He was one of the greatest villains in Survivor South Africa history but after playing a remarkable game so far, Danté De Villiers’ torch was finally snuffed on this week’s episode of the hit reality show.
Danté played an incredible game. Not only was he one of the strongest physical contenders on the show this season, but he proved he could also wangle himself out of sticky situations – many of which saw him on the chopping block.
But, after winning three reward challenges in a row, the rest of the survivor contestants believed now would be the right time to boot Danté off the island. Danté made some big moves throughout the show. He famously hid the flint from frontrunner Rob who felt vulnerable as he could not provide for the team, had a heated argument with Geoff at tribal council and proved that he was a clever game-player by making some unlikely alliances.
Now, as Danté’s time on the island comes to an end, we get up close and personal with the star on his time on the reality show.
You played probably the most aggressive game this season. What was your strategy going in?
It is very difficult to stick to one strategy. Adapting is the name of the game. It is important to constantly evolve as days go by.
You came across as the villain this season with your shenanigans and outbursts but the viewers at home identified with you a lot more than some of the other contestants. Why do you think people could relate to you?
I think people relate to the truth … they relate to honesty. I believe honesty is something that doesn’t really feature in the game of Survivor as much as deceit and lies does. By keeping true to my principles this probably resonated with the viewers.
You were known as this season’s Aquaman. Where did your passion for the water stem from?
I love the water. I grew up next to the beach so I was always surfing, fishing and camping. It was and will always be part of my being.
You found yourself at the bottom many times throughout this season. How do you think you managed to pull off staying on the island as much as you did?
My focus was to do my utmost to win at challenges – both reward and immunity. The aim of winning the reward, besides food, was to be able to enjoy it with selected tribe members who would hopefully not vote me out.
Talk to us a little bit about the social element of the game and how you played that.
Knowing what I know now, the social element is probably the biggest part of Survivor, but not my strongest attribute. After Meryl’s departure that deteriorated further. I tried to connect with the loose change players and open their eyes to the bigger picture. The harder I tried, the more frustrated I became at not getting my message across, pushing me to be more of a villain and my opinions ignored.
What was the most challenging part of being on the island for you?
The most challenging part of being on the island is the adverse conditions of continuous rain and finding a comfortable spot. One has limited access to dry clothing and a poorly built shelter did not help. With sunset there are two options: lie down and wait for the sunrise or sit up and stare into the darkness, gazing at the stars (when one could).
Who do you hope takes home the R1 million at the end of this season?
As a jury member I cannot predict, but I am looking for someone who has consistently evolved, changed and adapted to each day of the game. This should also be someone who takes integrity with them to the end.
Finally, tell us a little bit about who Dante is outside of the show.
Danté is an outdoor, adventure seeking, down to earth individual who likes to be surrounded by water, whether it’s the ocean, river or even a waterfall. Essentially, anything in nature!
Catch Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets, Thursdays at 19h00 on M-Net.
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