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“I Was Dealt a Bad Hand”: An Interview with Survivor: Exile Island’s Melindaby David Bloomberg -- 02/10/2006
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Melinda began on a tribe of older women but was quickly shuffled – like everybody else – and found herself on a tribe where she didn’t fit in nearly as well. What did she do to try to stay in the game, and what did she decide she would not do? She answers these questions and more:
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Melinda, and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for RealityNewsOnline readers. Coming into Survivor, what was your original strategy?
Melinda: My original strategy was to try and contribute as much as possible 24-7, make an alliance early that hopefully would last me the entire game.
RNO: In the first vote, why did you decide to vote out Tina, the hard worker, instead of Cirie?
Melinda: First of all, Cirie and myself made an alliance on day one. Then we were approached by Ruth-Marie to vote out Tina. Tina was an extremely hard worker but the rest of us contributed equally, which wasn’t portrayed on television. And many times when she would go away by herself, she would not inform us as to where she was going and back at camp, we were gathering firewood, getting water, making the shelter stronger. We weren’t just sitting around talking.
RNO: Do you think Tina could have changed your mind if she had played the social aspect of the game and tried to make alliances with you and Ruth-Marie?
Melinda: [Since] Cirie and I had an alliance from day one, perhaps if Tina had approached me and Cirie, it could have made a difference. However, Cirie and Tina didn’t really get along.
RNO: What was it like to first be in small tribes based on age and gender, and then, just a few days later, get completely reorganized?
Melinda: I was surprised that there were four tribes as I think everyone was. But as far as the arrangement of the tribes, I liked who I was with. I would much rather be with “older” people than I would “younger” people. When the tribes were reorganized, I just feel as if I was dealt a bad hand. I ended up on a tribe with four people from L.A., one from Boston, and my friend Cirie, those aren’t great odds.
RNO: Do you think you would have fit in better with the La Mina tribe, or do you feel the way the tribes were reshuffled put you at a disadvantage no matter what?
Melinda: I definitely think I would have fit in better with the La Mina tribe. My tribe was the crazy tribe and La Mina was the “Kumbaya” tribe.
RNO: After Shane decided to stay in the game, did you, Cirie, or Bobby try to convince one of the other three of his allies to turn against him?
Melinda: Yes. Cirie and I had Bobby’s vote but we needed a fourth person. We approached Aras before the immunity challenge. He told us that he didn’t want to think strategy yet and he just wanted to enjoy the game. We now know that he had already made an alliance and lied to us.
RNO: Or, for that matter, did you try to get Cirie voted out instead of you?
Melinda: The only way I could have stayed in the game would have been to advocate Cirie being voted out. However, she and I had made a promise to each other early on that we would stick together and never write each other’s name down.
RNO: Do you think there was anything else you could have done differently to stick around longer?
Melinda: Basically, as I [said], my only hope would have been trying to turn them on Cirie. When I went into the game, I was prepared to stab people in the back but not someone who I had become so close to, trusted, and made a promise to.
RNO: Could you tell Shane was on edge before the whole "vote me out" thing?
Melinda: Shane is very high-strung in general. He yells a lot, not really at or to someone but just in general. But at the time, I wasn’t sure if that was just his personality or if he was truly that on edge.
RNO: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about your time on Survivor?
Melinda: I am very glad I did it. It was an experience that I will never forget. The whole process made me realize that if there’s something out there that YOU want to do, just do it. Don’t let fear, insecurity, or what others think hold you back.
RNO: Thanks again, Melinda!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Survivor: Exile Island Episode 2 articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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