Perhaps if Survivor: Vanuatu had begun its season with mixed-gender tribes, Brady Finta would still be on the island spearing fish and causing ladies to swoon. However, with the lines drawn early on between older and younger men in the Lopevi tribe, the 33-year-old FBI agent found himself unanimously cast out as the fifth contestant to leave the show.
Now Finta is back with the Los Angeles office of the FBI. In a statement to the media, CBS says that the Bureau has informed the network "that he will not be able to speak about his experience on Survivor: Vanuatu." However, PEOPLE spoke to Finta in late June, before his Vanuatu adventure began.
Did the F.B.I. know you were going to appear on the show?
I had to tell my chain of command what I was doing because I had to get tons of permission from them. I told the other guys I work with that the Bureau was sending me on a temporary Bureau assignment, which nowadays usually means Afghanistan or Iraq. I feel bad about that because there are agents in those places that are getting shot at and are in really difficult positions. And here I am in the South Pacific, and people are probably actually worried about me. I feel bad, but this is the only thing I could come up with that would make sense.
What is your day-to-day work like?
I am on the SWAT team, which is a lot of fun. It's hard work, but the return is so good because, you know, for the most part, if the SWAT team is going, it's a pretty bad dude, and he deserves it. Day-to-day, I'm accumulating evidence and doing background or whatever it is to put people in jail.
Do you think your training will help you on Survivor?
We interview a lot of people. That's our bread and butter, and some of those people don't tell us the truth. So getting to deal with people who are concealing things from you or giving you partial truths is good practice for anything in life, but especially for this game.
Any character traits that especially bug you?
It's hard for me to put up with people who gain at the expense of others. For example, not long ago, somebody broke into my garage and stole my bike and some of my power tools. I was so, so angry. When people gain from the hard work of others, that shocks my a--, and that's something I will have to suck it up and deal with. Chatterboxes are something I'll have to deal with, too.
Have you been to the South Pacific before?
I?ve been to Australia. This is my sixth time. But I never got to go to some of these far out places. I'm all about the beach! I pay a ridiculous amount of money to own a house – I mean, you can literally spit across my entire lot – but it's only a mile from the beach (in Huntington Beach, Calif.). I love to surf!
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