Exclusive: Cliff Robinson talks 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 03/20/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's fourth episode featured the three tribes reshuffling into two new tribes and concluded with the new Solana tribe voting out Cliff Robinson at Tribal Council.
Cliff, a 46-year-old former NBA All-Star from Newark, NJ, was voted out of his Solana tribe at the season's fifth Tribal Council session during Wednesday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition. It was Cliff's first time this season attending a Tribal Council session with his tribe.
Cliff was eliminated from the game after Tony Vlachos and Trish Hegarty flipped on the former Brawn tribe members in their new Solana tribe and teamed up with former Beauty tribe castaways Jefra Bland and LJ McKanas instead. Cliff assumed Tony and Trish would stick with their original group.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Cliff talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the first half of his interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: So based on your final words, you clearly seemed blindsided to be the one voted off. You had seemed to suspect Trish might flip on you and go with LJ and Jefra but apparently hadn't thought that Tony might also do the same -- why had you been so sure about Tony?
Cliff Robinson: Well just from our conversations, our previous conversations, that day -- those couple days before we merged and then after we merged, I felt pretty comfortable that he was going to stick with the original group.
Reality TV World: The episodes have shown that Tony and Trish both wanted you out of the game pretty much right from the beginning. Did you have any idea at all about that while you were in the game or no?
Cliff Robinson: (Laughs) You know what? There was a moment where something told me to keep an eye on Tony, but the Trish angle, I was just kind of -- I let some of Trish's, I guess her habits, or whatever, her laugh -- something about her bothered me and it must've showed.
Reality TV World: Tony then even went as far as lying to Sarah Lacina and telling her that you and Lindsey Ogle were coming after her to also get Sarah to be against you. Did you have any awareness of that during the game? Did you notice any change in the way Sarah treated you or interacted with you?
Cliff Robinson: Well, Sarah had started the conversation about me having, you know, having been a professional athlete, me having had money. So, I was aware that she was circulating that amongst our tribemates, so I was keeping an eye on her.
But at the same time, I thought her and Lindsey had a good rapport, which in turn, would kind of solidify the core alliance that we were trying to work -- which was myself, Lindsey, Sarah, and [Yung "Woo" Hwang].
Reality TV World: Like you just mentioned, one of the gripes people seemed to have with you was the idea you didn't need the million dollars, which basically seems to come up every time a wealthy person plays the game. So had you anticipated that going into the game, and if so, had you tried to do anything to address that point with your tribe or anything?
Cliff Robinson: Well, yeah. I addressed it by, you know, basically saying, "I'm out here playing the game just like everybody else. I'm putting myself in the position, the same position that you guys are putting yourselves in. You're out here. You're not eating as much as you'd like to eat. I'm out here not eating as much as I would like. I'm not sleeping in a comfortable bed just like you're not sleeping in a comfortable bed. So what makes me not deserving if I'm putting myself in the position to win just as you have?" So that was how I was answering that.
Reality TV World: Why do you think Tony ultimately decided to vote you off and keep LJ around instead?
Cliff Robinson: Um, because I think he felt that I was going to be more of a threat when it came to the challenges. I think he felt I was going to be a threat, and he [saw] that I was doing a very good job at making people feel comfortable around me.
I was able to establish a good rapport with Lindsey, I was able to establish a good rapport with Woo, and I had a good rapport with Sarah until Tony played the cop card, which now, they have a common bond -- the Blue Blood -- so for me, that was a tough hurdle to overcome.
Reality TV World: So is it safe to say then that you had no idea that Sarah, Tony, Trish, and Woo were trying to throw last week's Immunity Challenge so they could vote you off their tribe?
Cliff Robinson: You know what? I don't think Woo was a part of that. I don't think Woo, at the end of the day, I don't think he tried to throw the challenge. I think Sarah and Trish definitely did, because they couldn't even go down to get a three-foot buoy.
Reality TV World: Did that look suspicious to you at the time or is it watching the challenge now on TV that you realize how bad they really were at the tasks?
Cliff Robinson: You know, it was at the time. You're participating in the challenges, hoping that everybody's doing their best to pull their weight.
So for me, during the challenge, it wasn't something that I noticed. And, you know, we were able to keep ourselves from going to Tribal, so to me, there was no need to even [look back and] adjust it. Because they all seemed like they were happy, so it was just on to the next thing. Reality TV World: One of the main complaints we saw Trish make about you was that you didn't do anything around camp. How do you respond to that?
Cliff Robinson: (Laughs) You know what? That was -- That's one thing I take offense to, because Trish was eating papayas that I was bringing into camp. Trish was eating, using limes that I brought into camp. She ate fish that I brought into camp.
She ate coconut crabs that I was able to catch and bring into camp, so you know, I thought that was definitely misleading for her to say that. But at the same time, I know that's a part of the game, so that's something to be expected.
Reality TV World: Trish was also shown saying that you hadn't said a single word to her during the entire two weeks you were out there. Was that accurate, and if so, why was that the case?
Cliff Robinson: That's not accurate. I think I did let some of Trish's -- like her laugh and some of the things she did around camp -- I did let that start to irritate me a little bit, so I did, after a while, not really have any strategical conversations with her.
I spoke with her about things on the surface, but you know, after a while, when you know that you're not going to play with somebody, you kind of avoid them. But that's one part of the game that I wish I would have played a little better.
Reality TV World: So how confident had you been about your place in the original six-person Brawn tribe. Who did you think would be the first person voted out when you did go to Tribal? It sounds like you thought you had Lindsey, Sarah and Woo all with you.
Cliff Robinson: Yes. Yes. Yes. It was going to be Tony or Trish [out first]. Everybody was leaning towards Trish just to get her out of the camp, just to relieve that tension that was being created amongst her and Lindsey.
Above is the first half of Cliff's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.