Exclusive: Abi-Maria Gomes talks about 'Survivor: Philippines' (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff , 12/13/2012
Abi-Maria Gomes was voted off her Dangrayne tribe during Survivor: Philippines' penultimate episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition Wednesday night.
Abi-Maria, a 32-year-old business student from Los Angeles, CA, was voted out of her tribe at the season's thirteenth Tribal Council -- which was also the seventh elimination vote for Dangrayne -- because she had never made it into the Final 4 alliance her fellow remaining castaways had previously created.
In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Abi talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: Philippines experience.
Below is the first half of Abi's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Obviously, it seemed like except for Peter Yurkowski and Artis Silvester, none of the other castaways really seemed to like you very much. And as time went on out there, they tried to explain what you were doing that made them not like you. But you never seemed to feel like you were doing anything wrong. So looking back on it now, do you still feel the same way or no?
Abi-Maria Gomes: You know, I was definitely the unliked one. I was hated and that was sort of my strategy throughout the game. I went in with good intentions. I didn't want to have turned out to be that temperamental emotional wreck that I was.
But you know, I got injured on Day 1 and it was a serious injury but I was playing through it with a lot of pain -- physical pain. And you know, I don't know. I could talk about "what if's" all day long, but that's how I played it. So it is what it is.
Reality TV World: So you're saying that you think your behavior was the result of an injury? And it's not like really representative [of you]?
Abi-Maria Gomes: Yeah, my behavior was somewhat a result of my injury and the circumstances there. I wasn't in a good mood; I was in pain.
Reality TV World: What was the injury? I apologize if I missed it, but I don't recall seeing something happen to you on the show.
Abi-Maria Gomes: Yeah, it's not there. But the first day on the boat, I injured my knee pretty badly. I actually had to go to surgery when I got back and I'm still healing from that. It's been a four month, five month healing process so far. I have to go through physical therapy, and I'm almost 100% percent again, but it's been tough.
Reality TV World: Sorry to hear that. In your final words last night, you were shown saying you felt you were targeted as "the crazy Latina," so could you elaborate on what you meant by that a little bit? Are you saying you felt you were targeted just because you are a Latina or what were you trying to say there?
Abi-Maria Gomes: No, I don't mean that I was targeted because I'm a Latina. I don't want to blame it on culture. In the heat of the game, you'll say things that are not how you feel. I definitely am a very competitive person, but I don't want to blame it on being Latina or the cultural thing or being Brazilian. I acted poorly and I want to take ownership. I don't want to blame it on anything; I don't want to blame it on culture.
Reality TV World: Your explanation on the show was that you were "just really direct" and that basically Brazilian culture is a little different. But a lot of viewers out there still looked at it like there's a line between being "really direct" and just being rude, you know what I mean? And they think you were kind of on the rude side of that line a lot of times. So I just want to give you a chance to address that. It sounds like looking back, you do kind of feel you were a little rude -- and in part because of the injury?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I was very abrasive, yeah. When you're there, you're reading people's body language and you're trying to figure out what people are thinking, and so on. I was in defensive mode, so yeah, I was very defensive. I was hurt. And when I see things not going my way, I got entitled and I acted like a royal b-tch. Yeah, I would do things differently for sure, but I can't change the past. I just have to move on.
Reality TV World: Just to clarify, Lisa Whelchel and Michael Skupin seemed to seriously consider keeping you around and voting off Denise Stapley on last night's episode. But we never really saw them discussing that idea with you. Did they ever discuss that plan with you before you went to Tribal Council or not?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I actually approached Lisa and I approached Skupin too. I'm sure you watched last night's episode.
Reality TV World: Yeah, we saw you throwing the idea out to them, but they didn't seem very receptive. So did you ever get any indication from them?
Abi-Maria Gomes: Yeah, Lisa was more into it than Skupin. She definitely saw it. She saw the bigger picture. Skupin, he told me that he was onboard, but then Lisa told me that he wasn't really onboard. They were just bluffing with me, and that's the reason why I got so upset at Tribal. Because he literally lied to my face like last minute. I felt like I was working so hard to make it to the Final 3 as it goes, you know, and taking that reputation of being a [despised] person.
Reality TV World: So had you gone into Tribal thinking that Lisa and Skupin were going to vote Denise off with you? What was your perception going into Tribal then? Did you think you or Denise was going home?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I kind of was pretty certain that I was going home, because it didn't seem -- I tried working with Skupin so hard, and it didn't seem like he was onboard, you know? Lisa was more into it, but not Skupin. I knew I was going home.
Reality TV World: Based on what we saw last night, it looked like Malcolm Freberg didn't give his second idol to Denise. Did that surprise you?
Abi-Maria Gomes: Ugh, I actually asked him for the idol too and he didn't want to give it to me. It didn't surprise me that he wouldn't give it to [Denise], because they were solid. They knew that -- Malcolm and Denise were solid. They knew -- the thing is, they had Skupin. I mean, Skupin took Malcolm with him to the Reward Challenge. That was a huge breaking point in the game.
Reality TV World: It just didn't seem like there was any upside to Malcolm not giving the idol to Denise, because he still had another one for himself. So it seemed like unless Malcolm had a little bit of doubt about voting Denise off or whatever, there really seemed to be no upside to not giving it to her. It seemed like denying Denise the idol would just plant some insecurity in her head that her alliance with Malcolm wasn't as strong as she thought. So what are your thoughts on that? Do you think Denise was surprised and do you think that caused any concern for Denise?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I think that Denise was pretty confident in her position in the game. So I don't think she really -- I don't think it really made a difference for her. And I think that, at the end of the day, Malcolm wanted to take the idol with him home as a souvenir. (Laughs) For him, I think it was pretty cool that he was just able to take it with him.
Above is the first half of Abi's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.