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The Best Survivor Player to Not Win: An Interview with Rob CesterninoPage 2
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RNO: What, if anything, was your biggest strategic blunder?
Rob: I don't know if I can chalk up any one thing as my biggest strategic blunder. I've gone over the game many times in my head – and I can't come up with one major thing. Perhaps, [I should have] trust[ed] Christy and boot[ed] off Jenna or Heidi at #6, but I had no way to know that the vote wouldn't be a tie. As mentioned above, maybe we should have voted off Jenna instead of Heidi. I don't think that there is just one thing that could have changed the outcome of the game for me with the exception of staying on that beam longer than Jenna. I would like to encourage your readers, if I'm missing something big, to please let me know what I may have not thought of.
RNO: Have your opinions changed about any of the other players after watching the show on TV?
Rob: I'd like to think that I was pretty dead on about all of the players while I was there. I wasn't surprised by too much that I saw on television. Maybe if there was one thing, I was surprised by how cocky and confident Matthew had become by the end of the game. I think that Matthew truly believed that he would have beaten either Jenna or myself in the final jury vote, and that's why he was so eager to throw the final challenge.
RNO: Do you regret any of the things you said on the show?
Rob: I honestly don't regret much I said on the show. Truth be told, the only person that I regret the things I said about them is Dave. Dave is a really awesome guy to hang out with and the reasons why I wasn't fond of him in the game and the exact reasons why I like him now. He's smart, funny, and a very charismatic leader. It's a weird game where people's good qualities can actually hurt their chances. If he was a weirdo who was annoying I would have wanted to keep him around until the end.
RNO: How did you prepare for going on Survivor and who were some of your influences (for example, you seemed to act a bit like Will of Big Brother 2 sometimes)?
Rob: In preparing for Survivor, I actually did a great deal both physically and mentally. Physically I added a lot of body fat to slow down my metabolism. Although I may have sacrificed my chance to appear in Playgirl, I thought it kept me healthy throughout the game. Mentally, I have watched every season of Survivor and other shows like Big Brother. Will Kirby was a big influence on me and I took more than a few pages out of his book. I also read an article that some crazy survivor fan wrote on the internet called "What Survivors Should know by now," it was actually very helpful but I can't remember the author's name at this time. [Editor’s Note: Very funny, Rob! He is, of course, talking about my articles on What Survivors Should Have Learned, the most recent of which is here.] I had also read some books about corporate leadership strategies which were also very helpful.
RNO: The subject has recently come up from some fans asking why so many people favor the strategic game element over winning challenges, keeping the camp running, getting food, and other "survival" points. Why do you think the strategic element is more highly-regarded by players?
Rob: I think the strategic part of the game is the most important. Even though the physical part of the game is important, these are not X-games. This is the most amazing strategic game ever created and that's where the fun in the game lies.
RNO: Can we expect to see you on the All-Star version?
Rob: I would love to be invited to play the All-Star version of Survivor. I would love to be able to play against some of the other players from Survivor history. I would actually love to be able to vote Richard [Hatch] out because he is a very cocky player. I also think that I would have to play with a different strategy because I don't think the same strategy would work again. Either way, I'd love to play, and I'm ready to go if and when I get the call.
RNO: Thanks again!
Rob: Thanks for the questions!!
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