‘Survivor’ Castaway Cliff: ‘Being Irritating Was a Part of (Trish’s) Game’


'Survivor: Cagayan' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to be for all sorts of “Survivor: Cagayan” back-stabbin’, torch-snuffin’ fun. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Blood vs. Water” competitor Ciera Eastin, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; tribe swaps are the worst. It takes a pair of teams and immediately turns them into individuals. Challenge strength takes a backseat to merge strategies.

(Although in this case, Cliff’s tribe was already trying to get rid of him. But, that doesn’t prove my point, so we’ll ignore it.)

I spoke to the world’s tallest sports management executive the morning after his blindside and asked about his end-game plans, being targeted by Cops R Us, and the Lindsey/Trish feud…

Gordon Holmes: Rough way to go last night with Tony and Trish stabbing you in the back. Did you see it coming at all?
Cliff Robinson: I felt pretty strong all day. But, right before leaving to Tribal there was a conversation that was brought to my attention that made me feel some kind of way about Tony. But, we were getting ready to leave so I couldn’t get back to Tony and massage the relationship or confirm that he was going to vote the way we had decided to vote.
Holmes: Was your plan to be five strong with Woo, Lindsey, and Cops R Us and then go to the final three with Woo and Lindsey?
Robinson: That was the plan. The plan was to keep the five together. I knew Trish was going to, once I saw that she was able to get with LJ, I knew it was going to be over. She was so taken by LJ that I knew once he was able to get her to the side, we would probably lose her. But, she was lost from the beginning.
Holmes: Yeah, it seems like her and Lindsey were butting heads from the first episode.
Robinson: They just didn’t get along. I think that was a part of Trish’s game. (Laughs) And I’ll give her credit for that. I think being irritating was a part of her game. It worked its magic eventually on Lindsey and on me because after a while I didn’t talk to her either.

Holmes: What’s going through your mind when you’re watching Tony poisoning Sarah against you and then them trying to throw a challenge to get rid of you?
Robinson: I had to give them kudos for trying it. They tried to make a move. Big moves are going to be rewarded or you’re going to pay for them. They tried to make a big move.
Holmes: I think the mistake they made was trying to throw a challenge that involved you making free throws.
Robinson: (Laughs) This is true.
Holmes: Sarah approached Woo about throwing the challenge and he seemed to be into it. Did you have any idea that Woo wasn’t 100% on your side?
Robinson: That was the thing that surprised me. Even though they talked to Woo about it, me and Woo had conversations about Sarah and Trish, but he never confided in me about them trying to throw the challenge. I think in his defense, he didn’t know which way the tribe was going. And he was on the fence whether to stick with Cliff and Lindsey or to go with Sarah, Trish, and Tony. When you’re in a numbers game you’ve got to be on the fence. So, I understand where he was at.

Holmes: Did you tell everyone you were in sports marketing?
Robinson: (Laughs) I do work in sports marketing. But right from the beginning, the basketball thing came up immediately. I thought I’d just nip it in the bud and be honest with them.
Holmes: Jeff Kent wears a baseball hat and a helmet and he isn’t quite as tall as you. He might blend a little better.
Robinson: There was nothing wrong with me wanting to omit something. So, if they would’ve asked me if I’d played basketball without someone recognizing me, I probably would’ve said I played some kind of basketball and tried to not bring up the fact that I played in the NBA. But, right at the beginning Woo outted me with the basketball cards.

Holmes: You’re a big guy. You require a lot of calories to get going. How tough was the lack of food on you?
Robinson: After a while, it’s not really that big of an issue. I was able to catch a fish, we found papayas, we found bananas. So, we were able to take advantage of some of the things that were in our environment. But, the biggest thing is hydration. You’re sweating, you’re moving. You want water all the time.
Holmes: One of the knocks Trish made about you was that you weren’t contributing around camp. Do you think her assessment was correct? We only see what they show us.
Robinson: Very not true. That was one of the things I was disappointed about the editing of the show. I caught coconut crabs, I fished, I was the person to locate the papaya trees, I found a lime tree. I was the person to get the bananas. I think that’s a very unfair assessment, especially when she was the person who was eating all of the stuff that I brought into camp. But, at the same time, it was a part of her game to get LJ and Jefra to think negatively about me.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Woo.
Robinson: Reliable.
Holmes: Lindsey?
Robinson: Tough.
Holmes: Trish?
Robinson: (Laughs) Not my type of person.
Holmes: Sarah?
Robinson: Shady.
Holmes: Tony?
Robinson: Very shady.
Holmes: (Laughs) Jefra?
Robinson: Naïve.
Holmes: Let’s finish with LJ.
Robinson: LJ is smooth. He was able to win some people over with his ability to be laid back.

Holmes: Both of our cops are “shady.” Has your experience in the game affected your opinion of the boys (and girls) in blue?
Robinson: No, not necessarily. There’s always a place for a police officer when you need one. But at the same time I’ve run into police officers who don’t tell the truth. I probably should have remembered that when I was out there.

Holmes: It seemed like you were having a blast out there. Any interest in going back?
Robinson: I wish I had the opportunity to blindside someone. I can’t wait to get back out on the beach. I said, “Let’s go, Probst. Get me back out there!”

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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