Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Ciera Eastin got facial paralysis from playing the game
With season 41 of Survivor delayed 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.
Psst… Hey, did you all know that Ciera Eastin voted out her own mother on Survivor? It's true!!!!
Of course, any Survivor fan worth their salt knows the story of how Ciera helped send her mom (Laura Morett) packing on Survivor: Blood vs. Water. How could they not know it? We've been reminded of it about, oh, 421,374 times on the show. (Even though, it should be noted, that Ciera did everything she could to try to save her mom before bowing to the inevitable and only going along with the majority only other options were exhausted.)
Regardless, that was just one day in three different seasons Ciera played. There's so much more to her Survivor experience, which has run the gamut. She made it all the way to the final 5 of Blood vs. Water, helped engineer a pair of blindsides before being taken out by a hidden immunity idol in Cambodia, and suffered the indignity of being voted out first in Game Changers after playing too fast, too soon. In her Quarantine Questionnaire, Ciera celebrates her time on the island that doesn't involve tribal matricide, reveals she actually got Bell's palsy (and temporary facial paralysis) from playing the game, and updates us on what she's been up to since.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you've been up to since appearing on Survivor.
CIERA EASTIN: My life has been crazy since you last saw me on Survivor. Had another baby in 2018. His name is Leo Daniel, and he is the sweetest ever. Still working as a hairdresser in Salem, Ore. My mom moved away from me and is living in AZ. We miss seeing her every day!! On a personal note, I am no longer married, but met a really great guy here in my hometown. Life has been new and exciting, and taking it all as it comes at me!
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
My proudest moment on Survivor was DEFINITELY winning individual immunity. Never thought in a million years that I could do that!!
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experiences?
My biggest regret of my Survivor experience is in Game Changers, not fighting harder, and not getting my head in a good competitive place to play the game.
What's something that will blow fans minds that happened out there in one of your seasons but never made it to TV?
I don't know about blowing people's minds... but in Blood vs Water I had so many big bites I ended up getting Bell's Palsy when I returned home. Turns out I got Lyme Disease from that tick bite!!
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
I thought my edit on all of my seasons was extremely fair and true to who I am, and how I played. There were obviously some conversations and some relationships I wish everyone could have seen more of, but that's just the name of the game!
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
My first season coming back to normal life after the show was extremely rough. I struggled with food, always having to keep food in my purse or keep a snack on hand at all times. I also was extremely grateful for all I had in life and all the little things I took for granted. When you are cold and wet and sleeping on the dirt for 38 days, you really realize how amazing a nice warm bed and roof over your head is.
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
I have never regretted going on the show. Every time I played, I learned something new, made some amazing new friends, and got to see some pretty amazing places. Even Game Changers, where I was the first one voted out, I still made some near and dear friends and got to explore some pretty amazing places.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your seasons?
I still keep in contact with a good handful of people. Tyson and Rachel are still dear friends of mine, who I try to visit regularly. Vytas and Aras, I definitely keep in contact with! Blood vs. Water was such a tight-knit cast, because everyone was filming with a loved one, so you're almost forced to love each other because you couldn't love one person and not the other, haha. Kelly, Kass, and Abi... my witches. I'll always have a special place in my heart for those girls. The entire pre-merge group from Game Changers.... Tony, Sandra, Malcom, Caleb, JT, Jeff..... Love them so so much. That has to be one of the best pre-merge groups EVER. We had the time of our lives.
Do you still watch Survivor, and, if so, what's your favorite season you were not on and why?
I still watch Survivor. And I loved season 40 so much. Getting to see all the greats play against each other was obviously exciting. And getting to watch some old friends and people I love play again was awesome.
Who's one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
Michele Fitzgerald is hands down the person I would LOVE to play with. I think she is such a badass. Not only does she seem like someone you would have so much fun out there with, but she is always in good spirits. She has so much self-awareness and so much spunk. I love her.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
One change I would make to Survivor? That's a tough question. I would like to see it go back to a little more old-school, believe it or not. Less tribe swabs, less rewards, less gimmicks. Obviously I love the new-school game play, but as a fan, I would to go back to more old school!
Finally, would you play again if asked?
I would ALWAYS play again. I love challenging myself, I love and miss all the crew that work for the show, I have a serious need to win this game haha. And I feel like the stage of life I am in right now, I could make it happen!! So hopefully you'll all see me again!!
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