Original Survivor winner Richard Hatch collected the game's first million. He also made history as the first openly gay contestant and the first one to go nude on camera. Speaking of personal firsts, the crafty 42-year-old has finally learned how it feels to get your torch snuffed! Here, he tells TV Guide Online about getting "bamboozled" on All-Stars, biting that shark, rubbing Susan Hawk the wrong way and stripping naked.
TVGO: You scored by scheming in the first Survivor. Did they see you coming this time?
Richard Hatch: Whoops! They got me. I didn't engender enough trust in the people that I was trying to make an alliance with. I got outsmarted this time. I had a big old target on my back. I think [with me] being the original winner, and people having watched how I talked about it afterward, they were ready to take me down.
TVGO: Fans love to hate you. Do you mind that?
Hatch: It is kind of neat, whether they like me or hate me or whatever. For some reason, they seem entertained and I certainly played up to that quite a bit.
TVGO: True. This season, you seemed a little more...
Hatch: Cocky? Arrogant?
Hatch: No question. That was partly strategy. I went into this game with people who had seen me play and didn't know me really well personally. They had expectations. So I had to actually take the cockiness and the arrogance up a notch, so they wouldn't think I was too different from their expectations.
TVGO: Do you get any royalties for coining the Survivor term "alliance"?
Hatch: Wouldn't that be great?
TVGO: Did you go naked for comfort or shock value?
Hatch: I find it sad that this culture is so prudish when it comes to our bodies. I think that it is really awful for our society to continue that perspective. For me, it is just a non-issue and I'm just not bothered being naked.
TVGO: Who do you hope or predict will win?
Hatch: I got kicked off. Who cares?
TVGO: That's a very honest answer.
Hatch: Believe it or not, I'm quite the honest guy. That's one of the biggest misperceptions. I played as honestly as I know anyone to have played this game.
TVGO: Rumor has it you smuggled in some matches. That's why you were so confident in your ability to start a fire, isn't it?
Hatch: Is that the rumor? It is an interesting rumor; I'll say that. I'm also an outdoorsman from as young as I can remember.
TVGO: Another rumor... Sue Hawk is upset that you rubbed up against her — while you were nude — during the balance beam immunity challenge. True or false?
Hatch: I recently heard that. The only person I can imagine her being upset with is herself. I'm not sure what is really going on.
TVGO: What exactly happened? It seemed like a fairly harmless exchange.
Hatch: Very often, I find her comments and her reactions interesting — like her [infamous rat] speech in the first game. During that [All-Stars] challenge, I was kind of confused. She was making all kinds of comments and then turned around in the opposite direction of where she was supposed to go to win. Instead, she came back onto the [platform] to my beam, blocking my way. I don't know what was in her head. I can't imagine that she would think she was going to block me. So I just went by.
TVGO: Do you think this merited the CBS disclaimer about potentially offensive material?
Hatch: I haven't talked to anybody about what the disclaimer was specifically about. I just thought, "Huh. That's weird. They are doing something new."
TVGO: Maybe it was in reaction to the Janet fallout.
Hatch: It could be about that game, or about Janet, or about me naked, period. I have no idea.
TVGO: Which All-Stars were you most excited to compete against?
Hatch: I know this adds to that cocky, egotistical, weird [perception of me], but they were just kind of pawns, pieces in a game, to me.
What possessed you to bite that shark?
Hatch: He bit me first! He was attached to my arm for over half an hour.
Did it get infected?
Hatch: No. I have a really great immune system. The doctors were thinking about doing some stuff, and I'm like, "No, just leave me alone. It will be fine." I've got some scarring that's kind of cool. You can see the teeth marks. I had a tattoo of the shark put under my arm, with the mouth headed right toward the bite.
TVGO: Switching gears, what do you think of Rosie O'Donnell's wedding in San Francisco?
Hatch: I'm really proud of her choice to do that. I always thought that she spent a great number of years in the closet that I wished she hadn't. I was really happy to see her do that. I may try to marry my partner [soon] in New York. I really was offended by the reprehensible comments that Bush made in calling to change the constitution. Anything that I can do to help right things, I certainly would do.