by Gina Scarpa
It's fairly safe to say that Abi-Maria has her spot secured in the Survivor Villain Hall of Fame, thanks to her behavior and antics this season in the Philippines. She seemed unaware of how people felt about her until Denise announced at one tribal council that no one could stand to be around her and that she had no shot of winning the game. Because of her unpopularity, she started to seem like a good person to take to the end but ultimately, the alliance of Lisa, Skupin, Malcolm, and Denise voted her out in this week's episode. Following her elimination, Abi-Maria spoke to reporters in a press conference call about her experiences playing Survivor.
Q. Was that the real Abi-Maria that we saw out there in the game?
A. Abi-Maria: It was one layer of Abi-Maria. I got injured day one, I tore my ACL on the island. That's why I was always seen as weak. But that definitely was the devilish Abi-Maria that you saw.
Q. Do you still think Skupin is a moron?
A. Abi-Maria: I was just frustrated. Of course not, he's an honorable man, a father. I was just playing the game of Survivor.
Q. How hard was it to play the game knowing people weren't on your side?
A. Abi-Maria: It was so painful but I put it on myself, the way I was acting. Knowing no one likes you in the game was so hard.
Q. Former players say you're really nice outside of the game. Was there a moment after Artis and Pete went home, you thought, "If I'm too nice, I could be a threat. If I continue acting this way, I could get to the end."?
A. Abi-Maria: It was definitely strategy. I injured my knee and I was just being carried on by my alliance with Peter and Artis. I was relying on that for a certain part of the game. After that, I had to take that strategy away. With my injury, I didn't want to be seen as weak. Afterwards, I had to undergo reconstructive surgery. I was in a lot of pain, I was tired, I was hungry, and that side of Abi-Maria came out.
Q. How angry were you with Pete for planting that idol clue?
A. Abi-Maria: You know, I found that out at Ponderosa. The game was over for me and I disconnected from the game a hundred percent. I was just there as a jury member and as a critic, and I was focusing on that and how I was going to vote. I actually thought it was funny, I was so disconnected from the game. I didn't get angry.
Q. People have an opinion of you and your'e entertaining to watch. If you were asked to come back, would you play the same sort of game?
A. Abi-Maria: Why would I tell you that? Why would I give my strategy out? I went in with great intentions and acted poorly so let me put it this way. I'll go in with bad intentions, and hopefully, things turn around for me.
Q. You've been referred to as the villain of the season. Most villains don't consider themselves to be one. Do you consider yourself to be a villain?
A. Abi-Maria: You know, I was playing the game of Survivor. It's really hard to go to the end by being a wonderful, awesome person. People will lie, people will stab you in the back. Having a villain reputation in the game of Survivor is an honor. People that know me in real life, they know my core, my values, and they appreciate me, and that's what matters.
Q. Jeff Probst said there was a cultural difference that was causing issues between you and your tribe. Did you feel that way?
A. Abi-Maria: I do not want to blame my behavior on my culture so I'm going to take it and I'm going to own it. And I don't want to blame it on the edit either. I was aggressive, and I was playing the game. Latin culture is passionate and beautiful. We are intense people, I am. But I won't blame it on culture at all. I want to take it and bring it on me.
Q. As far as your gameplay, what would you say is your single biggest regret?
A. Abi-Maria: I made a lot of mistakes in the game. If I could change anything, I wouldn't be so close with Peter and Artis. I was too emotionally involved and they clearly weren't as close to me as I was to them.
Don't miss the finale of Survivor: Philippines, Sunday at 8/7c on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)
Follow Gina @ginascarpa