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It's a two-fer this week as double eliminees Candice and Danielle dish about their season in this conference call interview. It's much better than last week's snoozefest with Amanda, I promise. Read on as Danielle explains why she broke down and Candice expresses her regret at flipping over to the Villains. Good stuff!
Candice, what was the one thing that made you decide to flip?
Candice: It wasnít one thing, it was a lot of things. You know, the whole time, the Heroes didnít really make me feel like I was a part of their team, and that they really wanted to play with me. They never cared about my opinion, and they didnít really lock me in. I caught Amanda lying to me about things - (she said) there was no clue to the immunity idol, when she had to wrestle Danielle for it! - and I was supposed to trust her and caught her in a lie. Sandra had been flipping back and forth telling me that she was not going to vote with the Heroes and then she was, so all those things just kind of came together in a perfect storm to freak me out. [laughs]
Watching the episode, seeing how upset Sandra was on voting with us, you know, it was definitely a mistake on my part. And that definitely sealed my fate.
Are you drawn to Parvati? You also joined up with her on Cook Islands.
Candice: I think thatís an odd way to put it, but she is a nice girl and a smart girl, and strong. I think those are qualities I look for in friends, so....sure.
If karma hadnít come around last night to vote you out, how did you see the rest of the game playing out for you?
Candice: I wanted to get Parvati and Russell apart. Russell initially came to me and said that he wanted to get rid of Parvati and wanted me to help him. And I didnít trust anything that Russell said, but I wanted to use that information and tell Parvati that Russell was gunning for her, and get rid of him.
Danielle, we saw you completely break down last night at Tribal. What happened?
Danielle: Well, I let my emotions and my heart get involved in the game. Unfortunately I got voted off, and I donít know - it was a combination of that whole day, which was so stressful for me, and I had been on the island for thirty-something days and Russell was just really getting to me. That whole day where he was trying to turn me and Parvati against each other, really, really affected me. Clearly. I was hurt! I was hurt that he was trying to make me look like I was being disloyal to her, because that it the last thing that I wanted her to feel. I wanted to go all the way to the end with Parvati. I liked her, as a friend, and we had a friendship. I was just really disappointed Russell was doing that, and I just let my emotions get to me and I broke down.
What were you thinking when Amanda tried to get the hidden immunity clue from you?
Danielle: I...shocked. And shaking, and at that point I was like ďOh my goodness, this gameís getting really ugly, really fast.Ē This is not something I want to be a part of anymore! I started to feel like this is scary, this is crazy! People are turning psychotic and like, this demon came out - she had this look in her eyes when she took it away from me. Like, it was underneath me, in my possession. How dare she do that? I get it, weíre playing a game for a million dollars, but that was just ruthless and vicious and I was taken aback by it, and offended. So that was my reaction to get it back, and I convinced her to give it back to me, thank God. And I couldnít believe she did! [laughs]
Now that youíre outside the game, what are your thoughts on Russell?
Danielle: Heís psychotic, sneaky...it makes me feel like, ďGosh, is he like this in real life?Ē I kinda find it hard to believe that this is an act for him. I feel like this is very close to his way in the real world, of being, of interacting with people. Just ruthless, you know? Has no shame, no...and thatís his gameplay, you know? Hats off to him if thatís the way he wants to play the game, thatís cool, play the game like that. But thatís not how I would want myself represented, and play the game like that. Respect is big for me.
Candice, what was your conversation with Sandra like before you went to Tribal Council on that day you flipped?
Candice: That was an intense conversation! Sandra is very sassy, and she had some choice words for me. [laughs] But that was after a long day of her waffling back and forth, first saying that she was not going to go with the Heroes, then saying that she was, then Russell interrogating us, and I had caught Amanda in a lie like I said...so Sandra was not pleased with me and she was really just trying to beg me to not vote Amanda out and to go with the Heroes. I think I had just made my mind up at that point that Iíd had enough of the waffling and had enough of the Heroes not taking me seriously. I was just over it. I think I had an internal meltdown, and clearly made the wrong choice, but...Sandra should have just shaken me a little harder. [laughs]
What did both of you think when Parvati handed out those immunity idols to Sandra and Jerri that night?
