Latest to be booted from his tribe was Michael "Mikey B" Bortone, the Bostonian actor who thought he was well-situated on the Fans tribe until his alliance partner was the first to be voted out. Not surprisingly, he soon found himself the victim of yet another vote flip. FORT caught up with Mikey in a conference call he gave reporters - here are the highlights of that interview.
Did he take on a leadership role?
I don’t think I was an outspoken leader. It was a simple plan to protect the seven of us against the possibility of Kathy getting the idol. Yes, maybe I shouldn’t have come up with a plan, but I wasn’t bossing people around and being vocal. I was smiling; I was having a good time. It was just a simple plan that if everybody had had half a brain, they would have realized that. Nobody could understand it for some reason, so I had to keep repeating it. Therefore it made me look like I was more of a leader, but I did not take on that leadership role. We were sitting around laughing about it. I don’t doubt for one second that Joel used it for his benefit to start negative thoughts, but I didn’t have any wars with anybody, I didn’t demand anything. That’s the only thing I was vocal about, besides wanting Chet gone because he deserved to go.
Thoughts on Joel:
Egotistical, self-centered, jealous…I could go on and on if you want. We haven’t spoken much. It was one word each on Myspace – I think it was, “Hey.” And he responded, “Word.”
I didn’t know that Joel had doubt about voting me off, and I didn’t know how easy it was for him to be convinced by Tracy. She was obviously put in a corner and had no other option but to attempt that move. For it to work that easily for Joel just shows more mental weakness on his part.
Thoughts on Kathy:
She was a genuine fan, and was definitely out of her element. She was in complete awe over the favorites. She enjoyed playing the game with the favorites, and would have turned in a heartbeat.
Thoughts on Tracy:
She decided to hold it a secret that she builds houses until about day three, when we attempted our thirteenth shelter that failed – thenshe decides to bark some orders and tell us what we’re doing wrong. From that moment on, I was like, “You just decided to hold onto that information and watch us tumble over ourselves for three days? You’re an idiot.”
There was only one play [for Tracy], and that was to either get Joel or myself to turn on one another. I think she had a pretty clear understanding of my thoughts of her based on the shelter ordeal, and the fact that I was so adamant about getting Chet off, so she picked Joel. She worked him like a drum.
Thoughts on Erik:
Erik is the sneakiest. Erik was the one showing remorse after the Mary vote, coming up to me and saying, “ I just want to let you know I regret it. I do consider myself a competitor and leaving Chet here was a mistake.” And I was like, “I appreciate that. Let’s get the strength back and continue to grow as a tribe.” I gave him the assurance that I wasn’t going to vote with the older folks because I didn’t want any type of alliance with them. I did not want to go to war with them. So Erik not only lied to me before the Mary vote, he came up and softly lied to me again. He was a sneak. He told me that he was with me, he regretted voting out Mary, he told me he wanted to vote Chet off because he couldn’t physically help us, and then he voted me off. Alexis, too. I thought Alexis was on my side, but she went with Joel for some reason. I don’t know, Joel really had these people mesmerized.
Thoughts on Chet:
I didn’t mind Chet. He was just going about his business. He didn’t deserve to be a part of the tribe once he failed. The thing about that water challenge is that we sat around beforehand for about an hour, and we discussed our strengths and weaknesses. Chet adamantly said, “If there’s anything to do with water, you’ve got to put me in. I’m a great swimmer. I can hold my breath for five minutes, and I can go down to a depth of 20 or 30 feet.” It’s one thing if you’re not able to perform in a challenge, but it’s another thing if you’re volunteering your strength for something and being the complete opposite.
Thoughts on the tribe deciding to keep Chet over him:
It was a horrible move. It’s one thing if he was not good at the challenges, and maybe not completely holding his weight around camp – then it’s a different story. But for him to be 100% useless at challenges and be 100% useless at camp, then it’s just like, “Come on people, what are you thinking?” I have no respect for anybody who did not vote for Chet at tribal council.
I was staring at him every day as everyone is working, and he’s just in the water, bathing himself. That’s why I made that comment, “Oh, it’s 2:00 o’clock, it’s bedtime for Chet.” He went from his bath to his bed. The only thing he was missing was a bathrobe.
Mikey confirmed that there are no showmances in the fans tribe, but…
They made it seem like Mary and I were becoming an item on the island, but it was the furthest thing from the truth. That was Joel’s plan to steer Natalie and Alexis away from me, telling them that I have a strong bond with Mary and I’m not going to break my bond with her. But I didn’t have any stronger alliance with Mary than I did with Alexis.
His take on the final immunity challenge:
It was not a very thrilling challenge to watch or participate in. In every challenge, no one took a leadership role. At no point during the game did anybody voice a strategy on how to better ourselves for a certain challenge. Every time Jason and myself did, it would almost bite us in the ass because Joel would use that as ammo to convince everybody else we were negative people. From the beginning, the whole team was distraught and on different pages, different agendas, there was no communication – that’s why you’re seeing what you’re seeing.
The differences between the Favorites and the Fans:
[The Favorites] allow talk to happen. You know, people are going to talk behind your back – it is the game of Survivor. People are going to tell you lies of what you want to hear. So you can’t believe everything you hear. So I respect the game the favorites played. They’re on the beach talking about each other right in front of each other, and if somebody overhears it, then great! You want to come in on the conversation?
Thoughts on tribe dynamics:
Nobody will take a leadership role, which is affecting the tribe. Jason didn’t get along with the older folks because Jason was good at the outdoors, but didn’t know how to explain to people what they were doing right and wrong without it being a condescending remark to his elders. That kind of opened the door to disaster from the beginning. Just the fact that Joel was paranoid. He was paranoid from the beginning. He got people somehow – I don’t understand it. He told people so many stories about his family, about his boys. I did a Joel imitation every time I went to my confessional. It was just Joel saying, “My boys, my boys, my boys.” He sucked the girls right into it. They’re like, “Aww, he’s such a good daddy. I’ll believe anything you say. What do you want me to do? Lead the way.” He mesmerized them.
Did he consider teaming up with Tracy, Chet and Kathy to dump Joel?
Not for a second. That still wouldn’t have got me anywhere. If I had gotten rid of Joel teaming up with Chet, Tracy and Kathy, then if they kept the teams together, we had zero chance of winning any challenge. And if they mixed the tribes, all of a sudden, what is my use? All of a sudden, nobody needs me anymore because they can keep Chet, Tracy and Kathy around as long as they want and dump them at any moment. So no. I thought of the possibility; the scenario was thought about, but I confidently denied that option and decided to tell Joel my reasoning of why I wouldn’t do that. I explained it to him. He didn’t believe me. I wasn’t threatened by Joel. I don’t even know if he can swim. I wasn’t afraid to play him on any immunity challenge with us at the merge.
Did he go overboard when he drilled his tribemates on The Plan?
Evidently, but it was a simple concept. They just didn’t have the brains to soak it in and acknowledge what the plan was. For some reason, it was difficult for them, so I had to keep on explaining it. At that point, that’s when it kind of became annoying – but it was only annoying to Joel, because he had the whole plan from the beginning not to align with me. I mean, he said it in his pre-game interview, exactly the physical people he was going to pair up with were the people that needed his strength, which doesn’t include me. So Joel had it from the beginning, from the first time we looked at each other and knew each other were in the game, Joel knew that he was going to turn on me at some point. And he didn’t allow any type of camaraderie or obstacles steer him away from that. He stuck to it, and I hope it bites him in the ass.