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Exclusive: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' eliminee So Kim talks (Part 1)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/26/2015 

Survivor: Worlds Apart eliminated So Kim during Wednesday night's premiere of the CBS reality competition's 30th season.

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So Kim, a 31-year-old retail buyer from Long Beach, CA, was voted out of her White Collar tribe, called the Masaya Tribe, on Day 3 at the season's first Tribal Council session.

Her tribe didn't find her trustworthy considering how she had lied about the show's "Deceive" and "Honesty" twist at the beginning of the episode. So Kim, who performed well in the Immunity Challenge, was shocked the men didn't target another woman in tribe.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, So Kim talked about her short-lived Survivor experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.

Reality TV World: So is it safe to say you went into Tribal Council thinking Carolyn Rivera was going to be voted off and got blindsided?

So Kim: It's safe to say that that is exactly what happened, yes. It was a complete blindside. I thought we were locked for Carolyn and yup! I think (laughs) when we sat down and conversations started to role, I realized pretty much right away that I was in trouble.

Reality TV World: Why do you think they decided to keep Carolyn instead of you?

So Kim: Well, I think there were several factors in play, right? So, we had talked about it as a group that we had to keep the tribe strong, and so the three girls had talked and we knew that it was going to be one of the girls. Now after the challenge, I knew I had done really well, and the three boys had approached me and said, "Hey, the four of us should work together. This will be the core four right here."

So, I kind of went along with that, and when we all got back to camp -- after losing that first challenge -- [Shirin Oskooi] and Carolyn immediately became very, very paranoid. Well, I had promised Shirin that I would protect her, so I had kind of convinced the other guys, "Okay, instead of Shirin, let's get out Carolyn."

Well, what ended up happening is that [Max Dawson] had always wanted to work with two weaker girls, and by saving them, we had hoped that they would be indebted to him later on in the game. So, the three of them ended up working together and kind of got Tyler locked up with them once, I think, Carolyn showed him the idol.

So that's actually what ended up happening kind of behind my back. I think [Tyler Fredrickson] could've been the swing vote, but when Carolyn showed him the idol, it kind of became, like, "Okay, I guess I was the one to go then."

Reality TV World: If you had Tyler, it would've been a 3-3 vote. But you're thinking if you had gotten Tyler, then Max...

So Kim: If I could have, yeah, gotten Shirin to -- because Shirin was extremely paranoid. When we got back to camp, I mean, she was bawling, she was sobbing. She knew that she was in trouble. And I kept telling her, "You're not in trouble. You're not in trouble." But she was so paranoid and she knew that, you know, I think her and Carolyn realized that the three boys had been talking to me a lot.

And, so, they kind of flipped the game and said, "Okay, well, So Kim thinks that she's safe. How about the two of us try and get two other people onboard?" [They] positioned the fact that [Joaquin Souberbielle] and I had been working so closely together, so it was very smart on their part, right?

I mean, they knew that it was going to be a girl, so the two weaker girls got together. And on a tribe of six, once you get two, you can start to kind of wean other people in. And I felt way too safe. So, it kind of worked in their advantage because they knew I felt really safe, and then things kind of went on in that form.

Reality TV World: How big of a role do you think the decision you made with Joaquin to lie about the hidden Immunity Idol clue and the neutral option played in your vote off? And was Tribal Council the first time you found out none of your tribemates had believed your story?

So Kim: So, what actually happened is, when we made that decision -- I mean, you kind of see it on-air -- but I really didn't think we were making the right decision. I kind of argued with Joaquin a little bit. I tried to convince him to take the "Honest," but I got really excited and he was so focused on going with "Deceive" and getting that clue that I kind of went along with it.

Once we got back to camp, I actually did tell Shirin about it. She did know about the clue, and that was my way of telling her, "Don't worry. You and I will work together. I trust you and you can trust me. I'm showing this to you because I want you to know that you can trust me."

Max knew right away that something [was up]. He actually asked me about it prior to us going to Tribal, when it actually ended up coming out. So, no. When we were at Tribal -- it wasn't the first [revelation].

Everybody already knew about the clue. So, it was just Max and Shirin basically emphasizing the fact that they knew about the clue. But Shirin actually knew about it because I told her about it.

Reality TV World: So were you concerned that people might be holding that lie against you or did you believe everyone was completely okay with it?

So Kim: You know, at that point, I thought that Shirin and I would be working together and Joaquin and I would be working together. I had made the decision to show Shirin the clue and thought it was actually fine. And Max, he also knew about the clue.

But as he said, it was something that he was aware of also and it's a decision that he would've made. And then, you know, it was really Tyler and Carolyn who didn't know about it, and Carolyn was the one that I thought we were voting off. So, I didn't think (laughs) that it was going to be a big deal.

Reality TV World: Do you think Tyler found out you were lying?

So Kim: Yes, also yes. I think everyone -- what we should've -- yeah, hindsight is 20/20. What we should've done is, knowing that we had some of the savviest players on this tribe and some of the most prestigious ones that knew the game in and out, we should've been honest about it from the beginning.

We should have picked the "Deceive," brought back the clue and shared it with everyone instead of it coming out in pieces the way it did. So, that might have hurt us.

But I actually really do think what ended up happening, more so, is that the two girls were so paranoid and Max really wanted to work with two weak girls. That was sort of his strategic gameplay from the very beginning. So then the three of them being together in a tribe of six, well you just need one other person, so.

Reality TV World: And do you think Tyler chose to side with them because Carolyn told him that she had found the idol?

So Kim: I do. I think that was the solidifier.

Reality TV World: Did Joaquin and yourself ever suspect someone else might've managed to find the idol without the clue or did you just think it was still out there to find?

So Kim: It wasn't just Joaquin and I looking for the idol. I mean, it was pretty obvious. Shirin was looking for it; Max was looking for it. So the four of us would actually talk about, "Why can't we find this idol?! We have the clue. We are supposed to know where it is."

But we knew Tyler wasn't looking for it because he's been so adamant about not looking for the idol because he had wanted us to work as a team. Carolyn, we never saw her go off! So, the fact she found the idol was a complete shock to everyone when we saw that. But in retrospect, we should have, yeah!

The fact we couldn't find it and we knew where it was -- the positioning of where that idol was supposed to be -- we should've entertained the idea that someone found it. But we just didn't think that was a possibility.

Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you learned Carolyn had told Tyler she had found the idol and do you think that was a good or bad move to do something like that on Day 3?

So Kim: I mean, what can you do but laugh? I laughed because it was amazing that she found it and she used it in the way that she should have. She was very smart in doing that. She knew that Tyler was sort of the one that was questionable and she made the right decision in only sharing it with him. And I think that was a good move on her part! I think she played that beautifully.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of So Kim's exclusive interview.


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