Survivor 44's Latest Boot Talks Failure to 'Nullify Momentum' and the One Thing He Could've Done Differently

Survivor 44's Latest Boot Talks Failure to 'Nullify Momentum' and the One Thing He Could've Done Differently

The following contains spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Survivor.

Even a well-weaponized shield eventually gets the axe.

On Wednesday’s episode of Survivor, the former Tika members tightened their grip on the game, despite the fact that Carolyn was hurt and enraged about being left out of the Frannie vote. But the trio held strong, with Yam Yam winning immunity and Carolyn playing her idol to protect Carson, both of which set the stage for Danny Bronx’s big blindside. (Read our full recap here.)

Below, Robert De Niro Danny talks to TVLine about dealing with Carolyn’s swinging emotions, Heidi’s vote to get him out and the masterful game of chess being played by Yam Yam.

TVLINE | So what are the most important elements to a good Robert De Niro impression?
DANNY MASSA | [In full De Niro voice] You gotta sell it, you know? You can’t just put a face on, you gotta become De Niro. Yeah, it’s the mannerisms. It’s the movement of the head. Movement of the hands is very important. You cannot leave out one single thing!

TVLINE | Your friends must’ve been proud!
Oh, man. Yeah, I’m very happy that I got to do that. [Laughs]

TVLINE | The Tika idol finally came into play. Was there ever any talk about where it might’ve been?
When [Carolyn] pulled it out, I thought she found the one that Heidi has. I didn’t think [Tika] opened [the birdcage]. I didn’t know what the deal was with that. They had some story about red vines. You never know what to believe. So I’m like, ‘Maybe they just didn’t open it.’ I was shocked. I didn’t know she had it. I was impressed. She had it the whole time and didn’t say a word.

TVLINE | At the beginning, the Tika three seemed like a band of misfits, but by the Final 7, it’s clear that Yam Yam, Carolyn and Carson each had decent cases to plead to a potential jury. Did the former Ratu and Soka members underestimate them?
If you’re fighting a battle on all fronts, you go after the person who is attacking you. And then the person behind you gets an arrow in your back. Should you have turned around and taken an arrow in the opposite shoulder? So yeah, you’ve got to pick somebody to go after. At the same time, I think a big part of Survivor is nullifying momentum and to nullify their momentum soon enough.

TVLINE | You got to experience a classic Survivor challenge. Tell me a little bit about what it felt like being under that grate.
Oh, dude. You know, the safety is incredible. You feel very safe on Survivor. They do a great job. Yam Yam said something like, “I knew that I wasn’t gonna die here in this challenge.” So, he was prepared to do whatever it takes. He said if he went down, they’d rescue him. And I think that is the mental fortitude and toughness you need to win that challenge, and that’s where he outdid me is just having that mindset going in, which is just super impressive. I’m a competitive person, but I love watching people do great things. I watched him and Heidi doing this challenge and I’m like, “Oh, sh–t.” When I came up, I thought I would have won. I couldn’t breathe. I’m relatively a calm, tough person. I was shocked when I saw two people left. So to watch Yam Yam — and Heidi did wonderful too — she really was scared of that challenge, so I know her girls and Mike, her husband, were getting to watch that. It was really cool. I love the displays of resilience and mental fortitude and Yam Yam, that was some display! He was ready to die out there. It’s a powerful experience.

TVLINE | He went full tilt boogie!
Full tilt boogie, baby!

TVLINE | You were trying to sniff out who voted for you in the previous Tribal Council. It was Heidi and she totally lied about it. Did you actually believe her though?
Yeah, I did believe her. I didn’t see it at the time. From premiere all the way through to merge, I don’t care who you are. If you say like, “I’m better than you because you were voted out before me,” you’re a clown because a lot of the time, it’s how the cards fall and your skill mixed with luck. Heidi’s gameplay was incredible. Clearly, she’s still going strong, but at the time, that was a bad move. I didn’t think it was logical in anyway. How would it help her for me to go out? I’m kind of like a heat shield for her. Definitely her closest ally. Who would it behoove for me to think that it was Heidi? Yam Yam, and I watched him interact with everybody and saw how incredible he is at reading people. His emotional intelligence is off the… he was playing chess. So I’m like, “Oh, it would be really intelligent for him to come out to me and offer this olive branch like, “Hey, I know who voted for you,” so I was like, “it must be him.”

TVLINE | When you went to the Sanctuary with Brandon and Carolyn, Carolyn was very miffed about all the bro-ing down that was going on. What was your impression of her game at that point in time, and has that changed as you’ve been watching the season?
It’s changed since watching. [She’s] definitely using emotionality as a weapon, and when she got to the journey and she was very emotional. She was very concerned. She was doing as Carolyn does, which is wearing emotions on her sleeve. Something I could definitely do better is maybe be more empathetic. I’m a Bronx fireman. When it comes to emotions and freaking out, it’s not something that happens a lot. You have to stay calm. It’s really important in my line of work. Now that being said, clearly, you can be freaking out or at least apparently freaking out, and be calm and weaponize your emotionality to maximize your performance, and that’s what was happening. She wanted to trick us into thinking she was a weak player who was going home and it worked.

TVLINE | What is something important about the game or your gameplay that didn’t make the edit?
Frannie and I did breath work every single day, multiple times a day. We were constantly meditating. Jaime led us on a ton and I’m so happy they showed that because Jamie’s an outdoors woman. I feel like she was just living out there. She’s the plant lady and she put those skills to the test. She didn’t appear uncomfortable. She crushed it when it came to living out in the island and being a part of nature. If you would have left her out there, she would still be surviving now.

Source: Read Full Article