A true villain doesn’t consider himself a villain, but Scot Pollard relishes that moniker. On Wednesday’s episode of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong”though, Scot’s fate ended like most bad guys’ do: In defeat. The smallest man in the game took down the largest, just when it seemed like Scot and Jason had all the power in the world.
For a full recap of the most recent episode, get caught up on Episode 10 here.
But is Scot Pollard a bad guy? Surely his time in the NBA developed his persona as such. He was an intimidator and a force to be reckoned with, and was definitely accustomed to winning. Survivor has never seen the likes of such a hulking figure, contrasted even more when standing next to the teensy Tai Trang. And instantly upon hitting the beach on Day One, Scot – like he had done on the basketball court – immediately established his presence.
Scot found a kindred spirit in Jason, and the two dominated the Brawn tribe early. Even when they were split up following the tribe swap, Scot was able to befriend Tai who just so happened to have an Idol. When the tribe’s merged, Scot and Jason were reunited, now with their new little friend packing some serious heat. The game seemed ripe for the taking for Scot.
But Scot’s way was not on par with what Tai felt comfortable with. Scot and Jason, in fact, were mostly portrayed as bullies, with Deb last week calling them “tyrants” and Scot particularly, “viewed women through a sexist lens.” This bully-persona was compounded when a Tribal Council didn’t go Scot and Jason’s way, and Scot responded by deciding to sabotage the camp. He went so far as to douse the camp fire right in front of everyone. It’s safe to say that both Scot and Jason have cemented themselves as new-school Survivor villains.
Scot felt confident heading into Tribal this week, with the comfort of knowing that Jason and Tai had his back with the help of a Super Idol if needed. But Tai had other plans. Tai betrayed Scot and then decided not to use his Idol to form the Super Idol, and Scot was blindsided. Scot left the game with Jason’s Idol in his pocket, unable to get it back to its rightful owner per Survivor rules. From the top of the hill, Scot was quickly cast down to the bottom, with many believing he got his just desserts. But as his emotional Ponderosa video (above) shows, Scot – believe it or not! – doesn’t really seem like all that bad a guy, despite his portrayal, and he was greeted kindly by the residents at Ponderosa…even Deb.
I chatted with Scot today about that crazy Tribal Council, his take on why Cydney jumped ship and how he feels about being called a “bully” and a Survivor villain (Note: It was a shortened interview than normal – 10 minutes instead of the usual 15 – so I unfortunately didn’t get to ask Scot everything that I had prepared):
Tom Santilli, Survivor Examiner: How you doin’ Scot?
Scot Pollard: I’m doin’ it!
Tom Santilli: So Tai ultimately betrayed you, but earlier in the episode you and Jason were shown talking about how you needed to get him out at some point too. Was this just a matter of Tai got to you before you got to him? And do you feel that you and Jason underestimated Tai?
Scot: I think that’s a no and a no. I think that Tai had an emotional reaction to Aubry telling him that he could join with them, and he might have felt like, OK, if I go with them people will like me more and maybe things will be a little bit more peaceful. Because he’s thinking oh man, nobody is going to like me if I stick with these two guys. But at this point in the game, Cydney and Julia are the only one’s that have been shown mentioning it, but you have to start thinking about who you want to sit next to in the end, and who better to sit next to in the Finals than Scot, the supposed millionaire that nobody is going to give money to, and Jason, his partner in crime. I don’t see how…I was looking for strategy last night (on TV) from Tai, and for him to explain to me his actions. I mean because, you know, I was shocked and I was blindsided and all that. I didn’t see it coming and you know, it surprised me. But I couldn’t think back to think of what strategy would make him want to eliminate me to further his game. And I was hoping to see that explained in the episode last night, and I didn’t. I didn’t see the strategy. And I’m not trying to be a jerk or say anything rude, I love Tai and he’s a great guy. But I did not see any strategy involved that would make sense as to why he would want to get rid of me.
Tom Santilli: It was brought up several times this season and you just mentioned it, but do you think it’s impossible for a professional athlete who has made millions in their career, to actually win Survivor? And had you made it to the end, what is your argument as to why they should reward the million to a person who has made that sort of money already?
