Jeff Kent, the retired major league baseball MVP, made it 22 days on Survivor: Philippines
before the tribe voted him out
in a move spearheaded by The Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel
Still unhappy about his premature evacuation, Kent talks to PEOPLE about his Survivor
game – and what he really
thinks about his tribe mates (and it's not always pretty).
You kept your identity a secret. Was it weird to be around people who didn't recognize you?
I absolutely cherished it. It was great to go somewhere and not be put on a pedestal. I was happy to negotiate and be told no, and to communicate with these people who were 20- and 30-years-old. I'm a lot like these people.
But you made it clear in your parting words that you made $60 million playing baseball.
I'm a normal guy. I don't live in a big old mansion and drive Ferraris. I wash my trucks and scout baseball and go to church. I do all sorts of things that normal people do.
You said last night that Lisa Whelchel was naïve. Did that change when you saw how she's playing the game?
She never played the game. She stood around in groups and during the conversations said, "I'll do what you tell me to do." She never once showed in any conversation that she was trying to play the game. We were ripping on her for not having any strategy.
But perhaps her strategy was to go with the flow until she needed to make a big move.
Absolutely not. She had no strategy at all.
So even though her move resulted in you being voted off, you maintain she had no strategy?
She had no game. No clue at all. She was fighting her morals and ethics, worried about lying. And then she starts lying to people. The way she played the game really hurt her chances.
If she's not playing the game, who is?
That's the thing: these people weren't playing the game. They weren't playing well at all. I got out there and was playing hard, but I think I was the only one sometimes.
Who is responsible for you being voted off?
Mike Skupin. He lied through his teeth to me. He was a puppy dog through the entire game, really wishy-washy. And he said he was on my side, but he really wasn't. So I blame him.
Will you assess the remaining players in the game?
Pete is the buffest non-athlete I ever saw. Abi is ornery; she probably pissed off her mother when she was born. Artis is quiet, reserved and angry. Lisa is naíve and isn't cut out for the game. As for Mike Skupin, we called him 'Stupin' for a very good reason. He's totally clueless.
Wow. What about the people on your tribe?
Carter is lonely, yet loyal. He was easy to manipulate. But he got stronger out there, and I got to really trust him. ... Malcolm is like a varsity quarterback. He's a good-looking guy, and you can see his brain working, but he overthinks things. Denise is physically fit and a workaholic, but she had no strategic game; I couldn't get her to side with me ... And Jonathan Penner is intelligent and resilient, but he needed to go.
You have some harsh words for some of them. When you vote for a winner, what will be your criteria?
It won't be about who deserves it; It'll be about who earned it. I am giving a championship ring to someone who worked hard to win and made the right moves. It just so happens that a million dollars go with it.
Thanks for the interview.
You're welcome. I'm still upset about getting voted off. I hope I can get over my bitterness someday.