‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Abi: “I’m Going to Wait for the Right Time to Be the Villain”


"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

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Name: Abi-Maria Gomes
Season: “Survivor: Philippines”
Finish: Fifth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: The Brazilian beauty is best known for her feud with alliance-mate R.C. Saint-Amour.

Abi-Maria Gomes: Does your mom still hate me?
Gordon Holmes: I told her you were a sweetheart, but she only knows what she saw on CBS.
Gomes: (Laughs)
Holmes: You’re in that Corinne Kaplan category of people that in the game are viewed as villains, but in real life are super cool.
Gomes: Well, I’m very competitive.
Holmes: Yeah, but everyone out there is competitive. Does the lack of food bring out a meaner side?
Gomes: There’s the gamer Abi and the real Abi. And when you put yourself through the game, I put on my “Survivor” hat. You can’t be 100% real out there or you’re going to be eaten alive by the other contestants. When it comes to being lucky enough to be one of the ones chosen to play, I wear that “Survivor” hat. But in the real world, that hat gets put away and I’m the real Abi. I’m a good, genuine person outside of the game. But inside the game? Battle time!
Holmes: What time is it? It’s game time.
Gomes: Game time! Boo yah! (Laughs) Gangster!

Holmes: When I was prepping the info for what people are remembered for, I kept coming back to your feud with R.C. (Saint-Amour).
Gomes: I feuded with pretty much everyone. (Laughs)
Holmes: This is true. But you and R.C. were aligned at one point. Are you worried that others could view the break-up of that alliance as you flipping on her?
Gomes: It happened really quickly. We immediately connected. We didn’t have a minute to even think if we were going to work well together or not. And when someone comes up to you and says, “We’re together, right?” You can’t say no. You’re shooting yourself in the foot. She approached me first. But then I started noticing that she was getting too close to (Michael) Skupin and that created a huge paranoia in me. I was the weakest link from the get-go. I had an injury day one from jumping from the boat. I tore my ACL. And she was super strong. I was like, “Oh (expletive deleted)! Is she going to turn on me?” I acted too quickly. It was a mistake and I let my emotions control my game. This time around I want to be in control of my emotions. And I want to be in control of my circumstances. I don’t want to let things like that happen so quickly. I’m going to wait for the right time to be the villain.
Holmes: Have you two made peace since then?
Gomes: R.C. hates me. I’ve tried to beg for forgiveness, I’ve tried so hard. But there’s so much one can do. It’s like a dance. You have to be at the same beat and the same rhythm. And when she starts talking (expletive deleted) about me and lying about my personality? That hurts me. I’m not what you saw on “Survivor.” Yes, I’m feisty. Yes, I’m sassy. And it’s hard for me to forgive and forget, but that’s due to me being a Scorpio. I’ve had a lot of growth, I’ve been working on myself. And I do know that I did her wrong.  But, I was playing a game.

Holmes: With any returnee season, pre-game alliances are an issue. Have you participated in any? Have you heard of any?
Gomes: I’ve heard of some. I choose not to participate in any. If people have contacted me, I’m like, “Sure.” I’m not dumb. I’m always open to it. But, I know that they don’t work. Over and over again you’ve seen people get burned. Francesca (Hogi) is a huge example. She had pre-game alliances with (John) Cochran and Andrea (Boehlke) before she went on her season and she was the first one voted out. I think everyone comes with two or three friends and then when they put their toes on the sand that’s out the window. People are here to win. And in a season like “Second Chance” we have gamers here. It’s going to be crazy.

Holmes: Coach Wade did a great job in “South Pacific” flipping people’s perception of him. You were the villain of the “Philippines,” are you hoping to flip things the way he did?
Gomes: That is an excellent strategy. And I’m definitely trying to redeem myself. However, I own the whole villainess thing. I think it’s cool to be a villain in the “Survivor” world. The best players are all villains. Most of the winners are villains. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. But, out there I’m going to try to turn it around and be funny and have fun with it. I’m not going to have an injury.
Holmes: Oh, you totally just jinxed it. That other ACL is done for.
Gomes: (Laughs) No, I’m not going to have an injury. Knock on wood. I’m going to kill at challenges and I’m going to connect with each individual out there. And behind their backs I’ll be talking a lot of (expletive deleted). And I’m going to give the producers what they want.
Holmes: Which is…?
Gomes: Some sassy, naughty, mean Abi.
Holmes: You’re going to make my mom furious.
Gomes: I love it! (Laughs)

Holmes: Does your reputation put a target on your back?
Gomes: I think it does put a target on my back. But, I’m going to use that to my advantage. In “Philippines,” there was one thing that was true; I was someone’s friend, but if you (expletive deleted) with me, you’re dead.
Holmes: That’s why I don’t (expletive deleted) with you.
Gomes: (Laughs) I do have an angel on my left shoulder and a devil on my right shoulder.

