'Survivor: Cagayan': Kass says 'I have a finger and sometimes it pops up when you piss me off'
She gave herself the nickname Chaos Kass, and while self-appointed nicknames are usually a no-no, Kass McQuillen definitely earned it — riling up pretty much any and every contestant that crossed her path during Survivor: Cagayan. But she had (the almost very) last laugh, making it to the final three, before being shockingly voted out by Woo. But lest you think Kass has mellowed out now that the cameras are shut off, just check out our exit interview, in which she has strong words for people both in and out of the game that want to judge her. (Also make sure to read our interview with winner Tony Vlachos as well as runner-up Woo Hwang and fan favorite Spencer Bledsoe. There’s also our finale/reunion Q&A with Jeff Probst. Plus, get intel on NEXT season.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s say you are 2 seconds faster in the last immunity challenge. Whom do you take to the finals with you?
KASS McQUILLEN: You know, I’m not sure whom I would have taken. Because I’m such a huge fan and I knew what my position was with the jury and I knew that Tony had played the game — and the fan in me wanted to take Tony and have it out and have a great Tribal Council. But the greedy, cutthroat person in me certainly wanted to take Woo. I hadn’t made that decision out there yet because I played based on where I was at and I had no delusion of grandeur of winning immunity twice.
EW: I am downright shocked right now, that you may have pulled a Woo, so to speak, and taken Tony to the finals with you.
KASS: I don’t know if it would have been pulling a Woo. I was really hated by my castmates and it was very apparent out there. So this is a one shot deal and it’s for a million, but it’s also to play the game as it should be played and I wanted to challenge those people who thought I was this horrible person because I made these moves and sent them all to the jury. And I kind of wanted to say, “Tony did the same thing but he had idols and allies. Two things that I never had in the game. So who really deserves it more?” Especially if I had had that necklace on, I would have had a lot of credibility.
EW: It sounded like you thought you would have had a shot against Woo in the finals though. We obviously saw the hand vote at the reunion last night where everyone said they would have voted for Woo over you, but at the time out there you thought you had a good shot against him, right?
KASS: Yeah, you know, it’s been eight months and I’ve read so much about what I did and didn’t do out there that there is some revisionism, so I can’t sit here at this point and say what I would have done definitely. It would have been interesting and been a great dilemma for the afternoon rather than worrying about whether Fabio was taking my fate in his hands
EW: A lot of times people in the heat of playing really butt heads, but then by the time it airs everyone is one big happy family. However, I’ve spoken with several players after they were voted off, 8 months after this all happened, that still were pretty sore at you. Have you talked with some of these people like Trish and Tasha and Sarah and Morgan, and how has that gone?
KASS: I’ve spoken with everyone but Morgan. Morgan will not acknowledge my existence. And that’s fine. And my attitude coming here was, we got to play Survivor. And we all said and did things out there that maybe we’re not too happy about. But we’re all part of something. I was in the service, and when you do something like that, there’s a camaraderie. People are mad, and then they relive their episode months later when they’re sent home. And they’re at the mercy of editors, leaving thing they may believe to be very important to their story on a cutting room floor. So I give everyone a hall pass the week of their exit interview. And after that, you need to get over it and move on. It’s a very small part of a given life, and if you’re going to carry hatred around from a reality TV show, that speaks volumes as to who you are as a person.
EW: Have you been checking social media and message boards and stuff like that, and if so, how have you dealt with being the “villain?”
KASS: I almost got sucked into that Twitter vortex, but you have to put it in perspective. I’ve never missed an episode of Survivor, but I’ve never personally looked someone up on the internet who is a contestant because I didn’t like them and taken a moment from my life to send them a note that I hate them. So when I look at things people are sending and saying about me, I think that’s so sad that their lives are reduced to this point that all they can do is try to find a way to bash somebody they see on TV for literally, like, 6 minutes a week. So it kind of tells me, if you’re going to make a personal attack on somebody who’s in this game, you don’t understand what’s going on in the game. And I haven’t really looked at Twitter or any of the social media since the finale.
EW: Do you regret giving Trish the finger after she was voted out?
KASS: I do not. I stand by the finger. A lot went down that day. There was a very long tirade. There were attacks made that were below the belt. And let’s put it in perspective. Trish did something to make someone quit the game because she thought she was going to hit her. This the first time somebody has actually quit the game because they were going to get physically violent. I gave her the finger. I think that’s very mild by comparison. And guess what? I’m a human. I have a finger and sometimes it pops up when you piss me off. I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that knowing what you’ve learned about me on Survivor. And I challenge anyone who judges me on the finger, next time somebody cuts them off and they flip it over to a stranger that just cut them off on the road — it’s what we do. We’re people. That’s sign language.
EW: Let’s talk some strategy because I still don’t get the move to flip right after the merge, because it basically ensures that none of those people you screwed over are going to vote for you in the finals should you make it there, which Spencer alluded to with the “Zero percent chance of winning the game” comment.
KASS: I was not feeling secure in that alliance. I am an observer of people and the body language of people. I was the oldest person on that alliance. It was a misfit alliance. We were not together because we liked each other and wanted to be together. We were together because we had to be together. When Spencer and Tasha and I were on Brains, we were also a misfit alliance. We were never together form the beginning. And I saw Spencer gravitating towards Sarah and Jeremiah. And I don’t think we even spoke after the merge — Spencer and I. I even went to him at one point and said I would rather pull in Jefra than count on Sarah because Sarah was always talking to Trish and she told me she would never vote against Trish. And I presented that to Spencer and Tasha and they told me to get over it. And I thought that I was definitely in the bottom of that pecking order and everyone in that 6 was talking about getting rid of each other already, like carrying Morgan for a bit and then getting rid of her, and getting rid of Sarah after two votes. There was so much talk. It was not a cohesive unit. They knew I was on the bottom, and I think they’re a little bit bitter because I called it.
EW: I have no doubt that producers will be looking to you again to come back as a returning player at some point. Would you go do it again?
KASS: Yes. In a heartbeat, I love the game. I still sit here and am in shock that I was on Survivor. I still was like a little teenage girl when Jeff Probst walked in the room yesterday. So, it’s cool.
EW: What would you do differently?
KASS: I need to improve my social game for sure. I was pretty dismissive of people out there. I don’t suffer fools easily, and it was frustrating. I’m an extreme introvert but I would try to participate in the hair doing and small talk. I would try to be more approachable to the twenty-somethings. It’s realy hard to go out there and try to relate to people with such different backgrounds. In normal life, I don’t hang out with people who are single and don’t have families and have different lifestyles.
Click on the video player below to watch an exclusive deleted scene of Tony from last night’s finale. Also make sure to check out our interview with winner Tony Vlachos, runner-up Woo Hwang, and fan favorite Spencer Bledsoe. Plus read Dalton’s finale/reunion recap as well as Jeff Probst giving his take on the finale and Probst giving intel on NEXT season. And for ‘Survivor’ scoop sent directly to you, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.