Victoria, a 23-year-old waitress from Bronx, NY, was voted out shortly after Chris Underwood returned from the Edge of Extinction and rejoined the game.
Although Victoria only received two of the six votes read aloud at Tribal Council on Night 36, the two main targets -- Rick and Chris -- were safe because Rick played a hidden Immunity Idol for himself and Lauren O'Connell played her idol for Chris.
Reality TV World: Why did you vote for Chris to win instead of Gavin? That shocked some viewers because Gavin and yourself had been so close during the game.
Victoria Baamonde: Yeah, me and Gavin were definitely friends during the game and we're still friends now, but being friends to me doesn't really translate to the winner of the game.
Reality TV World: After you got voted out, you told Gavin that he was going to get your vote to win, so what happened there? Did you mean that at the time and simply change your mind once he made it to Final 3?
Victoria Baamonde: When I was voted out, when I said, "Gavin, you have my vote," I knew I was betrayed by him in some capacity in that moment.
So I was saying that hopefully to have the people left in the game think he had a secure jury vote and maybe think he'd have someone campaigning for him over there and so they'd consider him a bigger threat and maybe take him out next. So that was my last way to get revenge!
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Reality TV World: So it sounds like maybe you were a bitter jury member? (Laughs)
Victoria Baamonde: (Laughs) I just really didn't truly know exactly what happened because the plan I had clearly didn't happen. He did something against me -- and that's fine, it's the game of Survivor.
But, you know, if I can do something on my way out, I'm going to... Also, me and Gavin spent most of the game together, and I was just aware of everything he had and hadn't said.
And I do respect a 39-day game more than I respect a 12-day game, but I just thought it was impressive, you know, Chris' series of moves he was able to pull off and whom he was able to get to trust him in such a short amount of time.
So I just thought it was more worthy of my vote. But I truly went into Final Tribal Council undecided.
Reality TV World: Could you confirm now who voted against you at the Tribal Council of your elimination? The episode didn't show whom the votes were from.
Victoria Baamonde: I think it was Rick and Chris who actually wrote my name down, but Gavin was involved in that plan. He knew it was going to happen because the plan I had set forth with Rick and Gavin was that Chris would receive the majority of votes and Lauren would actually be the backup plan.
So because Lauren's name was never written down at all, it made it clear Gavin -- even though he didn't write my name down himself -- was aware this was happening.
Reality TV World: How much of a liability do you think the jury considered Chris' short time in the actual game to be? Because fans have been debating whether being on the Edge for so long was an advantage or disadvantage for Chris. It could have been viewed as an advantage because he got to build relationships with the jury and maybe they were rooting for "one of their own" to win it all.
Victoria Baamonde: I think it was absolutely an advantage for him. What I found out after I was voted out and actually got to hang out with the jury was that Wardog pretty much gave Chris his entire strategy to go back in the game.
Wardog told Chris everything he would have to do in order to gain the jury's respect. He said, "You have to go in and throw the first challenge to prove that you can make it past the first round of votes without an immunity necklace."
[Wardog continued], "If you can get Lauren to give you her idol, that would be a big move on your part to show you have social capital and trust. You have to get Rick to give you back his half of the idol. And you have to tell them Victoria is the one -- next to Rick -- you have to get out because we'll vote for her if she makes it to the end, as long as she's not next to Rick Devens."
So really, Wardog told him exactly what to do. And Kelley was the one who told him that Lauren had an idol. So in that sense, he was completely set up for success.
And you know, there's people on the jury whom Gavin and Julie had never met. I had never met [Reem Daly] either. So, playing only a couple of days in the game is kind of like tough to swallow for people who are hard-coreSurvivorfans, but in the end, with the specific Final 3 that was up there, I think it was a real benefit to Chris he had spent all that time with the jury.
Reality TV World: What is your take on Chris' suggestion at Final Tribal that Gavin was a goat and people wanted to take him to the end all along? It is interesting no one ever wrote Gavin's name down, and Rick obviously found that impressive, but a person could also argue no one ever viewed him as a threat.
Victoria Baamonde: Yeah, I do! We actually talked about this at Ponderosa too, because I hadn't had my name written down either until I was voted out. And people were arguing back and forth. Also, Wardog was my biggest fan on the jury, which is hilarious and I love that.
But Wardog was arguing with everyone he had found that to be impressive, because I was making some big moves and I was leading the charge on some things. So the fact my name never came up for most of the game, he found that to be very impressive.
But for Gavin, a lot of us thought his name never came up because it was unimpressive. He just never really did anything that was so big and he was never really in charge of anything. Nobody really cared.
So for me, I thought Julie was definitely being taken to the end more as like -- I hate the word "goat," but they wanted to take her to the end. We knew she wasn't going to be getting any votes, like, even her real best friend Ron didn't vote for her.
And that's specifically why I wanted Julie out towards the end, because I thought, "If she makes it [to Final 3], I'm not going to. There's just one less spot."
I never would have considered Gavin a goat; I think he played a mid-range game. Like, he had a voice in certain things, but he just never -- I don't think there's one vote that he could claim is truly his.
And he played a very fluid game. He went to where the numbers were all the time and it's impressive socially he was able to do that, but just for me, it wasn't an impressive form of gameplay.
But at least four people thought it was! But I do think that was a bit of an obnoxious comment by Chris, and I don't think it had much value.
Be sure to check back with Reality TV World soon for more from our exclusive Survivor interview with Victoria. Also, check our Survivor: Edge of Extinction show page for more interviews with the rest of the Final 6 castaways from this season. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.