Murtzcellanious: Murtz Jaffer Interviews Survivor: Fiji's Anthony Robinson

After a stunning tribal council which included a vicious verbal assault by Rocky, Anthony Robinson was voted out and I had the pleasure of talking to him about expert witness locating, the game and “Tweedledee” and “Tweedledum.”

Anthony Robinson: Hi Murtz

Murtz Jaffer: Hey Anthony. How are you?

AR: I am doing well, how are you doing?

MJ: Good, good. Ready to rock?

AR: Let’s do it!

MJ: I think your dismissal was the first one that everybody saw coming. Since you knew that you were going, what kind of deals did you try to propose to the others to try and stay?

AR: Not nearly enough. Basically what I did (when I got a chance to), I quite literally went to everybody except for Rocky and you know, tried to do quick polls and try and figure out who was doing what. I kind of tried to lay it out for the folks that were new to our tribe on how things were at Ravu with Rocky and Mookie and especially with Rocky. I was banking on that they would want to take somebody with them who was going to be able to work and you know, keep the tribe going as opposed to tearing it down which is what I think was going on with Rocky.

MJ: You were one of my picks to win the game based on your background. You grew up in a close family with your grandparents and mom and also are an expert witness locator. Do you think that these aspects of your background helped or hurt you in the game?

AR: No, honestly I think they actually helped me out. The expert witness thing helped me in many ways read people because I do that over the phone, you know, and so seeing people face to face, it does help in many ways which is why I was able to see what was coming when I was getting voted off. Also, growing up with my family and this tight-knit group that I am with, they basically kind of instilled in me an ability to know myself and know what I can do. Having that strength behind me and having the knowledge that their love was with me was something that I think really kept me going and would help me push out there.

MJ: For those who are unfamiliar, can you explain exactly what a witness locator does? I’d imagine that you have to be pretty good socially (which is what Rocky accused you of not being).

AR: Yeah. Expert witness locating. Basically, I find quite literally, expert witnesses for attorneys. When they need something like a dentist or a left-handed can opener expert I always joke, they call me up and they say that they need a guy who can talk about the issues for this case who can testify and explain to a jury why their side is right or their side is wrong. That involves, quite literally, working with people over the phone, 99.9% of the time and getting past all sorts of business watchdogs. I mean if you can get past the secretary to get to a doctor then you got some skills.

MJ: In addition to that, you also like these live-action roleplaying games where you dress up. Can you tell me about that and what character would Rocky be in one of these types of games?

AR: (Laughs). Basically live-action roleplaying is kind of like Dungeons and Dragons grown-up (for those of you who remember what that is). We dress up in costumes and kind of put on a character and quite literally manoeuvre through a plot. I mean it’s like a murder mystery meets renaissance fair. And you know we have a fake foam sword and the whole deal. You work out puzzles and you wander through the woods and you freeze your butt off. I have spent many nights hip-deep in snow out there. In many ways, I think it prepares you for Survivor. Survivor is just a big reality roleplaying game I guess where you have to deal with a lot of the same things. The political sides of things. Dealing with people as well as the puzzles and just the physical challenges. As far as Rocky goes, I don’t know. I think he would be the, what some of us call the Ninja Hobbits, which are just the people who come out to make everybody else’s time a hard time.

MJ: (Laughs). What was the dynamic between you and Rocky like at camp on a day-to-day basis? Do you think he is just a bully?

AR: The dynamic was really weird which is why it kind of caught me off-guard the first time he said that he had problems with me. I thought I was getting along pretty well with Rocky. He was the one person who I had trouble reading really. I knew that Mookie had issues with me but he wasn’t so overt about them. When Rocky’s a nice guy, he’s a nice guy. What I appreciate about him is that he can be really great and funny, which is why I wanted to get along with him but when he decides that he wants to be a jerk when he has an issue with you, he unleashes on you full-barrel which I find amazing.

MJ: How long did his rant go on for at tribal council and when you finally went after him, do you think it was just a case of too little, too late?

AR: You know that rant was probably five-six minutes long. By that point, I just had enough when I finally decided to just go off on him. For me, it probably was too little, too late which is unfortunate, that I needed to be pushed to that extreme in order for anybody to kind of see that side of me but like I said, nobody bothered to actually really talk to me. I tried to go out of my way to try and talk to people and (they were like) ‘oh, we’re going to push you to the side.’ I like to think that I am a Type-A personality and I like get along with people. I am the guy at parties, I am just in there. I throw my hand out, introduce myself. But I guess with these guys, you have to be a little bit louder than that.

MJ: What effect did Alex, Edgardo and Dreamz have when they initially joined Ravu? And why didn’t you try to keep the original Ravu together?

