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Exclusive: Katie Hanson talks 'Survivor: Philippines' (Part 2)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/26/2012 

Katie Hanson was eliminated from Survivor: Philippines' Kalabaw tribe during Wednesday night's sixth episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.

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Katie, a 22-year-old former Miss Delaware from Newark, NJ, was blindsided and voted out of her tribe at the season's sixth Tribal Council -- which was also the second elimination vote for Kalabaw -- after she had performed poorly in a series of physical challenges and led her tribemates to believe she was a weak player.

In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Katie talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: Philippines experience -- including whether she felt Survivor host Jeff Probst tried to influence some castaways' game, what her opinion was of Dana Lambert's intentional medical departure, which tribemate she said she had absolutely nothing bad to say about, and whom she said was "terrible" in challenges besides herself.

Below is the concluding portion of Katie's interview. Click here to read the first half.

Reality TV World: Last week's episode seemed to show Jeff Probst repeating that your tribe was in trouble because you had struggled in the beginning of the Immunity Challenge, almost reminding your tribe over and over again of your performance throughout that challenge. And he actually seemed to say some similar stuff on this week's show as well. Did he actually repeat things that much while you were out there, and if so, do you think that type of commentary or play-by-play is legitimate, or do you think it's kind of an unfair attempt to influence the game?

Katie Hanson: I think I heard him [do that] last week while I was out there struggling during that challenge. I heard him once mention my name. But then you watch it and you see him saying it about five times, and out there when I was trying to catch the ball, I didn't hear him say anything at all. So, I'm kind of like, "What?!" And then I'm like, "Well, okay. Maybe I missed it."

But if so, I think it was definitely an attempt to brainwash my tribe and you know, I guess, put it out there to show them that, "Oh my God, you gotta get rid of her."

But it's like, if you really want to go there, look at last night's challenge. [Carter Williams] was terrible too, and if anything, the ball went his way more than it went mine. So why wasn't the focus put on him and not me? So, I don't know. It's interesting what he chose to comment on.

Reality TV World: Did you ever have any idea that "Dawson" Sarah Dawson knew Jeff Kent was a baseball player, and do you think things might've played out any differently if she'd shared that info? Because when I talked to Dana last week, she said she thought it would have made a different and that Jonathan Penner would have probably cut his alliance with Jeff had he known.

Katie Hanson: I think that it was poor on her part not to have told the girls alliance that first and foremost. And then, I don't know how much they would've believed her, because Jeff didn't give me the idea that he was any kind of pro athlete. I don't know. But anyway, no.

I think that if she did let that loose, I think that everyone on our tribe would've sort of targeted Jeff because you can't trust him. Why is he keeping that from us, you know? So it's like, what else is he keeping from us? How much can you really trust him? So, I definitely think that it was poor on her part not to have told the tribe.

Reality TV World: Dana's departure was obviously a pretty big thing to happen to your tribe. How big of a role do you think her exit played on your tribe losing both the next couple Immunity Challenges, and how big of an impact do you think it had on your own vote-off? Do you think Dana, Dawson and yourself would've stayed together and been able to bring Denise Stapley with you as well and even if you had gone to Tribal, the guys would've been going home instead?

Katie Hanson: I know we could've stayed together. I know it would've worked out. I know Denise was going to come with us. It's just such a shame, and it's like, I know that things would've been so much different than they are. But, what if? I mean, it's not what happened.

It is what it is, and I said this before, anyone can win the game of Survivor. You don't know what cards you're going to be dealt. It's a game of luck and chance, and who wants to predict that Dana was going to be sick? Anything can happen and things can change in a second. And unfortunately, that cost me the game of Survivor.

Reality TV World: Dana's exit from the game was actually a little unusual in that the medic actually cleared her to continue for at least a little while longer and she was the one who made the decision to leave. Did you know that at the time? And if you didn't, did finding out she wasn't technically medically evacuated change anything for you?

Katie Hanson: I did not know that they gave her the option to leave, but I know how sick Dana was the entire time she was out there. I know it's easy for someone who wasn't sick to say, "Well I would've tried for another 12 hours. I wouldn't have given up because this was my shot at Survivor."

But you know, you weren't out there with a fever, and you're not out there feeling what she was feeling like. So it's -- I just see where she would feel like, "I can't continue." It was miserable out there and you don't want to cost your health and risk it. She made, for her, the best decision, and I have to respect that.

She's a good friend of mine and I know it killed her to leave, but like I said, you've got to walk in someone else's shoes to feel how they were feeling at that time. And I can't do that, so.

Reality TV World: Even though Angie Layton and yourself are both college students and former pageant winners, the show billed you as a former Miss Delaware and Angie as a college student. What are your thoughts about that -- was that something you had any say in and have you ever thought about why the show has been presenting you differently despite your similar backgrounds?

Katie Hanson: It's interesting because yeah, I mean, I had zero input on what they were going to call me for the show. But I'm kind of glad that they called me Miss Delaware. I think it kind of put my state on the map, because if you ever ask people -- I can't even tell you how many times I've had this conversation.

Like, "Oh yeah, I'm from Delaware." And they're like, "Where's that?" I'm like, "Are you kidding me? You live in the United States! And it's a state in the United States." And they're like, "Oh, I drove through that to get to wherever else." And it's like, "Okay, cool."

So, if anything, I think college student is kind of blah and they've seen it before. And they've never seen someone from Delaware on the show from my knowledge. So for me, I'm glad that they put that as my title, and I think I did my best to represent my state with what I was given. And hopefully more people understand where Delaware is now! (Laughs)

Reality TV World: What was your initial impression of Denise Stapley before she joined your tribe, and did it change once she joined it?

Katie Hanson: Well, we all wanted Denise on our tribe. Well, I can't speak for the guys, but the girls alliance knew that if we got Denise, she is much more likely to side with the females than she is -- than it would be for [Malcolm Freberg]. So, we're all hoping for her, but at the same time it's like, you know, we probably would've won more challenges if we had Malcolm just because he's a man.

He's stronger than she is and so on and so forth. But as far as an alliance goes, we wanted Denise. And Denise always had a very positive vibe about her at challenges, and she was exactly that when she joined our tribe -- very helpful, very positive. I have nothing bad to say about Denise. I enjoyed her very much.

Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor: Philippines? How did you end up on the show?

Katie Hanson: I was recruited and I always watched the show back in the day, and I said, "Wow, that is like the ultimate game." That is a wild show and I give whoever goes on that show props for going out there and doing it, because it's tough.

And the opportunity was presented to me, and I was like, "Oh my gosh, well, yeah! Of course I'm going to do it!" It's about mentally preparing yourself to what you're about to endure and I'm very grateful for the opportunity and I think it's definitely molded and shaped me into the person that I am today.

Above is the concluding portion of Katie's interview. Click here to read the first half.



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