No doubt about it: Big Wendy has a big personality. And we saw it on Survivor: Edge of Extinction. But Wendy Diaz also stuck to her guns. If that meant standing by folks like Reem who were on the outs, then so be it. And if it meant refusing to allow her tribemates to eat chickens — even though she ate meat herself — then so be it.
Wendy was eventually voted out of the tribe but then was approximately two inches from getting back into it in the Edge of Extinction challenge. When her ball dropped, it looked like her game was over for good, until Jeff Probst informed her and the others they could return to Extinction Island for yet another chance at the million dollars. Wendy celebrated the good news… and yet the next thing we saw her raising the mast with Keith to ask out of the game.
What gives? Why did Wendy give up? Why did she ask for a cheeseburger after going on an anti-chicken eating crusade? What happens if she actually made it back into the game? And whom was she rooting for to win the money? We connected with Wendy over email to ask her all that and here’s what she had to say.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Big Wendy! You were soooooo close to getting back in the game during that challenge. What do you think happens if you win that challenge and make it back onto the merged tribe?
WENDY DIAZ: If there was one thing that I loved on Survivor, it was the challenges. Being so close to winning was exhilarating, and I knew if I had gotten back into the game, I would have been safe and made it deep. Absolutely no one saw me as a threat at that point so it would be pointless to vote me out. I knew that I would be able to integrate into Kama and be a number for them.
You seemed happy to head back to Extinction Island for another chance to get back in the game, but then we saw you and Keith raising the sail to quit. What happened and why did you choose to give up?
I never gave up, and I never quit. At the time, it seemed completely optional to either stay or leave considering we had already been voted off. I never ran out of game-play but I saw The Edge as a place to seek revenge, see-through unfinished business, to prove something. At that point, I had ZERO regrets with the game I played.
We saw you essentially sabotaging your own game to protect the chickens from being eaten by your hungry tribemates, even though you were a meat-eater heading into the game. But then when you were voted out, you said you couldn’t wait to eat a cheeseburger. So have you been eating any meat since you left the game last June?
I believe that people can be compassionate towards animals and still eat meat. Is it hypocritical?
Absolutely. The same way people who own pets at home and still eat meat are hypocritical. That shouldn’t discourage people from fostering animals. With that being said, I have been a vegetarian since the end of last year, but I did eat meat coming directly off of the show and the few months that followed.
Not including the folks at the Edge of Extinction, who were you rooting for to win the game when you decided to quit?
When I left the game, I was rooting for my fellow tribe mate Eric to win because despite him voting me out, he did not do it maliciously. You can tell he has a kind soul and would do anything for his family.