April 02, 2010 04:29 PM by Ryan Haidet
One of the most notorious people in reality television history, Boston Rob Mariano was the latest castaway eliminated from Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains.Â During his short stay this season, Boston Rob dealt with an illness, formed new bonds and went toe to toe with Russell Hantz.Â What does he think of Russell today?Â Read on to find out…
Question: Why was it so hard to get rid of Russell early on?
Boston Rob Mariano: In the beginning of the game we made a mistake — we gave him the benefit of the doubt the very first vote.Â Had anybody seen any of his previous season, there’s no doubt he would have been the first to go.Â Randy is just a miserable guy around camp and so we booted his ass first.Â At that point it was too late.Â We kept winning and winning and winning Immunity challenges.Â The next opportunity we had to get him out, I obviously had a fool-proof plan that would have made either him or Parvati go.Â Tyson screwed that one up.Â That was it.Â The next opportunity I had to get him out was obviously last night, and all of Coach’s loyalty, honor and integrity spiel didn’t come through.Â So, what can you do?Â I did my best. …Â Jerri was too wishy washy, I knew that she wasn’t coming on our side.Â At some point in this game you have got to put your trust in someone, and my eggs were in Coach’s basket.Â And unfortunately, even with Easter coming up, the bunny didn’t deliver.
Question: Why do you think Russell was able to sway people?
Boston Rob: I don’t know if this is a compliment to me or not.Â I think Russell is playing a combination of the first two seasons I played on Survivor.Â His strategy is eerily similar to the way I played in Marquesas and in All-Stars.Â Unfortunately for him, I’ve learned that will only get you so far.Â It’s effective only to a point.Â I don’t think he’s learned that yet.Â I don’t see how in the end he’s going to be able to pull it off.
Let’s back up a little bit.
When Tyson voted the way he did, I don’t really believe that Russell influenced Tyson to vote that way.Â But what happened was Tyson got scared about his name being up on the block.Â I was trying to convince Tyson on how a tie would work and explaining it to him.Â I looked in his eyes and I could tell he was still uneasy about it.Â He wasn’t sure that what I was saying was correct.Â Anytime your name is up there you’re nervous.Â I think he thought there’s no way Russell was going to give Immunity away.Â So Parvati is going to go home regardless.Â Then he threw a vote Parvati’s way.Â “That way I’ll still look all right in Russell’s eyes in case I need him some point later down the road.” …
I don’t think Russell believed for one minute that his plan was going to work.Â I think he thought, “I’m probably going this week or next week, let me try to save a shred of dignity and throw the Idol Parvati’s way and pray that something happens.”Â Luckily for him something did happen.Â He caught a good break there.Â It happens.Â You got to get lucky to win Survivor.Â You’ve got to get lucky in the game all the way through.Â He did get lucky.Â Unfortunately at the same time I got very unlucky.Â Nothing I can do about it.
Question: Did you ever consider joining forces with Russell?
Boston Rob: It was an option.Â In the beginning we actually talked about it.Â As soon as we got out there he’s like, “Let’s get together.Â Let’s do this.”Â I’m like, “OK.”Â Then less than 30 seconds later I see him doing that with everybody.Â I’m like, “I’ve seen this before, I know how this goes.Â Let’s see what happens.”Â Then I think it got to the point where the island was just too small for both of us.Â With me, what you see is what you get.Â You’re either with me or against me.Â He was against me, and he was a cancer that was eating the tribe.Â I want something like that gone right away.Â At the same time, I’m sure he felt the same way about me.Â That’s why we were at each other.Â Kind of nice for people like Danielle just sitting in the background.
Question: Were you surprised watching anything on TV?
Boston Rob: I was surprised when he (Russell) said he was gonna burn my Red Sox hat.Â Haha.Â It was pretty surprising.Â Had that of happened, I think I may have been kicked out of the game, which would’ve been a problem.Â I was also very entertained when I watched him on Samoa the first time.Â You’ve got to give Russell where credit is due.Â I give him credit.Â He got me out and I’m sitting her talking to you.Â That doesn’t mean I necessarily respect his game.Â I think we have some similarities, but I think we have some big contrasts as well.Â I can appreciate his gameplay, but I wouldn’t necessarily respect it.Â I think there’s a fine line between being cocky and being arrogant.Â About him being the greatest ever without considering the company he was in — I think is just arrogant and probably a bit out of line.
Question: What happened in the moment earlier this season when you collapsed?
Boston Rob: I didn’t even know what happened, it was a complete black out for me.Â I don’t remember any of it.Â When I watched it on TV I saw it for the first time, too.Â (On the island) I walked over, I sat down, I wasn’t feeling good.Â I was dizzy, I had a really bad headache and the next thing I remember is Probst is there with the medical staff.Â It took me a minute to realize what was going on.Â In the moment, it’s all blank to me.Â I don’t have any memory of it.Â From what they told me I was really sick.Â They gave me some medicine, and I felt better after that.
Question: What about your strategy toward building alliances this season?
Boston Rob: I’ve learned in the past from playing in the past that you have to make good decisions when you make your alliances and not just jump into things that you think are going to be wishy washy.Â I tried to avoid that a little bit and feel people out.Â As far as Jerri goes, she was on the wrong train in the beginning.Â Jerri was being manipulated from the outset.Â Russell had said that Jerri wanted Parvati voted off.Â Jerri had the idea that her, Randy, Coach, me, Tyson and Russell were going to vote off Parvati.Â But Jerri didn’t realize that Russell never had any intention of voting off Parvati.Â Those two were together from day 1.Â It wasn’t going to happen. …Â In hindsight, she did get on the train, but it was too late and I should have gone about it a different way.Â At the same time, I think she may have been harboring some ill will toward me because of what happened in All-Stars.Â I didn’t vote her out, but indirectly, I guess I was the reason she went home.Â I think that was in the back of her mind.
Question: Why do you think Coach voted for Courtney?Â To prove that he’s not a liar?
Boston Rob: Well he is a liar.Â Let’s face it, he said point blank that he was going to vote for Russell.Â And he didn’t.Â He voted for Courtney to kind of skirt the issue and stand in the middle.Â But that’s Coach being Coach.Â That’s him trying to make sense in his own mind and keep his own loyal, honor and integrity in his own warped mind.Â In all actuality, anybody that looks at it sees he didn’t do what he said he was gonna do.Â He created a major problem for himself when he gave his allegiance to me and then did the same thing to Russell.Â Realizing and knowing full well then and there that we were against each other — we were targeting each other.Â So he’s standing there in the middle of the road now, and there’s nothing left for him to do but get run over.
Question: Are there any other players you wanted to see on this season?
Boston Rob: The only person I was surprised that wasn’t there was Ozzy.Â He was really good at challenges, so I expected to see him there.Â As far as who was there and who I played with, I really didn’t care.Â It didn’t matter to me.Â I just wanted to go out there and compete.Â The game has changed though.Â The things that used to be valued in the past like work ethic around camp, providing food, building shelter and fire, that stuff is out the window now.Â It means absolutely nothing.Â It’s all alliances all the time.Â In a way, I kind of get it.Â The game has evolved.Â But there is a part of me that misses the whole adventure aspect of it that it used to be.
Question: What did Amber think you should have done differently?
Boston Rob: Nothing really.Â She watched the show.Â It was entertaining.Â She enjoyed it.Â She thought I did my best and was proud of me.
Images courtesy of CBS.