BPD Sergeant Bret Labelle Recaps His Successful Run on @Survivor, Says He’d Do It All Again in a Heartbeat: Two nights ago, the 33rd season of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X came to an emotion-filled conclusion. Standing among the game’s final 5 contestants was none other than our very own BPD Sergeant Bret LaBelle. Bret, who lost close to 40 lbs during his 37 day stay on the island, was one of 20 contestants competing for the million dollar reward. And, although Adam Klein ultimately took home the top prize, Bret tells bpdnews.com that he couldn’t have been happier with how things turned out.
Happy for Adam Klein? How could you not be! Seriously, could not be happier for him. Voting for him was a no brainer. When you consider what he went through with his mom, seeing him win not only seemed right but it was the perfect ending to a great season. He’s a great kid. And, if I couldn’t win, I was happy to see him. Winner gets a millions dollars and Adam deserves every penny.
Was being on the show everything you thought it would be? Everything and more. I’m so grateful I got a chance to be on this show. I’ve been a huge fan since the show first aired and to get a chance to be on it was a dream come true.
Surprised you got as far as you did? Absolutely. To make it all the way to Day 37 and the Final 5 was unbelievable. There were 15 other people that went home before me. To make it as far as I did definitely exceeded expectations and I am really happy and have no regrets with how I played the game.
Secret to your success? Social game for me was huge. I pride myself on getting along with everybody and I went into the game knowing that was my strength and I think that showed in my game. No doubt, it got me all the way to Day 37. I made a point to like everybody and be likeable. And, no doubt, it helped me get as far as I got.
Would you have done anything differently? There’s not much I would’ve changed but there is one thing I think I could’ve done stronger or better towards the end. I started to get frustrated with, obviously, Ken and Hannah, and I needed to reform those relationships a lot earlier than Day 37. Had my relationship with them been stronger, maybe my words would’ve meant more to them.
How different to watch it on TV as compared to playing it for real? HUGE!!! Literally, night and day. The show is absolutely exhausting. You’re exhausted every day and hungry. The weight loss is for real. You’re not eating. You feel alone. You’re tired. But, you know, you have to keep pushing through and you do.
Jeff Probst said hearing you share the fact that you were gay during a conversation with Zeke was one of the greatest moments in show history: Yah, I was blown away by that. I said during the show that my being gay was one of the worst kept secrets in the Boston Police Department. A lot of people know and nobody cares. Everybody I work with has been nothing but supportive. But, sharing it on national TV was a huge step for me. Because although a lot of people knew, not everybody knew. My neighbor, for example, didn’t know. Now, everybody does and nobody cares. But, no doubt, it was still a huge step for me to come out on national TV and to have Jeff Probst say what he said was unbelievable.
Reaction when you told people you were a police officer? I think everybody was surprised. I know Jay and Hannah thought I might have been a cop but nobody was able to pull it outta me. Hannah tried to box me in during the show but she couldn’t get it out of me. As far as everybody was concerned, I was a funeral director. It was my story and I stuck with it.
Advice to future contestants? You gotta have a strong social game. Also, practice your puzzles and your swimming. If there’s a way to practice puzzles, find it and do it. And if there’s a pool in your town, find it and get in it. If you can’t swim, you’re not gonna go far.
Finally, Bret, would you do it all over again if you could? Oh, yah. In a heartbeat! Not many people can say they got a chance to be on a show like Survivor. I always wanted to, tried out a bunch of times and kept going back until they picked me. And, I’m glad they did. No regrets. It was an unbelievable experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Everybody knows I was a huge fan of the show going into it and – now after being on it - I’m an even a bigger fan going out. It was awesome and I would do it all again if given the chance … in a heartbeat.