Exclusive: Brenda Lowe talks 'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 05/09/2013
Brenda Lowe, a 30-year-old paddleboard company owner from Miami, FL, was voted out of Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' merged Enil Edam tribe during Wednesday night's thirteenth episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Brenda was voted out of her tribe at the season's fourteenth Tribal Council session, the seventh time the new Enil Edam tribe had an elimination vote.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Brenda talked about her Survivor experience and emotional departure. Below is the first half of Brenda's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: You were obviously very emotional after you were voted out and seemed genuinely hurt by what happened. I know that was filmed almost a year ago at this point, but can you explain what you were feeling at the time and why you reacted so strongly?
Brenda Lowe: Yeah, you know, it wasn't being so concealing on my side -- just being so connected to [Dawn Meehan]. And so, it was like family. You wouldn't do that to your family, and I never in a million years could've thought that she would be capable of something like that. So to have it just smacked in your face, like without any -- there wasn't even a "sorry," nothing from her. It just really, really hurt my feelings.
Reality TV World: So your reaction was directed more specifically at Dawn rather than everyone else, is what you're saying?
Brenda Lowe: Yeah. Everyone else, I could understand because it's a game and I understood the strategy part of it. I understood that part. You have to blindside people, I got it. But from her part, I thought in a weird way that we couldn't possibly turn on each other, because I was no way ever going to turn on her.
Reality TV World: So even though there were only three votes cast for you, you immediately figured out one of them must've been Dawn?
Reality TV World: After the vote was revealed, you said something like, "I knew it," that suggested you had a feeling they might be betraying you. Could you elaborate on that a little bit, and if so, what had made you feel that way?
Brenda Lowe: Well back at camp, I felt like something was off. I never know how to explain it. It's just a feeling that you get. I didn't feel that paranoia before. It was a couple minutes before heading to Tribal. It was the way I felt [John Cochran] would look at me. He'd kind of look down, and same with [Sherri Biethman]. They'd make eye contact with me and then kind of look away.
And it was that thing of, "What, you can't talk to me? What's going on?" They were kind of a little distant and kind of avoiding eye contact. So that made me kind of look at Dawn too and be like, "What's going on here? What's happening?" And she kept reassuring me that everything was okay, but I just kept telling her -- I'm like, "Something doesn't feel right. Something doesn't feel right." And then yup, it was right!
Reality TV World: How big of a role do you think your Reward Challenge win and decision to give up yourself and Dawn's loved ones so the others could see their own played in your vote-off? Or do you not think it played any role at all?
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Brenda Lowe: Now I see that it pretty much did in a really big way unfortunately, which I honestly was like, "Really, you're going to use that against me?!" I didn't think that we would be there, you know -- yet.
But it did, and I didn't think that at the moment. I'm like, "I thought everyone would be happy about it." I thought that I wouldn't be patting myself on the back, going, "Yeah, I got the jury in my pocket!" I didn't think that.
I mean, I wasn't thinking that. I was so happy just seeing my dad. It wasn't a strategic move. It was like, "Sure, let everyone have a great time because I just won a Reward Challenge with my dad and it was amazing." But I didn't see it like that at all.
Reality TV World: In what way do you think it played a role? Do you think it affected Dawn or Cochran's outlook on things, and if so, how? Do you think Dawn might've been a little resentful somehow and it pushed her to be more willing to betray you?
Brenda Lowe: I think it played a role in Dawn and Cochran [being] extremely strategic of, "Okay, well there goes our jury votes." They're the ones that are thinking about the end. They're the ones that are like, "Okay, not only are we going to get to the end, but we're going to make sure that we have the most jury votes."
So with that strategy in mind, yeah, you know? I probably would've gotten more of the jury votes just because of doing something nice or, "I'm not doing anything bad to you." And yes, so that was a huge like kick to the balance on the side of, "Maybe we should vote her out and do it during a time when she doesn't see it, which is now."
Reality TV World: Do you think the turn of events with the Reward Challenge maybe damaged your relationship with Dawn to the point where she somehow became resentful towards you for having her miss out on time with her husband and best friend?
Brenda Lowe: For me, it was just so hard to believe, like, "I picked you first so we could go on the Reward Challenge together," you know? It wasn't like, "I picked you because in the end I know we'd lose together." So I was not looking at it like that at all. I wanted her to see like, "I chose you without any hesitation because we're in this together. You needed it so badly. You wanted to see your husband so badly."
And there was no other option. There was no other choice for me but to pick [Dawn]. I never in a million years would've been like, "She's mad at me about that." I could never be mad at somebody for choosing me and then having to give it up. You can't be mad at that person!
Reality TV World: Not logically anyway. But after 30-something days, not everyone is thinking logically out there all the time, it seems. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So who did you really hope to go to the Final 3 with?
Brenda Lowe: I was really hoping at that moment to go to the Final 3 with [Erik Reichenbach] and Dawn. That is what I had envisioned for a long time -- around merge time, definitely after [Dawn's] teeth thing, it was like, "That's it!" It was a plan. It had my steps.
It would be this person, then this person, then this person, then this person would go, and then it'd be me, Erik and Dawn in the Final 3. That was my [idea] for the longest time.
Reality TV World: And that was because obviously you were confident you could beat both of them in the jury vote, I'm guessing?
Brenda Lowe: Confident that I could beat both of them and I felt good to go with two people that I actually liked. And in the vote, I felt like I could still beat them.
Reality TV World: So you actually liked Erik?! (Laughs)
Brenda Lowe: Yeah, I liked Erik! He was very in-his-own-world. He did nothing wrong and we were both terrified in the beginning because we were at the bottom. We were never a part of the "Stealth R Us" thing, so we were both kind of like, "Oh my God, oh my God, what do we do?! What do we do?" (Laughs)
So we did bond a little bit in the beginning and then we just became very independent players, as you could see. But he did nothing wrong to me, so I didn't mind going to the end with him.
Reality TV World: When I've talked to other castaways, they seemed to all agree they didn't really understand Erik. Do you feel you understood him, or did you also not understand him but still liked him?
Brenda Lowe: Still didn't understand him, but I felt like he would not betray me. I felt like he did not like certain people, like for example, he didn't like [Phillip Sheppard] and he didn't trust [Andrea Boehlke] and he knew we needed to take out Cochran. And my name probably wasn't at the top of that list.
Above is the first half of Brenda's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.