Survivor: The Yak’s Interview with Caleb Bankston

Caleb_BankstonToday the Yak interviewed Caleb Bankston the 26 year old post office manager/ farmer from Collinsville, Alabama. Caleb is engaged to returning player Colton Cumbie from Survivor One World. Previously this Yak interviewed Colton when he exited Survivor One World and found him to be hilarious, witty, extremely intelligent and quite charming. Although Jeff Probst questioned Caleb on the show as to how this mellow, laid back, easy going man could possibly have anything in common with the high strung, seemingly high maintenance Colton, I see them as the perfect yin and yang. As Caleb said on Survivor, “opposites attract.”

YAK: Congratulations Caleb on making it 30 days in the game although I have to say I’m a tad disappointed because I had you in the finals with Hayden.

Caleb: Thank you! It was a good run. Me, Hayden and Ciera were my final 3.

YAK: Have you always been a Survivor fan or only because Colton was on Survivor?

Caleb: I’ve caught several seasons of the show. I’ve never been as loyal as Colton. Colton has never really missed an episode. Growing up on a farm you know if you get home at 7:00 (back then it was on a Thursday night) you got to watch it, if not you just missed it. That’s kind of how it was. If I was home and was able to watch it, I watched it.

YAK: How did you really feel about Colton quitting?

Caleb: I was actually shocked about it but you know when Jeff (Probst) was grilling him I wanted to jump in but I didn’t want to disrespect Jeff at all. I knew what Jeff was going to say but it didn’t really matter what he was going to say. Nothing that Jeff pointed out or said would actually change my opinion about Colton. When Colton wanted to quit he made the comment that he’s changed and he’s grown since One World. There is definitely a different person than that. I understood. I got it. I really didn’t want him to be broken when we got home. I didn’t want him to stick it out in the game and go against who he wanted to be. That was my whole thing. As long as he stayed true to himself I wanted him to do whatever he wanted to do.

YAK: Who did you enjoy getting to know the most out there?

Caleb: I was really a Tyson fan since Tocantins. His kind of humor; to say whatever is on his mind. Colton is kind of similar to that.

YAK: You mean sarcastic and witty?

Caleb: (laughs) Yes I kind of gravitate towards that. I really enjoyed getting to know Vytas, Ciera, Hayden and John. John was a cool guy. Marissa and Rachel I wish I had gotten to know them more but they weren’t out there enough for me to get to know them. I felt like I got pretty close to John. Me and Vytas and Hayden were thick as thieves until the tribe swap happened and threw Vytas to the other side. Then we had to grab hold of Ciera and pull her in close.

YAK: What did you find the most challenging?

Caleb: I guess getting over those challenge jitters. You know you go into those challenges and the veterans have a little bit of an edge on you because they’ve walked up on day 1. They’ve been to their first challenge, their first tribal council. They kind of know what to expect. I think that’s why the first few weeks the “loved ones” tribe, we were ahead and then we just kind of lost it at the end. I think it was the jitters. I think it was the nervousness, everything getting to us and not knowing what to expect. Being there in the element and that feeling of euphoria.

YAK: Who do you think is playing the best game so far?

Caleb: Right now I think Tyson is playing the best game. I loved Hayden’s performance at that last tribal council. His back was against the wall and he came out swinging. I was loving it. That was my first tribal council as a jury member and that was a great first one!

YAK: During that last tribal council you jury members were laughing at some of the things being said.

Caleb: Yeah, Gervase should keep his mouth shut more at tribal council. He tends to step all over himself when he tries to talk and ends up burning a few bridges. That was pretty good. If they hadn’t have gone to rocks and Tyson had switched and voted Monica just to kind of avoid putting himself in danger, Ciera would have been the power player of the season. Since that didn’t work out and she tried to pull a move and it didn’t work, I think Tyson is running the show and he’s in a good spot to go to the end and win. Who knows?

YAK: What are you most proud of regarding how you played the game?

Caleb: I don’t know. I didn’t think the Brad Culpepper tribal council was that big of a thing. I was just feeling that way and I just went with it. I wasn’t thinking this will be a big move or anything. My thing was staying true and not letting anything bother me. Being able to let things go and separate the game from real life. Realizing that people who voted me out or did something, or flipped on me, it’s just a game and I don’t hold that against them at all.

YAK: That’s probably one of the reasons that you are well liked by fans and the other players, however you don’t think that announcing at tribal, “I’m voting for Brad” was a big move? It was pretty cool.Colton-Cumbie-Caleb-Bankston

Caleb: Watching it back, I did because Colton being such a big fan of the show explained to me why that was such a big move and he respected it a lot. That meant a lot to me that he was so proud of it. I left and I was all smiles because I actually had done something to help my alliance I felt. It wasn’t I’ve got to do this to make a big move. It was I’ve got to do this to secure my spot.

YAK: Is there anything you’d like to tell our readers or clarify, that was maybe lost in the edit?

Caleb: I’ve probably got more fans than Colton does out there. But for the fans, go easy on him. He’s not the bad guy, he’s really sweet. If you got to know him you’d all love him. I couldn’t make it to the end to get the million, but vote for me for Fan Favorite!

YAK: You and Colton have been together a long time now, when are you getting married?

Caleb: It’s four years now. We are getting married on October 11th in Connecticut. I’m really excited about it!

Being an outdoorsman Caleb really enjoyed his time on Survivor and would definitely do it again.

Thanks for talking with us today Caleb and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!



What do you think about what Caleb had to say? Will you miss him on Survivor? Let us know in the comments below! Then, come on in and join us in the FORUM where we are discussing all your favorite shows and more!

Survivor: The Yak’s Interview with Vytas Baskauskas

survivor_vytas1We spoke with Vytas Baskauskas the 33 year old Yoga instructor/ Math professor from Santa Monica, CA on his elimination on Wednesday night’s episode of Survivor Blood vs. Water. Vytas is the brother of Aras Baskauskas (31) the winner of Survivor Panama.

