Exclusive: "Pete" Peter Yurkowski talks about 'Survivor: Philippines' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/26/2012
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski was eliminated from Survivor: Philippines' merged Dangrayne tribe during Wednesday night's tenth episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.
Pete, a 24-year-old engineering graduate from Holmdel, NJ, was voted out of his tribe at the season's tenth Tribal Council -- which was also the fourth elimination vote for Dangrayne -- after one member of his former Tandang alliance, Michael Skupin, flipped on him and therefore ruined his plans of having the numbers and power going forward.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Pete talked about his Survivor: Philippines experience.
Below is the first half of Pete's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised Skupin didn't vote for you and send [Malcolm Freberg] home or had you gone into that Tribal Council expecting it to play out the way it did?
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: Ugh, I was expecting it to play out the way it did. There was that small chance, like a lottery ticket, that it wasn't going to happen. But I mean, it was either -- everyone thinks it looked like Skupin was the one that... I really thought it was going to be like a 15% percent [chance of] Skupin changing. But I thought I had [Carter Williams]. I thought Carter was just going to vote this one Tribal Council and try to save me.
Reality TV World: So you're saying you had some conversations with Carter that led you to believe that?
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: Yeah, there's that one scene where we're talking about -- I'm talking to Carter and Carter says, "I don't know man, I'm in a good spot." I mean, that conversation was a lot longer, and I really thought I convinced him that if there was that chance he would vote -- plus I knew there was a chance that Skupin and [Lisa Whelchel] would also flip again.
Reality TV World: In your final words, you said you felt bad for [Abi-Maria Gomes]. Did you genuinely get along with Abi yourself or did you just kind of find a way to put up with her because she was in your alliance?
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: A little bit of both. I mean, I got along with her sometimes. Other times, obviously not. It got a little annoying and she's kind of abrasive sometimes. But I mean, I felt bad because nobody deserves to cry -- and to make someone cry, it's just uncomfortable.
Reality TV World: You also said that Malcolm had a ton of power but the other castaways didn't seem to want to do anything about it. Why do you think that was? Do you have any thoughts on that?
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: I have no idea why nobody wanted to vote out Malcolm after awhile. I mean, he's obviously top dog. He has an idol and nobody cares that he has the idol. So that part really didn't make any sense to me.
Reality TV World: You noted that you were happy about how you left the island. Can you elaborate on that a little bit more?
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: I definitely played as hard as I could. Did I make a few mistakes? Of course. Everybody's going to make a few mistakes. Unfortunately, my mistakes got me voted off, but you know, I was happy with the way I played. Some of the alliances, maybe I should've broken the Abi-alliance a little bit earlier -- all that kind of stuff. But Monday-morning-quarterbacking, you can only do so much.
Reality TV World: Skupin seemed to make it very clear that the reason he didn't remain loyal to your tribe's alliance was because Abi, [Artis Silvester] and yourself had treated ["RC" Roberta Saint-Amour] and himself horrible before the merge. What's your take on that, do you agree with him that you guys didn't treat the two of them very well and "ostracized" them, or not?
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: Well, I mean, I don't feel like he was ostracized at all. The only person that had a serious problem with him was probably Artis, and Artis was kind of vocal about it. I never really said anything that negatively impact[ed] Skupin. Obviously with RC, we just needed to get her gone.
There was no way -- she wasn't going to let anyone else take any control. She wanted to call all the shots. She wanted everybody to be her little puppets, and that just wasn't going to happen. I mean, RC's getting kind of a weird edit right now, or edit back then, because just look at her Ponderosa videos. She's not the most -- she's not as pleasant as she looked on the show.
Reality TV World: How did you view your relationship with Skupin and RC? Because there clearly seems to be a disconnect. It didn't seem like it would be reasonable to expect either Skupin or RC to remain loyal to you guys once the merge came.
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: It's kind of like I was the country-harboring terrorist. I wanted to work with them, but people I was also working with didn't want to work with these people. So, I had to make a decision and I chose Artis and Abi over Skupin and RC.
Reality TV World: So were you really surprised that Skupin didn't stay with you? I know we saw Abi protesting that she thought you guys had a big deal to go to the Final 6. Did you share that opinion or did you realize what would most likely happen deep down?
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: Me and Skupin had a lot of conversations, which were basically along the lines of, "I know Abi's really difficult to deal with, but can we just please deal with it? We'll deal with her later and we'll fix it." But am I really surprised in the end? I don't know.
I think the only thing that kept him around for long was Lisa. And Lisa wasn't going to flip and she was going to be loyal until Skupin made that one decision to knock out Artis without telling her actually.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like then you weren't genuinely surprised to see Skupin flip on you even though you were shown saying you fell asleep at the wheel when you got back from Tribal.
"Pete" Peter Yurkowski: Yeah, the worst part about it was that it was kind of like the mafia. They couldn't get me so they went after my family.
Above is the first half of Pete's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday for the concluding portion.