Desiree Williams didn’t get a ton of screen time this season on Survivor, and now she’ll get even less after being voted out by her tribemates. Because Desi was not a big personality and made no big moves, she was not commanding tons of attention by viewers, but as this week’s result showed, she clearly had the attention of her tribemates, who cut her loose instead of one of the biggest threats in Joe.
A likeable challenge beast who could advance herself in the game and then likely win votes at the end should she make it there, Desi was deemed too dangerous to keep around, making her the first member of the Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers jury. Was she surprised by her exit? Did she realize some of her fellow Healers had flipped? And how did she not notice Lauren’s missing vote?
We asked Desi all that and more when she called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105), and you can now hear the entire interview on the EW Morning Live podcast. Here are a few highlights.
On why she thinks she was voted out instead of Joe:
“I think ultimately they knew that Joe had no chance of ever winning an individual immunity challenge. He was not performing well in those individual challenges and I was. So they wanted to get rid of a Healer, clearly, and I was the biggest challenge threat and they didn’t want me to keep winning individual immunity and then they couldn’t get rid of me. Secondly, Chrissy was trying to get rid of women and strong women in particular. So once Chrissy had it out for me, that was pretty much going downhill anyway.”
On why she thinks Chrissy wanted to get rid of strong women:
“I think that’s just a part of who she is. I think she’s used to being the dominant female in a situation. And from day 1 it was clear that Chrissy was trying to keep strong females around. I don’t think that’s a game move, I think that’s Chrissy’s personality.”
On if she noticed the missing vote at Tribal Council:
“In my head, I just thought, well, maybe the last vote didn’t matter so Jeff just didn’t read it. In the moment I was not keeping track of how many votes Jeff was reading. So no, that did not even pass through my head that something wonky was going on there. I was more confused as to why the Healers didn’t vote together, because I thought we had decided who we were voting for and then our votes were all over the place. So I was more preoccupied with that issue.”
On when she finally realized a vote was missing:
“Oh, God. I don’t know that I realized until someone came to Ponderosa and explained it to me. Because by the time I got voted out I wasn’t thinking about what happened and who voted where and counting votes in my head. It all happened so quickly and you’re so sleep deprived and food deprived. Pretty much what I was going to eat at Ponderosa was my main concern that night.”
On whom she thought the Healers were all voting for going into Tribal Council:
“I thought we were all voting for Lauren. I think at that point Joe just had it out for Ben, and Joe sort of made the comment — and I thought he was bluffing at the time — ‘My vote is always going to Ben.’ So I think he was just annoyed by Ben and that he and Ben were not getting along and he was just going to write down Ben’s name.”
On why she did not save herself by voting for Joe:
“I thought they were going to split the votes. And I was having a very real moral dilemma in the moment. I remember sitting down in my confessional, which they didn’t show, and saying ‘I know if I vote for Joe tonight I’m going to stay in this game. But I also know that Joe is literally the only person I trust in this game.’ And in my head, if I lied to the one person I trusted, I don’t know that I’d ever be able to trust anyone ever again. I know that seems over the top for a game, but I was having this moral dilemma. It became bigger than the game and became this true big moral dilemma and do I lie and turn on my one alliance who I feel really strong with or do I just sacrifice myself in this to remain authentic to who I am, which is not a deceitful person?”
To hear the entire Q&A — as well as our interviews with Jon Bernthal and Justice League’s Ray Fisher — click on the SoundCloud of the EW Morning Live podcast above. Or subscribe on iTunes right here to listen on the go. Also make sure to check out our full Survivor recap and Q&A with Jeff Probst.