Danielle: I wasnít shocked because Iíd talked to her about it. We kinda came up with that together and she was wishy-washy about it, she wasnít sure if she should use both of them. And then we were like, at this point, letís just do it and save our alliance. We werenít sure if they were gonna go Jerri or Sandra. Initially, they were gonna go Parvati and then everything changed at the last minute, and it was literally down to us lining up for Tribal, where they still werenít sure. You could tell. And then we saw someone say ďJerriĒ and thatís how we....she was still playing it safe by giving Sandra the idol. I also wanted to solidify and let them know they were gonna be safe with us if they stay with us and not flip over to the Heroes. We were trying to prove (to) them, their worth to us, to our alliance. So I thought it was a great move.
Candice: I knew it was really bad for the Heroes alliance, but at the same time I realized what a great move it was in the game. I congratulated her afterwards. Itíll probably make the Heroes unhappy, but Iím a fan of the show and of the game, and that was pretty bold.
Danielle, were you afraid at all, going into Tribal Council last night? Did you feel like there was a target on your back?
Danielle: Honestly, I really didnít. I really thought at that point, because I spent the entire day - Parvati and I - persuading Russell that everything was good with us. Iím solid, whatever was going through his mind, we were convincing him otherwise. We really did convince him to vote off Rupert. We were gonna flip the vote. So going into Tribal Council, I really did feel safe. But as Tribal Council evolved and things happened and I started to get emotional and I just said some things that I shouldnít have said, then obviously I knew. I sensed it, that he was going to do something like that. And I figured out of everybody, Jerri would be the one, because Sandra and Parvati wouldnít turn on me. Jerri was like his little puppy, and she basically did whatever he told her to. So that wasnít a surprise to me, I was just kind of taken aback because I really thought that we could have gotten rid of him next, that was the plan. If Jerri hadnít done that, it would have been interesting...
This one is for Candice: do you think it would have made a difference if you guys had voted off Colby instead of Tom? Colby doesnít seem to be into the game this time...
Candice: Yes, but I donít think it would have been better for the team. I personally wanted to keep Tom so badly, I love Tom, I think heís great. I wanted to play with him. I think heís so much better than most of the people that stayed. But at the same time, Rupert wanted nothing to do with Tom. I think that Rupert was very threatened by Tomís popularity, and I think that Rupert wanted Tom gone because Rupert was set on being ďMr. Survivor,Ē you know, heís so into his character. And I think that caused a lot of tension around camp. Amanda wanted nothing to do with Tom because Tom had targeted her for several votes. I worked really hard on Amanda trying to get her to see the light, (that) Tom is not a bad guy, heís great. And I understand her frustration with him, if someone was targeting me time after time I wouldnít feel too good about them either.
So I think that for me, it would have been much better to have Tom there, but for the team to be a cohesive unit, I donít think that we would have gone on the winning streak that we did if Tom had stayed. Because I think we would have had a lot of internal issues.
Do you think Russell would have used the same tactics - burning socks and other nonsense - if the rest of you had been able to see his first season beforehand?
Candice: I knew that Russell - before I flipped to the Villains - I knew that Russell was a liar, I knew that heíd say anything, that he would go however far to make you believe whatever he was saying. I didnít trust him, but I did know, I did believe that he wanted to get rid of Parvati because I thought it was in his best interest to get rid of her. I didnít think it would be smart for him to take her to the end. So I did believe him when he said to me that he wanted to get rid of Parvati - I thought that I could use that information and tell Parvati that Russell was targeting her and we could get rid of Russell.
I didnít flip to be with Russell because I thought he was such a great guy, and that he could take me to the end. That was not the reason I flipped.
Danielle, weíve asked you what you thought about Amanda and the ďIdol fight,Ē what about Colby just sitting there watching his movie?
Danielle: [laughs] Colby and I had sort of an understanding, and I think we had a connection as far as him being on the same page as me at that moment, which was really weird because he wasnít on my team. But I think he felt that what she did was genuinely wrong. I think if the viewers look at it - like, what an idiot, why would he take Danielleís side? - but in real life, I think it was just something that intuitively, it was just his first reaction. ďMy God, I canít believe Amanda acted like that!Ē I donít think he was even thinking about the game at that point. But it worked in my favor, I was like ďGreat!Ē I was able to convince both of them that what she did was so wrong and stupid and mean, and malicious that she ended up giving it back to me!
