By: John Powell – GlobalTV.com
It is harsh when anyone leaves Survivor because of a Hidden Immunity Idol. It is devastating when that person had the opportunity to possibly save themselves and didn’t. Lauren Rimmer, one of the hardest working players this season, was sent off to the jury by one of those perfect Survivor storms. Giving half the Hidden Immunity Idol to Mike Zahalsky who then unceremoniously threw it into the fire, not playing her extra vote and Ben Driebergen playing his Hidden Immunity Idol all combined to end her game.
Lauren’s surprise exit from Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers left fans with a lot of unanswered questions, for example, why did Lauren give Mike the idol in the first place and why did he throw it into the fire pit? She explains.
“Giving half the Hidden Immunity Idol to Mike, well, when I found out that my name was being thrown around by Ben, I had Devon [Pinto] and Ashley [Nolan] but I wasn’t 100 percent sure about Doctor Mike. Mike is a great guy but he was all over the place and also Mike felt he was left out of a lot of different votes and I was hoping that my last minute decision to sharing that with him and giving him part of it would bring him closer and make him part of the vote. Obviously, it didn’t work. I have asked Mike about why he threw it in the fire and then I asked myself, why did I give it to him in the first place? (Laughs) His answer was he always wanted to do it and I was like, you could have given it to me! I haven’t a clue why he did it. He doesn’t have clue why he did it,” she said.
What would have happened if Lauren would have salvaged the half Mike tossed away? We will never know as Lauren was legitimately too shocked at the time to think about risking possible injury to save that piece of the Idol.
“I wish I could have dug it out of the fire but I didn’t even think about it until after the fact. If I had thought about it, I would have definitely gone and got it but I was so in shock that it even happened. I was stunned because when we left and went to Tribal everyone was settled in. Nobody knew Ben had an idol. I assumed that the only idol being played was the one that I had. With Chrissy [Hofbeck] questioning me a lot I knew the rest were debating between me and Ben at Tribal. I don’t think they would have all voted for Ben if they knew he had an idol,” Lauren recalled.
Why did Lauren leave her extra vote at camp? Well, she didn’t. She had the secret advantage in her pocket the entire time but when Chrissy questioned her about it and she told everyone it was back at camp, she didn’t feel comfortable backtracking on her explanation.
“Physically, I could have lasted forever. I was in my own element but you are trying to keep up constantly with everyone’s story and the experience will take a grown man and break him down to nothing.”
John Powell: Did you attempt to reason with Ben before Tribal Council? I mean, you were going to target him and then he was going to target you, was there any mediating that?
Lauren Rimmer: “I actually tried to talk to Ben. Ben and I worked really well together. I knew in my mind I wasn’t going to be able to sit beside Ben at the end and I knew he had to have thought the same thing about me. He and I were bigger threats than Ashley and Devon were. Even if he didn’t think I started that conversation, he was going to target me no matter what. This is just from me talking to him but once he had that thought in his head, that was it. There was no way I was going to regain that trust.”
John Powell: So many players are letting emotions get in the way of their game this season. What was your take on all of that because you seemed to play quite a grounded game?
Lauren Rimmer: “I really tried to not let this become an emotional factor for me. I reminded myself a million times about the things I would not do when I was out there. When you get there and you are 30-something days in, you are mentally gone. You are mentally done. Physically, I could have lasted forever. I was in my own element but you are trying to keep up constantly with everyone’s story and the experience will take a grown man and break him down to nothing. I joked to myself about not being emotional but I caught myself doing the same thing at times.”
John Powell: You mentioned that you were playing for your daughter back home. What has she thought about your Survivor experience?
Lauren Rimmer: “Olivia, she is nine and will be ten in January, and just so great to hear her say…Mommy, I am proud of you…or every time we get done watching Survivor she will come and pat me on the back saying she knew I could do it. Getting a letter from her out there was a very proud moment. To read her writing, knowing she is just working just as hard as I am as we are a team, was great. When she goes to school she is like…That’s my Mommy! It makes me happy to know it has brought joy to her.”
John Powell: How was it playing for your sister and other family members back home? Was there any added pressure for you?
Lauren Rimmer: “We grew up in a small place and growing up in the commercial fishing industry some days you make a couple hundred dollars, some days you make a couple thousand and some days you don’t make anything at all. Going out there and knowing I could be the Sole Survivor it would not only mean so much not only to myself but a lot of people because I have a big heart, sometimes I try not to show it, but I am not the only one who would enjoy the win. I know several people who could just use a thousand dollars and it would be great to support them if I could. I was never just thinking of myself out there. I was thinking of everyone who has always supported me. I have had a lot of downs and I have had a lot of ups in my life. There are people who have always been behind me no matter what so it would have been nice to help them.”
John Powell: As a juror what was your process in picking a winner?
Lauren Rimmer: “When I become part of the jury I sat down with a journal and I wrote down things that were positive and negative about who was left. Getting down to the final three in my mind I want someone who has played their best. Not only must they have done a great job socially but they helped around camp as there are so many different factors it is hard to find one person that did it all. The final Tribal Council this year is crazy! It is nuts!”
Watch Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers Wednesdays at 8 et/pt on Global.
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