Danny/GC: “Any way I can get in there to get that million, I’m trying to do it”

Danny “GC” Brown was the first Survivor Gabon contestant I talked to, and I was the first reporter he talked to (there were a total of six media outlets there, including CBS’ official publicity crew). Danny is apparently going by “GC” on the show, although in our conversation he referred to himself as “DB” at least once. In some ways, that seems to reflect his search for identity, both in the game and otherwise. He does maintenance for an apartment complex in Portland, Oregon, but he told me that his true passion is music. “I produce beats, I rap, write raps, I record other people. But, that’s really my main passion. I would like to get in the music industry one day,” he said.

As to the game, he didn’t seem to have a clear strategy at all, which is arguably the best strategy for Survivor, but he also doesn’t really seem to have a day-one strategy, which could be problematic. “I’m going to try every angle I can, man. I’m not limiting myself to just one thing. Any way I can get in there to get that million, I’m trying to do it,” he said.

He laughed throughout our conversation, perhaps nervously, but also coming across as if he’s just thrilled to be there and isn’t bothering to hide it because he’s so excited. He’s 26, but came off as a lot younger because he didn’t seem beaten down by the world, even though he has plenty of reasons to be, like being homeless as a child. That’s why Danny ranks in the top tier of my list, because he was hard not to like and came across as completely genuine.

That said, he wasn’t exactly open, mentioning his difficult childhood only in vague terms, and saying he wasn’t sure whether or not he’d share his story with his tribemates. While he wouldn’t give me specifics about the “choices that weren’t the best,” he did discuss how being in boot camp prepared him for the game–and how he prepared himself by doing everything from practicing building fires to not eating breakfast. Listen to him talk about his childhood, game preparation, and name:

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.