Back in 2011, before Survivor Oz and when we were still a ‘segment’ rather than a ‘show’, we spoke to Mike about his time on season 2 of the Australian Outback in a fantastic chat. During that interview he promised to return to our show should he ever get a second chance, and given we have just seen him play for a second time on the 25th season of the Philippines, he is back to fulfil his promise! Between finding out how he is alive, through to hearing all about the Artis battle post game, it turns into our one of our longest interviews of all time in a very in-depth chat!
After waiting 11 years to play for a second time, Skupin started off slowly before really finding his own feet in a strong alliance with Lisa that lasted the whole game. Through several changes and voting blocks, Mike always maintained his position as ‘the swing vote’ and never had his true strategic gameplay shown on camera. He made it to the final tribal council where he would end up as equal runner-up.
In our chat with Mike, he talks about Australia being his ‘roots’ of Survivor, not believing it was real he was back until his feet were in the sand and why it then felt like he had ‘never left’, how the players on the Philippines knew the returning players gameplay back to front, his relationship with RC and Lisa, why the idols didn’t change his gameplay, Jeff Kent’s antics at Ponderosa, why the talk at Ponderosa is something you can never ‘control’ and is a big factor, what the deal was with his injuries on his shoulders as well as just what the differences were in playing 11 years apart, how Jeff Probst had changed as well as just what the deal is with him and Artis.