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Gordon Holmes: Tai pulled a fast one last night by depriving you of the super idol. Did you and Jason see that coming at all?
Scot Pollard: It was a complete blindside. I’m not going to be one of those people who is like, “Oh, I saw it coming.” I thought for sure he was on board. We’d had a conversation, the two of us, after we’d had a conversation with the three of us. I pulled Tai aside to make sure he was OK with everything. I had no reason to think he wasn’t going to make good on his promises.
Holmes: I talked to Debbie last week and she made it seem like she knew about the super idol, she knew who had what idol…
Holmes: Do you think she knew? Because the other contestants were acting like they didn’t know a super idol could be in play.
Pollard: Well first of all, Debbie says a lot of things that she can’t back up. You’ve got to wonder what the source is there. I don’t know who knew what about the super idol. To my knowledge, Neal read the note, Cydney saw part of the note. She was there when we read the note. Jason, Cydney, myself, Alecia probably heard a little of it even though she never had it in her possession to read it. And then Tai read his note. I don’t know if anyone else read the note. Now, Tai opened his mouth at Tribal to educate people on it…without thinking. But nobody else read the note.
Holmes: Once you had a chance to calm down, were you impressed by the move? Did it seem shortsighted?
Pollard: Calm down is not the actual emotion. I was excited…to know what my next 24 hours was going to be like. It was a relief for me to know I was going to get a shower, a nice meal, and a bed and not have to continue being sneaky. Not that I was relieved that it was over. I was disappointed. But, I understood it was a blindside and that’s what the game is about. I didn’t have any hard feelings. In retrospect, I was wondering what Tai’s strategy would be that would make sense to eliminate me to further his game. I didn’t see it at the time and I was hoping to see it in the show last night. But I still didn’t see it. I didn’t see Tai saying why it would make sense for him. Maybe Aubry got in his head a little bit. Maybe he thought if the girls like me, that’ll be more people who like me as opposed to; if I’m sitting next to Jason and Scot I have a chance of winning. That’d make sense. Unless…as the audience didn’t see…I was actually a likable guy that people would consider voting for for the million dollars.
Holmes: That leads into my next question; when you were dousing the fire and throwing tools in the woods…to me that’s how you lose jury votes. Do you feel like you’d built personal connections with people that would be able to overcome that?
Pollard: You’d have to ask people what their perception was of me at this point. I thought that me being me I could’ve gotten out of whatever feelings someone would have due to my rational sense of who I am and what I’ve provided for the game. Had I made it to the finals, I don’t know if I could’ve beaten Tai. But, had I made it to the end with Julia and Jason I think I could’ve made a good argument that my social game was better than theirs. My outlast game was better than theirs because I’d been to every single Tribal except for one and I had a hand in voting everybody out of the game. I felt pretty strong in my social game and I might have had a chance. Again, I don’t know why the girls would eliminate somebody if they think they have a chance of sitting down next to him and beating him. So, I have to take it that they did think I was a threat.
Holmes: What are some of the holes in Julia’s social game?
Pollard: At the time, not now, I was thinking; she’s kind of playing both sides…she’s not doing a lot. If it was the three of us, she didn’t go to a Tribal Council until day 20-something. The fact that I had to go through more gave me what I thought was a stronger social game. But, watching the show I think she’s one of the strongest players in the game. She was embracing the idea of going with me and Jason because she’s thinking ahead that she can beat us. Whereas Cydney said that, but she keeps voting out people that she can beat like me and Debbie. Julia is using her brains more than her emotion even though she probably isn’t happy about the sabotage.
Holmes: There’s been a lot of talk about bullying in “Survivor” recently. This season that centers around you and Jason. How do you respond to accusations that you and Jason were bullying Alecia?
Pollard: I’m not going to blame it all on the edit, part of it is the edit. People don’t see everything, people don’t see antagonistic behavior from both of us. She gave as good as she got in my opinion. I believe she’s come out on social media after her exit and said, “I wasn’t bullied.” I believe she didn’t want to be portrayed as a victim. And I don’t think she was a victim. Bullying, by my definition, is you’re intentionally trying to harm somebody either physically or emotionally to beat them down to make yourself feel better about something. The game of ”Survivor” is about back-stabbing people, it’s about trying to create an aura about yourself that will make people not want to vote you out. It’s a game about lying and being deceitful. I don’t know why being effective about arguing with somebody and being portrayed as a villain is bullying someone. I think bullying is a bad word, kind of like racism or being a bigot. Those terms get used as bad words and I don’t think Jason and I being villains on a game show qualifies as actual bulling when the quote/unquote victim herself has come out and said she was never bullied. She gave as good as she got, they just saw more of Jason and I talking to her…maybe not in the nicest way. More than the antagonistic things she said, maybe in defense of herself, or instigating an argument. Maybe it’s part of the edit, but I’m not going to blame the edit. I said and did what I did and I’ll stand by it. It’s a reality TV show and we signed up for it.
Holmes: How would you have countered the argument that as a former NBA player you wouldn’t need the money as much as other players.
Pollard: Is there an asterisk next to Outplay, Outlast, Outwit that says “If you’ve already got some money you’re excluded”? Take that out of the equation. If you can say that these other two people outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted, then that’s fine. Otherwise it’s an unfair vote. If you’re voting with your greed or your intentions to say, “You know what, Jason has a daughter with autism and you don’t.” That’s true, and it’s a wonderful story, but this is “Survivor.” You don’t give it to somebody for charity. It’s cold-hearted, but that’s the game. I don’t know why the audience is so mean. Sorry, I’m getting off topic.
Holmes: That’s alright, Are you referring to social media?
Pollard: Yeah, I’ve had far worse things said to me and about me than anything I did in the game. And I got called names by people on the show. Cydney said something about me that got bleeped out. I never called anybody any names. I never did anything to make anyone feel badly about themselves. But, I’m called a bully even though I never called anybody any names. I may have called Alecia “blondie” once. But, she’s blonde. So how bad of a term is that? I dealt with it in the NBA. People say you suck. I’m paid to be there, I’m one of 450 people who does this for a living. And I did it for over a decade.
Holmes: We only saw a tiny sliver of your interaction with Alecia, but sabotaging camp is one of those unforgivable sins on “Survivor.”
Pollard: If I hit the reset button on the game so we had no fire, we still had a shelter. I didn’t hinder your ability to get food, we’re just going to stop getting it for you. There’s always going to be people who say bad things. But what I don’t get is the over-zealousness of some of these fans. They’re not realizing how ironic they’re being by saying such horrible things about myself, my family, my wife, my children, my unborn child including a death threat in the name of calling me a bully. I typically don’t respond. But, that’s what’s wrong with social media.
Holmes: That’s terrible that your family is going through that. But you’re right, that’s not exclusive to “Survivor.”
Pollard: That’s a separate conversation I guess.
Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Cydney.
Pollard: Creepy, but in a good way.
Pollard: Hm…I was only with her for a few minutes.
Holmes: There are no wrong answers.
Pollard: Jugs. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) That might be a wrong answer. Jason?
Pollard: Sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Pollard: Too innocent for “Survivor.”
Pollard: No strategy.
Pollard: Unaware of people’s perception of him.
Pollard: Ralphie from “Christmas Story.”
Holmes: Let’s finish with Tai.
Pollard: A wolf in sheep’s clothing.
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