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October 23, 2014

Courtney Yates' 'Survivor' Exit Interview

by Audrey Fine, posted Apr 16th 2010 3:30PM
Despite having won the "gorge yourself on Outback Steakhouse offerings" reward, the beleaguered Villains lost a fourth consecutive immunity challenge on Thursday night's 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' and found themselves marching right back to Tribal Council.

"Today it's between me and Courtney," Sandra Diaz-Twine told hostJeff Probst, "One of us two is going." Luckily for her, the tribe decided to send Courtney Yates off to the Ponderosa to join Coach [Benjamin Wade] as the second member of the jury.

The highlight of the episode however -- heck, the highlight of pretty much any 'Survivor' episode ever -- was when a seriously misguided J.T. Thomas, thinking (erroneously) that the Villains were controlled by an all-women alliance, slipped Russell Hantz his hidden immunity idol and asked him to vote out Parvati Shallow in return.Despite having won the "gorge yourself on Outback Steakhouse offerings" reward, the beleaguered Villains lost a fourth consecutive immunity challenge on Thursday night's 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' and found themselves marching right back to Tribal Council.

"Today it's between me and Courtney," Sandra Diaz-Twine told hostJeff Probst, "One of us two is going." Luckily for her, the tribe decided to send Courtney Yates off to the Ponderosa to join Coach [Benjamin Wade] as the second member of the jury.

The highlight of the episode however -- heck, the highlight of pretty much any 'Survivor' episode ever -- was when a seriously misguided J.T. Thomas, thinking (erroneously) that the Villains were controlled by an all-women alliance, slipped Russell Hantz his hidden immunity idol and asked him to vote out Parvati Shallow in return.

"Now I don't even have to find idols," a bemused Russell said to the camera later. "People are actually giving me idols. You don't hand the enemy the idol – especially when his name is Russell Hantz. That's a no-no."

What will happen next week when the Heroes learn of their monumental gaffe remains to be seen, but here's what Courtney, the self-professed "poster child for weak Survivors," has to say about the maneuver and her time on the island.

After getting voted off last night you said, "It's been one of my 'Survivor' dreams to be on the jury and get all pretty and make all the bitches jealous as they sit there in their dirty rags." That was funny and, clearly, you meant it ...
[Laughing] Yes! I remember in my first season people would roll in looking all clean and fresh like from some deodorant ad and I felt so gross. You actually get taken aback when you see a clean person when you're sitting there in your tattered rags!

Did Russell share the news about getting the idol from the Heroes with the whole tribe? We only saw him laughing about it with Parvati and Danielle [DiLorenzo].
He didn't share the story with everyone. Sandra and I were completely on the outs so we missed out on all of the fun. We only got to see it on TV and as I watched, I was proud of my team and said, "Good job, Russell!" We had already heard about it [by the time it aired,] but then it was so much fun to watch. That Russell is no joke. [I call him] the bandy-legged troll. He's just as tall as he is wide and he'd wear his buff like a dwarf from 'Snow White' and his cool K-Fed fedora. He's just gotta be the hottest thing in rural Louisiana.

You guys won the "all you can eat" food reward. Isn't it hard on your stomachs to go from being starved to enduring such an immense pig out?
I think for some people it is, but I'm a waitress and I will work 10 hour shifts without eating and then totally shovel in the food. So, that's sort of my secret weapon -- being able to eat more food than anyone and be totally fine while everyone else is nauseous. The trick is to not drink too much alcohol, otherwise you just puke up all the food you just ate!

Were there any contestants you'd hoped would be there for this season that weren't?
I was hoping that Todd Herzog [the winner of 'Survivor: China'] would be there. He was one of my best friends and I know that 'Survivor' means the world to him. And it would have been fun to have him there. I guess I didn't have expectations about people and I didn't really know too many. I remember being terrified of Stephenie [La Grossa] because her eyebrows were really intimidating!

Who's cooler than they come across on TV?
Coach. He comes across as a tool most of the time but in real life, he's so much fun. We were king and queen of The Ponderosa [the jury's camp]! We had the best time skipping around drinking white Russians and singing 'Kumbaya.' I'm not looking at it like we lost 'Survivor' -- to me we got our own spin-off. We had the best time.

He's totally chivalrous and considerate and I'd ask him what was up with all that "Dragon Slayer" crap -- he'd have been so popular if he'd just been himself!

What was your luxury item?
Something stupid that I threw in last minute. But my real [heartfelt] luxury item was the hat I wore. It was Todd's lucky hat. He wore it when he won China and he sent it to me when he found out I was going back. He wrote, "I love you" and his lucky numbers in it. It was great. It's wool so it kept me warm and kept me dry and kept the sun out of my eyes and smelled like Todd!

You're driving cross-country. Who gets shotgun and who has to ride in the trunk?
I have to ride in the passenger seat because I don't have a license. Tyson, who is the funniest person, is driving, Randy's in the back seat because he's hilarious and Sandra can sit with him -- she'll start all the fights.

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