Survivor has never shied away from controversial topics or heated exchanges that make for great television, but during Survivor: David vs Goliath, Davie Rickenbacker expressed his frustrations in the voting booth with the comment “F the police,” which in hindsight, he is glad didn’t make it on the air — though he still agrees with the sentiment.
The Heated Exchange Was Between Rickenbacker, Alec Merlino, and Dan Rengering
In a recent interview about his time on the show, Rickenbacker told Entertainment Weekly that there was a huge back-and-forth at the Tribal Council in episode nine. Merlino had immunity and the David alliance was trying to decide which advantage to use — the vote stealer, the idol, or the idol nullifier. Eventually, Rengering, a SWAT officer from Florida, played his idol, but the Davids used the idol nullifier and Rengering was voted off.
However, the big blow-out at Tribal Council didn’t make it on the air and because of that, Rickenbacker’s comment about Rengering when he voted him off was edited out too.
“Alec and I had a big back-and-forth at the idol nullifier Tribal. I don’t even remember what it was about now, but I remember Dan chiming in and pissing me off entirely, but keeping my calm because I didn’t want to give anything away for our move that night. When I went to the voting booth I let them HAVE it, I even remember saying ‘F THE POLICE!'” Rickenbacker told EW.
But he said in hindsight, he didn’t mean that about Rengering and it wasn’t fair to say it.
“I realize now that I was only projecting my frustrations with the way that some cops treat Black men in our country onto him, and that wasn’t fair,” said Rickenbacker. “Dan’s a good cop as far as I know, so I’m glad it wasn’t aired. But there are bad cops out there and that message is for them. If you rewatch the episode, you can see me mouthing it when they reveal who we all voted for at the episode’s end. STOP KILLING US!”
Rickenbacker Said He’s So Grateful For the Show
He also said that going on Survivor “changed [him] in ways [he] can never fully explain.”
“I’ve become close friends with conservative Christians, feminists, people who I might have never met if I didn’t take that leap of faith. I’ve been exposed to racist fans, I’ve been exposed to people on the spectrum, and I’m thankful for all of it. It’s challenged my ways of thinking, which absolutely make me a better person. I know that I’ve had an impact on these people as well, and that’s what growth and maturity is about for me,” said Rickenbacker.
He also said that he keeps in touch with several people from his season — on September 5, Rickenbacker was a groomsman in Nick Wilson’s wedding and got to see fellow castaways Merlino, Kara Kay, Carl Boudreaux, and Elizabeth Olson there as well.
He said the only people he doesn’t keep in touch with “are the ones that don’t support Black lives mattering.”
But he did say that if they made one change to Survivor, he’d like to see them really “mix it up” with the casting process — “give us a season of the same sex, all minorities, people who are chosen by the fans. We’ve been playing the game for 40 seasons as this ‘microcosm’ based on U.S. statistics, but it seems to me if we have the chance to show people what the world could be, why not explore that?”
Survivor hopes to film season 41 in the spring of 2021 for a fall 2021 premiere.
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