“We Had a Good Thing and It Just Ended Too Soon” – Reality News Online’s Exclusive Interview with Survivor: One World’s Michaelby David Bloomberg -- 04/05/2011
Michael stood out for his physicality, but not in terms of strategy or making big moves. Read on to find out why he thought it was in his best interest to stay as under-the-radar as he could, how he was fooled into thinking he was safe, who is playing the best game now, and much more!
Reality News Online: Hello, Mike, and thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Reality News Online today! Starting at the end, you said in your final words that you came out of the gates too hot and were backpedaling ever since. Can you elaborate on what you meant by that?
Michael: Matt and I were part of the strong guy alliance with Jay and I put Matt ahead of me as a leader so we could just run the show without a target on my back. But he got voted out so quick, I felt like as soon as he left, the target was on my back. We came out hot but it was lost so quick.
RNO: To what do you attribute that turnaround, other than to Colton?
Michael: We started nine girls versus nine men but it was more like ten against eight right off the bat. Colton would have been happy for the guys to lose. He was poison for our tribe, but just the men versus women was the key. Any guy would vote out any tribemate just because they felt they could beat any woman. Matt left far too soon.
RNO: Having seen last night’s episode, what are your thoughts on the way Kim manipulated Troyzan to get him to help vote you out?
Michael: I think she made a smart move. He fell for her plan. We wanted to keep the numbers closer for guys and girls but she knew how to play him. Him and I didn’t work well together so her doing that was great – him and I didn’t really talk out there, she knew we wouldn’t talk about that.
RNO: Why were you so certain that you would be safe?
Michael: We just had a good thing. The new Salani tribe was solid. I had a great relationship with Kim, Kat, Chelsea, and Sabrina. I felt really safe with them. I think it was just a last-minute switch with Troy to get me gone. We had a good thing and it just ended too soon.
RNO: So even Jonas calling you out as a threat last week didn’t worry you?
Michael: I was trying to lay low under the radar because I felt like I had a target on my back. I think it brought to light to everybody, “Mike might be able to beat me in challenges.” I think he threw me under the bus and that was another primary reason why I left.
RNO: Before this Tribal Council, who did you believe was mostly in control of the game?
Michael: I still feel Kim was so levelheaded. She’s playing a good game. She’s not dramatic like the other women, she’s able to call shots.
RNO: What was your plan going to be moving forward if things hadn’t gone against you?
Michael: Moving forward, my plan was to vote out the new Manono tribe – flop back and forth between guys and girls to keep it a level playing field. Then maybe at final five, I believed I would win challenges. I didn’t really win immunity challenges on my own but I didn’t really want to because I didn’t want them to realize that [I was a threat].
RNO: So did you throw any challenges for that reason?
Michael: I would never throw a challenge. There’s parts of me that wished I could have gone not as hard, but if there’s a competition, I’m in.
RNO: Who was most responsible for convincing you that you were a solid member of the new Salani alliance?
Michael: I wouldn’t give anybody full credit for that. It was Kim, Sabrina, and Chelsea. Jay too. Troy was part of that but he and I didn’t talk much. It made me nervous that he was there and if I could have traded him, I would have. But it was a group effort.
RNO: You mentioned that you wanted to flip back and forth between voting out girls and guys – did it occur to you that the women might band back together so quickly now that they had a majority?
Michael: No, not at all. I didn’t feel it would happen and I didn’t think it would be my time so quick. I was straightforward to everybody out there. I tried to play a straightforward, honest game and thought they would value that and get rid of somebody more wishy-washy and not able to make a promise.
RNO: Such as who?
Michael: Jay was kinda hopping back and forth. He’s one of the guys – we were in an alliance the whole time, I didn’t realize he was trying to make an alliance against me. I wish I could’ve traded Jay for Matt – he was solid and we would have been final three. Jay’s just wishy-washy.
RNO: Even though you stand out physically, we didn’t see a whole lot of your strategic game on TV. What did you do that we weren’t shown?
Michael: That’s all we did all day – we strategized all day. That’s one thing that gets old real quick. They didn’t show me doing that much, but we all did. After Matt got voted out, I realized I’m probably next so I was snuck around and did it and didn’t make it so obvious like everybody else. I had to play a low-key game to keep the target off my back. We were gung ho from the beginning, then I got quiet.
RNO: At Tribal Council, several people mentioned having multiple alliances. Aside from what you thought was the new Salani alliance, did you have any other allies in the game?
Michael: I was mainly with new Salani. Tarzan mentioned the guy alliance but I wasn’t with it because I couldn’t trust those guys. But I was happy to go along with them and vote out a girl. The new Salani tribe was more diverse and the girls were more trustworthy and more levelheaded than any of the men.
RNO: Going back to the premiere, were you surprised you got away with re-appropriating the supplies the women tossed off the truck?
Michael: Yeah. My plan was not to steal from the women. When I came off the truck and saw their stack, I thought, “That’s perfect.” I got to take many loads over and nobody saw me do it. Not one woman or guy saw me do it. I told Jonas I stole something but nobody really knew where our stuff came from.
RNO: You didn’t even confess to the guys?
Michael: No, I admitted to stealing one pan. I actually gave the girls a pan to be nice. I was trying to build a rapport with them. I didn’t want the guys to think I was giving them all our supplies.
RNO: I would have thought you’d take big credit for that.
Michael: Yeah, but when you’re hauling all that through the jungle, you might be looked down upon. Plus you might not be seen as the most trustworthy. I think it worked out in my favor. It was not planned, it just happened.
RNO: Who did you think had the immunity idols?
Michael: I knew Colton had one. He talked so much – I can read people well and I knew he did and he wouldn’t use it wisely. Other than that, I didn’t know – the other idols were pretty secret.
RNO: So even your supposed allies didn’t talk about it?
Michael: They play a good game that way. I had no idea. I spent a lot of time looking for it as well but it didn’t fall into my hands.
RNO: It looks like we’re about out of time, but before you have to go, is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your time on Survivor?
Michael: I just want to say I had a great time and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I tried bring it back to its roots and played an honest game. I did that and didn’t last as long as I wanted to.
RNO: Thanks again, Mike!
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