She’s been called one of the show’s biggest villains ever by host Jeff Probst, but Corinne Kaplan did not do anything devious in the game to earn that distinction when she appeared on Survivor: Gabon. She did not backstab or betray anyone in her alliance. What she did do, however, was talk nasty to and about people she did not like, especially her arch nemesis, Sugar. So as Corinne returns to play Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs Favorites, it will be interesting to see if her tribemates respond to her loyalty or recoil from her negativity. (John Cochran already told us where he stood on Corinne.) I spoke with Survivor’s queen of mean before filming began on Survivor: Caramoan (premiering Feb. 13 on CBS) and we talked about her reputation, what she’s going to do differently this time, and her current feelings on former foe Sugar.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why are you going to win this time?
CORINNE KAPLAN: ‘Cause losing isn’t an option.
EW: It wasn’t an option last time though.
CORINNE: It was, kinda. I didn’t know what I was doing last time. I’m far more educated and prepared this time.
EW: You were the bad girl your first time out. Does that make it harder this time because everyone knows your rep or not?
CORINNE: I have to imagine it does, but you have to think if you’re playing with people who are smart and are looking at the game from an outside perspective, you look at the people that don’t turn on their alliance and are loyal players. So regardless of what my personality was — and I think I’m amazing — if you didn’t like my personality, you look at me and you look at what I did: I created an alliance, I took that alliance to the end, the guy I had a tight alliance with won. Really, I’m a good person to align with and it should be that they look at me as somebody that is not a snake. I’m not gonna flip. And I’m athletic. So I would think I’m a good person to have an alliance with, regardless of how snarky I am. But that’s if they were intelligent, and if experience has taught me anything, it’s that CBS does not cast all that intelligent people.
EW: They wanted you to come back before but you couldn’t, right?
CORINNE: That’s true. I got lucky enough to be asked back for Heroes vs Villains and unfortunately my job would not permit me to go. And while a lot of these people are career reality people, I am most certainly not. My importance lies with my job and my 401k, and my insurance. Unlike everybody else who are personal trainers and actresses, I have a real job and I care about that job. So they wouldn’t let me go and it wasn’t really up for discussion. I had to keep my job. Interestingly enough, the last four years I’ve been working on getting a job that would let me go, and I did that last summer and they let me go this time.
EW: You see the other returning players here and you don’t see anyone from your season. Is that a good thing for you or a bad thing?
CORINNE: I think it’s a good thing because really, my closest friends were Marcus, Charlie and Randy. Randy already played so he’s not going to be there, and I don’t think Marcus and Charlie got strong enough edits to ever be an all-star character, unfortunately. Although they are all-stars to me. And God, I wouldn’t want to have to see Kenny or Crystal, right? My options are terrible. Matty? Jesus! I don’t want to see any of those people ever again in life much less in the game. So I think I’m pretty lucky here.
EW: What about the other returning players that are here? How do you size them up?
CORINNE: I do think Brenda is adorable. I don’t know her at all but I saw her season and I thought she was really intelligent and athletic. I think Andrea is super cute and she seems like someone I could hang out with. My goal, like the first time, is to have people around me that I enjoy. I don’t want to torture myself. I don’t want to be on a tribe where everybody is yelling at each other, so I’d like to pick people that I can get along with.
EW: What’s your biggest regret about the last time you played?
CORINNE: I do not subscribe to the idea that you have to regret things. I don’t regret anything. There is nothing I would have done differently. There is no apology I feel like making. There is nothing I would take back. Sure, hindsight is 20/20. Obviously, the first vote where we got rid of Paloma —who in real life I adore — I would have gotten rid of Sugar, because then she would not have been a problem later on. But I didn’t know that. I had never played the game before. I was only 9 days in. But I don’t regret anything.
EW: Well, what did you learn last time that might help you the second time around?
CORINNE: One of my biggest problems — in real life too — is I enjoy making fun of people sometimes. Not in a cruel way, but it was very easy last time to unite my tribe by saying things about the other tribe, right? But then you merge, and that gets out. So I will not make that mistake. I will save all of my snarkiness for confessionals, and I’ll probably keep it pretty clean around camp. Although I think it is pretty entertaining, I would like to not go into the merge with pre-existing enemies. But it’s really more about preparation. This time around I’ve done all kinds of training — everything you can think of, from hand-eye coordination to puzzles to memory games to endurance. I trained very hard so I’m more prepared and more confident.
EW: You had a big juicy feud with Sugar. Any update on that?
CORINNE: I promise you I will never speak a word to her in my life again. And thank God I’ve never had to see her. There is no way I’ll ever make up with her and no way I’ll ever say another word to her.
EW: You list “reality show losers” as one of your pet peeves on your bio sheet. How would you define a reality show loser?
CORINNE: Somebody that did a season 10 years ago and keeps showing up at every charity function. That! That’s a loser.
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Returning Favorite John Cochran says ‘I bring virtually nothing to the table’