Angela Perkins on why she cried backstage at Survivor finale
She said she didn’t care what color table she sat at to take on Wendell Holland in a fire-making contest that would end one person’s Survivor: Ghost Island game and send the other into the finals. But after Angela Perkins agreed to switch to orange — which has seemingly been cursed all season in a season built around curses — she lost.
Now, to be fair, she would’ve probably lost anyway, but is Angela now cursing herself after that move? We asked the fourth-place finisher that and a whole lot more when she called in shortly after the finale ended, and she told us why she got so emotional backstage during the show. (Also make sure to read our Q&A with winner Wendell, our Q&A with runner-up Domenick, our chat with tiebreaker Laurel, our talk with Donathan, Q&A with Sebastian, our finale recap, finale Q&A with Jeff Probst, and interview with Probst and Mark Burnett about NEXT season.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So in a season of cursed items, did you curse yourself by moving over to the orange table for the fire-making contest?
ANGELA PERKINS: Oh goodness. I don’t think so. My thought process behind that was, “You know what? If I give Wendell the purple seat and can make him feel comfortable, and I beat him, that’s one more vote towards me, during the finals, towards that million dollars.”
How confident were you going into that? We know Wendell’s very good at making fire, so what did you think your chances were like going into that battle?
I didn’t think I had great, great chances because I watched Wendell build fire every single day. I knew the basics, and I had some confidence, but I wasn’t 100 percent. It’s Survivor, I don’t think anybody’s ever 100 percent confident.
Why did you give Wendell your vote to win?
First and foremost, I thought he was an amazing player. I think he played the game the best. But second to that, he and I had a really personal connection. We had some intimate moments that weren’t shown. He had family members that had very similar personalities to my daughter. That’s one of the things that I never get over. When deploying, you get used to not eating, you get used to not showering. One thing you don’t get used to is leaving your loved ones. He made sure that he made that connection and then spoke about my daughter and took time to talk about my son. I guess I made a really intimate connection with him as far as family, and he’s a family man.
Let’s play a little game of What If. Let’s say at the final four, Dom had said to you, “Hey, I’ll bring you to the final three and not force you to make fire if you promise to vote for me in the case of a tie.” What would you have said, and if the answer is “Sure,” would you have then honored that?
You know what? I played the game with extreme loyalty, but it is the game of Survivor. I definitely would have agreed to it, however, the game changes every day, every moment, every second, so I don’t know if I would have stayed true to it. Again, walking up to cast my vote, I didn’t even know who I was going to vote for. I was there for a very long time just trying to think over who I wanted to vote for, and I decided that I was going to look at the three remaining, and see if I felt a move and made eye contact with somebody, and if I felt that emotional connection, that’s who I was going to give my vote for. When I turned around, both Laurel and Dom were looking down, and they seemed defeated. Not Wendell. Wendell stared me in the eyes, and I just felt that loyalty, that love, It was in that moment.
Let’s go back to the one moment of the episode that I’m sure had a lot of people saying, “What the hell is she doing?” That’s when Sebastian hatches this plan to blindside Dominick at the final six, and then you’re sitting there with Dom on the beach, and you go and tell him, even while saying out loud that it’s a very bad move for your game. So why did you tell him?
For a personal decision, it was horrible for me, however, for a game decision, in order for me, that I felt, for me to move forward, I would have to get rid of Sebastian. Who would not give him a million dollars? He’s so likable, he didn’t make anybody mad. Everybody loves Sebastian! He provided so much food for us, so he was a great game player. I felt I had more chances going to the finals with Dom and Wendell.
Wow, because the perspective from a viewer will be totally different. But we’re not out there, and we don’t see what you’re seeing.
Yeah, it was extremely hard to relive that moment, just because I got extremely close with Sebastian. I braided his hair almost every single day. Back in the Green Room, obviously, you don’t see these things, but Sebastian had no idea. He’s like, “Ang, you plotted against me.” I’m telling you, I bawled in the Green Room. Not that I was ashamed, but it was hurtful because I went against somebody that I truly love.
Wow. Angela, look back and tell me: What was your best move you made out there, and what was your worst move?
I think the best move is going into that eating challenge, and it’s just staying focused, knowing I had this, regardless if I won it or not. When I went in that, I knew, in my mind, at least, without a doubt, I was taking that accessory home. Then my worst moment was, again, just not for game-wise, but just for relationship-wise, was actually telling Dom about Sebastian and then actually following through and writing his name down.
By the way, what was the most disgusting thing you ate in that challenge?
Oh geez. I don’t even remember. Are you kidding me? I think I blacked out. Did you see me? I don’t even think I ate anything. I think I swallowed every bit of it. I don’t think it was anything tasty.
I’m sure you’ll carry a lot of great memories out of this. What is your favorite one?
I would have to say it was the Loved Ones. I’m very grateful for the opportunity that CBS has given me. One, it’s still unreal that I got on Survivor, but to share it with all the viewers, then it was my daughter. Who gets the chance and that opportunity? I’m extremely blessed to have shared that with Paige.
Also make sure to check out our Q&A with winner Wendell, our interview with runner-up Domenick, our chat with tiebreaker Laurel, our talk with Donathan, Q&A with Sebastian our finale recap, Jeff Probst finale Q&A, Jeff Probst & Mark Burnett franchise deep dive as well as the duo previewing the NEXT season of Survivor: David vs. Goliath. Also come back soon for our exit interviews with the rest of the final six, and for all the Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.