Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Kelly Goldsmith on having no regrets from Survivor: Africa
With Survivor filming for seasons 41 and 42 indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EW is reaching back into the reality show’s past. We sent a Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire to a batch of former players to fill out with their thoughts about their time on the show as well as updates on what they’ve been up to since. Each weekday, EW will post the answers from a different player.
It wasn’t her. When a vote was cast against Lex van den Berghe on day 21 of Survivor: Africa, the rocker believed the author of said vote was none other than Kelly Goldsmith, and therefore started a campaign to get rid of her at the next Tribal Council. The campaign was successful, and Kelly was voted out. Just one problem: Kelly didn’t cast the vote. It was actually Teresa “T-Bird” Cooper.
But if you think Kelly is bitter 19 years later about being considered guilty until proven innocent, think again. In fact, she has a remarkable ability to not get swept up with pretty much any regrets about her experience back on season 3. “I don’t have too many regrets,” says Kelly. “That’s the good thing about going on a reality show when you’re young. Two decades later, even the silly things I did and said (e.g., my final Tribal Council speech…) seem kind of quaint.”
For more from Survivor: Africa’s first jury member about her experience in Kenya and what she’s been up to since, sit back and enjoy her Quarantine Questionnaire.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you’ve been up to since appearing on Survivor.
KELLY GOLDSMITH: I got my Ph.D. at Yale in 2009, and since then I’ve been a marketing professor — first at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and now at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt. I actually do research on how scarcity and uncertainty shape decision making (funny enough!). Anyone interested can check out my research at my website: profgoldsmith.com
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
I’m not much of an athlete, so I’m just proud I held my own well enough on that dimension with the other people who were out there!
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
I don’t have too many regrets. That’s the good thing about going on a reality show when you’re young. Two decades later, even the silly things I did and said (e.g., my final Tribal Council speech…) seem kind of quaint.
What’s something that will blow fans’ minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?
Oh, wow. There is no tea that hasn’t been spilled on my season by now!
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
Honestly, I felt fine about it. I did what I did and said what I said. If anyone has an issue with it, remember – I was young!
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
I didn’t have a huge problem coming back, but I had a terrible time keeping when I got voted off a secret (though I did keep it a secret!). Everyone in my world expected me to do really well in the game, especially after the merge. I kept wanting to tell them to get their hopes way down!
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
There hasn’t been a time (yet) when I regretted going on the show. There have been some opportunities that it cost me, but the doors that it opened far exceed the doors that it closed.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?
I will forever love Kim Powers from my season. We were roommates after the show, and she was like the cool big sister I never had. To this day, she remains one of the most interesting, fun, witty people I’ve ever met. Plus, she’s hot like a house on fire.
Do you still watch Survivor, and if so, what’s your favorite season you were not on and why?
I don’t watch the show. I actually stopped after Season 9. I’d worked in casting for that season, and when Brook Geraghty (who I cast) was voted off first, I was so heartbroken I had to take a break. That’s not a joke! Now that my twins are getting older, I do have dreams of going back and bingeing some of the seasons that I missed…
Who’s one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
I don’t know — someone weaker than me? Someone with zero skills? I’m not one of those “to be the best — I need to beat the best” types. Surround me with mediocre talent and hand me a million dollars, please!
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
Look, Survivor may not be perfect, but it’s lasted 40 seasons. Not many shows can say that (period) and especially not reality shows. I’m really proud of all they have accomplished, and proud to have been a small part of that history.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
If the stars aligned schedule-wise, then maybe! But I’d have to look into how much the first person voted off gets paid. All the seasons have so much swimming now! They’d probably have to send some producer in to save me from drowning. That said, for the right price, I’m not afraid to take that chance. ;-)