Takes One to Beat One


By Bryan Buss

Todd Herzog, a gay ex-flight attendant and former Mormon, is the youngest Survivor winner ever. The 22-year-old's machinations brought this last season in China to life and reinvigorated the series. He talked to Out.com about growing up in the Church of Latter-Day Saints, the hotness of Jeff Probst, and his favorite Spice Girl.

Out: Let's get the important questions out of the way first. Did you get to see the Spice Girls reunion tour?
Todd Herzog: I did. Twice already. I thought it was amazing.

So who's your favorite Spice Girl?
You know, I have love for them all. It used to be Ginger Spice. Now, probably more Victoria. She just took over the world. She all of a sudden became this insane icon. She's got the worst voice of them, she's the worst dancer out of them, but she's like, Victoria.

So. Probst. Hot? Or not?
Definitely hot. He's Probst.

As a flight attendant, do you have a man in every port?
Uh, no. That's the funniest thing. Everybody's always like, Do you have hoes in different area codes? I'm like, Ri-i-i-ght. No. Being a flight attendant was pretty crazy. It was a weird experience.

So you're not a flight attendant anymore?
No, I actually had to quit my job to do the show.

I'd quit my job, and even if I ended up being the first one voted out, it would still be worthwhile.
Exactly. I've been wanting to do Survivor since I was 15. I couldn't tell my job what I was going to do because it was so top secret, and they wouldn't let me take a leave of absence, so I was like 'Peace.'

How's it being a gay Mormon? Are you still active in the church?
I haven't been active in the church for quite a while now. I think the reason I'm happy I was raised Mormon is because it's given me a level of values and morals that I like to stay true to. I'm just proud of how I was raised. And I love my mom so much I want to make her proud too.

Did you ever go on a mission?
No, I did not go on a mission. You go when you're 19 and I came out at 19, and I figured, well, it's either go on a mission and lie or tell everybody why you're not going on a mission.

Did you get an inkling that any of the other Survivors might be gay? Or at least would be open if they had enough reward wine?
I did. My gaydar went off a little bit. I'm not gonna say who, but, yeah, it did ring a few times.