Hayden Moss and Kat Edorsson made a big splash — literally — on the day they met.
Moss, 27, who lives in Springtown, about 30 miles northwest of Fort Worth, is a 2010 Big Brother champion. Edorsson, 23, who lives in Orlando, Fla., competed on Survivor in 2012.
They met in Florida at a reality TV charity event.
“We met out by the pool on a Saturday afternoon,” Moss remembers. “Then she gave me a shove and I fell in. After, it was all good.”
They’ve been a long-distance couple ever since. They’re also competing against one another in the new season of Survivor.
The theme this season in the Philippines is “Blood Vs. Water,” with former Survivor players returning with family members and loved ones.
“So I guess you could say I’m the tag-along,” Moss says. “I happened to be dating the right girl at the right time. But I like to think I’ve got what it takes to win.”
As always, $1 million is at stake. The 90-minute season premiere is at 7 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.
We chatted with Moss last week about the show.
You’re uniquely qualified to compare the game-playing and strategy of Big Brother and Survivor. How can your success on one show be useful to you in the other?
They’re similar in that each is a very social game. You’re in close contact with a lot of other people who are trying to win a big chunk of money. And when you’re competing for money, there’s drama, there’s tension, there’s anger at times. Everybody wants to win.
Trying to maneuver yourself socially, in and out of alliances, and trying not to lie too much, but having to lie a little bit to get ahead, that’s part of both games. So in that sense, Big Brother was like a mini- Survivor training camp. I think it prepared me well.
And the biggest difference, as far as you’re concerned?
Now there’s a physical challenge. With Survivor, you’re living out on a beach without any food. On Big Brother, I was in a nice little climate-controlled house with a refrigerator full of anything I wanted.
Are you a longtime Survivor viewer? Have you been making mental notes for years about what you would do in certain situations?
I’ve been a fan for a while. And before I went on this season, I bought a bunch of the old seasons on DVD and did the best I could to cram in as many seasons as possible to figure out the do’s and the don’ts, the good game playing vs. the bad game playing, and evaluated how I wanted to play.
It’s no different from Friday night football. You have a game plan going in. The more you prepare, usually the better you do.
Did you get any advice from Kat?
The best piece of advice I have learned and can give anybody else: If you listen more than you talk, you’re going to be all right. You get all the info by listening, not by talking.
Talking just gets you into trouble.
How long have you lived in North Texas?
I’ve been in Springtown for a couple of years. I was born and grew up in Arizona. When I was in college, at Arizona State, my sister went to school here, met her husband, got married, had a baby — and everybody in my family, my mom, my grandparents, everybody from Arizona, picked up and made the move to Texas.
When I graduated a couple of years ago, I made the move, too. I’ve been out here for a couple of years and I’m enjoying it. The Texas economy is good and the people of Texas are awesome.
Is it hard to keep a long-distance Florida-Texas relationship going strong?
We get to see each other every two or three weeks, which I think is more often than the usual long-distance relationship. And because of our reality show ties, we get to travel together and do things together a lot, different corporate events and charity events, which are fun.
The long distance makes it hard at times, but we have a good relationship. And when we are together, we make it work and we enjoy it.
When it was announced that you were competing on Survivor, did friends and family start pumping you for inside information? And if so, is it hard or easy to keep secrets?
That’s one thing with this show. It’s so secretive. And the way the world is today, everybody who knows I was on wants to get the goods on it. But I’m a very tight-lipped person. I’m like, ‘You want to know? You’ve got to tune in on the 18th.’
I don’t want to tell anything because I want them to watch and enjoy the show. If they know the outcome, it’s like knowing the end of a movie. Not as fun.