Big Tom Takes The Fall
May 7, 2004http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/06/earlyshow/series/survivor/main615977.shtml
Survivor: Big Tom's Grudge
"If I could just grab hold of him and bring him in, I would give him an old attitude adjustment. Is it Boston Rob or Rotten Rob?”
Big Tom Buchanan
(CBS) Thursday night on "Survivor: All-Stars," it was another handshake followed by another broken promise, as Boston Rob and Amber decided to leave Big Tom out of the big time - the final four.
On The Early Show Big Tom tells co-anchor Harry Smith, “When you have a pact with the devil, you got to either stick with it or jump around and dance. And in the original tribe, I had to make an alliance, and it ended up being him.”
From Big Tom’s point of view his alliance was solid with Boston Rob. “We had an alliance the first day, all the way through,” he says. “I didn’t think it took a rocket scientist to know we had six and they had three. All we had to do was stay with our tribe mates and vote them on and off. I was pretty happy.”
But at the end, he found himself scrambling. Asked by a caller if he suspected Boston Rob had instigated the fight between him and Rupert, as shown on Thursday night’s episode, Big Tom says “We knew it was a jockeying-for-position thing. But we really didn’t know that. But that also told me that, Rupert had been talking to Rob or whatever, you know. So it was more me and Rupert had to make a stand one way or the other. You kind of got pushed in a situation. We got to do something here, you know.”
Seeing himself as the pawn, Big Tom shook hands with Boston Rob and Amber, trusting the game plan was for Jenna to go first and then Rupert.
“I was grabbing for ropes,” he says. “You know, where we’re from, men are men and your word is a bond. Rob said, ‘Let’s shake hands.’ I said, ‘Rob, we’ve had this alliance.’”
They had talked about their alliance time and time again, Big Tom notes, and says the handshake shown on TV was done an hour before Tribal Council. “But, boy, it didn’t last long.”
And yet, somehow he knew as he walked into Tribal Council, something was not going to go his way.
“I gave Lex the old cutthroat,” he says. “I felt like I had something in my back there. It just kept going deeper and deeper.”
And as he turned around before leaving the Tribal Council, his eyes were on Boston Rob. What was on his mind? “If I could just grab hold of him and bring him in, I would give him an old attitude adjustment. Is it Boston Rob or Rotten Rob?”
So why didn’t Big Tom get rid of Boston Rob when he had the chance, after winning immunity?
Numbers, he says. “Shii Ann would have gone with me. So there are two. But, see, Rupert and Jenna, Rob and Amber. And then, I kept saying, wouldn’t it be smarter for me to be the swing vote because I’m the third one, plus I’m part of that tribe. Why would you want to vote me off? Why would you keep two instead of one.”
Asked by a caller what prevented him from making an alliance with his working buddy, Rupert, and getting rid of lazy Boston Rob and Amber, Big Tom says, “Me and Rupert worked every day. I enjoyed working every day. And the thing about it, it makes the time pass. But Jenna led Rupert around by the nose so much that we couldn’t get anything going. Plus I stuck with my alliance all the way through. I did in Africa and it took me a long ways. And I did this time.”
Plus Big Tom notes that being with the “devil” worked in his favor, “Look at the jury. You’re saying, hey, guy (Boston Rob) you’re slamming everybody. And so, hey, I’ll just take you (Big Tom). You’re the guy I want to be with.”
That is why he says he treated Boston Rob and his brother to the food reward Big Tom won through his son. “I did it strictly strategy because I thought that it would help control the game,” he says.
And he further explains, “I thought my son would help win Rob over. And, see, I was going to take Amber. But if I took Amber, Rob would just tell her what to do. So we decided to take Rob. I wouldn’t take Rupert because he gave me that old cold tater. That came to haunt him.” He was referring to the reward challenge in which Rupert also treated Rob, Amber and Jenna to a good meal and left Shii Ann and him with cold rice and cold potato, respectively.
But it didn’t work. In fact, after Big Tom's son lost the spear, Boston Rob made the following comment: ”He’s a bigger dumb ass than his dad. Big Tom is pretty dumb, but Bo is just -- he’s out there, too.”
When Big Tom heard that on television, he says, “I wanted to jump through the TV. If I had been superman – I almost walked to Boston. You know, I’m tough-skinned and I signed on to play the game. But my son -- it was probably one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to me, for him to get to be a part of this ‘Survivor’ thing, and then for Rob to slam him like that. And he’s a two-time all-American, 3.2 (grade-point average). And to talk about my son, now, I’ll tell you, boy, I’m almost 50 years old. The man has no respect. And I treated his family and stuff decent. And I expect that for myself. When you mess with my son, you’re on sacred ground. And it ain’t over that yet.”
A man of his word, Big Tom says, “I didn’t win a truck, but look at my family. So I’ve got a lot.”