Undoubtedly my favourite player this season, Michelle Yi was definitely screwed out of her chance to claim the $1 million prize. I really believe that she played a perfect game. This was undoubtedly the most fun I have ever had conducting an interview and I think the results speak for themselves.
: Hi Michelle.
Michelle Yi: Hi Murtz, Are you ready to rock?
MJ: Wait a minute, that’s my opening line! Have you been reading my other interviews?! I want to start by saying that you were one of my favorite players.
MY: Aw! I bet you tell all your castaways that But thankfully, I know you’re lying to the rest of them.
MJ: Well, I want to start by saying that I was absolutely disgusted with the way that you were voted out. You played the game exactly how you are supposed to. You were in a majority alliance and you were likeable. You basically just got screwed by the twist. My question is how upset were you when it happened and how upset are you now?
MY: I was heartbroken, Murtz. I throw my hands up in despair! There is nothing fair about it. Just short of a Rocky-style outburst at Tribal Council, there was no saving grace. In the words of Jerri Manthey, “there’s nothing fair about being here.”
MJ: I think that regardless of who left this episode, it would have been unreasonable (because you guys weren’t given a chance to strategize after). Do you agree and do you think that it was even worse for you considering ALL your allies were on the side that won the challenge?
MY: Oh, of course! There is no element of Outwit, Outplay, Outlast in that one. Provided it puts to the test if you had been building relationships with everyone and not counting on just one alliance. But I think the “no deliberating” twist works better without the random split of teams. One or the other, Probst! One or the other
MJ: Is there anything you could have done differently and how much do you blame Jeff Probst for your exit considering the fact that he didn’t really let you respond after Alex basically instructed the Horsemen to take you out?
MY: I was shocked that Jeff did not confront me after Alex called me out. I felt like he reaffirmed Alex’s thoughts with Dreamz, and before we knew it, we stopped down for the vote. Especially after Jeff dismissed Dreamz’s reasoning for “It’s not me” when asked for a good reason to vote off someone else, I was stunned that he let Alex slide with “I don’t have a reason,” combined with him being the only one who had the opportunity to say his thoughts about everyone of us. Now, yes, there are things I could’ve done differently. Had an outburst. Stood up and screamed. But that was literally the shortest Tribal Council I had attended, and there wasn’t much time for anything.
MJ: Do you appreciate the way Dreamz is playing, just in terms of how he is basically willing to do whatever it takes to move ahead even if that means not voting a girl that he hates (Stacy) and voting for you? How much do you blame him and was Dreamz a nightmare for Michelle?
MY: Dreamz is playing like a Nightmare…zzz. It’s hard to say how much of what he does is a strategic move, or a last minute decision. If he keeps this up, sure, he can tunnel past tribal council, but he certainaly isn’t looking at the big picture, if he wants to make it to the end with any Million-Dollar-Votes.
MJ: Now, even though we have seen a lot of Earl and Yau Man on the show, you seemed to be one of their closest allies. Can you tell me something about them both that we haven’t seen on the show?
MY: Oh gosh Earl is playing a surprisingly under-the-radar game. People think he’s an obvious leader, but he’s really doing a lot of sitting-back and observing. Soaks it in then calls it as he sees it. It’s a smart way to play, because he’s not putting a target on his back.
Yau Man is almost the opposite, if you think about it. People would think he’s going under-the-radar, but his stellar performances in challenges, and the fact that he works harder than anyone else around camp, really puts him out there. But it’s so unexpected, no one expects it to happen again.
I think it’s the varied dynamic of the two, and with me in it too, that made for such a powerful alliance.
MJ: When did you finalize your deal with them because they don’t seem like they are the types of people you would normally hang out with (since you are so much younger)?
MY: Day 15, when we switched to the New Moto. It was an obvious choice. Aligning with two of the most intelligent people in this game, with a motley crew of skills, knowing that I had a lot to contribute You can’t go wrong — Well, apparently one-two-punch twists took care of that one.
MJ: It kind of seemed like they were running the show in your alliance with Yau Man finding the hidden immunity idol and dominating the challenges while Earl seemed to be calling all the shots. How active were you in their decision-making process and what did you bring to the alliance?
MY: In this game, you have to give trust to get trust back. Serving as a bit of a double agent, I was the information base on the plans of other alliances. I spent a lot of time building relationships with Boo and Stacy. Then Earl and I would have our morning meetings to update new information and strategies. Deciding our boots was a group decision. We were looking out for whom would be threats to each other in the future. Ideally Boo would be the merge boot. Both alliances wanted him to go. Either him or Stacy, and we could utilize Boo’s vote. And from there, the four horsemen would be easy to get rid of. Four is not a majority out of nine.
MJ: Did they tell you that Yau Man had the idol?
