Survivor: Interview With Ashley - "We will be friends for life"
The latest to get a ticket to Loser's Lodge is 22 year old spa salesperson Ashley, the self-described flirty girl who admired Parvati's game and found a new best friend during her adventure. Read on to see what she has to say about her experience, all that never ending rain, and of course, Russell...
You were a big fan of Survivor before you went on the show, right?
Yes! Huge fan.
Was it everything you imagined?
It was everything I imagined and more, honestly. It was amazing.
Was it tougher than you thought it would be?
It was a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be, definitely. But it was worth every second.
Do you think it was all the rain that made it tough?
It was definitely the rain that made it tougher. I mean, you can’t escape it, and you’re freezing and your hands are like, falling apart. They look like...it’s horrible.
How long was it actually raining during your last few days?
I think I left the fourth consecutive day of rain. Like literally, no breaks. It was constant.
Moving away from that - did you really trust Russell out there?
I did really trust Russell. I really did. I believed he was an ally and he made me think that, with everything he would say to me. I did trust him.
So when you watched the show and saw everything he was doing, were you surprised?
It was a shock to me. It really was. I mean, he was so good to my face, and then he’d go and say these horrible things about me. It was a huge shock.
Does it make you see him in a different light?
It’s a game, and I think he was playing the game. He played the game very well! I don’t know how far it’s necessarily going to get him in the game, if someone starts to figure it out they’re going to want him out right away. But, it’s a game, and I guess he was playing it pretty hard! [laughs]
Do you think your biggest mistake was trusting Russell?
Um, I don’t actually. The way it worked when we were out there, it’s like, if you go against Russell, you get voted out! That’s what the trend was, so I felt pretty comfortable being with Russell. I really did.
Liz was calling him out about the idol. Do you think if she had talked to you guys, you might have been able to get together and blindside him?
I really...my last day on the island, a little bit before tribal, I actually said something to Liz about it. I said to her, “How do you feel about Russell?” and she pretty much blew it off and said he’s fine, whatever. Well I wasn’t going to go any further than that, because I didn’t want to have my head even farther on the chopping block! If she would have approached me, I definitely would have done something about it. I would have. Because I started getting this really bad vibe from him the last couple days I was there. I started to realize his game.
You were pretty close with Natalie. Was there anybody on Galu you wished you could have worked with?
Shambo!! [laughing] I love Shambo. I really wish we could have made a trade or there would have been some type of mix up where we would have got Shambo. Or even me going over there, I would have been very happy with that.
Who would you like to see win the whole thing?
I’m going to tell you three different people. I’d say Shambo, Jaison or Natalie.
Were there any previous Survivor players you wanted to model your game after?
Honestly, I wanted to model my game after Parvati. She was such a good manipulator, and I thought she played an amazing game. So I wanted to model my game after her, but then I got there and there were no guys that were single on my tribe that I could even try to do that with, so I had to work a different strategy.
I really just wanted the strongest alliance that I could, I wanted to make sure...I think the best possible thing is to have a super-tight, small alliance and you don’t go against each other. And if you do that, you can make it to the end because you know, eventually the merge will happen and eventually you can figure out something. I think that’s the best way to make it to the end. I thought I had a strong alliance, but obviously I didn’t.
Ben wasn’t very impressed with Mick’s abilities as a leader. What is your impression?
Mick didn’t want to step up too much and have a huge target on his back. And I understand that, but at the same time, he didn’t really guide us around camp or anything. He wasn’t really a leader. He had the title, but he wasn’t a leader. I’m not mad about it by any means! [laughs]
Were you close with Mick, or was it mostly Natalie and Russell?
It was mostly Natalie and Russell. Mick was in my alliance, technically, but I never really approached him just because...I mean, in the first tribal council he voted against me. And tehn I approached him after that and we just never built a strong bond.
Over the last few episodes, we’ve seen Jaison complaining about the weather, how cold it was. Was that happening a lot?
[laughs] Yes, that was happening a lot. But I mean, honestly, everyone was so miserable, everyone was saying comments. We’d giggle about it, and laugh about it, and it was like, what did we sign up for? This is crazy! It was pretty accurate.
