Backstage, Hatch who joined fellow contestants Jenna Lewis, Gervase Peterson, and Susan Hawk for a special Survivor-themed Squares (airing this week) maintains that he's unfazed by his newfound celebrity. On meeting Goldberg: "She's just another person." On just receiving his million dollar prize money: "I'm financially stable, and there isn't anything I need to go out and get." And on the constant ribbing he gets: "I couldn't care less. So what? I'm a fat naked gay guy. Actually, I'm not as fat anymore, but I'm still the naked gay guy."
Hatch may be blasé about all the Survivor mania, but Peterson and Lewis are positively giddy about the fuss. "We were out last night," recalls Peterson, "and saw Ben Affleck, and he just comes up to me and he says, 'You were great. I love what you do on the show.' I felt like 'Wow. No, I love all your work. You're a star.' It's crazy but I'm loving it.'" Adds Lewis: "It's strange. I can't hide behind a baseball cap and a T-shirt when I go out [because] that's all people have seen me in. I mean, I was on the cover of Time in my baseball hat. So I always get recognized."
Lewis is hoping to parlay that notoriety into a full-fledged acting career. "I want it even bigger I want to be in a movie," she says. "I want to be on television. It's something that I want, and I don't think that it's a negative thing." Peterson echoes that sentiment: "When I was a kid I dreamed of either playing football for the Philadelphia Eagles or being an actor. But my life took some detours and sideroads. Now I feel like I'm back on track."
But leave it to Goldberg to make a Survivor wish he were back on Palau Tiga. Shortly before taping, Peterson referred to the Oscar-winner/center square as 'Baby.' Naturally, Goldberg didn't sit well with the label. "Whoa," she fired back. "Five minutes ago you were calling me 'Ms. Goldberg,' and now it's 'Baby?'"