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'Survivor' Exit Interview: Two Newest Jury Members Face the Music

by Audrey Fine, posted Dec 2nd 2010 4:33PM
SurvivorNo matter how many episodes of 'Survivor' you watch, the most exciting thing is that you can never predict what's going to happen.

Last night's 11th episode in Nicaragua was a perfect example -- nothing went down the way it was supposed to. What happened and who went to join the three jury members at Ponderosa? Read on.

While we may have had a week off from the tribal drama to indulge in turkey and family dynamics, the castaways didn't (duh, because it was filmed months earlier) and when we re-joined them last night, things were none-too-cheery around camp.


Forget that they had hardly eaten in nearly a month, forget that their camp had been decimated by fire and then near floods, it was the incessant rain and cold that were really taking their toll on everyone, and two players in particular had really had enough. Na'Onka Mixon, 27, for all her bravado and smack talk and Kelly "Purple" Shinn, 20, the unassuming youngster of the tribe, threw in the towel. Right then and there. That's right, for the first time in Survivor history, TWO people quit at once.

Do they have any regrets? Are they riddled with shame? Do they feel like they let Jeff Probst down? We talked to Na from her native Los Angeles and Kelly from Hawaii (where she's still trying to get warm) to see what they had to say for themselves. Here's the scoop...

NaOnka, SurvivorGotta ask ... any regrets? Viewers were genuinely surprised that despite the urgings from Jeff and Jane and Holly, you decided to quit. How's that sitting with you now that you've had time to digest?

NaOnka: I do not regret my decision whatsoever. I knew that I couldn't second guess myself, that I had to be 100 percent secure in my decision. I played a hell of a game and I'm definitely one of the most memorable survivors for all my crazy antics. I'm nothing like that in real life but when you go and you play for a $1 million dollars, you have no idea what you'll do. It was a game and I was cast for a reason.

Kelly: I do not regret anything . I will stand by every decision that I did make - and I made a lot of them, even though they weren't shown on TV. I played with integrity and am proud of that.

Marty, Alina and Brenda were clearly disgusted that you'd thrown in the towel. What was it like arriving at Ponderosa for the first time?

NaOnka: I was excited because there's a shower, bed, pillow, couch there -- there was real life there! I wasn't concerned about seeing Alina or Marty, but I was concerned about seeing Brenda because just the night before I'd stabbed my best friend in the back and I was concerned about her asking me "What were you thinking?" Brenda was always asking me "What were you thinking?" But, when we got there, she was standing there with cookies and Marty was there with wine ready to greet us. Seeing them outside of the game was refreshing but we had to be very mindful with the things we said because they still wanted to be in the game and we'd voluntarily [resigned].

Alina, wasn't around us for the first while, she was too sick about us having [quit]. I'd have been the same way.

Purple KellyFor the first 5-6 episodes, we hardly heard you make a peep, Kelly. Were you really that quiet around camp or was it just the edit?

Kelly: It was definitely because of the edit. Although, I didn't act as a leader and, just like in my real life, I didn't want drama around me. My process was to not backstab, not be the leader, and not tick any body off and just fly under the radar. I definitely wasn't quiet though, I just didn't talk a lot about strategic stuff so maybe it wasn't interesting for TV.

Na, you certainly ruffled a lot of feathers and raised some ire with fans. What has the reaction on the street been to you?

NaOnka: It's been funny. I get stared at and sometimes I get approached. The No. 1 question I get asked is 'why were you mean to the girl with the prosthetic leg?' All I can tell them is that it was a game for a million bucks and that it's TV and you don't know how you're going to play unless you do it.

Are you still a P.E. teacher?

NaOnka: Yes! I'm still at my school and you can tell all the haters that are trying to get me fired that it's not working!

In hindsight, how does it make you feel that a little old lady like Jane could muster the strength to stick it out and you couldn't?

Kelly: I think Jane is a great person, but it also takes a lot of willpower and she's been through some crazy things. She has this sappy story and whether it's true or not, who knows, but in the end when your physical health is on the line, you have to do what you have to do. But for her to outlast us in the challenges? She is just amazing.

