The latest addition to the jury and most recent casualty of the Blonde Massacre is 46 year old Debbie BeeBee, the bubbly middle school principal who was one of Coachís few true allies in the beginning of the game. Read what she has to say about the Sierra brouhaha, her math skills, and her other Survivor experiences in this conference call:
I feel like we didnít really get to know you until after the merge. Do you wish you had gotten a little more camera time?
Not really, I was just being true to myself and really playing the game. I was referred to as kind of ďflying under the radarĒ which really, I wasnít! I mean, I was out there really playing hard. Coach and Tyson and I formed an alliance, like day three. But, I just wasnít trash talking people. [laughs] I wasnít into that, at that point in the game.
At what point did you decide that youíd be better off separating yourself from Coach?
Really, about two to three days prior to what you saw last night. What you didnít see is, and itís really crazy and I know it sounds nuts, but what you didnít see was the rest of the tribe really had approached me and said ďI know you donít want to do this, but we gotta take Coach out. Coach is driving everybody nuts, weíve got to take Coach out.Ē I felt like thatís what I needed to do to save myself. But look where I am! [laughing] But yeah, everybody really approached me hard and then I finally got onboard with them on that.
Why did the Timbira tribe let JT, Stephen, and Taj make it as far as they did?
Okay, I think weíre going to go down as the stupidest tribe ever on Survivor! I mean, we had the numbers, what in the world were we thinking? I think what happened is Stephen and JT for sure, Taj maybe, as soon as the merge occurred, they started getting Tyson and Brendan to distrust each other. And basically Tyson and Brendan started panicking, so we ended up voting Brendan out. We just started picking our own people off! It was completely nuts.
How much of a boost did it give you to see your husband?
You know what, it was awesome. Obviously, we travel in this experience too before the game even starts, so at that point it had been almost 40 days since weíd seen anybody in our families. I didnít know if my husband was coming, or my mother, or a friend, and just seeing somebody from home was just amazing.
Would you really have been satisfied with third place?
[laughs] Iíve been asked that all day. Honestly, at that point when I said that to them, I really meant it honestly. Because I knew my head was on the chopping block after Tyson was gone, and so to me, third place would have been a big win for me. And I really was sincere at the moment. Now, I am not gonna lie to you and tell you that if I was sitting there with that immunity necklace on, would I have done it? I donít know. I honestly donít know. But I really believed myself at the moment and I donít know if Iíd have done it or not, Iím not gonna lie to you and tell you I would have, because I donít know.
Did you have any idea that saying those things to JT and Stephen would get you eliminated?
Absolutely not. But JT and Stephen and I spent a lot of time talking together, and so, of course theyíre gonna show - and of course it happened - the different scenes. But we all talked all the time about different strategies. I mean, I even talked to Sierra about an all-girl alliance at one point. We had to keep our options open, and I really meant it because you know what? At that point I knew, because Jeff even alluded to it at tribal the week before that I was a threat, and how did I feel being a threat. And I knew Stephen and JT really were beginning to believe that I was not only a physical threat but a social threat. And so I wanted them to know that I really wanted to be in the group with them.
Since you were so close to Coach in the game, whatís your overall impression of him?
My overall impression of Coach is, he is definitely a character. Honestly, watching the show, I was like ďWhoa!Ē I would see him talking about dragon slayer and dragon bowels and I didnít know all that stuff was going on as they were private interviews, they take you very far away so you absolutely cannot hear what anybody says. But Iíll tell you, heís sticking true to his word in the sense of, like, he stayed true to the alliance with me. I felt pretty crappy last night when he said ďDebbie, he trusted 100%.Ē But at one point I even approached him about taking JT and Stephen out, because it was obvious they were running the game and he said absolutely not, I gave them my word. And I knew if Coach wasnít gonna turn, there was no way to move that around. So heís a different guy, heís a character, he believes heís playing this game with integrity 100% and he believes heís not lying. But I actually saw the deal with Sierra where I was like whoa, Sierra didnít bring it up, you and I did. So, anyway, yeah. Heís very unique.
Did you really believe Sierra and Brendan when they told you they were digging that big hole for a fire pit?
[giggles] You know, I gotta give you credit, youíre the first one all day thatís brought that up. And I about died laughing when I saw it! First of all, Brendan had more energy than anybody out there, he was like a little boy, always had to be doing something. So honestly, I did - I bought it hook, line and sinker. I was like, cool! Brendanís got enough energy to dig a big fire pit, letís have a party! I was looking for entertainment, I was bored out there. Honestly, I am embarrassed to tell you, I did not even think of that. I truly, because heís always bored, playing around, carving, doing stupid stuff, I mean obviously Brendan and I paint our clothes - I mean, no. It wasnít odd to me. I truly believed it was a fire pit. What an idiot! [laughing]
How much were you aware of Coach being an idiot like that?
