By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
Kendra McQuarrie was one of the most colorful characters this season. Her positive, entertaining shenanigans were an interesting polar opposite to Bruce’s serious and intense Survivor experience. Kendra wants fans, viewers to know though that she was playing the game hardcore though especially when she visited Lulu during that deleted twist, scene.
John Powell: We have our Thanksgiving in October here in Canada. You had your Thanksgiving last week. How was your holiday, Kendra?
Kendra McQuarrie: Oh, it was really good! It was super chill! I got to eat my feelings! (laughs) Lots of mashed potatoes. (laughs)
John Powell: Now that you’ve been able to sit back and watch everything that’s been going on how did you feel watching last week’s episode back?
Kendra McQuarrie: I didn’t know Katurah had squealed me out to Dee that quickly! That felt pretty bad. I was pretty shocked by that just because I guess for me I think she might have lumped me in with the rest of the fellow castaways lying to her about Bruce’s idol. In reality, I found out about it the same day she did. I think that is just that Belo needed to be in the review mirror and I’m stepped onto a new path. Unfortunately, I took the damage from that.
John Powell: Did you get a sense after the merge that it was going to be Reba versus Belo?
Kendra McQuarrie: I did have a sense of that. However, after new Belo I continued a really good relationship and maybe pseudo kind of an alliance with Drew, Emily and Austin. Although that is not shown a lot, you can kind of see it during the six split vote and me not putting Drew’s name out for that. Also, Emily kind of advocating for me a bit in this last episode as much as she could without giving her position away. Our thing moving forward was no tribal lines. That’s how we’re going to move forward because we were just such a misfit group of people to be working together. I was like: “This will be perfect! No one would ever guess that we’re working together.” I was still loyal to Kellie and Katurah. They still have their feet in Reba as there were genuine connections there. I did see a potential way forward with them. So, I always wanted to keep that channel open with those three.
John Powell: You and Bruce were totally different personalities. He was very commanding and serious. You were clam and laid-back. What was it like trying to work with him?
Kendra McQuarrie: Even when I feel like I am being crapped on I am still pretty chipper! (laughs) I think production was like: “Let’s put the two most different people in the seats on the same tribe and see how that works out.”
In challenges we worked so well together! Building the shelter was really fun for me! It was really important for me to be a part of what’s going on at camp so I always felt like him and I were always like working and we were on the same level. But personally, we were never able to get there really until at least for me that the chicken reward. He kind of let his guard down a little bit. I am somebody who is very adaptable. Bruce is a little bit more rigid maybe on the stubborn side. Which is not a negative or a positive thing. People just are who they are.
For me it’s a little hard to work or live with somebody who doesn’t really have a lot of mobility in what they want to do or how they perceive things. I found it extremely difficult especially on the day I go out there’s a confessional there wasn’t shown with me joking I’m like: “I never thought I would say this that I got to work with Bruce. I’m going all-in together.” I’ve got to rally him and I felt like I could move forward after connecting at the sanctuary. We finally connected on a personal level. I was like: “I kind of liked this guy.” I could see some like redeemable qualities and I can always find a redeemable quality with anyone. I did see a way for us to move forward but I don’t think he necessarily saw the same thing that I did.
John Powell: You were really upset when Kellie was voted off. I spoke to her last week and she had talked about wanting to go forward with you. What brought you guys together?
Kendra McQuarrie: After we do introductions at Belo we kind of took the same path and we ran into the jungle together. We really didn’t say anything to each other. There was just like a natural chemistry that you get when you meet somebody. When we were at Ponderosa we were like: “I could have been the Amanda to your Parvati.” I wanted to more physical threat. I’m tall and very physical. I love the challenges. I’m a little bit unassuming at times because I kind of wanted to lean into this “spiritual world girl” thing. I just wanted to ride-or-die with her. That was my big thing. I just wanted somebody and I felt that with Kellie and I think we felt it with each other. It was just this unspoken bond that we really didn’t need to check in on. I saw her as a player and the strategy might not be my biggest thing but I’m a great asset. I’m a great alliance member. We just were it’s kind of two peas in a pod.