YAK: Hi Vytas, thanks for talking with us today at The Yak TV and Reality News! Congratulations on making it this far on Survivor.
Vytas: I would have actually liked to make it further but thank you.
YAK: What strategy of yours are you most proud of in the game?
Vytas: I think that when the tribes swapped about 10 days into the game and I found myself on a tribe of all women and I was able to navigate through that minefield it was a very fortunate game play on my part. I didn’t play a perfect game obviously. I’m on the jury and I didn’t win but I had some good moments and I think that was probably one of my best moments. It was how I played since the beginning. If I ignored Katie from the beginning then as soon as we swap then Katie is going to go to her Mom and say Vytas ignored me. But, being in the majority alliance I made sure to stay friends with those in the minority alliance. I kept pulling Katie aside saying “Hey, even though you’re not with us, I’m with you and I’m going to keep you safe.” That really paid off in the end when the tribes swapped.
YAK: Then in Tina you had a big fan.
Vytas: Yes, then in Tina I had a big fan, because Tina’s big love is her daughter and Tina wants nothing more than her daughter to have children so that she can be a grandmother.
YAK: You were really well liked by the other contestants. In fact some have interviewed that if you made it to the end they would vote for you because they liked your story and generally enjoyed you. How hard is that knowing that if you had made Final 3 you really had a strong shot at the million dollars?
Vytas: I mean getting eliminated from the game is hard either way. I don’t think it makes it any easier knowing that I would have had a chance to win at the end but it’s tough. I had so much more game left in me when I got eliminated. I didn’t go into this game just trying to make it far; I went in wanting to win. Anything short of that would be a disappointment and it is a bit disappointing. I tried my best, I made some mistakes. In the end what can you do but just be grateful for the experience, because it was a fricken amazing experience.
YAK: Well now you and Aras are the only brothers ever to play Survivor?
Vytas: Yes, we are the only brothers to play Survivor, it’s so lucky.
YAK: Who did you trust the most besides your brother?
Vytas: You know in the beginning we had this guys alliance, besides Aras in the beginning I really trusted Brad. Brad and Hayden, these are guys that I knew were going to be honest with me. I really wanted to go deep in the game with them because Hayden was a big threat because he won Big Brother and Brad was a huge threat just being an NFL player. So these were guys who even though I knew I was going to have a big target on my back, I knew they were going to have a big target as well so I figured we should link up together. Then when the tribes swapped all of a sudden I didn’t get to work with them. Then I really got to work on a relationship with Katie and her mom. I really trusted Tina and Katie as well. They’re great people I really had fun getting to know them. Tina’s a great person, Katie’s an awesome friend and even Monica who I got to work with. Recently I went to Tampa and I got to see Monica and Brad. They have such a great family and I love them too. It’s really an experience where I made some good friendships that will last for a long time.
YAK: Would you have voted Aras out as we’ve seen Ciera do to her Mom?
Vytas: Probably not. It would have been much more as a last resort. I think Ciera had some better options before voting her Mom out. Ciera has been playing a good game though. She’s made it far and has made some big moves. That was a huge move to vote her Mom out. I’m happy that at least this has happened once during Blood vs. Water. You never know if it’s going to happen again. I don’t know if I would have been that quick to vote out Aras. It really shows other people that you’re willing to vote out your strongest alliance which makes people leery of forming an alliance with you.
YAK: Is there anything that you want to clarify or want the viewers to know that maybe we didn’t see or was edited out?
Vytas: No, I mean, there is so much we don’t see in the show. I just want everyone to know that I had a blast playing the game. I appreciate everyone’s support and the warm reception I’ve gotten from fans has made this experience so much better. It’s been really fabulous.
YAK: What do you think about Laura B. telling you that you were going home? Did you think that it could possibly be her kiss of death? She seemed so sincere and she liked you so much I felt actually bad for her.
Vytas: I did feel bad for Laura, because I like Laura. Laura is a woman who probably lives in the shadow of Rupert a lot and she probably doesn’t let herself out like that. I felt bad. She put herself out there and it kind of got thrown at her but that’s Survivor. When she was telling that to me I already had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen. What was I going to say “no, you’re wrong, that’s not who’s going to go.”? I mean we signed up for this game that’s sociopathic and her feelings were hurt I’m sure and I felt bad that I kind of had to be the one to do it.
YAK: What was the hardest thing for you out there?
survivor_vytasVytas: When Aras was voted out it was really hard. Not so much, it didn’t make me sad I was blown away. I’m sitting there with immunity feeling really comfortable and all of a sudden my brother gets voted out. I was completely blown away by that. Otherwise it wasn’t that physically demanding or rigorous. It didn’t rain and we had a beach with a bounty of fish and trees with fruit on them so we didn’t really starve that bad. I think for me what was hard was the emotion that came up. Like when I gave my brother a cheap shot, I was surprised I did that. Or when I cried when I hugged my brother, I’m surprised that happened. When I cussed out the whole tribe at tribal council while feeling protective of my brother, these are just authentic emotional experiences that are a little bit more raw because of the setting.
YAK: How has this experience affected your relationship with your brother are you closer?
Vytas: Yes we’re definitely closer after this. It’s been a long mend for our relationship. There were a lot of years where we didn’t get along at all. We’re less than 2 years apart so this was a big step forward for us, to be able to mend some things and grow closer. We’re never going to be perfect. All I know is that I love my brother a lot; he loves me and even though we will always have a healthy rivalry and we’ll fight from time to time, this is something that we can always share and a memory we can always look back on.
YAK: Sounds like you loved this experience would you do it again?
Vytas: I love Survivor. I’ve been a fan from the beginning. I’d like to go out there and see what it would be like without Aras, just on my own.
Thanks for talking with us today Vytas and come and visit us at The Yak TV and Reality News!


So what do you think? Miss Vytas already? Leave us a comment below and be sure to come visit us in the forum HERE!


Survivor: The Yak Chats With John Cody and Laura Boneham, Latest Eliminated Castaways

SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS. WATEROn this week’s episode of Survivor Blood vs. Water two castaways were eliminated from the game.

John Cody (spouse Candice) the 30 year old WestPoint Graduate and Physician from Washington DC and Laura Boneham (spouse Rupert) the 44 year old merchandiser from Indianapolis, Indiana were both eliminated after 19 days.

John spent 12 of those 19 days battling it out on Redemption. Laura defied the odds after being voted out day one. Rupert took her spot on Redemption Island and Laura was sent to the returning player’s tribe to compete.

Prior to the tribes merging all three players on Redemption Island John, Laura B. and Laura M. were given one last challenge. The winner returned to the game and the other two were sent packing. Despite proving themselves to be tough competitors John and Laura B. were bested by Laura M. and were eliminated.
We were able to speak with John and Laura today to get their thoughts on their Survivor experience.

