Liliana Gomez, a former member of the US Marine Corps, became the fourth person voted off Survivor: Fiji. A surprising cast-off last night, Liliana was one of her tribe’s strongest members. Liliana was kind enough to take the time to speak with us today.
Can you tell us how you got started with Survivor, how you got involved, how you got cast on the show?
Well, back in 1999 I actually got an email from a friends who is an actor. I’ve been living in LA for six years now, so I’ve kind of been in that whole loop. And he sent it to me out of the blue and I was like “Okay, let me look at it.” So I was like what the hell, what are they going to say, “We don’t want you?” I sent in my headshot, four sentences, my age, what I did, why I would like to do it, that it’d be fun and exciting, I have a military background, period. That was it, they called me five minutes after I submitted it and I went to the casting process and it just happened so fast. Next thing you know, I’m on a flight to Fiji.
Were you a big fan of the show, was it something you’d always wanted to do?
I wish that I was, but I hadn’t seen an episode until I got cast. I mean, I knew about the show, you can’t really avoid knowing about it, so I knew about it. But I had to buy DVDs once I found out that I was going to be cast. And that’s how I got prepared for it, but really I didn’t even watch it. The only show I knew about was Amazing Race.
Watching the DVDs, did you come into the show with a specific game plan?
One thing I did say I was going to do, which I didn’t, was plan to come off too strong, but I couldn’t help it. That’s just who I am naturally and so it was difficult. I think the next time around I’ll definitely really stick to it and downplay who is it that I am and my strength because it can be a hindrance depending on what tribe you’re on. Now if I would have been on the Ravu tribe, then they would have been like, “There’s no way in hell we’re going to get rid of her, because, you know, she’s needed.” It’s just crazy.
Watching you guys in Moto, at the nice camp, I think I’d pay money to stay there.
Seriously. If someone were to say “Oh we’re going to go on a vacation to Fiji; we’re just going to stay in this little shelter that was just like ours.” Totally, I agree with you. But what can I say, people come up to me like, “Oh that was ridiculous, that wasn’t Survivor.” I’m like, “Yeah I agree, but I didn’t choose that, I just signed up to be on the show and that’s how it is and we kind of played with the cards that we were dealt.” It’s crazy to watch it like that and to see the extremes at both ends: luxury and poverty. But you know, hey, they were trying for something new and it definitely gets people talking. Even if it’s talking about hating the idea, it’s definitely a twist.
Last night, the big twist was your tribe Moto, after winning the Immunity challenge, having to decide whether to stay in your shelter and go to Tribal council, or switch camps and stay away from tribal council. You decided to go to tribal council. Looking back on that decision, do you regret it at all?
I am hitting my head against the wall. It’s one of those “doh!” moments. I wish I would have spoke up and said, “You know what, we need as many people as we can, let’s go to the Ravu camp, who cares?” Because it’s not about being comfortable, you can be comfortable after you win the damn thing. But I wasn’t thinking that at that moment and I didn’t want to stand out against the majority. Alex and Bo had already said strongly right away, no doubt about it, “We’re not going to give up our home.” And the mentality was, we had talked about it being a possibility because apparently they did study up on Survivor, they did know about things that had happened in the past and I guess before, it happened where a tribe won and they still had to vote someone off. So they said, “Well what if that happens, what will we do? We’re going to vote Cassandra off for sure.” That’s another reason why I was fine with it and then two, we were just really comfortable and got complacent as a tribe. We didn’t want them to taste any kind of victory at all.
Before watching last night’s episode, did you have any idea that Lisi had it out for you so bad?
No, I was totally shocked at what she said. As far as the girls being intimidated by me, I mean of course I thought that, that was obvious, because they’re weenies. I’m sorry, but I’m just being honest. And they were just kind of like the housewives, like they didn’t do shit until everyone else got there. The men, myself included, were working our asses off all day trying to find food and climbing trees and fishing in the water and that totally got under their skin because, I don’t know, it’s just really irritating. I was just myself, I just didn’t like them sitting around not doing anything, painting the floor. Painting the floor! That was what they were doing, that’s how they contributed to the tribe and sometimes Boo would be like, “Oh, that was such a good idea girls.” I’m like, “Shut up!” Stacy making little weave baskets, like what the hell do we need that for? Like, oh your so resourceful Miss Susie Homemaker. Oh my God, like washing her hair everyday with well water and cleaning her nails and tossing her hair around, it was just driving me bananas.
Is there anything that happened at the camp that got edited out that may have shed some light on why they voted you out? Because it seemed like everyone fell in line really quickly with Lisi on that.
They just showed Lisi’s comment because it was a freaking outrageous comment and I’m pissed that she even said that, it was just off the wall and ignorant. I was just amazed, but if you think about it, it makes a little more sense. The girls didn’t like me. They were intimidated by me. Stacy had Boo in the palm of her hand because they were flirting all the time. So that’s 3 against 2, because of the 5 alliance, which I thought was a 6 alliance and that I was apart of, so there was 5 of them. So that’s 3 to 2. Alex and Edgardo were tight on the first couple days so they were probably like, “Okay, if us two don’t vote for Lilianna,” which they logically didn’t think was a good move, which I agree with, not just because it was me, but I was a strong player, why are you going to get rid of me right now? We still need to win as a team. They didn’t want to go against them and be voted off next time the get an opportunity. And Dreamz was like, “Well Cassandra was my only alliance, my only buddy, Papa Smurf left, I don’t want to vote Cassandra off.” So that’s why he didn’t vote for me.
Anyone you’re rooting for as the season goes along?
I hope that Cassandra makes it far and I’m glad for the experience and thanks to CBS and I would do again in a heartbeat, but this time I would totally just crush them.