John Powell: Tell us what happened during your tribal visit at the beginning of the season that didn’t make the show.
Kendra McQuarrie: Y’all really miss out on some true entertainment with Kendra at Lulu! (laughs)
I got on the boat and there’s like a little board there for me with a message that says you have a vote at tonight’s tribal council. I thought I was just going over there. I didn’t know I was able to vote, right? I was told I could use this to cause chaos or I could use it to build alliances. I was like: “Oh, let’s cause some chaos!”. (laughs)
I got to Lulu beach and it couldn’t be any more chaotic. It was you as can imagine but unfortunately it was never shown. I get there. Sean and Sabiyah greet me in the water. We’re politicking and we’re hitting it off immediately.
I was kind of waiting on if I was going to tell anyone that I had a vote. I eventually tell Sean and Sabiyah I have a vote. I want to them in case if my tribe loses and their tribe gets to send someone over for our first tribal council, they need to work with me and get Bruce out. I was able to kind of use that as leverage. That was my first piece of information to be able to use in the game and so I connected with them. I also connected with Emily. She was on the outs and I could see that she needed a friend. I kind of went over to her and gave her a hug and let her spill her guts to me while we were chatting. I asked her what she wanted to do even though I knew I was already working with Sean and Sabiyah and whoever they wanted to get out, I would get out.
Emily wanted to get out Kaleb. I was like: I’ll see what I can do.”…We kind of talked together and I feel like I was like the only person who was really being a friend to her that time and so when it moved forward to the vote I wasn’t voting Emily. I voted Brandon that night. I cast a vote at tree mail before we went to tribal and I was also sat through that tribal so you could only imagine the facial expressions that I had had during that tribal…That’s kind of how that went down and I had cast a vote for Brandon and Sabiyah knew I cast a vote for Brandon and at last minute they’d switch it to Emily and I wanted to switch it to Brandon because I wanted to keep Emily in this game knowing that she was causing chaos and knowing that if she by any chance made it to emerge so knows who to come to.
John Powell: Most people don’t know this because it wasn’t shown but you were actually injured on the show were you not?
Kendra McQuarrie: I have a small fractured fracture in my coccyx bone so it kind of like dipped in a little bit. I was in pain for the entire show. I’m in physical therapy now and everything is feeling a little bit better but I can’t really sit down for long periods of time. During challenges I wouldn’t say that it affected me much because my I’m just so crazy competitive it doesn’t matter like I’m going to push through whatever to win but after the challenges and recovering? I didn’t feel like I wasn’t able to be super present when we got back from challenges because I was dealing with the pain.
John Powell: Is there anything about your journey you wish viewers had seen?
Kendra McQuarrie: Me, Emily and Drew definitely being a unit and even Austin. When I blurted out to Julie at the sanctuary saying that I thought Austin and Dee have something going on I also told Drew and Emily. I’m starting to plant the seed, which I felt was very, very true to the rest of the people just playing the game. I can kind of be seen as ‘out there’ but I really was reading the game and I was really reading people and I think there’s things left out that kind of didn’t really show my reads or my strategic side. My edit kind of leaned into my goofiness which is totally fine but my head was in the game.
John Powell: You have a big decision coming up. You obviously can’t say who you voted for but when you were thinking about who you wanted to win, who do you want to represent the season, what kind of things were you weighing in your mind?
Kendra McQuarrie: It was a tough decision and I know that the biggest thing for me is I really wanted to be proud of who won. I wanted it to be somebody who it took Survivor and got all the juice out of it that they could. I wanted them to be somebody who got everything out of their Survivor experience as possible and who didn’t take a moment for granted. That was really important for me. This is a once-in-a-lifetime potentially opportunity. I don’t want them to let the moment go to waste. I hope they’re out there enjoying the water. I hope they’re out there trying to fish. I hope they are doing whatever brought them joy and yes, of course the game is important. I’d like them to be getting all the juice they could out of the Survivor experience but also I had to be proud of the person who won and knowing that they didn’t let the take anything for granted because I would have given anything to be sitting where they were. So, that was what was important for me.