‘Survivor’ Castaway Jennifer: ‘(Cydney’s Vote) Was a Little Bit of a Sting’

'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (CBS)

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What does it say about somebody’s time on “Survivor” when a bug burrowing into their brain isn’t the worst thing to happen to them?

Jennifer made it through that horrible experience, but didn’t make it through one of the most disastrous Tribal Council performances I’ve ever seen.

I had a chance to chat with the bug’s victim the morning after her elimination and asked her about the performance that sent her packing, the split vote from the previous week, and the stowaway that wouldn’t go away…

Jennifer Lanzetti: You going to talk (expletive deleted) about someone, you should probably tag them so they can defend themselves.
Gordon Holmes: Was I talking (expletive deleted) about you?
Lanzetti: Yes, I see your Twitter.
Holmes: What did I say?
Lanzetti: I saw the word “bad” a lot. (Laughs)
Holmes: Did I say you had a bad Tribal Council performance?
Lanzetti: (Laughs) Yes.
Holmes: Well, now’s your chance to defend yourself. That’s why we do this.
Lanzetti: (Laughs) Right.
Holmes: You threw me off my vibe, I was going to start with a joke. Which was more annoying; the bug or Jason?
Lanzetti: (Laughs) The bug, for sure.

Holmes: Did Cydney or Alecia approach Jason and Scot before Tribal and tell him you were trying to set up an all-female alliance?
Lanzetti: That’s exactly what happened. If I go down as the person who wanted an all-female alliance from the very beginning, then so be it. What would be cooler than a three-girl, Brawn-tribe alliance? Never been done. It’s hard enough to have a female alliance as it is. I liked the edit how it made it look like it was my idea. Alecia came up to me and said, “What do you think?” And I thought, Jeff made it clear that we should play like it’s our second time. I take huge leaps all the time. It’s not a big deal for me. I said, “Cydney, are you on board?” “Absolutely.” “Alecia, are you on board?” “Absolutely.” If we keep going the other route, we’re all going home. That’s how we’ll stay in the game. I could tell about an hour later that they had both gone to Jason and Scot and I thought, “Wow. So much for that idea.” (Laughs) And we had found a poisonous plant. It looked like a potato, everyone thought it was a potato, we started eating it and our throats started closing up. It was scary as hell. And seeing the way Alecia reacted I thought, “This isn’t going to work.” And this is “Survivor,” people talk about alliances like they’re written in stone. I know they’d turn their alliance on me. They made it look like they’re so perfect and they were on my side from the beginning, but they weren’t. You do what’s best for you and your tribe, but the tribe doesn’t win. One person wins.
Holmes: So, based on what we saw, it looked like your “Everything is up in the air” comment had tipped them off, but you thought you were in trouble back at camp.
Lanzetti: Oh, I knew I was. That was them covering up the fact that they were sending me home no matter what. And if I go down in history as a hot Tribal mess, so be it. I wasn’t the first and I won’t be the last. But, I was honest. I told them what happened and I told them I considered a female alliance, it was a terrible idea. But, we have to keep our tribe strong if we’re going to win challenges. Bitch me out when we get back to camp, but don’t…keep…her.
Holmes: Alecia?
Lanzetti: Yes.
Holmes: Was that strictly from a challenge-strength standpoint or was she still rubbing people the wrong way?
Lanzetti: I didn’t mind Alecia. She reminds me of my students. She’s young, she has a lot of passion. We all took care of her. Me and Cydney took care of her every single day. She tried to help. She did get the fire going. I don’t have any bad things to say about Alecia as a person, but as somebody on our tribe, not a good fit. I don’t like babysitting people when I’m having a hard enough time taking care of myself. And everybody felt that way. I know they’re going to regret their decision. I guarantee next episode there’s going to be some regret.

Holmes: Why do you think Scot stuck by your side?
Lanzetti: Scot was my favorite one out there. We talked all the time, we went hunting, fishing, we made all the food. We were cuddle buddies at night because it was freezing cold. He’s just a good guy. I think he believed me and thought keeping me was the best option.
Holmes: Was there any kind of butting heads between Scot and Jason over the vote?
Lanzetti: No, I never saw anything. I was too busy shaking in my boots.

