'Survivor' Villain Abi: Anyone Can Win
By LISA HIRSCH
December 13, 2012
Survivor showed the door to this season's biggest villain on Wednesday night, as 32-year-old Brazil native Abi-Maria Gomes was sent home right before the season finale. ET catches up with the business school student to find out if what we saw at home was the true Abi, what she thought of everyone's negative comments about her, and what lessons she learned in the Philippines.
ETonline: How difficult was it for you to be eliminated just right before the finale?
Abi: How hard was it? Oh my goodness, so hard, I could smell the million. I was just like, "God, no it's so close."
ETonline: So when you made your final argument, and they showed some of this last night on the show, what argument did you make for them to bring you and not Denise to the finale?
Abi: Well I'm the goat. I'm the bottom feeder. I'm the disgusting, horrible player, the villain. Nobody liked me, why wouldn't they take me? Why would they take Miss Perfect?
ETonline: A lot of the players this season had not very nice things to say about you. How was it for you to watch it on TV?
Abi: I don't get frustrated or upset watching the confessionals because we were all playing the game. It's like you're playing the game against each other, I'm sure people will say mean things about you, especially the way I was acting. I wasn't surprised. What is more upsetting to me is the exit interviews, after the fact that the game is over and people are [still holding such a] grudge against you; that's harder for me than watching people talking when they're in the game still.
ETonline: Were you putting on a persona to a certain extent during the game, or was it pretty much "what you see is what you get"?
Abi: I got injured badly on the first day there and I was trying to cover it up; that's the reason I did so poorly on challenges. I tore my ACL and had to undergo surgery when I was back and it was a very serious injury. I'm still healing from it. So that affected my personality because I was in constant pain when I was there. But I'm not going to blame it on editing, I'm not gonna blame it on culture -- what you see is what you get. That's what I was; I was being terrible, I was being a royal bitch, I was being entitled.
ETonline: That's crazy about the ACL, that is a very major injury. Did you talk in your confessionals about it or did you not reveal it to the cameras at all?
Abi: I don't remember what happened there. I was in so much pain; you don't really sleep at night and you don't eat. Everything that happened there, it's literally foggy to me, I'm being completely honest with you. I don't remember much of my confessionals and so on. I remember not wanting to talk about it too much but I didn't want to use my injury as an excuse.
ETonline: And also you probably didn't want them to see you as being weak.
Abi: [Yes], especially before the merge -- to be strong for the tribe because the merge is all about winning challenges. After the merge; it's a different story. I was trying to be strong, not weak for sure.
ETonline: I was watching the Ponderosa clips and I saw RC confront you, were you surprised by how personally she and some other people took the game?
Abi: I was very surprised at how personally some players take the game. I was totally disconnected when I was voted off the island. I was like, "Okay, game over, time to party." And I get there and Peter, Penner, Artis, Carter, Jeff, so nice, so wonderful, [but R.C.] wouldn't even look at me. You know, and I made a point to go up to her and say, "Hi," and give her a hug and apologize, but to this day, she still hasn't forgiven me. I'm sad about it.
ETonline: Do you think that if the Tandang tribe had stuck together, do you think you would have made it to the end?
Abi: Talking about "what ifs" is just so difficult. To be completely honest with you, I almost wish we had lost some challenges in the beginning, because it's easier that way, when you go to the merge so strong like that, it just gives the other tribes more to work with, to break the alliances that were formed.
ETonline: Not to play "what ifs" even more, but if you could play the game all over again, is there anything you would change?
Abi: You know, I actually went this time around with great intentions. So let me just say, yeah I'm just gonna go back and I'm gonna go with bad intentions, and then maybe I'll play with good intentions.
ETonline: Is there anything you learned out there in the game, a life lesson that you have applied to your life coming back home?
Abi: Absolutely, I learned so much about myself, how passive-aggressive I can be, how badly I can approach situations. So I'm really working on that so that I can have a better approach with people, and not be so aggressive and passive aggressive. You know, just learn how to communicate better.
ETonline: When you were out there playing the game, what did you miss most?
Abi: Shower, being clean, food. Oh my gosh -- food! Food, food, food. Food on my mind 24/7. I wanted to brush my teeth so badly. You don't think in life, you start appreciating, for sure.
ETonline: Are there any players that you're going to keep in touch with after the game?
Abi: Peter and I are very close, Malcolm, we're really good friends too, Carter is a sweetheart, mostly the boys. Hey, what does that say about me?
ETonline: If they ever asked you, would you ever come back and play again?
Abi: It would be an honor, absolutely. And hopefully I will go with really bad intentions too.
ETonline: Out of the final four, who you are rooting for, anyone?
Abi: It's hard for me to answer that question without giving anything away, but anyone can win, let's just put it that way.
The finale of Survivor: Philippines airs this Sunday night on CBS at 8/7 c.