Corinne Kaplan, a 33-year-old clinical consultant from Los Angeles, CA, was eliminated from Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' newly-merged Enil Edam tribe during Wednesday night's eighth episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Corinne was voted out of her tribe at the season's eighth Tribal Council, the first time the new Enil Edam tribe had an elimination vote.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Corinne talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the first half of her interview. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: You obviously seemed to be blindsided to be voted off. But you didn't really seem to have a tight relationship with Dawn Meehan while you were out there. So why was that -- why were you so surprised she decided to turn on you?
Corinne Kaplan: Yeah, it's unfortunate that they don't present that, but I considered Dawn to be my best friend out there. I mean, I played 22 days by her side. Everything I did, I talked to Dawn about, and I was extremely close to her. So when you see her go to the well and she starts crying, she did that a lot. It was like contractions. They were coming closer and closer together.
Her meltdowns started to get worse, and I was really there for her. I was the first person she came to. And so, it was draining on me, but I loved her and I wanted her to play the game with me. I wanted to present options to her, so when I take her aside, she wants to go to the well and cry. And I'm like, "Let me come with you."
We go to the well and I'm like, "Dawn, what's wrong?" And she's freaking out. I mean, she's crying, she can't breathe, and she's just like, "I don't know where I stand in the game. I don't know where my place is. We're at the bottom of this alliance." And if you look at it, we knew -- [Phillip Sheppard] thinks he's at the top, [Andrea Boehlke] thinks she's on the top, [John Cochran], we're all ontop.
So, Dawn and I were in it, I thought, as a two-person alliance within the six and she didn't know about, I thought, [Malcolm Freberg] and I. But really, it was both Malcolm and I and me and Dawn. Those were my two alliances.
Reality TV World: So at the end, when you mentioned you didn't really care about anyone other than Michael Snow and Malcolm [in your Final Words], that was just kind of frustration I guess then?
Corinne Kaplan: You know, in your mind, I forgot what my final words were. But in your mind, you know someone's wronged you, you're certainly trying to tally up the votes in your head, like, "Who screwed me over?" Because for example, if I thought Malcolm had been the reason I went home, I would've turned around and been like, "Hey, guess what? He's got an idol guys. Have a nice game."
You want to get vindication. I'm certainly not going to exit the game and give any love to anybody that turned on me, but I was shocked that Dawn did that. And when I told her the story -- when I pulled her aside and everyone was asking, "Why? Why Dawn? Why did you do that?" I really wanted Dawn to come with me in that alliance, and also, at the time, I needed to calm her down.
She was really spinning out. So I said to her, "Look, yeah we're at the bottom of this alliance, but look, we have other options. The two of us are in a good spot. Here, let me tell you something else we could do." I always said it as "we." I didn't look at her and go, "I'm turning on you, nice playing with you, this is what I'm going to do."
I was very much like, "Here, if you think that we're at the bottom of this alliance, if we go with all the strong guys, they'll cannibalize each other and we'll be left standing." So I was trying to present her with an option to both use her and also to get her on my team. I wanted her on my side. I didn't believe [Erik Reichenbach] and I felt like we needed Dawn.
I felt like Erik was not stable. I didn't feel like I could comfortably be in that alliance with somebody who's literally never talked to me. I mean, Erik's never talked strategy apparently to anyone.
But I was not comfortable with that, like I wanted Dawn to go over there with me. So it's just like, we don't play the game in three day increments. I know it seems like that makes the most sense and when you're looking you're like, "Why did you have to tell her then?"
Because that's what you do in Survivor. You lay out your game farther than the next vote-out. And I felt like I was playing the game with Dawn. I wanted to gauge her interest in something. It looks so stupid looking back at it, but when you're in the game, you'd be an idiot to be playing just for that vote. You play for the future, so that's what I was trying to do.
Reality TV World: Obviously the immediate goal you had [on last night's episode] was trying to secure your seventh vote to be able to get Phillip out of the game. And from watching at home, people are wondering what had made you decide to approach Dawn instead of someone like Sherri Biethman -- who based upon what we saw her do when Phillip approached her to vote for you, was seemingly willing to write anyone's name down if it would've kept her in the game another three days.
Corinne Kaplan: Yeah, but you see, you're not taking interpersonal relationships into account. [Edward "Eddie" Fox] and [Reynold Toepfer] hate Sherri. They hate Sherri like I hate Phillip. There's no way in hell they would've wanted to -- they wanted Sherri out, which is why -- it's basically Sherri's their Phillip. So I'm giving them Sherri, and next time, they're taking out Phillip, you know? There's no way they would've worked with her.
Reality TV World: The other possibilities out there besides Dawn were Cochran, Andrea and [Brenda Lowe]. Did you ever consider any of them to be the seventh vote you needed or was it strictly all Dawn all the way for you just based upon the fact you had a really close relationship with her?
Corinne Kaplan: No, it was just that Dawn was very special to me. I don't get attached to people, but I was very attached to Dawn. I felt a very strong connection to Dawn and I didn't feel that way towards anyone else. I mean, Cochran is alright. Brenda, forget it. I never said two words to her -- same with Erik.
I liked Andrea, but I knew Andrea was a schemer, and I obviously hated Phillip. Dawn was really all I had, and for so long, I played the game without Malcolm on that other Godforsaken tribe for so long, and all I had was Dawn -- even when Phillip was beyond annoying and crazy. All I had was Dawn, and I was just really close to her.
Reality TV World: Do you think there's any chance Phillip would've made a move to come after you at that very first post-merge Tribal Council and vote you off if you hadn't gone to Dawn, or are you 100% percent certain that's ultimately...
Corinne Kaplan: Oh no, no, no. Let me be clear. Phillip has nothing to do with why I went home. I am the reason why I went home. I told Dawn, I gave Dawn too much information, Dawn went back and told them, and they voted me out. It has nothing to do with Phillip not liking me. Regardless of what kind of credit Phillip will take for this, it is 100% percent me that got me voted out, and that's the hardest thing I have to live with.
Reality TV World: So if you had gone along with the plan and given them Sherri -- like they had originally agreed-- and been satisfied with Sherri being the first vote-off and then going after Phillip the next time, do you think things would've played out differently, or do you think you would've had the same problem?
Corinne Kaplan: I mean, I have to be honest with you, the numbers were stacked against me the second I stepped foot off that helicopter. I don't have alliances. I don't know these people outside the game.
I have a terrible reputation going into the game, you know, every move I made -- I'm thankful every day that I wasn't the first person voted out, because I was brought out at somebody that they were going to possibly get rid of the first vote-out.
So I probably outlasted what I maybe thought I would have done. So I don't think that if I made it a little further, I think it would've been very difficult for me to go all the way to the end.
Above is the first half of Corinne's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.