"It's not even a twist — it's a lie."
SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Sydney Segal seemed to be in a pretty safe spot heading into the merge on Survivor 41. She was in the dominant alliance in the dominant tribe that hadn't lost a single immunity challenge. Then she was part of the winning group at the merge play-in challenge, guaranteeing immunity for herself and her teammates. Or so they thought.

After Erika Casupanan smashed the hourglass, thereby flipping the results of the challenge, Sydney became vulnerable. Then she became even more vulnerable when she came up just short in the individual immunity challenge. And then she went from vulnerable to the target numero uno after Liana Wallace was unable to successfully steal Xander Hasting's immunity idol, giving initial target Evvie Jagoda an added layer of protection.

Knowing she was likely the person to be voted out, Sydney became the first person in Survivor history to use the new Shot in the Dark chance, sacrificing her vote for a one-in-six chance at immunity. But her desperation move came up short and she was voted out.

"I'm relieved I'm not on the jury so I don't have to see their faces ever again," said Sydney after her torch snuffing. "And I'm just glad I'm me, because what I have outside of this game is 500 kajillion times better, so that makes me feel good, even if it's super immature."

Ah, but how does Sydney feel now? We spoke with the law student to get her take on her ouster, why Deshawn turned on her, and how she feels about that controversial hourglass twist. As always, she does not hold back.

Sydney Segal on 'Survivor 41'
| Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, you're told if you win this team challenge you get immunity into the merge. You win the challenge and should be safe, but instead you're stuck here talking to me. With all that in mind, what are your thoughts on the hourglass twist?

SYDNEY SEGAL: I mean, it's not even a twist — it's a lie. We're told one thing and then something else happens. And I think it achieved exactly what it intended to achieve. That challenge was meant for strong players to win. And then that hourglass twist was intended to get a strong player out of the game. And as I said a million times before, I'm the threat of threats, so that hourglass did me dirty. But congratulations, CBS, for achieving exactly what you wanted to achieve. And that was to get a very strong player out and keep a lamb in.

What was your plan when you walked into Tribal before all the craziness of that whole Knowledge Is Power advantage went down?

So I was exactly where I wanted to be socially, just in between two alliances. So I was privy to basically 99 percent of the information. I did want to see how Tribal played out, but my plan that night was to vote for Evvie because Liana was going to steal the idol that was going to perhaps save Evvie. And I hate to say that 'cause I really, really wanted to work with her.

Walk us through that live Tribal after everything blew up. I know there's tons we didn't see, so what went down as everyone was running around?

So as I was running around, I was sitting there like, "I hate my life. I'm so f---ing tired." I'm actually glad they didn't show it because I was just kind of sitting there like, "I literally just want to go f--- myself. I want to go to sleep." So what was going through my head was, "Let me look at the people that are actually eligible for elimination. And people are so dumb. They just think Naseer is going to play as idol, which obviously he's not. But he had the idol, Evvie had the potential of having an idol on her, and then you have me, Danny, and Deshawn. And viewing the optics of what was happening, I was like, "Wow, I am literally the definition of unfortunate collateral. I'm gonna play my Shot in the Dark because I don't trust anybody. Why would I at this point? So really, I just wanted to sleep and roll that f---ing dice.

So when you were huddling with Xander, Evvie, and Tiffany, what were those conversations like? What were they telling you to do?

They were saying to vote Deshawn. And it's funny because I remember just not trusting Deshawn and Danny at that point. And talking to Danny, he's like, "You voted yourself out. We were with you." But I just remember they were so cliquey, and we were together all day on the beach, and I was privy to the plan. And you saw Liana say, "You will know at Tribal that you're safe." I already knew what was happening, but it was good to hear it from her. So part of me was like, "I want to vote for Deshawn." But I didn't, and the best move would have been for me to vote for Evvie. But with that clique I was like, "Well, I'm my own fan. I'm my best friend. So I'm just going to put it in God's hands because I'd rather put it in God's hands than these f---ing losers' hands."

That's what I don't understand because I thought you were part of that clique. You seemed tight with Deshawn and Danny, so why were they so keen to get you out? Was it just that fear of Naseer playing his idol or were they closer to Naseer at this point?

It was definitely the fear that Naseer was going to play the idol, but we needed to put votes on him in order for him to play his idol. But then when you're on the beach and everyone's scrambling and Naseer hears, "Oh, we think Naseer is going to play an idol, so let's just put votes on these people." Obviously he's not going to play his idol. So we were really close. And one thing you didn't see was there was a point in time where I was kissing Naseer's ass. It was painful because he was extremely difficult to live with. But the women were getting eliminated, and on my tribe I was close to Danny and Deshawn. Me and Heather, no comment.

And then Erika actually did kind of have my back when Deshawn was being a little snaky about that. But at that point I believed that she was against me, and up until then, the only people that had expressed interest in working with me were JD and Xander on his hike with Danny. So JD is out at this point, and Xander has expressed interest, I'm working with Danny and Deshawn, and the women on my tribe don't like me. I was in the men's alliance. That was my ideal. I was like, "Yes, I'm down to get a chick out!" Because I also knew I was ahead of the list for Danny and Deshawn, and once the numbers kind of evened out, then the men and women were less important. But they were very paranoid about a female alliance, which I had no interest in being a part of. None.

Sydney Segal on 'Survivor 41'
| Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

Why do you say "no comment" on Heather?

Because we are not friends.

Why are you not friends?

Because she was very holier-than-thou, I would say. She's just such a know-it-all. You can't say anything without her [making] the conversation about herself. I would say, like, "Oh, pretty rock." She'd be like, "Oh, that rock reminds me of the rock me and Bubba used to go fishing on." I'm like, "Okay, well, Bubba would be really upset right now because every time you cast the f---ing reel, you come back with f---ing nothing." Or you say "toothpick," And it's like, "Oh my husband, Jay, he's an ophthalmologist. And he says if you stab a guy with a toothpick you're going to go blind." So I'm just like, "I wanna go f---ing kill myself."

