By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
They may not have won the title of Sole-Survivor but Gavin Whitson and Julie Rosenberg are proud of their Survivor experiences. What makes them and some fans a little bit sour though is the role the Edge of Extinction played in the final jury vote.
Both Gavin and Julie believe the 27 days he spent there gave winner Chris Underwood a distinct advantage over them since he was with future jury members the entire time while Gavin and Juilie still had to play the game.
“Going into the final Tribal Council, I thought Julie and I had the upper-hand but once we saw how the jury was reacting I kind of realized that people were sharing the experience with Chris. I am not hating on Chris’ game but I think the Edge of Extinction was a huge advantage for Chris and a huge disadvantage for Julie and me,” said Gavin.
“Going in, I was very realistic about my game. I didn’t think I was actually going to be the winner. I figured that Gavin was going to get a few more votes than he did. I also had no idea how strongly the jury felt about Chris. It kind of became obvious, like Gavin said, during the Tribal Council. I tried the best that I could but at the end I was pretty certain the winner was going to be Chris,” she recalled.
Gavin and Julie maintained that while the Edge of Extinction was an advantage for Chris it was equally a disadvantage for them.
John Powell: Do you both believe that Chris’ time on the Edge of Extinction made all the difference?
Julie Rosenberg: “Oh, for sure. The fact that he was there from Day 8 to Day 35 and hung out with every single person, spent a lot of time with them made that difference. They had nothing to do all day. There was no stress, no paranoia about alliances or people lying to you, there are no challenges they have to perform in. He built a lot of relationships there and I do think they were rooting for each other. I think it was a huge disadvantage to us.”
Gavin Whitson: “Adding to what Julie said, I had a hand in voting out Aubry [Bracco], Joe [Anglim], Eric [Hafemann] and Ron [Clark]. All these people I had built relationships with and backstabbed them. Chris had no blood on his hands. Those were people who thought he was a great guy and a provider. That put us at a disadvantage. Who are you going to vote for? A person who had your back and backstabbed you or the guy you connected with?”
John Powell: Now, Gavin, are you shocked that Victoria [Baamonde] didn’t vote for you?
Gavin Whitson: “I was very surprised, still surprised, let me say that. We were together for 36 days. We essentially played the same game. We made the same moves together. We almost always voted together. Even when she got voted out she said to me, I am voting for you. I was expecting that vote. It was a blindside, my second of the season. It stings a little bit because if the roles would have been reversed, I would have respected Victoria’s gameplay because I thought we were on the same page. We didn’t make big flashy moves but we were still controlling things. It hurts a little.”
John Powell: Julie, you must be really proud of what you accomplished in the game, especially as an example to your friends and family.
Julie Rosenberg: “Absolutely, especially the fact that I made it all 39 days. It is true though. The way they showed me at the beginning it was a little comical, obviously. I have never been camping before. I am not a very outdoorsy person. I don’t have experience with all of that stuff. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to do it. I wanted to stretch myself and take myself out of my comfort zone, out of the element. I wanted to show my friends and family that there was another side to me. It is no joke. It is seriously hard. You really cannot push yourself to the limit anywhere else than Survivor.”
Gavin Whitson: “I want to give props to Julie, really quick. She is the one who took out Joe. How awesome is that?”
Julie Rosenberg: “Aw, thank you.”
John Powell: It just goes to show you, never underestimate anyone. Sandra Diaz-Twine proved that, twice.
John Powell: Gavin, is there anything you wished the producers would have included in your edit?
Gavin Whitson: “I think the thing I wish people would have seen just because it is the thing I got the most questions on was that the edit showed that Eric [Hafemann] and I were really close. We were and that was another vote I thought I would have at the end. The reason I made that decision to vote him out is that I had a similar conversation with Eric that Julia [Carter] had. The older Kamas and the younger Kamas were trying to pull Eric in. I wanted to form a majority of seven and he said that wasn’t the time. We needed to keep David [Wright] and [Rick] Devens. That flicked a switch in my head and made me skeptical.”
John Powell: How about your edit, Julie?
Julie Rosenberg: “I know it is super hard for the producers to include everything and because I was on Kama and we never went to tribal, not much of my time was shown. There were so many relationships I had built. Eric and I looked at one another and said we wanted to work with each other. It was an immediate alliance. I do have a feeling there was a little issue with the young and the older on the tribe. None of my relationship building was shown.”
John Powell: A final question for the both of you, what are you going to do with that money and would you ever play again?
Julie Rosenberg: “I am investing the money and saving it. It is to pay for my kids’ education. There is nothing extravagant, no trips. That money will be put in the bank. As for playing again, if you asked me that question the last week of the game, I would have declined. I am grateful to have had the experience but I don’t ever need to do this again..buuut…coming back, a month later, I looked at my husband and told him I need to go back. I now know what I need to do. I feel like I could be Julie 2.0. Looking back at how I played the game I think I would do things a lot differently.”
Gavin Whitson: “For me, even if I had won the million nothing in my life was going to change. I might have been able to buy some nicer stuff. (Laughs) I was going to live in the same house and keep my job. I am super happy with the life I have been given. Playing again? I am not as adamant about going back as Julie is. Now that I didn’t get the title of Sole Survivor I have got that empty space. Before I would ever agree to something like that I would have to make sure my wife was okay with it. If the stars aligned, hopefully I will come back, win the title of Sole Survivor and maybe Julie and I won’t be on the same season. (Laughs)
Julie Rosenberg: “Right, we will plan that out. (Laughs)
Gavin Whitson: “If everything lined up, I would love to have another chance.”