'Survivor: Philippines': RC on Her Feud With Abi, Skupin's Vote Against Her, and What Pete Said After the Show
The first member of the jury also reveals why being on the show was "bittersweet" due to something that happened in her real life while she was on the island.
Roberta "RC" Saint-Amour became the first member of the Survivor: Philippines jury when she was voted out in last week's episode.
On day one, the 27-year-old investment banker from New York formed an alliance with Abi-Maria Gomes that quickly deteriorated -- hastened by the fact that fellow tribe member Pete Yurkowski hid the immunity idol clue in RC's bag where Abi discovered it, leading to accusations of betrayal.
On Wednesday's episode, the majority of the newly merged tribe members decided to vote for another returning player, Jonathan Penner, while throwing a few votes to RC in case Penner played his immunity idol -- which he did. Michael Skupin, with whom RC had an alliance, also ended up voting against her. (Pete also received two votes during the tribal council.)
Due to Hurricane Sandy, RC was unable to talk to the media last week after her elimination episode aired. As of now, she is still without electricity and is "trying to clean up a bit" but noted that the storm "puts everything into perspective a bit."
On Monday, she spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her elimination and revealed the behind-the-scenes events that led up to the vote.
THR: Did you know it was going to be you who was voted out?
RC: I knew there was a possibility, but I made strong connections with people from Kalabaw [the other tribe with whom Tandang merged] who promised me they'd vote with me that night. I knew if something didn't work and they were lying to me, 100 percent I was going home. I knew Penner was getting votes and Pete was getting votes. I knew it was possible but that it was up in the air.
THR: Why vote for Pete?
RC: The votes were with me and Penner, and I had to vote for someone. [Eliminating Pete] would cut the head off the Tandang major alliance. I knew Abi had the idol and would use it if she caught wind that we were voting for her.
THR: Why did you and Skupin not vote the same way [Skupin voted for Penner; RC voted for Pete]?
RC: That's an interesting question, and you're going to have to ask him. He gave me his word he'd vote for Pete, and I guess he changed his vote somewhere in there. I don't blame him for changing his vote. It's an individualistic game, and there is only one sole Survivor. He did what I guess he thought he had to do. I'm a very loyal person. If I were in the same position he was in, I don't think I would have ever have done what he did, but I wasn't in the same position, so I can't say for sure.
THR: Why didn't you and Skupin form an alliance with the other tribe?
RC: I don't think Penner realized the extent, or maybe he did, of the hate his tribe had for him. And the hate I had from my tribe members. Who needed to flip? I tried to get with them and thought we were developing something strong. A rational person would say me and Skupin should [team up with Kalabaw], but we chose to do the irrational thing and go with Tandang and be at the bottom of the alliance. It was a silly move in my mind.
THR: Did you know Penner would play the idol?
RC: We knew he would try to use the idol and talked at length about [what would happen if he played it]. We knew there was the possibility of him playing it that night. If you go back to Michael's vote, he knew Penner would play it too, so that was really a vote against me [by not voting for Pete].
THR: When did the tension with Abi start?
RC: Things were certainly brewing from day three. She started to unwind as a human being. The real Abi started to come through, sort of this irrational, yelling Abi that we all got to witness. I wasn't really the target of her rants at first. Everyone got their fair share of yelling from Abi. It wasn't just me. I think I was just singled out [on TV].
THR: When did you discover that it was Pete who hid the idol clue in your bag?
RC: I didn't know for sure it was him, but I knew that Abi had the idol when she felt as confident as she did to yell at me and isolate me from the group. So I didn't know 100 percent for sure until I got to Ponderosa [where the eliminated contestants are gathered as the game continues] when I got told.
THR: Have you talked to Pete since the show ended?
RC: Pete has apologized to me a couple of times. He knows it was a very dumb move and sort of led to Tandang's disaster, and I think that has a lot to do with age and maybe wisdom. I know he was playing the game, but the move itself made no sense. At the time, he was very confident because they had the idol. To cause drama for absolutely no reason, that told me and Michael exactly where we stood in the tribe. If he had never done that, we could have been in a power alliance.
THR: Do you regret forming an alliance with Abi so quickly?
RC: You can't really regret a lot you did in the game because you'd go crazy. Everyone made deals on day one, but that one stuck out a little more on TV than the rest of them. I didn't have much room to work with. It was only a six-person alliance, so there weren't really a lot of options.
THR: Have you talked to Abi since the show ended?
RC: I have not talked to Abi, and as the show shows, I don't know if anybody can really talk to Abi in a rational manner.
THR: Would you go out there and play again?
RC: That's such a hard question. It was bittersweet because I got to live out this dream and be on Survivor, which had been a lifelong goal, and to be able to get the chance to live out my dream for 19 days was amazing. Unfortunately, I lost my job while I was out there, so it's hard to say if I'd do it again.