XfinityTV.com sent me deep into the wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of “Survivor” stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.
Name: Abi-Maria Gomes
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Business Student
Fun Fact: Abi-Maria owns a beverage company named GRC Beverages.
Gordon Holmes: Your personal claim to fame is becoming an American citizen. What did that mean to you?
Abi-Maria Gomes: That means a lot. That means opportunity. That means freedom.
Holmes: It also says here that you’re manipulative.
Gomes: I am. I have a great ability to read people, so I can use that to my advantage. I make things happen. Look at me now, I’m an American citizen. I manipulated situations to get where I am.
Holmes: You still have a very strong Brazilian accent.
Gomes: I do!
Holmes: You’re entering a game where people are looking for any little reason to send you packing. Are you worried that might cause you some trouble or can you get it to work to your advantage?
Gomes: I think it could work to my advantage. I plan on getting in the final three, and hopefully they’ll think, “She can’t speak English very well.”
Holmes: Complaining is one of your pet peeves.
Gomes: I can’t stand complaining.
Holmes: I’d bet you’re going to run into some complaining during your time on this show.
Gomes: (Laughs) That’s good, they’re going to be on the top of my list to get them off of the island.
Holmes: Are you confident in your ability to deal with complainers?
Gomes: I’m going to have to use a balanced approach. I’m going to have to hold back, go under the radar at first.
Holmes: Is there anything in your entrepreneurial background that lends itself to “Survivor”?
Gomes: Real-estate sales, business management, that’s my major.
Holmes: So knowing how to sell people?
Gomes: I’ve lived in different countries, so I’m very adaptive. I adapt easily. And reading people, it’s a social game at the end of the day.
Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Gomes: Yeah. I was originally supposed to be in Tocantins, “Survivor” 18 in Brazil.
Holmes: You’re from Brazil, they wouldn’t let me compete in “Survivor: Gordon’s Office.”
Gomes: (Laughs) I know! That’s why they didn’t cast me.
Holmes: What is your read on this cast?
Gomes: I think there are some really interesting people. I can see there are going to be some real hardcore players, people who are playing really hard. I see some villains out there. Overall everyone is very good looking. I’ve been studying their behaviors. I see people smiling at each other and making alliances.
Holmes: Have you been smiling at anybody?
Gomes: Of course! You should see who you have a good feel for. But the game shifts so much, you have to stay cool and collected and not talk too much at the beginning. And hopefully you’re not jinxing me with the accent thing. (Laughs)
Holmes: No, I’m giving you things to think about. If that comes up in the game, think about this moment. In fact, that’s your assignment between now and the start of the game, figure out how will to defend yourself in case that becomes an issue.
Gomes: And what I’m going to do is, “Guys, I have an accent. My English is not powerful. So, if you take me to the final three I’m not going to talk in front of the jury…”
Holmes: And then you tear them up.
Holmes: OK, I know the answer to this; are you ready to lie?
Holmes: She’s prepared to manipulate.
Holmes: Are you prepared to flirt?
Gomes: Look at me! I’m a charmer. I’m a Brazilian charmer. People usually like us.
Holmes: They asked you which contestant you think you’re like, you think you’re like Parvati (Shallow). That’s a very popular answer. What I’m interested in is; if you could align with any past “Survivor” player, who would it be and why?
Gomes: JT (Thomas), because we did casting together for “Survivor: Tocantins” and we had a little connection going on. We were sitting at the bus together and we looked at each other. Hopefully if he’s on this season he remembers me, and I’ll have him align with me. I’ll tell him I’ve been watching these people for the last three days and have a lot of information.
Holmes: What’s the plan for later this year when you’re a millionaire?
Gomes: I want to double the money. I want to invest it into my beverages company. This is a huge platform and I’ll be able to use it to my advantage. Doubling up the money and saving the children in the world.
Don’t miss the premiere of “Survivor: Philippines” – Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.