Survivor: Blood vs. Water eliminated "loved one" Katie Collins from the game after she lost the season's eleventh Redemption Island duel during Wednesday night's penultimate episode of the CBS reality series' 27th edition.
Katie, a 25-year-old who works in hedge fund support from New York, NY, lost the duel to returning castaways Tina Wesson, a 52-year-old motivational speaker from Robbinsville, NC -- who is Katie's mother -- and Laura Morett, a 43-year-old construction company co-owner from Salem, OR.
Later in the episode, the merged Kasama tribe voted Kat Edorsson's boyfriend and former Big Brother winner Hayden Moss out of their tribe on Night 35 at the season's fourteenth Tribal Council session.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Katie 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: Last night, your mom asked whether you were okay with her not throwing the duel and eliminating you from the game, and you told her you were okay with it, but your response didn't come across that convincing to some viewers. What was really going through your head at the time?
Katie Collins: Yeah, I think what I said was, "It's okayy," (laughs) kind of like a defeated, "Ugh, alright," you know? Because we had made that pact that we would each try our hardest and may the best man win! And I know that that was probably the only thing we could've done. I didn't want her to lay down her game for me and let me win at the duel.
And I wouldn't have let her win either. I think we wanted that for each other and kind of shook hands, like, "Okay, this is how we're going to go about it." But you know, still knowing that I was going to be out of the game for good, of course I was reluctant.
But since we had made that agreement, that's the only thing I could have said! I wasn't going to jump for joy and be like, "Yip, yay, I get to go home!" (Laughs) You work so hard to get to where you are in the game, and then to lose -- and to someone that potentially would let you win -- it was a hard sort of decision. But it was mutual and we stuck with the plan.
Reality TV World: Was a part of you still surprised, however, that she actually went through with winning after you said you were okay with it?
Katie Collins: Yeah. I didn't think that she would let me win. I mean, she wouldn't go against my wishes. That's for sure. She wouldn't do anything against my will, and we seriously hashed it out the night before. If she were to do something that we didn't agree on, I think she knew she would be in big trouble on my end. (Laughs)
So she did what we had agreed to, and I wouldn't think that she would do anything other than that, but it seemed like she could potentially have [thrown it]. I mean, there was some hesitation on both of our ends, but I think that that's to be expected. It's hard to make those decisions.
Reality TV World: So was it simply, "May the best woman win," or was it something where you felt if she got back into the game, she might be able to go further than you, or maybe you assumed you could get further than her? Did that play any role at all?
Katie Collins: Not necessarily. We didn't really talk about the future game and who would be able to be the best gameplayer going back into the game potentially. We didn't really think that far in advance or talk about that aspect. Also, we didn't really toy with -- She did say, "I will lay down my game for you. I will let you win."
And I thought about it and thought about it -- and there's lots of time to think at Redemption Island, trust me -- and we came to that conclusion. I think we did talk about other options but it was pretty short-lived. We knew what we had to do and that was that! There was really no faltering from that plan.
Reality TV World: After last night's Tribal Council session, did you think Ciera Eastin had any hope to stay in the game if she didn't win Individual Immunity again? Going forward, she's still going to be down 3-2 no matter who comes back from Redemption Island, and if Monica Culpepper didn't flip on Tyson Apostol and Gervase Peterson before, could you envision a scenario in which Monica might decide to flip on them at the next Tribal?
Katie Collins: Yeah, and I know Ciera is thinking in her head, "Okay, Monica is really my one shot of plowing through this thing." Ciera kept talking about "as mother to mother," and really trying to relate to Monica.
I don't think it would be smart for Monica to falter from her alliance, and even you know, even last Tribal, if Monica were to go with Hayden and Ciera, I don't know how that would [have played out]. Because Hayden is a likeable guy, and obviously Ciera has her mom [Laura M.], the jury, and she's got a great game too. So I don't think Monica would have a great shot being next to say, hypothetically, Ciera.
And Ciera's game going forward, (laughs) now I feel like she knows how I felt -- it's like hanging by a thread. You just try everything. I'm proud of her for winning immunity. That was big. I just, I don't know, it's hard to say where the cracks are and if she can get in there.
I think she's crossing her fingers and [thinking about if] her mom re-enters, but still, they'd be the underdogs at that point. But Survivor, everyone knows it's a crazy game, so you don't know what's going to happen. You don't know what decisions are going to be made, and that's a fact and kind of the beauty of the game as well I think.
Reality TV World: So is that the sense you got? That the reason Monica chose not to flip on Tyson and Gervase was because she thought she wouldn't do much better at the end against Hayden and Ciera?
Katie Collins: I'm sure that played a big role in it, and also, she felt maybe indebted that Tyson and Gervase haven't faltered on their trustworthiness with Monica. We saw her last episode just feeling completely indebted to the guys, like, "I can't believe that you didn't turn on me!" And, "Thank you so much!"
I feel like [she thinks] she owes it to them to keep to her alliance, which actually makes her look good in a sense if you're going to base votes off of loyalty.
But also, yeah, I don't think she would have a good shot against Hayden, who's really kind of "the good guy," you know, and personable, great qualities. And Ciera also played a great game. So yeah, I think there were several different reasons but that's another thought process I would think she went through.
Reality TV World: Tyson and Gervase both seemed convinced they could beat Monica in a jury vote, but like you just pointed out, Monica has been pretty loyal to her alliance and she also has won, I believe, three Individual Immunity Challenges at this point. Those are both good claims she could make to the jury.
Katie Collins: Yeah! Very strong.
Reality TV World: So do you think Tyson and Gervase are dead-on with what they're thinking or do you think, if Monica did make it to the end, she could put together a pretty good case as to why she should be getting votes over them?
Katie Collins: Well, personally, she kept saying, "I'm playing Monica's game. I'm playing Monica's game." She won those challenges and all she said was it was for her kids, which is very admirable. Tyson's pissed a few people off. Looking at Ciera, she's played a good game. Gervase won a few immunities, but he's always thought of as second-string, second-fiddle.
Reality TV World: A supporting cast member. (Laughs)
Katie Collins: A supporting cast member, (laughs) yeah, exactly! But he likes to think that he's been the lead player. If Monica gets to the Final 3, I think that she has some key points if she's going to talk to the jury.
She could say, "Hey, I've been loyal to my alliance, I've won a lot of challenges," she's a strong arm around camp, and she stuck in there! I mean, she's made it far. So I think she has some key points to tell the jury if she makes the Final 3. So yeah, that would be a good alliance for her to be in to get votes.
Above is the first half of Katie's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.