Previous Survivor winner and fan favorite Aras Baskauskas lost his Redemption Island battle on Wednesday's Survivor: Blood vs. Water, falling to fellow winner Tina Wesson and his own brother Vytas, and now he's talking to ET about his experience on Survivor the second time around.
ETonline: Let's go back to the blindside. Were you totally shocked when you were voted out?
Aras: I wasn't totally shocked. That day I started to catch on that something was wrong. And I even told medical, I said, 'Man, I have this pit in my stomach, I don't feel good. I'm either getting blindsided or I have a stomach virus.' It was unfortunately not a stomach virus. One of the few times you wish for a stomach virus.
Yeah, I mean, Gervase was short with me, and Monica started to reveal… Now, granted, these things were kind of in the works for many, many days, but it's hard for people on the day of a vote-out to hide their feelings. It's very hard to understand when you're not out there but voting somebody off on Survivor almost feels like you're killing them. Not that I know what it feels like to kill someone but it's very hard for people to do that, and so they kind of show their hand a little bit. My biggest regret is that I didn't listen to my intuition as it was yelling at me.
ETonline: How hard was it for you in the game, that you're a strong player, pretty much on every level, and you also have your brother who's a strong player, how hard was it for you to manage that target on your back?
Aras: I think I underestimated the size of the target. Being a strong player, having my brother there, being a former winner, there were a lot of things working against me. And I obviously didn't manage it very well because I ended up going home earlier than I would have liked. But yeah, you know I think at the end of the day, a lot of my game play was resting on the friendship I had with Gervase. Which was a pre-existing friendship I had before the game started. And I never doubled back to make sure that Gervase was still good, I just assumed that that loyalty would remain and obviously it didn't and my ouster was the unfortunate consequence of that.
ETonline: And how does that affect your friendship outside of the game?
Aras: It's fine, it's a game, you know we all signed up to play a game. It's funny, if you played Survivor over the course of 39 minutes, which you probably could, voting somebody out would be very painless and easy. But because it's 39 days it's easy to make it seem like it's real life. It's a game, and Gervase did what he thought was best for him and so now we get to wait and see if that was indeed what was best for him.
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ETonline: So going into this season, coming into it with your brother, did you envision it going differently, did you think you were going to be playing on the same tribe as him?
Aras: No, I figured they'd split us up. I knew that from a narrative perspective, they were going to have to tell the story of our relationship, of all of our stories, in order to split us up. I didn't see them having us spend one night alone together, I thought that was kind of funny how they did that, but yeah I assumed they'd split us up and bring us back together and see if whether our relationships with our tribemates, or our family relationships were dominant. And obviously for the most part, the family relationships were dominant, with the exception of, the apparent vote-out of Laura M. last night. But I don't really think Ciera voted her mom out, she made a play to keep her mom, and it didn't work out. I don't look at that as a blindside at all.
ETonline: Talking about the rivalry between you and Vytas, on the show and in your past, do you think the show played it up? Would you say that the rivalry is pretty tame between you in real life?
Aras: I don't think the show played it up at all, to be perfectly frank, which is astounding, because you'd assume that would be something they'd play up. No, Vytas and I have always had a very intense relationship that involved a lot of competition, and things like that. But I think that our relationship now is great. It brought us closer together certainly and obviously when you're put out on an island, it's gonna be more intense because it's a competitive situation, so when Vytas and I are just hanging out together, it's not gonna highlight our competitive dynamic. But you put us in a situation that is unfortunately a nasty, competitive game, it's gonna highlight that and it's so raw that it brings up a lot from our past. No, none of that was fake. None of it was played up at all actually. That was us. And we have an ever-changing relationship, hopefully we're getting closer and closer as time goes by.
ETonline: When you guys were doing the challenge and Vytas took the cheap shot, is that something is just typical brother behavior, and would you have done the same thing?
Aras: I would not have done the same thing. That's typical Vytas. But at the same time, I kind of needed Vytas to take that cheap shot before I could knock him off the pedestal. You don't want to go into the psychiatry of the whole thing but in order for me to really get to the point where I could knock my brother off that pedestal, I needed him to take that cheap shot. And so it helped me actually.
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ETonline: So let's say Vytas comes back and wins all of his duels, and comes back to the game and wins Survivor, how would you feel?
Aras: I would be so stoked, that would be amazing! That would be great, that would be fantastic. I would be his No. 1 fan.
ETonline: Would you play again if they asked you?
Aras: It depends on when they asked me. You know, I have a lot of wonderful things happening in my life, I recently got engaged and I'm working on this music project, it's called Odd Us, it's a band I play in, OddUs.com. But yeah, it depends, if they asked me to play right now, I would say no, just because there's so many wonderful things happening in my life, but who knows, in a year from now I might say yes. [Ed. note, Aras also revealed to People.com Thursday that he is expecting a baby with his fiancee in June.]
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.