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Exclusive: Marissa Peterson talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (Part 1)


By Reality TV World staff, 10/10/2013 

Survivor: Blood vs. Water eliminated "loved one" castaway Marissa Peterson from the game after she lost the season's third Redemption Island duel during Wednesday night's third episode of the CBS reality series' 27th edition.

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Marissa, a 21-year-old student from Chapel Hill, NC who is the niece of returning player Gervase Peterson, lost the duel to newbie player John Cody and his wife Candice Cody, a returning player. She had survived both prior duels.

Gervase is still in the game, however, playing with the returning castaways on the Galang tribe in the hopes of winning Survivor: Blood vs. Water's million dollar prize.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Marissa talked about her Survivor experience and early ouster from the game. Below is the first half of her interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.

Reality TV World: So I know you were only in your tribe for three days and were the first person voted out, but had you felt you had made any alliances of your own in your tribe before you were voted out, and had it already become clear to you that the five guys had all aligned together and were just planning to pick off the girls?

Marissa Peterson: Oh yeah, and Gervase had told me before, like, once we were out there and right before when [Jeff Probst] had said, "Okay, you guys are going to be playing against your loved ones and now you're going to meet your new tribe," he told me, "Okay, me and [Aras Baskauskas] are really cool. We're going to be working together. You and [Vytas Baskauskas] should work together so the four of us can make it to the end." I was like, "Okay!"

So it was clear, and you saw this in the last episode, the guys would all go and get water to basically talk about how they wanted to strategize against the girls. And I was thinking like, "Okay, it's obvious that there's five-guy alliances here." And Vytas had approached me before and said, "Okay, we're going to watch each other's back and stuff."

And I was like, "Okay, I'm basically in this sub-alliance and I just don't want to mess that up right now. So I'm being taken care of right now and everything's good. I proved myself. I've shown I'm a good competitor and an asset to the tribe. I don't really have anything to be worried about."

But then when we came back and people were talking about Gervase, I just wanted to set it straight, like, "Okay, Gervase is his own person. What he was saying and how he was gloating, that wasn't cool." So I was expecting them to go along with what they were telling me, like, "Okay, [Katie Collins] did not do well at the puzzle at all. She's the reason why we lost, so Katie's up tonight." That's what I was thinking, but it was me!

Reality TV World: It sounds like Gervase and Aras kind of cooked up a pre-game alliance before the game even began. Had you two made any pre-game plans about how you wanted to play the game if you did end up on different tribes, and given Gervase obviously did know at least some of the other returning castaways before the game, besides Aras and his brother, was there anyone else you planned to work with?

Marissa Peterson: He had recognized Aras and they did have a relationship prior to that from before, but we had only talked about -- we didn't talk about any of the other players because, truthfully, we did not know who was going to be there until right then and there.

And to me, some of these people, I hadn't seen some of the more recent seasons -- like I hadn't seen One World. So I wasn't familiar with [Colton Cumbie] or [Candice Cody] or [Kat Edorsson].

Reality TV World: That's like a third of the cast right there. (Laughs)

Marissa Peterson: Probably, right?! Exactly. So we had just talked about how the game that we're going to play is competitive, like we're not going to put our feelings first. We're not going to let that hold us down, feeling sorry.

And you can see like in one of the last episodes when [Laura Morett] is going against [her daughter Ciera Eastin] in the challenge, and she was like, "I don't want to hurt you," and stuff, we're not going to do any of that. We know that this is a game and we're here to compete.

And we knew that we would be competing against each other at some point, so we were prepared for that -- just not so soon. But after they dropped us off there for that Night Zero, I was like, "Okay, really, anything can happen." So I feel like we were kind of pretty prepared for it.

Reality TV World: As we saw, Gervase was clearly the reason you were voted out of your tribe, and you told him that he was the one who was responsible for your vote-off when you saw him at the first Redemption Island duel, but he still decided not to switch places with you. Did that surprise you at all?

Marissa Peterson: See, when I told him, I said, "Gervase, the reason my tribe gave me..." I wasn't blaming him. I just let him know the reasoning, because I know he was just as shocked as I was. Because I don't blame Gervase for that, and that's one thing I feel like separated our relationship from the other competitors, like we are an uncle and niece duo. That's way different.

I don't have to, like if I'm up against him in a challenge, like drop disclaimers already and apologize and ask if he'd still love me for doing this. No, we were here to compete. We were here to see which one of us is the better competitor. That's what we were doing here. So I wasn't blaming him for that, because I feel like it wasn't just that -- I don't know.

I feel like Tadhana kind of used me as the scapegoat in a sense, because other people were celebrating as well on the other side. They might not have been as loud as Gervase, but other people were celebrating and saying things too.

I just feel like that's what they needed to get me out. I feel like that's definitely what [Brad Culpepper] needed, because I had spoken against Brad in the very beginning when I said I didn't want him on my tribe -- when he said he would throw a challenge to save [his wife Monica Culpepper].

So yeah, I don't blame Gervase at all for that, because that's the thing, we're playing a game. When he was doing all that celebrating, I was taking it as like, "Oh, that's directed to me." That's why I just put my hand up like, "Talk to the hand, I don't want to hear it," because we're playing a game! If the other tribe wasn't full of "loved ones," then it wouldn't have even mattered. 

Reality TV World: Like you pointed out, you and Gervase are niece and uncle respectively, which for most people probably isn't as close a relationship as a husband and wife, or boyfriend and girlfriend, or mother and daughter, or brothers -- which I think is everybody else out there. So how close were you and Gervase before Survivor?   

Marissa Peterson: We've always been really close, but it's been like, to be honest, a brother/sister-type of relationship. We're really comfortable with each other and it's not like, "Oh, you're my older uncle. I have to listen to everything that you say, tell me what to do."

No, we're both adults here and we're cool. We can have fun together and stuff. So it's almost like I was out there with a really good friend, and I thought that people would see that, and see our relationship and how it is different from the other ones and want to use that to their advantage -- almost like I was a free agent.

I could be picked up just for numbers, knowing that I'm not going to maybe be as loyal to my uncle as you might be to your wife. I thought that people would see that as an asset.

Above is the first half of Marissa Peterson's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.

(Photo credit CBS)


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