Survivor: Blood vs. Water eliminated "loved one" Vytas Baskauskas from the game after he lost the season's ninth Redemption Island duel during last week's eleventh episode of the CBS reality series' 27th edition.
Veteran player Aras Baskauskas' brother Vytas, a 33-year-old yoga instructor and math professor from Santa Monica, CA, lost the duel to returning castaways Tina Wesson, a 52-year-old motivational speaker from Robbinsville, NC, and Laura Morett, a 43-year-old construction company co-owner from Salem, OR.
Aras had been eliminated from the game prior to Vytas' ouster, as he had also lost a duel. The brothers had been voted out of the merged Kasama tribe one after the other once their main alliance members Tyson Apostol and Gervase Peterson turned on and betrayed them.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Vytas talked about his Survivor: Blood vs. Water experience. Below is the concluding portion of his interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Aras Baskauskas a couple of weeks ago, he said that while you had played a great game, he felt your decision not to rekindle your relationships with Hayden Moss and Caleb Bankston after the merge was your big rookie Survivor mistake. So do you agree with that?
Vytas Baskauskas: Yeah, that was a big mistake on my part. I counted numbers and I said, "Okay, well we don't even need those numbers." So I had been playing so hard with that tribe swap over at Galang. I had been working my butt off to make sure I stayed safe, and at this point, I thought, "Oh, maybe I can just rest on my laurels for a day or two," you know?
And that one day I rested on my laurels when I won immunity and I took the afternoon off before Tribal, that was the afternoon where everything happened. That was my big mistake for sure.
Reality TV World: Aras also told me he felt he hadn't been that cocky or arrogant about anything going into that Tribal, and he had actually suspected he might be getting voted off. He kind of felt "guilty by association" that you had been more confident than him and you were completely blindsided he was going.
Vytas Baskauskas: Yeah, because Aras didn't have immunity that day. So I won the memory challenge and I get immunity, and I had been working so hard just to stay alive at each of the last few Tribal Councils, that all of a sudden [I thought], "I can take an afternoon off." Whereas Aras, he didn't take the afternoon off, and Aras had his ear to the ground.
So Aras was really, you know, picking up some of the social cues and kind of -- he was getting a vibe on what was happening, and he wasn't blindsided really. I mean, he had an idea. He was shocked, but he wasn't blindsided.
I was completely blindsided. I was completely stunned, and unfortunately, the very next Tribal -- which is the one I went home at, or went to Redemption Island from -- it was only 24 hours after.
Usually there's three days between Tribal Councils, and I didn't even have a full day, you know? Because we had the Immunity Challenge and then went right to Tribal again, so I didn't even really have time to switch things up at all. It was me right away.
Reality TV World: Aras explained he felt his own fatal mistake in the game was never envisioning that Gervase would turn on him because he's really good friends with Gervase outside the game as well. Do you agree with that, and had you ever envisioned Gervase betraying you guys?
Vytas Baskauskas: Well I didn't know. I had never met Gervase. A lot of these returning players, when they come [back] to the game, they do a lot of pregaming and they talk. We really tried not to pregame with anybody. Aras did tell me that he had gone to Philly a year before and spent the weekend with Gervase and they had texted a little bit and said, "Okay, we're going to play together."
Yeah, I didn't envision, I mean, I didn't know what that relationship was like, but I really didn't see Gervase flipping on us. But something that we did talk about at the beginning, Aras and I, was that we needed to be careful of Tyson. We needed to be really careful about Tyson, so that's why I was so surprised when Aras said, "Tyson's with us."
That's why I grilled him on it for awhile, like, "Are you sure Tyson's with us?!" And he said, "No, I'm sure Tyson is with us." I think that Aras failed to see the effect of those two players losing their "loved ones" early on and the effect that had on their game.
Because at first, Tyson lost [his girlfriend Rachel Foulger], and then Gervase lost [his niece Marissa Peterson]. And immediately, they had this bond that, you know, "Hey, we don't have a pair anymore." Aras kind of failed to see that part. I think that was his mistake, yeah. It's not why I went home, I mean, I had plenty of mistakes on my own, but we both could've done better.
Reality TV World: Aras said that he had wanted to take Tyson and Gervase to the Final 4 with you guys and you had been campaigning for Tina and her daughter Katie Collins instead. What made you decide you wanted Katie and Tina and who do you think would have won that decision if you guys had made it that far?
Vytas Baskauskas: So if the seven would have gone out -- we were thinking the seven was going to be Aras and I; Tina and Katie; and then Gervase, Tyson and [Monica Culpepper]. So for me, I was going to try to get Tyson out as early as possible. I was not going to let Tyson stay. Aras was really campaigning for Gervase. Aras was like, "I have Gervase. No matter what, I have to take Gervase to the Final 3."
I would have tried to cut Tyson as early as possible and then maybe take Gervase a little bit further. But either way, I don't think it would've mattered. Had that plan worked out, Aras and I would've won. It just didn't matter, but that plan obviously didn't work and we were really short-sided and a little bit myopic in our view of what was happening on the beach.
Reality TV World: CBS' promos for this week's episode have made it clear that the six remaining castaways break into two three-person alliances and the Tribal Council vote actually goes to the purple rock-tiebreaker for only the second time in Survivorhistory. Did it surprise you that the game would split so tightly into two different alliances and everyone would be willing to go to the random draw tiebreaker?
Vytas Baskauskas: You know, I mean, things would have to be pretty dire to go to a tiebreaker. You really have to think that that is your only option -- to take something by chance. It happened earlier in the game, where there was a tie-vote, right? The first time, we voted -- it's when Brad Culpepper went home. That first vote was tied.
And [Jeff Probst] explained to us that if it's tied again, the people that are being voted for are immune, and now, you other people are going to have to draw rocks. And even though I wanted to keep Brad around so bad, and I knew that he was crucial for me going forward -- because he's such a big target to hide behind -- I wasn't going to take my chances.
So if anybody ever draws rocks in the game, it really has to be that they feel there's absolutely no other strategic move they can make and that that's their only play. So I mean, it's going to be great to watch, to kind of see what unfolds next episode.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Aras, he said the producers were already familiar with you from running into you two out in LA over the years and they had specifically mentioned wanting you as Aras' partner right from the beginning when they asked him to come back. Why do you think they were so interested in you right from the start?
Vytas Baskauskas: (Laughs) I don't know. I think that Aras and I's relationship is very interesting, just the dynamic of kind of good cop, bad cop -- or golden child, bad boy. However you want to categorize our relationship, it is an interesting dynamic, and I think we're both multifaceted and we both have really interested parts about us.
We both have a lot of flaws, and I just think -- I don't know why they did. I'm not in casting. I'm just happy that they picked us. I was really stoked I got a chance to play Survivor. It's been a dream of mine ever since the show started, to be able to play, and hey, lucky for me!
Reality TV World: Earlier this season, Tina had seemed to suggest there might've been something going on between you and Katie -- or at least she was hoping something might be going on between you two. Was there anything romantic there, and what's the status of your relationship with Katie now?
Vytas Baskauskas: I love Katie. Katie's a sweetheart. We're great friends. There's nothing romantic happening between us. I will say that I did maybe allude to that to Tina just to try to further my alliance in Galang, you know.
Tina made it very clear that the one goal in life was for her to be a grandmother at this point for her, and so if I could present myself as a viable option for that goal, then I knew it was going to get me further in the game.
Above is the concluding portion of Vytas' exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.