All season long on Survivor: Island of the Idols, Ron Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine have been offering challenges to visitors, and the first five people to come see them all accepted — some without even knowing what the challenge was! All that came to an end on this week’s episode when 59-year-old lifeguard Janet Carbin came calling and promptly refused the chance to play a risk vs. reward game. The reward if she won would have been a “safety without power” advantage that would allow her to leave Tribal Council before the voting so she could not be eliminated but would also deny her a chance to vote herself, and the risk if she had lost would be losing her vote without any safety attached.
Janet mulled it over and chose not to play, believing that the safety without power advantage could upset her alliance and end up putting a target on her back. What does Boston Rob make of the decision? We asked him exactly that when we also spoke to get his thoughts on the season so far. And he revealed some things we didn’t see on the show.
“I think Janet was really smart, says the four-time player and Redemption Island champ. “She thought about her game through her own eyes, and that was important. She didn’t go for it because number one, she didn’t feel confident, and number two, she felt that if she had it, it was going to put a bigger target on her than she needed. So there was a thought process to her saying no, which made sense for her game.”
As Rob points out, the thought process to say no has been in short supply so far this season. “That’s not always the case with everybody,” says Rob about Janet’s considered response. “Some people will say yes or no haphazardly, just because they’re feeling it in the moment, versus someone that puts thought into the decision. So I think she made the correct decision for her in this particular situation. She felt like she made the correct decision for her. Whether or not it plays out that way, we’ll have to wait and see in the future. But I think ultimately, she has to live and die with the decision that she made, and she felt confident in what she was deciding.”
But Rob also reveals that before she made that confident decision, there was a lot of indecision on Janet’s part that did not make it to TV. “She struggled with it, says Rob. “And I think that shows a maturity of somebody that has lived a little bit and that’s able to weigh different decisions, because there was a point when Janet came to us and was struggling a lot with trusting herself and what she should do. And she almost wanted us to make the decision for her.”
And that’s when Boston Rob’s mentoring skills came back into play: “I was like, ‘Look it, Janet, we can’t make this decision for you, you have to decide what’s best for your game. And just because you say no or yes to this doesn’t mean that ultimately it’s going to define your game. You have to live with the decision, with the consequence of it, but do it in a way that you’re proud of.’ And I think when she heard that she realized that ‘For me, right now, it’s better for me to not go for it than to actually go for it and then feel bad about it after.’”
Rob also says that any decision making in Survivor is difficult just thanks to the stress of the situation and having to make that decision on little sleep and food. “It’s hard out there,” says the champ. “Survivor is a game that will make you question yourself and your decision making. Even the strongest people that know who they are and know the difference between right and wrong, and what they should be doing, what they shouldn’t do — even the strongest ones have trouble sometimes. So I was proud of her that she worked through it, and came to the decision that she ultimately came to on her own.”
Enjoy an exclusive Survivor deleted scene above. Also make sure to check out our full episode recap, weekly Q&A with Jeff Probst, tribute to Rudy Boesch, exit interview with Jack Nichting, and Boston Rob sizing up the cast so far. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
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