YAK: Congratulations you two on surviving 19 days!
Laura: Thank you! Thanks for having us.
John: Not long enough but it’s a long time (Laughs)
YAK: From speaking with your respective spouses did you think that you had a grasp on what actually being on Survivor was like? Was it what you expected?Laura-Boneham-300
Laura: My experience was that the physical side of the game was not as hard as I thought it would be because we had not much rain and the challenges, I really enjoyed. The social game however, I don’t think you can really prepare yourself for the dimension of this game especially Blood vs. Water.
John: It wasn’t that difficult of a season. There was no rain. There was plenty of food at the tribe camp. It was a little different on Redemption Island. The physical aspect surprised me that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be, but definitely the betrayal you feel from people that you’ve hung out with for 7 or 8 days, that’s tough, it’s tough to get voted off your tribe.
YAK: Is it easier or harder being on Redemption Island physically? What about the difference between camp life and life at Redemption?
John: (laughs) In my mind it was definitely harder to be there physically. I mean the weight really started coming off when I went to Redemption. There’s no fruit, there’s very little reprieve from the sun. Everything that needs to be done you need to do yourself. So you’re getting all the water and boiling it. You’re doing your laundry. If you want to fish or gather coconuts and firewood you have to do it yourself, while tending the fire. All those things that you have help with in a tribe, you’re doing yourself. Doing that for 12 days was a long time! But, it was fine. Your body adapts. Yes, I was hungry and I was dreaming about food but you know you make do with what you have. It’s definitely harder to be on Redemption physically, but also mentally too. You have to struggle to keep your mind sharp and try to stay as connected as possible to the game. It’s mind numbing out there, you’re just sitting there waiting all day, sometimes 2 or 3 days for someone else to show up you have a duel which is exciting just to go back to waiting. Mentally Redemption Island is really difficult as well.
YAK: I imagine you also would be wondering what’s going on with everyone else?
John: Yeah, it was kind of funny Laura M.’s comment about being a kid who missed school for two weeks because of chicken pox and now no one wants to play with you. What I said many times out there is that when you’re on the tribe and at the tribe camp you get a lot of information and very little time to think about it. When you’re on Redemption you only get a little information and a ton of time to think about it. It’s a very different scenario. People come, people who get voted out usually don’t know as much as they think they know, but you just pepper them with questions and try to get as much information as possible about what’s going on, so that you have some kind of foothold in the game when you go back.
laura-boneham-survivor-CBSYAK: Laura, do you regret switching with Rupert or are you satisfied that you were able to have your own Survivor experience?
Laura: I am extremely satisfied that I got a chance to play the game. I was on my way out the first day unless I was like John and stayed on Redemption and tried to win my way back into the game. I am very grateful that Rupert was giving and gave up his game for me. It could have gone differently. He could have stayed in and maybe earned a little money for the family but that’s not what we’re about and he wanted me to have the opportunity to play the game like he had and wanted me to know what the experience was like.
YAK: You both are just a handful of people who together with your spouses are Survivor alumnae. That’s pretty exciting.
Laura: It’s really cool actually. We didn’t get to play together but technically we were in the game together.
John: It’s cool.
YAK: John, we didn’t get to see much about you and your immunity clues. Did you actually spend time looking or did you feel complacent in your position with your guys alliance?
John: It’s funny the reason I didn’t look for it as much as possible was because I didn’t feel complacent about my position in the tribe and I didn’t want my tribe to see me looking for it all the time. The one time I did go out and look for it was the night I got sent home. I casually went out and looked for it with Brad and was looking around camp. But the one time I really spent time looking for it about 20 or 30 minute was the night I left. It was a rookie mistake on my part. You don’t leave without it for tribal council. There really wasn’t much time to look for it. The only time we had over those two days, we had immunity challenge, tribal council, and Redemption island challenge. There was no break in the cycle to go and do that. I didn’t think it was going to be me going home that night but it’s funny my next play after receiving the clue to the idol that day was to share it with my alliance and say I think it’s important that we find this together and keep it for our alliance. You see how well that turned out for everybody. It certainly didn’t turn out well for Brad. Now immunity is not turning out well for Vytas because now he has a big target on his back. He’s done well getting around and avoiding that target the last couple weeks but I think that target may be getting a little too big for him now, we’ll see. (laughs) he’s worked some magic before maybe he’ll be able to save himself again.
YAK: This question is for both of you. Who was your favorite person to meet?
Laura: I would probably have to say getting to know Tina more. I had met her at events but getting to know her. We shared a lot together out there. I shared a lot of personal life and she shared hers and we had a lot of heart to hearts. She was part of my demise out of the game but I really enjoyed getting to know her.
Skin of My TeethJohn: It’s hard for me to say one person from my tribe because we really got along very well which is one of the reasons it was so devastating to go to tribal over and over again. Even the people we voted out early, Merissa and Rachel, we really liked them. We all got along very well. It kind of sucked that we had to keep doing that. But I’m glad I got the opportunity to meet Vytas, he has a good story and has overcome a lot in his life. That’s a refreshing story to hear. We are from two very different backgrounds and we got along really well. I have to say my favorite person was meeting Jeff Probst. I had met him before but it was different out on the island. (ed interjects: that would be mine! I have a thing for Jeff!) Laura and John both laugh. He’s a cool guy!!
YAK: How exciting was it to see your spouse’s after you left Redemption Island?
John: At Ponderosa? It was bittersweet for me. I fought tooth and nail for as long as possible to stay in the game.
YAK: Would you do it again?
Laura: I would definitely do it again. My daughter says Mom, you’re crazy! I’ve got the bug and I would definitely do it again, it was an amazing adventure and to be competitive, I’m so competitive and to be out there again and prove myself again and be one step closer to a million bucks, it would be great!
John: There’s no doubt in my mind. It was such an incredible experience. You feel like you leave so much on the table when you don’t get to the end. So I want to ante up again!
YAK: Thanks for talking with us today. You were both strong competitors. Good luck and come visit us at!

Survivor: The Yak’s Interview with Survivor Winner Denise Stapley

Live Reuinion ShowHey Survivor Fans. The Yak was able to participate in an interview yesterday with Denise from Survivor Philippines!

As you may know Denise Stapley the physically and mentally tough sex therapist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa received a much deserved win of a million dollars on Sunday nights finale!

Denise has said that she is the one who “outed” Lisa to Penner, which is the information he so conveniently used at the finale tribal council. She has made peace with Abi even though she acknowledges it was definitely difficult to live with her. Denise was quite shocked that Abi voted for her as sole Survivor! Apparently the only person that still seems bitter towards her is Russell, a Kalabaw tribe mate who left early in the game. Ultimately Denise thinks that what clenched the win for her was that she had attended every tribal council and persevered. She also did not want to apologize for how she played the game being proud of herself in her camp life, social game and her proficiency in challenges. She said that there was a part of her leaving final tribal council that thought “I think I just did it!” She was not overly confident however and didn’t want to jinx it so she would never truly consider winning during the five month period they had to wait for the results. As much as she wanted to hope she never let herself believe it until the votes were announced.

Denise says that her family needs to decompress. She takes her stewardship of the prize money seriously and she and her husband first and foremost want to insure the future of their nine year old daughter and other family members.

The Yak: What surprised you the most watching back the season?

