Ciera Eastin did the seemingly unthinkable when she appeared on Survivor: Blood vs. Water: She voted out her own mother. In reality, it was a sound strategic decision to try and curry favor with the majority instead of fighting a losing battle to save her mom.
But how does Ciera think the players on Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance (which debuts tomorrow night on CBS) will view the move? Will it help Ciera or hurt her in her second outing? “I think voting out my mom isn’t necessarily going to be the move that really impacts my game here,” she told us out on location before filming began. “I think these people have all played before so they really understand the politics of the vote and can hopefully understand why I made the vote.”
But there is another move that she does worry could get her in hot water this season. “I think the move that’s really going to bite me in the butt is going to rocks, because that showed that I was a flipper, it showed I was a little bit crazy, or I’ll do anything to win and I’ll make the big move. That’s going to be the hardest thing that I’m going to have to live down.”
We’ll see if she can. Regardless, Ciera is excited for the opportunity to play solo for a change. “I think that everybody who has played Survivor with a loved one has this experience, like you don’t get the full experience,” says Ciera. “You kind of have to split your experience between somebody else and yourself. So it can be a great thing to look around and see that someone else always has my back, but at the same time it’s something where I was constantly worried about my mom and this time I can just come out full force and just focus on myself.”
She also feels that she has definitely learned from her slow start in Blood vs. Water. “I think the biggest mistake I made was being timid and scared early on. I didn’t really get the swing of the game and I didn’t really find my confidence until too late, and at that point it was too late. Relationships were already established. Everybody knew that I was number 4 and it was going to be hard to get to number 1 because I just figured it out too late. This time I want to come in with that same tenacity and energy and fearlessness that I played with at the end of the game, but start the game with it.”
To hear more from Ciera — including whether she has an instant alliance with her mom’s Samoa bestie Monica — click on the video at the top of the post. And for more Survivor scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.