Exclusive: Cirie Fields talks about 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'
By Reality TV World staff, 03/05/2010
While she wasn't completely comfortable with her tribal position, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway Cirie Fields was not initially being discussed as a vote target before her Heroes tribe went to their third Tribal Council session.
However Cirie did become one after she spoke out in an attempt to save ally Candice Woodcock, resulting in the former Survivor: Panama and Survivor: Micronesia castaway becoming the fourth returning castaway voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains during last night's episode of the CBS reality competition.
On Friday, Cirie talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains experience -- including why she thought James "JT" Thomas was the ally who betrayed her, who she did trust, whether she had foreseen the potential downside of splitting votes, why she kept quiet during James Clement's outbursts, and whether there really was a revived Survivor: Micronesia alliance.
Reality TV World: You already seemed to know that JT was the one that had turned when you were making your Final Words comments at the end of last night's episode. How did you know that -- did you just figure James and [Rupert Boneham] weren't smart enough to pull it off or had JT's Tribal Council body language given it away?
Cirie Fields: I had heard when I got there that [Tom Westman] and JT were really, you know, spreading the word that I had to be the first to go, and I never really felt comfortable as far as trust with JT.
It wasn't really his body language, because he did try to say we were allied or whatever. But you can tell, you know who you can trust. And I don't know how, it's just a feeling inside, you kind of go with your gut. I'm a "go with my gut" type of girl and my gut was telling me not to trust JT.
Reality TV World: Given you're a pretty strategic player and had already seemed to be wary of JT, had that possible downside of splitting your group's voted never really crossed your mind or had you just thought Candice would still be the target if it did happen?
Reality TV World: Yeah, well the idea that JT might turn on you -- obviously what they did could only work because your alliance split its votes, if you hadn't split the votes that wouldn't have had the potential to happen to you.
Cirie Fields: Yeah, the problem was though that JT, that alliance was pretty much spearheaded by JT. So he was basically running that alliance and what he said they kind of went with, so that was the initial plan, to split the vote the so we get rid of the idol and we get rid of [Colby Donaldson].
Your plan or whatever is only as strong as it's weakest member and with JT already feeling leery about me -- and you know, he kind of looked up to Tom, because they're kind of similar. You know the Alpha males are attracted to the Alpha males.
So with that attraction and the fact that he wanted me gone from Day 1, and the fact that there was no other choice, Tom and Colby didn't really try to ally with me.
The time they did try to ally with me was when they lost power and when you try and make an alliance when you're on the cusp or when you're in jeopardy, it doesn't carry as much weight as if it was Day 3, you know when I came to you, or Day 1, when I came to you and tried to do something with you and you pretty much gave me the cold shoulder. Now you're in jeopardy and you want to make an alliance, well, it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.
So I felt like I really didn't have a choice but to go with the alliance I was in. Granted, I didn't trust anybody I was in that alliance but when you have nothing and this is something over here, even if though it's bad, you have to go with it, because you can't play Survivor alone. You have to play with someone.
Reality TV World: When I talked to [Stephenie LaGrossa] a couple of weeks ago, she said that you had convinced her that you actually weren't in an alliance with [James Clement], [Amanda Kimmel] and [Parvati Shallow] from [Survivor: Micronesia again] So you're saying that was the truth? Because it kind of seemed that way, at least on TV.
Cirie Fields: That was absolutely the truth. On Day 1 that was brought up, you know, "You could be..." Because Stephenie and I talked and we formed a relationship, and I was telling her "You know, I'd really like to go with you and Tom and Colby but for some reason Tom and Colby won't talk to me" and she said "Yeah, I know, I'm trying but they're afraid you're going to get back with Parvati and Amanda, you guys did this Micronesia alliance."
And like I told her then and I'm telling everyone know, if there was a Micronesia alliance, once again I was left out of it. And that kind of tainted me, maybe that was the reason Tom wouldn't listen to anything I had to say, or Colby for that matter.
But yeah, no, I was not a part of any alliance. I think it was obvious last night I wasn't a part of any alliance, besides the alliance with JT and Amanda and those guys, which I had to fall into.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised you didn't end up on the Villains tribe? No offense, but I'm not sure there's a huge difference between your prior gameplay and that of some folks like Sandra Diaz-Twine and Parvati, [your former Micronesia ally].
I did question this "Hero" title for myself. (laughs again)
Not because I think I'm a Villain but just because I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I don't feel like I'm a [Russell Hantz] or a [Jerri Manthey] or any of the Villains. But I also don't feel like I'm completely and totally heroic. So yeah, when I heard the title I really didn't know what side I would end up on.
