Exclusive: Abi-Maria Gomes talks about 'Survivor: Philippines' (Part 2)
By Reality TV World staff, 12/14/2012
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 concluding portion of Abi's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed Malcolm Freberg talking to Lisa Whelchel and Michael Skupin how he wanted to vote Denise Stapley out before the Final 3. Did that surprise you? Did you have any idea that he would be willing to turn on Denise like that while you were out there?
Abi-Maria Gomes: No, it didn't surprise me at all because he's a very smart guy. So he realized then that going against her in the Tribal, he knows that he's going to have to work harder at it, you know? Both of them have great arguments. Both of them survived.
Reality TV World: During last night's Tribal Council, you said Denise would absolutely win if she makes it to the end. Did you really believe that or were you just saying that because you were trying to save yourself and convince everyone to vote her off instead?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I believed that and I was also trying to save myself. I mean, anyone can build an amazing argument and change the jury's mind at the end. But I really believed that.
I believed that Malcolm and Denise both have strong arguments for making it to the end, but I think Skupin and Lisa also have their own arguments, you know? But I mean, they survived every Tribal -- Malcolm and Denise, and it's hard to beat that.
Reality TV World: But do you feel between even Malcolm and Denise, if they both made it to the end, Denise would have the better case than Malcolm? Because that seems to be what you had suggested last night.
Abi-Maria Gomes: Pretty fair -- it would be really hard to see that. It's going to be a really hard decision because if Malcolm and Denise end up in the Final 3 together, it will be a really hard decision. Because they have -- they're pretty equal in the game so far.
Reality TV World: The last couple of episodes have shown you lying and trying to convince everyone that you had a fake hidden Immunity Idol, but based on my interviews with them so far and what has been shown on TV, none of them seemed to believe you. Were you convinced that they believed you?
Abi-Maria Gomes: No, I knew that they didn't believe me, but I was just relying on that one-percent chance. I knew that they knew I was bluffing. But you know, I just kept on telling the lie just like I said it. If you just tell a lie long enough, people will start believing you.
Reality TV World: Speaking of lies, before the merge, you were aligned with Peter Yurkowski and "RC" Roberta Saint-Amour but then you turned on RC because you felt she had betrayed you with the original hidden Immunity Idol she had found and told you about. But as we saw on TV, RC has remained loyal to you and it was actually Pete that betrayed you.
Abi-Maria Gomes: I know! How hilarious was that?!
Reality TV World: (Laughs) So when did you find out that Pete was actually responsible for all that and what was your reaction when you found out?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I found that out at Ponderosa and I actually thought it was pretty funny when I figured it out. I was just so over the game already. When I was voted out, I was just like, "I'm out of the game. There is no point of continuing playing the game when you're already gone."
So one day, RC actually told me the story. And when she told me the story, she was expecting me to be upset about it, but you know, the game was over for me. So I thought it was funny.
Reality TV World: Do you think you owed RC an apology at that point?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I did apologize, yes. I owed her an apology, yes. And I apologized, but she did not want to accept my apology.
Reality TV World: How do you feel about Pete now? Did it change your feelings at all about him or did you just think it was funny?
Abi-Maria Gomes: No, no. I love the guy. He was playing the game and he was trying to make a big move, so I respect that. I respect anyone that's playing the game. I have nothing against any of those people.
Reality TV World: We've already talked a little bit about Denise, so what are your overall thoughts on the other Final 4 castaways? What were your thoughts about Malcolm, Lisa and Skupin? -- Not so much their chances to win but just their gameplay and what you came away from the game thinking about them.
Abi-Maria Gomes: I think all of them have great chances of winning, but I think that Denise and Malcolm have the strongest case.
Reality TV World: Lisa never actually betrayed you while you were out there, but you were repeatedly critical of her.
Abi-Maria Gomes: I feel bad. She was just wishy-washy, you know? It's what my gut instinct was telling me -- to not trust her. So I was going by my intuition. She wasn't directly betraying me, but she wasn't going with the plan either, so. When you're fighting for a million dollars and the title of "Sole Survivor," you just rely a lot on intuition.
Reality TV World: I'm paraphrasing here, but earlier you mentioned how you kind of have some regrets about the way you played the game but that you obviously can't change any of it. If you could go back and change things, what would those things have been? Is there anything you could've changed that had the potential to significantly change your outcome in the game?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I wouldn't be so tight to my "evil 3" alliance. I would have kind of been a little more lenient on that.
Reality TV World: You mean with Pete and Artis Silvester, correct?
Abi-Maria Gomes: Pete and Artis, yeah. I was just like really emotionally attached to them, and I was ready to take a bullet for them. And they clearly weren't as close to me as I thought they were. So I would have been a little bit more balanced and open to talking to RC, for example, if she tried.
Reality TV World: Have you reconciled with anyone since the show was filmed this summer?
Abi-Maria Gomes: Yes, I apologized to Lisa when I saw her. I said "sorry." Denise and I have reconciled, and Skupin has been awesome. So, yeah. I mean, some of us were able to keep any hard feelings in the past and the mature people understand it was a game, and we're all moving on with our lives. I wish all of them the best.
Reality TV World: You were obviously one of the members of the jury. Without giving away who you voted for, obviously, what criteria did you consider important when voting -- like what did you base your vote on?
Abi-Maria Gomes: Strategy. It doesn't even have to do with likeness. I don't even care if I like the person or not. It was mostly strategy.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor: Philippines? How did you end up on the show?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I was cast on Survivor -- actually they were looking for someone that had a Brazilian background, but that was like five years ago and it didn't work out then. I think they had me on their database and they called me and asked me if I would be interested in going through the casting process again, and I actually said, "No," because I was scared of the casting process.
Last time I did the casting process, it was a tough, tough, tough, tough casting process. So then they kind of like convinced me to try it and I did it, and it was the best decision ever! It's an honor playing Survivor.
Above is the concluding portion of Abi's interview. Click here to read the first half.