MY: Whether they had the idol or not was not important knowledge at the point where we stood. Ideally we wouldn’t have to use it at all, for awhile. Being the only other one on New Moto who even knew the idols were at camp, I certainly had my suspicions, when coming back from our boat-rescuing-adventure with freshly patted down dirt by the cave. But having the idol hadn’t become an issue just yet.
MJ: So is it fair to say that you didn’t care to ask them about it because it hadn’t come up? Did you just not care whether they had it?
MY: I didn’t care whether they had it or not. I could safely assume they were in possession of the idol, to be used as an insurance policy — Emergency use only. I knew the idol wouldn’t need to be discussed unless we didn’t have the majority. And if game play went without twists, we could confidently hold majority in the game. Well, and not to go on a shilingua about it, but the difference with the Earl-YauMan-Michelle trifecta and the 4 Horsemen in holding control, is that there was a lot of trust in my alliance. We carefully chose whom we would take in and reveal information to, whereas I think Alex and Edgardo are not putting faith in the right people. Stacy? Dreamz? They need to reassess whom they can trust.
MJ: What was your big issue with Sylvia and why did you draw that horrendous-looking snake on your vote for her?
MY: Oh, c’mon! That snake was a masterpiece. I’d bet my bottom dollar that someone without professional training could not draw a better snake! But anyhow, the snake was just for comedic value. Sylvia went to Exile a few times so it made sense. In general, Sylvia simply rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like her attitude around camp was very condescending. She was all about making suggestions, which sounded more like demands. Provided maybe this is influenced by her position in her professional world, but it seemed as though she was delegating work to be done, without expecting to have to do work herself. And in my defense, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Can I poignantly point out that when Edgardo got to the New Ravu, the first thing he asked Mookie and Rocky was how bad it was living with Sylvia.
MJ: In addition to being gorgeous and nice, I think that many people didn’t realize how strong you were. You untied knots, clipped boxes, crossed balance beams, and solved puzzles with the greatest of ease. Do you think that you could have dominated the physical immunity challenges?
MY: I think I’m blushing, Murtz! Do Asian people blush? Anyway, with my rock climbing and athletic background, there was no doubt! I didn’t go in claiming to be a Fire-starting Ninja Monkey. ::laughs:: You gotta earn that. I know I could’ve turned a few heads. Now, I don’t know about this gorgeous and nice stuff you speak of, but thanks for the compliment.
MJ: So, what does it take in impress a girl like you?
MY: (Laughs). Wait. Are you serious? Um Oh, I don’t know. A guy who likes pizza and video games. Showers on a semi-regular basis. Has a job. Yeah I’d be impressed.
MJ: (Laughs).Okay, now I normally don’t do this when I interview castaways but I think you are nice, funny and super-hot. So my last question is if you will marry me I think that Murtz and Michelle has a pretty nice ring to it. What do you think?
MY: Mmm… Michelle & Murtz married in May might make many malcontent but what the hell? Why not?!
MJ: Haha! Nice! Michelle, what’s next for you?
MY: I graduate from DAAP in June, and you’d have a hard time convincing me there isn’t someone out there in need of a Fire-Starting Ninja Monkey. I’ve sent my resume out to a few circuses, but I’m still waiting for replies. In the meantime, I’ll follow my passion in Fashion Design. I think people can look forward to perhaps a line of active wear clothing with a bit of extra spunk. And didn’t you hear? I’m getting married to Murtz Jaffer!
MJ: So you’re going to design your own wedding dress for our nuptials?
MY: Can you not say “nuptials”? That word totally grosses me out. I actually prefer not to wear clothing. Ever. Are you going to be okay with that?
MJ: I think that will work, I think that will work. Thanks Michelle.
MY: Dear Murtz,
It’s been a pleasure. Lots of puppies and ice cream.
Raised in Cincinnati, Michelle Yi is in her final year at the University of Cincinnati where she is studying fashion design at their college of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP).
Yi enjoys fashion photography, traveling and is an avid and competitive rock climber. She enjoys 80s pop music, drinking Eddie James, pirates, things that are green and video games prefaced with the name Mario. Yi admits she likes to eat–everything from Korean BBQ to Cincinnati Skyline Chili, with a particular weakness for ice cream and sushi. To complement her love for food, Yi practices yoga, lifts weights and trains for climbing. She’s not a big fan of cardio workouts, but does it anyway because she believes it builds character and prevents heart disease.
Yi describes herself as very independent and is a true believer in following one’s passions and staying inspired. She thinks a positive attitude will keep you smiling through anything. She believes her bubbly and laid back personality allows her to enjoy most people, but she claims if you rub her the wrong way, she’ll be sure you know it! Yi’s hero is her mother, who lives in Taipei, Taiwan.
Yi hopes to continue to travel, particularly to go “bouldering” in New Zealand and to spend some time in her favorite hotspot, Manhattan. Yi currently resides in Cincinnati. Her birth date is December 2, 1983.
– 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.
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