Alex Angarita couldn't get 'Survivor: Fiji' castaways to look ahead
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/06/2007
Survivor: Fiji castaway Alex Angarita says he found out the hard way that his fellow Bula Bula tribe members were not forward-thinking people.
"I felt like a lot of times people didn't think one step ahead, so in convincing people of things that were going to happen two to three steps down the road, it was just like [making a gesture with his hand going over his head]," said Angarita on a Friday morning The Early Show appearance that follwed CBS' Thursday night broadcast of his Survivor: Fiji elimination. "Just wasn't happening."
While Angarita tried to swing the opinions of the other six remaining castaways during Thursday night's Fiji episode, they stuck to their alliance and the 28-year-old attorney who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and is originally from Colombia became the thirteenth castaway eliminated.
"I was trying. I was trying anything. I knew my days were numbered. I knew they wanted me gone. It was six to one at that point, and I was just like, 'Oh man. This is so bad. My odds are soooo low,'" said Angarita. "But if I quit now, then everything I did from this point prior to, like for what? Just to say at the very end, 'Thanks guys. You got me.' I figured what the heck?"
Given the rest of game's remaining castaways were tightly aligned, Angarita realized that his best chance to remain in the game was to win the the episode's Immunity Challenge, which required the challenge's three finalists to climb a 12-foot pole and grab their flag. However unfortunately for Angarita, Kenward "Boo" Bernis and Andria "Dreamz" Herd -- the other castaways that joined Angarita in the challenge's final round -- had recently feasted in a Reward Challenge victory and Boo, the Reward Challenge winner, didn't have to participate in the first portion of the Immunity Challenge.
"I knew that Boo and Dreamz were probably physically stronger than me -- I knew they had just eaten -- so I knew I had to do something different to try to beat them. So I thought maybe I'd try to scale this thing," said Alex, explaining why he ditched the helping steps the show had provided and instead tried to scale the pole using his hands, feet, knees and every other part of his body.
"In the process [the pole had] these metal things where the spokes [for the steps] go in... so I scraped my knee up and down, up and down as I was going up," he said. "Subsequently I developed a staff infection in my knee. I ended up going to the hospital, I was on antibiotics for a month-and-a-half, I was on crutches... My girlfriend was squeezing puss out of my knee for a week. It was so nasty... so, so nasty."
During the game, Angarita and Mookie Lee -- Angarita's last ally -- also took criticism for searching Yau-Man Chan's personal belongings for the hidden Immunity Idol they believed Chan had found. However during his Friday interview, Angarita did his best to distance himself from the incident.
"I didn't look through Yau-Man's things. Mookie looked through Yau-Man's things. I did not stop Mookie from looking through Yau-Man's things. I was an accomplice to that, I did not start that," Angarita, showing of his lawyer skills, explained.
Angarita also argued that all order in the game had been lost when Herd turned on the "Four Horsemen" alliance, which led to the ousting of Edgardo Rivera, Lee, and eventually Angarita.
"I felt there were some semblance of rules -- because I mean there are no rules -- but I felt people were being civilized," said Angarita. "After Dreamz sort of double-crossed me and I was left with Mookie... It's weird. You realize they're playing dirty, they're playing nasty. You wonder, 'Do I go to their level?' Maybe you do maybe you don't."
Apparently he chose "do," as Angarita contributed to the elimination of Lee to save his own butt.
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"With Mookie... Mookie wanted to go home," explained Angarita. "He had expressed that to us, so I didn't feel that I was necessarily going against his wishes."
Angarita, after joking about how much of his potential $1 million winnings would be slashed due to taxes, said his Survivor: Fiji experience wasn't about the money anyway.
"For me it was not about the money so much as it was testing myself," he said. "When you get down to that sort of environment, you can't replicate that in real life. There's no way to test yourself that way, especially with the hunger, starvation, the mean people around. There's no way to do that. So for me, I felt like this is my chance, this is my opportunity, it can't be about the money. The money -- unless you're a greedy person --is not going to be enough of a motivator."