Survivor: One World's Jonas Otsuji is the last person you would consider a threatening player. The 37-year-old sushi chef was as mild-mannered as it gets (considering the lack of food and sleep), and didn't perform well during challenges. But using his culinary background, Otsuji secured his role as the tribe's resident chef — on a recent episode he manipulated coconut chunks to taste like potato chips. So why did Otsuji's former allies send him home Thursday? We spoke to the Utah native who told us exactly where he went wrong and what he would have done differently. Plus: Would he ever let Tarzan perform plastic surgery on him?
What was the first thing that you did when you got voted off?
Otsuji: I ate tons of food. I ate like five drumsticks. Everything you could image... I ate. And I drank this ice cold bottle of water which was like the most amazing thing in the world at the time.
You completely threw Mike under the bus during your last Tribal Counsel. Was that your last-ditch attempt to save yourself?
Jonas Otsuji: I had been told [I was going home]. Troy told me. It was a total Hail Mary. I had talked to Chelsea and Kim about voting somebody else out... I was like, "Mike's way more threatening than I am." They didn't go for it, because they thought I was a more likeable person than Mike.
Which is pretty understandable.
Otsuji: I get their strategy. I would have done the same thing.
So where did you go wrong?
Otsuji: The biggest eye-opener for me was that trying to fly under the radar was actually putting me on the radar. I didn't realize that people were that savvy.
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If you could go back, what would you have done differently?
Otsuji: I just would have been a lot more aggressive. And made bigger moves. At least that way I could go out knowing that I was trying. I just felt like kind of a wuss. I played a wussy game and I should have stepped it up a little.
What was the most challenging aspect of the game for you?
Otsuji: Controlling my mind. It's easy to control your mind when you're getting eight hours of sleep and your stomach is full. But when you take those things away, it's so easy to spiral down. And I had to constantly say, "Keep it together, keep it together. Stay positive." I was almost verbally saying out loud to myself.
There was a lot of tension between you and Tarzan. What's his deal? Is he completely nuts?
Otsuji: Tarzan from the very beginning... he just has a very abrasive personality. He's not the most empathetic, sensitive kind of guy. He just does and says whatever he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. There's no filter on him and concern for other people. As time progressed, he just got more and more crotchety.
Otsuji: When Jeff Probst called me by name. He said, "Jonas." And I was like "I can't believe this is happening! He knows me! He's my friend!" That was a truly flattering moment. Survivor: One World airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.