerd, but when he opens his mouth he’s a comedian. I tell him he needs to go to an open mic because the things that come out of his mouth are so darn funny.
Holmes: You mentioned that your evacuation has been worse mentally. You went out in a terrible way, but there must be some solace in how well you did. Your tribemates seemed fond of you, you built an incredible shelter, you were begging to stay in the game. Nobody would ever accuse you of quitting.
Cusack: The positive things I can take away are I got to play the greatest game in the world. Unfortunately the cards didn’t fall the way I wanted them to. You’ve got to wake up every day and move on. Sitting in the hospital, knowing that the dream I worked so hard for was taken away…it was ripped from my grasp. All of the sudden now I’m in a helicopter? It’s very emotionally and mentally draining. I was in a very dark place for two or three days until I got the call from Jeff. That kinda settled me. Knowing that I did leave my mark on the game as short as it was. I built relationships with the people I was there with. Even today we’re so close, we’re like a family. Everybody who plays this game has a story, and season 37 is the prequel to my sequel.
Holmes: There you go! Hope to see you again.