Exclusive: 'Survivor: Kaoh Rong's Elisabeth "Liz" Markham talks (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/09/2016
Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty castaway Elisabeth "Liz" Markham was voted off her Chan Loh tribe during the most recent broadcast on CBS.
Liz, a 27-year-old quantitative strategist from Brooklyn, NY, became the third castaway voted out of Season 32 on Night 8 at the game's third Tribal Council session. The Brains tribe had to vote out one of their own members after losing the prior Immunity Challenge.
The other members of Chan Loh are Peter Baggenstos, a 34-year-old ER doctor from Minneapolis, MN; Aubry Bracco, a 29-year-old social media marketer from Cambridge, MA; Joseph "Joe" Del Campo, a 72-year-old former FBI agent from Vero Beach, FL; Neal Gottlieb, a 37-year-old ice cream entrepreneur from Sausalito, CA; and Debbie Wanner, a 49-year-old chemist from Reading, PA.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Liz talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: You kept saying Neal was capable of blindsides and potentially creating problems for you down the road. What gave you that impression exactly? Is it valid to say you basically viewed him as the biggest threat in your tribe as a result?
Liz Markham: Everybody was threatening in their own way. I mean, I could've seen just about everybody there with a path to victory, like, Aubry's got her amazing social game, Neal is so smart and savvy about what's going on and he can make plans, Joe is so likeable.
Joe's got this, like, heroic story -- when he's not snapping at people I guess (laughs) -- but in general, I think people really liked him. I could see him winning.
I could even see Debbie winning. While she came across strong with her talking and attitude at first, I think people see through that and can see she's a pretty amazing person. She's optimistic, she's social. Yeah, I thought, though, Neal would be the most unpredictable to work with.
Reality TV World: At the time of your elimination, did you think Peter was going to be the obvious next target or that the tribe would keep him around for challenges? And if you think they'd keep him, do you feel there's any chance he can redeem himself?
Liz Markham: I think that if the Brains lose the next challenge then it makes sense for them to try to reinforce the tight four and vote out Peter, because there's no reason to keep a strong player around if you're about to go into a swap.
Reality TV World: In last week's episode, we saw you crying about how dehydrated you were and frustrated that no one seemed to care. How bad did that get and were you surprised Joe, for example, wasn't more sympathetic to you? You sort of just floated in the ocean for a while by yourself.
Liz Markham: (Laughs) Yeah, what happened was, I was quite thirsty that morning. I went to try to get the fire started, but Joe told me not to, that we should let things dry out. I wanted to drink water, and he left for a little bit to go [talk] in a confessional or something. When he was gone, I decided to get the fire going.
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He came back and just yelled at me. He said I shouldn't touch the fire. So that upset me because I wanted to drink water, but I also wanted to keep people that I liked in the game and I still wanted to work with him. So for him to yell at me was pretty sad.
But yeah, normally what I do when I'm upset is I just kind of try to rest, nap a little bit, or do something until I'm level-headed and can go back to the group. When I feel like it's not that much of a big deal, I don't want to make it a bigger deal by, like, crying in front of everybody.
Reality TV World: Earlier in the game, we saw Aubry having a meltdown. Your tribe initially thought it was dehydration or heat exhaustion, but it turned out to be some sort of panic attack. Could you talk about that? Would you blame that on the harsh elements out there or did you see Aubry as being a little bit unstable because of the mental and emotional toll the game can take on you?
Liz Markham: Yeah, I can't remember if it was Day 1 or Day 2, but it was really hot out there. It was so different from normal life at home, and I think she felt really overwhelmed at first. And yes, being out in the heat and humidity is going to make you feel horrible.
No, it's not clinical-level dehydration. We brought out medical to check on her, and it wasn't. But the fact it wasn't a medical situation doesn't mean it's not, like, horrible. She was definitely suffering. We tried to make her feel better. She thought about quitting and we're just so glad she didn't.
Reality TV World: Joe found pride in being the workhorse around camp with Debbie, and he bashed you a little bit in his confessionals, saying you only had "book knowledge" and you didn't do much physically to help out around camp. I want to get your reaction to that.
Liz Markham: Yeah, I mean, any time I tried to do something Survivor-related, it bothered him. He called it "book knowledge" even though I told him that I had learned it doing jungle survival in Colombia. He said that my charcoal water filter did not work when it, in fact, did. I still fail to understand why my trying to help was so offensive to him. That's something I still don't understand.
Reality TV World: If you were to play Survivoragain, what would you do differently? What did you learn from the playing the game that you wouldn't do again and do you have any regrets?
Liz Markham: I think I tried too hard to be the way I thought other people wanted me to be -- to do what they wanted instead of just doing my own thing. I think maybe it came across as artificial.
Reality TV World: Were you worried about coming across as a power couple with Peter?
Liz Markham: Oh yes! We were definitely worried about that. We worried about that so much. We'd talk and say, "We really need to, like, not be seen talking this much," and then we'd go off and do our own thing. But then we'd rush back to talk to each other about it. (Laughs) But I think that may have contributed to other people feeling not connected to us, was seeing us as too close.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor? How did you end up on the show?
Liz Markham: I knew Stephen Fishbach from Tocantins and Cambodia, and he sort of planted the idea in my head to apply. It took a couple of years before I actually applied, but it worked out!
Reality TV World: Oh wow, so you only had to apply once.