You know what? As I answered earlier, I didnít see all this stuff, I really didnít. Yes, we thought he was a character, yes he was unique...I didnít choose to get into verbal banters with him, Sierra did. I just, I didnít want to get into anything out there, it was hard enough for me to even deal with hunger. But all this stuff he was doing behind the scenes, we didnít see or hear. Like, I had no idea he called Sierra the dragon bowels and Brendan the dragon, and slaying the dragon...I mean, we knew a little of it, but nothing to the degree that weíve been seeing on the TV, on the show.
The whole ďhe said she saidĒ incident with Sierra, did you know you were lying, or did you just forget? What was your point of view?
Itís real interesting, because after 30 something days out there, that was like 30 days maybe, I donít know, 20 something....I mean, seriously, when youíre not sleeping, youíre not eating, youíre not drinking, your brain does crazy things. I really, at points, really donít remember what I said. I couldnít go back and remember everything. But when we got into that, I donít know if you heard, but I actually did say and admit to JT and Stephen and all them sitting there - yeah, I did, you know, just kinda check out options. I did say that. Then Coach said ďDebbie and Sierra were checking it outĒ which was funny. But I really donít think he thinks he lied either! But I didnít tell the whole truth, absolutely, but again, this is a game. Outwit, outlast, outplay. You donít sign an oath that youíre going to be honest on everything, you know?
No, I have no problem with you lying, I just wondered if you knew you were.
Oh, but some people did! I got ugly emails for the first time ever that week.
Why do you think Timbira fell apart?
You know, honestly, I think two of our strong players started second guessing each other, which were Tyson and Brendan, because they both physically were huge threats in immunities, in the immunity challenges. And I think they kind of went after each other a little bit, so to speak. JT and Stephen were telling Tyson (that) Brendan was after him. Brendan, on the other hand, we thought for sure had an idol because Taj told me he did. They donít show Taj and I in a private discussion where I said to Taj, ďSo Taj, Brendan said you have the idol!Ē And sheís like ďThat liar, youíre going to see it on TV, I donít have the idol, he has it.Ē Little did we know Taj had one too, but Brendan did.
So then, it started the talking - Brendanís got the idol, weíve got to take him out. So immediately Timbira just fell apart and it was really..like I said, weíre going to go down as the stupidest Survivor tribe because we were so up in numbers and just blew it.
What is your relationship with Sierra and Erinn like?
My relationship with Sierra is great. I do talk to Sierra quite a bit. I talk to Erinn here and there, Erinnís a really neat girl out of the game. In the game we werenít so close, but out of the game I think Erinnís a really neat girl.
How did you get cast for Survivor?
[laughs] You know what? Itís crazy, Iím not exactly 100% sure. I applied for season two, and actually went to Chicago, went through all the interviewing. I mean, I was obsessed with Survivor at that point. And didnít get selected. And then all of a sudden I got a call asking if I would apply again. Thereís different rumors out there: I was the Alabama middle school principal of the year, they found me that way, thereís a rumor that one of the professors at Auburn University was contacted by casting person that asked if she knew anybody that would do it and she said me. So, I donít really know! But I did apply for season two and they had all my stuff, so...
What was your game plan going in?
My game plan was to be myself. Iím really kind of upbeat and goofy and crazy. I mean, you saw the backflips and all that goofy stuff. But it was also to try not to be bossy. And to kind of just sit back and listen. And I did that. I did it partially because I consciously did it, but the other part was starving out there, being dehydrated and not sleeping - you know, I was trying to choose my battles, and it wasnít to get in all kinds of mess with people early, thatís for sure.
Do you think you were portrayed well on the show?
I think so. I really do. You know, like I said, I took some grief in the beginning from people saying youíre not giving us enough, and not trash talking. Not so much just being ornery, I guess, in the game. I was just kinda having fun, enjoying playing my game. But I think I was pretty much portrayed correctly, I really do. You know, thereís things I wish werenít on there and things I did that I wish I wouldnít have done, that I sat there with my hands over my face watching going ďOh my God!Ē Like my little meltdown - ďIím a 46 year old woman [makes crying noises].Ē I was mortified when I saw that. But, for the most part I think itís been really accurate.
If there was anything you could change, what would it be?
Umm, if there was anything I could change, I think that it would have been to get Timbiraís brains back and get Tyson and Brendan talking and realize that we werenít after each other. And for us all to get together and try to continue on. I mean, I had a hard time when Tyson was voted out, he kept me laughing. And I know I took some grief about his little antics and his loincloth, but he was hilarious! Oh my gosh, he just kept life going.
If you could handpick the winner right now, who would you pick?
You know, Iíve been asked that several times and honestly, Iíve got to watch - I hate to say that right now, because I donít know what these people are going to do the next couple of weeks. Um, I have a lot of respect for what Taj is doing out there, I think Stephen has played a masterful - I mean, heís the mastermind behind a lot of this, and none of us were giving him enough credit out there. I thought JT was leading it, and thereís a lot going on with Stephen. And so I think you need to watch out for Stephen and Taj, is who I think you need to watch out for.
I would have given all my money for that bowl of fries - how amazing were they?
