Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,Courtney Yates

Robert Voets/CBS

Has someone hit the toggle key on Survivor?

First, one of the game's most crafty competitors makes a historically stupid move. Then in our exclusive chat today with the latest eliminee, the famously snarky misanthrope surprises us with her chirpy charm.

Read on to hear what Little Miss Sunshine said about life in opposite-land—and getting cozy with the Dragonslayer.

Of course we're talking about Courtney Yates, the "little skinny chick" who is looking forward to making "all the bitches jealous" while she sits pretty on the jury. Here's her verdict on her fellow Castaways—and camping with Coach Ben Wade at Ponderosa for the next two weeks!

In the Ponderosa videos you seem pretty chummy with the guy you called a "fricking lunatic"!
I know, we get along great! I think we both took shots at each other, and it's all water under the bridge. Coach and I sort of chucked it all out the door, and he was amazing! I was like, "Why weren't you like this in the game! Everyone would love you—why do you act so stupid?" He's charming and chivalrous and lighthearted and really funny! I'm like, "Wow, people are really missing out on the greatness of Coach! All they're seeing is this ridiculous s--t that he does."

Speaking of strange behavior, what do you think of your China tribemate James' outbursts in the Heroes tribe?
That's how James has always been—and that's why I'm friends with him! James is really funny. He got these "sweetheart" edits [in China], so his sort of "politeness" is what everyone had seen. But he has this really amazing part of him too that's really just funny and cutting and hilarious.

I think all that "kumbaya" crap on that [Heroes] team was not going to fly with him for very long. I was not surprised to see this sort of quick-eyed, mean James rear his head. [But ] he is a great guy, he is a hero, or whatever that silly term means. His arc was that he got turned into a villain—and there's nothing wrong with being a villain.

Survivor, Courtney Yates

Robert Voets/CBS

How did you get along with the members of the Villains tribe?
I got along fine with everyone. I think that was one my flaws—I think they thought that I would get along better with the other team too. I don't like to pick fights and I think that was a disappointment. Everyone wanted there to be Jean-Robert 2.0 where I hated Russell, or Russell hated me, [but] Russell's not that bad! He's happy to be your friend. 

Why did you get voted out instead of Sandra?
I really have no idea. I made my case to Parvati, and she tried to convince Russell and Danielle to keep me. It didn't go well, because Russell didn't want anyone near her. He was like the weird, creepy husband—"Don't anyone touch my woman." I thought they all had to know that Sandra is a much sneakier, better, more independent player. They were underestimating her. I was stunned. I didn't want to say it to screw her up, but I was just like, "All right guys, rock on! Just watch, she's going to ruin you!"

Are you still getting flak about being so thin?
No, I'm not at all. It's actually pretty funny. I think it was all very played up. It was complete fiction, and I laughed about it. I work at a restaurant and the chef at my restaurant was dying laughing, saying, "I can't keep you away from the bacon! What are they saying! Crazy!"

At least you only lost four pounds this time...
I never really got that skinny. There were coconuts everywhere—and that was something I didn't have on my first season—so I was happy. Coconuts have water, there's hard ones, there's soft ones, you can toast it! There's so many things you can do with it. Parvati is the master—I told her she should open a resort and machete coconuts on the front lawn. Everyone would come and watch, because she's really good at it. She's had three seasons with coconuts!

The rain was pretty demoralizing, and the camp—where the trees were rotting all around us—was nasty. You know, the beach looks great from a helicopter, on a beautiful day. But for the most part, the reason there's so much freaking vegetation is because it rains constantly. It was pretty gross. It rained every day at Ponderosa. Every goddamned day. There was one sunny day, and I made Coach sit out with me. It was when we were just there, just the two of us, and I made him sit out with me for like three hours.


Coach and Courtney, BFFs? Are you ready to hit that toggle key again? And if you do, will J.T. recover his senses? Share your sunshine in the comments, and come back here next week for more Survivor: Insider!

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