Na: Yes! You can not judge a book by the cover. I thought that there must be something about her to get cast in the first place. When you first meet, there's -- how do I describe it? -- there's a glow about her. Before she opens her mouth you know that there's something amazing about her. I respect Jane.

Jeff Probst seemed to be genuinely disappointed that you guys threw in the towel. Is that the impression you got from him at Tribal?

NaOnka: He was actually really nice about it. He was nicer than we thought it would be. It seemed like he wanted to understand where we were coming from. And when he told us that we'd still be allowed to be on the jury, we could NOT believe it!

Kelly: Jeff is perfect for TV. He gets the drama stirred up between all of us. He seemed concerned about us. I think that he's a good person.

Kelly, you and Fabio seemed to be bonding more towards the end. Was getting to hang with him ever an incentive to keep you in the game? He's so cute?

Kelly: [Laughs] Did I want to stay because Fabio is such a babe? It was hard for me to look at anyone like that! I don't think he washed his clothes even one single time. He might be a beautiful hunk of burning love, but he went from a hunk, to looking like a homeless man!

We shared a lot and especially the aspect that we were both young , we were just so close and could relate on a lot of levels. He's a great person. You know how they show me in that yellow jacket? That was his and even though he was freezing, he let me wear it for more than a week. He's really great.

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Reed McEwen

basically what I meant was hiring a crack team of ex military members preferably from countries with no direct ties to the united states and letting the contestants have a short head start period before they let the hunters loose to earn their paycheck.

December 04 2010 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pierpoint Windsor

Never for one minute forget ~ it's a show folks. Just another so called reality SHOW. Edited and, believe it or not, directed, if seeming loosely scripted. Why the folks do these shows is simple-for the bucks and possible further employment in - who knows- film, TV? Now do we all wonder ~ will this little stunt provide the ratings boost producers sought?

December 04 2010 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Reed McEwen

If they want to call the show Survivor, let them add a element of suspense that worked well in a popular 80's movie, I am of course talking about The Running Man.

December 04 2010 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Reed McEwen's comment
Elaine A. Olson

You might want to share what you know. I'm sure many people don't know about "The Running Man".

December 04 2010 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elaine A. Olson

I don't think quitters should be allowed any perks. The American people should vote on the two people that should replace them from the three people in the jury. It's a shame that those three people want to be in the game so badly and were voted out. But those two are allowed to leave with no consequences. It's just not right. My feelings are, "If they want to quit, quit!" Go home... I would not respond to any thing negative that was said about them or will I say any thing negative about them. They are not worth my time. Survivor needs to do what's right by the other survivors though. I hope they do...

December 04 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Seems all you guys forget it's just a TV show and it's all likely scripted to play out the way it did. This show is just about as much "reality" as I'm Moses.

December 04 2010 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to grumpy63528's comment
Elaine A. Olson

Well, you might be right. However, don't you just take the J out of joy...

December 04 2010 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with with you but, I still don't think they should be on the jury.

Of course, I won't lose any sleep over it!

December 04 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


December 04 2010 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

True, it is just a game , and they are playing.ButI think once they quit they should be out completely, not put on the jury.

December 04 2010 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

they made the decision.....fine...BUT THEY SHOULD NOT BE ON JURY !!!!!!

December 04 2010 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debra Drzich

I don't think the quitters should be allowed to judge those left behind. If you quit you quit the whole thing, not just one part of it. Kelly and NaOnka should not be allowed on the jury, they didn't do anything to get there, they quit the game, they didn't get voted out.

December 04 2010 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they should not be allowed on the jury as well. I mean you have a once in a lifetime chance and want to throw it away. I think them being allowed to stay gives the game a bad name. I mean it is saying if you don't want to play you can decide to does when. I mean what bullshit is that. Throw the cows out and bring in someone who really wants to play and not just seen on TV.

December 04 2010 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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