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“I Knew It Was Going to Be Tough”: An Interview with Survivor: Exile Island’s Danielleby David Bloomberg -- 05/16/2006
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Danielle has been through quite a bit since Sunday evening. Between the post-finale festivities and press obligations, she’s gotten about an hour of sleep. But she still had time to talk to RealityNewsOnline about her time on Survivor.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Danielle, and thanks for taking the time to talk to us. I know you’re busy, so we’ll start right off. What was your original strategy?
Danielle: I don’t believe in Survivor it’s the best strategy to have a set strategy going in. Once you get there, you observe everyone and see who you can align with and who you can trust, and you go from there. The one thing was that I knew I have a strong personality and if I showed that right off the bat, I might have gotten knocked out of there earlier. Part of my strategy was to fly under the radar and not let anyone know I was there. I was low key and didn’t have much to say. And I think that’s what got me as far as it did, and forming the right alliances, for the most part. I got to the final two, I did something right.
RNO: What do you feel were your smartest moves in the game?
Danielle: Definitely when I first started to take control of the game was when I convinced people to vote Bobby off and keep Bruce. Also, I know they edited it to make it look like it was Cirie’s choice to vote Courtney off, but I was feeling that way as well, so that was part of my doing as well. [Cirie disagrees with Danielle on this point, as you can read in Cirie’s interview.] So getting Courtney off [was also a smart move], but now I look back and think maybe I should have stuck with Courtney; but maybe I wouldn’t have gotten where I got. I’m just very happy to have gotten as far as I did. I’d love to do it again, and win!
RNO: If you could change one decision you made in the game, what would it be?
Danielle: That’s so hard to say, because looking back now I would say I should have stuck with Courtney. But at the time, I felt she was going to go off with Terry and Shane. And that is the only reason I decided to vote her off, because I became untrusting about her. I even told her [later] that if she would have just confirmed her alliance with me… She started getting close with Terry and that started scaring me. I knew I had a strong alliance with Cirie and Aras, even though they had a stronger one [between them].
RNO: Did you believe Terry when he told you that you were not part of the final four plans for the main Casaya alliance?
Danielle: I didn’t believe him for one second! I didn’t believe anything Terry said at that point. He came from the other team and I didn’t know him at all. Obviously he’s going to say anything he can, so I didn’t listen to anything he said. Plus, he got his info from Shane, and Shane had no idea what was going on in the game.
RNO: After you got to know him a bit, why did you decide later not to jump ship and go with Terry when he gave you a couple different opportunities?
Danielle: I just felt at first he wanted to take Courtney, then I knew he wanted to take Shane, so we cut Shane off. I just didn’t trust him.
RNO: Do you wish you could go back and answer any of the jury questions differently, or do you think it wouldn’t have mattered anyway?
Danielle: No, for the most part, I answered pretty well. It’s different for Aras because he made a point to say he got to know everybody individually. I could have done that better, I was so much focused on the game and not so much on the social aspect. I was there to win, so maybe if I had schmoozed them a little more, some of the votes could have gone my way. For the most part I was happy with what I said.
RNO: Did you realize that you were fighting such an uphill battle no matter which of the guys you took to the final two?
Danielle: Absolutely. I knew it was going to be tough. It’s funny, because in the beginning, I knew I had a better shot going up against Aras than Terry. We burned bridges together and Terry didn’t vote anybody off. Terry earned respect throughout because he dominated so well. Out of spite, some of the Casaya members in the jury might have leaned more towards Terry. But I did know it was going to be difficult either way.
RNO: Why do you believe you lost?
Danielle: I wasn’t Miss Survival. I didn’t have the outdoor skills that Aras had. He was in his element and I was totally out of my element. I learned by watching and asking, and then I would try to do them on my own. It felt like Aras was totally comfortable in the elements. He did great on the challenges, and I think when people thought of the three aspects of the game, he had all three.
RNO: On the show, you were often portrayed as being reactive rather than proactive – do you feel you were shown properly in that regard?
Danielle: I think I was manipulated. I took the initiative a couple times, and I think I had something to do with the vote for Courtney, but I was definitely fooled or persuaded by Cirie. But in the same respect, she saved me a bunch of times too. But I did take the initiative a couple times, but towards the end I was just so weak that I started kind of just reacting.
RNO: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your time on Survivor?
Danielle: I’m just so blessed that I got the opportunity to do it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It really is an amazing experience. Not just going through it, but the aftermath and all of it.
It’s all a game. Cirie played a great game, she fooled me, she fooled a lot of people.
RNO: Thanks, Danielle!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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