We spoke with Vytas Baskauskas the 33 year old Yoga instructor/ Math professor from Santa Monica, CA on his elimination on Wednesday night’s episode of Survivor Blood vs. Water. Vytas is the brother of Aras Baskauskas (31) the winner of Survivor Panama.
YAK: Hi Vytas, thanks for talking with us today at The Yak TV and Reality News! Congratulations on making it this far on Survivor.
Vytas: I would have actually liked to make it further but thank you.
YAK: What strategy of yours are you most proud of in the game?
Vytas: I think that when the tribes swapped about 10 days into the game and I found myself on a tribe of all women and I was able to navigate through that minefield it was a very fortunate game play on my part. I didn’t play a perfect game obviously. I’m on the jury and I didn’t win but I had some good moments and I think that was probably one of my best moments. It was how I played since the beginning. If I ignored Katie from the beginning then as soon as we swap then Katie is going to go to her Mom and say Vytas ignored me. But, being in the majority alliance I made sure to stay friends with those in the minority alliance. I kept pulling Katie aside saying “Hey, even though you’re not with us, I’m with you and I’m going to keep you safe.” That really paid off in the end when the tribes swapped.
YAK: Then in Tina you had a big fan.
Vytas: Yes, then in Tina I had a big fan, because Tina’s big love is her daughter and Tina wants nothing more than her daughter to have children so that she can be a grandmother.
YAK: You were really well liked by the other contestants. In fact some have interviewed that if you made it to the end they would vote for you because they liked your story and generally enjoyed you. How hard is that knowing that if you had made Final 3 you really had a strong shot at the million dollars?
Vytas: I mean getting eliminated from the game is hard either way. I don’t think it makes it any easier knowing that I would have had a chance to win at the end but it’s tough. I had so much more game left in me when I got eliminated. I didn’t go into this game just trying to make it far; I went in wanting to win. Anything short of that would be a disappointment and it is a bit disappointing. I tried my best, I made some mistakes. In the end what can you do but just be grateful for the experience, because it was a fricken amazing experience.
YAK: Well now you and Aras are the only brothers ever to play Survivor?
Vytas: Yes, we are the only brothers to play Survivor, it’s so lucky.
YAK: Who did you trust the most besides your brother?
Vytas: You know in the beginning we had this guys alliance, besides Aras in the beginning I really trusted Brad. Brad and Hayden, these are guys that I knew were going to be honest with me. I really wanted to go deep in the game with them because Hayden was a big threat because he won Big Brother and Brad was a huge threat just being an NFL player. So these were guys who even though I knew I was going to have a big target on my back, I knew they were going to have a big target as well so I figured we should link up together. Then when the tribes swapped all of a sudden I didn’t get to work with them. Then I really got to work on a relationship with Katie and her mom. I really trusted Tina and Katie as well. They’re great people I really had fun getting to know them. Tina’s a great person, Katie’s an awesome friend and even Monica who I got to work with. Recently I went to Tampa and I got to see Monica and Brad. They have such a great family and I love them too. It’s really an experience where I made some good friendships that will last for a long time.
YAK: Would you have voted Aras out as we’ve seen Ciera do to her Mom?
Vytas: Probably not. It would have been much more as a last resort. I think Ciera had some better options before voting her Mom out. Ciera has been playing a good game though. She’s made it far and has made some big moves. That was a huge move to vote her Mom out. I’m happy that at least this has happened once during Blood vs. Water. You never know if it’s going to happen again. I don’t know if I would have been that quick to vote out Aras. It really shows other people that you’re willing to vote out your strongest alliance which makes people leery of forming an alliance with you.
YAK: Is there anything that you want to clarify or want the viewers to know that maybe we didn’t see or was edited out?
Vytas: No, I mean, there is so much we don’t see in the show. I just want everyone to know that I had a blast playing the game. I appreciate everyone’s support and the warm reception I’ve gotten from fans has made this experience so much better. It’s been really fabulous.
YAK: What do you think about Laura B. telling you that you were going home? Did you think that it could possibly be her kiss of death? She seemed so sincere and she liked you so much I felt actually bad for her.
Vytas: I did feel bad for Laura, because I like Laura. Laura is a woman who probably lives in the shadow of Rupert a lot and she probably doesn’t let herself out like that. I felt bad. She put herself out there and it kind of got thrown at her but that’s Survivor. When she was telling that to me I already had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen. What was I going to say “no, you’re wrong, that’s not who’s going to go.”? I mean we signed up for this game that’s sociopathic and her feelings were hurt I’m sure and I felt bad that I kind of had to be the one to do it.
YAK: What was the hardest thing for you out there?
Vytas: When Aras was voted out it was really hard. Not so much, it didn’t make me sad I was blown away. I’m sitting there with immunity feeling really comfortable and all of a sudden my brother gets voted out. I was completely blown away by that. Otherwise it wasn’t that physically demanding or rigorous. It didn’t rain and we had a beach with a bounty of fish and trees with fruit on them so we didn’t really starve that bad. I think for me what was hard was the emotion that came up. Like when I gave my brother a cheap shot, I was surprised I did that. Or when I cried when I hugged my brother, I’m surprised that happened. When I cussed out the whole tribe at tribal council while feeling protective of my brother, these are just authentic emotional experiences that are a little bit more raw because of the setting.
YAK: How has this experience affected your relationship with your brother are you closer?
Vytas: Yes we’re definitely closer after this. It’s been a long mend for our relationship. There were a lot of years where we didn’t get along at all. We’re less than 2 years apart so this was a big step forward for us, to be able to mend some things and grow closer. We’re never going to be perfect. All I know is that I love my brother a lot; he loves me and even though we will always have a healthy rivalry and we’ll fight from time to time, this is something that we can always share and a memory we can always look back on.
YAK: Sounds like you loved this experience would you do it again?
Vytas: I love Survivor. I’ve been a fan from the beginning. I’d like to go out there and see what it would be like without Aras, just on my own.
Thanks for talking with us today Vytas and come and visit us at The Yak TV and Reality News!
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