Abi exits Survivor as a shockingly different person; RC compared Survivor to Holocaust?

To add another surprise to a season of surprises, Survivor Philippines villain Abi-Maria Gomez is fully owning her behavior, and doesn’t try to blame the edit or anyone else for her behavior, though she does reveal that she was in physical pain from a day-one knee injury. Meanwhile, her ally turned enemy Roberta “RC” Saint-Amour, is still so hurt by her experience that she apparently compared it to World War II in an interview.

First, Ab and her villainy. “It was definitely accurate. I’m not going to try to blame it on editing,” Abi told Xfinity’s Gordon Holmes. “I said all of those things that I said, I acted the way I acted. I was not very fun to be around. But, to defend myself a little bit, I had a major injury on day one and I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because I didn’t want to be seen as weak. I was scared and defensive at all times. I actually had to have surgery when I got back. I was in pain.”

Abi reiterated the argument she tried to make to her fellow players: “‘Take me to the end, I’m the bottom feeder here. No one likes me.’ I knew that. I was a bitch. I was aggressive. I was using all I had. In real life I’m not like that. … I actually feel honored that CBS is spending that much time on me. I was playing the game. I didn’t play a brilliant game. I made a lot of mistakes, clearly.”

In her interview with Reality TV World, Abi reiterates those points and also backs away from her in-game comments: ” I don’t mean that I was targeted because I’m a Latina. I don’t want to blame it on culture. In the heat of the game, you’ll say things that are not how you feel. I definitely am a very competitive person, but I don’t want to blame it on being Latina or the cultural thing or being Brazilian. I acted poorly and I want to take ownership.”

Incredible! Abi even embraces her critics: Malcolm called her a “dementor,” but she says, “I love him. … it was pretty funny when he did his Abi impersonation. It was great.”

That she is saying all this now, more than half a year since the show was filmed, is one thing. However, most remarkably, Abi’s attitude was like this immediately after being voted out!

As you’ll see in this Ponderosa video, she’s human and even delightful immediately after being voted out, though she she does call the final four “hypocrites.” But she tells Penner “I’m following your advice: sunny side up,” and apologizes to RC without hesitation. Later, she tells the camera that Survivor “has made me a better person.”

Meanwhile, RC did an interview in Ynet, which was originally published in Hebrew and translated and republished by Taglit-Birthright Israel, an organization that sends people on free trips to Israel and counts RC as an alum.

In that interview, RC appears to compare the experience of being in a tribe that viewed her as a threat with World War II and, specifically, the Holocaust:

“But, instead of seeing that as an advantage, I was looked upon as a threat. It is very hard to carry on when you are in a tribe with six others, none of whom will talk to you. Even just being nice to me or talking to me was dangerous for them, because then they would become the next victim.

It was very scary, and it reminded me of the 2nd World War, when the Jews were in Germany and the Jews in Italy and the USA didn’t lift a finger to help, to avoid being a part of it. But their time came as well and, when they turned to their allies, they found out there were no allies left.

That is a mentality based on fear. ‘I am glad it’s someone else and not me’. But, eventually, it will become about you as well, so it is would be best to stand behind someone you believe in. Ultimately, history repeats itself, even on ‘Survivor’. Thankfully it is only ‘Survivor’ and not the Holocaust, but there are tangents in human nature.”

Clearly, RC is still very hurt by the experience, even now, because that comparison is, at best, hyperbolic.

Earlier this year, RC was even angrier at Ponderosa, after being voted out. Despite having 15 days to cool down, RC is even more bitter than ever, and when Abi showed up, unloaded on her. Incredibly, Abi doesn’t take the bait and just listens and responds well. It’s almost like they are the exact opposites of who they were on the beach, and this is just days later:

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In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.