‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Vytas: ‘I’ll Take Ciera to the End, I Can Beat Ciera’


"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY TV sent me deep into the Cambodian wilderness to bring you all kinds of “Survivor: Second Chance” goodness. So, be sure to check back for exclusive interviews, photos, and behind-the-scenes tidbits. And, follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

[xfinity-record-button id=”4814958312953183112″ program_type=”series”]

Name: Vytas Baskauskas
Season: “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”
Finish: Tenth place
Why You Should Remember Him: The brother of “Survivor: Panama” champ Aras Baskauskas made a strong showing for himself, but was quickly voted out after the merge when the brother pairing was deemed to be too powerful.

Gordon Holmes: You were my pick to win “Blood vs. Water,” and whoever I pick to win loses. So, I feel terrible.
Vytas Baskauskas: Like the ill-fated car curse of “Survivors” of old.
Holmes: Yeah, and at least they get a car out of it.
Baskauskas: (Laughs)
Holmes: I am truly sorry. So, who would you like me to curse this time?
Baskauskas: Who do I think has a good shot at winning this game…? I guess I’d like you to curse Stephen.
Holmes: He’s done for. Great guy, but he’s a goner.
Baskauskas: Oh, I’m planning on working with him. But when it gets down to the end…
Holmes: The curse will kick in.
Baskauskas: Exactly.

Holmes: Did Aras give you any advice before you came back out?
Baskauskas: Aras is smart, dude. Aras has a really good knack for this game. He is excellent at building relationships and I think I was lucky that my first impression from people was one that Aras had laid the groundwork for. “Everybody loves Aras! I’m going to like his brother, too. He does yoga, too! Aras and Vytas, such trustworthy guys!” Unfortunately, I don’t get to create a first impression the second time. But, as soon as the campaign started, all of my social media was about creating  that impression anew. As far as what you saw on my season, I was a little more conniving and manipulating. I wasn’t a true villain, but I the knives were out a little bit more in my gameplay.
Holmes: You’re worried that’s what people might remember about you?
Baskauskas:  A little bit. So, as soon as the campaign started it was pictures of me and my son. And, “I’m into yoga, remember me? I’m Aras’s brother. I’m a family man. I’m loving and kind and sweet.” And I think in the beginning, what Aras and I talked about was creating those bonds, engendering trust in people, engendering good will. You can’t win the game in the beginning. You can only lose the game in the beginning.

Holmes: You have history with Ciera…
Baskauskas:  I’m surprised we’re the only two “Blood vs. Water” players. I guess a lot of the others didn’t really have a shot at the second chance. You know, Brad (Culpepper) didn’t make it on here. Hayden (Moss) didn’t make the cut of the group. People like Marissa (Peterson) I think deserve a second chance.
Holmes: Are you and Ciera working together?
Baskauskas:   I’m sure Ciera and I will be working together. That’s a relationship that is a good relationship for me to have, but is unfortunately the relationship that everybody knows about. It’s not something I can hide. In a big group, people are going to know that we’re together. It’s an alliance we can minimize. If we’re on the same tribe we can have a talk on day one like, “Hey, we’re obviously together. But, don’t sit near me when we eat. Don’t sleep near me.” Maybe we can even bad mouth each other, “Yeah, I like Ciera. But, I don’t think I’m going to stick with her.” I’ll take Ciera to the end, I can beat Ciera. Get me to a final Tribal with her? She’s not the best at playing this game. You’ve got to work the people you have positive relationships with.

Holmes:  Who else do you have positive relationships with?
Baskauskas:  Ciera is one of them. Terry is one of them. Spencer is one of them. Pretty sure Stephen…Stephen and I haven’t met. But I live in L.A. so I get to meet people when they come through the finale. And that’s where I get to use Aras because Aras loves the “Survivor” community. Same with Jeremy, I think we shook hands at their finale. But at a finale party later Aras and Jeremy had a long conversation. So, that’s something. I can say, “Hey Jeremy, my brother loves you, man. He says the best things about you. Let’s work together!”

Holmes: With returnee seasons, there’s always talk of pre-game alliances. Have you taken part in any?
Baskauskas:  I’m close to Brad. Brad didn’t make it. I was pretty close with Shane. Shane didn’t make it. And Ciera and I didn’t talk very much. She’s busy being a mom. I talked to Spencer a little bit. But, when you talk to people before the game, you hear that “so-and-so reached out to me. So-and-so has offered me this.” The only thing I feel when I hear things like that is that they’re playing too hard. They’re dangerous. I didn’t want to be someone who had his name out there. I didn’t want anyone saying, “Vytas is making a lot of alliances pre-game.” Of course I wanted to solidify some relationships I had. Even a guy like Woo, I met him at his finale. I sent him a text like, “Dude, I’m so excited that you’re in this group. Hope we get to play again.” It wasn’t like…
Holmes: Final five!
Baskauskas:   (Laughs) Yeah. Some people are doing that.
Holmes: Who’s doing that?
Baskauskas:  Some of the stuff is pretty obvious. You see Kass and Jeff on Twitter. Jeff even made a llama video about Kass’s comment to Tony (Vlachos). Kass offered Shane final five. Shane showed me the text that Kass sent. I don’t really know anybody else exactly. You have to imagine people from the same season are close. I’d imagine that Jeremy and Keith are tight. Is Kelley with them? Kelley was a pre-merge boot. She didn’t get to bond with them at Ponderosa. In fact, maybe she’s bitter that Jeremy talked about voting her out right in front of her. I think people are over the bitterness. I’m going to guess she’s going to want to work with them.

