Add another to that list of Survivor players who were voted out well before their time. A life-long fan who seemed to be playing one of the shrewdest games out there this season, Kelley Wentworth just couldn’t overcome the numbers game a second time. In our chat, Kelley rates her father’s game, gives her candid opinion of Drew and explains the troublesome rice situation.
John Powell: How long have you been a fan of Survivor and did you think being a fan would put such a huge target on your back?
“Survivor is a solo game.”
Kelley Wentworth: I have actually been a fan since the very beginning. I started watching Borneo with my mom and my dad jumped on board a few seasons after that. Going in, I didn’t really think it would put a target on my back. Unfortunately, and I think a lot of viewers are seeing this, there aren’t really a lot of fans on this season. It was very frustrating to be targeted by Drew, which I don’t know how much that means [laughter] but to do it because I am a fan, it is so silly. If I had been playing out there with REAL players and people that had seen more than two episodes, it would have been a lot more fun.
John Powell: How hard was it to play with your father and all things considered, would you have rather played alone? Playing as a duo can be a double-edged sword for sure.
Kelley Wentworth: You totally nailed it. It is a double-edged sword. It is hard because it is really cool to have somebody out there who you can totally trust. That is what Jon said about Jaclyn at Tribal Council. You trust that person completely and you have that extra vote. However, Survivor is a solo game. There is only one winner. You are worrying so much about yourself and who you are with. Am I making the right choices? I am with the right people? Who is talking about me? Then, you have someone else. You are like…I hope they are okay. That is your natural instinct, to worry about someone you care about. As much as we all say…We can vote them out and we can do this. It was very difficult. Bottom line: I think Survivor should be played as a singles game.
John Powell: Here’s an interesting question from a fan and I think this has to be taken from an objective point of view but…Mike Goldberg asks…If you could go back and do it again, would you pick a different loved one to play with?
Kelley Wentworth: [laughter] Oh, that is a gooood question. I would only want to play Survivor with my dad. There were things going in, especially the social game, where I kinda said…You need to work on this. You really need to make bonds with people even if they are 20-years-old. You are going to have to find a way to do it. We all made mistakes. There are certain things I would have done differently and things he would have done differently, at least I hope so. With all the people in my life, my dad is the one person that I would have wanted to play Survivor with.
“I knew that Drew would seal his own fate. It was just better for me to sit back and laugh.”
John Powell: One of the particularly awkward scenes this season was watching Drew talking about the women as he did. How did you bite your tongue during all of that?
Kelley Wentworth: Well, if you heard or read any of my other exit interviews, you know it is VERY hard for me to hold my tongue. [laughter] I tried to play nice. To be honest, there were multiple occasions, not just that one with Drew, where it was soooo hard for me not to say what I was thinking but I didn’t want to put a target on my back. I knew that Drew would seal his own fate. It was just better for me to sit back and laugh. It was hard to see him acting like that. I was so blown away that someone would be so stupid. Even if you have never seen Survivor, you should know better than that. I was like…Is that how you act in real life? It was just so silly. I am not sure what got into him. He kinda went crazy before Tribal Council. He was literally losing his mind. Sorry Drew but you are just not smart. [laughter]
John Powell: Another fan, Lucas Naranjo, would like to know…It seems the audience was totally blindsided. They didn’t expect you to go. Did you have a suspicion you might be going home?
“I think the hardest thing for me was the mental aspect of it. You don’t realize how much thinking you have to do and you are always watching people.”
Kelley Wentworth: First of all, thank you everyone for believing in me so much. I hoped I would have lasted longer too. Luck of the draw, it just didn’t go in my favour. I knew that I was going home though. They (the producers) tried to make it look like a blindside but there were so many things happening viewers didn’t get to see. I knew going into that Tribal that it was either me or Baylor and it really did depend on Jon and Jaclyn but I had maybe a 5 per cent chance that they were teaming with me and my dad. I say that because I had really great conversations with them about getting out Baylor but an hour before Tribal, they wouldn’t really talk to me. I would speak to them and it was all one word answers. I knew this wasn’t good for me. It probably will be me. That is why at Tribal you see me just sitting there smiling. It wasn’t a blindside by any means. I did try really hard to rally and put targets on other people’s backs but it just didn’t work.
John Powell: What was it like for you as a fan to actually be on the show and did anything surprise you?
Kelley Wentworth: Being a fan and being out there, it was so cool. The coolest experience of my life. I think the hardest thing for me was the mental aspect of it. You don’t realize how much thinking you have to do and you are always watching people. I was really close with Jeremy and Natalie but then I see Jeremy talking to Drew and Jon for an hour and I started thinking…Maybe, they are really going against me? It is so hard because you don’t know these people. You have met them for a brief time and you have to pick someone to trust. That goes against everything we do in our normal lives. That was the hardest part. Trying to keep yourself sane out there and not freak out.
John Powell: Why do you think you were targeted so often?
Kelley Wentworth: I think Drew saw me as a threat. I was an easy pick for him. He was threatened because he saw me as a strong female. Once I got on the other tribe, Jon was very close to Drew and I had just gotten Drew out. Jon also knew I was coming after him because Missy told him that I said I wanted Jon out. Neither of those people were my friends. I was a strong competitor, they saw that.
John Powell: Many fans are confused about the rice, food situation. Aren’t there other sources of food? Why is the rice situation such crisis?
Kelley Wentworth: Both beaches were very different. I had the opportunity to see both of them, which was cool. On Hunahpu, we didn’t have any extra fruit. There were very limited coconuts which we went through in two days. Again, horrible, horrible, food rationing. There were snails and crabs. Over at Coyopa, there were some other types of fruit there and that was really nice. The thing about the rice situation, I said multiple times…”You guys, I know we are hungry but we need to be rationing our rice because we are just blowing through it. We have other things to eat like snails and crabs. If you get past six days in, you are not even going to be that hungry any more. We are going to have Reward Challenges and food.” There were other things, I just think people they didn’t want to eat them. The rice was an easy go-to.
John Powell: What did it mean to play the game with your father and objectively, how would you rate his game?
Kelley Wentworth: It was really hard playing with him. It is hard playing with a loved one, period. In the situation with the rice, it was really unfortunate because you all saw that Missy is the reason there is no rice. I was completely on my dad’s side during that argument. He was right and everyone agreed. He was going too hard though. In Survivor, you have to make smart decisions. I was on his side but didn’t want a target on us that’s why I took him aside. As far as his game, [sigh], he was on a tribe with all of these young people. They got rid of John Rocker and he was close to him. Josh? I don’t know who he is with. It is so confusing to me. So, I am very proud of my dad. It is not a situation you can prepare for. All of it also has to do with who you are out there with. If we were on a season with people with different personalities, some (John) Cochrans or Coaches; the dynamic could be totally different. Again, I am proud of my dad.