The former sorority girl explains where her alliance went wrong and who bears the brunt of her cast-off anger
Kelly Goldsmith, Survivor: Africa
Credit: Survivor: Monty Brinton

She’s a behavior analyst and a former sorority girl. Surely Kelly Goldsmith should have had known it was better to commit to a team than to play both sides. Regardless, you’ve got to admit you were sorry to see her go instead of that egomaniacal Lex during ”Survivor: Africa”’s first nail-biter of a tribal council. When called her and she picked up the phone saying, ”Loser No. 8 speaking” we hated Lex even more.

So how much do you hate Lex?
You know what’s funny? I don’t hate him. It was the way he was running things that I was uncomfortable with. He went through this emotional transition when we got to Samburu. Before that he was a happy-go-lucky guy. The things he said about me were definitely cruel and unusual. Even when I said bad things about people, you could tell I was kidding. The scary thing about him was how serious he was.

Have you spoken since you’ve been back from Africa?
I called him last night, actually. Before I started speaking ill of him on TV we talked every once in a while. After the Thanksgiving episode I knew I was next, so I waited until the show aired to call him again. I called him last night because I wanted to tell him I had no ill will and it’s just a game. He wasn’t too excited to hear from me, so that was a quick conversation.

Why didn’t you try harder to convince Lex that you didn’t cast the vote against him?
Any sort of sign of desperation is just seen as a big red flag that gets you voted off. That’s what killed Lindsey, and I didn’t want to go out that way. I really wanted to stay, but I wasn’t about to spend all day kissing up to him.

So your primary anger is channeled toward Lex?
Actually, Kim and I had the tightest bond there, and at one point I said, ”This is going bad for me. Can you help me out?” She was very unsympathetic and completely left me in the dust. After a couple of days went by, I approached her right before tribal council. When her butt was on the line losing all those challenges, I would have done anything to help her stay. But she just said, ”There are three people in this game that I don’t like how they’re playing and you’re one of them.” What hurt even more is that I heard her talking to Lex, telling him our plans to go all the way and she was saying, ”That’s Kelly’s plan.”

Do you wish you had played differently?
I don’t. My initial strategy was to get into a five-person alliance. Lex approached me, Kim, Ethan, and Tom, and I was very happy with the way things were shaking down. I felt like I was friends with everybody.

So you’re cute and in an alliance with the dreamy Ethan. Why no tribal hook-up?
Everyone loves Ethan and that’s cool. He deserves it. But he’s very quiet and reserved, which is a great strategy for playing the game. But I don’t think that’s strategy; I think that’s who he is. He doesn’t want to reveal a lot about himself. I refused to be under the radar, so it made it tough for us to chat. There’s only so much you can talk about maize.

What was up with Brandon voting for you over Lex?
Brandon was really bitchy. Brandon and Lex had this weird love affair from the second they met. Just from an objective standpoint, it would have been better strategically to go with his four and me. I had no idea he voted against me for the longest time. It was definitely a surprising tactical move on his part.

What was it like being the first member of the jury?
We were up in this great lodge with awesome food — not that I wouldn’t have traded it all for a few more days in the game. I read ”Gone With the Wind” the first three days. I bought a bunch of books for the plane and ended up reading them all in the lodge.

What was up with your crocheting needles as a luxury item?
They came in incredibly handy because I could make little towels. We didn’t have anything to wash ourselves off with, and cleaning those pots and pans became very important because they were really gross.

Did being a behavioral analyst help at all?
Well, as I’m loser No. 8, I can’t say it helped me that much. It did help me stay interested in the game because I’m fascinated by human interactions. From a strategic standpoint, I think I played like most people would.

In your bio, it says one activity you enjoy is ”manipulating men.”
I put that in there, and it was supposed to be a joke. I played up this whole man-eating sorority bitch thing to get on the show. I thought they’d think I’d get good ratings if I was a bitch. But it was really more of an act than anything else.

You played Abigail in your college production of ”The Crucible.” Any plans to branch out into acting?
I would love to get into entertainment. I’m living in Los Angeles now and I’ve been editing books. I’ve been calling myself a professional nerd. I’ve always liked acting and drama but it’s so competitive, so I never pursued it. If nothing else, I’ll go to graduate school in the next couple of years.

Maybe Lindsey can help you with your career?
I actually had a major ethical conflict. I saw her in a sushi restaurant but we’re never supposed to talk to any of the survivors. I really wanted to talk to her about everything but what could I do? I stayed true to my CBS promise.

Survivor: Africa
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