Exclusive: Krista Klumpp talks about 'Survivor: Redemption Island'
By Reality TV World staff, 03/24/2011
Krista Klumpp thought she'd made a good move when she allied herself with two-time Survivor runner-up Russell Hantz during Survivor: Redemption Island's opening days.
However unfortunately for Krista. the majority of her Zapatera tribemates weren't too keen about Russell's Survivor return and made her their next target after they threw a challenge and voted the former Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway out of the game.
On Thursday, the 25-year-old pharmaceutical representative from Columbia, SC talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: Redemption Island experience -- including why she seemed to continue to distance herself from her tribemates after Russell's ouster, how she and ally Stephanie Valencia hoped to survive long enough to execute their "flip at the merge" strategy, why she decided to ally with Russell to begin with, and what role she believes God plays in Survivor.
Reality TV World: Based on what was shown on TV, it looked like Stephanie Valencia and yourself deliberately continued to distance yourself from the rest of your tribe instead of trying to make some in-roads with them even after Russell Hantz lost his duel. Was that accurate, and if so why was that, because it came across as an odd strategy to viewers.
Krista Klumpp: Yeah, well, of course it looked like that. (Laughs)
Absolutely not did we just, you know, roll over and die. We sat together and thought of everything that we could do to get ourselves back in the game, and the strategy to go up to everyone after they voted out Russell and be like, 'Oh, we're so sorry we allied with him. Y'all are right. So glad to have him out!'
That's not any type of strategy and as boring and stupid as some of them I believed were, they weren't going to believe that, and I don't care what my tribe has to say about coming to them and trying to build trust. That wouldn't have done it, nor would me saying, 'Okay, I'm going to go along with whatever you want from here on out if you just keep me alive,' would change anything.
So, what we just tried to do was we tried to just let them know that we're still in this game, we want to fight hard, like in the challenge. We did that. I didn't try to suck up or anything like that. Stephanie used that as a last resort in the last episode.
But there was no more negativity towards them that we wanted them to see from us. We just went on with our day and we didn't try to distance ourselves. That was strictly them not playing with us.
Reality TV World: What seemed strange was when you guys decided to tell the other tribe that you wanted to flip at the merge because it was a "count your chickens before they hatch" type of strategy, given there were likely to be at least a few more Tribal Councils before the merge and you two were obviously next on the chopping block. Did you guys really have no strategy for how you were going to actually get to the merge, besides hoping for a tribal swap or your tribe winning the Immunity Challenges, or did the show just not show that?
Krista Klumpp: We thought that we could make it to the merge if we strictly kept winning, and if we were able to do that, then we wanted [the other tribe] to feel like they had us a part of their tribe. Now, that's what we wanted them to think and I can only say what I think happened and I believe that is what would have happened.
But if our tribe would have taken us in and really tried to make us believe that we were a part of the group -- or 'the family' as [Steve Wright] tried to say -- I would have probably reconsidered that. I can't speak for Stephanie, but I really would have probably reconsidered it, but they didn't do that.
So, I guess they weren't too worried about it because like I said, they have already made up their minds that if we lose, it's going to be me and Stephanie. It was obvious they already did that. They weren't caring -- in the last episode you saw they don't go with who was the stronger player -- they went with who they were comfortable with, and that's [Sarita White].
Reality TV World: Last week's episode had showed [Julie Wolfe] saying that while she still had hopes for swaying Stephanie, she didn't even want to "waste [her] breath" on you anymore. That seemed a little surprising given the show made it look like Stephanie was the one that was the more outspoken of the two of you out there, so do you have any explanation of why that was the case or why she would have said that?
Krista Klumpp: Some people, I feel like, are just bitter in general. (laughs)
I think Julie is one of those people, and so not wanting to waste breath on me anymore -- she didn't waste any breath in talking to me except about herself or about her life or whatever -- there was never anything about the game that she talked with me.
So, who knows what she's talking about right there. Maybe she's got her own animosity for whatever reason. I wasn't aware of it nor were any of the others about that.
