EW: Aras, you’ve made it all the way before: Which game is harder: pre-merge or post-merge?
ARAS: Pre-merge is rough because your body is adjusting to the deprivation and you’re still finding your place in the tribe. But the game doesn’t really start getting intense until post merge. That’s when things get fun as a contestant, and as a viewer.
EW: Vytas, as a newbie and as someone that has seen his brother be very successful at a variety of things — including winning this game — how much relief was there at this point that you at least made it to the merge?
VYTAS: I was not relieved that the merge had arrived, I was excited. I had been putting in a lot of hard work toward building trust and solid relationships out there and was ready to combine the fruits of my efforts with those of my brother. I came into the game wanting to stay until the end. The merge was only a midway marker on that journey. Everyone who plays is afraid they won’t make it far, but for me, I was much more focused not so much on how far I got, but on winning. Some people play for placement. I was there to claim the title…and of course, beat my brother along the way.