Cute guys are dropping like flies on Survivor: All-Stars. Seems it's all thanks to one man, Lex. Mogo Mogo's tattooed tribesman schemed for Colby's ouster last week, then preyed on pal Ethan Zohn. Lex insisted his anti-Ethan vote was "only business," but Zohn sees it a bit differently. Here, the Survivor: Africa winner — who used his $1 million to start a soccer-oriented AIDS charity — tells TV Guide Online about Lex's betrayal, his lazy tribemates and Rob and Amber's reality TV romance.
TVGO: Are you mad at Lex?
Ethan Zohn: [Sighs] Am I mad at Lex? While I was out there, I was a little mad at Lex, but now everything's fine. We are friends and buddies. Basically, we differed in opinion. Lex wanted me to go and I wanted to stay.
TVGO: He said not to take it personally — but how can you do that?
Ethan: Exactly. He takes me aside, as his friend, and tells me, as his friend, that he's voting me off. Yet, he [went on] to explain to me that he's playing this game businesslike and friendship won't get in the way. Because that hurt him last time. It is a little difficult to understand.
TVGO: Were you glad he told you, or would you rather have been surprised?
Ethan: That's a good question. I think, in the end, I'm glad he told me. He does know me as a person and respects that I would have wanted to know before I left. But you are never happy when someone comes to you and says that.
TVGO: You outlasted the other past Survivor winners. That's something.
Ethan: I know. That feels great. I outlasted all of the winners. That's a pretty good feeling. It is a testament to how I played the game, and that I played the game well.
TVGO: Why did Jerri upset you more than Shii Ann? They both seemed equally annoying.
Ethan: I was a little upset because I had lived with Jerri over on Saboga and I saw what she did. She's kind of... what's the word? Useless. And then, she came over to Mogo Mogo and did the same thing. I just felt that, of us two new guys, she didn't deserve to be there.
TVGO: It didn't look like Shii Ann did much, either.
Ethan: Correct. Shii Ann didn't do that well in the challenges, but around camp, she was helpful, she cooked a little bit and she cleaned. Whereas Jerri kind of just sat on her butt.
TVGO: How do you feel about winning Survivor sponsor Tylenol's "Push Through the Pain" contest twice?
Ethan: I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I know I had to take a lot of Tylenol [while] watching the show. The first one, when I banged my head on the side of the [swimming] tank, I think I deserved it. But I don't know why I got the other one.
TVGO: It looked like you banged your head pretty hard. Did you have a concussion?
Ethan: I think we all had concussions out there. We are all crazy for being there.
TVGO: Ya think?
Ethan: I think we're all a little bit nuts.
TVGO: Speaking of nuts, you were on Rupert's team. Is he crazy or a nice guy?
Ethan: [Laughs] A little bit of both. One-on-one, he's a nice guy. In front of the camera, he's like a different person. He likes things to go his way. He's a hard worker, he got food and I definitely respect that and I liked having him on my team. Except that he made silly choices like building a bomb shelter in the middle of the beach, or building a raft that could hold about 47 people. Those two things were a little questionable.
TVGO: I know you like to keep your private life private...
Ethan: I do like to keep my private life private.
TVGO: Well, you are dating fellow Survivor alum Jenna Morasca. What's your take on the public romance between Boston Rob and Amber?
Ethan: Ahh, the romance. Luckily, they were on a different island and I didn't have to witness it firsthand. All I can think about is that you are eating fish all day, you are not brushing your teeth — and what must their tongues taste like? I wouldn't do it as a strategy. If I saw someone that had a strong bond like that, I would want to separate them as soon as possible. But if they are able to find trust and true romance in a game like this, under these circumstances, then I applaud them for it and wish them the best of luck.
TVGO: So even if you'd been in the same tribe as Jenna, you wouldn't have pursued your feelings?
Ethan: I wouldn't let any sort of romance take part in my strategy. It seems detrimental. That's not to say you can't be good friends, or even have trust, but I would not want anyone to see that. It is a window into a different part of my life.
TVGO: A lot of female viewers are upset that you and Colby are no longer in the game...
Ethan: [Laughs] Well, Rupert is still there, and Tom.
TVGO: How does it feel to be a "Survivor heartthrob"?
Ethan: It is a little weird. It is not a bad thing, of course, but it is definitely a little strange to have people look at me in that light when all I wanted to do was go out there and play a game. It is nice to have people say nice things about me. I don't think anyone would deny that, but sometimes, it is a little embarrassing and makes me blush.
TVGO: Last night, when you wore your buff around your head like a kerchief, you looked kind of like my grandma.
Ethan: Did I? Your grandma has a big beard like that? Are you sure it wasn't your grandpa?
TVGO: Come on. It looked silly when you tied it under your chin.
Ethan: The reason you do that is because it is like a thousand below zero at night and you are wet and you are cold. I was given a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, socks, shoes and a buff. When you are wet and it is in the middle of the night and the wind blows and it is raining and the fire goes out, you are freezing. If I could have crawled inside my own mouth, I would have.
TVGO: So you weren't concerned about your appearance?
Ethan: Obviously, I wasn't concerned about my appearance. Some people were. But me? No.
TVGO: Would you ever consider doing another Survivor?
Ethan: Yeah. I love the game of Survivor. I love the competition. I love pushing my body to the max, physically and mentally and spiritually. I would jump at a chance to do it again.
TVGO: Who do you think deserves to win?
Ethan: Deserves to win? That's a tough question. I think everyone that deserves to win is off the show already. [Laughs] Just kidding. I'd like to see Lex go far in the game.
TVGO: Even after what he did?
Ethan: Even after he stabbed me in the back and did all that stuff. I think he's playing a good game. Since he knocked me out, if he goes all the way, it makes me look a little better. But truthfully, I think all the best players have been voted out.