Holmes: One of the things that happened last week that people had questions about was the split vote. That was to flush a possible idol, correct?
Lanzetti: Right. We were just flushing the idol. And talk about a vote going exactly as it should. But I’ve gotten more tweets and e-mails and messages saying, “What the hell? Why did she stay?” And trust me, I’m kicking myself now. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) When I talked to Darnell, he was under the impression that he was voted out because he was too likable. Was that the case?
Lanzetti: No, that’s not why he was targeted. He’s very likable, but he was wavering back and forth. You could never get a straight answer out of him. Everything we heard, the story got changed too many times. People thought he was an uncertain risk. But, it is ironic that the two sweetest people in the game got voted out first. It is a reminder that “Survivor” is a viper pit. (Laughs)
Holmes: That’s true. But are you two really sweeter than Tai and Caleb?
Lanzetti: I know, right?! (Laughs) I really enjoyed last night’s episode. The last seven minutes were brutal, but I’m enjoying seeing everyone else out there. They didn’t show you all my injuries out there. My time wasn’t completely pleasant.
Holmes: I saw you had a pretty significant gash over your eye.
Lanzetti: I got bit on my face by a centipede eight times on day one. I had a parasite in my ear day two and three. Day four I’m building a fire and I got third-degree burns on my eyelids. And then on day six I ate a poisonous plant. The doctor said I had a chemical burn on my throat for three days. I think the universe voted me out first.
Holmes: Day thirty, fall off a cliff. You’re like Wile E. Coyote out there.
Lanzetti: (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) That vote probably saved your life.
Lanzetti: It just wasn’t my time to rule.
Holmes: (Laughs) Next time. When Probst tells you to play it like your third chance.
Lanzetti: Right! And I’m going to ignore everything he says.  Forever.
Holmes: That tends to be a smart strategy.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Scot.
Lanzetti: Big.
Holmes: Alecia?
Lanzetti: Ugh…
Holmes: Cydney?
Lanzetti: She’s a bad-ass.
Holmes: Darnell?
Lanzetti: Sweetheart.
Holmes: And we’ll finish with Jason.
Lanzetti: If I had to be rescued, I’d take him. I don’t know how you put that into one word.
Holmes: We’ve got time, use as many words as you’d like.
Lanzetti: Really? Start over!
Holmes: I like that initiative. Scot?
Lanzetti: Loyal and a friend for life.
Holmes: Alecia?
Lanzetti: She’s going to go far in this life. She just needs to learn tact.
Holmes: Cydney?
Lanzetti: She’s a good woman. She’s got a lot to learn still. She’s one of the strongest women I know.
Holmes: Darnell?
Lanzetti: He doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. The streets did not make him hard. They made him genuine.
Holmes: We’ll finish with Jason…again.
Lanzetti: Yeah, he’s the person I could count on to rescue me in a bad situation.

Holmes: We haven’t seen much from Cydney, but she seems to be playing a savvy game. It seems like the vote to get rid of you moved her from fourth in the tribe to at least third. Was that your impression of her game?
Lanzetti: I thought we were really close. We did yoga together, we got firewood together. She was a workhorse. And I’m just kidding about the yoga comment. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) I was wondering.
Lanzetti: We had a great time out there. So, I thought it was Scot that voted me out, but it was Cydney. That was a little bit of a sting. I thought she realized that I was the best thing for the tribe. Or, she would have come to me and said, “A girl alliance is a bad thing, what are you thinking? Stick with the plan.”

Holmes: This bug in your ear, did it ever get a name?
Lanzetti: (Laughs) Bastard. I think that was what I called it.
Holmes: And it wore a buff at one point?
Lanzetti: It was trying.
Holmes: That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.
Lanzetti: The first night we had a downpour, I think they plan these things, I was laying on my side and water is pelting in. I woke up the morning of day two and thought there was water in my ear. I was jumping up and down all day, hitting my head against rocks. I kept telling the production crew that there was something wrong. That night I felt something warm come out of my ear and I thought, “Finally.” So, I touched it and tasted it because it was dark and it was blood. And I thought,  “Oh (expletive deleted), it’s going to be a long night.” And that’s when it started to really dig. I was trying to keep it together because I didn’t want to wake up the tribe. But in the morning I was in tears…it was tough.
Holmes: Alright, well I’m never going to sleep again.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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

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