Reality TV World: Before you were voted out, you were shown saying that you believed God already had a plan for what was going to happen at Tribal Council that night and then after you lost your duel to Matt, you said something similar. Can you explain your beliefs a little bit -- are you saying that you believe God spends his time deciding game show eliminations and challenges and your own actions played no role in where you finished in the game, or what were you trying to say with those comments?
Krista Klumpp: That's a good question, and this could really be may more drawn out so I'm going to really try and simplify it for you. I believe that God in my life is way bigger than a reality show, a TV show, a network, but I do believe that he uses things like that to work in people and to work for his good.
So, what I mean by that, is I believe that he put me on Survivor for a reason. I don't think it's chance or coincidence, and my experiences were, I feel like, as they should be. For whatever reasons you didn't see, I didn't see, or that I still don't see or know. So, for me to be voted out, that was my time.
I had my experiences, enlightenments and down times that I needed to have, and then I moved to Redemption Island, and I had the experiences and enlightenment and effects on Matt and on his life. My job, I feel like, was done. My purpose and the door that the Lord opened for me in my experience with Survivor was what it should have been.
So, do I believe God creates challenges? To me, that's dumbing him down and that's taking away from his power. So, no, I don't simplify it like that. It's bigger than that to me and it has a larger meaning than a challenge or any type of show for that matter.
Reality TV World: So just to clarify, do you then believe your own actions played a role in how you did in the game, or was it all predetermined, I guess?
Krista Klumpp: Yeah, yeah. No, I believe in my faith that we are all given free will. We are given the choice to make our own decisions, but we're also given the choice to ask for guidance and for strength.
With that, I made a lot of my decisions on my own, but I asked for strength and guidance from the Lord and the higher power. That's why I believe 100% percent that the way that the show went for me, and the things that happened, were for a reason and for a purpose.
Reality TV World: I wanted to ask you about your alliance with Russell. I'm assuming you had to have known about his "dumbass girl alliance" history and track record of allying himself with young women he doesn't hold in very high regard and considers disposable. So knowing that, what made you decide to ally with him?
Krista Klumpp: Well, it's funny because Russell does a lot of talking, but what does he do and what has he done in the past is that he protected his alliance whether they were his "dumbass girls" or whatever he decided to call them. But he's protected them and he's done what he's had to do in terms of giving away Immunity Idols to get them to the end.
Reality TV World: Well he's also turned on them if he later felt they weren't following his lead or somehow felt they were kind of stepping out of line on him. He hasn't universally protected all of them, is what I'm trying to say.
Krista Klumpp: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I wasn't just allying with Russell because I wanted him to do all the work to get me to the end, which is what a lot of people believe, and that's fine. That's understandable. I had my own plans.
I had my own guard up, and I knew of what Russell's track record was with aligning -- regardless of whether it was with those girls or not -- with his final two or three or whatever it may be. I had to just go with it, you know? When you get approached by Russell and the game is Survivor, you gotta make your decision and for me at that point, I really didn't feel like I had a choice. So, I went with it.
Reality TV World: Even though [Matt Elrod] and [Andrea Boehlke] both seemed to deny there was anything romantic budding between them, Andrea seemed to get pretty upset when a guy she'd known only five days was voted out and last night's episode also seemed to show her getting a little jealous that you seemed to have formed a bond with him during your brief time on Redemption Island. What are your thoughts about that -- do you think Andrea did have some type of a crush on Matt, and did she have any reason to be jealous of your own relationship with him?
Krista Klumpp: Yeah, you know, that was a surprise for me. I don't know Andrea. I didn't get to meet Andrea or get to know her, but from watching, they did have a connection in the beginning and they were forming that alliance and that trust.
So, I can see where she felt like he was having that type of connection with someone else and not with me. I get where she may have had her feelings hurt, but I don't believe she should read into that. I think she should just take that as understanding that Matt really is that type of guy that he is, which is so, so kind and trustworthy.
So anyway, I don't know her like I said, but I hope that it doesn't hurt Matt if he has a chance to get back into the game, because I think he'll really need Andrea if he does get the chance to do that.