Scot: The first thing I said in my pre-game interview was that I was going to test to see if it was truly outwit, outlast, outplay, no matter who you are or what you are or where your from. Or is there an asterisk next to it and it’s like oh well, if you already have money then well (laughs). Let’s just say I think we found out. I think that ultimately greed takes over, and there were already enough people on this season that were saying, hey, vote him out, he doesn’t need the money. But again, why would you not want that guy with you at the end of the game? It’s a good idea to bring a guy like Scot all the way to the end. But to answer that, can an athlete ever win? I don’t know. It seems pretty difficult and I guess it depends on how you quantify “former athletes.” I was told that I have made it farther than any previous pro athlete, although I’m sure that there are people that have played professional sports that have gotten further than me, but weren’t necessarily touted on the show as being professional athletes. But I made it pretty far. Can a pro athlete win it? I don’t know. I got further than most. My heart was in it until the end, and when it becomes Day 27 you start thinking, man I really may have a chance here. So I start thinking of things I’d say to back up why I think I deserve to win. And I was going to talk about my family. That’s who I am and that’s who I provide for. I’m always looking for more opportunities to take care of my family. I’ve given away a lot of my money to help my family. I’ve been divorced, and that took most of my money away. And I have joint custody as a result, so I’m fine with it, but it is a fact. And the legal fees associated with the divorce, I even had to pay legal fees in that regard to even get on the show, Survivor, because of that. So I was going to mention those factors. On top of that, I was at every single Tribal Council except for one, when Liz got voted out. That’s just a statement right there: Outlast. So there is the real-world argument that I provide for my family so I’ll always need more money in order to do that, but there’s also my game-play, where I did outlast. I had a hand in voting out almost every single person on the show.
Tom Santilli: Talk to me about your portrayal on the show. You were called a bully and were clearly a villain. Deb had some strong things to say about you after she was voted out, calling you and Jason “tyrants” and hinting that you in particular were sexist. What was your take on that whole incident with Jason and Alecia early on, and what is your take overall on how you were portrayed on the show?
Scot: That whole incident between Jason and Alecia, I mean, I was there (pauses)…she told Jason that he doesn’t know anything about sacrifice. He’s a veteran, he’s lost friends in the defense of our country, and that’s a hard pill to swallow. And what they didn’t show is that Jason really laced into her. And they probably didn’t show that because it would have been all bleeped out anyways. But when you have an argument with somebody, and they cut out the parts where one person in instigating an argument but the other person’s reaction is all we get to see, that’s pretty one-sided. I’m not blaming the edit, because I did and said what I did and said, on the show. But the fact of the matter is it’s pretty easy to make a giant tattooed guy into a villain compared to a cute little blonde girl. So knowing what I know and knowing what I signed up for, I definitely figured I’d get the villain edit. It was a bit harsh at times in how I was portrayed, but at the same time, I know exactly what I signed up for and I don’t have any hatred or am going to say anything disparaging about anybody that was a character on a TV show. I don’t know those people, I don’t know how they’re different in real life. From what Alecia told us out there about herself and about her upbringing, I didn’t have a lot of respect for how she lived her life. But hey, that’s her deal, and given her situation, I would listen to people that were older than me and I would at least give them a nod. Even in a game where you don’t trust people, you still have to give people a little bit of trust. You know on her final night at Tribal, Jeff actually stopped the cameras and asked me to talk to Alecia, as a father, and I did, and it didn’t make a dent. That’s fine, good for her, she’s strong-willed and she can do it all on her own and all that. She just blew me off, so Jeff, I tried. And that was the end, and it’s over, and that’s the way I feel about it. We’re not going to be sending each other Christmas cards. But I don’t have any ill will towards her, and I really don’t care (laughs).
Tom Santilli: What exactly happened with Cydney? She seemed a loyal part of your alliance and then seemed to want to have nothing to do with you whatsoever. What was the break-down?
Scot: You’d have to ask Cydney I guess, as to what was going on inside of her, but I sensed it the whole time. From way back when they voted out Jenny, I was close to Jenny and Cydney wanted her gone and us split up. And I told Jason, I just don’t feel it with her. I know that you are tight with her but I just feel like the first chance she gets, she’s going to jump, and that’s what she did. And I didn’t want to be right, but I was. So again, it’s a game, so I don’t know what Cydney’s personal inside feelings were about it, but she did what she thought was best to get herself further in the game. What’s sad is when her, and some of the other contestants, take things personally and take it into the real world. There is no animosity on our end, we were just playing a game.
Be sure to join me next Wednesday for another episode preview, full recap and instant analysis, and of course, the next exit interview next Thursday.
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