Reality TV World: Like Jeff pointed out at Tribal Council, the Heroes' voting strategy has seemed a little strange if you're looking at the game logically. What's your own explanation for why it makes sense to vote off strong people who could help you win challenges just because they happened to be on the wrong side of a Day 1 -- or even a pre-game -- alliance?
Cirie Fields: It depends on who the player is. For me, we weren't winning challenges anyway. (laughs)
So that theory of "Oh, you got to keep the strong people around in the beginning to win the challenges" goes right out the window. Because if you look at the teams, compared to the Villains we were the strongest team and we still lost.
So logically speaking, that's not working. And for my game, that doesn't work, because the strong people don't value me as a player. So for me, in every season that I've been in, when we've gotten rid of strong people our tribe didn't just lay down and die. I was actually always on the winning tribe and we got rid of really strong [people].
"Bob Dog" [Bobby Mason] -- [he was] the biggest, strongest guy. He's just as strong as James. Joel the fireman [Joel Anderson]. Big and strong as James, and we still ended up on top. So people look at the game like that and I guess that would seem to be the logical thing, but until you're there and playing you don't really know.
So it's not always logical. Just physical strength isn't the most best asset. Every challenge we had it was puzzles that we lost at. So just because you're big and strong -- I don't think it the smartest thing to do to keep the strong people around and keep losing. We're losing with strong people everyday.
Reality TV World: [Jessica "Sugar" Kiper] has speculated that the reason that Parvati seemed to see right through [Russell Hantz's] gameplay right on Day 1 was that she had somehow managed to hear about his unaired season through the Survivor grapevine or something. You probably know how Parvati works among the best of anyone out there given your Micronesia alliance with her last time around, do you believe that was the case?
Cirie Fields: I don't know, you hear all kinds of things. You know all I know is I didn't know Russell. From what I knew, no one had ever saw him or saw his season and so he had an advantage because we didn't know him.
Reality TV World: What was your plan for the merge -- were you planning on trying to get back together with Parvati?
Cirie Fields: That would be presuming Parvati would still be there. I didn't have plans for the merge, my plan was to try and survive until the merge and then once we merged, if we had the numbers to try and formulate an alliance with the people I felt that I could trust and wouldn't be threatened by me and would be willing to keep me around.
That was my only plan, I didn't have a plan to get back with anyone because I didn't have an alliance with anybody to base that on. I wasn't in a strong [alliance], I didn't trust Amanda, and James and Amanda are one so I didn't feel like "Oh yeah, this is good, once we all get back together we'll run things over there." I never felt that way.
Reality TV World: Some viewers were disappointed that, alliances or not, a strong woman like yourself appeared to just stay silent as James kept verbally attacking Stephenie. What is your response to that?
Cirie Fields: Well when you're playing this game, a lot of times the best thing to do is stay out of it. If you're already considered a target, I'm going to jump into somebody else's fight? Whether I think it's right or wrong, I'm not going to jump into somebody else's fight and add another target to my back.
I've seen that happen so many times. People haven't even thought about you and they're arguing with somebody else and you get in it and you go home. So that's why. I didn't think James was -- I actually told James I thought there was a better way he could have went about getting his point across, or letting it be known how he felt without that attack on Stephenie.
But at the same time, I don't need any more targets and this is not my business, so I'm going to stay out of it.
Reality TV World: You just made it clear you have no problem voting off the strong and based on what we've been seeing, a lot of other people seemed to feel that way. So why wasn't anyone disgusted enough to at least throw James' name out as a vote target after that?
Cirie Fields: Well I didn't have problem with voting off the strongest people, but even though people were disgusted with his behavior, physical strength -- depending on who you are, if you're physically strong [yourself], then that's attractive to you and that's what you value more than a social player.
And I guess they felt -- and this is only what I'm thinking, I don't know, you'll have to ask them -- but I guess they felt even though it was disgusting what he did, and how they were taken aback by what he did, they felt that his strength meant more than his outbursts and how he would act around camp.
They thought they could use his strength more than getting rid of him.
Reality TV World: What's your general opinion of the Villains -- were you surprised Parvati managed to survive their first vote and who do you think are the major threats over there?
Cirie Fields: [Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano], I've always been a big fan. And you know, I guess he's proven why he's a big threat over there. I'm really surprised that they didn't get rid of Parvati, the way it looked to me [was] that's the way they were going, good for Parvati.
The Villains, they kind of got it together. Although they're Villains, they are all working together, or at least the majority are working together and that's why they've been successful.