AR: Well, as far as the original Ravu, I actually threw that offer out to the guys. I did pull them aside (when we all first got together when we got back to the New Ravu) and I said ‘hey, old Ravu should stick together.’ They kind of shrugged it off. Both Rocky and Mookie, which I thought (if they are not counting), if we lose a challenge, then we’re going to have four members of Moto over there but with them, I wasn’t even going to introduce that logic ‘cause it just wouldn’t have appealed to them. But as far as what Alex, Dreamz and Edgardo brought to the camp, they did bring new life over there which was really cool. Alex is actually a really positive guy which was part of the reason why, when I decided to go talk to people, I decided that I needed to go talk to the most reasonable person which was Alex. Really, those three came over there with a can-do, we’re ready to play attitude which was a nice and fresh breath of life in the game for us which you can see in that last immunity challenge because we did the best that any team named Ravu ever did. It was still a loss, but it was a lot closer which is why I think it was kind of frustrating for those of us who continued to lose. How frustrating that was for the three of us. But quite honestly, I don’t know. They brought over this new attitude, but at the same time, they were kind of like ‘oh well you guys, it’s not too bad over here. It’s not too bad at all. All you guys needed was like fishing line and a little bit of time and you guys would have been fine.’ We were like yeah, we said the same thing 16 days ago when we first got over there!

MJ: What did you think when you heard Edgardo’s confessional where he said that you were basically Rocky’s bitch? Was this just a part of your strategy? Doing what others said and not making any waves because that does seem smart.

AR: Really, from a long time of watching Survivor, that really is in many ways, the better strategy. It’s kind of funny that for me it didn’t work and yet that is what Yau Man had been doing up to that point. Laying low and tending the fire. I just kind of jumped in and kind of took over what he was doing. At that point in the game, I just didn’t want to deal with the fights anymore. Like I said before, whenever you stand up to Rocky, Rocky decides to yell more. Yell at him and say ‘no, I am not going to do that,’ he’s just going to say ‘well, why aren’t you standing up to me?’ How do you deal with a guy like that? Well, you take the path of least resistance which is what I went for which was just to shrug my shoulders, say whatever and just kind of do what I was doing.

MJ: It seemed like Earl was looking out for you. How much did it hurt your game when he left for Moto?

AR: Man, that kind of put me in a bad place

MJ: (Laughs).

AR: Really, I and Earl got along really well. We were kind of watching each other’s backs at that point and for me, it was kind of like it was part of something that was kind of built as far as alliance went. Unfortunately for me, he went to Moto and I was stuck over there with Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

MJ: (Laughs). Last season, the tribes were completely divided by race. Was race an issue this season just in terms of who you got along with, or was it not a factor?

AR: Really, as far as who I got along with it wasn’t a factor at all. It made us a little bit paranoid, I know it made me a little bit paranoid at times and all the Asian members of Ravu are just kind of hanging around and talking and it was kind of like ‘okay.’ I know in the first three days, there was a lot of Spanish spoken on the island. You know for the Hispanic players to be talking back and forth and talking so that other people couldn’t understand what they were saying. Really, for the most part, it was and is anybody’s game as far as personality goes and unfortunately, I was clashing with some people.

MJ: And finally, what did you think about the way you were portrayed on the show? You weren’t shown as the strongest, but at the end, you kind of redeemed yourself at the end (especially after Rocky’s rant). Did you kind of come full circle?

AR: I think as far as portrayal, I think I kind of came full circle. I went out there to be strong and have a good time and I left being strong and having a good time. As far as my portrayal out there, I really wish that they had shown a lot more of my up’s because I did have a good time out there, did get along with people (which is why I don’t understand some of the poor social skills comments from Rocky). But I did get along with people out there and manage to have something in common with almost everybody I talked to. I wish they had shown more of that and maybe more of me working around camp because I did work from Day 1 out there. For the most part, I am happy with how they showed me because it is pretty much who I am. I am a sensitive guy but I also have a lot of heart and a willingness to play and that’s what I am all about.

MJ: And what’s next for you?

AR: Going back to my real life. I didn’t win a million bucks so I gotta go back to work and do the real job thing. So I am doing that and continue to hang out with my friends and family and writing and making short films which are some other things that I have been doing with my life.

MJ: That’s perfect. Thank you so much.

AR: Thank you.

Growing up in Compton, California, Anthony Robinson was raised by his mother and grandmother. After high school, Robinson moved to New Haven, Connecticut where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Yale University. While at Yale, he performed in two college plays and various college sketch comedy shows with Yale’s “The Fifth Humour.”

Robinson currently works in legal support services where he helps find expert witnesses for attorneys. He also coordinates the inspections, exams and testimonies. He previously worked in public relations and in computer support and sales.

Robinson enjoys gaming–live action role-playing (dressing up in costumes and reliving an era or genre), video games and poker. He also enjoys dancing, juggling, roller hockey, watching movies and creating his own movies. He describes himself as friendly, dorky and intelligent. He is a member of the Yale Alumni Association and a genre writing group called “Fictionados.”

Robinson is currently single and living with his mother and grandmother in Compton, California. His birth date is June 25, 1974.

Survivor: Fiji airs on CBS on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Survivor: Fiji airs on the Global network in Canada on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Sir Linksalot: Survivor: Fiji

Please credit Murtz Jaffer & when using this interview. If reposting, please post just an excerpt and link back to the rest of the piece.


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