So what do sea slug guts taste like?
[gasps] Oh, God. Okay, I’ll try my best to describe it, and this is how I’ve been describing it because there’s nothing to describe how horrible these actually taste! But it’s like, when you go to the ocean or the sea, and you smell rotten fish with seaweed, and then multiply that. And on top of it, add some chunks that you don’t know what they are. You know, I could chew it, and there were these random chunks that I’d run into and I had no idea what they were. And Jeff’s sitting there going “Oh, this is what everything goes through!” And I’m like “Oh, nooo!” [laughing] It was horrible!
What did you think of Russell after watching him on tv?
My impression of Russell changed dramatically. When I was there, I mean, obviously I said in the last tribal council that I trusted him. And then I get home, and then I’m seeing all these commercials about Russell dumping our water and he’s burning people’s socks and he’s constantly calling us the “dumbass girl alliance.” It changed dramatically, I just could not believe the things he was saying about me. But I mean, I know it’s a game, but...no, I don’t really have anything to say to him, in general.
So you haven’t spoken to him since?
Oh, no. [laughs]
I was surprised to see Natalie write your name down. Did that surprise you at all?
Um, it did and it didn’t. I mean, the agreement I had with her was, originally we had said to each other that if there was ever a time in the game that we needed to vote for the other person, do it so we could stay strong, so we could stay longer in the game without putting a huge target on our backs. So she had to vote for me to make sure that Russell and Mick and Jaison and Liz still trusted her. You know? So I understand to a certain extent. I mean, I don’t know if I were put in that situation what I would have done, I probably would have done the same. But I would have fought really, really hard to have her stay and rally against someone else.
What didn’t we see on the last episode?
You know, a lot happened, and there was a couple days of taping that honestly...we were in the shelter, we didn’t do much, we really didn’t. We didn’t strategize because we were all huddled together. So, that episode, everything that was important was shown. They didn’t show us talking about food, which we do constantly! [laughs] That’s about it.
Going back to Russell again, do you think he was the reason you guys lost so many challenges?
You know, his strategy to make us weak was so shocking to me. I don’t know why we lost so many challenges, I don’t know if he purposely did the things that he did to, you know, in challenges...to make us slow down, or screw us up, I don’t know. I just think we weren’t a good combination.
It didn’t seem like he was trying to throw challenges, he seemed like he was really trying.
Right! I don’t think he threw any challenges, I just think in general we were...we just weren’t as strong as Galu.
Since there were no single guys on your tribe, did you change your strategy to fly under the radar?
Even though there were no single guys, I didn’t want to fly under the radar since I am a huge fan of the show, I wanted to actually play the game. And so, I played the game as best I could with what I had to deal with.
What did you miss the most, being away from home?
Wow. An actual thing? Honestly, probably my bed. [laughs] I mean, you’re sleeping on bamboo, which is horrible. It’s so painful. But yeah, I would probably say that, sleeping in my own bed. I mean, other than food, food was the main thing that you just craved constantly.
Shambo has been referred to as the “Gilligan” of the island. What female contestants would you call MaryAnn and Ginger?
Oh my goodness! [laughs] That’s a hard one, I haven’t been asked that yet today! Oh my God, I am like, so taken aback! Okay, so Shambo’s the Gilligan, Ginger....let’s see. See, I’m not really familiar with that show, I’m really not!
Ginger was kind of sexy, MaryAnn was more wholesome...
Okay. So wholesome, I would say would probably be Natalie. And sexy....obviously me. [laughing] Don’t write that down!
I’m writing that down! During last night’s challenge, you cautioned everybody about the throw-up. What went wrong with you during that competition?
Honestly, it was really....my body was rejecting it. It really was. I’m really good with food stuff, I really am, and...I don’t know, it was like...my body just couldn’t take it.
You said you were an experimental eater.
Yes, I am! [laughs]
Did the challenge have any effect on that now?
No, I still believe...you know, I don’t know what it was, I was so disappointed in myself because I truly thought that I would be one of the better people in that challenge.
