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Cancer survivor voted off Survivor: Philippines

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Artis Silvester of Louisiana beat cancer and survived divorce but that luck didn't follow him into the game of 'Survivor'. The 53-year-old aligned himself with fellow Tandang members Pete and Abi-Maria while tribe mates Lisa Whelchel and Survivor returnee Mike Skupin opened themselves up to the possibility of voting with the remaining players, unbeknownst to Silvester.

Since the start of the season, the contestants have been vowing to get former players like Michael Skupin and Jonathan Penner out of the game, but when Skupin won the immunity challenge this week, that left only Survivor returnee Penner vulnerable. However, when the votes were counted it was Silvester who found himself getting his torch snuffed out, not Penner.

I recently spoke with Artis Silvester who truly believed he was going to win the reality show and the million dollar prize. He was still trying to wrap his brain around the fact that he was voted out of the game when we talked. 

The Maine Edge: Do you feel like the viewers really got to know you?

Silvester: No. But it is what it is. I got depicted as a villain. I wish I would've had an inkling that was going to happen because I probably could've been the worst villain in Survivor history. I was just cursed with having that look that when I'm not smiling, I look angry. [Plus] I hitched myself with Pete and with Pete came the baggage of Abi.

TME: What is it about the returnees in this year's season that has players like yourself wanting to see them gone?

Silvester: This is supposed to be a once in a lifetime shot at a million dollars and they keep giving people shots at it again and again and they're going to win. I would've gotten rid of Mike [Skupin] long before Penner. Penner had three shots at it [the game]. You give me three shots at anything and I'm winning. I can understand bringing a player back because they were evacuated out because of medical reasons. But [then again] if you've played, you've played.

TME: Looking back, what would you have done differently in the game if possible?

Silvester: That's a question that has been plaguing me the whole time. I like Jeff [Kent]. I should've went to Jeff and said they are coming after you. If you can get your people together, we'll go for Mike [Skupin] and then we could've gone after Penner [next]. 

TME: Who do you think is the most underestimated contestant left in Survivor right now?

Silvester: I actually believe Denise is. They're not giving her props. She's been to every single tribal council in the game and she's still there. I didn't envision having to vote because I envisioned the money was mine so I'm a wild card right now. I'm looking at everything. I can't see Malcolm winning. I love Pete. But they're going to go hard at him now that I'm gone. Because of all that, no one is looking at Denise. If she makes it to the end, she's going to walk her way, in my opinion, to a million dollars.

Survivor: Philippines airs every Wednesday night on CBS at 8 p.m. 

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