Live Reuinion ShowDenise: Far and above how early on Malcolm was thinking about cutting me out! Re watching it is so funny like God, that little stinker was thinking about it weeks ahead. That’s definitely it!

The Yak: Who did you enjoying hanging out with the most?

Denise: Without a doubt definitely Michael Skupin and Lisa. I think there was a difference between the friendship of Malcolm and Michael Skupin and Lisa and I, just partly because of age and life experiences . We would be able to have conversations about our kids and different things. That just doesn’t translate. So just being able to spend time within the game where it wasn’t always about strategy and it wasn’t always about the game. It was great!

The Yak: Did you ever find out what bit you in the neck?

Live Reuinion ShowDenise: You know we don’t know! We assume it was likely a centipede. They had asked one of the crew members who was a local there and from the symptoms they assumed it was a centipede. Luckily by the end of the day the pain subsided, it was incredibly painful. Dumb us you know we were sleeping on the ground and it was raining, just nasty nasty!

Before leaving home Denise wrote out a two page strategy on how she wanted to play the game and she reports it was almost by the book.

Thanks Denise for speaking with us and Congratulations on your much deserved win as Sole Survivor!

Survivor: The Yak Chats with Carter Williams

Carter Williams the 24 year old track coach from Kansas, was eliminated on the last Survivor episode. Carter’s friendly social game and physical ability went a long way in his tribe mates decision to view him as a solid threat in the final three. We talked to Carter today to get his take on the game.

Q: Looking back now how do you view the voting?

Carter: I think it’s fairly clear we’re not playing old school Survivor. This is the game where you’re real threats. Early in the game you’re trying to keep your tribe strong and keep people you like around but the end is so close. Everyone can see it. I barely lost the last 2 immunity challenges and I’d like to think if I got a third shot that I could take it home, but who knows. That being said I think people woke up and said why would we take this guy to the end with us when he can beat us in immunity challenges? I put money on myself even though as tough as Denise is and as clutch as Malcolm was. Abi pulled some magic out and they had an alliance of four that they were going to stick with.

Q: When Abi revealed that she had another idol, what did you think?

Carter: I thought it was bogus. I mean she was acting so dang strange about it. (laughs) She was reading that note super strange and talking about it in a really strange way. No one believed her I hope that’s not why I went home. Those people are smarter than that. But, she was definitely flaunting around an imaginary idol.

Q: How did you understand Abi as compared to the others, did you get to know her?

Carter: I actually did get to know Abi. That’s kind of the thing that a lot of people don’t get to see. If I have a friendship with someone or a beef with someone you’re not going to see the friendship, they’re going to show the beef. It sucks that they kept her over me and that she pulled out some magic. I had no problems with Abi. She was bossy and she was nasty at times, but none of it was ever directed at me. Abi is an interesting girl, I can’t imagine what it’s like to hear all this stuff being said. It’s got to be tough to know your friends and family are watching but hey she’s 33 years old so she’s a big girl.

Yak: Has there been anything that has surprised you watching the Season so far?

Carter: When we left the game Penner told me; hey you need to remember as much as you can about what happened out here because when it gets shown it’s going to be completely different. They are going to show 3 days worth in 45 minutes. A lot of things went on that weren’t shown like I would climb coconut trees every day and get coconuts. That was a big part of my experience out there and no one got to see that. I had friendships with those guys. I became friends with them. You didn’t get to see how much fun we had. It was so hard, it was difficult but we would laugh, we would talk about things and play goofy games.

Yak: Aside from you not winning was the experience what you hoped it would be?

Carter: It was pretty dang close. I really wanted to go on an immunity run. I was really excited about having my back up against the wall and saying like “take this” and winning out by taking immunity. It would be so cool, I was really pumped to go for it. Most of my favorite players have done that. I liked when Fabio and Ozzie did that. It was such a cool experience I feel super lucky to have played this game. I know so many people that wished they could play this game, even the people that work on the show. They say they wish they could play but they can’t because they’ve worked on it. Wow I feel very lucky to be a part of this 30 million dollar production. I’m very appreciative.

Yak: As far as the celebrities in the game; Jeff Kent and Lisa, did you have any idea who they were?

Carter: I had no clue. I told Jeff Kent when the game was over I totally thought you were just some Texas hick and he responded. Oh yeah, cuz that’s who I am. You got to know me you just didn’t know I played baseball. I thought it was really cool to get to know them apart from that. My Mom was telling me, how funny would it have been when she walked into that challenge if she would have said. “Hey it’s Blair from the Facts of Life!” That would have been so funny if some random loved one had said Hey that’s Blair! My Dad would have totally called her out. (laughs) Jeff Kent told me at Ponderosa that after this game was over I would hear some stuff about him. I couldn’t figure it out and he wouldn’t tell me so I said can I google you? He smiled and said, yeah you can google me. I didn’t think it was something that big. I thought maybe he was really rich or something but I was a Jeff Kent fan before I knew he was a baseball player.

Q: You were aligned with Penner often times but it seems that you weren’t really loyal to him in the end. What was it about returning players and how much influence did Jeff Kent have on you with that?

Carter: Looking back on that I really wish we could have been a tight 3. I really, really got to know and like Penner. It was kind of this thing that I was aligned with Jeff day 1 on the beach it was kind of like let’s figure out what we need to do. My main ally I desperately wanted to be working with Penner too. Anyone who’s seen Boston Rob or Coach walk his way to the finals, it does leave a bitter taste in your mouth and when you’re watching at home it’s like oh man I would so get them out. They’re too good, they’re too smart, they’ve played before. But then you get to know them and I ended up loving Penner and wishing things had gone differently. I wish when we merged we had all agreed to do something differently. It gets confusing out there. I was listening and working with Jeff and wanting to work with Penner and it gets crazy. Jeff obviously had a big target on Penner’s back which led to him being voted out.

Speaking with Carter it’s apparent that he cherished his time in the game and made many friendships. He actually says he likes and respects all cast members. He said that he, Pete and Malcolm became close partly due to them being the same age. Taking into consideration his genuine caring for his tribe mates and their reciprocating his feelings it was probably a wise move to vote him out.

Thanks Carter for speaking with us at the Yak!!

Survivor: The Yak’s Interview with Jonathan Penner

Jonathan Penner the 50 year old, actor, producer and writer from Los Angeles, California became the 5th member of the jury on Survivor Philippines this week. Penner is a three time veteran on Survivor. On previous seasons he was the 6th jury member on Survivor Cook Islands and was medically evacuated from Survivor Micronesia due to a knee infection.

Jonathan’s ability to tell a story, his emotional intelligence, wit and ability to read people make him a Survivor fan favorite. We had the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan to get his thoughts on his experience in the Philippines.

Q: Going into the food auction do you think everyone dropped their guard with Abi? How do you see it now?

