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And here's your final three Survivors: winner Sandra, Parvati, and Russell, the last three Villains standing. Read on in this somewhat contentious mess of an interview - three at a time is just too much! - about what each one thought of the finale. I'm sure none of it will surprise you.
First question is for Russell: what do you think of Jeffís statement that your strategy is flawed, that it gets you to the finals but never a win?
Russell: My strategy is just to play the way I want, you know? I donít care. Jeff, he can play his game, he needs to go out there and play his way. When it comes down to the final vote, Iím not gonna say what Jerri wants me to say, and what Rupert wants me to say. Iím gonna say what I want to say. Thatís why the fans love me, because I do what I want to do. I donít do what people want me to do. And I donít care. I donít care what Jeff says, because Iíll play it the same way every time.
So, you technically go in knowing youíre not going to win?
Russell: If I donít play the way I play, guess what? I wonít be sitting with you right now, because I wonít be in the final three. So we wouldnít be having this conversation.
How would things have been different if Sandra burned your hat earlier in the game?
Russell: Yeah, if she would have done that, it probably would have been a good strategic move. Because Iíd have been looking for my hat, it was aggravating me, and it would have been a good strategic play. But she didnít see it like that, she just burned it because she wanted to be vindictive.
Sandra, you seemed to be one of the few brave enough to talk back to Russell. Was that because of your hidden immunity idol or something else?
Sandra: No, I just tell him how it is, I wasnít scared of him. Even if I wouldnít have had the idol.
You werenít afraid of Russell at all?
Sandra: I wasnít afraid of him! I wasnít going nowhere, donít forget - he keeps telling me every day how my game shouldnít be respected, I donít know how to play, nobody will vote for me. So I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Fair enough. How did your strategy change after you talked to Rupert and the Heroes didnít believe you?
Sandra: Well I actually tried to save Rupert on day 36, and I wanted to offer him my idol but Russell was coming up, and then he turned around and told Russell I still wanted to get rid of him, which was what we were talking about. And then I debated still giving him my idol but I didnít want to pull a Eric move and send myself home, because Rupert still wanted to take Russell to the end because Russell was a goat. So why would I give up my idol and still go home, so I said ďYou know what? Iíll save it for myself.Ē And thatís why I got Rupertís vote because he knows that I wanted to give him my idol and he screwed it up for himself.
Good move! Parvati, how sure were you that you were going to win?
Parvati: I wasnít sure at all! I mean, going into that final tribal council it was very clear how the jury felt about me and Russell versus how they felt about Sandra. I didnít exactly get glowing reviews, and Russell got scathing reviews. Sandra was like Godís gift to creation during that tribal, so I figured she was definitely getting the vote.
Wasnít that the whole reason you brought Russell with you?
Parvati: I didnít bring Russell with me. I didnít win that final tribal challenge! Russell picked me to go with him in that final challenge.
Speaking of challenges, how proud are you of how well you did?
Parvati: Iím real proud of myself, I thought I did really good. I stuck through those things even though I honestly didnít realize how important it was for me to win them. I think I just realized itís mind over matter, no matter what. You just set your mind to something, and.... thatís the way I am, if I focus and put my mind to something, the more determined I am, Iím just gonna get it done.
Russell, did you know you had lost Samoa when you played Heroes vs Villains?
Russell: Yeah. I knew I lost. I mean, you know because you can read what they tell you and how things are going. Just like I knew I lost Heroes and Villains. You know by the way they talk to you. Itís not hard. If you can get people, read people, itís really common sense to know that you did not win.
Was it a disadvantage for you to not know the reaction from Samoa when you played this season?
Russell: Yes. I figured it went both ways, because I went straight from one season to the next, so I was weak. I lost fifty pounds, I was sick, I was tired, I didnít know anybody. As far as I know, they was all talking to each other on the phone before they got there! They all know each other, they all party with each other, or whatever. I donít know. And guess what, Iím a Villain, so, by being a Villain, it puts me on another spot. Like, okay, we donít know this guy and heís a Villain? He has to be a Villain for a reason. So it can go both ways, advantages and disadvantages.
Would you admit you made a mistake in miscalculating the jury?
Russell: You see, she (Sandra) beat Parvati too. She beat Russell and Parvati. And if you tell me that Sandra is better than either of us, that is crazy. They just voted for the person they least hated.
Why did Sandra win?
Russell: I just said, they voted for the person they least hated. And that would be Sandra. Sandra had no physical game, she had no social game, she had no strategic game. Her strategic game was to get rid of me! She said it. That was her speech at the final tribal. ďHey, I did this, I told yíall about Russell, I told yíall this and that.Ē Well, it never worked!
So you got beat by somebody that had no game?
Russell: Nah, I got beat by a bitter jury. And I donít know if you can calculate, but Iím not only saying that Iím the best the last two seasons, the fans are saying. It wasnít Fan Favorite, it was something called Player of the Game. Can you understand that?
