Exclusive: 'Survivor: Kaoh Rong' castoff Anna Khait talks (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/17/2016
Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty featured a tribal swap and then the new Gondol tribe voted out former Beauty castaway Anna Khait during Wednesday night's broadcast on CBS.
After the three tribes became two and the new Gondol tribe lost the Immunity Challenge, its members voted out Anna, a 26-year-old pro poker player from Brooklyn, NY, on Night 13 at the game's fifth Tribal Council session. Due to Caleb Reynolds' medical evacuation, Anna became the sixth person to leave the game but only the fifth person voted out.
Anna and fellow Beauty castaway Tai Trang were on the outs of their new tribe since there were three former Brains members as well as Scot Pollard, who was definitely an asset to the tribe in physical challenges. In the end, they got rid of Anna instead of Tai.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Anna talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: You knew you were on the chopping block going into Tribal, but you still seemed blindsided about your vote off. What exactly did you think was the plan and how confident were you it was going to happen? I know you thought Tai Trang was going to use his idol somehow to take out Peter Baggenstos.
Anna Khait: Mhmm. Well, before Tai showed me the idol, I was pretty certain that I was going home, but I was still giving it a fight. Once Tai showed me the idol, it was about a half-hour before we got to Tribal. I was like, "Wow, we're really going to change this up." I was real excited. I thought there was a good chance Tai would use it.
I did think it was a little early for him to use it, so I wasn't 100% sure he was going to use it, but I was confident that he was going to. So, I was clearly shocked when he didn't, you know? It would've been great to have the numbers and then [Julia Sokolowski] was going to come in, and I thought it was good because we could take control of the game and make a big move and stuff.
Reality TV World: Why do you ultimately think Tai chose to vote you off instead of targeting Peter? Do you think Tai just became really close with Scot and maybe Scot got inside his head a little bit and told him what to do?
Anna Khait: Yeah, I thought for a minute maybe [Scot Pollard] told him about his idol and that they could both use a "Super Idol" together. I mean, it wasn't really Scot's idol -- it was more [Kyle Jason]'s idol -- but you know, Scot thinks they're really close out there. I also thought maybe, well at that time, I didn't know that obviously.
But speaking about it now, maybe the "Super Idol" was talked about. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe Scot convinced Tai that it was too early to use the idol, and in one hand, he has a valid case. He does have a point. But on the other hand, you could also kind of take the game in your own hands and play a fun game. It would've been really cool.
And you're also trusting people that, you know, you're a target when you don't have the numbers, so you're trusting people not to vote you out and save the idol in the long run. So I think he probably thought it was too early, in my opinion. But at that time, I didn't know! I didn't know what he was thinking.
Reality TV World: Jeff Probst made a good point that you and Tai could've worked with Scot and then forced a three-three tie at Tribal against the former Brains. It would've made sense because the Brains will likely pick Scot and Tai off next. So did you try to get that plan going before Scot became so close to the Brains? And if so, why do you think it failed?
Anna Khait: Scot was pretty much talking to all of us. I was really thinking about coming after Peter once [Joseph "Joe" Del Campo] told me that Peter was on the bottom of the alliance. I kind of knew what happened with the whole [Elisabeth "Liz" Markham] situation and how Peter voted for Aubry Bracco and vice versa.
And I was kind of angling to get out Peter, but my read on them was that, you know, their body language told me that they were set and not going to vote out Peter. They weren't looking at me in the eyes, their body language said, "We're not voting for him."
So, I had to think of another plan, and I always had a backup plan of throwing Tai under the bus because, you know, I called him out for looking for an idol and all that kind of stuff. So I told them that I really think he has it. I tried to throw him under the bus as much as I could, and yeah.
Reality TV World: Do you think everyone voted you out instead of Tai simply because he was a great provider for the tribe or was there more to it than that? And looking back, do you think there was anything else you could've done to save yourself or do you feel like you were simply doomed because of the tribal swap?
Anna Khait: I think that Tai had a good connection with them. I was worried about it right away and I fought right away. I was like, "Okay, he's a really good provider," and I was afraid that they would like him! Because I genuinely liked Tai out there too.
I mean, I adored him out there. He's sweet, he's adorable, he loves animals, he's a good provider, he climbs trees to get mangoes. He's just so well liked. But you know, he was a little injured. He couldn't really swim. And I was trying to give them negative things about him.
But I knew I was in trouble in terms of how likable he is. But the other twist that kind of did me in, in my opinion, is that not only did we have a swap and I lost numbers, but there was the extra twist of Julia from the Beauty tribe coming in to take a person's place.
Reality TV World: Right.
Anna Khait: She'll take the place of the person voted out. So for me, the fact that Julia was coming really did me in. Really did me in, you know? So, they weren't looking at anyone except for me and Tai, so I knew it was 50/50.
And I thought, "Since Tai is really likable, I just have to give it my all and try my best," because I wasn't going to go down without a fight. And I gave a good fight. There's not much you can do in that situation, I think.
Reality TV World: We saw Tai saying he wasn't a fan of Peter and wanted him gone because he came across very arrogant. You said you wanted to get rid of Peter at one point. Was that just because you were told he was on the bottom and he was simply the easiest target, or was it personal for you as well? Did you have an issue with him?
Anna Khait: No, no. It wasn't personal at all. It was more of, "How do I keep myself in the game?" If I need to get rid of Joe or Tai or if I have to get rid of Peter, I'm going to go for whom I have to go for, and I'm going to take whatever piece of rope I can hold onto.
So, it wasn't personal with Peter at all. I didn't necessarily like him out there, but it really wasn't because I didn't like him. It was because I thought that he's the best person I can go after if it's not Tai. I mean, it would be awesome to keep Tai and have Julia come in!
I really wanted to go for Peter, but you know, the Brains were too smart in understanding the fact that numbers are everything in this game, and even though Peter is not trustworthy for them in their opinion, he's good to keep for one more vote maybe and get him out the next time. I think that's what they were thinking. Yeah, I was just going after Peter because that was one of the best moves I could've made.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like at the time you left the game, you believed Peter could still be the next target rather than Julia when she comes back?
Anna Khait: Yeah! I mean, that's how I felt in the game. I was pretty certain that after me, it was going to be him. But you never know! Julia could come in and they might want to get rid of her.
So, it all depends on what they're thinking, but in that moment, that's what I was thinking. Peter was on the bottom and he was a good person to take out because they really wanted him out, so we'll see what happens. I'm not sure what happens, so we'll have to see!
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Anna's exclusive Survivor interview.