It's a two-fer this week, as chef Mike was sidelined by health issues and cop Betsy was taken out by the snaky Russell. Read on as they both shared their thoughts on Russell, Ben, and bathroom issues in this conference call:
Mike, about your illness. On the episode, they were all talking heart attack...
Mike: No, no. My blood pressure fell, I think it was like 90 over 60 or 50, and I just wasnít pumping blood to my extremities and head. But I knew I was coming back, and an hour later after they took me away I was fine. I was having ice cream, laughing and joking around, and I was ready to go back into the game!
But they wouldnít reverse the decision?
Mike: No, you know...they took the blood test to check for heart attack. Everything was negative, even the medics were saying you didnít have a heart attack, you were dehydrated, and thatíll do it to you.
Yeah. Now, what was your original strategy going in?
Mike: Into the game? I was gonna kick ass and take names. I wanted to make an impression and show, especially the young guys who were kinda cocky, you know, bring them down a notch, like I said.
This is for both of you. Whatís your view of Russell and Ben?
Betsy: Okay. Russell: you canít put it to words, you just gotta look at him, okay? [laughing] Idiot! Never liked Russell. Well, I shouldnít say that. I probably liked him the first five minutes when he told me he was a fireman. Iím thinking cool, great alliance. And then, probably after like, two more minutes, Iím thinking no. Fireman have a heart and soul, he doesnít have either one so heís definitely not a fireman. Yep. I donít like Russell at all. Ben, I do like, believe it or not. I do like Ben. He just needs to smarten up a little more, and respect his elders a little bit better. [laughs] Itíll come in time, I hope. Because he is 28 now that I think of it. So he should get a grasp of it by now. He just opens his mouth without thinking, and they played it down. Like, the Tribal Council - he really was a real jerk. And they played that down, they edited a lot out. Jeff Probst had so much patience with him, he really did! But at least thereís hope for Ben, thereís no hope for Russell.
Mike: I agree about Ben, I like Ben. I thought he was a good kid, but he just didnít know when to shut up. In fact, a lot of times I kept going to him ďJust shut up, what are you doing?Ē You know? Itíd be like, (heíd) make a face like an ass****, thatís it. Whatís wrong with you? Stop! And Russell I thought, and I think now heís kind of a jerk and sleazy, but...I give him credit for being well planned and organized and knew what he wanted to do, and he did it. He got us!
Fair enough. Betsy, you seemed to see through Russellís crap early on. Why didnít you rally the troops to get rid of him?
Betsy: I didnít have really great proof that he was a snake, it was just a feeling that I had. I didnít know he was emptying the canteens, I didnít know he was burning socks, I didnít have real proof that he was an idiot, I just knew he was! And I didnít have solid evidence to prove to Natalie and Ashley and Liz that he was as low as you can be. You know, I did try, but they would not even...just seemed like they wanted to calculate it. Their minds just closed down, they didnít want to hear it. I donít know how he did it, but he definitely has them under his spell.
Thatís actually my next question. Does it bother you that nobody seems to remember past seasons?
Betsy: [laughs] Yes, yes! But being out there in the game, you forget all that.
Mike: Itís a different situation when youíre there. I had a whole plan and as soon as I got there, it was everything opposite of what I was planning to do. Itís easy to put a game plan in your head, but then when youíre out in the field, itís like...uh oh!
Betsy: Yeah, itís so much easier to play at home.
Were you guys surprised to see Russell and Jaison working together?
Betsy: Yes, I was more surprised about that than Russell finding the immunity idol. I just hope he doesnít get sucked into his web. Because Jaison in a good kid. Heís a good boy, and I hope heís gonna show Russell up.
Mike: I donít know, he might be too smart for his own good. Heís too intellectual, too cerebral. Heís playing chess and Russellís playing checkers, you know? I donít know, I hope he doesnít get screwed up because of that.
Betsy, a question for you. Everybody wants to know the story of how you got on the show!
