CBS’ Survivor: Villains vs. Heroes After Party with Survivor’s own Billy Garcia and Rock and a Hard Place’s Leah Bitar
New York’s Times Square was abuzz with Survivor fans, friends and family, press and current and former cast members. And those of us not lucky enough to be a part of the actual finale broadcast came together to watch the last episode and live finale unfold.
Some of the former and current castaways at the viewing and after party included: JT, James Clement, Stephen Fishbach, Courtney Yates, Todd Herzog, Spencer Duhm, Mike Bortone, Brian Corridan, Eliza Orlins, Ashley Trainer, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Boston Rob Mariano, Jerri Manthey, John Fincher, Burton Roberts, Russell Hantz, Terry Deitz, Rita Verreos, Jonny Fairplay, and many more…to name a few!
A familiar face at most Survivor finales, charity and other events is Survivor: Cook Island’s own Billy Garcia. Never one to shy away from a Survivor party, Billy was front and center as the welcoming committee for many of us ‘friends’ and fans, and it is always a blast to be around his enthusiasm for all that Survivor is and will be!
Billy is currently working on a number of projects, including a soon-to-be-released film, The Infernal Room, and with him at this season’s Survivor after party were friends and fellow Infernal Room cast mates Leah Bitar, Jason Prager and Paul Grassi.
Billy and Leah reported on the evening’s events and here’s a little of what they had to say:
Billy: Wow Leah, this was a night to remember. As we walked by the Ed Sullivan Theater and saw all of those fans surrounding the place, it reminded me of what I already knew; that Survivor is the KING of all reality shows. And when we arrived at the viewing party at the top of the Dream Hotel, it was standing room only for the Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Finale viewing.
Leah: Cameras were constantly going off as I was introduced to person after person, all with ties to Survivor and other reality shows, as well as actual contestants themselves.
Billy: It was a great turn out of Survivors for sure. Terry Deitz was there with a camera crew shooting interviews with Survivors for his show in Connecticut, where you’re from. Ashley Trainer was there and looking so adorable, like always. Rita Verreos was there…
Leah: Billy, Rita was wearing vintage leather Moschino high-waisted shorts that she got 20 years ago and they still fit perfectly. She also was wearing a beige-colored, scoop-neck halter top. Gorgeous. I danced the robot with her, and I have to say, she was pretty good! Later on in the night, when I passed her again, she gave me a little more robot action. Cool chick.
Billy: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our close friends and fellow actors from The Infernal Room who were also on hand; Paul Grassi from The Mole and Jason Prager from Beauty And The Geek who brought his fellow geek, Season 4 winner David Olsen. It was a great viewing capped off by the eruption of cheers when Sandra Diaz-Twine was announced as the winner, making her the first two-time Survivor winner. Along with most of the Heroes vs. Villains cast, Sandra eventually made her way to the Dream Hotel.
Leah: The winner of Heroes vs. Villains is a sweetheart, and Sandra is from Connecticut. Give it up for CT! She wore a cute little crown to the after party, and floated around the room, meeting people, on cloud 9. Go girl!
Billy: Ha ha ha. Speaking of the after party, what was up with security during the transition from viewing party to after party?
Leah: After the reunion show ended, the Dream bouncers came around and informed everyone that they must leave unless they were on a CBS list, or a past or present Survivor contestants with a loved one as a guest. So Billy it was you, me, and your sister Laurin at this point. Somehow, Jason Prager of Beauty and the Geek managed to convince them that he was a past contestant from Survivor: Schenectady, and they let him stay too. They even claimed to recognize him! Priceless.
Billy: Don’t hate the player, hate the game! ha ha ha. Go Jason! We had fans hiding in the bathrooms and behind pillars trying to find a way to stay at the party. I was surprised to see how high their success rate was. Glad they were not terrorists with weapons of mass destruction but instead were fans with weapons of mass disruption,.. flash cameras! Ha ha ha! Anyway Leah, I know all of these people! Who else did you get to meet?
Leah: I met the host of Survivor, Jeff Probst, as well as some of his friends and we hit it off well. We are all Connecticut people! Family!
Billy: Oh, looks like someone is trying to get recruited to the next season of Survivor. Ha ha ha. Well, most survivors get recruited in LA so there you go…to get on Survivor you have to be from Connecticut and move to LA. I’m kidding of course.
One guy that is not from Connecticut is the dragon slayer. Taking a picture with him was a moment not without controversy!!!!
Leah: The “coach” or dragon slayer or whoever he was, was hitting on me. As we were getting into position to take the picture, he asked me “So, are you and Billy an item?’ I said “No, we are close friends though,” already prepared for where this was going. He replied “Oh, well I can hit on you then.” I said “Well, you try it, but see where it gets you!”
Billy: Ha, I’m proud of you Leah. You can see my smirk in the picture. I don’t care who I bring to a party…you Leah, or my sister, my mother, my cousin, the neighbors’ garden gnome, or a Martian desperate for a green card. Call it old school machismo if you like but if I bring someone, then that someone is with me. Common courtesy was lacking here in my opinion. But, I’m a nice guy. So, I didn’t let the “drama layer” spoil the fun. And we had lots of fun all night long.
Leah: The night went well, and the drinks flowed freely. All were in good spirits. I’m looking forward to the next event!
Billy: As am I. And as always Leah, your drinks will be on me!
Thanks to Billy and Leah for their fun reporting of the evening. Check them both out on Facebook and catch Billy all over the place! Enjoy some photos below and more on Facebook! The tribe has spoken until next fall. See you all there for Nicaragua!
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