By Dalton Ross
March 13, 2019 at 10:00 AM EDT
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Aubry Bracco is back, and nothing will stop her in the pursuit of the Sole Survivor title and the million-dollar prize that goes with it! Except, perhaps, all the new players that want no part of her. Aubry is one of four returning all-stars brought back to compete against 14 first-timers on Survivor: Edge of Extinction, and the first eight days have been a bit rough.

First, the good news: Aubry’s Kama tribe has won all three immunity challenges, so she has been in no danger of being voted out. Plus, she fulfilled a lifelong — or at least as long as she has been watching Survivor — dream of finding a hidden immunity idol.

The reception from her tribemates, however, has been less than welcome, at least when it comes to strategy talk and alliances. But all that could be about to change with a Survivor tribe swap on the way in tonight’s episode on CBS. Before things expand out from two to three tribes, we caught up with Aubry to get some intel on stuff we didn’t see on TV as well as her thoughts about the big switcheroo. Read on!

Robert Voets/CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How soon after the game began did you start to feel that the newbies on Kama were looking to target the returning players, and are there any other examples you can share that we did not see of you trying to make a connection with someone and just getting shut down or feeling like they weren’t open to it?
AUBRY BRACCO: Ah, Dalton, it was so tricky. Kama was a study in contradictions. I was having one-on-one conversations and getting to know people, just like anyone else. But, despite that progress, I still felt like Joe and I had crashed a wedding. Upfront, people were nice, and we were getting to know each other. In small moments, however, I could feel the energy between the other players was more familiar — they were sharing something for the first time while Joe and I were like the chaperones at a school dance; trying to be cool but still not one of the pack.

That said, I still did feel like I could work with many of them. I felt like I had commonalities. Take, for example, the following people: With Ron, I felt an immediate emotional bond, not very much unlike the one I shared with Tai. With Victoria, we connected from a personal background and spunkiness perspective (she’s from NYC and my parents are both New Yorkers). And with Eric, we both knew we could be threats and we were both in search of players we felt we could communicate with and predict.

There were also those moments where I was thinking: “Damn, I am screwed.” For instance, I would try to talk game, and certain people wouldn’t even look me in the eye. My favorite had to be when someone asked me a question about Survivor, and another castaway answered for me, knowing more about my prior games than I did myself.

All that being said, had Kama lost either of the first two immunity challenges, do you think you would have been voted out first from the tribe, and if you all had lost the third one, do you think you would you have used your idol at that Tribal Council?
Had Kama lost one of the first two challenges, I believe it would have been me or Aurora going home. If we had lost the third, I would have 100,000% used the idol in that dynamic.

We haven’t seen a lot of the Kama tribe because you all won every immunity challenge. What’s the biggest thing that happened at your camp in those first few 8 days that didn’t make it on air?
It rained. Oh, and Ron did put on a Survivor version of Family Feud. If Steve Harvey saw his hosting skills, he would shake in his boots!

Look, sometimes we have to tread into sensitive and difficult territory here, so I’m sorry to have to ask you this but… can you please explain the dancing?
Here’s the deal on the dancing. From day 1, I was smitten with Ron. He is a special human, and I caught that off him immediately. That dance happened a number of times, and it was a fun kind of release. I enjoyed the creative expression with Ron, but what I couldn’t stand was the #KamaStrong mantra when I knew I was at the bottom of the barrel of that particular Kama pack. It just did not resonate with my experience.

We’ll see how it all shakes out in the next episode and where you end up, but what was your first reaction when Jeff told you to drop your buffs and that you were switching from two tribes to three?
GOOD. Please, for the love of God end this fake Kumbaya B.S. so I can start playing now. I was hoping for any kind of shakeup in the swap no matter how big or small. I believed there could be some hope for me working with the Kamas in a different configuration, especially since the Manu tribe was such an unmitigated disaster.

And, that said, I was willing to hop into the Manu clown car. Look at my prior seasons: I’ve worked with some of the most chaotic and erratic people in the Survivor book. I thought I might be able to cozy up to some of the Manu characters, especially since we’d sussed out pretty easily from body language that Lauren, Rick and The Wardog were willing to play with returnees.

For more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Jeff Probst leads adventures in the ultimate (and original) reality series.
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