The heat is rising on Survivor: Vanuatu – Islands of Fire, with the women this week putting Rory Freeman in their crosshairs. The 35-year-old Des Moines housing case manager fell Thursday in a 6-4 vote split straight down the gender line. After his demise, PEOPLE caught up with Freeman to get his thoughts on the female voting block and on life after the island.
Was it hard keeping your outcome a secret?
It has been extremely hard, especially since so many people thought I actually had won.
What was the first thing you ate when you got off the island?
Chocolate fudge cookies. And a beer. And then I had this great big fantasy about how much of this dinner I was just going to wolf down, and I only got about four bites in because my stomach had shrunk.
How has your life changed?
There’s a lot more appreciation on all of our parts. I think my son and my wife realize that they don’t want to spend a lot of time without Dad. And I certainly realized every single day that I didn’t want to spend a lot of time without them.
And what do they think of it all?
My son, he’s 3 years old, knows that I was on Vanuatu. He’ll tell you. "Where was dad?" "Dad was on Vanuatu." Which was funny because most people can’t even pronounce it.
Why didn't you get along with Sarge?
Sarge and I come from entirely different worlds. Sarge had to swallow a big pill to be able to deal with somebody as free-thinking as I am. And I had to swallow a big pill to be able to deal with somebody with the discipline and single-mindedness that Sarge has. But regardless of whether or not we were bickering, each and every time we still voted the exact same way.
Do you think the men have any chance?
As of right now, the women are running that train and the men are going to have to win immunity challenge after immunity challenge not to have themselves eliminated.
Who do you think is the strongest player now?
Ami, in terms of the persuasiveness. And I also think that she has got a lot of physical prowess too. I think that she has probably been one of the strongest competitors in the challenges over anyone else.
Is there anything that you wish you had done differently?
The only thing that I see that would have had an effect upon this game was if I was a woman. And that's just not an option.
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