Rocker no help to Val on Survivor

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In size if not in reputation, hulking former baseball player John Rocker continues to be a key figure in Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water, one who is likely to be central to tonight’s episode as well. But his promise last week to keep Val Collins safe ultimately didn’t mean much. In fact, sidling up to him made her more of a target, Collins said from Boston while in a phone interview with The TV Junkies, after she became the second person to be voted off the show this season.

“Everyone was watching who I’m walking away with, or if I’m going off to find an Idol,” said Collins, who was odd castaway out after she started the season going to Exile Island. “He made it so obvious we had gone off together, I thought, when he asked to talk with me. I was skeptical of that because you don’t want that. You don’t want people to see you walk off, and have people see you’ve gone off together. I don’t know if it was just his non-game play, but you just don’t do that.”

If Rocker were truly trying to help her he would have shared more information with her — and would have stopped her when she came up with her biggest whopper, that she had found two hidden immunity idols. If they really had had an alliance, she argues Rocker should have told her, “‘Val, I know you can’t have the idol — I found it.’” But he didn’t, and Collins went on with her crazy plan — claiming she had two immunity idols when she actually had none.

“Everybody knew I went to Exile and everybody knew I had a clue, right?” she said. “So whether I had one Idol or two Idols, they were trying to flush it out.”

Saying she had two immunity idols, she figured, “Would make them think, ‘We may be able to flush out one, but we’re not going to be able to flush out two, let’s just go after somebody else right now, and see what happens with that.’

“It was really just trying to get them off my back,” Collins explained.

But it didn’t work. Having been on Exile right off the bat had already put her behind on the social game and she had to scramble. “But the bigger disadvantage,” she added,” is that the whole tribe was on a losing streak. And when you’re on a losing streak, someone going to Exile is an easy scapegoat.”

Two women of color being the first to go falls into reality TV’s worst trait. But there was no way the women were going to band together over the men. “The guys had the numbers and they were all bromanced up and they were going to stick together,” Collins said. She called it “annoying” and “ridiculous” that women are often depicted as “the damsel in distress or trying to hide behind the ones who make it through, but girls that actually  want to be there, be strong competitors and want to strategize are the ones who are picked off immediately.”

“The thought of women sticking together, it made sense to us,” she said. “It wasn’t even a woman alliance really. It was just like, there are only four women, why wouldn’t we stick together and try to work and get another guy.” But it also reflects society as much as Survivor, she added. “Women often tear each other down versus bring each other up.”

Collins says she is glad she played the game and didn’t fret about facing her husband in the show’s first one-on-one competition that landed her on Exile island.

“We’re a pretty competitive couple anyways with sports, and with our professions being police and fire, so we’re pretty good about trash talking. So I’m always excited to go and compete against him; I just wasn’t as excited to start out the game that way.”

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