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Survivor: Philippines — Artis Silvester Calls Mike Skupin A “Snake-Oil Salesman”

November 15, 2012 06:54 PM by Ryan Haidet

Artis Silvester, a self-admitted hardcore Survivor fan, finally found himself on the show after applying 12 times.  Although he didn’t make it all the way to the end on Survivor: Philippines, Artis still landed a spot in the merge before getting blindsided at Tribal Council and becoming the third jury member.  Ultimately, it was veteran castaway Mike Skupin who delivered the fatal vote that sent Artis packing as he switched sides and voted along with Jonathan Penner, Carter Williams, Malcolm Freberg and Denise Stapley.  In an exit interview with reporters today, Artis called Mike a “snake-oil salesman” while talking about his dislike for the two-time contestant.  He also dished the dirt on Abi-Maria’s attitude and explained why he believes he was portrayed as a villain when he’s actually an easygoing guy.

Question: In your final words after getting voted off, you seemed really calm.  Why do you think you were portrayed as angry and mean?

Artis Silvester: Just like I said in my initial interview when they revealed the cast.  When I’m not smiling, if I’m just sitting there doing nothing, my natural facial expressions would make it easy to believe that I am pissed off at the world when I’m not.  The other thing is, I aligned myself with Pete.  With Pete came the baggage of Abi.  That literally got me lumped into the thing of being an evil, villainous person.  In fact, I was nothing like that.  It plays out well because if I’m not smiling and I’m just sitting there doing normal day-to-day stuff and you happened to look at me, you would really think that I was angry or PO’d about something.  That was a huge obstacle for me to overcome coming into the game.  That actually restructured how I had to play the game because of the perception that everyone had of me without ever even knowing my name.

Question: Did you ever consider flipping sides since you didn’t like Abi much?  Were there any conversations with Kalabaw about it?

Artis Silvester: I had conversations with myself about that, but being a fan of the show, unless my recollection is wrong, I don’t remember any male that has flipped and won the game.  Plus, we continued to have the numbers.  No matter how dysfunctional we were, we (Tandang) still had the numbers.  You pretty much have to stay with the numbers.  If I would’ve flipped, they still would have had the numbers.  It would have taken two or three of us to flip in order for the numbers to go to Kalabaw.  I really didn’t want that.  After initially meeting everyone, I really wanted the winner to come from Tandang. …

Question: What was your relationship like with Mike?  Why was there no connection between the two of you?

Artis Silvester: Because we don’t have a relationship!  I don’t like Mike.  Mike doesn’t like me.  Mike knows why I don’t like Mike.  I’m not going to talk behind his back.  I approached him and told him exactly what my problem with him was.  The fact that all of America doesn’t is irrelevant to me.  I don’t care.  To me, he is a man.  I don’t care about your gameplay.  I can forgive your gameplay.  As a man, as a human being, no.  No.  I’m not feeling Mike at all.  Just to me, he’s just a snake-oil salesman.

Question: Is Abi as accurately portrayed?

Artis Silvester: I pray that once Abi got the call that she was actually gonna be on the cast, I pray that she sat down and decided that she was gonna be one of, if not, the biggest bitches that has played the game.  There is no editing Abi.  What’s being shown, what’s being portrayed, there’s no editing.  That’s just what happened.  We couldn’t get her to shut up.  Not for 10 seconds.  She’s one of those people that had to one-up everybody.  If you did something, she had to also have done or have done it bigger and better.  The infamous Tribal Council where Malcolm whipped out his Idol, Abi’s like, “I got one, too.”  She just can’t leave anything alone.  She has to say that she’s done everything everybody else has done.

Question: Are you surprised at how solid Penner is as a player?

Artis Silvester: Penner had better been able to play this game.  If you play this game three times and you don’t know what you’re doing, you just wasted your life.  That was just a waste of time.  He was supposed to be good and he was.  That’s just common sense.  To make matters even worse, this game was pretty much exactly what he does for a living, which is tell stories.  So he better be good at it.  I expected him to be good at it and he was.

Question: Did you have any idea who Lisa was while you were there?

Artis Silvester: Let me tell you something.  When “The Facts of Life” was running, I was too busy trying to make sure I could get home without getting beat up.  I didn’t have the time to watch “The Facts of Life.”  I was too busy trying to live my life.  There was no how, no way that I would have been watching a TV show about a TV family doing something that was so far from my reality.

Question: Who do you think is the most underestimated contestant still in the game?

Artis Silvester: I actually believe that is Denise. …  Denise has been to every single Tribal Council in the game.  Nobody has done that.  She’s been to every one and she’s still there.  Right now I’m a free wheeler.  I don’t know who I would vote for (to win) because I didn’t envision being in this spot.  I didn’t envision having to vote ‘cause I just figured the money was mine.  If you go into the game saying, “Who am I gonna vote for if I don’t win?” you don’t need to play.  I’m a wildcard right now, but I’m looking at everything.  They’re showing a lot of Malcolm, but I can’t see Malcolm winning.  I’m sorry, that’s not gonna happen.  Pete, I’m sorry.  I love Pete, but they’re gonna go hard at him now that I’m gone.  Because of all the craziness of all the things that have happened throughout the game, nobody is looking at Denise (as a threat).  She’s gonna walk her way, in my opinion, the way I see it now, she could possibly walk her way to a million dollars.

Question: Do you feel like the viewers had a true vision of what you’re like?

Artis Silvester: No.  It is what it is.  I got depicted as a villain.  I kind of wish I would have had an inkling that was gonna happen because I probably could have been the worst villain in Survivor history had I known that’s how it was gonna play out (on TV).  I’ve just been cursed with having that look when I’m not smiling, I’m angry.  I did a lot more smiling than was depicted.  But if you’re casted as a villain, they can’t continuously show you smiling.  I attached myself to Pete, and with Pete came the Abi baggage.  It was an easy transition to take a nice person and make them a villain when you’re aligned with that group.

Question: If they called and asked you to play again, would you?

Artis Silvester: I would love to play the game again, but I seriously doubt that they’ll ask me to play the game again.  There was just too many people out there playing for the cameras and fame and fortune.  I just didn’t fit the bill, I guess. …

What are your thoughts on what Artis had to say?  Are you shocked by his remarks about Mike?  Sound off and leave a comment below!

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Photo Credit: CBS

Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor |

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