Cook Islands Interview: Nate Gonzalez

Written by Tashi from the blog Survivor Cook Islands: Interviews on 08 Nov 2007
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Nate 1

Hi fellow Survivor junkie! Sorry for taking some time to share the latest Survivor interviews with you - hopefully today's triple whammy of interviews will satisfy your craving.

I caught up with muso Nate Gonzalez (said with an "ay" to sound Mexicany) after he got snuffed three episodes ago and as you'll see he's still fuming with Jonathan and of course refused to accept that Parvati had him wrapped around her little bikini.

In between chatting to him and now I found out some claim-to-fame news about him from my reality goss-buddy Clayton Morar at TVPlus - it turns out that Nate's Sal Masekela's half-brother.  *Please put on your concentrating cap to follow the family tree* :

Sal's Hugh Masekela's son, Sal's mom got re-married after she divorced Hugh and then she had Nate.

As for who Sal is in case you don't know - he's the host of E!'s celeb gossip show The Daily 10 (see pic).

The interesting thing is that Nate didn't apply to be on the show because of having family in showbiz - like many players this season he was cast by surprise:

Why did you enter Survivor?
Nate: I was actually recruited - we have a third avenue promenade mall where I live and I was there with my brother and some friends, we were having a couple of drinks and lunch on a Sunday afternoon. One of the girls who was casting for the show walked past and asked if I wanted to be on it and I said, “Yeah, I’ll think about it.”

I called her the next day - I’m not really a person to back down from anything - so I said, “Yeah, I’ll go, “ and I started my process right there and then. It was only a month and half or so right before we left.

Tashi: Are you a fan of the show?
Nate: I am, but I hadn’t seen a lot of the first seasons so I watched and went to Survivor school.

Tashi: What was your strategy before you went in?
Nate: What I’d seen and learned is that you want to provide a lot of strength and be valuable so that your tribe holds onto you. But also being a man your strength can be a weakness and a threat so my idea was to go into and be strong and be a provider and then by mid-game I wanted to more subtle with all my moves so I wasn’t seen as a threat.

Tashi: So basically what happened was you met Parvati and the entire thing fell apart.
Nate: Yeah she killed me (laughs) - she helped me in certain ways but there were things that I felt she didn’t see in longterm that I had seen.

There were a few moves that I really didn’t like that my tribe made but you don’t want to be the person nagging at everyone saying it was stupid ‘cos then you’ll be the next person. They’re already cranky and hungry and pissed off and in a bad mood, they don’t want to hear they made a mistake. I always kind of bit my lip - sometimes I feel a little too much - sometimes I feel not enough. Definitely there were some moves that I didn’t like.

Tashi: And they were all because of Parvati.
Nate: I wouldn’t say all because of her - our first moves had to do the women on my tribe being insecure in the fact that they needed to keep their numbers after we broke from racial tribes. We got rid of a very good player very early for no reason at all.

Tashi: Do you mean Sekou?
Nate: JP - when we merged into the new tribe - the girls wanted to get rid of him saying he was lazy - that was a stupid edit I feel. They got rid of him because they felt that keeping the numbers would help them stay further if there were more women than men. Obviously they’re not stupid so they knew they needed strength so I started taking on the role of provider - which is when I started pulling Parvati into my game.

Tashi: That’s what you say but I think it was the other way round.
Nate: You think she pulled me in?

Tashi: Yes.
Nate: She did definitely work with me - it may seem like it but it was definitely more of a joint relationship with us. She never told me to do anything I didn’t want to do and she made her own decisions because she’s her own person which I felt were dumb. At the end of the day, everything she did she ran by me and vise versa but there were a few moves, towards the end especially, she didn’t think about the game longterm and she made a move that killed all of us.

Adam did too and Candice, they just thought short-term. In Survivor, every person who plays the game smartly realizes that when you make a move it echoes for eternity through the game so you have to be ready to deal with whatever move you make later. (Recaps the action and who did what strategy-wise from the reshuffle up until the point where Jenny got whacked - when Nate voted for Jonathan and Parvati voted for Jenny. )

Tashi: So you'd say that Parvati’s biggest mistake for your alliance was that she targeted Jenny instead of Jonathan?
Nate: Her biggest mistake was not trusting her instincts. She was thinking short-term - we didn’t get a chance to discuss that vote - Jeff just pulled the note out of the bottle and Parvati thought, from a physical standpoint, it would be better to keep Jonathan around longer but we didn’t need that physical strength.

Jenny was great for puzzles so we had a good formula but they felt it was better to keep a man than a loyal woman. Candice and Adam also felt Jenny was a threat to their relationship because of how she made it public. In the short-term in might have made sense getting rid of her but keeping Jenny for the longterm would have given Parvati and I that swing vote in the longterm.

Tashi: Let’s talk about Jonathan and how angry you were with him for flipping against you. How could you have been angry with him for switching when you guys were just lying around at Raro.
Nate: That was garbage, I was never ever a lazy person. I don’t care what the edit says. I worked my butt off every day, I was one of the hardest working people out there but guilt by association will hurt you - I was with Candice and Adam who were all lovey dovey and Pavrati so they wanted to give us the edit that we were four young people who just wanna have fun and kick back but the truth is I never ever ever sat around and let someone else do the work. I gave every challenge 100%.

The reason that fool turned on me was for the straight fact that he didn’t like me and he knew we were never going to work together in an alliance. I never talked strategy with him because I didn’t like him and he didn’t talk strategy to me so I understand that. The reason I was so upset with him was because, fine - you want to get rid of me, fine, but don’t kill the rest of these people because if he had half a brain - I knew he was the person who betrayed me.

All he had to do was pretend he was going to vote for me, still vote for me, play the idol and then he could have still got rid of me. He’s just a selfish person - those were the people who saved him so he was around longer so a person of that character and that kind of nature, I was like - I don’t care about you at all.

If he had half a brain he could have played the idol, voted with my team, Yul would have had to play the idol, the next amount of votes would have been me, I would have been gone, he would have played the idol and it would have been an even game of four-four and he wouldn’t have had to betray anyone.

Tashi: How could you all have been so convinced that Yul didn’t have the idol when he’s been so consistently strong?
Nate: Oh we did, we entertained that thought - I talked to Adam and Candice that day right before we went to Tribal Council. One of the things I said was, “What if Yul does have it?” Something you didn’t see is I’m playing the game of Survivor, I’m losing my marbles and Parvati and I went to rifal through Candice and Adam’s bags - we were pretty positive one of them had it.

When we looked through their bags and didn’t find it we were like “Mhh”. When we merged I made them swear on their graves that they didn’t have it and I said “What if Yul has it?” and they said to me: “I promise you he doesn’t have it, this and that,” which made me think maybe they had it. By them being so assuring, especially being the two who went to Exile Island the most, I thought one of them had it and didn’t want to tell us yet.



Xhosa Chick
08 Nov 2007 01:23

THANK YOU TASHI!!!! Ok, am gonna read it now

08 Nov 2007 07:32

Adam and Candice's stupidity about the idol is all the more glaring reading this. Great interviews Tashi! Thanks!

09 Nov 2007 08:44

Jonathan had no choice. He had to go wit Yul' s gang.

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