Penner: I guess we did, obviously we did. I thought I was in a better position than I was and everyone else knew they were in the position they were in because we had all agreed to vote out Abi. Quite honestly I didn’t think about there being some kind of specific advantage that Abi might afford herself. The last food auction I’d been in, there was a disadvantage that you could buy. So drop our guard, yeah I guess we did, we all assumed she’d be going home which is a dangerous thing to do.

Q: What is your take on the bias that other Survivors have with returning players?

Penner: I think it’s a little simplistic and I think that people are going to the game with an assumption which can be very dangerous. Certainly you can go very far with hitching your wagon to a returning player. We know a lot. We have a lot of experience and can go far and because there are targets on our backs we need to have strong allies. Going into a final four, five or six situation with a returning player and then trying to cut them loose can really catapult you into a final situation. Cutting us off just because we are returning players is a lot of energy that could be spent in a positive way instead of a negative way and certainly led to Jeff Kent’s demise.

Yak: Did you think that Jeff Kent’s obsession with getting you out is the reason he left so quickly?

Penner: No. I think it’s an easy story to tell, I don’t doubt that it’s true. That he walked into the ‘not being the idiot that let a returning player last longer than him’. I think that we were in a terrible position going into the merge. The Kalabaw players, Denise was more tightly aligned with Malcolm and his idol than she was with us and mine. He found himself in a very very tough spot and that’s why he went home.

Yak: From what we saw you and Skupin were the only ones that knew Lisa’s secret and who she was. Did you ever consider using that or giving her away in an attempt to save yourself?

Penner: Hmmm. We weren’t the only ones that knew. Denise also knew. In fact Denise told me. I didn’t know. I certainly let Lisa believe that I did know. By the time I met her I did know but when we first got to the beach I didn’t recognize her. I had never seen an episode of the Facts of Life. Just like I didn’t know Jeff Kent was a baseball player. No, I honestly didn’t consider using that against her, nor did I consider betraying some of the other stuff she told me in confidence. You know it’s one of those funny things, well, I guess if I thought that I needed to do that, (pauses) um… I’m not allowed to talk about what happens further on in the game, such a look. (referring to the look he got from the CBS publicity person who is monitoring the interview.) That’s all I’ll say about that.

Yak: What has surprised you the most watching so far this season?

Penner: Yeah, It surprised me that Jeff Kent had poisoned the well against me so early and so effectively. I could not figure out why I was getting no traction with any of the Kalabaw players, to align with me. He and I got along very, very well. Unfortunately that is not shown. I do believe that we would have gone far. Before I won that immunity challenge and thought I was going home that night, I told him that I thought he would go all the way and I certainly believed he had a great shot at winning and that I would probably vote for him, you know? So that was surprising. I can’t say disappointing, just surprising. Surprising that last night Skupin was so clearly ready to vote me off. I never quite figured out why they were so determined to vote for me instead of Carter. Immediately when Abi did not lose, they determined that I was too big a threat or something. Or too big an asshole, (laughs) I don’t know. They wanted to get me out of there. I was very, very angry about that. I knew the family visit was coming up you know and asked them “My wife is on a plane right now to the Philippines, boy I’ll be pissed if I don’t get to see her and she’s gonna be pissed too.” Maybe they were afraid that she’d kick all their asses, which she probably could have done!

Yak: I want to thank you for not hugging Abi when you left.

Penner: (Laughs) yeah, that would have been just too much!

Q: Referring to the conversation with Lisa about crafting her own story. How much of that conversation from your standpoint was genuine? Was that a game play move, or was it just Lisa connecting with someone because she basically couldn’t seem to connect with anyone else out there?

Penner: It was all those things. Survivor is complicated, life is complicated. Just like I’m talking to you honestly and openly. She and I really had a wonderful connection, have a wonderful connection and we’re talking openly and honestly and I needed to sway her. We talked about a lot of things. I was actually surprised very pleasantly surprised that they left that in. That’s what reality TV is about . Taking three days of life and editing it into a story. I was just hoping that she could understand and I know that she did, she’s a very smart woman. If she made this flip the audience was gonna be cheering and if she didn’t the audience was going to be disappointed. Was that manipulative? Of course. Was it true? Of course.

Q: How did this exit from the game compare to your previous exit at having been medically evacuated?

Penner: (Laughs) Being medically evacuated was much tougher and unbelievably frustrating. It was excruciatingly painful I must say and actually rather frightening. It lead to a whole adventure in and of itself of surgery in Palau and rehab and lots of back channel bullshit we don’t have to go into. It was quite mortifying and a terrible way to leave the game. This was much less mortifying. I basically played the game I wanted to play. Clearly I made a mistake in not lying to Lisa when she needed me to shake her hand and say I would make a commitment to her. Should have done that, could have done that. How it would have shaken out differently I’m not sure. Clearly Malcolm and Denise saw me as a big threat and were prepared to take me out. I think Skupin did too really.

Q: You mentioned in your day after interview that you’ve played Survivor for 80 days and that the show has squeezed everything it can out of you. Now having some time past, do you feel the same way, or would you play again if asked?

Penner: I would certainly consider it if I was available and physically able. I would never say never at this point. Survivor is an extraordinary thing. It’s a peak experience you might call it. It’s a highly adrenalized almost addictive kind of thing like vacation or sex or reading good books, whatever turns you on. You get to do something that really puts you in a heightened state takes you out of your day to day life and is a whole experience of it from soup to nuts. From training to doing it to watching it with my friends and family even to now getting to talk to you is kind of fascinating and fabulous.

So, if they made that call again; I can barely conceive of getting a fourth chance to play the game. I would of course consider it very very seriously.

Thanks Jonathan Penner for taking the time to talk to us at the Yak!


Were you unhappy to see Penner leave? What do you think of what he had to say? Let us know below!

Survivor: The Yak’s Interview with Pete Yurkowski

Pete Yurkowski the 24 year old engineering graduate from New Jersey became the 4th member of the jury on Survivor Philippines in last weeks episode. No question was more important to viewers than to find out why Pete aligned with Abi and why he kept true to the alliance when Abi was busy making them a target.


Q: Why did you keep your alliance with Abi until the end?
Pete: I kept it a little too long. I guess I was blinded by the fact that I knew nobody was gonna vote for her and that really was attractive to me. I should have cut her loose probably around when we cut Jeff Kent loose.

Q: If you weren’t connected so closely with Abi, do you think you would still be portrayed as a villain?
Pete: Probably in a different way. Me and Abi look pretty close out there, but I was really closer to Artis. I would tell him everything I was doing. He was kind of like a confidante.

