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“I’m Nice But I’m Not Stupid”: An Interview with Survivor: Guatemala’s Rafeby David Bloomberg -- 12/12/2005
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Rafe made many great decisions in his first 38 days on Survivor. But then he made a couple that have fans shaking their heads. In this interview, Rafe gives a lot more insight into those decisions and explains why they really were the right things to do at the time. Plus, could he have beaten Danni? Or Lydia? Rafe provides lots of great information here.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Rafe. How are you?
Rafe: I’m doing good, thanks.
RNO: I’ve got some questions for you from RealityNewsOnline.
Rafe: Sure. I read all the articles at RNO.
RNO: Your pre-show statements indicated that you were quite comfortable in outdoor situations – did you let your fellow players know about this or did you keep it to yourself?
Rafe: I definitely wanted to play down my athletic ability at the beginning, because I really wanted people to underestimate me. It’s easy to do that, looking at me.
RNO: You talked about how you played the game with morals but also you were proud of your decisions – some of which involved stabbing your own allies in the back. How did you decide when it was okay to break a trust and when it wasn’t?
Rafe: For me it was really when I knew they were going to take me out, and I acted first. I’m nice but I’m not stupid. And I was right. Afterwards, I talked to Jamie, I talked to Judd, I talked to Cindy, and all three said they were going to take me out pretty soon. So I was able to nip that before they had a chance to do it.
RNO: Do you think you could have won the final immunity challenge if you hadn't slipped up?
Rafe: I think Danni still would have won. She had a great position on the pole and she’s a marathon runner. I knew going into final three with them, I probably wasn’t going to win the challenge. That’s why I wanted to be with them, because I thought both of them would take me.
RNO: When you released Danni from any final two obligations after the last immunity challenge, was that purely you being a nice guy, or was it strategy as well to show just how nice a guy you were and thus encourage her to take you?
Rafe: At the time, it was just going on emotion. But it was part of my strategy too. My strategy was to be myself. It did turn out to make the decision harder for her than otherwise. It was a really difficult decision. I really did want her to make her own decision, and that made it even harder.
RNO: On The Early Show, she said it actually made the decision easier.
Rafe: I didn’t see it. But the thing it did do was give her an easy excuse.
RNO: She also said you were hating yourself last night because of it.
Rafe: She didn’t really talk to me much last night. I think she was still feeling a little guilty.
RNO: Do you think Danni would have taken you to the final two if you hadn’t released her from that promise?
Rafe: No, I don’t. There is no chance she would have.
RNO: In just the 12 hours or so since the finale aired, some fans have already been calling for your head on a stake because you released Danni from her promise and potentially gave up the win – how would you respond to such people?
Rafe: I’d say I played the game as myself for 38 days. I wasn’t going to give that up at the end. I don’t think it had that much impact. The real mistake was organizing everything to get to that point and trusting she’d take me.
To her credit, I do think she planned on taking me until the last day, when she counted out the votes. It’s an impossible decision to be in. It’s between having a million dollars and not, and breaking a promise. I did not envy her position at all.
RNO: In your post-show conversations with the players who were on the jury, did you get any indication of whether you might have won if Danni had taken you to the final two?
Rafe: I know Cindy, Lydia, and Stephenie would have voted for me. I would have just had to convince one of the guys to vote for me in final Tribal Council. Danni knew that too, and thought I’d be able to. She really felt I’d win, though it’s possible she could have won.
RNO: Did you vote for Stephenie to win because you were mad at Danni for not taking you to the final two, or because you respected the game that Stephenie played (or some other reason)?
Rafe: I did respect the game Steph played. I wasn’t going to vote for Danni – Steph had been totally loyal to me. I was the only one on jury Danni backstabbed. The final Tribal Council is about atoning for what you’ve done in the game, so for me to vote for Danni would have been a little ridiculous. I totally respect the game she played, she did awesome and is a great winner. But I think Steph is a bit underrated for the game she played.1 2 Next-->
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