If you don't impress coach Jimmy Johnson, he's going to cut you from the team. Even on Survivor.
His booted tribemate learned that the hard way in last night's 21st-season premiere of the legendary reality show. I interviewed the eliminee both in Nicaragua and this morning about age fixations, being ostracized and getting lost in the Tribal Council cemetery. Read on for more—including some post-Tribal Council pearls of wisdom from host Jeff Probst...
"Wendy talked herself right out of the game," Jeff Probst told me right after Tribal Council in Nicaragua. "And she kept going and going and going." Here's what else self-professed "chatterbox" Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff had to say:
Why is your age so important to you? Even before the game in Nicaragua, you told me, "I'm trying to decide what to say about my age. If I'm matched up with older people I don't want to be the youngest. If I'm matched up with a mix, then I might lie a little—maybe say I'm 10 years younger."
I always wonder how old people are—I always try to guess. I don't tell people I'm younger. I wouldn't want to be considered the oldest, because they vote older people out generally close to the beginning. I found that interesting that they asked everyone else but nobody asked me. I think people thought I was actually younger than I was. I don't have a fixation with age, I just felt that was a good example to show people they weren't asking me anything, probably because I didn't talk a lot and they didn't feel close to me.
Why did you vote for Yve?
I didn't have any reason to vote for anybody else. I was trying to get a girls alliance up front, and Yve didn't want to at all. It was clear to me Yve and Marty had an alliance right away. She told everyone she had their backs, but when I asked people if I was being voted out, some people said "Yes"; some said, "We're undecided but you're one of the choices"; but Yve [lied to me].
What did Jimmy Johnson say when you asked who he was voting for?
I didn't ask Jimmy Johnson. It was clear he didn't like me. When I said something he'd cut me off or say it's not a good idea and walk away. [He didn't do that] with other people. He didn't like me up front.
How did your opinion of Holly change?
I had mixed feelings about Holly from the start, but I thought it would be OK for us to have an alliance. But within a couple hours I saw her doing things I really disliked, distrusted or could read right through. We were supposed to have an alliance, but later on, she just said, "I don't want to talk to you." So I got the point. Clearly she knew that I was on the outskirts, she isn't on my alliance anymore.
What do you think of Tyrone after watching his reactions at Tribal Council?
That's exactly what I'd expect from him. He thought I was very different anyway—we're from totally different worlds, we listen to different music, dress different, have different upbringings. Nothing upset me except me for the age thing, because nobody really understood what I meant by that.
They didn't show it on last night's episode, but those of us in Nicaragua saw you wandering lost in the cemetery after you left Tribal Council. What happened?
I didn't know where to go! And it was pretty scary. There were no arrows, and I was like, "Holy cow, everything's so clear until the end and now I have no idea where to go." I really would've liked to crawl into one of those graves at that point.