Unlike Artis who said that Abi’s villainous edit was the true Abi, Pete said that Abi’s not really like that. She just became very volatile out there and every time she opened her mouth she dug a deeper hole for them.

Q: Why did you always seem so annoyed with Skupin and RC?
Pete: RC just talked strategy the whole time. She wanted to be top dog and to have everyone be her little puppets. With Skupin I just couldn’t handle having to vote on everything we decided in the tribe like we had to vote on should we cook the rice now or in 45 minutes! It was annoying. I had to make a choice between RC and Skupin or Artis and Abi. Artis couldn’t stand Skupin and he was vocal about it. Artis was my closest ally in the game so I chose Artis and Abi.

Pete’s moment he is most proud of is when he tossed the immunity idol on the shelter floor making it look like it fell out of RC’s bag. This created chaos between Abi and RC and basically shattered their alliance. Pete thinks his best move is voting out RC.

Pete indicated that he wanted to play with Malcolm because everyone else just did what Pete told them to do and Malcolm was playing really hard and he was intelligent. After finding out that Malcolm had the idol Pete still wanted to leave the door open and work with Malcolm. After watching the episodes Pete was surprised at Denise’s game play. Denise kept a low profile and didn’t indicate she was as strategic as she was.

At Ponderosa Pete had to confront RC who asked him if he regretted voting her out. Pete has no regrets about that and told her that Carter had already told them RC was turning. Pete and Artis considered RC a bitch.

Pete said that this experience was amazing and it gave him the kick in the pants he needed to go out and kick his life into gear after graduating college.

The Yak: Would you do it again?

Pete: Absolutely, in a heartbeat!!


Were you unhappy to see Pete voted off? Let us know below, then come on in and join us in the forum HERE where we discuss Survivor and all your favorite Reality TV shows!

Survivor One World: The Yak’s Interview with Jay Byars

Jay Byars the 25-year old model from South Carolina with the ever so sexy drawl just couldn’t resist those chicken wings and beer during his final immunity challenge. Tempted by Jeff Probst to throw in the towel for immunity, he bit. He bit right into those chicken wings because he mistakenly thought he would be safe at tribal council. Never underestimate the power of the all girl alliance.

Jay enjoyed his time on Survivor, made lasting friendships and would give his left arm to do it again.


The Yak: Jay, how did you come to be on Survivor? Were you a fan of the show?

Jay: Yes, I am a fan however I actually applied to be on the Amazing Race first! I got a call and they asked me if I would consider applying for Survivor, so here I am.

The Yak: Jay as a model I’m sure you are used to seeing pictures of yourself everywhere but how did you feel about being in People magazine labeled a “hottie?”

Jay: (Laughs) Um, I mean if that’s what people think of me then more power to them. I was pretty stoked to see a full page of me in People magazine for sure.

The Yak: Looking back how come you trusted Kat so much after the girls voted out Mike?

Jay: It wasn’t that I trusted her so much it was that I didn’t trust her and I wanted to keep her close. Sabrina, Kim and Chelsea I trusted more.

The Yak: Colton told us that from Day one you and he had a strong alliance is that true?

Jay: That was true. You know walking away from the truck he was really paranoid on day one and afraid he’d be the first guy voted off. I told him, “Look man I’ve got your back, I’ll protect you.” Once I saw him working those girls I let him put my name in the mix and he made me look good. I was looking forward to that merge and him being there and us having a shoe-in with the girls.

The Yak: How do you think things would have turned out for you if Colton were still in the game?

Jay: That was something that I obviously wished would have been different. My thing with Colton was, I wish he had been there. Early on I didn’t interact much with the girls because I knew Colton was. He was kind of putting my name in the mix. I was going to let him be the one to bring the girls and us together.

The Yak: How do you think you should have played things with Kim and Chelsea?

Jay: Um, my biggest, dumbest move was stepping down because I thought I was safe. I knew the girls were going to come after me but I didn’t think it was that night, I thought it was going to be the next time. I just should have stayed focused on that vote and won my immunity.

The Yak: Why did you step off for the food when you discussed with Troy that you both would not step down for food temptations?

Jay: When I saw that Troy didn’t win and I figured he’d be the first to go. I truly figured it would be 2 or 3 days from then. I figured I would be less of a target if I stepped down. I was being played and I was wrong.

The Yak: Were the chicken wings at least good?

Jay: (laughs) They were good man, you know I had a side of ranch dressing to dip them in, the beer was ice cold and I had a nice full stomach for my exit.

The Yak: Do you think it was you telling Kim that Troy had the immunity idol that switched the vote to you or do you think it was you all along?

Jay: I think once the news of Troy’s idol got thrown around more at tribal I think that’s when the votes got swung back to me. Had I known about his idol earlier, maybe there could have been some work with me, him, Tarzan and Christine to get on the same page but it was just too little, too late at that time.

The Yak: In the beginning of the episode you were really paranoid about the girl’s alliance. Why did you go from being so paranoid to being so confident?

Jay: I was looking for someone to pair up and trust so I stayed with my Salani group. I thought, I might be paranoid but this is the game plan. I’m going to stick with this group and see what happens.

The Yak: Any thought to go with Troy’s plan to throw some votes Kim’s way?

Jay: Looking back I wish we had talked earlier. Had I known that he had the idol earlier, it was revealed last second. Getting everyone on the same page, there wasn’t time, especially when you have Tarzan in the mix, obviously he voted for me. I think it was too little, too late.

The Yak: What were your thoughts on Chelsea in the game:

Jay: In the game I thought she was a super cool chick, laid back, quiet and kind of reserved. I thought she had a good head on her shoulders and knew she’d be very competitive. I was looking forward to working with her longer you know. Once we found out we were from the same state and area we kind of had a little bond there and I think that’s why it did reflect in her confessionals that she did hate to see me go. She did the right thing though.

The Yak: We hear a lot of goofy things coming out of Kat’s mouth. Was she like that truly or are they just amping up the amount of craziness that comes out of Kat’s mouth?

Jay: Um…… I would say that it’s pretty accurate (laughs). I had her stereotyped as the ditzy blonde and she’s super fun and fun to be around. She’s a smart girl but she definitely has her blonde moments.

The Yak: Are you looking forward to the reunion?

Jay: Oh yeah I am super excited to be back together with everyone again. You know you come off of there and you get back to reality, you still keep up with these people and see how it’s going to be in the real world.

The Yak:  Do you think there’s any friendships that you will continue on with the rest of your life?

Jay: Oh yeah for sure. There are about 3 people that I’m in contact with all the time and about 5 or 6 that I try my best to keep up with. Definitely some strong bonds were made.

The Yak: What’s next for you?

Jay: I’m headed back to NY for the finale and staying there for a bit for work with Major Models. In June I’m headed back to LA for work. I’m going to try and enjoy my summer a little bit and then I’m off to Europe in the fall for work. Back to the normal grind for me.

