THUNDER BAY — Collin Johnson's participation on the new TV reality show The Traitors Canada turned out to pretty short-lived.
The former Thunder Bay Transit operator was voted out of the game at the end of just the second episode of the season on Monday night, when a majority of the other contestants incorrectly identified him as one of the three anonymous traitors on the show.
It turned out he was actually a member of the group the series producers call the Faithful, whose task is to avoid being "murdered" by discovering the three players chosen by the producers to play the role of Traitors.
At stake is prize money totalling up to $100,000.
"I think it came down to a lot of bad luck, like, just trying to help somebody that got flipped on me," Johnson said in an interview Tuesday with Dougall Media. "And then, yeah, people didn't believe I was actually a bus driver....why would I lie about being a bus driver? I would have lied about being something way cooler."
When he revealed at the end of the show that he was actually a Faithful, other contestants expressed remorse for not trusting him, with one even promising to travel to Thunder Bay later to apologize in person.
Johnson auditioned for the show with a three-minute video in which he just talked about himself and why he wanted to be a contestant.
Months went by before he heard that he had been accepted, and was told to travel to Montreal for taping in a historic manor in August.
He described the set as "just beautiful," but said tension started to grow near the end of the second episode.
"Things started getting really serious, and I noticed people were saying my name, and then all this stuff came up. You really have to watch it, but it was nerve-wracking ... Of course, watching the episode last night, it brought back all those old feelings again, and the nervousness and everything, and it was nice when it was done."
Johnson said the thing that surprised him most about the game was how quickly players started to turn on each other.
"You had people with past experience in these social games, where you're pitting people against each other, making alliances and stuff. And then you have the other group, which I was in, where basically we're just so excited to be there ... and most of us probably weren't thinking strategy right away ... I didn't even see it until I actually watched the first episode on TV, seeing how people were making alliances already. And I had no idea ... because nobody asked me."
Despite being one of the first players taken out of the game, he said "There was definitely a sense of pride because there are not many people who get that opportunity. Even though it ended short, it was a fun time."
The Traitors Canada is televised every Monday on CKPR Thunder Bay at 10 p.m.