Betsy: Oh, really? Itís really not that exciting, actually. I just wanted to get a little vacation in while the kids were younger, and itís the only way I knew I was gonna get a vacation. And it just looks wonderful without doing laundry or cooking or anything like that. So thatís how it started. And then I just couldnít stop. Because I watched the show more and more, and itís like I love it, I love it, I gotta be there, that should be me! And then on my thirteenth tape, they finally came to see the light, said yes, this is the girl! But this was going to be my last tape, I wasnít going to do another tape after this. But I did say that after the fifth tape, and the sixth tape, and the seventh tape, I said ďThis is my last one!Ē[laughs] But really, this thirteenth tape was going to be my last one.
Was the experience everything you thought it was going to be?
Betsy: And more. Absolutely. It was better than I thought it would be. Yes, I loved it.
Other than being voted out, what would you have changed?
Betsy: Hmm. What would I have changed? If I could, I hate to even say this, but I probably would have...I really hate to say this! [laughing] Oh, just to go along with Russell and smile and nod and say yes, Iím with you...and, ugh! But see, that would have killed me. I donít think I could have done it.
You mean play along with his games?
Betsy: Right. It was too hard. I couldnít even stand next to him.
I think last week Marisa said she would rather go out strong than go to the final four playing his game. Do you feel the same way?
Betsy: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. Heís that much of a snake.
Do you think things would have ended up differently for you had you started off on Galu without Russell around?
Betsy: Yes! Galu, with Shambo - how funny is she? [everyone laughs]
Is Shambo someone you wanted to work with?
Betsy: Yes, and Laura. Not that weíve seen too much about Laura, but I have a feeling I would have connected with her. Yeah, it would have been a whole different ball game without Russell on my tribe. Bleah! But, it makes good tv!
Mike, got a question for you. You were supposed to be on Tocantins, werenít you?
Mike: Yeah, I was there right up until they were loading on the truck to start the game and they pulled me at the last second.
Was it because of the same issues?
Mike: Actually, it was high blood pressure. Yeah, my blood pressure was like 170 over 90. I think thatís what Franklin Rooseveltís was when he stroked out. And it was 110 degrees...
What did you say? When Roosevelt ďstroked out?Ē [laughing]
Mike: Yeah, Franklin Roosevelt had a stroke, I think I read his blood pressure was 170 over 90. Just a little Jeopardy question. [laughing in background]
Anyway, the adrenaline was pumping, I was fifty pounds heavier, and they decided that everything was fixable. So they said to me, weíre gonna bump you, and I said ďDo I have a choice?Ē and they said not really, and I said okay. And I thought yeah, right, Iím not coming back. But I went and I had an operation to fix sleep apnea, I lost fifty pounds, and the blood pressure went away. I got in better shape, and called up and said I wanna get back on and they said okay, youíre in.
This is for both of you. Were either of you standing around when Russell was up in that tree, looking for the idol?
Betsy: I think Mike and I were off looking for papaya.
Mike: Yeah, we went food hunting and we were out in the bush when that was going on.
Betsy: And you know, at that point I could care less what Russell was doing, and that could have cost me too, but...I didnít care what he was doing at the time. And him just walking around, I wasnít keeping my eye on him.
Why do you think people didnít really clue in?
Betsy: Clue in on what a snake he was or that he found the idol?
That he was looking for the idol inside the tree.
Mike: Oh, he came out and said it! Itís like Betsy said, he was kinda being annoying and people kinda just...not dealing with him. You know, from what I saw.
What did everybody think when the canteens were emptied? Nobody thought to look at it more closely?
Betsy: Well, you know what...at that time, because it happened so quick into the game, our canteens, we didnít mark them. People were just drinking out of whoeverís canteen, whatever canteen was full. So we just assumed that somebody - all of us - were drinking the water! Nobody figured out that ďOh, wait a minute...Ē
Mike: Yeah, weíd be like, is there any water? And someone would say yeah, thereís some in here, and weíd drink. And we didnít realize.
Betsy: And after that, we marked our own canteens.
Mike: But we didnít have them with us on our person at all times. We had our initials on them, but still, that didnít prevent him from emptying them.
Do you think what he did was fair?
