‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Mike Borassi and Betsy Bolan


It was a rough night for the older folks on “Survivor” last night. Forty-eight-year-old police officer Betsy Bolan was voted off of Foa Foa for having the audacity to not completely trust “Evil” Russell H…and she got off easy. Sixty-eight-year-old personal chef Mike Borassi had to leave the game after nearly having a heart attack during the dreaded Schmergen Brawl immunity challenge. We caught up with both of them the day after the show’s airing to find out how tough the challenge really was, who’s on to Russell’s lying ways, and (GASP!) why they both like big-mouth Ben…

Gordon Holmes: Mike, how are you feeling?
Mike Borassi:
It’s a little early here for me being in California, but I’m OK.
Gordon: I meant after being taken out of the game last night, we never got any kind of “And Mike was fine” update during the show.
Mike: The game was pretty tough. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve done some crazy things in my life. It was over 100 degrees.  All of us were really dehydrated since Russell was dumping our water. We hadn’t eaten much. So we went into this thing in not too good of condition. Everyone gave 110% and it got out of control. And one point we weren’t concentrating on getting the balls, we were just hitting each other. For me, I blew my engine. An hour later I was fine. When I went to the clinic after the game I was sitting up, eating ice cream, and making everybody laugh. I asked if I could go back into the game and they said once you’re out you’re out.

Gordon: Now you mentioned Russell dumping out the water. Also, he burned Jaison and Marisa’s socks. Was there any clue this kind of sabotage was going on?
Betsy Bolan:
I had no idea, and I had a pair of socks missing too! Russell’s plan did work, because I was aggravated with Liz because I thought she was wearing my socks.
Mike: People were drying their socks on a stick, and I said “Don’t put them over the fire or they’ll burn.” And they did. And I said, “I told you, jerks.” I thought the wind was blowing them in.

Gordon: So last night, it seemed like Russell found the immunity idol while he was surrounded by Foa Foa members.  How did everybody miss that?
I don’t really remember. I don’t know if Mike and I were there.
Mike: We were getting papaya. We were out looking for food. He was acting suspicious the whole time, so after a while we just ignored him. He’s digging around, he tells me he’s going to go out and kill a pig.
Betsy: It got to the point where I couldn’t even look at Russell, so I couldn’t care less what he was doing. But, it cost me.
Gordon: It seems like you suffered an identical fate to Marisa where you were honest with him about not trusting him, and the next thing you know you’re going home.
Betsy: Yeah, and I probably should have shut my mouth. But it’s so hard being there! He’s such a snake. He just really rubbed me the wrong way.
Mike: Plus it’s different when you’re in that situation. You’re wet, you’re tired, you’re hungry. You don’t think straight.
Betsy: But I didn’t think Russell had that much control. I told him I didn’t trust him and I didn’t think it’d bite me in the butt that hard.
Mike: The first day I’m out there he tells me, “Don’t worry, you’re safe.” Safe from what?! He says it’s my people coming after me. I didn’t have any people. I’ll give him that though; he really played with our heads.
Gordon: And things like pretending to be a fireman, everybody bought that?
Mike: Betsy, you didn’t.
Betsy: I didn’t. When he first told me I said, “Oh cool, a fireman.” Then after about 15 minutes I’m thinking, “This guy is not a fireman. Firemen have heart and soul and this guy doesn’t have either one of them.”

Gordon: Betsy, what was going through your mind during Yasmin’s big speech?
She was just going on and on. I knew she was turning everybody off. But that’s just her. That’s Yasmin.
Mike: I wasn’t there, but my impression was, “Actress! Actress! Thank you, we’ll let you know.”
Gordon: Were you surprised with how heated it got when she went toe to toe with Ben?
Betsy: Oh no, not at all, not with Ben. And not with Yasmin either. It was perfect for both of them to go off on each other.
Mike: I think both of them love to shock people.
Betsy: Yeah, so it was right up their alleys.

Gordon: Jeff Probst mentioned that he and Ben got into it at tribal council last night. We only get to see about three minutes of tribal, so what’d we miss?
Oh yes, I wish they showed that because Ben was so disrespectful. And I do like Ben but he just doesn’t know when to quit.
Mike: I like him too as a person, but a lot of times I was like, “Will you shut up?  What’s wrong with you?  You’re looking like a (expletive deleted).”
Betsy: Yeah, he was very disrespectful to Jeff Probst.
Mike: He was playing the outlaw, he has a tattoo that says “Outlaw.”
Gordon: An outlaw and a cop on the same tribe. “Survivor” brings people together.
Betsy: Perfect.
Gordon: And I don’t have many rules, but one of them is “Don’t Mess with Jeff Probst.”
Betsy: (Laughs) Exactly!

Gordon: I’m surprised to hear you both say you like Ben. The vibe I get from our readers is Russell’s a jerk, but he has charisma. They flat out despise Ben. What aren’t we seeing?
He is really funny. He’s really really funny. Not when he’s calling people, “From the ghetto.” I don’t like that sense of humor. But he could make me laugh really hard.
Mike: He’s basically a good kid, but he wanted to shock people.
Betsy: He is young. He has a lot of growing up to do.
Mike: He was handy, he got the fire started, he caught geckos. I was glad he was around.

Gordon: Mick is the tribe leader, but we’re not seeing anything from him. Is he an effective leader?
Betsy: He had a tough time leading.
Mike: He was a reluctant leader, he didn’t want that position.
Betsy: But look at who he had to lead!
Mike: And after talking to Mick, I think he has a lot of indecision in his personal life, so I don’t think this helps him at all. But, he’s a great guy.
Betsy: Yeah.

Gordon: OK, Betsy…what happens if you catch Russell speeding in New Hampshire?
Mike: Lockdown!
Betsy: I don’t want to get in trouble with my Chief, so I’m going to say “No comment” on that one!

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