March 30, 2012 10:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
Just one episode after Colton Cumbie was medically evacuated from Survivor: One World, his self-appointed bitch fell victim to the first vote within the merged Tikiano tribe. Despite being considered a likable guy by nearly everybody in the game — except Tarzan — sushi chef Jonas Otsuji was cooked at Tribal Council. In a conference call with reporters, Jonas admits his strategy of flying under the radar really worked against him. He also regrets saying he would be Colton’s bitch. But most interestingly, Jonas offered up some details on the main dish he cooked up for his tribemates, which was reportedly so delicious that the food made a producer jealous. Who does he think is the most clueless player? Who does he hope wins the entire game? Read on for the full interview!
Question: What was your actual strategy for making it to the end?
Jonas Otsuji: I was trying to play to similar game to like Sandra or Fabio where I was just trying to fly under the radar a little bit until I felt like I needed to show my cards, or if I felt threatened in any way at that point, start making bigger, bolder moves and, you know, yeah. It was basically just to fly under the radar until I absolutely needed to show my cards.
Question: At Tribal Council did you know for sure you were going home?
Jonas Otsuji: I knew and people had point-blank told me that they were voting for me. It was very calculated. What I did at the end was really calculated. I mean, I didn’t necessarily think that everybody was just gonna all of a sudden just change their mind, but I had to give it a shot. At that point I had nothing to lose, so I just threw it all out.
Question: Did it seem like there was a chance at all to rally against Tarzan at Tribal Council since he was getting on everybody’s nerves?
Jonas Otsuji: No, because aside from Chelsea, the majority, numbers-wise, agreed that Tarzan was now the asset because he was not liked. They wanted to take him to the end just for that reason.
Question: As you walked out of the game you tried to make up with Tarzan, but he said he had hard feelings toward you. What was going through your head at that moment?
Jonas Otsuji: At that point I had no ulterior motive, I was going home. I was just trying to show him, hey I was just playing a game. None of this is real. I hope that we’re cool, you know. He just took it all personally and wouldn’t forgive me (laughs).
Question: Did you find it odd that Tarzan would be so nasty toward you during your departure considering you’re a jury member who will be deciding who wins the game?
Jonas Otsuji: That’s the thing with Tarzan. The whole game he wasn’t thinking logically or strategically. He was just playing totally emotionally. You would think that he’d be really logical and strategic, but it’s completely the opposite. He’s just playing purely on emotion. There’s no strategy at all.
Question: So, was it poop or dirt or Tarzan’s underwear?
Jonas Otsuji: I’m gonna say it was poop. But to me it didn’t really matter. I would not even stick my finger in that pot (laughs). … We had cooked rice in that same pot.
Question: As you left the game for good you wished them all good luck with the cooking. What were you able to provide for the tribe on the island being a chef?
Jonas Otsuji: I made this thing called the “Samoan seafood bisque.” What I did was I made a fish stock using needlefish and I grated a fresh coconut and made it into a coconut cream and added that to the stock. It was really really delicious meal. When it was all over one of the producers came up to me and he said, “I’ve been on this show for like 10 seasons and this is the very first time that I was actually jealous of what you guys are eating.”
Question: Looking back, was there anything major you would have done differently?
Jonas Otsuji: I would have not been Colton’s bitch (laughs). I would have just made a lot bigger, bolder strategic moves, rather than try to play the whole “I’m gonna fly under the radar game.” Ultimately, me trying to fly under the radar put me on the radar. So it doesn’t really matter what game you play, you’re gonna be on somebody’s radar whether it be you’re too strategic or not strategic enough. So, for me, I just feel like if I could do it all over again, I would want to play a more proactive game rather than just do whatever Colton wanted me to do (laughs).
Question: Why were you so loyal to Colton?
Jonas Otsuji: The funny thing is, I actually wasn’t. I never believed anything that Colton said. I just told him, if he had a plan, I would say, “Yeah, I’m with you on that.” But it wasn’t like I was willing to bet my life that he was telling me truth. I just went along with what he said, but was never really 100 percent with him.
Question: You said you regret being Colton’s bitch, but what made you say that at the time?
Jonas Otsuji: Part of me just wanted to be a little funny about it because I realized I was sort of playing a passive game. So, half of me just said it to be funny, but the other half was actually my strategy — to let him do all the dirty work and just, you know, ride his coattails.
Question: How did Colton’s departure impact the chemistry of the new tribe?
Jonas Otsuji: I think I would have gone a lot further if Colton would have stayed in, because Colton was such a feared player at that point because he had the Idol and he had relationships on both sides. So the next to go would have been Alicia, which would have changed the whole game. I would have made it way further.
Question: But with Colton’s nasty attitude, why didn’t everybody team up against Colton and get him out of the game?
Jonas Otsuji: You would think that as a viewer sitting at home watching that, you would think, “Oh, why didn’t they just do that?” But when you have the opportunity to advance yourself one more day and all you have to do is say yes, it’s so much easier than to orchestrate a blindside — especially against Colton. If Colton saw you talking to anybody outside of the alliance, he would be like, “So what’s going on?” and just immediately get paranoid. That would put a target on you. It’s so much harder than it would seem to orchestrate a blindside like that. Especially when everybody else is saying, “Let’s just go along with it.”
Question: What was your relationship like with Troy? Why do you think he eventually didn’t vote alongside you?
Jonas Otsuji: First of all, I love Troyzan to death. I think he’s an awesome guy. Still do. When Troy and Jay become down in numbers with the new Salani tribe, that’s basically what screwed everything up. It made sense for him, and I understand why he did what he did, because he was outnumbered by the women. I think that part of the reason why he clued me in had to do with the fact that I was now a member of the jury and a potential vote for him.
Question: Who would you have liked to sit next to in the end had you made it that far?
Jonas Otsuji: I told Troy, I said, “I would be honored even if I lost to you.” That, I meant every word. My final three would have been me, Bill and Troy.
Question: In the last Reward challenge, why did your team decide to use Leif as the person who had to dig the hole under that log big enough for everybody?
Jonas Otsuji: I definitely didn’t suggest that, but I have to admit that I didn’t challenge that decision either. Again, that’s sort of what I regret the most. Not speaking out and being more assertive in my gameplay. I just sort of was like, “Hey that’s what you guys want? Good, OK. We’ll go with that.”
Question: It definitely seems like out of everybody in the game that Leif may be the person out of the loop more than anybody because he’s the only person who voted with you. Would you say that’s accurate?
Jonas Otsuji: Completely. 100 percent. As a person, Leif is a phenomenal guy. But strategically, as a player, he was absolutely clueless.
Question: Any advice you’d offer up to a future player?
Jonas Otsuji: I’m not sure if I’m worthy to give advice, but I would say don’t try to fly under the radar. Just go for it. Either way you’re gonna come up on somebody’s radar, you may as well go out proactively trying to make big moves. That way you won’t really have any regrets.
Question: Out of everybody left in the game, who would you like to see win?
Jonas Otsuji: I would like for Troy to win just cause I think he deserves it the most.
What are your thoughts on what Jonas had to say? Do you think he was a weak player? Would you eat his “Samoan seafood bisque?” Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Images courtesy of CBS.