Ryan "Rhino" Opray, the laid-back, but hard-working, electrician from Los Gatos, Calif., scrambled to save himself in last week's Survivor: Pearl Islands. After losing his best friend and closest ally, Andrew Savage, the 31-year-old got the snuff and became the first jury member. As a self-proclaimed "big-time fan" of Survivor, Opray says he was just thrilled to get a chance to compete in the game.

"For me, it was the challenge [and] the adventure," Opray tells TV Guide Online. "It wasn't even about the money, or being famous or anything. It was just something I wanted to do ever since I watched the first show."

Even the game's abrupt "On your marks, get set, disrobe!" start was exciting to Opray. "I thought that was fun," he says. "I was ready to go. Let's do it, let's go overboard. I hit the rail and jumped off the side of the boat."

But the show's biggest twist — giving the ousted castaways a second opportunity — doomed Opray's Morgan tribe. "I was pretty upset that the Outcasts had another chance," he reveals. "[But] that is part of the game."

With his head on the chopping block, Opray tried, unsuccessfully, to get rid of everyone's greatest threat: Rupert. "It looked like they were a little bit afraid of the guy," he says. "What's [Rupert] going to do? He is not going to kill anybody. He never intimidated me. He is a teddy bear."