Monty Brinton/ CBS
It was a close vote on Wednesday night's "Survivor: Nicaragua" and it was down to the last vote to determine whether or not Marty or Jane would be eliminated. Marty, who had a target on his back from the beginning, was finally ousted from the tribe. Now, ET talks to the technology executive about his ups-and-downs in the game.
ET: You were so close to staying. You almost won the Immunity Challenge and you had almost convinced enough folks to vote Jane off. How do you feel about that? So close, yet so far away?
Marty Piombo: I feel awful, but it was really close and that is what I concentrate on. This game is about anything can happen. You can be really, really close and turn the corner, and others you can't. I feel I was working from a position of vulnerability since the tribal switch, so I am pretty ecstatic I made it as far as I did. I made some bold moves to get there. If Sash and Brenda had seen all the way down the road map that I provided all the way to the final three and believed that was the best option for them. I think it was very, very close. Last night would have been very different. I would have gone to final five at least. Sometimes that is all it takes in this game is one or two votes. Last night, if I had had the two votes, we would have had a different outcome. I concentrate on that. I concentrate on the fact that there were some great players that were behind my leaving the game -- I wouldn't include Jane in that. She outlasted me and she gets full credit for that. The real players are the ones that are thinking long-term and about how far they are going to get in the game.
ET: Why do you think you were such a target?
Marty Piombo: I think I played a pretty bold, wide-open game. I didn't hide anything. My personality is such that I could never have played under the radar. People knew I was a threat. Before I started the game, people wanted to take me out. I hadn't even opened my mouth. We were selected by Brenda, not as assets, but as people to eliminate. Jill -- such a great player and such an amazing person -- and I, I think were strong and people could tell we were intelligent. We played the game and understood the game far more than most people who are left out there, with the exception of a handful of people. I think that is primarily there. Other people may say, "He was arrogant. He was cocky. He was outspoken." I am sure that is all part of it, too. I would be crazy to say it was just one thing.
ET: A lot of people that I talk to, because a lot of us here watch "Survivor," like Jane. But when I look at Jane, I see a woman who is holding on to her anger to a point that it could be to her detriment. What is your take on Jane?
Marty Piombo: Within five minutes of this game starting, we were in the woods -- me and Jimmy Johnson -- and Jane ran up and said, "My husband just died. I need the money. Please don't vote me off." It really turned me off personally. I have had more personal tragedy and loss in my life than her and Chase combined. I deliberately chose not to bring that into the game. It sent up a red flag to me just in terms of who would use her husband's death in a game like this on national TV? Then to see her immediately choose Wendy and Jimmy T. as her partners in this game threw up a couple of other red flags. She became someone we felt was not going to be a part of the inner circle, which was true and she was on the chopping block. But I was always pragmatic in this game. I never said anything mean to her or bad about her in Tribal Council. My manifesto at Tribal a couple of episodes ago was very straight-forward and non-emotional. It was about the game and assessing the characteristics of who has a good shot at winning the $1 million. It was strategic in that I wanted to put the heat on Jane, and I wanted people to realize that, and I wanted to jeopardize her long-term ability in the game by doing that and get attention off me. People knew I was strategic by then and I was dead man walking anyway. She talks about me being slanderous. She, obviously, doesn't know the definition of slander because that means I made false statements. I never did. It was all just very pragmatic. I played a pragmatic game. I don't think she can. The level of hatred surfaced last night about my family and my children. Even by "Survivor" standards, I think people would find that hitting below the belt. That was the most disappointing part of the season for me. I think it speaks to her and her upbringing and where she comes from. You have to take that as part of reality TV.
ET: Talking about families, you did say something to NaOnka about her father not being proud of her? Any second thoughts on that?
Marty Piombo: One of the very few conversations I had with NaOnka about her stealing and all that stuff was: Listen, this is "Survivor" where anything is up for grabs. If you had stolen that stuff and you actually had a plan for it. What is the next step? How are you going to use that to further your game? All those answers were none. It was just reckless, destructive behavior. I pointed out to her in a private conversation, "Look. At the end of the day, you are going to be evaluated in a vacuum because it didn't achieve anything. All you did was steal for stealing's sake and being destructive. People are going to look at that and say, 'How would my parents view me in that? How will people think I was raised?'" That was my point at Tribal. My parents watching that would look at it and say, "Wow! Is that how I raised you?" I don't think I said or acted in any way toward Jane that would cause her to call my fatherhood into question or how I raised my children. My point to NaOnka was: If there was strategy behind it, people would understand it. Now it is just a reflection of you and your character because nobody can figure out why you would do that.
ET: Was the food deprivation the hardest part?
Marty Piombo: I will be honest. More than food and more than rain and lack of sleep was Jane's non-stop flatulence. We are not talking dainty-like. We are talking truck driver. I live in the Bay Area and it kind of brought me back home because I used to live on Russian Hill and I could hear the foghorns out on the bay. After that, no food and no sleep, and really no sleep.
ET: Was your "Survivor" experience positive enough that you would want to do it again?
Marty Piombo: I think so. I love the purity of the game. I don't like some of the fallout – someone bringing up your family for example. I was watching it with my kids last night who are six and eight years old. That is disappointing. I know it is part of the experience and I take it as such. For the game's sake, I would love to play it again. I made such incredible friends. People throughout the whole prospect have been so incredible.
ET: Now that you're gone, who are you rooting for?
Marty Piombo: I will root for the folks -- without saying any specific names -- the people who are the smartest, strategic players left and the people that look like they are not as strategic as people as everyone thinks they might not be, but they have more going on upstairs than people think.
"Survivor: Nicaragua" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.