Well Jay, thank you for talking with us here at the Yak and good luck with that normal grind, sounds grueling!


Don’t forget to come on in and join us in the FORUM for more Survivor!

The Yak’s Interview with Nina Acosta, Survivor: One World Cast Off

Today we had the pleasure to interview Nina Acosta, the 51 year old retired LAPD officer from Clovis California. Nina considers herself tenacious, competitive and confident but unfortunately her time on Survivor was cut too short when she was voted out on Wednesday’s second episode of Survivor One World.


The Yak: How stupid was your tribe to get rid of you Nina?

Nina: (Laughs) well in my opinion very stupid of course! Yeah, I wasn’t totally surprised obviously but I thought it was a bad move.

The Yak: Why do you think they kept Cat in the game?

Nina: That’s a good question and I think a few of them struggled with that but ultimately it came down to that they were afraid to back off their alliance because they felt comfortable with it and I think also possibly that she wasn’t much of a threat, obviously mentally or physical.

The Yak: How tough was it to play the game when it wasn’t about being the strongest or the smartest?

Nina: You know that was very tough for me I admit. I went into the game thinking that was going to be more of a physical challenge and a battle of the wits. Um, so I think once the tribes were aligned men vs. women that kind of went out the window and then it turned into a social game. Being the oldest by far in a tribe of young women it clearly put a target on my back.

The Yak: What is your take on Colton?

Nina: Colton, I have no idea what his strategy is. He was a complete distraction for the Salani tribe, as if we didn’t have enough distraction already. I think he has a little bit of a mean streak in him too. I guess we’ll see what happens with him.

The Yak: How frustrating was it that your tribe formed an alliance of 5 on the way to camp and you didn’t have much of a chance?

Nina: Well you know I was very surprised how quickly that alliance came together in a blink of an eye. Because, there was no rhyme or reason to it other than I think a group of girls got together and said “I like the way you look” or “your laugh is cute.” I don’t know what the criteria was but it was frustrating because it would have been important to take a step back and have some conversations with everybody before making that decision. It’s easy to say from my end because I was on the outside looking in.

The Yak: What did you think about the challenge?

Nina: I spoke up because I couldn’t hold it in any longer. That challenge was so embarrassing. At that moment I was so embarrassed to be a woman, we just couldn’t get it together. that challenge was about trust not about balance. We didn’t have the trust and the men did. Cat was the reason we lost that challenge, I’m convinced of it. So, I felt she was a liability to the tribe and I had to speak out, I felt I had nothing to lose.

The Yak: Nina, I was sorry to see you go last night.

Nina: Thank you, I’ve been hearing that a lot and it’s really nice to hear!

The Yak: We realize that we only see a small portion of tribal council but during tribal council when Jeff asked Chelsea and Sabrina if they would have formed different alliances if they knew then what they know now, and with no hesitation they both replied “Yes”; At that point did you feel you had a shot a staying?

Nina: Yeah, that was a big surprise to me to hear that! I had hope, because I thought it was a done deal going into tribal council and when I heard that I thought, hmm, I may actually be staying for a while, so yeah ultimately it didn’t happen but it was great to hear that. I think there just wasn’t enough time to work that angle and if I had had another couple of hours I could have worked on Sabrina a little more and maybe had Cat sent home.

The Yak: With you and Monica and Christina being the only ones left who were out of the five, how active were you three in trying to get one more member over to your side?

Nina: Well we talked about that certainly because it seemed really bleak but to be honest with you with Christina I wasn’t really confident in her allegiance to Monica and I. She felt that she had a target on her back because of Alicia’s complete dislike of her. I think she was scrambling to stay in the game and save herself and I don’t blame her for that. We really couldn’t collectively think of anybody. I was more interested in trying to stay alive as a team and get to know each other a little better. My alliance was with Monica and I wasn’t going to compromise that for anyone else in the game. I can say that without hesitation.

The Yak: Were you bothered by the fact that Monica voted for Christina instead of Cat?

Nina: No, Monica realized that I was going home. She didn’t vote for me which I respect and give her credit for, I appreciate that. I think she felt that if she voted for Cat it would anger the 5 and I think she was still trying to work an angle to get in with them. I think it was a smart move on her part.

The Yak: What was your fondest memory of camp in your 5 days out there?

Nina: (Laughing) hesitation, (more laughing)

The Yak: Or was their one? (laughing)

Nina: Let me see… fondest memory??? I’m going to have to really dig deep for that!
Really It was my friendship with Monica. I never, when I first met her, I never would have guessed that she and I would have formed a friendship or a bond but I have a lot of respect for her. She’s a mom like me, she loves her family. Just kind of getting to know somebody from the other side of the country it was nice. That was my fondest memory honestly. But the rest of it was a nightmare!

The Yak: Was Alicia as wicked/evil as she comes off?

Nina: Oh yes she is! I think there’s a difference between what i would call a villain. I think a villain has some strategy and has some redeeming qualities. Alicia is not that. From what I can tell she has no redeeming qualities. To say that if Christina was drowning she wouldn’t save her, I think that’s just mean and goes way beyond Survivor. I think it was horrible.

The Yak: How divided were the two tribes and are there any people on the men’s tribe that you got to know pretty well?

Nina: I didn’t get to know the men very well but a few of them stand out. Troy I think has a chance to go far in the game. He’s very interesting to talk to and he’s fit so I think he will do well. Jay’s a nice guy. I know he’s a big pretty boy but he’s very nice, down to earth. Suprisingly he’s almost too good looking, but a nice guy. Matt, very nice, super intelligent. I know he kind of gets a bad rap but he’s a good guy. Tarzan seemed kind of weird to me, but I would have liked to get to know them all more.

The Yak: How did you come to be on Survivor?

Nina: It was something I always wanted to do. When the show came out 12 years ago I was a new mom and I had 3 very young stepchildren so it really wasn’t in the cards. There was too much going on here and there was no way I could get that time away, nor did I want to. I wanted to focus on my family. So it seemed like the time was right. I keep myself in pretty good shape and just went through the process and kept moving forward through it. I kept getting calls back. I was as surprised as anybody. I thought wow, all these people that applied for Survivor and “Im going!”

The Yak: Would you do it again Nina?

Nina: You know, I would do it again. I would NOT do it again if it was men vs. women!

The Yak: That’s what Kourtney said!

Nina: If they said do you want to do Survivor again, men vs. women, I’d say No thank you! It’s just, maybe if it was 9 women 40 years or older I’d say let’s go for it! (laughs), but yes in a normal Survivor setting I’d do it again Heck yeah!!


