November 07, 2009 12:15 PM by Ryan Haidet
Cocky.Â Arrogant.Â Outspoken.Â Those are just a few words fans of Survivor: Samoa have described the most-recent ousted player, Erik Cardona.Â In a conference call with reporters, Erik dished the dirt on his attitude, strategy, and the player he wants to see take home the $1 million — which he will have an actual vote in deciding as the first member of the jury.
Question: Were you surprised by the vote?
Erik Cardona:Â I didn’t want the focus to be an individual game.Â I wanted to remind people that we were still going after Foa Foa.Â “That is the plan, let’s stick to it.” … Â When I saw four votes, I was like, “Those little bastards (directed at Foa Foa).”Â Then that fifth one comes up and I’m like, “What?”Â And then six, and seven, and I think around the 28th vote that said “Erik,” I was like, “Shit, this is really going down.Â This sucks.”
Question:Â Talk about your comments at Tribal Council.
Erik:Â To me, Galu was the most important thing out there.Â I bled purple out there. …Â And it wasn’t personal, it was just a situation in the game I believe called for it.Â So I went after them (Foa Foa) like a bloodhound.Â I was like, “Let’s go team, get on my shoulders.Â I know Russell’s gone, but I will carry it.”
Question:Â You seemed like one of the most cocky people out there.Â Why?
Erik:Â The cockiness I had was intentional, and it was directed at one side.Â There was no arrogance in my own tribe.Â There was tons of humility. …Â On the flip side, I was ridiculously cocky and way over confident to the other side, because I wanted them to feel like they had absolutely no chance in this game.Â I wanted our tribe to see that, because the minute we lost our leader (Russell Swan), you could see the shoulders shrug.
Question:Â Was it a hard pill to swallow after you were voted off?
Erik:Â It seems like did Foa Foa win or did Galu lose?Â You hear that a lot in sports.Â Foa Foa, numbers wise, only had four votes.Â They should not have had the advantage or the power. …Â The damage occurred when my own team went against me, — when they listened to Natalie.Â I tip my hat to Natalie.Â I think so far — and maybe I’m biased — but she probably made the biggest play of the game. …Â A Galu member bought it and ran with it, and that’s what stings.Â I think my team is the one that got cocky, and I think Foa Foa got a break.Â Part of the reason I was being over the top with them was to reinforce that you don’t give these people a break.Â You just cannot give anybody a break in this game.Â Ever.Â You get an opportunity to put them out, you put ‘em out!Â I think my team got a little cocky, got a little arrogant.
Question:Â What are your thoughts on Shambo?
Erik:Â Shambo is wonderful, she was annoying as hell, she was crazy. …Â She was bossy and she would always claim to be an expert at something.Â She doesn’t know that she’s only an expert in her own mind. …Â But Shambo was not malicious.Â Shambo had respect for the game.Â Shambo worked as hard as she could regardless for who that effort was.Â She tried her best.Â Shambo was a very very very positive force and someone that deserves to be there.
Question:Â Tell us more about the blindside.Â Were you confident in your tribe?
Erik:Â I think if you don’t play that way then you lose motivation on a day-to-day basis to actually continue to get up in the morning and to work hard and try to make yourself valuable to the tribe.Â If you don’t believe in these people and you don’t trust them or you don’t have some sort of confidence that somebody’s going to have your back, well what motivation do you have to go out at high tide and risk your life on these rocks to try and stab a crab so you can share it eight ways?Â I wanted to go out there, and I wanted to work hard.Â I wanted to survive, I wanted to rally, and you can’t do that if you don’t have the proper motivation.
Question:Â After the merge, what was the tribe dynamic between Foa Foa and Galu?
Erik:Â They (Foa Foa) had such different strategies when they came over.Â I knew they were cohesive, and I knew that they were tight.Â I figured they must have talked about these individualistic strategies, but they were so different from each other that it just really wasn’t a Galu/Foa Foa dynamic.Â It was Galu and Russell, and Galu/Jaison, and Galu/Mick and Galu/Natalie.Â That’s kind of how that went down.Â But I did not like them there.Â I did not want them there.
Question:Â If you could pick the winner right now who would it be?
Erik:Â I would pick Brett.Â Well, no.Â He snubbed me at Tribal when I walked off and that’s what let me know that he betrayed me.Â It was so tough because here I am, I’d been preaching, “Kick off Foa Foa, kick off Foa Foa.”Â I was completely against them, but then every single one of them (Galu tribemates) stabbed me in the back.Â So — Shambo. …Â If I forget the fact that Brett betrayed me, I think he’s a class act, I’d like to see him win.Â If I had to pick a dude from Foa Foa — or a chick — it’s between Natalie and Mick.Â I would say I like Mick.
Images courtesy of CBS.