At least Troy Robertson didn’t exit “Survivor: One World” without a fight.
This week, the man they called “Troyzan” was finally taken out by the female cabal led by Kim & Chelsea, but only after he survived one Tribal Council with a Hidden Immunity Idol (leading to Jay’s departure) and captured a must-in Immunity Challenge the following episode (leading to Leif’s dismissal).
And before being sent on his way on Wednesday’s (April 25) episode, Troy made one last desperate plea to upset the Tikiano apple cart, working aggressively to stoke insecurity with Alicia, Kat and Christina, the three weak links in the dominant alliance.
It didn’t work.
In our exit interview, I worked hard to try to get Troy to give Kim & Chelsea a little credit for running the game (we got there eventually) and to discuss several of the key decisions that left him with insufficient numbers after the Merge. We also discussed why he’d return to play the game for free.
Click through for the full interview…
HitFix: Let’s start at the end. When you whispered “Do it” to Kat at the end of the Tribal Council, what were you specifically urging her to do?
Troy Robertson: I just was pulling for the underdog in her and I just wanted her to finally wake up and smell the coffee and do something. She has the ability to do it if she stays angry and she can get Christina and she can get Alicia and make a move. I felt like she wasn’t doing anything. She was just following. I’m always one of these guys who roots for the underdog, so I’m like, “You know what, Kat? You can do it.”
HitFix: Going into that Tribal Council, did you really have any reason at all to believe that any of your politicking was going to pay off?
Troy: Hmmm. Not really. I was just talking to knuckleheads. They were just irrational thinkers. I was talking to people that weren’t grasping what I was saying. Really. I’d repeat stuff over and over and over. Even last week, when I present, “Listen. We can get to five. This is very simple right now. You guys have to know you’re at the bottom.” At some points I was thinking, “Do you really know you’re at the bottom? You have to know. You’ve been in the bottom forever. You’re not gonna just instantly go from the bottom to the top.” But they just weren’t grasping it. It was so frustrating. It was like talking to a brick wall. It was talking to myself. I’d have them repeat stuff to me. I’d be like, “Are you there? Just tell me one word I said.” So it was tough. I had a feeling. I thought that maybe there was a chance that Kat was going to change her vote, but I think she probably would have just told me straight-up, “OK. I’m going. I’m doing it.” And because she didn’t say that, I had a feeling. But you know. Hey. It was close.
HitFix: Do you attribute that entirely to knuckleheadedness? Or do you give Kim and Chelsea some credit for keeping that alliance with everybody thinking they have some chance to go to the end?
Troy: Well, I give credit to Kim and Chelsea for knowing that they’re dealing with knuckleheads and it’s easy to deal with knuckleheads if you’ve been dealing with them from Day One. The knuckleheads, they’re always in fear and they’re not playing to win the game. They’re playing just to stay around and there’s a huge difference. Kim knows that. I don’t know if Chelsea knows that. But I know that. I was playing to win and everybody else was playing just to stay around. There’s a huge difference. Kim knows that and she knows that she’s dealing with women who don’t have egos, who are just gonna go, “OK. Yeah. Alright. That’s good. As long as I’m not going home this week. What do you want to me to do?” So that’s fairly easy to do. The men that I had to deal with, at points it’s like their egos got in the way. Guys have egos. It’s tougher to convince them of stuff, because they want to do things their own way, know what I mean? And it was never a Men vs Women thing anyway, when we merged together. Mike was gonna always go with the Women, so he was a woman. Jay, in hindsight as you saw, as he backstabbed me, was going to go with the Women, so he was a woman. Tarzan, as well, was going to go with the Women, because he just wanted [to get to the visits from home]. That’s all he cared about. He didn’t care about winning. So that’s three more women on the Women side. That’s why I was completely alone trying to figure out another way of saying, “Listen. You guys are at the bottom and here’s a way of moving to the top. It’s simple math.” But simple math to irrational thinking people doesn’t work too well.
HitFix: Watching from home, it seemed like you may have waited too long to start really playing the game. Did it seem that way to you? Did you wait too long to really turn on the jets?
Troy: No, I don’t think so. I felt like we merged too early. Merging at 12 threw me off. I was like, “This is way too many people to deal with here at this Merge.” And I knew that Mike was not going to be with me and I’m thinking, “Who do I trust?” Should I trust Jonas, Tarzan and Leif and kinda go with that? I trust them about 60 percent. At that point, Kim and Chelsea were fairly honest with me and it’s like, “Well, I trust them about 65 percent. So I’ll go with 65.” You’ve gotta roll with it. You have to trust somebody out there at some point and I trusted Jay because he was always quoting the Bible and saying, “I can’t lie” and he’s calling me his big brother and blah blah blah, so I’m like, “OK. Jay’s probably aboard.” So I trusted Jay just a little bit more. But your instincts, you can only trust so far and then if Jay’s gonna backstab you, he’s gonna backstab you. What are you gonna do about it? If the girls are gonna lie to you or be deceitful, that’s what they’re gonna do. It’s part of the game. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have been able to trust Tarzan or Leif as well. I trusted Jonas, but I didn’t want a target on my back. It was tough. The merge at 12 was tough for me.
HitFix: So the Merge was what messed up your game? Not the Men versus Women start to the game?
Troy: Well, actually, when Colton left… Colton was on my side. He was a number. He was a good number for me and he was playing with me. For sure. Whether he was a jerk or a villain or a racist or whatever, he was still just a number and when he left, I’m like, “Ugh. That’s a number that could have worked.” I hate going going back and doing this “In hindsight…Coulda, woulda, shoulda” stuff like, “Well, it could have been different if this… and it could have been different if that…” But it really would have been different if Colton would have stayed. That tribe would have gotten rid of two more girls and we could have merged with more guys and it just would have been a whole different ballgame. So Colton leaving messed me up the most.
