School teacher Sean Rector was the latest castaway to be voted off Survivor: Marquesas. He joined Jane Clayson on The Early Show to discuss his pursuit of $1 million.
Clayson admitted that she had thought Rector would go all the way and be the ultimate winner.
"Hey you know, I tried," he answered. "My mom raised me to keep fighting, no matter what the circumstance. I pleaded my case. I thought it was good enough for Kathy to see that. I thought my chance would be good."
Why did he think Kathy sided with Paschal and Neleh instead of with him and Vecepia?
"You would have to ask Kathy. But it could be old ties," Rector said.
"I spoke to Kathy earlier in the day. I pleaded my case to her. I said, 'Look, Vecepia has been shown to play the game. She's playing the game. So am I. Don't put us together because we're African-American. Make your choice.' I was playing game. I was trying to get in her head to let her see that if she joined with Vecepia and I, her chances would be better. I said Vecepia and I, not because that was our pact, but I had no other options."
Clayson noted that Rector had made race a part of the tribal dialogue. "Did you think your comments or your attitude in any was misinterpreted?"
"My comments about race could have been misinterpreted, but I think race was relevant. And being from New York, it is relevant. Wherever I go, it will be relevant. I don't think you need to bring it up in a way where it is like -- that's why a lot of my racial commentary was humorous and at times when it wasn't, it was just in the moment. You know, if it is relevant - speak on it."
Rector was asked about other castaways. "A lot of survivors who came through here - except from Boston Rob who loves you - had some interesting words about you and didn't necessarily describe you in glowing ways. Everything from angry to lazy."
Rector disagreed. "I'll differ with you. I think Hunter and Gina were the ones that said I was lazy. Sarah had nice things to say. Peter had nice things to say. I wouldn't say everyone. I think the people -- maybe sour grapes -- who were voted off would say bad things. If I was that lazy and angry, you should have did your thing to vote me off."
He said he was glad to see Hunter go. "I think off the game he was a great person. But during the game, you weren't seeing everything. He was a cool guy, but I wanted to let him know, it wasn't that I wanted the position myself as the Alpha Male. I wanted to say, "Look, dude, as a leader you have to listen to everybody and it has to be a democracy, not a dictatorship.' Rob had good ideas. Sarah had good ideas and we felt like, you strategically, he won't take any one of us to the final, so…"
He was also glad when John got the boot. "John is a great guy. Strategically it was the best move - my only move. My back was against the wall and it was cool because once you get rid of the head, you saw what happened to the body."
Rector spoke about Paschal, the Superior Court judge with whom he exchanged words on Thursday's show.
"Being from New York, a lot of times, 9/11 was on my mind," Rector said. "And I used to work in the World Trade Center.
"You can't get more opposite than Paschal and myself. It shows that when you take away the things we take for granted, as we learned in 9/11, it was a great moment for humanity."
Still, he said he couldn't let some of things Paschal said go unchallenged.
"Some of his comments I watched last night and, you know, you kind of wonder where he was coming from. I didn't know the comments were being made, but some of it -- I was like -- wow. You know, when he said 'They feel like they owe them something,' I was like, 'they who?' Vecepia and I got to where we got, playing he context of the game and I didn't think anybody owed us anything. We had to fight. No one was going to give me anything."
And as for Neleh?
"I love Neleh outside of the game. But she was an adversary in the game. Everyone wasn't seeing the girl-next-door thing. She is a sweet girl, but during the context of the game, I was like, 'You're not going to do this all the way to the million.' But it's not that we didn't vibe. She vibed with Paschal, and myself and Vecepia had a thing. And when you go for a million dollars, you have to pick sides."
Clayson asked Rector if he wanted another physical challenge after winning the reward competition so convincingly.
No, he replied. "Physically, we were all drained. Physically ,we were done. I don't think any one of us could have stood another challenge."
And finally, where does Rector go from here?
"I never went into this game expecting to be a star or a millionaire. I did it for my students. I want all -- inner city kids, poor, whites, whoever felt like they were ostracized from society, to say 'Here is a brother with corn rows who looks like me, speaks like me and he went on this show and did this and he represented us well.' Anything that comes after that is a blessing."
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