So what do you think? Disappointed that Nina was voted off the Island? Leave us a comment below!

The Yak’s Interview with Survivor Cast-Off’s Dawn and Whitney

The Yak had the opportunity to interview our last two Survivor castoffs this week. Both declare that they are huge fans of Survivor prior to being cast.

[singlepic id=689 w=200 h=150 float=left]Dawn Meehan is a 41-year-old mother of six adopted children from South Jordan, Utah.
She is an English professor at Brigham Young University. Her hobbies include swimming with her children, writing/blogging and baking bread. Another passion of Dawns for the last 11 years was to become a contestant on Survivor! Dawn was actually cast for the Nicaragua season but was cut just prior to filming. She is ecstatic that she was able to meet Jeff Probst and relishes her “Survivor experience”. Dawn admits that she was out of her element on day one. “I was overwhelmed! The sky is falling!” She laughs when thinking about how that first day went. She’s rightfully proud in her ability to shake that off and become an extremely strong competitor and Survivor!

[singlepic id=690 w=200 h=150 float=left]Whitney Duncan is a 27-year-old Country Western singer from Nashville, Tennessee. Her inspirations are Jesus and Elvis. “Jesus saved me and Elvis is the reason I started singing and performing.” Whitney was also set to star in the Nicaragua season ironically, however at the time she was under contract to Warner Brothers and it didn’t work out.

Another passion of Whitney’s is a tragic event that has happened to her family. In April of 2011 her beautiful, blonde 20-year-old cousin Hollie Bobo was abducted from her home in Tennessee and hasn’t been seen since. Whitney wants to bring this to light and wears a pink “Bring Hollie home” bracelet in honor of her missing cousin. Under scrutiny right now, Whitney says that she wants to keep her private life private however she was forthcoming with the information that prior to Survivor she was in an unhappy and unhealthy relationship. She definitely fell in love with Keith on Survivor and they are now a couple. “Who would have thought I would fall in love on Survivor?” she exclaimed. “We have a lot in common, we come from similar families and we have similar values. He’s just a great guy!”


The Yak: What did you think about Cochran flipping on your Savaii tribe and being voted off?

Whitney: Cochran said it best. If the debt is not repaid it goes down as one of the most idiotic moves in Survivor history. Well, that’s how I saw it. I saw that it was not a smart move and he even admitted that he was humiliated. I really hate that Cochran was that gullible to believe Coach’s line of B.S honestly. We knew he was going 7th. I wasn’t shocked when his torch was snuffed.

The Yak: What was your strategy if the merge had resulted in Savaii taking out Upolu instead?

Whitney: Well the great thing, I think the whole tribe would agree that Ozzy would have gone sixth. For sure we would have had to get him out because of individual immunity and all that. You need to take out the biggest threats. In my mind it would have been Ozzy, Jim. Cochran was actually the perfect person. In my mind I had him going to final 3 with me. Of course because of individual immunity I didn’t think he would beat me. I had a great alliance with Dawn and with Keith and I felt very secure in that.

Dawn: Jim and Cochran would have been my final 3. I know since the show has aired Jim has laughingly said “I’m not going to take the Mormon mother of 6 adopted children to the end with me, but Jim and Cochran were definitely my final 3. The 3 of us trusted each other a great deal since day 11.

The Yak: Dawn, after Papa Bear was voted out who were you closest to?

Dawn: Oh, P Bear, you know for me I’m really close to Whitney throughout the whole game. I guess that’s not something we see a lot of (on the episodes). It doesn’t show that we have tension either. Again, I was really close to Whitney in the game, Jim, Cochran, and Keith. We all had a good relationship. I think “Sliding Rocks” typifies for me what the game was like for us. We all had a lot of mutual respect for each other. We all wanted to play the game hard. We were all in it for ourselves but we wanted to work with each other as much as we could for as long as we could.

The Yak: What is your honest opinion of Coach?

Dawn: You know I’ve had a hard time knowing how to explain what I think. You know I am impressed based on his day one reception from Upolu to see how he has been able to turn around his position in his tribe from day one, it’s remarkable. I mean his strategy, his ability to outwit when I’m around him, it seems so transparent. When we were in the game at the merge, I’m surprised that everyone is listening and following it. He’s so convincing and persuasive. I don’t think that anyone on Savaii would have been influenced by him outside of Cochran; he’s just so transparent. I think that’s why Christine and Mikayla left is because they weren’t buying it. I do think he’s doing a great job of playing the game though.

The Yak: Did you try to find any chink in the armor at Upolu prior to being voted out?

Dawn: Had we had Sophie we would have at the very least gotten rid of Edna. We had Cochran, we had Albert. The goal was Coach. To me that was the goal. Whitney and I tried to make the argument to Albert and Cochran that Coach is going to win this. A jury is going to vote for him.

Whitney: These people are smart people; I don’t understand how they don’t see this coming. It’s shocking! They were not bold enough to make that move.

The Yak: Dawn any regrets on not outing Cochran to your tribe?

Dawn: I did approach Ozzy and told him I thought Cochran might waffle. Ozzy talked to him for about 15 minutes and said he thought we were ok, that I was worrying too much. It didn’t make any sense for him to flip. I did have a good handle on how Cochran was thinking though.

The Yak: Dawn we did see you considering switching sides with Cochran, what changed your mind?

Dawn: One, I won immunity. By having immunity I didn’t have to draw a rock that night. There were better odds staying loyal to our tribe. The second reason though, I was approached with a final 3 or 4 scenario by Coach. I never felt like it was a genuine or legitimate offer. I felt like it was just what it was; a way to advance their game. It was frustrating for me to see Cochran believe Coach and I spent a lot of time trying to tell him, “There is no way! They are just using you.” But Cochran really believed Coach, so that was hard and frustrating for me.

The Yak: You’re both so tiny, were you surprised at your strength?

Dawn: Yeah!

Whitney: Dawn’s amazing. She pulled off that weight challenge. I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I’m really proud of what we accomplished. I think we both played an impressive physical game.

Dawn: No question. This game makes you push beyond your limits. After a while you start thinking. Hey, why not me?

The Yak: Are you both looking forward to the reunion?

Whitney: Of course!
Dawn: Absolutely, it’s like family and we’re also excited to see the outcome!

The Yak: Do you consider yourselves bitter jury members? What will you base your vote on?

Whitney: Definitely not bitter. It’s who outwitted, outplayed in 39 days.
I took that job of giving someone a million dollars very seriously. I would never vote off emotion. It’s not about one aspect; it’s the overall best player.

Dawn: Personally for me it’s not bitter. For me it’s who outwitted, outplayed and outlasted in 39 days. I took that literally. Who best met the definition of sole Survivor.


Join us in the Forum HERE for all things Survivor!