Malcolm Freberg on "Survivor."
Don't lie: Your heart sank when Malcolm Freberg was voted out Wednesday night on "Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites."
Athletic, easygoing (and easy on the eyes), friendly but fiercely intelligent, it's no wonder Malcolm was invited back as a Favorite before viewers and his fellow competitors had even seen him dominate "Survivor: Philippines."
After repeatedly using immunity idols to wreak havoc at tribal council, his inability to locate the last one sent him packing. Still, on his way out, he said he was so sure of his alliance that he wouldn't have played the idol anyway.
"I don't know what the hell I was talking about," he clarified to TODAY.com. "I want to completely distance myself from that comment. I saw that (on the broadcast) and I was in shock. If I had had it, it would've been a very different situation. That (idol) was getting played."
Malcolm didn't just give up on his search just because Andrea discovered him, either. "I dug under all these trees for hours and hours, and when Andrea came down I was already about to give up," he admitted. "My hands were bloody and blistered, so I was like, that's it. I'm over it. I'll just fake like I have it."
When asked which was worse -- being voted out or reuniting with Phillip Sheppard in the post-elimination Ponderosa camp -- Malcolm didn't miss a beat.
"Reuniting with Phillip. Hands down. No hesitation. I didn't realize it at first. It took me a second, to piece it together: 'So I just used all my immunity idols to get rid of a guy because I couldn't stand him, and then I have to go see him three days later, and spend the rest of the time with him?' ('Survivor') is a cruel, cruel mistress."
Phillip wasn't the only one who marred what was mostly "a very young, fun vibe." Malcolm noted that Brandon Hantz was "very unstable" long before his ignominious exit.
"He'd have mood swings and his lows were so low… At the end he was ready to go home and it felt like a quit to me, a trashy reality TV throwaway."
He also had to endure another tribemate's emotional roller-coaster. "Dawn cried so, so much, like manic highs and lows," he said, adding that even her "dead whale scream" when she lost her dental prosthesis didn't elicit a reaction. Erik goes, 'Oh, that's just Dawn crying,' (and we said), 'Oh. You stir the rice recently?' We didn't even react to it anymore."
Another woman's tears touched his heart, though: His mom, when she found out his merged tribe, Enil Edam, was named after her. ("Madeline" spelled backwards.)
"She lives in Dallas, so I went out there for that episode. She threw a big party, (and) when it happened the entire room goes, 'Oooooh,' and she started crying. It was sweet. She was touched. I hadn't told anybody else. Nobody on the show even knew."
Speaking of "new beginnings" (Malcolm's hilariously convincing translation of "enil edam"), how many times would the 25-year-old be willing to play "Survivor" before winning a million? (Hey, it took even Boston Rob four tries.)
He rephrased the question, laughing: "How many times would I have to lose to finally just call it a lost cause? It would take a lot -- a lot of trying. (Both times) I was out there to win that stinking game. If they ever ask it's really going to be hard to say no."
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