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'Survivor:' Boston Rob discusses his depressing defeat

April 2, 2010 | 11:58 am

98305_D13471 The tribe has spoken and we don't like what it had to say one bit. 

Seriously, Villains: You voted out Boston Rob?

As the "Survivor" nation mourned today, we tried to make sense of it all by talking to three-time player extraordinaire, Rob Mariano, himself.  He was in a very good mood, having had several months to put all the Samoa drama into perspective. Here's what he had to say:

When you watched it last night, did you relive a lot of moments you wish you could redo, or did you feel good about things?

Surprisingly, not so much. I knew it was coming. It's tough to take. But I felt like I gave it my all. And I put in 100% all season long, so I did what I could do. I really don't have many regrets.

You really did play a great physical, mental and social game, which is why I think the fans are really, really sad to see you go. I don't know if you've had time to see the reaction.

I haven't but I appreciate that. It's really the fans that make the show and that means a lot to me.


Well, who can we blame?

(Laughs).  Unfortunately, I don't think we have anyone to blame but myself. I did my best. I made good alliances. I thought I did. It didn't work out. It goes back to Tyson not going with the game plan and Coach faltering last night. At that point, it was more of a foregone conclusion. They trusted the guy that they didn't know anything about instead of someone they knew about and that's always dangerous. Me, I prefer to keep the enemy I know than the one I don't know. But they didn't see it that way and I'm here sitting talking to you.

That Tyson moment last week was a big WHAT?

Exactly. That's how I felt too. That's actually the first time in the three times I've played "Survivor" that I've ever gone back to camp after Tribal Council and not known exactly what was going to happen and didn't go the way I expected it to go. It was a shock to me, for sure.

Sometimes people get blindsided and when you think about it, you go, 'well, that was really smart.' This was a shock that made no sense. He took himself out of the game.

Yeah, there was really no method to that madness. And I think he's probably regretting it pretty hard right now. I really don't know what he was thinking. I think he got a little disheveled in the moment and the idea of his name being up there, and thought he may be able to avoid it by writing Parvati's name. But it really made no sense because we really did have a fool-proof, iron-clad plan whereby either Russell or Parvati would have gone home and the other would have gone home the next week. I think Russell even saw the writing on the wall and saw that it was either him that week or the next week and wanted to do something that would be seen as a good gesture and that's why he gave the Idol to Parvati. I don't think even he expected it to work out the way it did. But you know, everybody got lucky here and there and he definitely got lucky in that spot.

When you get voted out, you go spend time at the ranch with the other people that got voted out. Did you talk to Tyson about all of this?

Oh, we had some talks. (Laughs).

I really had a hard time grasping why. At first, I thought he must have made a mistake and wrote down the wrong person's name. He must have not known who he was supposed to vote for. My second thought was he wanted to commit "Survivor" suicide. He wanted out of the game and this was an easy way out for him without having to say it. But the more I thought about it, I couldn't make sense of it. And it really boiled down to the fact that when I explained how tie-vote worked, he wasn't 100% confident that he would come out OK on it and I think he panicked a little bit.

98305_D12716

Did you ever consider what Coach was proposing last night--that everyone should vote out Courtney?

It made no sense to me and I'll tell you why. Not because Courtney is a stronger player or anything. But Courtney was in my alliance and what you're doing by voting out Courtney is you're making a concession.  So all of a sudden, I'm in an alliance with who now--Sandra and Coach and maybe Jerri? Jerri's already wishy-washy but we don't have numbers. And by making that concession, the only thing you're doing is fighting to stay another three days. You're not furthering your point in the game long-term. So it may have made sense for one vote and it may have got me one vote further but it doesn't make sense in the long-term strategy. If you play this thing vote-for-vote and person-to-person, you may last a while. You may get really extremely lucky and make it to the end but no one's going to respect that kind of game and you're never going to win playing that kind of game.  So it didn't make sense to me to vote off someone who was an ally, someone that I did trust and thought would be loyal to me.

I can respect that and I also really liked when you called Coach a "little person" when you got voted out.

Coach's whole mantra is about loyalty and integrity and honor. He preaches it week in and week out almost as much as Russell proclaims to be the greatest player ever. Legend in his own mind. That's his mantra: I'm the honest, loyal one and I won't compromise my integrity. And here he has the perfect opportunity to show America and the world to show how honorable and how loyal he is and he does the opposite. He doesn't back up his words. I get that it's a game of survivor and I understand that lying and deceiving is all part of it. But here you are making these claims, and you don't do it, and you want my instant forgiveness? That's not gonna happen, you know?

I would imagine that in his mind by voting Courtney he stayed loyal to both you and Russell.

No. In his mind, he took out the easy way out. I'm not gonna say it was a cowardly way out but he knew full well what he was doing by voting for Courtney and you can't play that game with me. You're not going to say you stay true. What you said you were gonna do was write Russell's name down. That's what you told me and you didn't do that. So for me it was pretty cut and dry and I think it's going to come back to bite him in the butt.

So let's talk about Russell. You had never seen him play before you met him on the island. [CBS shot the last two seasons of "Survivor" back-to-back, and the first season in Samoa had not aired yet when "Heroes vs. Villains" went into production]. What was your first impression?

When I realized he was out there playing with 20 people who have played the game before and half of them are on the Villains and half are on Heroes, and he's one of five of the most notorious males to ever play the game and they're having him back, you've got to realize he must have done something. It doesn't take a genius to figure out he's done something to earn his spot here so you gotta keep him at an arm's length. At the same time, we wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and we did for the first vote, when we voted off Randy. We thought he may be useful in some aspect. Unfortunately, the only use he was was causing chaos and disarray at camp. I'll say that Russell and I have some similarities but fundamentally we're different in a lot of ways. I would never sabotage that camp the way he does and try to bring my team down in order to make myself stronger and look better. You know what I mean? So once it got to the point where I realized he was a cancer and we had to cut him out, it was him against me. That's the way it is with me. You're either with me or against me and he was against me. But having said that, you have to give him some credit because he got me.

I kept hoping that you guys were going to form a crazy alliance.

I had a way. I had a way twice but it got botched. The only reason Russell is even still in the game is because of Tyson and now because of Coach. Otherwise, he shouldn't even be there. But when the season's over, he should definitely get his pen and paper out and write down a thank you note.

Well, what did Amber have to say about all this?

She thought it was a lot of fun. She enjoyed watching it and she was pretty proud of me, the way I played. She knew that I gave it my all. And I'm very happy to be home.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)

Photos: Rob Mariano on the 20th season of "Survivor." Credit: CBS

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