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The Cleveland Show
Nov 08 2011, 12:00 PM by Karen Wilkinson
Although she was the second person voted out of the Survivor: South Pacific game, Christine Shields Markoski definitely made an impact that lasted much longer than her short time on Upolo's beach. After being sent to Redemption Island, she won five duels in a row dispatching five competitors: Semhar, Mark, Stacey, Elyse, and Mikayla. After 14 nights on Redemption Island, she had mastered living solo and knew the RI life better than anyone. Her Survivor journey came to an end just before the merge, when Ozzy arrived to take her out.
You beat five separate people on Redemption Island...
Isn't that crazy?
Which competitor was the toughest one for you?
They were all difficult, because they were all different challenges. I enjoyed the challenge with Stacey the most. Number one because she's my BFF but number two, because I enjoy that type of game - the concentration, the timing, I like all that. But each one was difficult in its own way. But I had the most fun with Stacey's and also with Mikayla's because I love puzzles.
Of all the people who came through Redemption Island, which one did you enjoy having around the most?
Truly I enjoyed everybody. Because the social aspect [of the game] was missing everyone sort of relaxed, and it was just as if we were two friends sitting around a campfire, chatting. So I really bonded with everyone. Stacey, she's my girl, so when she came through I was so happy to see her. I was sad that she was voted out, but we just laughed all night long. It was like a sleepover party but instead of margaritas we had coconuts. It was just so much fun with her.
When we spoke to Elyse, she talked about you really favorably and said that you took her under your wing, for example showing her where the food was. How did you see your role on Redemption Island?
I felt that my experience coming from tribal council to Redemption Island was so anxiety-inducing that I really didn't want anyone else to feel as horrible as I did. So when they got there I wanted to have a fire ready, I gathered some food together just in case they needed something, I had water, I kind of made their side of the little bamboo mattress a little soft with leaves and things. I just wanted them to be comfortable. So I did show everybody where they could find papayas and food and things, just so it would make life a little bit easier.
What was life like on Redemption Island?
Oh! At first it was so horrible, I hated it. But it's amazing what the body and spirit can adapt to and get used to, and then eventually like. It became my home, where at first it was horrible and lonely and depressing. Once you worked through that, picked yourself up, it became home for me.
What did you start to like about it?
I liked that I always knew where the machete was! On the beach with my tribe, no one ever knew where the machete was - you'd spend half your day looking for it. I knew whatever I needed to get done, it will get done, because of me. Whereas on the beach, if someone for example didn't pull their weight as far as getting firewood, then we didn't have a fire.
You spent more time on Redemption Island than in the rest of the game. Was it worth it?
Oh absolutely, it was worth it a hundred times over and a day. I got a different experience, but a rewarding one nonetheless. And it was exciting, and it proved different things to me: it proved that I'm not really great at the social game [laughs]; it proved that I can handle myself on my own. So in that aspect it was definitely worth it, and it was worth every second to prove to my daughter and to girls everywhere that women can do it.
In the first episode, you referred to Coach and Ozzy as "temporary" players. Are you surprised that they're still around in the game?
No. Because Coach - well, we call him Benjamin, Stacy and I - was fortunate enough to get on a team of followers, save a few of us. So I'm not surprised he's still there because they seem to be following his orders implicitly. At Savaii, I thought that he would be gone by this point but Ozzy is Ozzy - he's a powerhouse. He's a force to be reckoned with, so I'm not surprised.
Did you know that know that he showed up on Redemption Island specifically to beat you?
How do you feel about that? It's kind of flattering.
I'm angry now! [laughs] I gave him bananas and papaya on Redemption Island, I want to take them back. I believed his story, I had no reason to not believe him. Who in his right mind would volunteer to get voted off?
So it is a compliment to me in one way, that they had to send Ozzy, the king of all challenges.
Everyone is wondering: if you had beaten Ozzy, and then the tribes merged and you'd gone back into the game, what would have been your strategy?
I would have bee-lined it for Savaii and specifically Dawn, and hopefully aligned myself with her. I just felt we had a connection I could work with. I was not going to go with Upolo.
Survivor: South Pacific airs Wednesdays at 8.00 et/pt.