The first castaway to be voted out of Survivor: China was Steve ‘Chicken’ Morris. In this interview, he discusses what went wrong and how much he appreciated the Survivor experience. He also calls out the contestants that voted for him who said that they would not.
: Hey, how are you?
Steve ‘Chicken’ Morris: Hey, how are you doing Murtz?
MJ: Not too bad, not too bad. So are you ready to jump right into it?
SCM: Hey man, we can jump right into it feet first.
MJ: Sounds good. The obvious first question is how you got the nickname?
SCM: I was growing up on a poultry farm Murtz and I was a young farmer ever since seventh grade and I just kind of got a nickname and it stuck all my life.
MJ: When PG voted for you, she was pretty harsh and said that your nickname was suitable because you didn’t ever have an opinion on anything. Do you think she was right and what do you think about her since you seemed to butt heads?
SCM: PG, I forgot all about PG until you mentioned her name. That’s how it went with me as far as she’s concerned. For a day and a half, I think PG had about 10 minutes of conversation. Actually, I’ll put it bluntly… I forgot about her more than she will ever know. Period.
MJ: Your reaction at being voted out was one of the funniest things ever on the show, but I am sure at the time you didn’t find it funny. Were you laughing when you saw the episode on Thursday?
SCM: Well yeah actually, through this whole thing, I had a pretty good time with it all. I was really disappointed when I actually had to take that walk but after that, you know, maybe for a half an hour or so I was kind of down. Your life is in somebody else’s hands basically. It’s not that big of a disappointment. I have had an extraordinary adventure. It’s just like in some of our travels, here I am looking around taking everything in and everybody else is reading books, listening to their iPods, laying back and taking naps. I am taking it all in. That kind of shows you what kind of people I am travelling with.
MJ: You have watched other seasons of the show. Did it shock you that Ashley managed to stay despite the fact that she didn’t really do anything and do you think the guys just wanted to keep another good-looking girl around?
SCM: It could have been that. They all bonded together pretty much. I was the guy that standing on the outside looking in but you know they wasn’t thinking about down the road, they wasn’t thinking about winning this game or they ultimately wouldn’t have voted their strongest player off and I am definitely the strongest player out of these eight people. I really am.
MJ: Nice, nice. Did you think that the way the tribes were divided was fair or do you think the other tribe had some stronger guys on it?
SCM: No. The tribes was even. There was no problems. The guys was just as strong. A couple of other things too. You know James is a super guy. I talked to James very very little, but James definitely had the hard working background like I do or anyone else does. You know it’s not only about wanting to do the work. It’s actually starting a job and finishing it. Not stopping. As far as finishing strong both mentally and physically, I don’t think there’s anybody out there that can even compare to me.
MJ: You talked to Dave and Frosti. Did you try to make an alliance with anyone else? Any of the girls?
SCM: Yeah, actually Jaime and Sherea and PG come to me and wanted to make an alliance. We wasn’t even there two hours. You know, of course I jumped right in. I said ‘sure, I’ll take part in anything ya’ll want to take part in and then on Wednesday, I asked Jaime (which is another thing that they didn’t show in that first episode), I asked Jaime about the alliance. We’re all standing there and Jaime says ‘well you know, it’s a little bit too early to be making alliances.’ I just took her answer and walked off.
MJ: Yeah, I have read some other interviews that you did where you mention that thing with Jaime as well. Why do you think that they didn’t stick with it?
SCM: It was just one of those things that they tried… you know they’re just trying to mix it up and they probably made alliances with everybody. Not just me. You know they just tried the jumping around strategy early which goes to show you how not smart they are but you know the old saying… you can’t fix stupid.
MJ: Do you think you ever really fit in with your tribe? I watched one of the clips on CBS.com that didn’t air and it showed how they kept talking at night and wouldn’t let you sleep but isn’t this a game about basically fitting in and doing whatever everybody else is doing?
SCM: Yeah, I should have definitely talked and tried to fit in a little more, but I am not that kind of guy. Every little element about yourself and your personality and where you come you gotta take into consideration and when I came out of the temple and picked up my bag, I knew I was in big trouble.
MJ: I also read in other interviews that you said that you were eating kiwis and could have made fire at any time. Did you intentionally choose not to show your skills to the rest of your tribe?
SCM: Exactly right. I wasn’t going to show them nothing until I knew that I was on the inside looking out.
MJ: Right, right. You seemed to really appreciate the Survivor experience, even though you were voted out first. What did being on Survivor mean to you?
SCM: Oh man. It’s a trip of many many lifetimes. Even being voted off first, there ain’t nothing about this thing that’s been really disappointing. There’s really not. From Day 1 to the day… from the day I left to the day I got home, everything’s been nothing but top-shelf. I mean they take care of you just like… you go from nothing to something really really quick. I had a problem with dealing with some of it… ain’t no one ever treated me like that before. It was really an amazing amazing trip. You have no clue. You really don’t.
MJ: Was this for your first time trying out or did you try out before?
SCM: No, this was my first time. I just sat down in the middle of 3000 chickens and told a three-minute story and then sent in my application and that was it.
MJ: Finally, I am going to ask you who you thought was the most annoying. Was it PG? Was it Ashley? Was it Jaime? Because I thought that there were a lot of people who got under your skin.
SCM: Well, PG could definitely rub another man’s rhubarb. Jaime could just be herself. She’s just got no damn common sense whatsoever. You could tell her the sky was falling and she would look up, but as far as standing up and pointing fingers like ‘you could do this and you could do that,’ then you should picking up the other ends of the load while you’re pointing… that’s not going to happen. That’s what PG did. You can stand up and bark orders. You can take a nice army of 1000 people and get something accomplished but if you don’t take a step forward and help… you’re not a leader. I think PG’s not a leader like the tribe needs as a leader. Anybody can stand up and bark out orders and say ‘hey, we need to do this and we need to do that,’ but until you bend over and do something, well, you’re not going to impress anybody as a leader.
MJ: Finally, what’s next for you?
SCM: I am still working on a farm. We’re doing beef and pork. Lambs and we’re going to start back with poultry in the Spring.
MJ: That’s perfect. Thank you so much for your time Chicken.
SCM: Hey, you’re welcome Murtz.
MJ: Take it easy.
SCM: You too.
MJ: Bye bye.
SCM: Bye bye.
Steve “Chicken” Morris was born in Marion, Virginia, and grew up on a commercial farm, where he has worked with poultry since he was 13 years old. He is a single parent who raised his three children, Tyychelle and twins Dee Ann and Jessica, on his own.
Morris currently manages the farm, where they produce all natural eggs and chickens along with grass-fed beef, pork and turkey. He also runs a store on the property. He previously worked as a bouncer, a fish culturist for the Fish & Game Department, a security officer and a logger. He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and riding ATVs. He describes himself as outgoing and someone who lives on the edge. He enjoys country and bluegrass music. His favorite sport is baseball. He is a member of the Rich Valley Fair Association and the Abingdon Farmers Market Board.
Morris currently resides in Marion, Virginia. He had four dogs, Zek, Cluck, Poke and Eli. His birth date is September 2, 1959.
– Survivor: China airs on CBS on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
– Survivor: China airs on the Global network in Canada on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
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