What is your response about Mick and Liz saying that you weren’t pulling your weight around camp?
You know, I think that’s the only thing that people can think of. I really do. What did they say about Yaz (Yasmin)? Oh, she’s not pulling her weight around camp. I think that’s just the generic thing to say about someone when you want them voted off.
Did not being able to talk strategy make it more nerve wracking to go to tribal that night?
Yeah, that was so hard. Literally, we were stuck together for four days straight. You’re’ not going to go “Hey guys, let’s strategize!” with everyone sitting there. So even if I knew there was a chance I was going to get voted out, I couldn’t have done anything about it. I wasn’t going to pull someone in the rain and try to strategize, that would have just been stupid on my part.
What did your time on Survivor teach you not to take for granted in everyday life?
Brushing my teeth, a hot shower, and my family.
Did Foa Foa have any trouble starting a fire after Ben left?
No, there were no problems. He was too full of himself, honestly, with that whole issue. He approached all of us women and told us “You’re gonna die without me and you can’t start the fire!” Well, Liz started the fire at one point and with what we had, I tried to start the fire but I was all wet. And then Mick tried after me and neither of us could get it started. But there was never an issue with that, other than the rain. The rain screwed you over. [laughs]
You’re a fan of Shambo. Do you think she has any allies on the remainder of the Foa Foa tribe?
I do! I think that Shambo, when she came over, she made some really good connections with almost everyone on our tribe. She was amazing over there. She was a breath of fresh air. So I do think that she had some allies, definitely.
What was your reaction to her reading the hidden immunity idol clues out loud?
I thought it was pretty cool! I mean, that’s pretty gutsy of her just because, you know, it’s our camp and we had time over there that she didn’t have. So it was nice, I liked it!
Who did you think most likely had the idol?
I truly thought Ben had the idol. We all thought that. It was just in our minds that he had it, and we either thought him or Russell had it. But noone knew for sure and Russell wasn’t admitting that he had the idol.
How long did that immunity challenge last night really last?
Oh, man. See it was so hard because it was raining. It really wasn’t that long, it was pretty accurate with what they showed on tv. It was short. They had a great way to deal with the challenge. They targeted Russell first because Russell was our stronger man, then when they got him down, all four of them went for Liz. So what are you gonna do? And we just, I don’t know what, we just tried to get whatever we could in the basket. And I made baskets, by the way. Their strategy was just better then ours.
Did you suspect you were going home before tribal council?
I had a little feeling, I knew one of the women would be going home. However I didn’t think that I was going to be going until we got to tribal council and the comments that Jaison and Mick said at tribal council, I knew from that point I was going home. I just knew it with the comments that they said.
What is your favorite memory from Survivor?
My favorite memory is actually, they showed it and I was so happy - it was when me and Natalie were sitting on the beach together. I mean, just talking about how thankful we were for each other, and sitting on the beach. I was eating papaya, and we were just saying how thankful we were. I’ll never forget that.
What got you through the tough times out there?
Natalie got me though the tough times, honestly. She had some hard days. I had some hard days, especially in the beginning. It’s a shock to your body, for sure, when you are all of a sudden deprived of food and water. Your body goes through some weird changes and you don’t feel good, and you know, whatever else happens. She got me through, we talked each other through it. It was definitely Natalie.
Do you have a lifetime friend with her?
Oh, definitely! I think that we will be friends for life.
What was the hardest part of the Survivor experience for you?
The rain! The rain was absolutely horrible. I mean, you can’t even describe what it’s like to sit and shiver for four days straight. You have no sleep and no food, and no water. It’s horrible. That was definitely the worst part.
And what was the easiest part?
I liked the strategizing. I loved that. I think I’m very...I mean, my degree is in communication studies, so developing friendships, I think that was probably the easiest part.
*Thanks to Mariner for the interview!
Re: Survivor: Interview With Ashley - "We will be friends for life"
Which I assume means RH makes the merge. Kind of sounds like Natalie does too.
So you haven’t spoken to him since?
Oh, no. [laughs]
Thanks for another great interview!