The bad luck started when she was put on a tribe with another person named Stephanie. That means Stephanie Gonzalez had to go by her last time to avoid confusion. But that was the least of Stephanie Gonzalez’s problems on Survivor: Ghost Island, as she was the very first person voted out of the game (joining this illustrious group).

Where did it all go wrong? What should she have done differently? Who did she take a parting shot at on her way out? We asked Gonzalez all of that and more when she called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105) Thursday morning. Here are some excerpts from our chat.

EW RADIO: What happened? Why you?
STEPHANIE GONZALEZ: We’re dumped off on the island and I’m thinking that I can’t show I’m strategic or have any smarts or show I’m good at puzzles, and I realized I’m not good at holding back or being quiet or being a goat. I just couldn’t shut up. And I realized there were a couple of people that were super timid so I took more initiative and that was what got me at the first vote.

I’ve spent all night awake trying to put it together, because it doesn’t matter how many times you know that this already happened, you still think about it all and try to figure out, what if? But I think that’s what got me first out. I know I can have a very strong presence and that my first impression isn’t that great because I have a very intimidating look. So I think that hurt me in the game. Especially only three days in and nobody’s talking game and wanting to talk game early on.

You made a comment at Tribal Council that didn’t make it to air where you said, “One lion, seven sheep.” What did you mean by that and I assume you were considering Brendan the lion in that situation?
Yes, I was. Everyone gravitated to Brendan because he was very naturally the leader of the tribe. Being that there was a slight age difference with most of us and him and Stephanie having a similar situation, he just had a leader presence. He just has a very strong, all-American guy leader presence. So we all turned to him as our guy at the beginning and won the challenge. It established a hierarchy almost immediately. 10 minutes into being dropped off on the island we’ve got Brendan making our decisions for us. I know he was in with anyone. I saw he was speaking to everyone a little more than I was. And women can have a little bit of a hard time getting in with everyone. Especially girls speaking with girls — some are girls’ girls and some are guys’ girls.

If you could go back and change one thing that might alter the outcome, what would it be?
I would probably have a ridiculous smile on my face at all times. And that’s probably my biggest thing — just having this ridiculous smile and eye contact. Presence is just huge and pre-game I was trying to obey the rules so hardcore and that really, really, really hurt me. I probably would just give off a lot more friendly vibes — eye contact, bubbly, smiles, so people can perceive me to be a lot more friendly and not intimidating or suffering for any sort of resting bitch face.

Also make sure to check out our exit interview with Jacob Derwin, our full premiere recap as well as our Q&A with host Jeff Probst. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Episode Recaps

SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"

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  • CBS
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