Yes, But you have never won a game, how can you be a good player?
Russell: You ever heard of a guy named LeBron James? Ever heard of him? Heís an MVP, he never won a championship in his life, and guess what? They consider him to be the best player to play basketball. So you donít have to win the championship to be considered the best, my friend.
Okay. Sandra, why wouldnít the Heroes listen to you?
Sandra: It would have been a different story. And let me tell you about Russell, heís been saying all morning long about how five million people got it right and voted for him. I told him, I donít know where youíre getting five million from, Parvati could have easily gotten ten thousand, Rupert could have got ten thousand, Jerri could have got ten thousand, I could have got ten thousand, and he could have got ten thousand and won. I want to know where these five million people are that love Russell so much.
And as far as my game is concerned, Iíve taken bits and pieces of every season of Survivor and I have a doís and doníts. Okay? And Russell thinks because he saw Micronesia on DVD and wanted to play Samoa, that heís an expert. And now, I just heard him say that he knew when he left Samoa that he had lost, thatís the first time Iíve heard him say that. Because other than that, he assumed he won and he went out there and played the same game the second time. And if youíre a strategic player, because from my living room I knew when he did Samoa that he had lost, listening to that jury. How do you go back ten days later and play the same stupid game? Thatís not strategy. I feel like I keep on having to defend my title - and yes, I am the queen.
Are you the best?
Sandra: I am the best! And I have two titles, and I have two checks. And if thatís not the best, I donít know what is. It definitely ainít Russell.
Do you guys get along in real life?
Sandra: Oh, yeah, like peas in a pod. [giggling in background]
Why did you target Russell early in the game?
Sandra: Because he was a fishy character, he smelled like fish [laughs], I just couldnít stand him and he was a bully and I went after him. And these people, itís their fault. Itís their fault that they didnít listen to me and thatís why I burned his hat. And I have no regrets about the game, none whatsoever. Itís not my fault. And then even (with) the bitter jury, the best players won. So he says just because I won that itís flawed because Iím weak at the challenges? Everybody knows Iím weak at the challenges, thatís not a freaking secret. I donít hide that from anybody.
And thatís exactly why Colby went to the end. Jeff said yesterday that he had won the most male immunities - in All Stars he was a threat, they got him out. This time around, he made it to the end because he was weak. When we merged, they said JTís strong. Candice and Amanda are strong. Rupert, even with his broken toe, is strong. And then comes Colby. So you know what? Colby being weak got Colby all the way to the end when it came time for the last Hero. So you know what, being weak is actually a strategy and it works well. And I love it.
Sandra: Thank you very much! Do you want to talk to Parvati now? Yeah, Ďcause you know what? She is actually a great player, and Russell needs to thank her, Jerri, and Danielle for keeping him in the game because those girls saved his butt.
Why did you save his butt, Parvati?
Parvati: Because he was my only line of defense. Everyone else was trying to get me voted out. I knew every single Hero was trying to vote me out, they tried to vote me out before I even got to the merge, before I was even playing with them. If Russell would have been the one voted out, I would have been the next to go.
Would it have been better if Jerri was there instead of Sandra at the end?
Parvati: Jerri would have won. I would have had a better shot against Jerri, but I think that it was a bitter jury, for me, because the people that didnít want to see me at the end anyways, they didnít want me to win. They didnít want me there. Amanda and Candice, specifically, Iíve played with them before and I think they were upset for being beaten by me twice and they just didnít want to give me a million dollars. Again.
Sandra, is your favorite past moment now burning Russellís hat?
Sandra: Ah, so many favorites! I like a lot of my sayings, and you know, like spying on Russell and saying ďHeís an ass.Ē You know, stuff like that. I have a bunch of them and a lot of my one-liners that are so funny, that people love. I have a lot of favorite moments, I canít pick one.
Russell, do you think you repeated mistakes from Samoa?
Russell: I donít know. What mistakes are you talking about, which ones?
Like, you took Natalie to the finals and she won...
Russell: Jerri was that Natalie. Thatís what I was thinking. But the thing is, whoís to say if I donít play aggressive like I play, Iím to going to make it to the finals. Iím not going to be here talking to yíall. So you know, I have to play that way, unless I want to ride somebodyís coattails and get behind somebody and let them...I just have to be in control of the game. So we donít know. It would be very likely that Iím not even talking to yíall in the finals if I donít play the way I play.
How frustrating is it for you that the jury makes the game so personal and social?
Russell: Thatís not my fault, you know. Itís just part of it. It takes a strong person to get stabbed in the back and turn around and vote for that person that stabbed you in the back. Thereís not many people like that. But I did what I did, and Iím glad itís the way I played. The fans love me, they vote for me. I donít care how many votes it was, guess what - Iím the one who won the Player of the Game.
Parvati, what made you know on day one that Russell was the one to align with?