Mike: Fair? No. But itís Survivor, itís not $10,000 Pyramid, you know. Itís technically not a fair thing to do, but youíre trying to win the game.
Betsy: And plus that was his strategy, to kill the tribe off.
Mike: And it worked!
Betsy, why did you tell him you didnít trust him? Why not keep it to yourself?
Betsy: Yeah, I know, you would have thought that I learned. Thatís how much I despised Russell, itís like I didnít want anything to do with him, and I didnít think he had that much power over the girls! I didnít think he could control them as well as he did. And I didnít - I did not like him, didnít want to look at him, I didnít want to be near him, and I just thought - you know what? But I did know that weíd have to talk to each other throughout the game, so thatís why I put it like, we can still talk to each other, but letís agree that we donít trust each other. And he said okay.
What was your relationship with the other girls like?
Betsy: Oh, I was definitely the outcast. Absolutely. It was very hard for me to...they banded together immediately, and I went more with Mike, Mick, and Marisa. They were doing the palm fronds thing, and they were always, always together. Itís just like a clique in high school, you try to get inside a clique and itís hard.
Watching it on tv, what surprised you the most?
Betsy: Russell finding the idol, but it surprised me more that Jaison was with Russell, in cahoots with Russell. That Jaison seems to be trusting Russell. That surprises me, because Jaison has a good head on his shoulders and heís a smart boy. Unless heís playing Russell, which Iím hoping.
Mike: Um, I was surprised that Russell would even try to go after Jaison, as an alliance. I think Jaison might get outsmarted by this idiot, you know? I wasnít too surprised that he found the idol, cause I knew he said ďIím looking for it.Ē I was surprised when I found out he was dumping the water, that really pissed me off when I saw that. I was like ďAre you kidding me, man?Ē I think if anybody caught him he would have been out, if not dead.
What do you wish they would have shown on tv that they didnít show?
Betsy: The heated Tribal Council. I loved how Jeff Probst handled Ben, because Ben was a loose cannon at Tribal Council. I wish that was shown. Schmergen Brawl, I wish that was shown more, cause it was such a great game. Loved it!
Betsy: Why? Because it was so great! How could you not like that, you used everything, every muscle that you had! It was a great game to play, one youíll never play again. Not like that. It was a once in a lifetime.
Mike: I wish that after last nightís game, I kinda felt that they made me look like the game got to me, and that I wasnít really...I was getting more beat up than beating up people. I think I really beat up more people than it showed. It made everybody look like - even made little Russell look like he was playing hard. And they were! I was like a grizzly bear in a garbage dump, man, I was ripping...
Betsy: I think they showed that, Mike.
Mike: You do? I kinda felt a little differently. But maybe itís just me, you know. Youíre always harder on yourself.
Why do you think the others didnít suspect Russell at all?
Mike: Well, he started in on talking to individuals as soon as we hit camp. As soon as we left the first challenge. He started laying the groundwork pretty early. And in the beginning, you really donít know whoís who, whoís lying, whoís really a fireman and whoís a lawyer, whoís a doctor. He was well organized and had his game plan, and I think he spent nights, for months, working out in his head what he was going to do. He was very good at executing his plan. Again, we were all like, I didnít know anybody, Betsy I took a liking to right away and we connected. Everybody else, I was like eh...I donít know. But Russell got everybody snowed and then it was kinda too late.
Do you think his plan will actually work? It seems to be working so far...
Betsy: Exactly! I donít understand what itís gonna take to open up their eyes, but itís got to take something. Hopefully in the next episode, because...I donít know what it would take.
Mike: Itís hard to predict. Last night he was kinda laid back and Ben came out as an evil jerk. Heís doing good. He could go far or he could get clipped next week.
Do you think it would have been different if Mike had been there for Tribal Council? If he had been able to argue for Betsy?
Betsy: Yes, I think Mike would have definitely stuck up for me.
Mike: Without a doubt. I wouldnít vote for Betsy until we were down to the final three.
