Three of the scariest words Jeff Probst says on CBS' Survivor (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET) are "Drop your buffs," a directive that turns entire strategies and alliances topsy-turvy. Last week, those three words put the final nail in the coffin for Anthony Robinson, who after some intense bickering with Rocky, lots of alone time as the tribe's designated cook, and a weepy moment early in the season, was dismissed as the testosterone-filled Ravu tribe's weakest member. Here's what Anthony, an expert witness locator and self-proclaimed geek, told TVGuide.com about his ouster.
TVGuide.com: I thought for a second that Ravu was going to turn on Rocky.
Anthony Robinson: Yeah, so did I — for a glimmering moment.
TVGuide.com: When they were shaking their heads, I thought that they realized he was totally crazy.
Anthony: I'd really hoped [that was the case], but I guess they decided that I was still not standing up for myself.
TVGuide.com: Was it your strategy to lay low?
Anthony: Most definitely. I wasn't going to be a challenge monkey [Laughs], so I knew that my really good social skills were going to be my advantage. Unfortunately, I ended up with a couple of big bullies! [Laughs] It was like a bad flashback of all your worst moments in high school. It threw a big monkey wrench in my plans.
TVGuide.com: Watching on TV, you got to see all the "girly man" comments Rocky was directing at you. Did you know about that or expect that?
Anthony: I expected that, mostly because Rocky had been saying that stuff to my face! [Laughs] So it's not like it was a big surprise at all that he was talking crap. When they left "Cookie" at camp, I knew they were discussing my fate over there, and when I got a chance to talk to Dreamz, I was like, "You know I'm gone, right?" [Laughs] It's funny because Dreamz didn't really like Rocky, either, and I guess didn't really like Mookie. It was a lot of people not trusting each other, so it'll be interesting to see how that all plays out.
TVGuide.com: When Jeff announced, "Drop your buffs" and the tribes were being picked, were you sitting there going, "Please don't let me be on that tribe"?
Anthony: Honestly, that was my first big freak-out, because I knew the people I was building alliances with and the people I had trust with, and I wasn't ending up on their tribe. I looked and I saw Earl over there, and he couldn't pick me.... I ended up on the one tribe that I was like, "Please, no." I ended up next to some folks who weren't carrying a banner for me, but putting crosshairs on my forehead.
TVGuide.com: How hard was it to see Lisi basically throw in the towel when you were fighting to stay in the game?
Anthony: It was kind of hard. The moment she said that, a part of me should have yelled out, "Jeff, she wants to go. I'll take her spot!" [Laughs] It's actually kind of funny because I had that moment where I totally should have yelled out, "I'll be happy to go to Exile Island!" But knowing I'd probably have ended up with that Ravu tribe, the outcome would have been the same. Yeah, it's a little frustrating that there are folks who want to stay in the game really badly and she's like, "I'm done."
TVGuide.com: A couple of the female players I've been Q&Aing have mentioned that it is a male-dominated season, seeing as five women in a row have been voted off. Is that something people are aware of, or is it just the way the cookie crumbles?Anthony: It's a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B. There was a point where the guys were like, "Let's keep the guys on," and I was like, "OK, great." There was a point when some of the women were like, "Let's vote off some of the guys," and I was like, "OK, great." [Laughs] There was a point in tribal council where Rita and I had actually talked about Mookie. We'd have all these arguments over who would be in charge during the challenges and we were like [to Mookie], "OK, fine, we'll give it to you. Put people where you're going to put us." He stuck me in the cage, and everybody was like, "What? That was stupid, why did you do that?" And then there was this big mental challenge that we flubbed, where Rocky dropped the ball at that 9; I'll forever curse out the No. 9. We all kind of knew where stuff was, but we were trying to let one person talk at a time. Mookie kept talking in one ear while Earl was trying to talk in the other.
Anthony: It was chaotic. So when we got to the point where we were figuring out who to get rid of and Mookie's name came up, Rita said to me, "Hey, we need to get rid of Earl." I immediately went to Earl and I was like, "Earl, she said this...," and he was like, "What?" Between that and her writing his name on that piece of parchment, it was like, "She's gotta go."
TVGuide.com: So it was bad strategy on her part, more than anything gender-specific?
Anthony: It was just a whole bunch of funky strategy going on from the get-go. Erica shouldn't have gone when she did, and in retrospect, Jessica shouldn't have gone, but from my part, that was strategic. People started playing the "late game" really early.
TVGuide.com: I was worried you were going after your breakdown happened.
Anthony: I was worried, too. It's funny, because they were talking like, "Oh, he's going to cry." I was sitting there going, "OK, keep talking and shut up and we'll get through it." I wasn't going to cry in front of anybody else, but I knew it was going to happen at some point, that I needed to get it out of my system. Most people construed that as weakness, but whatever. Thank goodness Moto made, I think, the dumbest mistake anybody can make on Survivor, which is to give up immunity when you have it.
TVGuide.com: Yeah, that was a pretty interesting decision.
Anthony: I have no idea why they did it, but at the same time, I guess they felt confident enough that they could keep winning.
TVGuide.com: What do you think of the whole haves versus have-nots twist?
Anthony: Overall, it's Survivor. The game is not designed to be fair, it's just not. [Laughs] I know a lot of people were fussing over it, saying it's horrible, but you know what? We knew what we signed up to do and I think for those of us who bled, suffered, starved and dehydrated ourselves until we were decimated, we played the game right. I'm proud to be able to announce that I played the real game of Survivor. Jeff says every single season is a social experiment, and clearly this was a big one.
TVGuide.com: Would you ever do anything like this again?
Anthony: In a heartbeat, strangely enough. It was an amazing experience and now I know exactly what I'm getting into, so I can play it a little bit differently. That would be a huge thing if they actually asked me to come back.
TVGuide.com: I was proud of you when you were like, "I'm a geek, and I know I'm a geek. I own it."
Anthony: Well, thank you. I got nothin' but geek pride. I'm a gamer, that's what I do.
TVGuide.com: What kind of video games are you into?
Anthony: Everything. The adventure games, a lot of strategy games.... Everything from RPG to strategy to straight-up shoot 'ems and drive 'ems.
TVGuide.com: Are you a PlayStation guy? Xbox?
Anthony: When I get a chance. Mostly computer, and PlayStation when I get a chance, because I don't own one.
TVGuide.com: I'm a geeky video-game girl, so I just wanted to know.
Anthony: There ya go! See, there are a lot more of us than people think.
TVGuide.com: Anything you want to say to Rocky before we go?
Anthony: Honestly, I wish him the best. I don't want to be bitter. I was mad at the time, and I hope he realizes there's more to being a man than yelling at somebody and "putting your cards on the table." Being a man is about standing up and picking the right fights to battle out.
TVGuide.com: His comments were a little interesting.
Anthony: I sensed some projection, maybe, but I don't know.
TVGuide.com: What's next for you?
Anthony: Pretty much going back to my life. Going back to work, continuing to try to make films.
TVGuide.com: Are you going to put any of your Survivor experiences in your next screenplay?
Anthony: Perhaps, but carefully transfigured into something else so that I don't get sued by Mark Burnett Productions!
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