By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
As a little girl, she watched Tina Wesson compete on Survivor. All these years later, the attorney who works in a public defender’s office, has now played the game twice.
The Hali Ford we saw this season on Survivor: Game Changers was a completely different Hali Ford we all saw play on Worlds Apart where, as part of the No Collar Tribe, she was forced to fade into the background as anyone who stepped up to the plate was summarily voted out. The Game Changers Hali gave no quarter and didn’t back up a step, ever.
“I felt like I had something to prove. I got cast on a season that I didn’t belong on at all, based on my first season. (Laughs) I thought…Dagum! I had better be a ‘game changer’!” said Hali as she went onto explain why it was so important for her to gain some sense of redemption.
“I was really disappointed with myself after my first season. I didn’t focus on the game. My head was really back at home because I had a lot going on. Since then, all I have done for two years is think about Survivor. I was kind of obsessed! I came in champing at the bit to play,” Hali explained as she described what it was like to play without tribal politics holding her back like they did on Worlds Apart.
“I think that is why I become vocal at Tribal. I didn’t think anyone had the guts to say anything. It was a very cagey game. That is the word we used the whole time. I was just frustrated at that point with the lack of gameplay and nobody was willing to make a move.”
John Powell: On Worlds Apart the game was so different. People were afraid to make moves on your tribe for fear of being targeted. What was it like to finally break free of that and finally be able to play the game to its fullest?
Hali Ford: “It was so refreshing. It was like night and day. I was disappointed after my first season of Survivor. I felt as if I wasn’t me at all. This season, just to be with a group of peers so above my level was challenging and exciting. There wasn’t one down moment. Even when you are having casual conversations, your mind is on the game. I was never bored this season. It was awesome playing with that level of competition. I definitely felt like a small fish in a big pond.”
John Powell: It must have been frustrating never having the numbers on your side over and over. What was your strategy during those times?
Hali Ford: “I just tried to be a really positive force. Ask people about their lives. Get to know people. It didn’t pay off though. (Laughs) Watching this episode I had no idea just how determined Brad and Sarah were to vote me off. That really shocked me. I should have spent more time talking with them. Maybe I screwed up showing my hand at the Malcolm vote? It showed I really wasn’t committed to them. My strategy was just to stay upbeat, stay on my feet and hope for the best.”
John Powell: We didn’t see much of your campaigning at all. I assumed you tried to weasel your way in somewhere; some place to stay didn’t you?
Hali Ford: “Yes! That is all I did the entire day! I was actually really annoying my boyfriend and his roommate last night because all I was doing was yelling at the television! I worked my butt off that day! I was telling people we need to get the numbers together and make a move now. We had the numbers and it was time to get one over on the other people. I was like…What are you waiting for? To this day, I still don’t have an answer to any of that. My being voted off still doesn’t make sense. That is the frustrating thing. If I was voted off for a strategic reason like Ozzy I would be okay with that but they were just bidding their time with me. It was a non-move.”
John Powell: Why do you think the two alliances fighting for control targeted what could be deciding votes in the game? Aren’t they supposed to be reeling players like you in?
Hali Ford: “I was beside myself when I got voted off. It didn’t make any sense. I thought it was more of a personal thing and I didn’t understand why they did what they did. I thought they were just being cowardly and not wanting to ruffle any feathers. I thought it was totally backwards of them. Michaela and I were clearly swing votes and they were trying to get rid of us. It was bizarre.”
John Powell: You have been able to sit back and watch the show now, is there anything you wish the producers would have included when it came to your edit?
Hali Ford: “I thought a lot of the conversations I had with Troyzan and Michaela, Sarah and Brad didn’t come into play. I worked a lot on those relationships. I understand though they have to follow the story which makes the overall narrative make sense. The only time I was really annoyed what the last episode. I was pitching myself like I never have in my life. It just comes off like I slept through it all and that is the total opposite of what I did.”
John Powell: Why do you think they thought you had an Immunity Idol?
Hali Ford: Either Sarah misread me or she just wanted me out. She doesn’t like me. (Laughs) I don’t know. I did try to find the Hidden Immunity Idol but their actions were totally bizarre.”
John Powell: Well, we saw you make a stand at Tribal Council as you have done many times before this season. What would you have done if they had asked you to empty your bag?
Hali Ford: “If they asked me, I would have done it. I actually told Sarah she could pat search me but everyone just sat there. I think that is why I become vocal at Tribal. I didn’t think anyone had the guts to say anything. It was a very cagey game. That is the word we used the whole time. I was just frustrated at that point with the lack of gameplay and nobody was willing to make a move. I couldn’t believe they were going to let this opportunity pass by and give this bogus explanation of an Idol.”
John Powell: Would you ever play again?
Hali Ford: “I am at peace with myself after this season. I was so chagrined after my first season so I had to go back. I had something to prove. Now, I feel that a lot of other people are better at Survivor than me. I would rather see other people come back than me as a viewer but if Jeff (Probst) wants me back, I am going to go back! I love the show!”
Next time on Survivor: Game Changers…
Watch Survivor: Game Changers Wednesdays at 8 et/pt on Global.