“I Knew He Was Dirty”: An Interview with Survivor: Cook Islands’ Nateby David Bloomberg -- 11/27/2006
Nate went out with a number of choice things to say about Jonathan. Now that the game is behind him, does he still feel the same way? And what does he have to say about the strategy (or lack thereof) showed by other members of his alliance? Read on to find out about this and much more!
RealityNewsOnline: What was your strategy coming into the game?
Nate: My strategy coming into the game was that I wanted to be an asset in the beginning. I wanted my tribe to feel like they needed me. Mid-game I wanted to be under the radar somewhat because you hit a point where the stronger players are viewed as threats. I didn’t want all the eyes on me at a point when they were trying to boot out the strongest player.
RNO: Why wouldn’t anybody listen to Jonathan when he tried discussing the possibility that Yul had the hidden immunity idol?
Nate: It was funny the way that was edited – we completely entertained that thought. He never really spoke to me about it, but I had said to Candice and Adam that maybe we should vote for Becky. Adam wanted to play Jonathan to think he had the idol so he would stay with us. Obviously, once Yul showed the idol, that was a lost cause.
RNO: So why did you guys decide to go with Yul instead of Becky even after you’d talked about it?
Nate: Basically [Adam and Candice] were kind of on edge and a little scared on how Jonathan was talking to [Yul] so much and how he wanted to save [Yul]. He was scaring us – they were talking a lot and we saw the wheels turning between the two of them. We were getting uncomfortable with how the two were working together. Out of safety they wanted to break the two of them. I had said maybe we shouldn’t go for him right now, but having looked back at things, I think Yul would have saved anyone.
RNO: Do you think Adam and Candice might have been blinded to strategy by their own relationship?
Nate: I think the relationship affected us in the fact of voting out Jenny. I think that was our killing point – Jenny would have never betrayed us, I know in my heart. I think we would have had more of an opportunity to work against them. The reason we wanted to vote out Jenny was Adam knew she was uncomfortable with how close [he and Candice] were getting. We all thought the bottle said there was a merge. When it didn’t, I figured it would be soon, so my vote was to stay with Jenny. I really didn’t trust Jonathan, it was a bad feeling in my gut. I definitely think their personal feelings kind of affected us.
RNO: So then, were you surprised at the result of that second vote, when Jenny was sent packing?
Nate: I wasn’t surprised, I think because of the worth that Jonathan had – the way he was pulling his own weight and providing for us. I think everyone was a little comfortable with that. We had a four-way alliance, Adam and I wanted to take the two girls [Candice and Parvati] to the final four. I knew where Jenny stood on the alliance. I knew there was a possibility she would go so he could keep providing. Granted we didn’t really need him – we were fine without him. But I think with him working so hard, everyone was like, “this is kind of nice.” I think they got a little too greedy basically and that hurt us. I definitely feel the death of us was at the mutiny – that was our downfall. Jonathan and Candice’s betrayal for Aitu – I said earlier that karma is a bizzle, and their bad karma [from the mutiny], they brought it over with us. That mutiny was the death of us.
RNO: Before Jonathan switched sides again and voted you out, did you worry about the reuniting of the original Raro tribe, especially when you were the only outsider left?
Nate: No. I’ve heard a lot of comments – “Nate’s a race traitor,” like I’m blind to seeing the four of them were going to align. I knew where me and Adam were at – Jonathan was still on the outs. I think they fed that thought to Jonathan to keep him cool, but Adam’s my boy and we talked about it many times. The four of us trusted one another and had good chemistry.
RNO: When you were voted out, how did you immediately know Jonathan was the culprit?
Nate: I knew he was dirty. I knew the whole time that guy was bad news playing the game. I saw him and Yul talking so much. Once I saw my name going up with two votes, I knew I was going. I knew Parvati and Adam and Candice would not turn on me. There was no question in my mind. I knew he didn’t trust me, and I wanted him gone as soon as possible. He smelled bad. I knew if anyone would betray me it would have to be him.
RNO: Do you wish you had different final words, or do you stand by them?
Nate: It was in the heat of the moment. The comments I said about him being a backstabber and betraying us – that’s honest truth, he did. He betrayed me for a million dollars. Do I think he’s that kind of person outside the game? No, I like Jonathan as a person, but inside the game we started off on the wrong foot on two different tribes and both trying to play the game. Both of us did not have one another in the equation. I knew he wanted to take me out. We had that friction from the beginning, but I don’t take back what I said. He says it himself – he is a backstabber and a betrayer, so I was basically calling it like it is. But outside the game he’s a good person.
RNO: Do you have any plans on what you are going to say to him at the reunion?
Nate: (Laughing) No. I’m just going to tell him it wasn’t personal, those comments. They weren’t. He knew he was going to get a mouthful from me – it’s not like he’s going to sell me out and get, “hey buddy it’s all good, come on over for a hug.” Heck no! For him to expect me to not be upset, he’d have to be cuckoo and smoking something. He’s going to ask for all of us to get upset with him. The previews for next week show what he is going to get. Granted he’s still in the game and I’m not so he probably doesn’t really care.
RNO: Many of the contestants this time around were not as familiar with the show. How much did you know about Survivor ahead of time?
Nate: To be honest, I had seen a little of clips of season one and then basically I was recruited to the do the show. I got as many seasons as I could – Outback, Pearl Islands, Panama, Palau, and I studied different seasons and different things to do and not do. A couple months before I left, I went to “Survivor school” and hit DVD after DVD. This was on national TV, let’s not go out with your head up your butt.
RNO: If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
Nate: I would have taken my machete to Tribal Council and held it to Adam’s head when we voted Jenny out. I just wanted them to feel the energy. I wish the mutiny had never happened – when I was kidnapped, Candice told me she wanted to work with us. After the mutiny, you have to deal with it. We were given opportunities to get rid of [Jonathan] and we didn’t.
I don’t regret getting rid of Brad – he set himself up with too many things that made us think he was untrustworthy. For Rebecca, at that kind of moment, losing and people saying we needed to create the strongest team – at that point it wasn’t fair to keep her there, she took that one fault a little hard and it kind of drained her and we could just kind of read it in her game. She was kind of disappointed in herself and she was letting it control her and her attitude. The only thing if I could go back and redo if [Probst] would have given us like ten seconds, we could have told them to get rid of this knucklehead [Jonathan].
RNO: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your time on Survivor?
Nate: Yeah! One thing is that I’d have to say it was the best experience of my entire life. I’ve had my ups and my downs and haven’t had a boring life, but Survivor definitely broke me out of my shell and you learn to let go and trust your instincts. The beautiful thing about playing is you learn to believe in yourself and you’re as strong as you believe. If you believe you can do anything, Survivor taught me that again. If you can stay out here with these cuckoo people and get octopus, anything’s possible as long as you believe in yourself. From a mental standpoint and a way to live, it’s really motivating on how to attack things in life. It really makes you think anything’s possible after this. As you can tell, that kind of environ is not my backyard. I’m a little different from Ozzy. When I let go, I really took in a lot more. It was beautiful. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If they asked me to do it again I’d tell them they’re crazy but I’d do it. It was all good.
RNO: Thank, Nate!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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