Survivor's Abi-Maria Gomes is bitter and defensive in exclusive interview
When Abi-Maria Gomes was voted off Survivor: Second Chance, her elimination was met with cheers from many viewers. Not surprisingly, Abi-Maria was all fired up in our one-on-one interview in which she says she is still bitter about being blindsided. She also reveals how she could have won the game and addresses the hurtful hate she's been getting from viewers.
SheKnows: You said you were blindsided by the vote against you. What did you think was actually going down before you were voted off Survivor?
Abi-Maria Gomes: I thought that we were going to manage in getting Keith out and keep the women strong. That's what I was trying to do by getting rid of the guys.
SK: A lot of people have loved to hate you on social media. What's it like to see some of the comments from viewers that aren't so nice?
AMG: It's hurtful. I'm a human being at the end of the day playing a game. It's a social experiment. It's a game of deceit, and I'm there trying to do the best I can. It's just really easy to judge. Go there and take my place. We'll see how does it feel to be talked about that way.
SK: What was your end-game strategy?
AMG: My plan to get to the end was going in with Kimmi and Tasha. I think they are the ultimate goats this season. I think I had a great story to pitch my case at the final Tribal. I survived the first phase of the game. They were targeting me from the get-go. I survived through Angkor. I actually was the person that initiated the alliance with Tasha and Savage. I thought I wasn't succeeding at Ta Keo, so I had to make a change. Tasha and Savage, they had people at Bayon that they were working with. I was trying to get that going. After the swap and the merge happened, I felt like I was in the disadvantage because a lot of those people actually got to play with each other through the swap. When the merge happened, I had to be a little more quiet and try to build relationships with the Bayon people. I think I had a great story to tell. The icing on the cake would have been me being able to orchestrate the women's alliance. I feel that I had done so much more than Tasha and Kimmi to get to the final phase. I think I would have been able to deliver that in my final speech and win. No, I'm not underrated. No, I'm not insane. No, I'm not crazy. I'm rational. That's my rationale.
SK: When you say that Kimmi and Tasha are the ultimate goats this season, Spencer had said the same thing about you. What's your response to that?
AMG: I think that Spencer needs to remember that he was saved by me and Wentworth many times. If it wasn't for us, he wouldn't have been there. One of my biggest regrets in the game was taking him to where he's at right now. I think that Kimmi is way more of a goat than I am. So is Tasha. She just had a relationship with Jeremy. She didn't make any moves. The biggest move that she did was building a relationship with me at Angkor. I think that I would up her as far as the final jury.
SK: Both Jeff and Kass weren't too fond of Tasha when I interviewed them weeks ago. Jeff labeled Tasha as this season's biggest villain. Do you think she deserves that title?
AMG: I don't even know if I would give her the villain title. I don't think she deserves it. I think she's definitely the ultimate goat this season.
SK: Explain a bit more why Tasha is the ultimate goat in your eyes.
AMG: What has she done? What has she done to be in the game? I initiated the alliance with her and Savage at Angkor. What has Tasha done? She was sitting next to Jeremy as far as her alliance goes. She had a strong alliance with Jeremy at Bayon. Then she went to Angkor and saved her. I thought she was going to have my back. She didn't. Back to Bayon, she took the time doing whatever Jeremy told her to do. Obviously, she has a freaking alliance with Spencer. She played with him in Cagayan. Spencer should have been out of the game prior to merge. It was a mistake to let him get so deep.
SK: Some viewers are wondering why your game didn't evolve. Instead of changing your ways, you went back to the Abi-Maria we saw in Survivor: Philippines. One of my readers wanted me to ask how you expected to excel in your second chance if you played the same way twice. How do you respond?
AMG: I played so differently. How did my game not evolve? I just explained how I was a target and survived. I was at every freaking Tribal but one and the one I was voted out. I managed to survive all those Tribals. How is that similar to the first time that I played in Philippines? In the Philippines I was injured. I had a lot more work to do this season. Trust me.
