It all seemed to be going Scot Pollard’s way. His alliance had two hidden immunity idols, which could be combined into a single Super Idol that could be used after the votes were read. Then one alliance member won an extra vote advantage and the other won individual immunity at the challenge. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything. Scot was eliminated after Aubry hatched a secret plan to oust him and convinced Tai to switch sides. Tai not only voted for Scot but then also refused to give him his idol to make the Super Idol that would have saved him. We had so many questions for the former NBA player, and we asked them all when he called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) this morning. You can now hear the entire interview right here on the Inside TV Podcast. Here are some highlights:
On his thoughts once he realized Tai was not giving him the idol:
“The first thing I thought of was how I saved him when he was going home and I got him to not use the idol, so he even had an idol to play at that point. The blindside happened in the game. I just didn’t see a reason for him to blindside me at that point if you’re looking at it from a pure strategy point of view. My perspective was, you want to get to the end of the game with people you think you can beat. And if anybody is beatable in the game of Survivor this season, it’s Scot and Jason. Scot because he’s an athlete and nobody’s going to give him a million dollars, and Jason because of the way that him and I played the game and seemingly, according to the audience, have made everybody in the tribe not like us.
“Now, I don’t know if that’s reality, with a few exceptions, but the portrayal of the villains made us unlikable to the tribe. I’m sitting there going, ‘Why would Tai betray us to go back to an alliance that is literally just using him to get rid of us?’ So that was what was going through my mind. And I was shocked and I expressed it. I don’t have any hard feelings towards Tai. I think it was a very selfish move and we’ll see if it plays out in his favor and works for him long-term.… As it appears, he just got manipulated by Aubry.
On if he realized Tai had voted for him after the votes were read:
“I didn’t know if he had voted against me but immediately I was like, if he’s not going to give me his idol, he probably voted against me also.”
On when he realized for sure that Tai had voted against him:
“Last night, when I was watching the show. We’ve talked since filming, but I don’t ask questions about strategy.”
On why they did not have Jason wait to give him the idol after the votes were read and Tai gave Scot his, so that way they did not waste Jason’s idol:
“He could have waited, but it was just a sign of trust…. And Tai didn’t do that and that should have been my first clue that he wasn’t going to give me the idol, but again, we waited and decided, let’s wait and see if Tai gets the votes or I get the votes and then we can just Super Idol our way out of it. And that didn’t play out.”
On if he would have been allowed to give the idol back to Jason after being eliminated:
“I don’t know that answer for sure. I even heard conflicting stories from producers post-game — that I could have walked over and given it to him in a handshake. But then other people said, ‘No, no, once you’re voted out, it’s a dead idol and it would have gotten put back into the game somehow.’ So I don’t know the answer definitively, but the reason I didn’t even try is shock. And Jason felt the same way. We were both just shocked that Tai did that. And the last thing on our minds was, ‘Hey, pull that idol out and give it to me.’
[ED NOTE: It is my understanding that Scot was already out of the game once he did not have a super idol and therefore could not give an idol back to Jason, but I have asked host Jeff Probst for confirmation on that.]
[UPDATE with confirmation from Jeff Probst: “Once the votes are read, an idol is dead. The exception this season is if you can find someone to pair their idol with yours then both idols are reactivated to form a super idol and you can use that idol to save yourself. Otherwise, your individual idol is still dead. So once Tai denied Scot his idol, it was over. Scot could not give his idol to Jason.”]
On whether the sabotage was actually strategy or just revenge:
“It was absolutely both. It was a reaction. And again, what people don’t see — there was nobody else out in the ocean getting giant clams besides me. There was nobody else spear fishing and collecting crabs besides me. Tai got a fish trap together, he was trying to catch fish. We didn’t have very good success with that.… Firewood being brought in was by Jason and me. The fire was kept and maintained by Tai.