But I'll take 50 percent… no, absolutely not, 20 percent of the blame for that failed relationship. Because I'm like, "Oh, a mother, I want to curate a relationship where it's like, 'Oh, give me advice, tell me this.'" I want kids. I've wanted kids ever since I got my f---ing period. So I'm like, "This is great." So then I think that gave her the agency to feel like it was okay to kind of mother me and give me life advice. But I think a lot of the times it was disparaging.

She would say things like, "Oh, my parents would have never let me do what your parents do." Don't come at my parents. Come on. Maybe because I'm way more f---ing mature then you ever f---ing were. You're like a 52-year-old child. Or where I'm saying I would want kids and she's like, "Oh, you know, being an older parent made me a better mother." I'm like, "Okay, congrats. But I want kids younger." My dad always says it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

Were you aware Deshawn and Danny tried to throw that one challenge?

Yeah, and part of the reason I sat out of the challenge was 'cause I know it was so hard for Danny to try to throw 'cause he's an athlete, but I myself was also an athlete, and I'm like, "I can't do it." I just couldn't do it.

You were pretty upset with people after being voted out. Where are you know with it and with them?

It's actually kind of an up-and-down experience. When I think of the season 41 cast, I'm like, "I hate you all. Like, literally get out of my life forever." But then when I pick them out individually, it's like, "That's family." Most of them. I'm either going to ride or die for you, or if I never saw you again, it would be too soon. It was surprisingly an up-and-down experience considering I'm not one to dwell. You know, people say, "Oh, it's the game. You're hungry, you're tired," but you will never escape your essence. If you are a heinous person with a s--- personality, you're still going to be a heinous person with a s--- personality on the f---ing island. And it's like, "Oh, you're so f---ing tired? Why? The sun's down for 12 hours. So if you're not sleeping for 12 hours, figure it out."

What was your general game strategy? We never really got to see much of it because you all kept winning.

Yeah, my game strategy was to be liked by almost everybody. Because when you're liked by everybody, you become an automatic target. And that was evidenced on the beach. Right when we got back from the challenge, Deshawn and Evvie were the ones whose names were out because they're so likable. They're great orators. They're just really gregarious people. And, I mean, I thought I was. [Laughs] Whatever, I like myself way better. But that was my plan.

Also, I wanted to have trust, but I didn't want to be in an alliance that was begging somebody to go with them. I would rather be that person the alliance was begging. And that's where I was. Even when I got home, people from both sides were like, "Your vote out f---ed up my game." And it was awesome just weeks later hearing that even in hindsight, they're like, "Sydney's vote out was bad for me" on both sides. And I'm like, "Yes!" That was further validation I was exactly where I wanted to be. So my gameplay was fantastic. But the game decided that it wanted to get interesting people out. So the monster in the game is really just the monster of killing f---ing good personalities.

Were you different to the players than you were to the camera? Meaning, you can play two games and just say certain things to the camera, but then when you're with the tribe put on a completely different face. Did you have two different faces, or was it the same Sydney?

I was the same. And it's funny because a lot of people are like, "Oh, Sydney's obviously exaggerating for TV," but all my friends are like, "It's so funny that people think you're a persona on TV. This is you in real life." So maybe that's fortunate or unfortunate, but yeah, this is me. There was no escaping it.

I wasn't saying "F--- you!" to people to their faces. One thing people didn't see was I was actually really nice. And I think I was almost, like, too nice. And I think my emotions luckily didn't end up playing a factor in the game, but when we were winning, I felt bad about people being voted out. There was that side of me. And I think it's maybe the Italian maternal side, where it's just like, I feel. But I also had my triplex picked out in L.A. and my mortgage loan thing — 3.5% already in place for when I bought my f---ing triplex. So, like, f--- my life.

You mentioned in a Zoom interview you did with EW before the season began that, in your own words, you "fart a lot." How was that on the island?

Oh my God! I couldn't believe that it wasn't really a thing. I was shocked! There was one night where someone's like, "Yeah, someone farted." And I'm pretty sure it wasn't me, but I'm like, "I'm just going to take the blame because there's a good chance it was." But I'm shocked it wasn't a thing.

What's something that happened out there that didn't make it to TV that you wish we could have seen?

I actually got a phenomenal edit, which is shocking, 'cause I had phenomenal things to say. So it really did capture everything I thought it would capture. But one thing was I got f---ed up by the reef one day, so my whole side was just bloody. I kind of wish they showed that because it was sick. And also — this is so off-brand, I can't believe I'm about to say this — but just the jovial aspect. Me, Danny, and Deshawn, we laughed and laughed and laughed. And then, even my final night, me and Tiffany were in that shelter, just not shutting the f--- up. We were just dying, dying, laughing. Deshawn was like, "Sydney, Tiff, shut up!"

There was also a whole conversation that happened when me, Brad, and Tiffany were on that island, and I was like, "Listen, there are so many advantages out there." Like, I'm not so dumb to say, "Let's all choose tarp," because someone's not going to choose tarp. So I said, "Let's just have one steal a vote. Let's not have two floating." Tiffany's like, "I want it," and I was like, "I don't know, like, let's give it to Brad. He seems like a pretty stand-up guy," which was true. So me and Tiffany both stuck with the plan because we wanted to work with each other. That's fam.

If you could smash an hourglass and go back to change something about the way you played, what would it be?

I'd probably amputate my leg to make the season more fair — because I was just out here doing the most.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"

  • TV Show
  • 43
stream service

Comments have been disabled on this post