Yet another original Espada tribe member bites the dust - this time Yve Rojas, homemaker from Kansas City. Read on as she gives her take on NaOnka, Marty, and her one regret about how she played...
As someone who has tried to get on the show for years, was there anything that took you by surprise when you got there?
Yes, actually. I would have to say the personalities, day two, I was just flabbergasted at how extremely unique everybody was. That really surprised me. I completely understand why now they put a group of people from all different walks of life out there. The whole strategizing part with people that were so unique, and expressive in unique ways was more challenging, much more so than the physical elements or the hunger. All of that was a breeze compared to figuring out the people - who to mildly trust, and who not to trust at all. I never trusted anyone 100%.
After NaOnkaís talk of quitting last week, was her name ever brought up as a possible boot?
No, actually, it wasnít! And especially towards the end...wow, that girl has a lot of talent convincing people, thatís for sure. I really truly believed her when she said I was safe. I also believed her when she was sick and I had my moment with her in the rain and the cold. When I wrote her name down, I really trusted Alina at that point, too. But then after, you wake up and have a bright strong day, and you move on. Things change so fast out there! Gotta stay on your toes, I guess.
When you got back from tribal last week and realized that you were the only one who voted with Tyrone, was that a big red flag for you?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I even walked up to NaOnka and Alina and said ďWhat was that, ladies?Ē They somewhat made the assumption on appearances that I was aligned with Tyrone, which was completely inaccurate. I never was aligned with him, our conversations were about different things, but never did I have an alliance with that man.
As a fan, what is your reaction to them not getting rid of Marty and his immunity idol?
Actually, that was really fascinating. I was watching with friends who hadnít seen the show before and we were all just fascinated. The reasoning behind it...it was exciting! It was exciting. I, though, am hoping that Marty does extremely well, he has so much passion to play the game. I respect that. So Iím glad that he did not go.
You seemed to be in the background for much of the game until recently. Was that just editing, or was that your gameplan, to skirt along?
No, I was never skirting along. Can I compete with personalities like JT, and Wendy, and Tyrone for that matter? No. But I did speak a number of times, clearly and argumentatively with Tyrone and JT. Even with Marty. It was not my plan to skirt, no. I didnít leave my girls for two months to fly under the radar.
What was your favorite part of being on the island?
Just being in the game! Simply having the opportunity to be invited to play on Survivor. That was the best part of it. Thatís why I was so heartbroken when I was asked to leave. I knew I was capable of more, I didnít want to go. It was just wonderful. And I loved the personal challenge, thinking through every day and not complaining, not being sick, you know? [laughs]
Is there anyone still out there that you would like to see win?
I of course would love to see someone win from the original Espada tribe. I would like to see Marty, I enjoy watching him now and enjoyed the way he played the game while I was with him. And also Jane is an amazing woman, I learned a lot from her and she is just remarkable with the effort she took to be prepared to go on the show, and have an incredible amount of stamina. I told her I would not write her name down unless it was for the top, for the winner. And I was honest when I said that to her. I would have.
What did you think about the way they split the tribes in the beginning?
I was actually surprised, and I was happy with it. When I first applied and downloaded the application, I was 39 and was going ďWow, the defining line of turning 40...Ē So many people, youíve either accomplished, or youíre unaccomplished. So I thought wow, I finally got on the show at 40, and not alone, but I get to start this game off with some wonderful people that are all over 40. So I was excited about it, I thought it was great. I donít think anything about the game necessarily has to do with being younger or older, but I like the choice they made, to have a young tribe and an old - older! - tribe.
Why did you guys vote Jimmy Johnson off so quickly?
I did hate seeing Jimmy go, and I actually had a conversation with Marty, arguing more for Dan. However, strategically speaking, Jimmy at that point wasnít really ready to commit to any solid alliance whereas Dan knew that he was a complete liability and he was still there because of Marty. So that was more of a guaranteed vote down the road than what Jimmy was able to commit to at that point.
Why is Espada voting out the stronger players and keeping the weak ones?
My guess is that everybody is still considering, too soon, who they would win against in the top three when clearly thereís a lot of road to be walked before getting there. I donít know, itís....will anybody win against Danny? Absolutely. You know, the gameís different, itís not just a physical game. Of course, the social aspect is in my control, and I think I did that predominantly pretty well, but the luck factor is huge. I mean, Dan - Iíll go rub shoulders with him and see if some of that brushes off on me. [laughs]
What really happened with Holly and Danís shoes? Did she really flip out that badly?
Well I was not...noone, of course, was privy to that information. [laughs] Part of me, when this all went down, thought ďAre they serious, or is this something they put together?Ē And then, I was like, wow...you canít imagine, when youíre deprived of sleep and water and youíre missing your family, and the people that youíre surrounded by, nobody wants you there and you need to start playing the game and...you just have a moment. And she had a moment. But I do applaud her for coming back and I think, essentially earning her stay. Which she did in my eyes. Her name came up a number of times with Marty, but her name wasnít going down any time soon for me.
Marty seems a little crazy at times. Is he arrogant?
No, I didnít think he was arrogant at all. Calculating? Sure. Yeah, he had that down great, but those are the rules of the game. So thatís what he was playing by. Thatís what we all, in our own way, were playing by but some of us interpret those rules a little differently.
NaOnka is probably the most hated on the show right now. What was your impression of her, did you see her be as mean as sheís portrayed?
You know, I didnít. Actually, when she had her breakdown, I really believed that she was sick. I mean, Alina asking me to vote for NaOnka was easy. Not because I necessarily wanted to see her go, but I believed that NaOnka was choosing to leave because of her house situation, which is difficult, and I knew she had a lot more going on in her world that she left. So I was really sensitive to her, and sensitive to the fact that you know what? Everything going back on in the real world as opposed to the island is a lot, let alone all of these elements. So I saw a more sensitive, real side to her as opposed to what I see now. Wow. [laughs] Youíve got to compliment her on saying one thing and doing another, and playing so hard. I donít know. So I did not see that part of her. Was I a little bit overly naive when it came to that? Probably.
Do you have any regrets about the whole experience?
Oh, absolutely. I regret at the swap, my hesitation. I shouldnít have hesitated. I should have had a lot more energy in going to make relationships with the younger tribe and nurturing those from the get go. And reminding Holly where we were at. I just regret hesitating. I had that moment where you sit there and all of a sudden, for whatever reason, have that moment and I paused too long.
Did you bond with any of the younger ones after the swap?
I did, from the minute we arrived back Chase and I had a moment. Chase and I had a number of conversations. He was going to let me know if my name ever came up, which he did. I really believed that Chase and I were having a...the strongest bond I had with any of the young ones was with Chase.
Who do you think the leader of the new Espada tribe is?
Iím going to say, if itís my guess, that itís probably Benry. I would have to say that he...maybe...boy. It feels like just yesterday that I was voted off, and Iím still kind of in that haze. [laughs] I guess I was voted off yesterday, but it almost seems like it was so surreal and Iím thinking back, and all those emotions are still there.
Would you go back on the show if asked?
Oh, absolutely, in a heartbeat. Iím ready to go back and play, yes. Absolutely.
*Thanks to Mariner for the interview!