Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.
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The sad truth about the special fan-selected season of “Survivor” was that somebody was going to be the first person to lose their second chance.
Unfortunately, it was our favorite yoga instructor in the squiggly underwear.
I caught up with Vytas Baskauskas the morning after his elimination and asked him about the tribe’s division, Abi’s bracelet, and Peih-Gee’s sneaky attempt to sneak flint into the game..
Gordon Holmes: I need to make a confession.
Vytas Baskauskas: Oh no.
Holmes: When I visited your camp, I thought it’d be funny to put Abi’s bracelet in Peih-Gee’s bag.
Holmes: I feel terrible.
Baskauskas: As it unfolded, I remember seeing that and thinking, “I should put more of Abi’s stuff in Peih-Gee’s bag and make some drama.” That’s something Tyson (Apostol) told me, “If you’re in a really bad spot in your tribe, start putting stuff in other people’s bags. It’ll drive them nuts.”
Holmes: You’d think Abi would know that trick because her ex-boyfriend Pete (Yurkowski) did something similar in Philippines.
Baskauskas: You’d think. But this was a complete accident. And there was so much drama around it. Braceletgate was real for about an hour. She was running around, “Where’s my bag?!”
Editor’s Note: Gordon didn’t really put Abi’s bracelet in Peih-Gee’s bag.
Holmes: Speaking of bracelets, I heard that Peih-Gee had somehow tried to smuggle flint into the game on a piece of jewelry.
Baskauskas: As part of her wardrobe, she’s a jewelry designer, she had worked flint into a piece of clothing. It was like a decorative adornment. Production didn’t catch it. So, when we hit the beach, she was like, “Hey guys, I have a flint. Let’s make a fire.” Production was like, “Um…nope. You’re not allowed to have that.”
Holmes: She should’ve worked a spear-gun into her outfit so you could have caught some fish or something.
Baskauskas: Or a cheeseburger.
Holmes: I talked to Varner before the game and he broke out this whole pre-game alliance he had with Deitz, Wiglesworth, and Shane Powers. It also sounded like you were going to be a part of it. What happened to cause Varner to turn on all of you?
Baskauskas: I tried not to pre-game a lot. The person I talked to the most was Shane Powers. We’ve been friends since before he was even on “Survivor.” I’ve known Shane for ten years. We went to breakfast and talked about it. But Shane had done a lot of pre-gaming with Varner and Dietz and a lot of people. Terry and I had sent a text or two, so I knew we’d be OK. But, I never talked to Varner, and watching him on Twitter and social media, I didn’t really understand who he was. And when we got to the beach, we talked and it seemed like he was a part of the alliance. Terry and Kelly said, “Hey, Varner’s with us for sure.” They had pre-gamed with Varner. And I took their word for it.
Holmes: During the vote, Shirin said that you had claimed that you were only out there to have fun and she didn’t buy it. Was that a ploy to seem like less of a strategist?
Baskauskas: I said that to a couple of people in pre-game. But I had a blast my first time. I was with my brother, it was such a cool experience. And that was my goal; I want to win, but if I don’t win I want to have a great time. I did try to downplay my strategic play. My whole plan was to lay low. You’re a villainous dude, lay low. And thirty minutes after hitting the beach, I hear my name being thrown out. It’s tough to lay low when people are gunning for you. I had to change it up on the fly. It didn’t work out for me.
Holmes: They didn’t show this last night, but during Tribal Varner turned to Peih-Gee and said something like, “Are you voting the way you told me you were going to vote when we were in the ocean.” Did you think Wentworth and Peih-Gee were swing votes, or did you know that meant you were in trouble?
Baskauskas: I knew that Peih-Gee, Wentworth, Shirin, and Abi were all going to write my name down. I knew I was going to get a bunch of votes. It sucks because going straight to Tribal from the challenge…I wasn’t able to get a sense of what was happening. I thought Varner was the swing vote, Spencer completely fooled me. But yeah, when Varner said that, I thought I was in big trouble.
Holmes: So Spencer was the one that you thought was your sixth vote?
Baskauskas: Yeah, I thought I had Spencer. He completely fooled me. Varner, I knew with what he said at Tribal that he flipped too. I thought we had six. I wasn’t completely blindsided. I knew going in that I had four votes and it’d come down to the other two. I just didn’t get them. Hindsight, I should’ve rallied Peih-Gee to our side. We had great conversation. We connected a lot. We have similar pasts.
Holmes: The editors had some fun at your expense last night with the juxtaposition of you and Joe doing yoga. What was your take on what was going on there?
Baskauskas: Shirin’s back hurt. Kelly Wiglesworth was helping her out with some yoga and she said, “C’mon, Vytas…show her some moves too.” And I said, “Sure.” It’s tough to watch that stuff. They put it together in a way that made me look creepy. But hey, I did it. We signed up for it. I got a laugh out of it. I went from cool yoga instructor to creepy in 30 seconds.
Holmes: Did you guys have any idea that Kelley had found the idol?
Baskauskas: No clue. She did a good job of hiding it. She did tell a pretty good lie about why she had to wear her shorts to the challenge. Most of us were wearing our underwear. I thought it was a cool twist.
Holmes: I heard her explanation for wearing the shorts, we don’t have to explore it further, but it was very clever.
Baskauskas: (Laughs) We don’t need to say anything more about that. Totally something I didn’t think twice about.
Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Spencer.
Baskauskas: He was playing hard.
Holmes: Kelley Wentworth?
Baskauskas: She’s trying to show America who she is. She didn’t do anything her first season.
Holmes: Kelly Wiglesworth?
Baskauskas: Yoga girl. Yoga partner.
Baskauskas: Captain Deitz. I love Deitz.
Baskauskas: Wild card. I don’t think he knows his own strategy yet.
Baskauskas: Insane Abi.
Baskauskas: They didn’t show that his foot got cut, that’s why he wasn’t in the loop. He was sitting at camp the whole time. Hurt-foot Woo.
Baskauskas: Old-school player with a new-school alliance.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Shirin.
Baskauskas: I think she’s just jealous I wasn’t flirting with her, I don’t know. She was out to get me from the moment we hit the beach. I should have known from her season, watching what happened with the men. The men were really mean to her. I think she had a little trauma around that. She came to our beach gunning for the guys, me and Terry. I didn’t realize how much she’d effect everyone’s opinions. Good on her.
Holmes: After Tribal, Probst said you were the type who could come back and run the table. How do you feel about a third chance?
Baskauskas: I love “Survivor.” But as soon as that happened I said, “That sucked.” I was really disappointed. But, I got goose bumps during the premiere. It was exciting. If they ask me back I’d have a hard time saying “no” to it.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes