Jonas Otsuji, the 37-year-old Sushi chef from Lehi, Utah is voted off Survivor One World and becomes the first member of the jury. We spoke with Jonas yesterday and he explained how he enjoyed his Survivor experience but has some regrets about his passive strategy. His advice to future Survivor contestants; make bold moves, go for it or you may regret it.
The Yak:: After the merge what type of effort did you make to attempt to reform some of your alliances?
Jonas: Right when we merged I went to my old alliance, which was Troy and Jay and I immediately sensed some awkwardness and I knew that something wasn’t right.
The Yak:: How did Colton’s leaving affect the impact and chemistry of the new tribe?
Jonas: I think we would have gone a lot further had Colton stayed in. Colton was such a feared player at that point because he had the idol and he had relationships on both sides. So the next to go would have been Alicia, which would have changed the whole game and I would have made it way further.
The Yak:: Why were you so loyal to Colton?
Jonas: The funny thing is that I never believed anything Colton said. If he had a plan I would say yeah, I’m with you on that but it wasn’t like I was willing to bet my life that he was telling me the truth. I just went along with what he said but was never really 100% with him I just said I was with him.
The Yak:: What was the beef with Tarzan?
Jonas: Tarzan had run-ins with everyone. The straw that broke the camels back is when he went to Mike and told Mike about this big plan about how the guys were going to vote when Mike was never with us. It was 20 days of frustration and that one last thing set me off and any plans we might have had were completely ruined because he just told the enemy our plan. That’s what set me off in my little turret’s rampage. (laughs)
Jonas: Because we didn’t have the numbers, so it didn’t matter and at that point I just wanted to show how clueless Tarzan really was. I knew I was going home. Tarzan and I had made up, that was sincere, but he’s just a very volatile guy I guess (laughs).
The Yak:: Why did you bring Mike up in Tribal council? Was that something you had talked about previously or did you just throw it out there?
Jonas: No, I had talked to everyone as a group. As soon as I knew I was going, when Troy confirmed that, I wanted to bring up the Mike issue. It was more calculated than it seemed. I knew I probably wasn’t going to change anyone’s mind; it was a Hail Mary pass.
The Yak:: Did it seem to you at all that there was a chance to get rid of Tarzan instead of you since he was getting on everyone’s nerves?
Jonas: No, because aside from Chelsea, the majority numbers wise agreed that Tarzan had become an asset because no one liked him so they wanted to take him to the end.
The Yak:: Prior to leaving tribal you went to Tarzan and said no hard feelings and he responded, “hard feelings.” Don’t you find this ironic from someone who later may be bucking for your vote?
Jonas: I had no ulterior motive at that point. I just wanted to show him that I was just playing a game and that none of this is real. He just took it all personally and wouldn’t forgive me. You’d think that Tarzan would have been logical but there’s no strategy at all and he played purely with emotion.
The Yak:: Since Troyzan was the one that clued you in about being voted off can you tell us a little about your relationship with him? Why do you think he didn’t vote alongside you?
Jonas: Well, first of all I love Troyzan to death; I think he’s an awesome guy. When Troy and Jay became down in numbers with the new Salani tribe that’s basically what screwed everything up. It made sense for him and I understood why he did what he did because he was outnumbered by the women. I think that part of the reason he clued me in was because I was going to be a member of the jury and a potential vote for him.
The Yak:: Did you have any knowledge that he found the idol out there?
Jonas: No he didn’t tell me about that?
The Yak:: Looking back at the game what was your real strategy to make it to the end?
Jonas: I was trying to play a similar game to Fabio. I was trying to fly under the radar a little bit until I felt I needed to show my cards. If I felt threatened in any way at that point I would start making bigger, bolder moves.
The Yak:: Whom did you want to sit next to if you made it to the end?
Jonas: I told Troy that I would be honored to lose to him. My final three would have been me, Bill and Troy.
The Yak:: Looking back was there anything major that you would have done differently?
Jonas: Yeah, I would have not been Colton’s bitch number one! (laughs). I would have made bolder, more strategic moves rather than play the fly under the radar game. Ultimately me trying to fly under the radar put me on the radar. It doesn’t really matter what game you play you’re going to be on someone’s radar, whether you’re too strategic or not strategic enough so for me if I could do it all over again I would want to play a more pro-active game rather than just do whatever Colton wanted me to do.
The Yak:: Was it poop or dirt?
Jonas: (Laughs) Yeah, I’m gonna say poop. It didn’t really matter, I wouldn’t even stick my finger in that pot! That was a dual-purpose pot; we cooked rice in that pot.
The Yak:: The last episode much was made about you feeding the tribe, can you tell us something you cooked for them?
Jonas: I made this Samoan seafood bisque. I made a fish sauce using needlefish. Then I grated a fresh coconut and made it into a coconut cream and added that to the stock. It was really delicious. When it was all over one of the producers came up to me and said I’ve been on this show for 10 seasons and this is the very first time I’ve every been jealous of what they’re eating.
The Yak:: Tell us a little about the immunity challenge: Who picked Leif to be the first one to dig the hole under the log that was supposed to fit everyone not just him?
Jonas: I definitely didn’t suggest that but I didn’t challenge it. Yeah, that’s one of those things I regret the most not speaking out and being more assertive. I was more like if that’s what you guys want yeah, yeah, ok, I’m good with that. Somehow I got pegged as the smart Asian guy who should be good at puzzles and I just went along with it.
The Yak:: Since Leif voted with you to vote off Mike he appears to be more out of the loop than anyone, would you say that’s correct?
Jonas: (laughs) Completely 100%. Leif as a person is a phenomenal guy but strategically as a player he was absolutely clueless.
The Yak:: Who has the best shot to win?
Jonas: I would like for Troy to win just because I think he deserves it the most.
The Yak:: Would you play this game again?
Jonas: I would jump on a plane right now and play the game if I could.
We want to thank Jonas for chatting with us and wish him the best in his future!