Holmes: You’re the only person from “Survivor: Philippines,” there are several people from “Cagayan.” There are several people from “San Juan del Sur.” Is that a concern?
Gomes: I know! Hopefully they don’t like each other. And hopefully they realize it will put a target on their back. I’m a very observant person, so hopefully that won’t be an issue for my game. The “Cagayan” people are Spencer, Woo, Kass, and Tasha. Ok…Woo is a cutie.
Holmes: He’s adorable.
Gomes: He’s so adorable! Oh my God. I totally want to charm him up and seduce him a little bit. I want his hair…and his abs…he’s so cute! Oh my God, I just wanna…like hug him.
Holmes:  Are you and Peter (Yurkowski) still together?
Gomes: No…we broke up.
Holmes: Oh, I’m sorry.
Gomes: Peter and I broke up. We dated for two years. But, I’m 35 and ready for the real thing. I don’t think he’s quite there yet. I don’t think timing is our side.
Holmes: How old is he?
Gomes: He’s 27.
Holmes: Yeah, that’s young.
Gomes: He’s young. He’s a great guy, I love him to death. I’m sure he loves me too.
Holmes: So, as a single woman, there are no barriers to you putting the moves on Woo.
Gomes: There are no barriers. I’m going to be flirting. And I have my eyes on Woo. We would have cute babies together, could you imagine?
Holmes: Adorable. But, that should be a secondary goal.
Gomes: Secondary goal!
Holmes: Primary goal is winning “Survivor.”
Gomes: I think he has a girlfriend though. Sorry…to his girlfriend.
Holmes: (Laughs) Villain!

Holmes: If there is a twist this season, what do you think it is?
Gomes: I’m sure that Jeff will be having tons of twists. Especially because we’ve been having this pre-game for 10 days now. We’ve spent time studying each other. I think it’ll be a schoolyard pick for tribes and I think they’ll be mixing up the tribes as much as he can. I don’t think he’s going to make it easy for us to build bonds.

Holmes: Alright, we’re going to play “Align or Malign.” In my hand I have nineteen cards featuring your competitors. You’ll go through them and tell me who you’ll align with and who you’ll malign. Trick is, you only get eight aligns.
Gomes: I like this game.
Holmes: Right?

Gomes: OK, Vytas and Kelly…they’re scary! They’re yogis.
Holmes: They can speak with their minds.
Gomes: (Laughs) I see them reading the same book. Winking at each other. And I like Vytas. I’ve been to his yoga class. We’re not friends, but I’d love to align with him. But, if he aligns with her that might be a problem for me. I’m not here to go home anytime soon. I want this badly. So, I’ll align. And Kelly reminds me so much of Denise (Stapley). Pre-game I see her walking around, stoic face. Very hard to read. And she’s going to get a lot of sympathy votes if she gets to the end. She almost won “Borneo.” She lost by one vote. So, I will align with her for a little while. Before she makes it far. I’ll align with her.

Gomes: Tasha…align. She’s a gamer. I don’t think she’s afraid of aligning with a villain. She likes Brazil. She does throw a few Portuguese words here or there.

Gomes: Monica…malign. She laughs like R.C.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Gomes:  She totally does!

Gomes: Woo? And his hair? Totally align! He’s my little ninja.

Gomes: Jeremy? What a nice guy. Totally align. He’s a firefighter from Boston. Super strong. He has some guns on him. Align.

Gomes: I have three aligns left! Ciera…malign. She voted off her mom. She’s ruthless. Can’t have two ruthless people in the same alliance. She’ll cut people’s heads off just like I will. I love her and she’s super cute.

Gomes: Kimmi…malign. Her boobs get people distracted.
Holmes: All boobs are distracting, Abi.
Gomes: (Laughs) I know!

Gomes: Joe reminds me too much of Malcolm (Freberg). So…malign. Malcolm called me a dementor. Go (expletive deleted) yourself.

Gomes: Andrew…align. He reminds me of Jeff Probst.

Gomes: Keith…malign. He’s weak. I don’t think he’s going to do well in challenges.

Gomes: Shirin…align. She was the Abi in her season.

Gomes: One align left…Jeff Varner. I love my gays.
Holmes: Another thing you and Corinne Kaplan have in common.
Gomes: He’s bitchy. I love it.

Gomes: Kass…malign. Can’t trust her.

Gomes: Spencer…malign. Too smart for his own good.

Gomes: Terry…malign. Military…micro-manager…too much of a leader. I’d be a no collar.

Gomes: Stephen…malign. He’s a know-it-all. C’mon.

Gomes: Kelley…malign. You’re too cute for your own good.

Gomes: Peih-Gee…malign. Her bitch face? My God. When she does her bitch face she looks like a frog. Dude, you’re a pretty lady when you smile. But when you do your bitch face? Annoying.

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

“Survivor: Second Chance” will kick off with a special 90-minute premiere on Wednesday, September 23rd at 8 p.m. ET.

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