Betsy: It was just me, telling the girls - look at Russell! And granted, I did vote for Ben, but I knew I had to get...Ben and Russell were tight. And I knew I couldnít get anybody else to vote for Russell, you know, thatís why I went for Ben.
Mike: I think I would have been able to break up the vote, too. I was friendly with Ben, and Mick and Ashley. I think between the two of us we could have stirred it up and swayed some heads to make it a little more dicey than everybody just ganging up on Betsy.
Was Yasmin as offensive to you as she was to Russell and Ben?
Betsy: Oh, no, not to me. I just let that roll off my shoulder, I mean, it wasnít a big deal to me. But they took huge offense to it. How about you, Mike?
Mike: I was gone by then.
Betsy: Oh. Cause look at Yasmin, she loves herself and sheís full of herself, and you just take it with a grain of salt. It wasnít that big of a deal, at least not to me.
Do you think her edit was accurate?
Betsy: Yes! Absolutely.
Mike: You wanna know what my observation was? Actress. Actress! Big time actress. Iím ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille. [laughter] Really. She was waiting for the clap boards to go down, you know?
What was the hardest part of Survivor for you?
Mike: For me, it was underestimating the dehydration factor. Not drinking enough water. I should have remembered back from playing football in college, times when they always kept saying to drink, donít get dehydrated, itíll knock you out. That and the bathroom situation, not my cup of tea. When I get a garden view, Iím pissed off. Iíd have given a thousand dollars for a roll of toilet paper. [laughter] I was not happy. In fact, in Brazil, I asked the doctor, when weíre out there, what do we do for toilet paper? She goes, oh, use a leaf. But be careful, donít use this leaf, because itíll kill you. Or your hand! And I said ďWhat?!Ē ďYeah, well they do it in India.Ē Well, remind me not to go to India right now. And the leaf kills you? What a way to go! What happened? I wiped my ass and I died on Survivor. [everyone laughing] So, that was the big thing for me.
Betsy: For me, it was the sleeping, I hated it. Because you couldnít sleep. And I love my sleep! And being left out, being left out of the circle. I hated that! You know, when they were talking about me, and I knew they were talking about me...I just felt so sad!
Mike: Aww, Betsy! I didnít leave you out, baby!
Betsy: You didnít, honey! [laughing]
And what was the easiest part?
Mike: You know, I didnít find anything easy. To be honest with you. It was a thousand times harder than I imagined. From sleeping, eating, drinking, the bathroom, the challenges, being wet all the time, I didnít find anything easy!
Were either of you hurt in last nightís schmergen brawl?
Betsy: I...bruised or cracked, I donít know which, but it just healed maybe three weeks ago, two ribs. That was my injury.
Mike: And you know, I blew the engine. The first night there, in the game, I fell at night and separated my shoulder, I fell into a tree. So I still have that. The game knocked me out! [laughs]
Betsy: But it was great, it was worth it for me. It was worth it, I loved it.
Why were the younger women on board with the ďvoting out the weakestĒ strategy? Didnít they understand that once Russell got rid of you, they were the next targets?
Mike: They didnít think. I think they just didnít think.
Betsy: Yeah. Russell, Iím telling you, had them under a spell. Exactly, Mike, I donít think they thought that. Which I donít get!
Why do you think Russell was able to hold such sway over the whole tribe?
Betsy: Thatís the million dollar question!
Mike: Well, he attacked...he didnít come at the tribe as a whole, he went to everybody individually. And started breaking down the whole fiber of the group. That was pretty smart, I gotta give him credit for that, he did do that. I mean, if he came out in front of everybody and did it as a group thing, it would have never worked. But doing it one by one, he was able to split up everything.
Betsy: Yeah, but it still frustrates me that I couldnít get the girls to see that Russellís a jerk.
Were the two of you aware that Mick was a doctor when you were out there?
Mike: Nah, he said he was an administration guy at the hospital.
Betsy: Yeah, he kind of danced around it. He told me he was in medical, but he didnít...thatís as far as it went.
Mike: He said he placed doctors or something. He was the type of guy, youíd ask him a question, and heíd go like ďmumble mumble.Ē What? He was a mumbler. [laughter]