Hope Driskill, a 23-year-old pre-law student from Jefferson City, MO, was eliminated from Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' Gota "Fans" tribe during Wednesday night's third episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Hope was voted out of her tribe at the season's third Tribal Council, the second elimination vote for Gota, after she joined a foursome alliance that the majority alliance has been picking off one by one.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Hope talked about her short-lived Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites experience. Below is the first half of Hope's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.
Hope Driskill: Oh no, I mean, throughout the day, there was so much talk going on. There was so much strategizing going on, and we had tried very hard to kind of plant it in Laura's mind that she was, due to her performance at the challenge, definitely on the chopping block and that maybe members of her alliance were thinking about voting her out.
And so, we really tried to play that up and get some paranoia and fear going in her mind, and so that was kind of a strategy early on, to get her to end up fighting with us. And so, you know, when Reynold told us that she had said, "Yes, I'm for sure in," that was definitely a plan we were hoping on.
Reality TV World: Based on what was shown on TV, it seemed like Reynold had gone into Tribal Council pretty confident Laura and Julie were going to join you guys in voting for Shamar. Had you also been expecting that or what had you been expecting was going to happen?
Hope Driskill: I knew, I could see how tight their alliance was, and I knew that it would be a huge, huge challenge to try to break that up. And so, in the very back of my mind, I honestly -- I just had that glimmer of hope that they would switch over and vote with us, but there was still a lot of doubt and anxiety going into the Tribal Council.
Reality TV World: So had you gone into Tribal thinking it was probable that you were going to be the one going home or did you think it was going to be Eddie?
Hope Driskill: I thought that it was definitely a possibility that I would go home, but I also thought, I mean, the reason that I love Survivor is because it's so exciting and there's so many twists and unexpected turns that could happen. And so, I went in just really praying that it would work out in my favor and that Shamar would go home.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when the first Tribal vote ended up being a 3-3-3? Had that been a surprise? Had you expected Laura and Julia were going to flip then?
Hope Driskill: When it first happened, whenever I saw the numbers come out the first time and it was a three-way tie, I realized that the other alliance had definitely stuck with their original plan of trying to flush the idol, hoping that Reynold would have played the idol for either Eddie or I.
And so, yeah, that was really disappointing. Because when I saw it come out in a three-way tie, I kind of knew it was either Eddie or I going home and both outcomes would've been unfortunate. So, yeah, that was not a good feeling at all.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you expected if they were going to flip at all, it would be on the first vote and not the re-vote, correct?
Hope Driskill: I mean, anything can happen, like I said. Anything can happen in Survivor and it's crazy. And so I still -- I always had that tiny inkling that it might still work out in my favor. But unfortunately, this time, the numbers didn't add up.
Reality TV World: Earlier in the day before Tribal, you had that conversation where Shamar told you that he wasn't going to be voting for you and suggested you could save yourself if you voted for Eddie, but he didn't seem to come right out and tell you that they were going to be splitting the votes 3-3. Did he actually ever tell you that or were you able to figure that out on your own?
Hope Driskill: No, what they showed was pretty much the entirety of our conversation. But he eventually told me that if I switched my vote, that I could be saved. And that to me translated as, "Okay, they want to flush the idol, so they're going to split the votes between Eddie and I."
And so, you know, for me, I just know how much Shamar really disliked both Eddie and Reynold, and so it made sense to me that he would tell me the plan.
However, I kind of used that to my advantage, because I thought that maybe I could go back to the tribe, tell members of his alliance and be like, "Hey, Shamar laid out your plan for me, told me what you guys are doing. Clearly, he's not a trustworthy member of your alliance and he's making camp life miserable."
I thought that right there, that would be enough for the other alliance to side with us and vote him out. But you know, it didn't work out in my favor. I don't understand it. It was so hard to watch last night, but yup!
Reality TV World: So if you went into Tribal kind of unsure, what made you decide not to just go ahead and vote for Eddie and save yourself that way?
Hope Driskill: Every single person, I'll tell you, every person went into that Tribal so nervous. Because throughout the day, there was so much strategizing and so much went on, so much happened that never made it on the show. And there was so much talking. Everyone was in a panic. It was just an incredibly paranoia-filled situation.
And I know that I felt nervous, Eddie felt nervous, Laura felt nervous, I'm sure Shamar felt nervous, and it's just anything could've happened right then. So yeah, that was a very, very nerve wracking Tribal Council that's for sure.
Reality TV World: So was it kind of a moral decision in which you didn't want to turn on Eddie and continue in the game that way?
Hope Driskill: I think our alliance did everything we could to stay alive and in the end, looking back, I didn't turn on anyone. And I am a very loyal person and that's how I wanted to play the game, and so I decided to stick with my alliance and be loyal and just really, really hold out on the fact that Laura and Julia might potentially switch their vote.
Reality TV World: The whole reason your tribe's big alliance came up with their vote-splitting plan was because they thought you were the obvious vote target and they were worried Reynold might give his idol to you. But we also saw you doing an interview during last night's show in which you said you couldn't envision Reynold giving up the idol because it was such a risky move. Did you ever actually talk with Reynold about doing that, and if so, how did that conversation play out?
Hope Driskill: Right, well Reynold and I did talk about it. We talked about it before the challenge even happened. We had decided before the challenge that if we ended up losing, obviously I'm on the chopping block, and if he was willing, he'd come forth and play the idol for me.
But then it just -- what happened was, after Shamar had told me the plan of potentially flushing the idol -- and I think it just really made Reynold nervous and I know that he felt it was safe for him to keep the idol rather than potentially completely lose it and get flushed. So that was definitely -- I don't blame him for it, because I know he was feeling very, very vulnerable in that situation.
Above is the first half of Hope's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.