SK: Some viewers have been saying they feel like you wasted this second chance because of your negativity toward the other contestants. Do you think that's true at all?
AMG: I don't feel that way at all. I feel that I took full advantage of my second chance. I worked really hard to make it as far as I did. People that feel that way haven't really been watching this season with open eyes. Maybe they should start rewatching it from the beginning.
SK: Is the personality that we saw really who you are, or were you playing it up for TV?
AMG: I am playing a game. It's called Survivor. That is my Survivor alter-ego personality. I'm there fighting, and trying to survive the game.
SK: So there's no embarrassment or regrets for the way you were showcased?
AMG: I am very well loved and liked by my family and friends. I don't think I did anything embarrassing that I shouldn't be proud of myself. So, nope.
SK: There's been a lot of anger about Joe being voted off, much of the negativity coming your direction. What was it like to see people bashing you for making a move that I believe was truly the best strategic play at that moment?
AMG: There's a lot of hate, but there's a lot of love, too. Positivity is greater than negativity. Hopefully the teenage girls realize it's a game. They're too young to even realize that. Hopefully they will see past his moldy locks, clowny hair. I'm just joking. I'm being mean [laughs].
SK: Comparing the two times you've played, which did you enjoy more?
AMG: I think it was a lot more fun on Survivor: Second Chance because I wasn't injured and I got to participate in pretty much every challenge. I would think Second Chance got me a lot more of the whole Survivor experience.
SK: When I interviewed Shirin, she compared you to this season's Donald Trump. Thoughts on that?
AMG: She's funny. That makes me laugh. She's so ignorant. That comment just says it all. Ignorant. She's entitled to her resentful energy toward me, but I wasn't the one manipulating the votes to get her voted out. I was actually trying to work with her. If she doesn't see that, then I'm so sorry for her. I had to do what I had to do in order to stay in the game. I'm not just gonna sit there and have people walk all over me.
SK: Do you feel your portrayal was accurate or were you being amped up as the villain?
AMG: I think there's so many ways the story can go. I think CBS does a great job at putting together the story. It's just gonna go in the light it's supposed to go. I had terrible moments, too. It's just the nature of the game. If being a strong, opinionated woman that's just fighting to keep herself in the game is seen as a villain, so be it.
SK: Are you at all bitter about the way your game ended?
AMG: Absolutely! Super bitter! Wish I would've done a lot of things differently. Being blindsided is not fun.
SK: What would you have done differently?
AMG: My social game. I would not be so forward and confrontational with people. Just be fake and keep saying what I think in my confessionals without really confronting them. I should have been a little more sneaky-sneaky.
SK: What is it about your personality that you can't hold the confrontations back?
AMG: I don't know how to answer your question. I think it's the heat of the moment. I think I just have to count to 10 before making decisions. I think I'm just too fast to act when I think of something. I think I should just take my time and take a moment before speaking.
SK: Is there one moment in particular?
AMG: I should have not even fought about that bracelet [with Peih-Gee]. It honestly wasn't a big deal. I was just curious to understand what happened. I couldn't find it. Everybody had their bags and I was just curious. I voiced my concern to some people and that was golden to them because they could just use that to target me. I should have just not said anything.
SK: In your eyes, do any of the final six deserve to win at this point?
AMG: Team Wentworth all the way!
SK: If CBS called and asked you to play again, would you do it?
AMG: It's too early for me to even think about it. I'm too bitter at this point. I'm not very well liked in the Survivor community. I need some time to recover. I'm hurt. My heart just hurts.
SK: Are you more hurt by the viewer reaction or the way you were received by the other contestants.
SK: Anything else you'd like to discuss about your experience this season?
AMG: I had a great time playing. I did the best I could. I'm very thankful for the fans that voted for me every day. I'm super thankful for all the love they're sending my way. Thank you. Thank you so much. I am forever gracious.