Danielle, your original season was probably one of my favorites. Do you think any of the other characters from that season - Shane, Courtney, even Terry - should get a chance to come back in the future?
Danielle: Shane, definitely. I think Shane should have been on our season! I was for sure he was gonna be on our season. I was kind of bummed that he wasnít. I think Shane definitely deserves another round. Cirie, we all know how crafty and well she is able to manipulate people and play this game. Amazing, sheís a great player for sure. I could totally see Cirie getting another chance to play as well. Terry is like another Tom, and I think thatís what it came down to - do we want Tom or do we want Terry? I think they had the same personality type, an alpha male type. So I think that casting thought that Tom had more of a fan base, I guess.
Did either of you suspect that Sandra had the latest hidden immunity idol?
Candice: Absolutely not.
Danielle: No, I had no idea.
Which did you enjoy more, this or your original season?
Candice: I think they were very different for me, this season was so much more fast-paced. I think personally, on my tribe, they kind of made me miserable because they didnít want to play with me to begin with, so I was alone and didnít have anybody to talk to. But at the same time, itís definitely been more enjoyable to watch back because I think itís been a crazy season, thereís people Iíve always been a fan of and Iíve enjoyed watching them. So I think overall, as an experience, Iíve enjoyed this season more.
Danielle: For me, the first time I played, it was completely different as far as the level of intensity and the players that played. This time around was so intense and everyone was playing the game so hard. I liked this season better because it was so much more challenging and I had already played the game once so I knew what to expect, so it made it more fun for me to get into the game deeper because I already knew how to play.
Would any of you done anything differently this time around?
Candice: If I could go back? Definitely. I wouldnít have flipped and gone with the Villains if I had known how set Sandra was on staying with the Heroes.
Danielle: Itís so hard because what happened to me was...I was being human and I have emotions and a heart and feelings, and as much as you try to keep all that out when youíre playing this game, it seeps through. I showed some humanity. Part of me was like, oh, why didnít I just hold it together? But then itís like, Iím so strong minded and Russell was so controlling and so not like any man that I could ever be with or even be friends with, because heís so ridiculous. And for me to have kept my mouth shut for that long, was impressive. Because I wanted to strangle him early on in the game! But I aligned with him on day one and I wanted to stay solid until I felt that the time was right to get him voted off. But obviously, that time didnít come, and I could say all say long that I wish that I didnít open my mouth - and I do, I wish I didnít. But part of me is proud.
What have each of you seen on TV that surprised you the most?
Candice: I guess I could say that I was surprised at Colby having a strategic conversation with Sandra. [laughs] I didnít even realize that Colby was in the game any more, he just seemed to have given up. In that episode where I voted for Amanda, I wasnít aware that Sandra had really had a conversation with the Heroes about it.
Danielle: I was actually surprised at Sandra, at the little side conversations she was having, the strategy she was using. I didnít think she was playing that much. So that was interesting to me, to see the conversations with Colby and Candice and Rupert.
What havenít we seen on TV that would surprise us the most?
Danielle: For me, itís like...I wish more of my interviews that came out about how I really felt about Russell the whole time, I knew I had to get him off. Me and Sandra and Parvati actually had a conversation about how Russell has got to go, weíve got to get him off. Like, alright, letís just get through this Tribal Council and weíll get him off the next one. I wished theyíd showed that. And the fact that I knew he was lying and I knew he was controlling. For me, my strategy was just to stay loyal until it was the right time, that was what I was trying to do. And it worked! It was working. If I didnít have my little emotional breakdown, we would have been able to get him off the next time. But what are you going to do?
Candice: I think for me, beyond all the strategy things that weíve talked about so far, I wish theyíd showed a little more of the tension around the Heroesí camp, and the way JT and Rupert were kind of guarding the food and not letting - they did kind of allude to it. In my mind it got to be so misogynistic. They were set on voting the women out, they were so scared that there was a womenís alliance. They basically kind of made it so that me and Amanda were kind of like stuck in camp, and were like the stepsisters doing the dishes, doing their laundry and stuff. It was ridiculous! My head was about to explode. [laughs]
This is for Candice: some people think you should have been on the Villains tribe because of the mutiny. Why do you think you were placed on the Heroes tribe?
