Exit Interview: Kristina Kell Talks SURVIVOR REDEMPTION ISLAND

While many will argue that the introduction of “Redemption Island” is SURVIVOR’s biggest twist this season, some… okay we like to think that the far bigger surprise has a little something to do with the fact that for the first time in the history of the series, ousted contestants will have to face off against… us! Yes, you’re reading that correctly, theTVaddict.com is honored to have been asked to take part in the traditional one-on-ones with each week’s eliminated contestant, the third of which was the lovely Kristina Kell.

In our previous SURVIVOR exit interviews, we were really surprised to learn that both Francesca and Russell didn’t bother to watch the season save for the episode they got voted off, have you been watching the show?
Kristina Kell: Oh God yes! I’ve watched them all, a couple of them I’ve re-watched over and over agin just to see what was going on and what I didn’t see going on behind me. That said, if I were the first booted, which is really kind of a hard thing and a blow to your ego, I could kind of imagine Francesca not watching, or even Russell because of what happened to him. But me, I’m definitely watching.

So as someone who did watch, what do you think of your edit, were you happy with the way you were portrayed on the show?
I’m happy with the way they portrayed me because I think it’s kind of close to the way I normally am. I’m a little more talkative then what they showed so I’ve got that, but besides that as far as the way I was thinking or the way I felt during some of the situations out there it’s pretty close to who I am which I’m happy about. Especially because with those edits they can do anything.

The thing about SURVIVOR or really any reality show in general is that the producers can edit things to make people look a lot of different ways. Which brings us to Philip, is he really that off his rocker?
It was really, really hard and disappointing to have to play with a guy like Philip. He was extremely delusional about himself, his place in this world, his wisdom, knowledge and leadership capabilities. His sorry debriefing meetings that he tried to impose on everyone — we would all just sit there and nod — not believing that this guy isn’t sensing the fact that we’re all completely disgusted with him and want him to shut up. He just doesn’t understand the world around him and how it relates to him. He’s paranoid, is a big giant bag of crazy and most certainly just not all there.

So what’s you’re saying is that he’s probably not a secret agent!
That’s a laughable statement. If he’s a secret agent, he’s the worst because he can’t even keep his fat mouth shut with the smallest secret. In a crazy world maybe he’s a secret agent but seriously not in reality.

One of the most interesting aspects of this season so far is watching the different approaches to the way in which the tribes have dealt with former players Rob and Russell. Zapatera quickly saw fit to vote off Russell, yet your tribe seems to have fallen under Rob’s spell.
Exactly, that is exactly what happened. Zapatera had enough wherewithal to go, hey, this is Russell, he’s a returning champion, he knows the game, he knows how to play it, let’s get rid of him! My tribe was like, oh Rob, you’re a TV star and we’re going to prance down the beach after you and do whatever and however you say to do it. It was just like they were absolutely and complete followers. Ashley, Natalie had absolutely no original thought of her own and Grant — I call him the court jester — were following King Rob around wherever he went and there was just really nothing anything could do to sway that. They weren’t thinking strategy, they weren’t thinking SURVIVOR because he should have been one of the biggest targets there instead of being allowed to just completely steamroll over everything and everybody.

Would you have preferred Russell as your former SURVIVOR?
I mean they both presented very different but formidable obstacles. But I think Russell’s team had it easier because Russell is such a villain and they could really single him out and get behind getting the experienced player out which for me was a really important thing, to get the experienced player out so all of us were kind of on an even playing field. My team just didn’t have the foresight or wisdom to do that. Watching the episodes it’s ridiculous the way Rob is manipulating everyone, those guys didn’t pinpoint the threat and now they have to deal with it. Rob knows what he is doing, he’s there to play, he’s smart and those guys are going to get fooled, played, used and there you go. But hey, if that’s the way they want to play the game, with a spa day on the beach then fine, play the game like that. But I just don’t have respect for players who sit back and lay on the beach. The whole point of going was to play the game.

Did you try and convince them of this because we didn’t see so much of that.
I had to be really careful about conveying that message to Ashley and Natalie because they were so tight with him. I mean they all slept in each other’s arms and on top of each other and I knew that any word that I said to Natalie would go straight to Rob and in fact any word I did say to Natalie went straight to Rob as you could see in the show. I did talk to Andrea and she was kind of hemming and hawing on the fence, especially after the blind slide with Matt she was really mad at Rob and kind of clued into how powerful he was, but she was kind of afraid to make any bold moves.

Speaking of Matt, what was your take on your Redemption Island challenge. Those puzzle pieces looked really heavy, so much so that the conspiracy theorist in us was wondering if the producers are intentionally crafting the challenges to ensure the return of good Christian boy Matt to the game.
I don’t think they’re crafting the challenges, because they have them set up so that whomever is playing is playing. But listen, everybody loves a good underdog story. And Matt, I’m rooting for him, he is an awesome guy. He was my opponent, I was going to have to battle him on Redemption Island but even so, when I got there he was so nice to me. I was bummed, I was freezing, wet and he just took care of me. He’s just a good person and I think Rob was a complete moron for getting rid of him. That was Rob’s biggest mistake in the game so far, getting rid of Matt. He should have gotten rid of Andrea if he wanted to break up that team, but he got rid of Matt, strong, loyal, nice, not a backstabber. Matt he gets rid of… not a good plan.

Aside from getting voted off, looking back on your SURVIVOR experience, what would you say was your lowlight.
The low point wasn’t getting voted off as much as the moment when I realized who my alliance was and what we’re up against and how impenetrable it was going to be to break up the Rob celebrity team. And that was kind of a lowlight because I felt like I was just banging my head against the wall. You know, I can’t compete with Miss Maine and 19-year olds bouncing down the beach in bikinis, I just can’t. I’m 45, married and it just wasn’t going to happen, so that realization, when it set in for real I was like, Oh God, how am I going to get out of this mess!”

And your highlight?
The highlight was just going, being on the helicopter that first day and the excitement of being allowed to participate in this fabulous game, that was really exciting.

SURVIVOR airs Wednesday at 8PM on CBS (Global TV in Canada)

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