SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Reem Daly was voted out first on Survivor. And in almost any other season, she would have been almost immediately forgotten. But Survivor: Edge of Extinction was not any other season. After having her torch snuffed, Reem spent 32 more days on Extinction Island, hilariously welcoming her new cohabitants with, shall we say, less than open arms. It made her a fan favorite and the undisputed GIF queen of the show.

So what does Reem have to say about her unorthodox stay in the game? How is she now with some of the people she called out so bluntly? And would she do it again if she gets the call? We spoke to self-proclaimed “ambassador of loser island” shortly after the finale and she addressed all that while also revealing that she almost trashed their camp at Extinction Island before the merge competition. Why? Read on and then rest comfortably in the knowledge that for the last time this season… YOU GOT REEMED!

It Smells Like Success
Credit: Timothy Kuratek/CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congratulations on being the most famous first one out in Survivor history. You know, any other season that would have been that. But then you became the go-to person there that we saw on Edge of Extinction.
REEM DALY: I was the ambassador of loser island. Thank you so much.

What was it like watching the show play back on TV and seeing how people reacted to your hilariously blunt assessments on Extinction Island?
You know what, I’ve got to be honest with you, dude. That was hilarious. Like, I kind of forgot what I said to some people, and I mean, it’s true, that’s what went down, I mean, I wasn’t happy to see some people, or I was happy to see some people. And sucks for you, like, welcome to hell. That’s what it was, you know? It is what it is. It was definitely funny to watch.

So are you cool with everyone now, or are there still some tense interactions with some of the cast?
No, it’s all good. Like, you’ve got to think about it: these people left their lives to pursue the same dream that you wanted to do. You can’t hate on that, you know what I mean? Like, no. It was actually really nice to see everybody and I respect everyone and I’m super proud of Chris. What he did by taking off his necklace in the end, that was so respectable, and I’m so proud of Devens. He really hustled when he got back in there. So no, I’ve got no beef with anybody. You know, if you can’t say how you feel and then resolve it, then we’re not mature adults, right? It’s all good.

It sounds like you all were able to use that time at Edge of Extinction to come together and bury the hatchet.
So, I mean, full disclosure, they didn’t freaking know me then. I mean, they voted me out because they didn’t want their mom there, their mom who cared about them to dry their clothing because they were wet and everything was cold. That, excuse me, I’ll probably never let go. Excuse me. But no, I don’t, I’m not mad at them. I mean, they didn’t even know me when they voted me out, honestly, it was a name that wasn’t theirs. But I sure as hell was going to hold them accountable for it when I saw them again, of course.

What was so great was that they couldn’t vote me out, right? But at the same time, I didn’t know if they could vote me in. So it was kind of like treading on shallow water because I didn’t want to piss them off, but I also wasn’t going to not hold them accountable. Because you jerks put me here, dude. That’s not cool. But everybody went through the same emotional roller coaster, but it’s kind of fun to be able to be like, “So why did you do that? Why?” And then you’re like, opening Pandora’s Box by asking them why because all of a sudden they’ve got all these horrible things to tell you about yourself and you’re like, “Whoa, whoa, slow down, I didn’t want to hear all of that,” you know?

How are you and Kelly Wentworth? Because clearly you two weren’t seeing eye to eye out there.
You know what, Kelly’s a player, right? She came back here, I put a target on her back. I’m like, no way dude, that chick’s smart, we need to get rid of her. We’re totally, totally fine. I mean, the minute when she came, I just, I’m not fake, I’m not a liar, man. So if I’m going to have to hang out with you and we’re going to hang together for days on end, let’s just clear it all up and move forward. I’ve got absolutely no beef with her, she’s a nice person. I just had to tell her how I felt, that’s all. And as soon as that came out and was open air discussion, we were good.

You were out there on the Edge of Extinction for 32 days. How close did you come to quitting? And did it become easier or harder as more and more people showed up?
Well, if I was going to quit, the worst I absolutely felt was that first night. And then, at that point I just wanted to say, “Well, let’s just see what happens. Let’s just see who’s next. Who’s next? Who’s next?” And when you’re sitting there with absolutely no information, you’re on a need to know basis, it’s frustrating, right? And there’s no food, and you’re not eating, and you’re like, “Fine, I won’t eat, I don’t care, but what’s next? What’s next?” It’s just, the more information that was provided, the more I was like, “All right, I’ll hang out. All right, I’ll hang out.”

But, like, when we left to go to the first challenge, dude, I was done. I’m like, “Sweet, I’m in, or I’m out.” Like I’ve got closure, I’m good, I’m going to try and then I’m done. But the minute Jeff said, “Yo, you can go back,” I was like, “What?” That’s why I was like, for the love of God, dude. Like, I was mentally done. But then, “Hell yeah, I’m going to go back!” And the funny thing is when we left, I was like, ready to trash the joint because I didn’t think we were coming back. I was like, I almost put the fire out, I wanted to like, just destroy everything, you know? I was like a bad rock band in the ‘80s sleeping there, man. But at the same time, I did go back, and I wasn’t going to leave, because I wanted another chance. Like, I’m not a quitter, you know what I’m saying? If you’re going to offer it to me and I came all the way out here to play I’m going to play, you know?

But when Keith and Wendy left then, did that make you think, “Oh, well if they’re going, maybe I’ll just go with them?”
No, you know what, Keith and Wendy was a whole ‘nother ball game. You didn’t get to see everything of their emotional journey. Like, they were done. They were happy with themselves, they were done. I even said, “Do you want me to tackle you and not go there?” And they said, “No, no, no, we’re good, it’s all good.” And I was like, “All right.” And they said, “If you want to come, we welcome you with open arms.” But I couldn’t do it, man. II knew I couldn’t face my kids, my mom, my husband, I knew that I just, I couldn’t, I couldn’t face everybody that I left, my friends, everybody, unless I absolutely maxed it out a million percent and did everything that was being offered. I wasn’t going to leave knowing there was still opportunity.

Any hesitation with your vote for Chris to win, or was it Chris 100 percent all the way?
No, dude. Chris. Listen, bravo to Gavin. Bravo to Julie. Honestly, great job. But if it was going to be Chris and Devens in that final, you know damn straight Devens would have taken it. Because he was a hustler, that whole time. Chris went in there and he put everything he could out there to prove it, and I saw him on the Edge, dude. Like, that kid is Captain America. He provided for us. I’m super proud with my decision, there was never a question, like, it was nice to hear what the others were doing and it’s true, they did have some great stuff going on.

But at the same time, this particular season is called the Edge of Extinction. And that was a mental debacle, like nightmare that went on out there on the Edge of Extinction. The fact that he was able to do that, come back in, convince folks to like, hook him up while he went back in, win immunity and then give it up? Who does that, dude? Like, I have so much respect for that kid, I was super proud of him. I felt like, my friend just won. Like honestly, I was really, really proud of him.

Look, you had a Survivor experience unlike one that anyone else has ever had. And it wasn’t a traditional Survivor experience or what you were expecting when you went out there. So, Reem, if you got the call, would you go out and play this game again?
I would totally play again. As long as it lined up with work and with my family and everybody was on board, I would do it again. Do I think I would win? Well, I had such a great showing the first time, I don’t know. I would try not to do some of the things that got me voted out, that’s all I can say about that.

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SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning $1 million, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "Dig deep!"

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