Jonas Otsuji was born to fly under the “Survivor” radar. He’s attractive but not super handsome. He’s useful around camp but not an obnoxious workhorse. He’s liked by many but the leader of none.
Unfortunately for Jonas, this strategy that has been so successful in the past may have ultimately cost him the game.
I spoke with Jonas the morning after his elimination to find out why he’d never play under the radar again, what it was like under Colton’s regime, and what was really lurking on the bottom of Tarzan’s unmentionables…
Gordon Holmes: Let’s get this business out of the way immediately; I’m sorry for jinxing you with my pre-season pick.
Jonas Otsuji: (Laughs) No problem, my friend.
Holmes: Did you know your time was up heading into Tribal last night?
Otsuji: Oh yeah. I totally knew. The second we merged I knew something was weird. My original alliance, Troy and Jay, they were acting very fishy.
Holmes: Were there any other moves you could have made at that point?
Otsuji: No, because Jay and Troy were down numbers, they had jumped over to the girls. And I had zero relationship with Chelsea, Kat, and Kim. I did actually try to convince Kim and Chelsea, because I knew Kim was calling the shots, it was very obvious. So, I approached Kim and said, “Listen, I know you guys are trying to figure out if the guys are really with you.” So I proposed they vote out Mike. That would have bought me some time to come up with another plan. Basically, I was playing Kim’s game and that’s why she sniffed me out. We were both flying under the radar. But even flying under the radar is actually being on somebody’s radar if they’re playing the same game as you.
Holmes: What’d you do differently if you could hit the reset button?
Otsuji: If I could do it all over again I’d probably go all balls to the wall. I’d be a lot more aggressive.
Holmes: Just be as offensive and loud as possible.
Otsuji: No. (Laughs) Definitely not that, but I would have orchestrated a lot more big moves, blindsides, I wouldn’t have been Colton’s bitch.
Holmes: (Laughs) Nice.
Holmes: You had a bizarre blow-up with Tarzan last night. It seemed like he would go from zero to ten at the drop of the hat.
Otsuji: It’s just Tarzan. Tarzan is just a very socially abrasive person. Like, he’ll just throw his dirty undies right on top of yours and not have a second thought about it. The whole time the guy was like that. He’s just very insensitive about other people’s feelings. He does whatever he pleases. The whole time he was just constant contention.
Holmes: So you agree with Chelsea when it comes to the underwear-cleaning etiquette.
Otsuji: (Laughs) Yeah, absolutely. I don’t care how long that thing was boiled, I would not put my undies in the same pot as his.
Holmes: You were part of the racially charged Colton vs. Bill Tribal Council. As someone who was aligned with Colton at that point, what kind of thoughts were going through your head?
Otsuji: Colton was supposed to be the first person voted out. We had all agreed he was the first to go. And then as soon as he pulled out that idol I started cracking up, because I knew I had to align with him and pretend like I was his best friend. So yeah, it was horrible. I was closest with Bill. I considered him to be one of my closest, not just alliances, but true friends out there. So, when I had to just sit there and let it happen, just because strategically it made sense, it was brutal. I felt sick to my stomach.
Holmes: Were you trying to set up an end game where you were sitting with Colton at the final Tribal Council?
Otsuji: No. You would think that he’d be the Phillip Sheppard or the Russell Hantz, but he was so bad. First of all, he was such a wild card that it would have been way to risky to think of keeping him along. You had no idea who he was with the whole time because he was in so good with both sides. And, he was just an incredible liar. It would’ve been way too risky, there’s no way I would have taken him to the end.
Holmes: I think no matter what happens the rest of this season, it’s possible that “One World” will be remembered as the season where one tribe gave up immunity. You were a part of the decision. Walk me through it.
Otsuji: In hindsight it was just dumb. If I could do it over again, I would have tried to orchestrate a big blindside and take out Colton. It was just totally dumb. It was one of those situations where everyone starts saying, “Yes, I’ll go along with it.” And then you don’t want to be the odd man out and put a target on your back. And Colton was so volatile in the sense that he didn’t vote based on strategy. For him it was pure emotion. Everyone was so afraid to make him mad because in an instant he could turn on you and make you a target. I knew it was dumb. I still think it’s dumb.
Holmes: Let’s do some word associatin’. How about we start with Tarzan.
Otsuji: (Laughs) Oh man…ditzy.
Otsuji: Jay is deceitfully nice.
Holmes: Let’s wrap this up with Alicia.
Otsuji: (Laughs) Gangster.
Holmes: Well played. Now, “Twilight” has Team Jabob vs. Team Edward and this Sunday the WWE has Team Bring It vs. Cenation, it seems like “Survivor” fans are dividing into camps as well. The question is; are you on Team Dirt or Team Poop?
Otsuji: (Laughs) I’m going to go with the poop.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes