Exclusive: Nina Acosta talks about 'Survivor: One World' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/23/2012
Nina Acosta was voted out of her all-female Salani tribe at the second Tribal Council session of Survivor: One World during Wednesday night's second episode of the CBS reality series' 24th edition.
On Thursday, Nina, a 51-year-old retired LAPD officer from Clovis, CA, talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor: One World experience and her early elimination from the game -- including whether she believed there was a good chance she would get to remain in the game or felt doomed immediately upon her Tribal Council entrance, who she originally approached in attempt to turn the core alliance of five girls against Kat Edorsson and felt betrayed by, and what her thoughts were on Colton Cumbie and his questionable gameplay so far this season.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Nina. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the second portion.
Reality TV World: Did you go into Tribal Council still believing there was a chance that Kat's alliance was going to turn on her or were you pretty much 100% percent sure it was going to be you even before Tribal Council began?
Nina Acosta: I was pretty sure it was going to be me. I thought there was an outside chance that Kat could go home, but I didn't put a lot of stock in that.
Reality TV World: Monica Culpepper, who was supposed to be in your own alliance, I think, didn't vote for Kat. She ended up voting for [Christina Cha] instead. Did that surprise you or were you aware she was going to do that, and if not, did she ever explain why to you?
Nina Acosta: I had no idea who Monica was going to vote for. I was just -- and it wasn't really an alliance. I think the four of us were an alliance by default. Monica and I formed a bond certainly.
If I had to guess at Monica's strategy, it was she was still hoping to break into the alliance of five and I think a vote for Christina would at least help her in that. So I think it was more of a strategy on her part and I just appreciate her not voting for me, so that showed her loyalty to me.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode made it look like Chelsea Meissner and Kim Spradlin were your best chances of convincing Kat's alliance to turn on her. Was that how you actually felt out there and did you ever actually also ever approach Alicia Rosa or Sabrina Thompson, or did you think there was no chance of convincing them?
Nina Acosta: Well, having watched the show now, I initially before watching the show thought that Kim was going to work on getting Chelsea to come to my side and in looking at it, it looked like it was the other way around. So I guess Kim pretty much threw me under the bus as far as I'm concerned.
Reality TV World: So you actually approached Kim as your main ally?
Nina Acosta: Well, I talked to her at length about it and said, "Look, let's just review what's gone on in the last couple of challenges and why is it me?" So I felt like she was like, "Yeah, you make some good points." So, but who knows. I mean, did they really truly consider Kat? I don't know. I don't know.
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Did I consider approaching Alicia? No. She wasn't in control. She would have voted any way the majority told her to vote. Sabrina, don't have a clue about her. I think she -- although she's the vocal leader, I think the silent leader of that group is Kim.
Reality TV World: How did you and your tribe decide to make Sabrina your official designated leader?
Nina Acosta: You know, I had no say in that. I was not part of that vote and I was surprised to find out that that's how it went down. I guess I was off doing something. I don't know, but I missed that whole vote. So that was a little disheartening too. I kind of felt like, "Okay, if that's not even important enough to get my opinion on who should be the leader, then I'm probably not going to last much longer."
Reality TV World: So you came back and they just told you that's what they had decided?
Nina Acosta: I found out at Tribal Council that Sabrina was the leader. I was like, "Wow, okay. What the hell?!"
Reality TV World: So [it was only almost] three days later you found out? (Laughs)
Nina Acosta: (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Wow, I guess she must not have been that vocal of a leader if it wasn't obvious to you over that three-day period. (Laughs) So, last night's episode showed Sabrina saying that "managing the airheads was going to be exhausting" and she felt that was going to be her biggest challenge as the leader. Who do you think she was referring to as the airheads in your tribe?
Nina Acosta: I can't speak for Sabrina, but I can tell you probably Alicia, Kat and I don't know who else she felt was an airhead. Those would be on the top of my list.
Reality TV World: Did you have any idea Sabrina had found the hidden Immunity Idol and given it to Colton, and if not, when did you find that out?
Nina Acosta: You know, I think the alliance of five, I think, knew early on and we found out some time before the second challenge that that's what she had planned to do. I have no idea what her strategy was by giving it to Colton, but...
Reality TV World: But you knew she had actually already done it?
Nina Acosta: Yes.
Reality TV World: What was your general take on Colton while you were out there?
Nina Acosta: He was a distraction. He didn't really lend any help to our tribe. I think we really -- we had enough distractions as it was internally. And then to have him come over and just kind of hang out with us, it was really distracting and annoying.
I don't think it really helped him to be honest with you. I think it was a bad move on his part. I know he wanted to be with the women on the women's tribe and hey, if I had a chance, I'd say, "Let's swap. I'd be happy to switch with you." So, I understand that.
Reality TV World: Did you have any idea Colton formed his "misfits" alliance with Leif Manson, Jonas Otsuji, Troy "Troyzan" Robertson, and Greg "Tarzan" Smith?
Nina Acosta: No. That was surprising -- well, actually, it's not surprising. It seemed to me that the strong guys were together. I think it kind of looked like they were forming a bond of sorts, but it didn't really seem like they were collectively as a tribe as divided as our tribe was.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Kourtney Moon last week, she said she thought Sabrina had given the Idol to Colton way too early and she would have kept it to herself much longer. It sounds like based upon what you're saying, you kind of agree with that?
Nina Acosta: Well, I don't know if she had much of a choice. I think -- well, I think she did. I think she needed to wait until the final hour to decide. I think she had time on her side and I think I would have waited just to kind of see how things were playing out.
I mean, for example, we could have, by a miracle, just won the second challenge and then it would have bought time to see how they were scrambling and maybe just see how the guys -- how things played out.
Reality TV World: Or maybe give them time to find theirs and do a trade or something. (Laughs)
Nina Acosta: Exactly. You should be on [the show]. That's a good point, yeah, how about that?