Parvati: Because nobody else was talking to me. Like, when I say that Russell was the only one I could have aligned with, Iím not messing with you guys! [laughs] I donít know how many times I have to say it, because noone was talking to me, I was pointed out as the biggest threat from the first day - Coach wanted me out, Randy wanted me out. They wanted to keep Randy and Courtney, who was terrible in challenges, over me! So I was like, okay, this is just ridiculous. Clearly there was a vendetta going on. And Russell was the only one who had my back, him and Danielle. So that was my only option.
Sandra, in the final tribal council, did you ever bring up that you were the one who convinced Russell to get rid of Coach? That was a good move.
Sandra: No. I had several moves along the way that I think were good moves that kept me...well, not kept me in the game because the only time I was in danger was the time it was between me and Courtney. Other than that, I wasnít scared. I can read people and I kind of see whatís going on, and then I played my idol when I knew that Rupert and Colby were coming after me. I kind of wanted to save it but I didnít want to look ridiculous having an idol and then going home, so I played it just in case. But I had a ton of big moves, I think. Just everything wasnít shown on TV.
How do you think the idols affected your strategy this time, versus Pearl islands?
Sandra: Well I had never played with an idol before, if I would have found one I would have done the same thing I did when I found my hidden immunity idol, I didnít tell nobody anything. Thatís not something you share, I donít understand how some people...well, everyone plays their own game. And Iíve learned from different Survivors over the years that when you have an idol, you keep that joker quiet. That is not the community idol. So, we all play different games.
Parvati, how did having Danielle in the game change it for you?
Parvati: It was a big change for me. Not only was it strategically not a good thing for me, like in the end as far as jury votes and stuff, but I was sad because she was my girl. I kind of lost my playmate. But, who knows. Those people just didnít want a winner to win again, and I think the only reason that a winner did win again was because she was up against a person that everybody disliked so much, that (they) were so outplayed by and felt stupid, basically. And another winner, you know.
Why do you think they didnít give you much credit for having your back against the wall for most of the game?
Parvati: I think I know why it is, I think itís just human emotion leading them to vote the way they voted. It wasnít like they stepped back and said ďOkay, letís see who played this game in every aspect of the game,Ē because if they had done that, Amandaís game is like mine. She plays to win in every part of the game. If she would have voted based on the game she respected the most, she would have voted for me. But she voted based on her emotions and the way that she felt about me as a person. So thatís why I think I lost a few votes, because of some resentment, some jealousy, and then also some of the backlash from being aligned with Russell.
For Russell - do you think the jury even gave you a chance, or do you feel like you had lost before you even went in there?
Russell: Yep. When they started asking me the questions, I was about to start telling them I donít want to talk no more, go sit down, Iím done. You know, the thing is, I was playing like that two times in a row, as rough as I play, and it is not right, you shouldnít have to do that. They should never do that, put somebody back to back like that, because I was kind of beat mentally at that last tribal council. I didnít want to deal with it no more. Itís like, okay - once I figured out none of them was going to vote for me, I was like whatever, yíall go home, you ainít gonna vote for me, Iím going to get to the finals. I got here, I did what I wanted to do, alright. Whatever.
Now that youíve had some time to rest, what do you think of that idea brought up last night: Russell versus Rob?
Russell: No, why would I want to play him? He didnít even make the jury twice. He came in second once, then heís trying to tell me how to play the game, and he didnít even make the jury twice? Why would I want to play against him? I would tell them no. Iíve already knocked him out, I donít want to have to fight him again.
Would you come back to Survivor at all?
Russell: I donít know. Itís a possibility but I would have to really, seriously think about it. Because thereís one guy Iíd like to play against that I didnít get to play.
Sandra, does this win feel different, because you beat the All Stars?
Sandra: The first one was the best! Because it was brand new to me, the people out there, they really become your friends, you really want to get to know them and you do things together. You enjoy the island and you go off to do things together, you have fun at it. Like Parvati said (about this season), at minute number one, it was already chaos. Nobody cared about water, nobody cared about food, nobody cared about making shelter. Itís all about having numbers. Randy came up to me on minute number one and was like ďWe decided Parvati goes first because sheís already won,Ē and Iím looking at him like, guy, are you crazy? How do you tell me something like that, you must have not seen my season.
Two, because sheís a winner, now I gotta make sure Parvati stays in the game because once sheís gone, if thatís the excuse, theyíre coming after me. So thereís a lot of things that you guys donít see, a lot of moves that get made, you know?
How meaningful was it to have your husband in the audience last night, home from Afghanistan?
Sandra: I was happy, and I hate that he had to go home in two weeks, I really hate it.
What do you plan on doing with your winnings?
Sandra: Iím going to take a trip to Germany, and I donít know what else to do because all my other stuff is paid for!
*Thanks to Mariner and hepcat for participating in the interviews this season!