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Exclusive: Nina Acosta discusses 'Survivor: One World' (Part 2)

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/24/2012 

Nina Acosta was voted out of her all-female Salani tribe at the second Tribal Council session of Survivor: One World during Wednesday night's second episode of the CBS reality series' 24th edition.

On Thursday, Nina, a 51-year-old retired LAPD officer from Clovis, CA, talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: One World experience and her early elimination from the game -- including how she believed Kat Edorsson's tears weren't always sincere, why she thought Alicia Rosa was so desperate to get Christina Cha out of the Salani tribe, whether she had any intention to join forces with the Manono tribe or at least socialize with them more, and why she waited to apply to get on Survivor when she had been interested in competing on the show since the beginning.

Below is the second portion of our exclusive interview with Nina. Click here to read the first half.

Reality TV World: Why do you think the girls in the core alliance of five -- [Chelsea Meissner, Kim Spradlin, Kat, Alicia, and Sabrina Thompson] -- seemed to refuse to change their alliance after only a few days in the game? At Tribal Council, there were some people expressing regret that in retrospect, they might do things differently as though it was too late to change things -- even though they were only less than a week into the game.

Nina Acosta: Ughh, that was so discouraging and disheartening to hear last night. Yeah, there's nothing preventing them from switching their vote to Kat. I think they could have done it, but I think everyone was afraid to. I'm not sure why and I think they felt sorry for Kat. She shed a lot of tears back at camp, "Poor me. I'm so sorry. I'll try harder next time."

Reality TV World: Do you think Kat's tears were intentional, a bit of an act or something?

Nina Acosta: Yeah, I think so. But I think they bought it. And then my comment to Kim was, "Okay that's great and if we had another three months out here, I'd give Kat all the chances in the world, but her mistakes are causing someone to leave and that someone is probably going to be or [Monica Culpepper]. So we don't have that luxury to allow -- or to keep bumbling around day after day. It just doesn't work that way.

Reality TV World: How bad was Kat while you were actually out there? She didn't seem to be very smart during that Immunity Challenge Wednesday night and it also seemed like part of that was that she had been doing things around camp that were driving you crazy as well.

Nina Acosta: Yeah, I think, to me, there's a huge age difference between the two of us. So, that's part of it. I'm 51, she's 22 and that's a huge age difference. I have kids her age, but my kids act so much different. So, it's a little difficult for me to relate to her, but I don't think she liked me either. So, I don't think there was any love lost between the two of us at all.

Reality TV World: How bad was the conflict between Alicia and Christina? Did those two ever resolve their issues and move past them while you were out there or did things still seem pretty bad when you left the game?

Nina Acosta: You know, that was really interesting. That was a very one-sided relationship as far as Alicia not liking Christina, and I think it was just -- this is women's intuition and a guess -- I think she was just jealous of the attention the guys gave Christina.

Christina is a very smart, nice gal -- a little irritating at times -- but there was really nothing not to like her about. I mean, Alicia just honed in on her for some reason... God!

Reality TV World: One of the possibilities Survivor host Jeff Probst had mentioned he thought that living on the same beach twist might bring was the castaways beginning to form a lot of cross-tribal alliances well before the merge. Other than [Colton Cumbie], did you see any other signs that that was happening or was that something that you had considered yourself? Do you think Christina was maybe doing some of that?

Nina Acosta: I think Christina -- the reason Christina was doing that is I think she was actually wanting to help the tribe. I think her focus was to help us. We needed fire. I don't think there was any subterfuge on her part. I don't think she was trying to do that. Clearly, I think she was trying to help us out. So, that was okay.

I wasn't okay with groveling to the guys. I felt like we should just tough it out and stay together and not ask them for help. I think it made us look weaker. Were other people going over there? Yeah. I think there was some talk. I think Kim was trying to make some endows to find out who was the leader over there.

I think she was trying to find out who was in charge and so, yeah. I think there was some talk back and forth. I don't think it was -- I don't think it was a lot of strategy going on, I don't know, because I decided to stay away. I made a decision to not socialize with the guys, because I wanted to focus on my own tribe. I thought we had enough to worry about. (Laughs)

Reality TV World: Did you ever get a sense of who the leader might have been on the all-male Manono tribe? Did Kim ever come back with anything you thought was conclusive?

Nina Acosta: You know, I am not sure. I think [Mike Jefferson] may have been in a leadership role. I think [Bill Posley] possibly may have been leadership material. [Matt Quinlan] definitely is a strong intelligent guy. Any one of those guys could have emerged as the leader. I don't really know at this point.

Reality TV World: There's been a little confusion over exactly how close your camps were. Last week's episode made it look like you guys were almost literally side-by-side and maybe 40-50 feet apart or something, but in this week's episode, some of the castaway's comments suggested it was a bigger distance than that. How close were the two tribes?

Nina Acosta: It was close. We could see it. We could see their camp from our camp.

Reality TV World: But you couldn't actually hear each other's conversations or anything like that, correct?

Nina Acosta: You could hear stuff. You could hear whispering and I could hear [Greg "Tarzan" Smith] doing his mating call or whatever he was doing out there. (Laughs) But no. You couldn't hear their conversations. You had to get up on camp, but you could see them. You could see the smoke, I mean, it was close -- close enough -- too close.

Reality TV World: You said Kat was "very immature" and thought your tribe was in deep trouble and going to be taken apart piece by piece by the men in your final words. Do you think your tribes problems go beyond Kat or do you think they could have just solved them and turned things around if they had gotten rid of her?

Nina Acosta: I think it would have been a much different, I don't know, just a much different tenor and it would have been much better without her. I think we would have been more focused. It would have been a lot less "ha ha ha." I think you have to put everything into perspective. It's a great experience, we're all out there, it's a beautiful place, "Yeah, let's have some fun."

But really, what are we out there for? We're all there to get to the end and win a million bucks, so let's stay focused. I think she was almost distracting as Colton was in some ways, and I think if she had been gone, there would have been more discussion about people's strengths, weaknesses, how to get it together as a tribe.

Reality TV World: Your face seemed to be pretty bruised during last week's episode but seemed to be much better by the time you got voted off. Was it just bruising? Did the medical team ever have to check you out or anything?

Nina Acosta: It swelled up pretty quickly right -- it looked -- I was horrified about how bad I looked. I looked horrible, but I was concerned I broke my nose. I didn't, but I got my face in the salt water right away and that seemed to help it immediately. So it was looked at.

There was really nothing they could do for me. I didn't chip a tooth, I didn't break my nose, and quite honestly, I wasn't interested in any medical attention. I was still ready to rock and roll, so it was just, "Oh well, part of Survivor." (Laughs)

Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor: One World? How did you get on the show?

Nina Acosta: You know, I have always been interested in the show, I mean, from day one. And I was a new mom at the time and it really wasn't in the cards for me, because I had young kids. I had three step kids who were very young, and then I had my daughter when the show first aired. And I thought, "Oh, if I had the ability to go, I would."

But my family needed me, so I thought at some point recently, "Hey! It's either now or never. I'm not getting any younger," and I put my video together and it was a whirlwind. They selected me and I was surprised as anybody but very excited.

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