Survivor's latest boot is Kristina Kell, the 46 year old law student from Malibu, California. After being witness to Russell's breakdown, she let the heat and a puzzle whoop her in a Redemption Island duel against Matt. Read on in this conference call interview as she talks about Russell's waterworks and just what she thinks of "Former Federal Agent" Phillip - hint: she's not going to be starting a fanclub for him anytime soon.
How do you think you could have played things differently with Rob?
[laughs] Wow, you donít beat around the bush, do you? Well, it's something I've mulled over in my head over and over again. When I was out there and I had an idol and I had a choice of what to do with it, I didnít think about going to Rob or trying to use what I had to get in with an alliance, because they seemed to have already formulated, formed pretty solidly. Rob really didn't leave me much of an opening. I mean, the door wasnít really even open on approaching him at all. He really kind of shut the door on me and had me, Francesca, and Phillip kind of on the outs right from the very beginning. So that was a really tough play. Francesca, Philip, and I were really close to getting Andrea who was really on the fence about Rob, especially after some of the stuff that went down. But it was tough right from the beginning and you just really had to have the numbers. It was a tough play right from the beginning.
Why do you think he saw you as such a threat?
If you watched last night's episode, you can really see how he was playing the members of his alliance and who are really not risk-takers at all. He made Grant look like an absolute clown with the clue last night and you've got Ashley and Natalie on the beach picking at each other's faces. I really donít think that he had much competition in his alliance. I think a lot of his focus was on me because he knew I was there to play. He's a smart, tactical player. Robís no dummy. Heís a great player, which is why heís back season after season. He had more problems with me because he knew I would give him a harder time than everyone else.
For example, Rob would walk down the beach and heíd have the three girls just bounding after him and then Grant bounding after him. Iíd be sitting there watching it all, and the girls were all holding hands and singing, and I wasnít really a part of that as much. So I think Rob was cautious about my gameplay, I was really the only person there that was any kind of decent competition for him at all. Like I said, heís a smart player. As I wouldíve done in his position, he wanted me out.
What do you think Phillip has to do stay in the game? Is there anything he can do?
[laughs] Oh, God! At this point, like Rob said last night, he's great for a distraction to help Rob. For Phillip to stay in the game, they would have to keep winning. My guess is that he would go out next if they lost. But if they don't lose, he might stick around a while, I guess. But Phillip is one annoying guy, so I donít know. If he stays around, he's really going to drive them crazy.
So whatís the over-under on him actually being a ĎFormer Federal Agent?í
Thatís laughable! I think we all need to sit down and write our Congressman immediately if that happens to be the case. Phillip is a buffoon. He is a paranoid and delusional human being and clearly unstable. Itís that the kind of person who has anything remotely to do with our government in any capacity whatsoever, I would be so scared, it would just be an awful thing. Phillip was a self-proclaimed expert on every single matter, whether it came to digging a hole, using a hammer, or determining whether someone was lying or not. Itís a joke, and itís that heís such a joke that heís so entertaining to watch on TV. Heís fodder for all of us to make fun of him.
As far as him being an actual federal agent, itís so highly unlikely, itís just laughable. I think he even said last week that he had a job in sanitation, which if you are going to serve your government I respect it. But heís an idiot and a clown. I pray to God that he is no [real] extension of our government.
We didnít see much of you on Redemption Island, so what was that like and what was your mentality going into your duel with Matt?
Redemption was really tough. When I got there I hadnít eaten in a day and a half, and there was torrential rain as usual. Everything I had was soaking wet, I didnít get any sleep, and it was a really shoddy and small little shelter. It was windy and freezing cold and there were only eight bamboo poles to lie on. My hips and my back were all bruised from the poles and then there was the whole process of being voted out and having to deal with the mental capacity of it.
Going to Redemption was brutal, but I knew there was a duel coming up and I had to pull it together. The duel for me was unfortunately the heavy blocks and having to lift those blocks in 100-degree temperature and 100% humidity, and going against a young man who was 24. I was definitely the underdog, and having other things that were a part of it - it was going to be a tough thing to pull off. I had a chance for sure, and I really did try my very hardest. Matt was talking to Rob, but I was concentrating on my puzzle. But the dehydration, I was starting to lose the feeling in my arms and hands and getting tunnel vision and having some auditory problems because of the lack of food and heat and exhaustion and dehydration. So it was a really tough thing going on there. It was a grueling situation.
