Boo. Evil Jonathan Penner was sent to the jury — without his hat! — on "Survivor: Cook Islands" last night. Other than Yul Kwon, he was probably the smartest person on the island (and least loyal). He took the chicken. He mutinied. He turned on his alliance. And he didn't give them any fish! We decided to find out if Adam Gentry was right and see if Penner is a cancerous rat in our cast-off interview. Reserve your judgment, Jonathan haters.
Jonathan Penner: Hi, Derrik. I'm not excited to be talking to you.
The Slug: Hi, Jonathan. I'm very excited to be talking to you. I'm more excited to talk to you than anybody else. Why do you think they voted for you?
Jonathan Penner: 'Cause they're not stupid. They knew I was the last potential threat of them going all the way to the final four.
The Slug: What was your strategy out there? Obviously it wasn't to be under the radar.
Jonathan Penner: I'm not an under-the-radar kind of person. I wasn't an under-the-radar kind of person within the first two minutes of the game because I stole the chicken and Yul saw me do it and then Jeff asked him about the chicken and I was outed in front of everybody. My role was established within a day. I'm not blaming them. That's who I am, and that's how I played the game. My strategy was to stay ahead of everyone. If there was a move to be made, make it before anyone else could make it.
The Slug: I thought you were going home every week you were at Tribal Council.
Jonathan Penner: We all knew. You can put this in is or not. It's edited. I think I was edited fairly, but the show is edited to generate suspense at the Tribal Council. I knew how every vote was going to go down.
The Slug: Except last night?
Jonathan Penner: No. Including last night. I knew was going home.
The Slug: Then what were your parting words all about? You said you wish you had been told.
Jonathan Penner: Nah, come on. Sure, one wishes one gets told because one's feelings get hurt when one is talked about behind one's back. I think what I was talking about was I understood why they didn't talk to me. The only reason you say that is because you're prepared to have a dialogue with the person you're talking to. And that's why the person who gets voted off never — or rarely — gets told because you give them an opportunity to say, "Don't make it me. Make it them!!!"
The Slug: Right. Why were you the villain? Were you the villain?
Jonathan Penner: I don't see it that way. Maybe I'm stupid. I think the moves that I made were antagonistic, but I think I was cut more like the comic relief or the narrator. I'm the Phil Silvers or something. Honestly, I don't think I was being mean. Yeah, I talk a lot — as you now know. But I was not a liar out there. I'm a pretty straightforward person.
The Slug: You have some acting experience. Were you playing a role or being yourself out there?