In the premiere episode of Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET, CBS), Jon Dalton, better known as Jonny Fairplay, shocked everyone by volunteering to be the first to go after the Favorites lost the elimination challenge to the Fans. Never one to shy away from a controversial comment, Fairplay told us all about his "character," his fight with Danny Bonaduce and his baby daughter.
TVGuide.com: That was a quick stay in Micronesia. What happened?
Jonny Fairplay: Honestly, about a week before we left for filming, that's when the whole Danny Bonaduce thing happened. So that week, I had 15 hours of dental surgery, four root canals, the top bone plate above my teeth completely shattered.... And also, my girlfriend, Michelle Deighton from America's Next Top Model, who's now my fiancée, was seven months pregnant at the time. We made a pact that if anything bad were to happen with the pregnancy, she would not tell CBS because I didn't want to know. I was afraid it would affect my game. Once I got out there, I started thinking about it — and that it was probably a poor decision on my part — and I kept thinking the worst.
TVGuide.com: Are you all recovered from the Bonaduce incident now?
Fairplay: No, no; I still can't eat a sandwich. I can chew with the back teeth, but I still can't tear anything with the front. And then five minutes into the game, I have Yau-Man plant my jaw into the side of that boat, and I'm just like, "This is ridiculous. There's no way." I've been waiting four and a half years for the phone call to do an all-star-type scenario of Survivor. Pearl Islands was one of the greatest experiences in the world for me. The fact that the timing was just so horrendous... I already had 19 other people gunning for me; to add all this on top of it, it's just too much for one person.
TVGuide.com: Did you not realize all this before you left?
Fairplay: On paper, I was like, "I can do this." There's nothing I can't do. Look at [Ty Murray's] Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge; I wasn't supposed to win that show, competing against Nitro [Dan Clark] from American Gladiators and Rocket Ismail from the Dallas Cowboys. I won that. When the odds are stacked against me, that's when I'm at my most dangerous. But there's just a breaking point; I couldn't go any further.
TVGuide.com: When did it sink in that this wasn't going to work out for you?
Fairplay: I didn't think it would be mentally and physically as exhausting as it was. I think it's disrespectful to the character of Jonny Fairplay, and to what Jonny Fairplay does for Jonny Fairplay fans, to not go out there and be able to do it the way I do it.
TVGuide.com: On to happier topics — how is your daughter?
Fairplay: Great! She's 3 weeks old, her name is Piper Addison Fairplay. She's wonderful. Everyone is shocked how the demon seed of Jonny Fairplay could be the quietest baby ever. The only time she cries is when she's naked; I told her, "Remember that when you're 17, and we'll be all right."
TVGuide.com: You were only there for a short time, but you managed to work pretty much everyone. Why do you think they all trusted you?
Fairplay: I wasn't surprised that they would trust me. Most of the other favorites were from the later seasons, so they really didn't know me — they just know the character Jonny Fairplay that they've seen on all these reality shows. I think for most of them, and especially the fans, they were star-struck. They were fans of me, and I could use that. One of the biggest things that happens on Survivor is that you're bored; 95 percent of the time, you're just bored out of your mind out there. Most people have about two interesting stories from their entire lives. You get to about Day 4, and it's like, [Sounds bored] "I know, you hit a car on the way to the prom." With me, Survivor: Micronesia was the 40th different show I've done. I'm friends with Vanilla Ice and Leif Garrett and all these professional wrestlers, so I have all these insane stories. I was entertainment for these people.
TVGuide.com: You were wearing that "Will Lie 4 Food" hat when you arrived.
Fairplay: [That's] the character of Jonny Fairplay. What most people don't realize is that in person, I'm a very convincing liar, number one, but I'm a nice guy. It's only the confessional interviews where I get my mean stuff out. It's like, "He seems so horrible on TV, but you've got to like this kid. He's full of energy, he's funny." No one puts two and two together.
TVGuide.com: You said that you consider yourself the greatest player in the history of the game. Do you really believe that?
Fairplay: Absolutely. To bring an element from outside the game into the game, with the grandmother lie [in Pearl Islands, he said his grandmother had died], making some of the strategic moves I did, that was unfathomable. And this time around, having the other favorites fight over who could be my friend, and going out the way I did, I feel that's a great last chapter for Jonny Fairplay in Survivor.
TVGuide.com: What did you think when Tracy said she wanted to kick you in the shins?
Fairplay: That's people who have seen this character and they don't know him. Once you meet me, I don't do really, really mean things. It's an act, it's a gimmick.
TVGuide.com: What was with your vote at tribal council, when you said "I heart Ozzy"?
Fairplay: I had a huge bull's-eye drawn on Ozzy's back, and the kid won me over — he's just a really nice kid. Social skills not the greatest, but before I left, I may have given him a little information that can help him down the road.
TVGuide.com: Such as?
Fairplay: I basically told him the alliances and the pecking order.
TVGuide.com: So where will we see Jonny Fairplay next?
Fairplay: Right now, I've got a new gig being a dad. And I'm kind of digging it.
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