“When you’re providing for everybody and then the scheming starts and you get called the oppressor, and you get called racist terms, and you get called a bully, it’s like, wait a minute, we’re feeding you, we’re joking with you, and we’re having fun. But again, I get it. It’s a TV show and that doesn’t make for good TV if you see the whole character. So we got a slice of our behavior put on TV and we were made to be the villains and I’m okay with that. That’s fine. That’s how I was portrayed as a character on a TV show. That’s what happened.
“So, yeah, it was both. We felt a little betrayed by Cydney, so we reacted. Jason, I got a sense most of his was scorched earth policy. Mine was, at this point in the game I’ve made it further than I expected myself to even make it as an athlete and I’m sitting there saying, ‘So what else am I going to do? Am I going to jump to the girls? No, they’re not going to use me.’ So I had to stick with my alliance. I stuck with Jason through thick or thin and that’s the way we decided to roll.
“What’s shocking to me is how the audience — and I’m seeing social media reaction — is completely forgiving of Tai, who wasn’t prompted and wasn’t provoked in any way, shape, or form to join in. And then he snuck out in the middle of the night and put the fire out. I went out in front of everybody and said, ‘Let’s end the speculation,’ just to make sure that everybody knew what was going on. Tai did it in the middle of the night and the social media reaction is, ‘Oh, he was being bullied by Scot and Jason too.’ What?”
On people thinking he put the fire out that Tai put out:
“We got blamed for it. Just like we got blamed for everything else and continue to. When he did that, I will tell you the truth — I didn’t actually believe Tai did it either, until I saw it on TV.”
On how he was perceived by viewers:
“I was playing a game for a million dollars. Did I come across as arrogant? Yeah. Did I come across as a jerk at times? Yeah. But I know who I am and I know what I was doing on that show. I was trying to provide for my family, because that’s what I do.”
On what he anticipates when he shares a stage with Alecia at the Reunion:
“I don’t bear her any ill will. There may be some hard feelings on her end because she feels like she got the short end of the stick, but in reality she stuck around a lot longer than she otherwise would have had it not been for the struggles between Jason and I in terms of who we wanted to keep…. As for how people perceive Jason and my treatment of her, I don’t know if you guys have ever been in an argument, but if you have, record the whole thing and then play back half of it where one person is saying all the mean stuff and the other person is just standing there listening. And I think that’s kind of how it is.
“I wont blame it all on the edit because I said all the things I said. But, in fairness, I got credit for saying a lot of things that I didn’t actually say. Like, I didn’t walk around going, ‘I’m an NBA champion.’ She said that. Or Jason said that. And did I call her Blondie all the time? No. I may have called her Blondie once or twice, but who called her Blondie when she was voted out? Neal! The next episode after she’s out, Neal goes ‘Bye, bye Blondie.’ And, by the way, is that a derogatory term. She’s got blond hair.
“So I don’t have any ill will towards Alecia. I don’t have any problem with her personally. I don’t know her. But from what she told me, and told us on the island… she admitted some things to us that we were just sitting there going, ‘Whoa. Whoa. What?’ And then you turn around and you insult people that are older and have seen things and have achieved some things that you haven’t yet in your tender years. So it was tough to deal with that. But at the finale? Fine. I’ll go say hi to her, and if she’s mean, I guess I’ll understand.”
Listen to the whole chat below, including Scot’s thoughts on how his NBA buddies would have reacted had he lost the shooting competition to Nick. (The Scot interview starts 30:40 into the podcast.)
But we start things off with our old pal Tyler James Williams. The former Walking Dead star reveals he knows whom Negan killed on The Walking Dead season finale cliffhanger. We chat all about that as well as his new streaming series Replay.
Then we check in with Orphan Black creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, who break down the season 4 premiere with us. They’ve got all the scoop on the big prequel episode and tell you everything you need to go going forward. (The Orphan Black interview starts at 14:45.)
You can listen to the whole podcast above. Or, since we’re on iTunes, you can subscribe for free and take the podcast with you. No iTunes? No problem. You can also download the entire podcast right here. To send a question to the InsideTV Podcast team, follow us on Twitter @InsideTVPodcast. And to hear more interviews and television discussion and debate, check out Entertainment Weekly Radio on SiriusXM, channel 105.