Mari Takahashi had dreams of a freakier and geekier Millennials tribe dancing in her head. But those dreams turned into a nightmare when she was the first person voted out of her tribe on Wednesday night’s Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.
How hard was it to be the first Millennial to go? Why does she feel she was targeted? And why does she think Hannah got tricked into turning on her? We asked Mari all that and more when she called into EW Morning Live on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105), and the 31-year-old professional video gamer had plenty to say. Here are some highlights from our chat.
On what it was like watching her demise play out on TV:
“I feel like I’ve been in limbo since it happened. And this whole time I’ve been like, ‘How did it go down? Did it really happen?’ And last night was just the catalyst of watching the entire thing. In some ways, it was a little bit nice emotionally, because I was like, ‘Ah, that’s what happened.’ But in other ways, I’m like, ‘OK, here we go again. I’m back on the island.’”
On how the tribe bonded because of the cyclone:
“In those first two nights we went through the worst weather that we’ve ever experienced and the worst weather that Survivor has ever experienced in 16 years. That is something that brought us together more than anything and it really sped up the entire situation of bringing us together. Yes, there was that divide, but at the end of the night we were cold and scared and there was lightening and I think that brought us together on a completely different level.”
On her biggest alliance partner and seeing what happened with Hannah’s vote:
“It’s not seen so much in the cut, but Adam was 100 percent my strongest alliance at that time. He and I thought we were going pretty strong with the numbers on our tribe — including the freaks and geeks and pulling in as many people as we probably could. Hannah and I, we shared a friendship on that island that I think went beyond gameplay and it hurts to see what happened last night. It hurts to see her swayed in that way.”
On why she thought Hannah was engaging in “butt talk” at Tribal Council:
“There was a lot of butt and unicorn and dragon talk around the tribe. We got close real quick. The freaks and geeks would talk just about anything. But Captain Hindsight here — why would they be talking about that at Tribal? I don’t know. Hannah was a mess that night. He psyche was all over the place that night so I figured she’s probably just talking about how nervous she is at Tribal — how starstruck she is by seeing Jeff Probst right there, and that’s where my naïve brain went.”
On if it hurt being voted out first from her tribe:
“I was brought back to 14-year-old Mari in high school, where I’m like, ‘I suck! Nobody likes me!’ I came off of there not knowing why and I was like, it must be because I am a total asshole. I must be an asshat. I must just be the douchiest. I couldn’t wrap my head around — hey, you have amazing people back home, you have amazing friends, you have an amazing support system. Remember that! Instead I was like, ‘Nah, you suck, man. I would not be friends with Mari if I was not Mari. You suck!’ So it goes through this rollercoaster of emotions that is normal for a 14 year old — normal when you are truly a freak and geek in high school. And that’s who I was and I reverted back to that so hard.”