So do you think you would have played different - and just as aggressively - if you were playing with Russell rather than Rob?
Russell and Rob are such different animals and they play so differently. I have to hand it to Zapatera - I wouldnít have thrown the challenge, but I think it was smart to get rid of a player who was a repeat player, who had experience in the game, who was labeled a villain for a reason, just like Rob. They are tactical players, smart players, but Zapatera had the wherewithal and the insight to get rid of Russell.
Our tribe - I have three girls and some guys who were prancing after Rob like he was the second coming of Jesus, doing whatever he says, and even cooking the rice to his specifications. It was just that these people are all in the early twenties, one of them is actually a teenager - and they just didnít have the experience and they were too naÔve. Now look at how Rob is playing them easily! Itís making Rob look like a brilliant player - and give credit where credit is due for him because he is smart - but compared to the people heís playing with, these kids, itís a no-brainer. They just didnít have the foresight to get rid of him, which was something that wouldíve been a smart thing to do for everybody, I think.
You found the hidden immunity idol without even a clue right off the bat. Looking back, do you feel that you used it in the best way, or was it a mistake to target Rob so early?
Finding the idol right away was great. Of course I didn't want to use it, of course I didn't want to tell anyone, I mean who would who knows anything about the game? The thing about targeting Rob right away was, it wasn't just Rob we were looking at, it was Rob and Natalie. Natalie because she absolutely brought nothing to the tribe whatsoever. She was weak physically and she was weak mentally, so she was also a giant consideration. The thing with Rob is, he's the leader. He's got this band of merry men around him, and he seemed an obvious player to get rid of and the one that would have made the most impact for me personally. I told people about the idol for one reason and one reason only, and that was because I knew that it was probably going to be me that they wanted to go home. I had absolutely no choice but to mix it up, and to throw a wrench into it, kick that hornet's nest, I wasn't going to lay back and let them just steamroll over me, and that was absolutely what was going to happen.
I could have gone to Rob and said, ďHey, I have an idol, let's work together," but Rob didn't leave the door open even a crack for me to get in like that. He didn't really want to have anything really to do with playing with me. I just had nowhere to go, if they were going to target me, I had to do something. I mean, who did I have to do something with? Insane, crazy Phil, and Francesca. And maybe Matt and Andrea. It was really tough, I just didn't have much to work with. I scrambled like no one's business out there, it was just a tough play.
You were present for Russell's final moments in the game at Redemption Island. What was that like watching that unfold?
Russell is a spectacular player - he is, whether you're a Russell fan or not. The guy's love for the game and respect for the game is just so obvious. To see his downfall, to see his end, was kind of a cool thing to watch in person. I mean Russell is like this bigger than life villain, and he gets taken down, and fast. It was amazing to see. It was almost like the end of the Russell era in a way. So the crying thing I could understand...but in true Russell fashion to see him whip back at Sarita and Ralph like that was great, you know, he just really stayed true to himself.
Was there anything you saw on TV that shocked you or you were surprised to see?
Well, when Rob said that he didn't like Matt giving the other team a high-five after a challenge, and that was partially what led to Matt's demise? Well, that's a bunch of bulls*** right there. Rob I think was threatened by Matt because Matt had made a strong connection to Andrea, just like Rob had made with Amber. Matt was really handsome, really nice, and he made a good connection with Andrea. So Rob [talking about Matt's high-five] is a load of crap in my mind, I just think Rob was jealous of Matt, or he knew the kind of connection Matt and Andrea could have because he had made it himself with Amber. So I was surprised to hear Rob try and lay that one out. It was pretty much a joke.
I was also surprised to learn that everybody wanted Phillip out before me - everyone but Rob. To see all those people really want Phillip out, and to not trust him, and to be convinced by one person, I mean, that was kind of annoying to see that. Kind of a bummer for me.
Heading into next weekís episode, we see Phillip upset that Ashley and Natalie are being lazy. Did you think they were lazy?
I donít think they were lazy. I know they were lazy. As far as camp goes, they are two women who contributed absolutely nothing. It was very frustrating to have to play with them because they were just useless.
How were you selected to be on the show?
Actually I tried out for the show about eight years ago, nine years ago. I went through the interview process, but was cut. In June, my cell phone rang and it was casting. They said, ďHey, we may have a spot. Would you be interested in coming back and interviewing?Ē I said, ďYeah sure.Ē
*Thanks to hepcat for sitting in on the interview!