[laughing] First of all, can I go on record: I do know how to add! But when I saw those fries, I didnít hear another word Jeff said, I didnít care, I would have given him $500 for those fries. Iím a fry freak. So when he was saying no, increments of 20, I wasnít listening! All I thought was give me the dang fries, Iím starving, I want those fries. So I do know how to add, guys. Those fries were a little cold and crispy, but soaked in that mayonnaise and ketchup they were the most delicious fries Iíve even had in my life.
When you first got there, how did you get acquainted with Coach?
Honestly, you know what - and I keep saying this could be an incredible study - we were together almost a week with non-verbal communication. Which about killed me, personally. But we had already pretty much sized each other up, we would sit and eat, we would see what each other was reading, I would see what they were playing. I just finished one of the books Coach was reading. And so we had kinda already sized each other up, everybody kind of had, I knew he was going to be a unique character. And I knew that he appears physically strong - he deteriorated pretty quickly, his body did, in that sense. But I thought he was going to be someone that was really going to be a strong tribe member early on.
Did anybody ever confront Coach about his tall tales?
You know, I donít know. I didnít know that he had told them that me and Sierra started that talk until I watched it. And that was not true, I started it, Coach and I started it with Sierra about seeing if we could get Timbira back. I admit that. But honestly, there wasnít a lot of untruth he was telling out there besides that deal with Sierra that I ever knew of. I tried to get him to go against JT and Stephen at one point, he wouldnít do it. He said I gave them my word, and Iím sticking to my word. Because it was obvious that once the merge happened, that they started controlling the game.
So did he know he was lying to Sierra at that point that day?
You know, I donít know! I really donít know, because heís standing by that he didnít. And itís very obvious that he and I were talking to Sierra. And at one point as I said, if you listen, I say to JT and Stephen, yes I was exploring my options of what we could do. I did fess up to that. But you know this is a game of outwit outlast outplay, so...I havenít gone out there saying I was gonna play with integrity and not lie and all that, and he (Coach) has. And I really donít think he thinks heís lied.
So were you shocked to see that even though JT and Stephen believed Sierra, they still voted her out?
No, I wasnít. Because there was two days of basic mess, unfortunately that was revolving around Sierra and her comments, and trying to stay in the game. And they were tired of it too.
What did your husband think of Tysonís antics?
Well, um...[laughing] I donít think he enjoyed those episodes too much, letís put it that way.
What about the kids at your school, what did they think?
Oh, they think Tysonís hilarious. And honestly, Tyson is one of my very dear friends and he got me through a lot of that. I was devastated the night he was voted out because he just kept me laughing, we kept each other laughing, and I felt very safe with him.
Since youíre back at home, how often do you eat beans?
Never! [laughs] Nor rice, nor rice! And I tell you, it just doesnít get any better, but with river water and no salt or seasoning, you know, thereís just...I could never top it, so Iíll never eat it again here.
What was your favorite challenge?
Well I could tell you itís the one I won, but honestly Iím a little embarrassed thatís what I won because I thought it was a little hokey where we just slid those discs. There wasnít a lot of skill and we were freezing, Iíve never been more miserable in my life than that day. It was probably 45 degrees and wet. But I think I loved the pole challenge and I wish Iíd have taken my shoes off because Tyson had his shoes off, and I think I could have stayed up there longer because Iím 5'2", and by that point I donít even know how much I weighed, but I think I could have hung on a lot longer if Iíd had my shoes off.
What was your proudest moment out there?
I guess it has to be when I won the necklace, even though it wasnít the most physical challenge. I was thrilled to be able to wear the immunity necklace, I thought that was really cool. And I absolutely loved, I guess the proudest moment I had watching, honestly, was when I was with the dancers, when I was there with the children. Because the kids just gravitated towards me and I absolutely...it just really warmed my heart to be there with those children and they were holding my hand, and it was really neat.
What was the most difficult part of Survivor for you?
I have a personal thing about having wet clothes on. Like, I went home from a concert one night after being out in the rain and literally stopped at Wal-Mart to get dry clothes because I canít stand - it was an hour drive being in wet clothes. The hardest thing personally for me was living, sleeping, and being constantly, especially towards the end of the game for me, in wet clothes. Soggy socks, wet pants, wet everything, and freezing. And that was just really hard. And the bugs, the bug bites, the bugs were relentless out there. Even HDTV isnít showing how bad we really were.
What was the easiest part for you?
The easiest part of it for me was connecting with people socially. I really liked these people, and we really had fun. That was really easy for me. Thatís just kind of always been a personality trait I have, I like to be around people, I like to connect with people. And you know what, I love to have fun, and I was trying to make it as fun as possible out there.
In the jury last night, they wore feathers. Any reaction to that?
[laughing] I thought it was hilarious! See, Coach doesnít have pierced ears so we had fishing line that I would help him wrap the feather around his ear. And when the jury came in, we just...and even Coach laughed. He even thought it was funny. So yeah, they were thinking.
What are your plans now? Will you continue being a middle school principal, or are there other things you are looking at?
Right now, my plans are to stay a middle school principal. Thatís where I am right now, and I really love it. Now, as in life, as with anybody, if something else comes up you always take a look at different things. But right now I love what I do, absolutely.