Kellyn, a 31-year-old career counselor from North Manchester, IN, who currently resides in Denver, CO, was voted out of the Lavita tribe on Night 35 of the game through a 3-1 re-vote at Tribal Council instead of Donathan Hurley, a 26-year-old caretaker from Kimper, KY.
On the first vote at Tribal Council, Kellyn and Donathan tied with three votes apiece, while Domenick Abbate also received one vote from Donathan.
"This journey for me came at the exact right moment in my life... I'm so thankful for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never ever forget," Kellyn, who became the season's seventh jury member, said following her ouster.
During a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Kellyn talked about her time on Survivor: Ghost Island. Below is the concluding portion of what she had to say.
Reality TV World: If Dom and Wendell Holland did go to the end together, do you think one would have a slight edge over the other in terms of jury votes?
Kellyn Bechtold: If I had to choose, I would rather go [to the end] with Dom. To me, I felt like he didn't have as good of relationships as Wendell.
I loved -- and still do love -- Wendell. And Wendell and Laurel were really close. So I felt like Dom may have been a little bit easier to beat than Wendell at the end, but I didn't want to go with either of them.
Reality TV World: As a Super Fan of the game and jury member, what criteria did you have when choosing the winner of Survivor?
Kellyn Bechtold: My criteria is, "Who understood every relationship best?" And, "Who used that to their advantage?" And also, to me, Survivor -- and why it's so complicated is you have to slit people's throats, and they have to get down and kiss your feet.
And so, the way I would look at wanting to watch how the game plays out is, "Which of these people have more people still planning to kiss their feet at the end?" And I think that's how you win the million dollars -- split people's throats and have them still love you.
Reality TV World: Bradley Kleihege and yourself were two peas in a pod on Survivor. And Stephanie Johnson told me earlier in the season something romantic was going on between you. What's the current status of your relationship now?
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Kellyn Bechtold: I am really great friends with a lot of people from Ghost Island, and if you want to talk about who I spent the most time with after the show, I definitely spent the most time with Bradley. I'll put it that way.
Reality TV World: Do you have any regrets in the game or wish you had done anything differently? For instance, I feel putting two votes on Laurel at a previous Tribal seemed to diminish any hope of her trusting you and wanting to work with you going forward.
Kellyn Bechtold: Yeah, so that, I mean, was probably -- so not putting my two votes and going with [Michael Yerger] after Wendell, I think that has to be my million-dollar mistake, to not be willing to pull the plug or to not pull the trigger on that.
The reason I didn't is because [Jenna Bowman] had told me right before that Tribal, like, "Oh, you're our No. 1 target. Michael wants you out." I was like, "Wait, what?!" And so, it was a temporal decision.
The conversation I just had was Jenna telling me, "Yeah, Michael is coming after you, girl," and Michael had gone to Dom and Wendell and tried to tell them to come after me. That was also a factor; Dom and Wendell had told me that.
So Michael was coming after me, I knew I was losing speed with Dom and Wendell, and then when Wendell told Laurel to vote for me, he got out of his seat, walked over to Laurel and told her to vote for me -- and she did it. That was probably my biggest regret in the game, was to not in that moment vote Wendell out.
Reality TV World: You admitted earlier in our call you were a very emotional player who wore your heart on your sleeve. And not to be offensive, but do you think you were a little too naive or trusting during the game, like, thinking back to how you believed whole-heartedly Desiree Afuye was not going to betray you?
Kellyn Bechtold: Yeah of course. Well, it wasn't in Desiree's best interest to turn on me at that moment. I mean, I was so late to that party, and I totally started to feel like I had really bonds with people.
Des and I had been together for, what? Like 25 days or something at that point? And we had voted together at every vote! And I just met Laurel six days before.
And Laurel comes to me and tells me this, and she's like, "[Chelsea Townsend] and Des are coming after you!" And I'm like, "Chelsea and Des are not coming after me." And half of that was true; Chelsea wasn't. Chelsea wasn't even a part of it.
And so, that's where it's harder than I thought it would be. In Survivor, it's not, "Oh is this person lying to my face?" There are multiple aspects to the story, and some of it is true and some of it isn't. And I had a really hard time doing that.
Chelsea and Des coming after me? I didn't believe it because I banked on the fact that I totally believe Chelsea, so this can't be true. And then with Michael, he's telling me he has the idol. And part of it is true! He did find the idol.
He knew exactly where it was. He knew the color of the twine, he did find it with Donathan. All of that was true, but it wasn't true that he had it. And so I wish I would have dug an inch deeper and been able to parse out the truth from the lies a little bit better.
And yeah! I just couldn't do it. I don't regret playing emotionally and being myself and going out there and having the f-cking time of my life. I think women in this world are told we should be quiet, that we should be elegant and sit back and watch.
And, you know what?! I'm really f-cking proud of myself. I don't give a sh-t that I stomped my feet and yelled and was pissed when the boys were running the show. I'm not quaint; I'm not quiet.
And I don't think women need to be that way. And so yeah, you know, take it or leave it, but I'm a complex female and that's who I am, and I got seventh place on Survivor and lived out a dream. And from that sense, I regret nothing.