Holmes: Then how dangerous is a cast like Cagayan that has four representatives?
Baskauskas:  Well, Woo was never with Spencer and Tasha. And Woo made it to the end, so he didn’t really bond with them at Ponderosa. I’m sure Spencer and Tasha are good. Stephen Fishbach and Spencer, they spend time together on “Know-It-Alls.” They have the “Rob Has a Podcast” community. Jeff and Kimmi, they had a little feud on their season. But is that something that is fun now, are they really tight?
Holmes: It’s this crazy six-degrees of separation situation. I could see someone with a huge board with yarn going from headshot to headshot.
Baskauskas: And some are so obvious. I’m sure Joe and Shirin are together. Shirin’s Ponderosa video, “I love you, Joe!” They’re tight-knit for sure.

Holmes: Who are some early targets?
Baskauskas: I’m real open. I think there are early targets which are nice. There are a lot of heroic men. There are no real villainous men. There are villainous women. But Terry, Joe…what does it say about what America likes in their men and what it likes in their women? I don’t want Kass around. Her chaotic gameplay scares me. You know when she’s on the bottom she’s going to (expletive deleted) stuff up. She’s going to make it really tough on people in the dominant alliance. I wouldn’t be shocked if we did an initial vote-out like they did on my season. That’s a lot of people to start with.
Holmes: I was there for that. We didn’t know what was happening until we got out there. Probst took me aside and filled me in on the 300 twists that were happening that morning. I remember thinking, “What a trainwreck.” It was awesome.
Baskauskas:  It was awesome. He was like “Welcome to ‘Survivor,’ new players, returning players, here are your buffs. Oh, and one more thing. You’re voting someone out right now.”
Holmes: It was like 20 more things.
Baskauskas:  (Laughs) I was just like…my jaw dropped and I was like, “Oh, (expletive deleted).” We had no idea. The only reason Laura was voted for was because Brad looked at me and Laura (Boneham) was standing next to me. I pointed. If they do that again, I’m sure Kass will be someone who gets the early boot. But, what if you have to vote out.

Holmes: As far as twists, if there is one, any predictions?
Baskauskas: I’m curious how they will break us up. A schoolyard pick is interesting because it shows alliances. We’ll see who wants who. I already have my pick if there’s a schoolyard pick. A man has to pick a woman, so I’ll probably pick Wiglesworth. I heard her Rob (Cesternino) podcast and she seems like someone I’d want to work with.
Holmes: Did the pre-game talk sway you in anyone’s else direction?
Baskauskas: I listened to every one of them. I wanted to hear what people were thinking. And some of the people were really unaware that everyone was listening. Tasha said something like, “Alliances are going to be changing on a whim. You’ve got to be ready to bounce back and forth between alliances.” And I thought, “Not working with you.” Some people were saying, “I’m going to make a huge move this time!” Well, not in my alliance you’re not.

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.
That’s a minority alliance, by the way.
Well, let’s hope there isn’t a twenty-person tribe.

Baskauskas: Jeff…malign. That dude campaigned so hard. He posted a thousand memes on Twitter. Someone who wants it that badly scares me. The fact that he’s aligning with Kass scares me.

Baskauskas: Kass…malign. Her gameplay is not to be trusted.

Baskauskas:Keith…align. Seems like a trustworthy dude. I loved his character. Happy they brought him back.

Baskauskas: Stephen…align. Smart guy. I think you want smart players to think you’re with them.

Baskauskas: Kimmi…malign. She lives in Texas, loves her guns. Saw her reading a book on Republican economic theory. It kind of annoyed me a little bit.

Baskauskas: Abi-Maria…I want to align with because she’s so hated. She got such a bad edit her first time around. She knows she’s a villain. I think if you make Abi feel safe, she’ll become a pawn.

Baskauskas: Savage…I don’t know. Something about this guy. I’m maligning for sure with this guy. Maybe because he’s Probst’s good friend.

Baskauskas: Shirin…she got a lot of flack for being annoying on her season. Malign.

Baskauskas: Kelly…align. She seems like she’s really cool. She seems like she wants to go out there and have a really good time.

Baskauskas: Tasha…malign. Some of her campaign stuff talked about doing big, bad things in this game.

Baskauskas: Ciera…align.  We have a good positive relationship. Good history.

Baskauskas: Joe…I’m going to align with. Take a huge target and put it right out in front of me.

Baskauskas: Woo…I’m going to align with. He’s a trustworthy dude.

Baskauskas: Monica…malign. I think she’s a girl who’s used her good looks to get what she wants in life. I’m not into that kind of manipulation.

Baskauskas: Kelley…malign. Super fan, pre-merge…she’ll do anything to make the merge this time.

Baskauskas: Jeremy…malign. He seems a little too cool for school. There’s something about his energy. He seems like a nice guy, but a little rough around the edges.

Baskauskas: Spencer…malign. Somebody that…he’s such a great kid…he spent the night on my couch in L.A. I’m sure I’ll try to align with him at some point, but I always go back to that Cagayan pre-season video he did where he was talking about being the greatest villain the show has ever seen. That scares me.

Baskauskas:Peih-Gee…malign. I don’t know a lot about her. She’s a little bit villainous.

Baskauskas: Terry…align.  He’s one of the most trustworthy guys here. From what I know through Aras and Shane Powers, Terry’s a guy who if he tell you, “Final three,” he’s not going to write your name down.


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.

Tags: , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: