Survivor: Lauren says she should have grabbed idol out of the fire

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Lauren Rimmer formed a secret alliance on Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers that put her in a great position to win the game. Unfortunately, what did her in are the things she did not keep a secret. After Ben overheard his alliance plotting against him, he decided to target Lauren due to the fact she had an extra vote advantage and a hidden immunity idol.

Lauren then compounded the problem by giving away half of her idol to Mike (which would have saved her) and not using her extra vote to put another name down (and at least force a tie revote). So when Ben played his hidden immunity idol — the one thing in the game nobody actually knew about it — it was curtains for the 35-year-old angler from North Carolina.

Where did it all go wrong for Lauren and what does she wish she had done differently. We asked her exactly that when the fan favorite called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105) to discuss this week’s crazy Tribal Council — including her big regret about the idol she gave Mike, where the advantage actually was, and coming back to play… with her sister.

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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you know when Ben went up to play his idol that you were done for?
LAUREN RIMMER: Yes, pretty much. As soon as he played it I knew it was game over for me. I assumed that everything was established that it was going to be Ben, and then when everybody started doing their commotion and getting up and talking I was really unsure what they were talking about, and then I realized, okay, it’s going to be me or Ben.

Did you really leave your extra vote back at camp like you told everyone?
It was actually in my pocket. I was trying to not expose that I did have it, which actually went well — well, it didn’t go well — but after Jeff was like “I didn’t know you had it.” So I should have played it. I wasn’t expecting Ben to have an idol. I knew that there was one and I thought possibly Ryan might have had another one but I wasn’t 100% sure on that. I should have never tried to convince everybody to stick together. I should have kept my idol and went on about my business.

Tell me about your thought process in giving Dr. Mike half of your immunity idol, and tell me what you were thinking when he threw it in the fire at Tribal Council?
My thought process of giving it to him was basically that I was trying to keep him really close. Dr. Mike, he likes to talk and he was really good at going around and having conversations. I knew he would come back and tell me what was going on and I was trying to keep him as close to me as I could. And when he threw it in the fire, I knew right then that he had turned against me. The more I think about it, I should have walked up and grabbed it out of the fire. I honestly was in shock. It never crossed my mind [to get the idol out of the fire]. I think I was just dumbfounded that he did that. It literally never even crossed my mind, and trust me, I kick myself in the butt for not even thinking about it.

I wonder if you could have still used it because once you handed it to Mike, it was his. But then if he throws it somewhere and you go get it, does that mean it now reverts back to you? I honestly don’t know.
There’s no telling how that would have played out. I don’t even know if I could have played it and Jeff would have even accepted it. That’s just one of those if you coulda-would type deals, what would have happened? I know not to do that again, obviously.

Who do you think would have been voted out if you and Ben had both played idols?
Chrissy was really on top to be next in a way. Everyone was pretty much leaning towards Chrissy, but it would have been Ashley — but obviously, it couldn’t have been Ashley [who had immunity]. So I think if Ben and I had both played idols it probably would have been Dr. Mike in a way. I think they would all lean towards him because Ryan and Chrissy had such a strong rapport and then Chrissy is pretty smart — she can go ahead and get Devon and Ashley. And then there’s Dr. Mike, and he still feels like the outsider and they still use him as an outsider. If they had had to make a flash decision, it probably would have been Mike.

So not Devon?
Devon had trust with Ryan in his own way and so then you got Chrissy. And then you got Devon and Ashley. And again, nobody really trusts Mike because everything that you tell him he would just let it loose. Honestly, I think it would have been Mike.

You all gave Ben a really hard time for breaking the trust you all had and targeting you, but in fairness, hadn’t you been targeting him for days at that point?
Yeah, and I talk to Ben all the time. I really love all these guys. We laugh about crazy stuff now. I think I kinda went too soon on targeting Ben. Maybe I should have waited just a little bit longer because I had no clue he was running around like G.I. Joe in the woods and stuff. Me and Ashley and Devon, we just had this grand idea. It just didn’t pan out the way we wanted to. But at Tribal, yeah, we kind of laid into him. But at the same time, he did what he had to do too.

Who was your final three: You, Devon and Ashley?
I was hoping to make that final three. We had discussed that actually. And of course you make final threes a few times in a way and then you realize that’s not the route you need to go. But Ashley and Devon, I was hoping to be my final three.

Because you thought you could beat them?
Kind of, yes. Actually, I do. I figured with everything that was going on, that would be my best bet.

Let’s talk about Sunny. You sister goes out there, hugs Probst, and then tells us she was a super fan who dragged you to go to the open casting call with her, and then you get cast on the show and she didn’t. Was there any jealousy there when that happened?
No, Sunny is something else. I call her Sunny Too Funny because you never know what’s going to come out of her mouth. We were actually trick or treating when I got the phone call on the 31st and she was never jealous. I promised her, “I’ll get you there. I’ll at least get you to the family visit.” So I fulfilled my part and she had a great time and loved every bit of it. She had said, “If I get there I’m going to hug Jeff first.” And I was like, “Are you serious? Are you really going to do me like that?” And she’s like “Oh, yeah. I’m going to hug Jeff.” And she did.

What about playing with her on a Blood vs. Water season?
I would love to play with her if that would be the case. Her and I have this crazy relationship. It’s like a love-hate relationship so I think her and I would actually do pretty good on that. Because she would probably turn against me. She would be pretty good. Plus, she just had back surgery so hopefully she could overcome that and move on.

Make sure to also read our episode recap and Q&A with host Jeff Probst. Also vote in our Survivor winner rankings poll and for more intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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