‘Survivor’ White Collar Carolyn – “I’m Used to Being the Boss”

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Worlds Apart” scoop! I delved deep into the Nicaraguan wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily in the weeks leading up to the premiere, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

Name: Carolyn Rivera
Age: 52
Current Residence: Tampa, Florida
Occupation: Corporate Executive

Gordon Holmes: What does it mean to be a Vice President of Learning and Development?
Caroyln Rivera: I am responsible for training for all of the associates in the financial institution.
Holmes: How many people report to you?
Rivera: Forty four.
Holmes: Obviously you are a leader. You do that everyday. Is that something you’re going to pursue out here or is that something you’re going to avoid?
Rivera: I’m going to be a behind-the-scenes leader. Most leaders get voted off pretty quickly. I’m going to take a backseat role. I’m going to be the leader, but people aren’t going to feel like I’m the leader.
Holmes: Is it going to be tough to suppress some of your instincts?
Rivera: It will. I think that’s going to be the toughest thing for me. I’m used to being the boss. So, I’m going to embrace the confessionals very deeply. (Laughs)

Holmes: You’re a karaoke singer?
Rivera: I am.
Holmes: What’s your signature jam?
Rivera: “I Will Survive.”
Holmes: A little on the nose.
Rivera: (Laughs) My go-to song.
Holmes: And if you get in trouble here, you can wow them with a  little tale of how at first you were afraid, you were petrified.
Rivera: Yeah, I’ll break it out. (Laughs)

Holmes: Seeing as you have a very prominent and I’m assuming lucrative career, are you less financially driven than some of the other players?
Rivera: I’m financially driven, but the adventure is just as important.

Holmes: Are you a fan of the show?
Rivera: I am. I’ve been watching it since season one.
Holmes: That’s what I like to hear. Is that an advantage?
Rivera: I think it’s an advantage. You see how other people have played. You see what strategies haven’t worked so well. I don’t believe I’ll be shouting that from the rooftops. But, you take the learnings from each and every game and use them to your advantage.

Holmes: You hate being lied to…
Rivera: Which is a problem in this game.
Holmes: Yes, it is.
Rivera: In this game you have to tell white lies and do things you might not normally do. But, it’s a strategy, it’s a game. The difference is how you do it. It’s what gets you votes at the end.
Holmes: Are you comfortable lying?
Rivera: I’m not really that good of a liar. So, I’m going to have to work on that.
Holmes: But you’re not opposed to lying out here.
Rivera: If I have to I have to. I probably won’t be swearing on my kids lives though.
Holmes: So there is a line?
Rivera: Yes, there is.

Holmes: Flirting is a big part of this game. Is anyone back home going to be upset if you’re flirting out here?
Rivera: I’m pretty sure my husband knows I flirt anyway.
Holmes: So that’s on the table?
Rivera: I don’t think that’s the strategy I’m going to go for. I’ll be friendly, but I’m too old to be wooing people.
Holmes: You never know.
Rivera: (Laughs)

Holmes: Any experience in the outdoors?
Rivera: Yeah, I’ve gone camping, I’ve done whitewater rafting. I’m an outdoorsy kinda gal.
Holmes: Anything as extreme as starving yourself for 39 days?
Rivera: No. But I don’t eat that much. My family would say I normally starve myself. Food is not that important to me.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it’ll be?
Rivera: This is season thirty, there’s going to be a big twist.
Holmes: Any guesses?
Rivera: I think it’s going to start out with three tribes. I don’t know why I think that. There’s way more old people on this season than normal.
Holmes: What does that mean?
Rivera: I don’t know. It’s never happened. That’s a twist.
Holmes: What’re your first impressions of this cast?
Rivera: I think there are four people who haven’t started playing the game yet. They’re late to the party. There are one or two people who are heavy into starting. And, when you start looking at people and you see facial expressions, you know who you want to team up with.
Holmes: Why do you think you were cast?
Rivera: I think I’ve got what it takes. I’m a New Yorker, and we’re good TV.
Holmes: That’s true.
Rivera: (Laughs) I’m outgoing, I’m outspoken. I think I was cast because of that.

Holmes: If you could align with any past Survivor, who would it be?
Rivera: It’s interesting you should ask that, because with “Boston” Rob, you can see his evolution over the four times that he’s played. The first time he wasn’t successful, and by the fourth time he won the whole thing. That’s why I’d align with “Boston” Rob.  I saw him throughout the years change his strategy, that’s what I’m going to do.

Holmes: Alright, I’m going to mention some things, you tell me how well you deal with them.
Rivera: OK.
Holmes: Excessive sun and heat?
Rivera: Love it. I moved to Florida from New York because of the sun and heat.
Holmes: Starvation?
Rivera: Not a problem.
Holmes: People you don’t get along with?
Rivera: I’m going to have to keep my mouth shut which is not what I normally do. That’s going to be a challenge.
Holmes: Paranoia?
Rivera: In order to be successful in this game you have to be paranoid. Every single day. You have to think what the next person is thinking before they think it. That’s the fun of the game.
Holmes: How well do you relate to younger people?
Rivera: I think I relate well to all kinds of people. I’ve got three younger kids. Probably the ages that are on this show. So, I’ll be the fun parent.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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