Liliana Gomez, <EM>Survivor: Fiji</EM> Liliana Gomez, Survivor: Fiji

On CBS' Survivor: Fiji (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET), there are the haves and the have-nots. The Moto tribe has been blessed this season with a sweet shelter, plenty of food, a winning spirit and even a cushy bed. But last Thursday, even though Moto won immunity, they decided to give it up, go to tribal council and vote someone off in order to hold onto their beach. And this was just a day after they lost Gary to illness! (See "Papa Smurf's" own Q&A.) spoke with the victim of Moto's shoddy plan, Liliana Gomez, to find out what the heck her tribe was thinking. I am so disappointed to see you go. You came out so strong.
Liliana Gomez: I know, and it's weird when people say that, because I wasn't shown that much, but I was really out there. I was really in the trenches, fighting, hunting.... I wish they would have showed when I was climbing this mango tree that was, seriously, at least two stories high. And then I speared a sand shark.... But it got away. They tried to make it seem like your tribe had it completely easy.
Liliana: Yeah, I know. But they didn't really let my personality shine. It was funny when Boo was getting hurt, but I fell off the hammock, too. Both my feet went up in the air, it was hilarious. Was Survivor a good experience for you?
Liliana: All together, totally. It was so much fun, I would do it again in a heartbeat. It's like playing in a big backyard for me. I'm all about getting dirty, it's the tomboy in me. Well, you were in the Marines, correct?
Liliana: Oh, yeah. But even prior to that, boot camp in the Marine Corps was a piece of cake compared to my mom bringing me up. My mom is a true survivor and she definitely, definitely was the disciplinary parent. What did she think of you leaving the show?
Liliana: She was pissed! I kept it a secret until last night, and she called me a million times saying, "What the hell?! They voted you off!" She was also pissed about Lisi and her racist comment, and I'm just like, "Oh, wow." Other than that, she was excited and proud of me. She doesn't know about Hollywood and all that stuff, though, so she didn't really understand how big it was for me to be on the show. It was a fun experience for her to watch it. All her friends would call her and be like, "Oh, my god, we're going to watch your daughter on Thursday!" But she's at work right now and they're all losing it, because [I got voted off]. Well, if it was just based on strength, you'd still be there.
Liliana: Oh, totally. What happened at the beginning that could have separated you and Cassandra from everybody else?
I could have sworn that Alex, Edgardo and I, at least, were tight, so it was funny how they ended up linking up [with Lisa, Boo and Stacy]. I don't know if Stacy used her charm, because she was definitely trying to work that, or maybe she promised them a vote at the end.... I don't know what she did, but I know that she and Lisi were afraid and intimidated by me, which they should have been. Very, very, very afraid.... I liked how in your exit interview, you were like, "Yeah, I would have gone after them.... "
Liliana: [Laughs] I know, I wish I would have been a little bit louder about that. They couldn't even look at me, it was disgusting. I was so totally blindsided. But how it happened was they kind of laid low-key, Cassandra and Papa Smurf, so they were in their own little world. Then, Dreamz, who could be irritating sometimes, kind of felt that he would lean on Papa Smurf and Cassandra — and that would alienate them from us. I then stood out because I started getting irritated by Stacy a lot. I thought Lisi and I got along pretty well, I didn't know that she had thoughts about me like that. So I was totally shocked about that one. It is what it is, it's crazy how the game plays with you. Next time I wouldn't come off so strong, because I was definitely intimidating not only to the women, but to the men also. The first day I was going up and down that mountain — and that's a steep mountain — carrying those logs, carrying some of those 2-by-4s by myself, and they did not show that. If you watch it back, they're carrying it with a second person. Boo said, "Dang, I wanted to stop, but Liliana kept going up and down, so I had to go, too. I couldn't look like a sissy." We would laugh about it, but I knew that he was making a mental note, like, "I need to watch out for this girl, because she could demolish me." Right, because once you get to those individual challenges....
Liliana: Oh, they would be over. I'm still trying to figure out why Moto decided to stay at the nice camp.
Liliana: Because they're stupid. Why not keep everybody, and rough it for a while?
Liliana: We weren't thinking. And you know why we weren't thinking? Because we were too comfortable in our luxurious camp. "We have all the room in the world to lose somebody, so we can keep our shelter." Of course, I went along with that, because I was like, "Well, it's not going to be me." And hey, it was me. Right. What did you think when Dreamz came back to camp and was like, "Lisi and Cassandra are the two weak people, and we need to get rid of them"? Smart move?
Liliana: Maybe it wasn't a smart move for him, but I was glad that he did it. What he said was true. He loved Cassandra, he didn't want to vote for her, and that's why he didn't when it came down to me and her. But he wanted to put it out there like, "This is the reality of what it is, so let's not go around talking behind each others' backs. We already know that the weakest people we could give up are Lisi and Cassandra." I knew that Cassandra was strong and that she was competitive, but the people we could spare were Stacy and Lisi. And as far as calling me the weakest link? Please! I was working my ass off on that tribe. Did you ever feel bad for the other tribe?
Liliana: During the first challenge, I felt really, really bad. They didn't show it, but if you play it back and press pause when they pan to the Ravu tribe and show them crying, you can see our tribe in the background hugging me and patting me, but I was crying, I felt so bad that they were going to go to nothing after we all together collectively built the shelter. I felt so bad! But once we were in the game, we still wanted to win, and that competitiveness sunk in. We felt bad, or at least I felt bad, but I still wanted to win. What's next for you?
Liliana: I'm currently working in the studio [on music]. I know you guys know me as a loan officer, but I started at the loan company three months before I got cast, to support myself as an artist while I'm working in the studio. I'm also looking into getting some grants for this foundation that I want to get off the ground for kids. And I want to go back to school. Good, education is a good thing to have.
Liliana: It's important. Super important.

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