HitFix: But how did you let Colton get away with the giving up Immunity and voting your own player out vote? That seems like another number squandered.
Troy: Bill was already going to vote for me the week before. He was with the Four Horsemen, the frat boys, and he was against me. So I’m like, “Well, if he’s against me now, he’s going to be against me down the road, so what’s the point of waiting another week? If we can get rid of him, I’ll get rid of him now, because if we merge, he’s gonna go with the girls anyway. He’s not gonna be with me, so what’s the point?” So sure, it looks like, “Oh my God! They got rid of another guy. What’d they give Immunity away for? Blah, blah, blah.” But as far as me counting numbers up, Bill was just against me, so why not? I’ll get rid of Bill.
HitFix: And is that the same theory you work under in terms of letting Kim convince you to vote Mike out?
Troy: No, the thing with Mike is that he had been against me since Day One. We had argued and he was constantly setting little lies to people about me for whatever reason. At the Ice Cream Social, he told Jay, “Oh, watch out for Troy. He’s doing stuff again. He’s going against us. You’ve gotta be careful.” He was constantly BSing and he was constantly lying about who he was voting for and you’d catch him in a lie. I just did not trust that guy as far as I could throw him. So when Kim came up with, “Hey, Mike’s saying something again,” that wasn’t just that one time when I blew up, it was a culmination of weeks and weeks of his bullcrap and I’m like, “Dude!” That was it. I’m like, “He’s out of here. I’m sick and tired of this guy. I hate this guy.” So that was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, that scene. It wasn’t like I got fooled. If she would have said, “Oh, by the way, Leif’s saying something about you,” when I’m in a constant loop, but it was very easy to believe what she said, because he had been saying so many things before for weeks and week. So it wasn’t hard to believe that. I was just like, “OK. It makes makes total sense. Jay said it the week before. Chelsea said it before. Tarzan was saying things.” So I was like, “OK. Believe it. Why not. Of course. It makes sense.”
HitFix: Is that a circumstance where you at least give Kim credit for picking out that weakness?
Troy: I think it’s 50-50. I think she just picked the right person to perturb me. If she would have said, “Leif’s saying something…” or “Blah, blah, blah.” But she chose Mike. Yeah. I give her credit for that.
HitFix: So how is Troyzan different from Troy?
Troy: What you saw out there is 100 percent me. There’s no difference. I have to say that I don’t call myself “Troyzan.” I didn’t nickname myself “Troyzan.” That was done by my co-workers and families and neighbors. I’ve worked with primates for years. I live in a little jungle area. So it was kinda like a play on words, “You’re like Tarzan, but your name is Troy, so we’ll call you Troyzan.” But what you saw out there is what you get. That’s 100 percent me. And I’m gonna say too, what you see of everybody out there, that’s really who there are. This game, after so many days of not eating, being tired, doing challenges and just living with each other for 24 hours a day, it brings out who you are inside 100 percent. So what you see now is just a facade of who we are trying to perceive ourselves to the world. “I’m the nice guy” or “I’m the [this] guy.” No. Deep down inside, if you have the ability to lie out there, you have the ability to lie in real life. If you’re deceitful out there, you’re deceitful in your real life. If you’re a cheater out there, you’re a cheater in real life. That’s who you are. Everybody out there, what you saw? Like Sabrina’s statement? “It is what it is.” Well, guess what? You are who you are and they are who they are.
HitFix: So you watched those episodes and you saw the way you played the past couple weeks and you said, “That’s me!”?
Troy: Yeah. That’s me, 100 percent. I’m competitive as hell. I’m not backing down. If you push me into a corner, I’ll show you who I am. I’m nice guy to a certain point and I’m happy-go-lucky and I can get along with anybody, but if you push me, I feel like you started it. You started it? Guess what? I’m not gonna back down. I’m not gonna “take it like a man.” What’s that supposed to mean, anyway? That’s crazy to me. Take it like a man? Like a what? Like a wuss? I’m just gonna fall over and you can just do anything you want to me? Sorry. That’s not me. You know? Everything. If I got mad out there, I was mad. If I cried, I cried. If I was happy, I was happy. That’s 100 percent Troy out there.
HitFix: In your last interview, you talked about how you were sure the fans at home would see you the right way. I couldn’t tell: Was that more of a plea to be the Fan Favorite or to be an All-Star someday?
Troy: I’d like to be both. Come on! Who wouldn’t want to be a Fan Favorite and an All-Star? I feel like I played that game with my heart on my sleeve. I waited 11 years and I went full-blast. I accomplished almost everything that I wanted to do as far as getting along with my tribemates and spear-fishing and starting fires and living in the shelter and winning challenges, not only for my tribe, but individually, and winning at the first Immunity Challenge and having Jeff Probst put it on my back and then finding an Immunity Idol and naming the tribe “Tikiano”? I accomplished so much. Sure. To be an All-Star would be icing on the cake? And Fan Favorite would take a little bit of the sting away from not winning, because that’s what I went out there to do. I went out there to win. You could say, “Go out again and guess what? You’re playing for no money?” And I’m like, “Let’s do it right now. 100 percent.” I would have done it this time. I never thought about a million dollars. I just thought, “I’m gonna be the last guy standing.” That’s what I want to be. That’s it. And I really thought, 100 percent, that I would win every Immunity Challenge from the point that I needed to on. I was 100 percent sure. It didn’t work out, but I was going for it.