04/29/2013 at 06:00 PM EDT
About two weeks after being voted off of Survivor: Philippines in fourth place
, Malcolm Freberg was playing the game again, this time on Survivor: Caramoan
But physical and mental exhaustion took over, and the L.A. bartender, 25, never got into a solid alliance. Following his elimination last week
, Freberg talks about his popularity, sneakiness and his "horrendous" alliance.
You're one of very few players who have played the game back to back. How exhausting was that?
Physically, my body was just a wreck. Almost nine months later, I still haven't recovered. I've lost a lot of muscle mass. The second time around, I wasn't able to compete like I could the first time around. I was mentally exhausted, too. I still stand by the deicsions I made, but a little bit of it was being tired and swinging for the fences.
If you were so exhausted, was the second season any fun?
I was having more fun, if you can believe it. I was the underdog. Nothing went according to plan. It was almost more fun knowing that the whole world was against you. I felt like a dog in the corner. I enjoyed more being on the bottom than being on top.
You were in an alliance with Eddie and Reynold. Did you have trouble recruiting anyone else?
The Three Amigos thing
was horrendous! It was funny for TV, but it was never going to go anywhere. Eddie announced it at Tribal Council: "We're the Three Amigos." Who wants to be fourth in an alliance of three? The number of people in the alliance was in our nickname! So we're saying to people, "You should really flip flop." And everyone was like, "No, I'm good." Eddie should never have announced us like that! With allies like this, who needs enemies?
But you always seemed to have a hidden immunity idol. Finding them seems to be your strong suit.
Thanks! At least I'm good at something.
A couple of weeks back, you took Reynold's idol when you had one of your own. Was he mad?
No, he wasn't, believe ot or not! I told him at the right time, when I had found another one. At that point, he was so overwhelmingly happy. It never got brought up again. Reynold is such an eternal optimist. He's 100 percent for every idea. He was down for any crazy scheme. His family is mad at me, but he's not!
You tried to find another immunity idol, but Andrea Boehlke stood there watching you search! How annoying was that?
Of course it was annoying, but I wasn't angry. We sat there and laughed about the situation. I didn't take it personally. I had been looking for a long time before that standoff started. I wanted to be a good sport about it! I was afraid of digging and having her dig next to me and her finding it!
Why didn't you try to work with her?
The core alliance of Dawn, Cochran and Andrea was not going to waver. Brenda had weaseled her way into being besties with all of them. Really, it was down to Erik and Sherri for options, and neither of them worked out.
You lost fan favorite last season to Lisa Whelchel. Hope you'll win it this time?
Sure, but I wanted the million dollars more. I didn't go out there to be popular. I just wanted to win the game. It took more scrappy maneuvers this time! But of course, you see where it got me!
You have a great attitude about it all. Why?
Because I was really fortunate to have played. I made a lot of friends, had fun, and can't be upset about that! I'm a lucky guy.