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“I Was Playing a Rational Game”: An Interview with Survivor: Cook Islands’ JonathanPage 2
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Jonathan, continued: This was a game. I think one reason people didn’t trust me was I could look them in the eye and enjoy their company in the morning, and vote them out in the evening. It was totally strategic play on my part. I think some of the other players played a much more emotional game and weren’t able to differentiate life from game play. I’m not going to deny that what I did must have been very hurtful to them. I wanted to avoid that, but I didn’t want to get blindsided and never did get blindsided. I knew how every vote was going to go down, including the one that took me down.
The only vote that was in question was when Jenny was voted out by the bottle. I had guessed what was in the bottle and talked to Adam and Candice, and they said it’s got to be Jenny. So when that bottle was revealed and I had guessed it, I knew at the very worst I was going to be in a tiebreaker and I really did believe I could make a fire faster than she could. That was the only question was how that vote was going to go down.
Obviously, I took no pleasure in hurting anybody’s feelings. They were playing an emotional game and I was playing a rational game. And my feelings weren’t hurt when I got voted off. That’s the way it went, whether because they were annoyed with me or perceived me as a threat – rightly so – I was not just going to let them take me to the final five and say, “Thanks for the ride.” I was going to do what it took to stay in the game. They were saying whatever they had to say to stay in the game longer, bless ‘em it worked. They’re still in the game and I’m here talking to you. All’s fair in love and war.
RNO: Adam kept attacking you for a supposed lack of integrity. Do you think he really felt that way, or was he just using it as leverage to make himself look better?
Jonathan: I don’t know. I’m sure he did feel that way, but it’s absurd on the face of it. The guy was having a tough time out there, he was in a very bad spot, his body was shutting down, his body needs a lot of food. He was having physical problems. And I was a target for him. That I lacked integrity and like there’s six good people, it’s absurd. Everybody else knew they were going to vote for me and said they were going to vote for him. That was part of the game. He couldn’t realize I was playing a different kind of game. To him, that smacked of being a bad person. I hold no grudge against Adam – he said or did what he needed to stay in the game. The truth is that one person is going to win and 19 are going to say woulda/coulda/shoulda. I hope whoever wins can acknowledge the luck and know that had the stars aligned differently, it might have turned out differently for them too.
RNO: Some people have suggested that instead of flipping back to Yul, you could have told Yul you were doing that and convinced your Raro allies to vote against Becky instead. Why didn’t you?
Jonathan: I would have had enemies of Yul, Sundra, and Ozzy. None of the other Raros trusted me anyway and I would have been helping them. But they didn’t believe me when I said, “What if Yul has the idol?” I knew I could not work with those people because they were not being rational. I said, “Let’s talk about what if Yul has the idol.” [Their response was,] “Yul doesn’t have the idol.” I did everything in my power and then when I told them the next night that Yul has the idol, they still didn’t believe me! I could have danced up and down, but the truth is they didn’t believe me, they didn’t want to work with me. I was the fifth man in that tribe. Though maybe I was the fifth man with the Aitu people, I didn’t believe I could win – how far I could get, I didn’t know. But if I was in a position to affect the outcome of the game, I was going to make that move. I don’t think I would have gone any further if I had made a different move.
RNO: Why do you think your supposed allies fell for the story Adam was giving them?
Jonathan: I don’t know, I was on Exile Island for two days. That was the bad luck, I had a lot of good luck and if anybody other than Parvati or Adam had won that challenge, I would not have been exiled. Instead of two days of smack-talking, it would have been me and my wife making nice with everybody. I believe that either Adam or Parvati would be talking to you today.
They had two days to do whatever they needed to do. I’m sure it was some combination of “we will not vote for you on the jury [if you don’t vote out Jonathan]” and “isn’t it nice and peaceful?” and “he’s a rotten egg, you cannot trust him.” They were right, I would not have been anything but a strategic thorn in the side of those people. Maybe Adam and Parvati can work some magic – I don’t know how they can. But if you’re alive, you’re alive. They knew if I was in the game, I’d be making moves, working hard, and probably talking a lot.
RNO: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your time on Survivor?
Jonathan: I had a fantastic time, it was a great adventure. That I lasted as long as I did was amazing. That I got the kibosh when I did was not surprising. I don’t fault any of the people there for cutting me out – I probably would have done it sooner. I look forward to seeing everybody at the reunion.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
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