What was J.T. thinking by giving away the immunity idol? What kind of stuff does Russell like to chat about around camp that we don’t see? And could Coach look any more hilarious at Tribal Council? These are the questions we posed to Courtney Yates when we chatted with the latest ousted Villain (and EW.com favorite) this morning. Read on after the jump to get the skinny (get it?) on what Courtney has to say about her time on Survivor: Heroes vs Villains.
Let me start by asking, are you allergic to challenges?
I am, in fact, allergic to challenges. It’s actually in my contract that I play the least amount of any Survivor.
I hate not seeing you flounder around with limbs flying everywhere, and then last night you finally partake in a crazy challenge, yet instead of seeing you we had to watch Colby and Russell have a chat.
I know! I did a fine job during that challenge. And Amanda was proud of me and you know, you can’t catch a break. They always want to highlight me when I’m messing up, but when you do it good it’s glossed right over!
You kind of got the Brett edit this season. Were you surprised to see yourself so little?
No, I wasn’t because it’s a storytelling process and things went a little FUBR and I wasn’t part of the major story, so I knew that that was how it was going to be.
How often do you think about how different everything could have been had Tyson just not voted himself out of the game?
You can’t spend your life looking backwards, and being in this community you end up seeing these people who three years later are like, “Well, at the final 7 if this person had done this…” and you’re like, “Wow, you need to move on.” It didn’t work out. I had an amazing time. I’m lucky to be on the jury. I’m honored to have been asked to be an all-star. I think it’s insane that someone thinks of lady all-stars and thinks of me! I was more disappointed for Rob and Tyson actually than for myself, because those boys were playing really well and…well, I guess I don’t feel sorry for Tyson.
I don’t think we saw you and Russell have a single one-on-one conversation the entire time you were out there. Did you have any conversations about anything — like did he ever take you aside to tell you how awesome he is?
He did. Russell and I had a lot of conversations. A lot of them weren’t camera worthy because they were all about how much could he get for his autograph and how much money he could get for going to different places. And I was just looking at him going, “Russell, no one cares about your autograph! I think you have a different idea of what is going to happen.” Because he only had 10 days between the two seasons, so he’s like, “I’m Russell Hantz! I’m king of the world! I’m big!” And we were all like, “No one cares! The instant this show is off the air no one is going to know who you are! They’re going to see you in line at Burger King and go ‘Didn’t I used to work with you?'” Besides that we talked about Popeyes chicken and what we would eat in New York. Russell is fine. I think he figured out early on that he couldn’t Russell minf— me so I was just useless to him so we’re perfectly fine. I don’t have any hatred towards Russell. I think he’s a great player. He’s the evolution of what the game is. He’s redefining it around himself and everyone’s delighted with it. So how can you be mad at that?
Honestly, I didn’t hear anything you said after Popeyes chicken because I’ve been busy daydreaming of buttermilk baked biscuits.
They’re delicious! I love Popeyes chicken. I think everything about it is amazing. They should deliver it to my house.
Did you know that J.T. had given Russell the idol?
I did not know. I found out after. I mean, poor kid. He did what he thought was the right thing. He didn’t know. He was making a move and trying to keep his group together and I think he knew he had a big target on his back. He made a big move trying to save himself and stay ahead of the pack. I don’t think he has it in him to be a more subtle player.
Who’s going to bust out the sweetest fashion at the next few Tribal Councils: you or Coach?
Man, that’s some stiff competition. I think Coach wins it. I’m going to be honest with you. He’s much more of a fashionista than me. I didn’t bring nearly enough dress kimonos. I was ill prepared to sit next to that style icon.
Did he let you try on his robes at Ponderosa?
I believe he would have if I’d asked, but I didn’t want to bear that.
Another tough call here, Courtney: Who makes better facial expressions at Tribal Council, you or Eliza from Vanuatu?
I don’t know. We were watching together last night. It’s gonna be tough, I hope I can hold a candle to her. She was my jury inspiration.
Interesting that you only lost four pounds while out there.
It wasn’t very hard. There were coconuts everywhere. There were bananas for the most part. In China there was literally nothing to eat so we sat around staring at each other all day dreaming about food. Plus, once you’ve been through it you know that you can do it, so it’s not this terrifying I’m-actually-going-to-wake-up-and-be-dead-tomorrow feeling…and then they’re just going to film it.
Finally, your boyfriend, Stephen from Tocantins, writes a Survivor strategy blog. How many times a day do you make fun of him for that?
I would say it’s a full-time job. It’s getting really tiring. It’s pretty interesting, especially since he keeps giving his awards out to the same three people and one of them is his best friend, so okay!
To see an exclusive Survivor deleted scene of Russell digging up the machete he buried on night 7, as well as a special pep talk that Courtney recorded before the game to pick herself up in the event she was voted out, check out the video player below. And for all the Survivor news and views sent right to you, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.
Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Survivor: Heroes vs Villains recap: Take my immunity idol, please!