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“They Were Scared Sheep Out There” – An Interview with Survivor: China’s Ashleyby David Bloomberg -- 09/28/2007
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Ashley won one reality competition to get into the WWE, but didn’t make it quite as far this time around. How does she compare the two? Was she surprised at the result of Tribal Council? How does she feel about the body slam she gave to Leslie in the challenge? Read on to find out about all of this and more.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Ashley, and thanks for taking the time to talk to RealityNewsOnline! Starting at the beginning, what was your strategy coming into the game?
Ashley: Originally, I just decided I was going to try to get along with everybody as well as I can, which obviously didn’t go as well as I planned (laughs). I’m a social person, I get along with most people I meet. But when people are hungry and thirsty and haven’t slept, there was a dynamic I hadn’t thought of – how is everybody going to feel and act? That strategy gets misplaced when everyone’s freaking out because there’s no food or water and we’re sleeping in these monsoon rain areas. I was watching the show and wondering how the heck Jean-Robert was sleeping. We couldn’t sleep. We would lay there – when the sun goes down it gets cold, rainy, and you just wait for the sun to come back up.
RNO: On the show, you indicated that your plan was not to talk to people in camp, but to put it all on the table at Tribal Council. Did you campaign at all to try to convince people to vote Dave out over you?
Ashley: Once I knew Dave had made me a target, I knew I had to maybe hang tight. You know when someone’s groveling, the last thing someone’s going to do is change their vote. I had to let Dave bury himself. But it was hard. In the end, they ended up losing me.
But my strategy from the beginning [may have hurt me]. I knew how annoying Chicken was, but he was manpower and could get us our shelter quicker than Peih-Gee. I was still hauling stones with Erik once I got better. I know Chicken didn’t work well with us, but if you asked him and were specific [about helping out], he said okay. He’s used to working, he’s a farmer. He was doing some stuff. He was chopping bamboo and helping me put them on top of the structure. The other tribe has a lot of power. I didn’t agree with getting rid of Chicken and I expressed that to the others. I was like, “We need the manpower.”
Dave is tall and hauling bamboo – they’re heavy. We started to do it on a rotation. Dave was nervous that the girls were cutting the bamboo, thinking somebody’s going to cut their arms off. Chicken would have been really helpful. [With this in mind], they started realizing it was so scary to vote off Dave. I would have been in the same boat. Even though he’s so annoying, if I were them, I would have had so much more to think about because he was providing. He was saying he would get them through this. That makes all the difference in the world. They were freaking sick of him, but I told him before I left that he should watch out.
RNO: Weren’t you worried that people would have their minds made up by Tribal Council?
Ashley: I did talk to people – I talked to Erik, Sherea, and Jaime. I wasn’t sure of Frosti, and Peih-Gee I knew wasn’t going to turn because they formed a leaders bond. There were certain people I was trying to turn before I left for Tribal Council. But there were also certain people I didn’t try to. I figured if I can get four for sure, [I’d be okay]. So I did try to convince them.
By the time I did get to Tribal Council, I was hoping that Dave would show them at the very last minute. He almost did. Even Probst was asking what about this and that – and he was talking in circles again. Sherea got mad again. I thought maybe that would come forward at Tribal Council.
Dave did light the fires and he was not letting anybody else do it because he didn’t want to waste the flint. Of course he just wanted to make himself be the only one who knew how to do it. He was trying to keep his position. I think the stuff that happened on this episode is going to hurt him in the long run with the game.
RNO: Were you surprised that even Sherea voted against you?
Ashley: No. I mean, I watched Dave try to manipulate everybody. They’re worried about food. You can’t blame people I get along with – it was either me or Dave, that was clear. Dave was the only one who could make the fire. If he went home, it was scary for them. What if it was nighttime and we couldn’t start a fire? They were scared sheep out there. Dave was the wolf standing up saying, “Follow me.”
RNO: You won one reality competition, the WWE Diva Search. How did Survivor compare with that?
Ashley: (Laughing) One loss, one win, I’m okay with that.
But obviously, they were two totally different things. I absolutely love the WWE – I can’t wait to get back. This was a great experience. I learned a lot from Survivor and I’m glad I did it, but can’t wait to get back in the ring – maybe because I didn’t win (laughs).
RNO: Did you expect to be able to use any of your wrestling skills on Survivor?
Ashley: We had no idea what challenges were coming up. But there was a wrestling sort of event right away! I was like, these girls were going at it. Some of the physical training I go through, for sure gets you prepared for challenges and things of that nature. And especially when I almost drowned Leslie, that poor Christian woman. I felt so bad, but I was in work mode. Leslie, I’m really sorry. I watched her get up after the comp was done and slug back to her tribe and saying how she didn’t feel well. I was like, “Bless her heart.” But Jean-Robert got me back – he tossed me under the water. Aaron was drowning Jaime and Sherea at one point. I was like, that’s pretty brutal. The guys could have held us under the water and then you’re finished.
RNO: Didn’t you just want to bodyslam Dave?
Ashley: Oh my gosh. I had to hold it in very much. There’s a lot I held in against Dave. Especially now that I’m watching the episode. He went to me and told me I just want you to know you’re not on the chopping block just because you’re sick, and then went to the camera to say I’m on the chopping block. What a jerk.
RNO: Do you expect some ribbing in the locker room because of the show?
Ashley: Ha! Do you watch? Perhaps that might happen, actually. That’s a really funny quote. I’ll have to remember that when I get back.
(For those who don’t know, “ribbing” is a term used in the wrestling world to generally describe practical jokes played on each other.)
RNO: Why do you think the other tribe kidnapped Jaime? Did it hurt your tribe at all?
Ashley: Honestly, she said, “I know why they kidnapped me” [because they thought she was ditzy] – she’s so cute and funny, but sharp as a whip. She’s so sweet and really perked the tribe up. Aaron was right, she was our ray of sunshine. They thought she would leak the most, but they were wrong.
RNO: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently?
Ashley: It’s unexpected. I know everyone’s like this is what I would have done. You can’t plan out your actions if you don’t know what someone else is feeling for sure. You just have to wing it. Just never trust a male model. That’d be my strategy.
RNO: Thanks, Ashley!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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