Exclusive: Katrina Radke talks 'Survivor' -- When I saw my Heroes tribe, I was devastated to be honest
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/04/2017
Katrina Radke was voted out of the Heroes tribe during the premiere of Survivor's 35th season called Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers on CBS.
Katrina, a 46-year-old former Olympian from Minneapolis, MN, was voted out of her "Levu" tribe through a unanimous vote after the Heroes tribe finished in last place at the first Immunity Challenge of the season.
During a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Katrina talked about her short-lived Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion of what Katrina had to say.
Reality TV World: Ryan Ulrich from the Hustlers tribe was shown saying that he wanted to give his secret idol to an outsider on the losing tribe as a way to target a big threat in the game, which would obviously serve Ryan's game well in the long-run. Do you think Chrissy getting sick after the Immunity Challenge is why Ryan picked her? Do you have any insight into that?
Katrina Radke: She probably looked the weakest on top of being sick too. I think out of the six of us, she's definitely the least athletic. So that definitely [played a role]. I'm sure that's part of it. But it's hard to say what Ryan was thinking without talking to Ryan specifically about that.
Reality TV World: How frustrating was it for the Heroes to be able to choose a maze in first place at the challenge but then finish in last place? Were you guys shocked the traditional maze turned out to be the most difficult one?
Katrina Radke: Well, it's interesting because everything was so close! I was surprised when we got to the maze that we were even there first. We were so close to the other two tribes! And I remember JP really wanted to do that puzzle, and so, you're thinking long-term. You want to look at the team and that might be a team person.
But I didn't want to do the [traditional]. I wanted to do the simple one, which was the straight line, even though it had a gap in the middle. Because if you just balance it right, [the ball] can go through [the whole puzzle]. But I think it took so long for ours, quite frankly.
The timing they show you on TV is very different than what it really is, because it took a lot longer than that! But yeah, (laughs) it was very interesting, to say the least. But it was much closer than you think throughout. There's no guarantee, even if you are physically stronger, that you're going to win the challenge.
Reality TV World: What was the most frustrating thing about being voted off first. For example, you didn't even get to show off your swimming skills!
Katrina Radke: You know, (laughs) it's so funny because everybody keeps mentioning these swimming skills, but I think honestly, people would be really surprised about how smart I am, because I'm definitely able to do a lot of that kind of stuff.
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I'm not just a swimmer; I'm a very good athlete. So I think all the challenges I would have been great at. And I was not worried at all about handling the conditions out there, because I'm actually pretty strong.
Reality TV World: After watching last night's episode, do you think you would've fared better on a different tribe? Based on the little you saw of your fellow castaways, whom would you ideally liked to have worked with down the road?
Katrina Radke: Definitely. Yeah. So, pre-game, I had connected nominally with several people, and when I saw my tribe, I was kind of devastated, to be honest. I was like, "Really?! How could you put this many [unintelligible] people [unintelligible]?" (Laughs)
And Ashley and JP were in my finals week [for casting]. Most of the people were from the December finals week, but I was in the January one. And Ashley I kind of know, because even the people coming from my party were -- I knew from the finals week and stuff.
And they were like, "Oh, she had a scowl on her face and she never smiled at anybody! And JP doesn't talk much." And there was another blonde girl there who didn't end up on the show. So it was kind of interesting because all these people who I connected with in my finals week, those two were in my tribe.
And I was like, "Really?!" And so, definitely. It was definitely a group of a lot of prideful people and there were also some people with narcissism, if you will, that are closed vs. actually being more expressive and open compared to the Healers or the Hustlers.
Reality TV World: Are those some of the people you connected with before the game began?
Katrina Radke: I felt like I had, yeah! And there's a certain vibe, you know, I think my energy level, I know, is maybe not the same as most people. I tend to be very vibrant energy-wise, and some people just aren't.
And those people [I named] are the more vibrant ones, I guess. They are much more go-getters who fully engaged in what they're doing. And therefore it's easier to want to connect with those same kind of energy people if that makes sense.
Reality TV World: Many viewers feel the twist this season seemed forced because a few of the tribe placements don't make sense on the surface level, like a financial analyst being a hero. What did you personally think of the season's twist?
Katrina Radke: Well, I think they try to spin it into some kind of topic and I think it's very interesting, like for me, I really didn't want to be labeled a hero. To me, my swimming was long ago, while I'm still very capable as an athlete because I still do a lot of stuff.
But yeah, I just think they try to have a different theme and that's what they created. I don't know. I didn't read too much into that, I guess, because in the end, they're just trying to create a game, right? They're trying to create a show.
Some people, like I remember somebody saying that somebody had to get some test done because they belonged to either of two different tribes. And so they settled it with some test, so you just never know! I'm sure casting, they have to figure out so many things, right?
You need to make sure you have enough physical people who can do things and then maybe a weak player on each team, physically. Because if you get all the weak players on one team, obviously that team would not do so well! (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Was this your first time applying for Survivor? How did you end up on the show this season?
Katrina Radke: That's a good question! I had actually applied one time way back when it first started and never heard anything. And then my kids really wanted me to apply like a year ago or whatever it was, and yeah, I just got called right away and went to finals week and then I was on! It was pretty fast.
To read more from Reality TV World's exclusive interview with Survivor's Katrina, click here and here.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to a poor audio connection and her rapid speech, an earlier version of this article misstated two words in Katrina's response to our fourth question. We apologize for the error and have revised our transcript.]