Tina Wesson talks about 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'
By Reality TV World staff , 12/19/2013
Tina Wesson finished Survivor: Blood vs. Water in fourth place during the first half of Sunday night's special two-hour finale broadcast on CBS.
Returnee Tina Wesson, a 52-year-old motivational speaker from Robbinsville, NC, got voted out just before making the Final 3 after runner-up Monica Culpepper wouldn't flip on her alliance with winner Tyson Apostol and third-place finisher Gervase Peterson. Monica had the chance to join forces with Tina and force a two-two tie vote, but she chose not to.
Tina previously won Survivor's second season, Survivor: The Australian Outback, in 2001. She subsequently was the first person voted out of Survivor: All-Stars in 2004.
During a Monday conference call with reporters, Tina talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: Blood vs. Water experience. Check back with us later this week for additional interviews with the rest of the season's finale castaways.
Reality TV World: Did you believe Monica was ever going to flip on Tyson and Gervase? And if so, when was that?
Tina Wesson: The reason why Monica came to us, I knew that there was no way that she would switch because she knew that she had her best chance if she stayed with Gervase and Tyson.
Reality TV World: Going back to the Redemption Island duel when your victory ultimately eliminated your daughter Katie Collins, it seemed like you were hesitant to beat Katie when you were approaching the end of the challenge and having doubts. Was that actually the case? Katie did give you a half-hearted and sort of unconvincing, "I'm okay with it" response.
Tina Wesson: Well actually what you didn't see is that Katie's key was laid down deep into the sand and we would've been there all afternoon to get Katie's key out of the sand. (Laughs) So we did talk about it, and Katie's like, "Mom, there's no way I can get this. Go on."
So it looked as if it was a little bit of a conversation, but really, there was no opportunity for her to come back and win this thing. And we had talked the night before and we both -- Katie had said, "Let's just both go in there and both play our game, and whatever happens happens."
Reality TV World: Why do you think you could've won if you had made it to the end? Who might you have been competing against in the Final 3 that would make the difference of you winning or losing?
Tina Wesson: Part of it is because one of the social aspects of Survivor is to vote the people out and try to do it in such a way that they don't have a lot of animosity at the end, which is an extremely difficult thing to do. And I feel as if everybody that was on the jury came through Redemption Island and they were not happy. (Laughs)
They were kind of disgruntled with the Final 3, so anybody else had gone back into the game, the jury would've voted for them other than the three people who were sitting at the end. So that's why [Ciera Eastin] mentioned that whether it was me or [Hayden Moss] or Ciera or [Laura Morett], whoever got back into that Final 3 spot would've won the game.
Reality TV World: Earlier in the season, you were shown saying you hoped there might be something romantic going on between Katie and Vytas Baskauskas, and when I talked to Vytas he admitted he had intentionally tried to present himself as potential son-in-law material to you because he thought that might get him further in the game. Did that surprise you, or what was your reaction to that?
Tina Wesson: (Laughs) You know, Vytas came across as a real gentleman and a really likeable, nice guy. And you find out very quickly that Vytas is really a huge ladies' man, so I actually had a talk with him and reneged my comment.
Katie is very particular about the guys that she dates and I said, "You're just a ladies' man! You're not good enough for my daughter!" We were kind of joking about it, but it was interesting that it became a point of conversation on the show.
Reality TV World: What do you think the biggest difference was competing onSurvivor's "loved ones" format versus the prior seasons you competed on?
Tina Wesson: Oh wow. Well, there's several differences. One is this season was so much easier physically. The starvation was about the same to some degree. We had a little more rain in Australia, so we didn't spoil our rice as much. But we didn't have rain, so that was really nice. It was usually like 120 [degrees]. It was hot and I'm very cold-natured so I never got cold.
It was so nice having my daughter out there, and I was so fortunate that I got to spend a lot of time with Katie. With a lot of people playing the game, you do not get that opportunity to share with your "loved one." It brought me such comfort having her there.
So in many aspects, it was a lot easier. The only thing that was harder was this constant "old school, new school" where, early on when we played, we formed our alliances, we stuck to it, and you don't have to run around for six weeks in this state of pure terror and paranoia. And that's what the game is now. If you form an alliance, you have no idea whether or not it will stick.
Reality TV World: In the last duel, Laura was shown asking you to quit the duel and let her return to the game. Do you have any idea why she thought you might agree to that? And how big of a surprise was that for you?
Tina Wesson: (Laughs) Well desperate times call for desperate measures. You know, Laura is one of the biggest competitors that I have ever met, and she wanted this so, so desperately.
I think it was something just, maybe, instinctual whenever you know that you're about to go down -- like, "What can I do?!" And I think it just came out. I don't think that she expected that I would give it to her, but I think she just threw it out there.
Check back with us later this week for additional interviews with the rest of the season's finale castaways.