Candice: Thatís a good question. I really donít think I have an intelligent answer for that. [laughs] The only thing I can come up with is maybe that what I do in my regular life - Iím a medical student, and thatís seen as an honorable profession - but really, thatís all I can come up with. Because as far as the way I played the game the first time, I think that it was definitely on the villainous side. So I donít have much for you on that one! [laughs]
Why do you think Sandra didnít use her idol to get Russell out?
Candice: To be honest, I feel like Sandra plays a game of ďAnybody But Me.Ē Clearly, it worked for her in her first season, Pearl Islands. And it seems to have worked so far on this season. Sandra tried to make a bold move when she flipped to the Heroes, and it didnít work out for her because I messed it up. So I think she had her chance to make her bold move and she didnít want to put herself out there anymore. Why play an idol when youíre not in danger? I think thatís probably what she was thinking.
Candice, you didnít get the warmest welcome at Ponderosa. How was that for you?
Candice: It was definitely awkward! Personally, I see it as a game and letís try to get over it and be adults, and I thought it was very odd. Iím not the biggest fan of Rupert, and...I donít know.
Did they warm up to you eventually?
Candice: Yeah, they did. Amanda and I talked it out the next morning and it was totally fine. But I think JT just kind of continued to be childish about it. He didnít get over it. I didnít do anything to him, but he took it personally that I went against the Heroes.
Danielle, you had a talk with Coach when you got there. How did that go?
Danielle: It was good. Coach made me feel better about everything, so...heís a good guy, and I wish Iíd got that more when we were playing the game. I was trying to figure him out, he was so wishy-washy when we were playing. I almost felt like he was phony. But when I met him at the Ponderosa I saw a different side to him. He was cool about it. The only awkward tension was just a little bit from Amanda, which we had already talked about, so I think that it was fine. But initially, obviously, it was kind of weird. Other than that, I really didnít have too many enemies at that point.
Candice, you bailed on the challenge to eat donuts. Do you regret that now?
Candice: Well, I didnít bail out just for food, there was definitely strategy behind it. But yes, I regret it. I mean, itís so stupid to step down on an immunity challenge, and I was so stupid to believe this far in the game, with these people that I was playing with, that I was safe. Clearly, I didnít learn from experience because even if I thought for sure that it was Rupert going at that point, every other time, the vote changed 3, 4, 5 times before Tribal Council. So I just wasnít thinking. I was thinking let me keep my head down, I donít want to be a target and a threat and have the people in the Villains tribe think that they canít beat me in an immunity. I didnít want to be a threat in that way. I think I was just really excited about the idea of Rupert going home, I was just so annoyed with him.
That seems to be the consensus among a lot of players this season. You had a good bond with Jonathan Penner from your season. Were you hoping heíd be cast this time?
Candice: Yeah, definitely, I was hoping heíd be out there. In the end, in the Cook Islands, he...I guess betrayed me, but I donít even see it that way. He was backed into a corner by Yul, whoíd made a genius move, and so I donít take it personally, and I really like Jonathan. I think heís a smart guy and he and I played from day one together and were always honest with each other. I would have loved to play with him again.
Danielle, do you think Jerri had her mind made up going into Tribal, or did your remarks before the vote sway her against you?
Danielle: I donít think going in that she was going to vote me. I think I swayed her, she changed her vote.
Did you think while you were talking that maybe you were digging your own grave?
Danielle: Yeah, I did. But you know what, at that point I was so...there was just so much build up from that entire day that I was just literally, mentally exhausted. I had gone through a lot that day trying to defend myself, manipulate Russell to switch his vote back and not vote me off, and I was trying to defend myself to Parvati and let her know that Iím loyal to her. It was a full day of total mental chaos.
Candice, you pushed back your wedding to play on this season. How did the wedding go?
Candice: The wedding was amazing. It was perfect, it was romantic. The original wedding date - we were supposed to have the wedding outside - it was an awful storm and it rained. And last weekend it was perfect weather and I am....a wife! [laughs]