Exclusive: Lauren Rimmer talks 'Survivor' -- Why Chrissy Hofbeck and Ryan Ulrich fought to keep Ben Driebergen
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/11/2017
Lauren Rimmer was voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers' merged Solewa tribe during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Lauren, a 35-year-old fisherman and single mom from Beaufort, NC, became the twelfth person voted out of the game and the fifth member of Survivor's Season 35 jury on Night 33 of the game with only one vote cast against her at Tribal Council.
Ben Driebergen, a 34-year-old U.S. Marine from Boise, ID, earned himself six votes; however, he played a hidden Immunity Idol, and so the votes against him did not count.
"What happened tonight at Tribal was a classic blindside," Lauren admitted following her ouster. "Ben had the upper hand on me, but it is what it is. The only reason I'm pretty much here is because my dumb-dumb self gave [Mike Zahalsky] a piece of a hidden Immunity Idol. So I think it cursed me. I got it. It's a done deal now, and poof, I'm done."
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Lauren talked about her Survivor experience. Below is a portion of her interview.
Reality TV World: Since you had the secret advantage in your pocket and it was still in play, would you have honored your deal with Chrissy Hofbeck and given it to her once you got back to camp had you stayed in the game and Ben went home instead of you?
Lauren Rimmer: Well, actually, I would've gone through with that, because when getting back to camp, I'm sure that would've been the first thing Chrissy asked me, was, "Where's the secret advantage?"
And I would've tried to walk off and talk to her personally about it and actually take it with me, and when I get to that point, possibly try to convince her, "Let's use it together and maybe try to switch around something, you know?"
Because at that point in time, it's every man for themselves. And whatever you can do to stay in the game, you're going to do it. So I probably, yeah, would've given it to her as a way that both of us could use it somehow.
Reality TV World: Could you elaborate a little on why you decided not to use your secret advantage at Tribal Council? I know you'd get caught in a lie if you played it, which would result in people losing trust in you, but you also pointed out how it could've saved you from the vote.
Lauren Rimmer: Well, I honestly didn't think Ben had an idol! I mean, Ben never peeped about it.
Reality TV World: Yes, I was wondering why there seemed to be no suspicion at all that Ben could have a hidden Immunity Idol.
Lauren Rimmer: He just did a really good job. Nobody said a word about Ben having an idol. And even watching it now, nobody still had a clue. So, you know, I didn't honestly think that I needed to play that secret advantage right then, and I was really wanting to use it at the very last moment, because it would've given me that extra vote if I didn't have Mike with me, you know?
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We could've tied votes or something to that point. So I was trying really hard not to use it. If I had had any slight thought that Ben had an idol, then obviously I would have.
Reality TV World: Was there a discussion about anyone in particular potentially having an idol?
Lauren Rimmer: No. Nobody. Nobody looked for it, not that I know of. I mean, they might have known and I just didn't know, but for me, not to my knowledge.
Reality TV World: Why do you think Ryan and Chrissy wanted you out instead of Ben? Was it a better option for them just because of your advantages or do you think they considered the possibility Ben might be a number for them going forward?
Lauren Rimmer: Well, Chrissy and I really hadn't had any kind of -- nothing really together. You know, I tried to work with her a little bit in the beginning, and she really didn't have much to do with me.
She wouldn't try to inform me on different things. I just had to kind of hear it through the grapevine. And so her and Ryan were really close together, but moving forward with Ben after -- even though he made a mistake -- he went back to Chrissy and apologized and was trying to build something back.
So, I think them choosing me was the better option because Ben obviously was willing to work with her, and I wasn't. So that was a no-brainer for her.
Reality TV World: Do you think any personal matters between Ben and Chrissy played a role in Chrissy's decision to ultimately vote for Ben? It sounds like you think it was strictly strategic, and that she didn't have much of a choice.
Lauren Rimmer: The way Chrissy thinks, I would say it's strictly strategic, because Chrissy has plans for the future. I'm pretty sure she thought she could use Ben against everybody else. Nobody at that point really liked Ben, so if she got rid of me, she could still have someone who had a target on their back.
Reality TV World: Looking back, do you wish you had used your extra-vote advantage sooner as to keep a target off your back, or maybe you just wish you had never told anyone about it?
Lauren Rimmer: I wish I had used it, but as for telling Ben, Ben was my closest person right then, and to be honest, that particular night we were trying to split votes. And if we would've split votes the way we were going to, and me using the secret advantage, splitting the votes would not have worked. The numbers, the names, would've been off.
So I kind of felt like I needed to tell Ben, because it affected the way we were voting. That way we could switch up who voted for who, and the person that we originally wanted to go home still went home.