Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Amy O'Hara on that time a tribe was attacked by bees
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.
Being voted of Survivor first is no fun. Just ask Francesca Hogi, who had to suffer that fate not once, but twice. But if there is another spot that seems especially brutal to be eliminated it is right before the merge. Because the merge opens up a new set of possibilities as the entire competition shifts to a more individual game. It’s a reset of sorts that can totally change your fortunes in the game if you can just make it there.
Amy O’Hara never got to experience that reset, as she was cut loose right before the merge on Survivor: Guatemala, the victim of an ankle originally injured in a challenge and then reinjured later in another competition. But Amy blames something else entirely for her ouster. We found out what in her Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you’ve been up to since appearing on Survivor.
AMY O’HARA: Hi!!! I continue to work in law enforcement (29 years) and have been promoted several times since Survivor. I hold the rank of captain.
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
My proudest moment would be when I continued to compete in the Big Ball Challenge after severely injuring my ankle. I had to compete or we would have forfeited the challenge. I won my part of the challenge, but we lost the overall challenge. I believe that because I pushed through it, it allowed me to survive another tribal council.
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
Great question. I went into Survivor with the mindset of having the experience of a lifetime, and, of course, I did. I survived just about halfway through with basic strategy. My regret is not playing Survivor with the mindset of, "I'm here to win." You get what you put out there.
What’s something that will blow fans’ minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?
I don't know if my cast mates on the Yaxha tribe remember this, but we were attacked by bees. There was a swarm that came into our camp, and production wasn't there to get it. Just another day in paradise.
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
My edit was decent. I consider myself someone that never gives up, embraces the suck, and is always positive. I believe the edit captured that. You were also able to see that I have a very colorful vocabulary.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
I adjusted pretty well, full of gratitude for the opportunity. My community, family, and co-workers were very supportive. There were times that my Survivor experience actually opened the door to communication while I was working in my community as a police officer. People wanted to hear about my experience, and it was a stepping stone to building more relationships. It still happens today.
I still to this day cringe at the sight of a mango. On the first challenge, the 12-mile hike, we were able to grab certain items before we started. You know the absolute mayhem scenes before a first challenge? Yeah, I grabbed a few mangoes and just thinking about the texture, being on the verge of dehydration during that challenge and having no bathroom out there, just gross.
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
Never. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. For me, it reinforced to be grateful always and that you are capable of anything. Remember, prior to Survivor, I never went camping, hiking, etc. That was culture shock. Now I actually enjoy hiking and getting out there.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?
There are a few I continue to email and text here and there. Brian, Judd and his wife Kristin. I remain friends with most on Facebook and enjoy seeing what they are up to, with their kids, grandkids, etc. Brian and I just shoot the s--- here and there on Survivor in general and I check in with Judd and Kristen once in awhile. Maybe it is an East Coast thing.
Do you still watch Survivor, and, if so, what’s your favorite season you were not on and why?
I haven't watched Survivor in a long time. I think the last one I watched completely through was Heroes vs Villains. Once in a while, I'll stop and look at an episode. There are so many good seasons and characters. Africa will always hold a place in my heart. I remember thinking how insane it was for them to be there, and enjoyed watching the cast. I think it was also the first time I said to myself, I want to do this.
Who’s one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
No one in particular off the top of my head. I could probably pick someone from every season that seemed cool or that I could roll with.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
I say keep it tough. It's gotten a little soft. Tough locations, challenges, you name it. When you keep it like that, it adds another layer of your overall strategy you have to consider.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
I would definitely consider it. It would depend on a lot of factors.