Chelsea Meissner: My biggest mistake was not developing better 'Survivor' relationships
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/24/2012
Chelsea Meissner made it to Survivor: One World's Final 3 but finished in third place and missed out on the $1 million grand prize during the live portion of last Sunday night's finale broadcast on CBS.
Chelsea, a 26-year-old in medical sales from Charleston, SC, was beaten out by Survivor: One World champion Kim Spradlin, a 29-year-old bridal shop owner from San Antonio, TX, and runner-up Sabrina Thompson, a 33-year-old high school teacher from Brooklyn, NY, in the season's final jury voting results, which Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed live during the episode.
Chelsea received zero votes from the jury, while Kim received all but two votes. Sabrina's two votes came from Troy "Troyzan" Robertson and Leif Manson.
During a conference call with reporters last week, Chelsea talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: One World experience. Click here to read what she had to say.
Below is the concluding portion of Chelsea's call with reporters -- including whether she thought she was cold to her fellow castaways during the season or was misunderstood, why there didn't come a time when she actually considered voting Kim out and whether there's anything romantic going on between herself and Jay Byars.
During the jury questioning, some of your fellow castaways acted like you had been a little cold throughout the game. Did you feel like you were a little distant while at camp?
Chelsea Meissner: Yeah, and I think that was one of my biggest mistakes, is that towards the end, I didn't develop the relationships that I probably should have. I just kept my distance a lot and I just felt like if I wasn't -- If I didn't become everybody's best friend, it wouldn't be as bad if I blindsided them, and that's probably not the smartest way to play the game.
But I think people kind of took that as me having a cold shoulder, which I don't at all have a cold shoulder towards any of them, but it might've come across that way.
What was going through your mind during the final Tribal Council? Did you think you had any votes? What was your read on the jury?
Chelsea Meissner: Honestly, I expected it to play out how it did. I didn't expect to get any votes just because of how final Tribal went and the questions that were asked. So I wasn't surprised at all.
Kim was involved in a couple discussions in which she considered voting you both out. When you watched the season back, how did you feel about that? Were you a little insulted or did you think she was just playing the game?
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Chelsea Meissner: I just think me and Kim had a lot of communication throughout the whole season, and when she would go on a Reward and there was a lot of talk, she would come right back to camp and tell me exactly what they talked about.
Out there, I trusted her. And now watching it on TV, she was very honest with me the entire time. So, if there were talks about me going, a lot of times, she would come up and tell me. She would say, "I'm telling them this, but that's not what's going to happen." So I just always trusted her.
At what point in the game do you think the men lost their edge? Do you think it was when they chose to give up immunity and vote Bill Posley out or was it after that?
Chelsea Meissner: I think there was a lot of things that we didn't see. At the very beginning of the season, we didn't get to see any of the guys' [Tribal Councils]. We didn't know how evil [Colton Cumbie] was just because we never saw any of those. We didn't know what he did to Bill. So all that stuff really shocked me, because I had no idea until I started watching it on TV.
And then there's little conversations here or there, that you had no idea about. So I just remember every Wednesday night at 8, I'd just have this anxiety attack, because I had no idea what I was about to watch. But all in all, I think it was a good season. It was good to watch.
Was there ever a time when you really thought about working with other people to get Kim out? Why or why not?
Chelsea Meissner: I just think throughout the season everyone saw Kim and I as a pair, and I knew that if she were to go, I would be the next on the chopping block. So I thought it was better to align with a very strong competitor and keep her around so that we could kind of tag-team it, because I knew if she was gone, I'd be next.
Not only that, but I knew she had Final 3 talk with almost every single person on that island, so it was hard to go to someone who trusted in Kim and try to get them to change their mind on her, because if that got back to Kim, then I'd be dunzo. So, I just kind of agreed with Sabrina and we just stuck with the pact. We honestly made that pact on Day 1, and it's crazy that it lasted throughout the whole game.
Why was it key for the girls to get Jonas Otsuji out?
Chelsea Meissner: Well at the time of the merge, it was [when] the numbers were even. We had just as many males as we did females, and that very first vote-off was going to be the most important vote of the season really. That's how the girls ended up dominating -- was just that one vote -- and Jonas was a very strong player.
He was Troy's right-hand man and getting Troy convinced that Jonas needed to go, was huge. And as soon as it was more females than males, we just knew that we had a shot to go a lot further in the game.
Did you ever feel like you had a really good shot at winning during the game and at what point did you realize that you weren't going to be winning?
Chelsea Meissner: (Laughs) I feel like I kind of knew that was going to happen before the finale last night. I just think the way the final Tribal went, people weren't as bitter towards Kim as she thought, and I knew that people saw her as the strongest player socially and physically.
I just figured if they were voting as who was the toughest competitor, who deserved to be there the most and who played the game the strongest, that it was no question in anybody's mind that it was her. Really, my only saving grace would've been people who were still bitter with her and just didn't want her to win because she screwed people over. But that's not what happened, so.
Is there anything you would like to do differently in playing Survivor if given the opportunity to compete in the game again?
Chelsea Meissner: Yes, I think -- there's a lot of people out there that had no idea that I would sit there and go back and forth with Kim because I didn't want them to go. I literally went to bat for them, and they had no idea until they watched the show.
People thought that I was just like, "Kim, who do you want gone?" And then it's done, you know? But after they watched the show and saw that Kim and I went back and forth and I was like, "Ugh, I don't want them to go," or, "Are you sure? I really don't want them gone."
Honestly, thank God for Kim, because one stupid move and that would've been on my part -- to keep the guys around, you know? So I think after they watched the season, they were like, "Oh my God. I had no idea." So that was my biggest mistake, was that I truly did try to keep people around and they had no idea.
You and Jay seemed to have a very close relationship. Is there anything going on romantically between you two now or was there while you were out there?
Chelsea Meissner: (Laughs) We get that all the time, but no. We're just very good friends. It's crazy that -- South Carolina just seems like everybody knows everybody and we do have a lot of mutual friends. We don't live too far apart, so it's just been easy for me to hang out, but no. We're just friends.
Above is the concluding portion of Chelsea's call with reporters. Click here to read what she had to say to Reality TV World. To read Kim's interview, click hereand here. To begin reading Sabrina's interview, click here. To check out Alicia Rosa's interview, click here. And finally, to learn what Christina Cha had to say about her Survivor experience, click here.