Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance's merged Orkun tribe snuffed Ciera Eastin's torch during Season 31's special double episode last week on CBS.
Ciera, who previously competed on Survivor: Blood vs. Water, became the tenth castaway voted out of the game and the season's fourth jury member on Night 26. Stephen Fishbach, who had appeared on Survivor: Tocantins, also got eliminated at the end of the back-to-back episodes.
Ciera was first ousted with only three votes cast against her at Tribal Council because Jeremy Collins opted to play his hidden Immunity Idol to save the tribe's main target Fishbach. During the next vote three days later, Fishbach was blindsided.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Ciera talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Just to clarify, were you blindsided people even cast votes for you? Obviously no one saw Jeremy playing his idol for Fishbach coming.
Ciera Eastin: I was blindsided by that. There was a lot in this episode that was not shown. Actually, Stephen and [Kimmi Kappenberg] came to me and wanted to vote out [Kelley Wentworth]. So I didn't think my name would be thrown out there.
If anything, I thought Wentworth might get a couple votes, but I didn't think it was going to be mine. And I also thought that Jeremy was okay getting rid of -- I mean, I didn't think he was okay with it -- I thought he understood that everybody wanted to do it, so he was going to go with it. That's kind of the impression I got.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I was going to ask you, it seemed like your tribe wanted Wentworth gone for a while, especially around the time she played her idol to save herself. So I was wondering how then the target got switched to you. It sounds like you were even confused about how that happened.
Ciera Eastin: I don't even know. I mean, honestly, I don't know why. I guess I learned a little bit more watching the episode, that maybe they thought I was leading a little bit more than Wentworth or [Abi-Maria Gomes], or maybe they thought I had more ties with other people.
Because I was closer with Stephen, and I had a relationship building with [Spencer Bledsoe], and so, I don't know if they saw that as a threat or what. But I was definitely surprised by it. I thought it would be Wentworth before me.
Reality TV World: I know Jeremy has another idol in his pocket still. But do you really think it was a smart move on his part to use his idol on an ally who would've gone home rather than saving it for himself? Fishbach clearly went home after you.
Ciera Eastin: I think that he -- I mean, obviously it was a little bit of a waste of an idol because Stephen ended up going home right after I did, and I would never play a hidden Immunity Idol for anybody but myself. Even if I had to, I don't think I would.
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Honestly, it gave away his position. After I left and went to the jury, everybody at Ponderosa was like, "He has another one. There's no way he'd play an idol for somebody else unless you have two."
Reality TV World: Right. There seems to be more consequences than good that came out of that move.
Reality TV World: You made a habit of accusing people they weren't really playing the game, or at least weren't playing hard enough and making big moves. Did you sincerely feel that way or was that just a strategy to hopefully get people to side with you and wipe big targets out?
Ciera Eastin: No, people were not playing how they should be playing for a Second Chance season. And then there were those who were. But there were people out there who would know they were not in the top of an alliance -- or of a group of people -- and they would blatantly say, like for example, [Joe Anglim], or [Keith Nale], or [Kelly Wiglesworth], or Kimmi.
And even Spencer right at the merge knew that they weren't in the core, but they weren't willing to make a move yet. That's what they'd always say. "It's not time yet," or, "We don't want to yet."
And it was just very frustrating because I'd explain, like, "Hey, this is your second chance. We're all here and we should be taking advantage of it." And I'm not saying a big move meaning what I want you to do -- just whatever that is for you, put yourself in the best position. But it seemed like people were very satisfied with mediocre gameplay and even being on the bottom of the pack.
Reality TV World: When Fishbach, Spencer and Jeremy voted with the witches' coven to get Wiglesworth out, did you assume the guys would keep voting with you girls, or did you think they would try to mesh right back in with the big majority alliance?
Ciera Eastin: I wasn't sure. The game is very different this time in a sense that the voting blocks really did change every day. And so I always knew there was a possibility that things would shift.
But like I said, I just wanted people to do what was best for them, and I was really trying to use a mindset of figuring out what is Joe's best move, what is Keith's best move, and then using that to my advantage or making sure that I was in a position where I could've been their best move.
Reality TV World: Your female alliance became outsiders after Kass McQuillen went after Tasha Fox for being "a liar" and you called Andrew Savage out for wanting to target Jeremy. Do you have any regrets there? Did you consider how stirring up drama could backfire on you rather than achieve the purpose you hoped?
Ciera Eastin: No, a lot of that stuff was editing. I mean, I did create that story about Savage. But what wasn't shown was he had already been bashing my name throughout the entire camp when we had only been there for two days.
Everyone was originally supposed to stay "Bayon strong," which was kind of the talk [around camp], which meant that there were people who were in the original Bayon -- Kelly Wiglesworth, Spencer and Wentworth.
And I was okay, at that point, getting rid of Spencer or Wigles and maybe even Wentworth right at the beginning of the merge if it meant satisfying the majority of the people. But then, when Tasha and Kass had a feud, and then Jeremy and a few people came to me and it was, "Andrew's after you and he says you cannot be trusted."
And [Andrew] was so upset at that move that we made, I was kind of almost trying to combat that with, like, "Wait a second. He's saying I'm a liar and he's saying that I'm sketchy and that I'm a flip-flopper. Well, he's all of these things." So, it's not like it came from absolutely nowhere. It was definitely very justified. It was just total bullcrap.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Ciera's exclusive Survivor interview.