To call Kellyn Bechtold emotional would be an understatement. The woman wears her emotions on her sleeves… and her pants… and her bathing suit… and pretty much anywhere else you can wear emotions.
But when she was voted out of Survivor: Ghost Island, Kellyn took it completely in stride. It was a far cry from some of the exuberant highs and PISSED OFF lows the wildly gesticulating one experienced out on the island, but proved Kellyn was a good sport deep down.
Ghost Island’s most animated contestant called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105) to chat all about her time in the game. Did she scramble to stay? Why did her famous gut lead her astray? And what are some things we did not see on TV? We asked Kellyn all that and more and here are some highlights from our chat.
EW RADIO: We saw a lot of Donathan this last episode, but what we didn’t really see was a lot of you scrambling to stay. What were these last 3 days like for you when you knew you were in trouble?
KELLYN BECHTOLD: Donathan just really out-emoted me, so they had to show him more because he was making all the crazy facial expressions! [Laughs] No, I was working hard. After Chelsea left, I knew my name was next and I had lost Laurel. When I voted against her, she couldn’t get past that and she didn’t trust me. So my play for the last few days was I sat with Dom for hours to try and convince him that he can’t beat Wendell at the end. And that wasn’t working so I sat with Wendell and went through every single person who was going to be on the jury and was like, “This person will vote for Dom and this person will vote for Dom, and this person will vote for Laurel or Donathan.” But these people just would not budge.
It was really an interesting game of Survivor where two people were so openly close and they had so much ammunition in their pocket and it was a hard battle to try and fight. But I definitely did not give up and was pretty excited to get the vote to tie there at the end. So I went out swinging.
Once it was just between you and Donathan at the tie, how confident were you that you were getting voted out?
One-hundred percent. I knew it was me. Sebastian and I had an oddly close relationship that we haven’t seen out there and, of course Angela and I were very close, and both of them all day had been pretty upset and sad. I don’t think there was any way Dom and Wendell were willing to give me another shot at immunity.
You talked a lot about trusting your gut this season. What was it like watching some of those episodes where your gut led you astray, like where you refused to believe Desiree was after you and when you got somewhat fooled by Michael and his non-existent idol?
First of all, I got tired of hearing about my stomach so everyone else was probably equally tired of it too! But watching the story back is different in many ways from how you experience, it but it’s amazing, right? That’s the best part of watching Survivor as a fan. If you sit and home and you don’t know anything and everybody on the screen knows everything, that’s not fun! The fun thing is to be on your couch, and know what’s happening and to watch people look really kind of like idiots on TV. So, if anything, for the entertainment factor, it was a great run. And I voted right every Tribal and knew what was going to happen, so I had a lot figured out and a lot not figured out.
Does it still PISS YOU OFF that Wendell went to Ghost Island after that Loved Ones reward challenge?
You know, I have forgiven Wendell for playing for a million dollars. I think more than anything I was just so frustrated that the boys were really telling everyone what to do and to get in line. And as people that really know me in my life, I am a feminist. I want women to come together and work together. And to watch those boys just one by one leave the girls back at camp and think we weren’t going to do anything? Well, turns out they were right, but it was so frustrating and that’s where my frustration came out. Wendell — good on him. He made the right move as a Survivor fan.
Who was in your final 3?
Angela was voting with me the entire time. I really would have loved to have gone with Chelsea. And then when that started to break down I thought there was a chance I could get Sebastian to come my way and I was willing to take them. And honestly, I would have gone with Laurel and Donathan as well. Maybe I’m full of myself and people can laugh at this, but I think I could’ve beaten anyone other than Dom and Wendell at the final Tribal, so I was willing to take any of that group to the end.
Was there no way to get Laurel over?
My biggest mistake was to think that everyone would be willing to take risks and I know that it looks like I wasn’t willing to take risks that much but I seriously thought, those boys are running the show. Everyone did what they said to get Chris out. Everyone did what they said to get Libby out. Everyone did what they said to get Des out. And I thought, you know what, if I sit here one more vote, then all these Malolos have to be willing to switch. And they weren’t. Laurel was tried and true.
Good on Wendell. And I was in Wendell’s lair for a while too. He sucked me in. So I understand the draw in working with Wendell, but I tried everything with Laurel, Every single thing. My brother recorded me when I got back from the show and I guess I told Laurel, which wasn’t nice, “I hope you’re okay with giving up millions of dollars because if you won’t make this move then you’ll never be playing Survivor again!” Like, really terrible Survivor play, but this after days and days and days of trying to get her to move on those boys and she would just look at me like I was crazy.
Obviously only so much can make it to air. Tell me the something that never made it to TV that you wish we had seen.
I believe I had, and still have, great relationships with a lot of people in the game. I’m really close friends with Stephanie Johnson. Jenna and I talk a lot. Sebastian and I were really close out there. I feel like I had a really great social game and I think I overplayed that hand a little bit, so it was a little strange that that wasn’t shown, that I was building a lot of bonds with people. So I guess I wish there was a little more of my actual relationships, but that’s a selfish thing because that played into my experience and not necessarily the game experience. I really don’t regret a thing when I look at the whole.
What were your thoughts when you got to the merge and realized Bradley was gone?
I was having super-mixed emotions. I was like, “Oh, s—, that’s my ride or die! And he’s gone and now I’m the only one here with orange blood on my hands. And my plan going into the merge was to just blame it on Bradley. Bradley is the “evil one.” He’s the villain. He was gone, I felt super-exposed and like, wow, I really pissed off all the Malolos and the people in Naviti are going to see I did a lot of work and I felt like I needed to sit back and become the mother bear of Naviti and protect myself a little bit.
Would you do it all over again and come back to play a second time?
The Survivor door is always open. I don’t think you should ever give up a chance at 1-in-20 or 1-in-18 at a million dollars. And I feel like I have unfinished business, just like every single other person who hasn’t made it all the way to the end. So, Jeff, I’m here. You know where to find me. And I’d be happy to go out and try to do better next time.
Also make sure to check out our episode recap, our Q&A with host Jeff Probst, and fan and castmate entries in our #FakeKellyn contest. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.