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Exclusive: Artis Silvester talks about his 'Survivor: Philippines' experience (Part 2)

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/16/2012 

Artis Silvester got eliminated from Survivor: Philippines' merged Dangrayne tribe during Wednesday night's ninth episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.

Artis, a 53-year-old computer engineer from Terry Town, LA, was blindsided and voted out of his tribe at the season's ninth Tribal Council, which was also the third elimination vote for Dangrayne, after Michael Skupin had decided to flip on his former Tandang tribe.

In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Artis talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: Philippines experience.

Below is the concluding portion of Artis' interview. Click here to read the first half. 

Reality TV World: Last night's episode repeatedly showed Lisa Whelchel saying that she was hesitant to flip alliances because she wanted to remain loyal, but last week's broadcast had shown her saying that she actually did want to go to the end with "Pete" Peter Yurkowski, Abi-Maria Gomes and yourself because she thought the three of you guys were so disliked by everyone else that there was no way any of the three of you guys could win the jury vote. So which do you personally think it was? Do you think that loyalty was the real reason why she was staying loyal to you or do you think she was just kind of saying that and it was really more of the situation where she thought she'd have a better chance in the jury vote against the three of you?

Artis Silvester: Lisa and I had a few conversations believe it or not, I mean, we talked. When you're on that island, you talk with everybody at some point in time, and I believe Lisa really did want to be loyal to Tandang. The avenue she took to do it may not have been agreeable with everyone, but she did.

We talked and I let her know that her and I were still good. And I also let her know that maybe I wouldn't have done some of the things that you did, or I wasn't exactly happy with how you did or what you did, but I understand what you did.

And she did. She stayed loyal to Tandang regardless of how much was going on, which is why I didn't understand when we got back to camp -- I'm not understanding Abi's tirade at her. And I'm like, "Abi, please shut up. Please, for one time in your life. Just be quiet." The girl's playing the game, alright?

Reality TV World: During last night's Tribal Council actually, Abi had flat out said she wasn't confident that Lisa was going to remain loyal to your alliance. Did that surprise you again, that she said that right there and then? And it also seemed kind of interesting that the only one she voiced a concern about was Lisa when Skupin was the one that actually ended up flipping on you guys. So does that mean she didn't see that coming or what are your thoughts on that? Why was Lisa singled out and not Skupin?

Artis Silvester: I don't know. I think Abi just enjoys picking on other women. I really do, because you never saw her in a confrontation with any of the men that had issues with her before the merge or after the merge.

Reality TV World: So when you had gone into Tribal, just to be clear, were you concerned about Lisa or was Skupin the only one you were worried about?

Artis Silvester: Just Skupin. I was not concerned about Lisa. I would've been surprised if Lisa would've flipped. That would've thrown me for a loop. I knew Mike was gone. So with Mike gone, when you lose one, you gotta pick up one -- even though we were still up. When you lose one, you've gotta pick up one.

Reality TV World: What was your reaction when Abi suddenly revealed she had a hidden Immunity Idol at last week's Tribal Council? Did you already know she had it and were you surprised?

Artis Silvester: Yeah, we all -- the whole tribe knew she had it.

Reality TV World: So there was no real surprise there?

Artis Silvester: Yeah, Tandang knew she had it. But why she let everybody else know she had it was unbelievable.

Reality TV World: So that wasn't anything you guys had discussed ahead of time, right? (Laughs)

Artis Silvester: No, that's just Abi trying to -- Abi's one of those people where she has to one-up everybody. If you did something, she had to do it bigger. If you did something, she's also done it. [Malcolm Freberg] said, "I got an idol" -- [she said], "Oh, well I do too!"

Reality TV World: Obviously that ended up being a really crazy Tribal Council -- or that's the way it's been described at least -- even though Jeff Kent ended up being the one that was voted off. What were your thoughts on that? Were you surprised when that unfolded -- that Skupin and Lisa didn't turn on your alliance and vote for Pete then? Had you been confident that Jeff Kent was still going to be going home or were you feeling a little anxious?

Artis Silvester: Well, it didn't -- I mean, as long as it wasn't me, to be perfectly honest, I didn't care.

Reality TV World: So you weren't that worried about losing an ally like Pete, who kind of seemed to be the ringleader in your alliance?

Artis Silvester: No, I wasn't. I mean, I would've hated to see Pete go, alright. I would've hated to see Pete go -- just liked I hoped that Pete would hate to see me go. But when it's all said and done, if he goes, I stay. If I go, he stays. And you're in the game for a million dollars.

I think a lot of people lose focus on that, you know? They lose focus on that because when it's all said and done, if you do make it to the end, you got to be willing and able to sit up there and tell stories of why you should have the money.

Reality TV World: Why do you think Skupin decided to remain loyal last week and not vote for Pete and then turn this week? Do you think it was because he wasn't sure he would have Lisa going with him or he suspected Jonathan Penner was going to throw his vote away?

Artis Silvester: He was playing scared. He was playing scared... He did it this week only because he had the immunity idol. He doesn't win that idol, I guarantee he doesn't vote like that.

Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor: Philippines? How did you end up on the show?

Artis Silvester: This was a process that started in Season 2. (Laughs) I applied just about every single time except for when I had cancer -- since Season 2. So for me, it was -- again, I had a different outlook on playing and enjoying the game than everybody else, because everybody else were one-hit wonders. I actually went through this time and time and time and time again.

So to finally make it, I enjoyed myself out there even though it wasn't detected... It took surviving cancer and [building] myself back up to be strong enough to play. And the time that I applied, it was that time I applied when I made it.

Once I recovered and was strong enough, I got the green light from the doctor to go ahead and do these physical things. And it was difficult and took a toll on my body, and I could relapse. That time that I applied was the time that I made it. I had a blast. It would've been a lot more fun with a million dollar check in my hand, but I did have a great time.

Above is the concluding portion of Artis' interview. Click here to read the first half. 

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