February 19, 2010 05:21 PM by Ryan Haidet
Things are getting nasty on Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains, which Stephenie LaGrossa learned the hard way during a confrontation with gravedigger James.Â After his outburst against her at Tribal Council, Stephenie became the second person voted off.Â In a conference call today, Stephenie unleashed her brutally honest feelings about James and Rupert — calling James “unintelligent” and Rupert “Mr. Know-It-All.”Â Watch out!Â Stephenie may be out of the game, but she’s not shy from sharing her thoughts!
Question: What was it about James that made him see you as a target?
Stephenie LaGrossa: I don’t know.Â I tried to talk to James at camp, and he was really a loner and kept to himself within his own little alliance with Amanda, JT and Rupert.Â When we lost that challenge and he was kind of flipping out on everybody, I thought he was just flipping out on me at first because he looked right at me.Â He was like, “If y’all would’ve shut the ‘F’ up, we would’ve won.”Â I was like, “I wasn’t the only person talking.” …Â He flips out on me, and one thing led to another.Â He starts bringing up Palau and making absolutely no sense.Â Even when I’m voted out he’s still yelling, “Shut your mouth.”Â I mean, clearly a gentleman. …
There was so much going on at Tribal Council that I was talking back to him, but then it got to a point where he was just so dumb that it was actually pointless for me to stoop to his level and try to argue back.Â That’s when he was like, “Yeah, well when you lost every single challenge,” and that’s when Tom chimed in.Â I was like, “Really?Â Why are you bringing up past seasons?”Â That’s like me saying, “You’re so intelligent, you got voted out with two hidden Immunity Idols in your pocket.”Â I think it just proves the lack of intelligence on his part.Â He’s always saying how he was never strong mentally; he never played a strong mental game — this just proves it.
Question: Were people viewing James as a bully?
Stephenie: I just think people at that point were afraid of him.Â I mean, he was scary.Â At one point I thought he was going to hit me the way he looked at me.Â I think people were afraid of him and they didn’t want to say anything bad because he was such a loose cannon.Â It’s already brutal out there.Â At all costs you really want to avoid confrontation ’cause it’s just so uncomfortable with such close living arrangements — for him to flip out like he did.Â I looked at Cirie and Candice in the Tribal Council, and I said, “You really want to play the game with this guy?Â Really?”Â Right then and there they should have said, “We’re switching our vote.Â Let’s all vote him.”
Question: Was it from Day 1 that James was mean or was it from that challenge forward?
Stephenie: He’s not this perfect gentleman that he’s always portrayed as.Â Around camp he would tell stories that were kind of sexist and kind of degrading to women.Â He’s had a past where he’s had problems back in high school — behavior problems and stuff.Â So I wasn’t surprised when he actually snapped.
Question: How do you think Tom and Colby will fare after defending you at Tribal?
Stephenie: They put themselves at risk for sure, but the three of us were already at risk.Â We tried to pull in Candice and Cirie, and the line was drawn. …Â I think they were just voicing their opinions out of being human.Â James is a bully and obnoxious, and there’s only so much you can take in hearing him and his nonsense.Â I don’t think it will end their game in any way.Â If their game ends, it’s because they were already a target.
Question: What was up with Rupert?
Stephenie: I don’t know.Â I don’t know Rupert, I never met him outside the game.Â I tried to talk to him, too.Â At one point I was like, “So what do you think about tonight?” when Sugar was getting voted out.Â He was like, “Oh, let’s just enjoy ourselves.Â Let’s not get into all that strategy talk.”Â So right then and there I knew he didn’t like me for whatever reason.Â Then Colby said to him, “Listen, you’re really being a little unbearable out here.Â You got to take it down a notch.”Â ‘Cause it was like Rupert is the only one that can make fire.Â Rupert is the only one that can boil water.Â Rupert is the only one that can make coconuts.Â You couldn’t do anything without asking Rupert, and it was obnoxious. …
From Day 1 he didn’t like me for whatever reason, and we can make our own assumptions, but what else is there to assume unless I threatened his popularity?Â I wouldn’t know what else ’cause he didn’t know me personally.Â He’d never even met me.
Question: With Rupert’s broken toe why wasn’t he targeted?Â Is he popular with the tribe?
Stephenie: He’s actually very unpopular with the tribe.Â He was very annoying and a lot of people were getting very frustrated with him.Â And him being a Mr. Know-It-All.Â But he was tied sort of with JT, who was tied up with James, who was tight with Amanda.Â So they had the numbers. …Â It’s a social game, you have to be liked.Â But he acted like you needed him out there.Â Like without him you couldn’t find food or you couldn’t make fire or you couldn’t do anything.Â When really he made things sometimes worse.Â He almost used all of our magnesium on our flint and steel trying to make fire when me and JT got it in like 10 minutes.
Question: At Tribal Council did you know you were going home?
Stephenie: I, for the most part, knew they were getting rid of me.Â We were talking and scrambling up until the very second we went into Tribal.Â It was just we could not convince Cirie and Candice and I think in hindsight they probably wish they would’ve went with us.
Question: Was the shoulder affecting you after the first challenge?
Stephenie: It was obviously sore and it wasn’t as strong as it would have been had it not dislocated.Â But I’ve dislocated my shoulder before and I know how to deal with it.Â The fact that I couldn’t get it back in own my own was the only problem.Â I did everything I could to not draw attention to myself ’cause I didn’t want to give them any reason to want to vote me out.
Question: Were you surprised by the cast?
Stephenie: I wanted to see Tina Wesson.Â I wanted to see Jenna; Ethan.Â I wanted to see more of the old timers.Â I really enjoyed the show much more in the old days.Â I didn’t really know why Danielle was there.Â I didn’t know much about Candice.Â I didn’t really watch the season Tyson was on; or Courtney; or JT.Â Of course, none of us knew Russell, so there was a lot of those new faces.Â A lot of that sort of LA clique that was there, and the Micronesian alliance.Â I definitely think they could have mixed it up a little more with people that knew each other a little less.Â I knew Tom — that was it.
Question: Do you think the Heroes tribe is going to continue to have trouble?
Stephenie: With the egos they have on that tribe, I do.Â I think it’s going to be a problem.Â James and Rupert are two people that think extremely highly of themselves.Â They think higher of themselves than anybody else — and any fan does.Â It’s difficult because they make things uncomfortable out there.
Images courtesy of CBS.