I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.
Name: Hope Driskill
Hometown: Jefferson City, MO
Occupation: Recent Graduate of the University of Missouri
Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Fans” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the returning players. They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.
Gordon Holmes: Let’s get the most important question out of the way; are you a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals?
Hope Driskill: That is very important, and yes I am a Cards fan. Can I ask you a question?
Holmes: That’s unorthodox, but maybe just this once.
Driskill: Were you upset when Albert (Pujols) left us?
Holmes: I was sorry to see him go, but I think it’s best for the team that we didn’t pay him what he wanted.
Driskill: St. Louis was so devastated.
Holmes: As was I. There’s a Pujols Christmas ornament that isn’t going on my tree this year.
Holmes: Alright, let’s move on to less important things like “Survivor.”
Driskill: (Laughs) Yes, “Survivor”…go.
Holmes: It says here that you don’t like complainers. I’m willing to make a pre-game bet that you’re going to run into those kinds of people over the next 39 days.
Driskill: It does irritate me when people complain a lot. And it’s not to say that I don’t complain about things, because I do. I just don’t think it does any good to sit around and complain about things.
Holmes: What happens on Day 27 when you’re sitting around the fire and someone starts complaining?
Driskill: You know what? At that point if I’m hungry and tired, I’m just going to let them complain.
Holmes: Why do you think you were cast?
Driskill: I think it’s because they saw that I’ve had an interesting array of accomplishments. I think they thought I’d be a good competitor and a good addition to the cast.
Holmes: Do you have any issues lying in the game?
Driskill: Honestly, I’m not the best liar. I’m not that good at it. But, I am good with working with people.
Holmes: So you’re OK with lying, you’re just not good at it?
Driskill: I think to some degree it’s OK, but I’m no good at it.
Holmes: Alright, give me two truths and a lie.
Driskill: I competed in Miss USA, I’ve been skydiving, and I studied abroad in Europe.
Holmes: You never studied abroad.
Driskill: (Laughs) I have! I’ve never been skydiving.
Holmes: See, you can lie.
Driskill: This is getting me excited!
Holmes: That’s my goal in this interview.
Driskill: To get me pumped.
Holmes: We need more Missouri-based “Survivor” champions. Fabio is not enough.
Holmes: OK, you’re a lovely young woman.
Driskill: Aww…thank you.
Holmes: Keep your head in the game.
Holmes: Some people use flirting to get ahead. Is this a strategy you might use?
Driskill: I mean…yes. But I wouldn’t think, “I’m going to go flirt with this person to get ahead.” I’m a friendly person, I’m from the Midwest.
Holmes: Yes, we’re all delightful.
Driskill: Right, we’re friendly and that might come off as flirty. But no, I have no intentions of flirting to get ahead.
Holmes: You and the other players can’t talk to each other yet, what kind of first impression do you think they’re getting of you?
Driskill: I think people…especially since I’m wearing five-inch wedges.
Holmes: Wow, those are impressive. Those are some earrings too.
Driskill: (Laughs) Thank you, I love them. I think that people will underestimate me, but I think that’s to my advantage because I will prove them wrong.
Holmes: What are your first impressions of the cast so far?
Driskill: It seems like a younger group. I’ve honestly gotten a good, friendly vibe from everyone. So, I’m excited. I think we’re going to have fun.
Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Holmes: How big of a fan?
Driskill: I think on a scale of one to ten, I’m an eight. I don’t watch much TV. I’ve been really busy.
Holmes: Doing what? Boring stuff like learning?
Driskill: Yes, but I’m done!
Holmes: Good, now you’ll have more time for TV. Now, as a “Survivor” fan, what are some mistakes you’ve seen that you’re hoping to avoid?
Driskill: Well, I think one of the biggest mistakes is being naïve and not being aware of your surroundings and that everyone is there to win. So, you have to make sure you’re respectful and get to know everyone.
Holmes: Did you watch “South Pacific” and “One World”?
Driskill: I did.
Holmes: We saw a lot of people on the bottom of alliances who weren’t willing or able to improve their place in the game. Why do you think that happens?
Driskill: I honestly don’t know. I think that being on the bottom you’re intimidated and you have to be competent and bold to step up and make a big move.
Holmes: When you win the million, what’re you going to do with the money? I mean, besides law school.
Driskill: Seeing as how I just got through four years of school, I’ve racked up some educational expenses and there’s more to come.
Holmes: What kind of law?
Driskill: I worked in the attorney general’s office for a few years and I also worked in the governor’s office. So, with my experiences there, I’m thinking more civil. But, we’ll see. I’m keeping my options open.
Holmes: Is law school something you’re going to keep a secret out there? Because when you’re facing the jury, you’ll be able to go all Perry Mason on them.
Driskill: I don’t think I’ll keep it a secret.
Holmes: Is there anything you’ll keep a secret?
Driskill: No, I’m pretty proud of everything I’ve done.
Holmes: Are you anticipating any twists this season?
Holmes: If there are any twists, what do you think they will be?
Driskill: Lord knows. I have no idea. I just know that when I flew out yesterday, the last report I read had Jeff saying he was a little let down with this past season with how Kim (Spradlin) dominated every aspect of the game. So, I think they’re going to throw in something. But, I have no idea what that’s going to be.
Holmes: So, Jeff Probst is not to be trusted.
Driskill: (Laughs) He seems like a trustworthy guy. But he’s going to throw in something exciting.
Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.