SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

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.

Gina Crews never stood much of a chance. As a member of the ill-fated Maraamu tribe on Survivor: Marquesas, Gina was on the losing side of five out of the first six immunity challenges. It was at that sixth Tribal Council where Gina — after all those early defeats and a day 10 tribe swap left her on the wrong side of the numbers — finally saw her Survivor hopes and dreams snuffed mercilessly by Jeff Probst.

But Gina’s passion for Survivor has never been extinguished, and this gone-too-early contestant still thinks about her time fighting against both nonos and other players. What is her proudest moment from season 4? What did Boston Rob whisper to her right before the Hunter Ellis blindside? And who’s the player from another season she would have loved to play with? Gina filled in all the blanks when she filled out our Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire, and also shared how she has been a true survivor both on the island and off.

Gina Crews, Survivor
Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you’ve been up to since appearing on Survivor.

GINA CREWS: Since Survivor, I have been in education, teaching high school biology and then moving into administration. I am a middle school assistant principal for a Title One school in St. Augustine Florida. I married my husband — a man that is passionate, inspiring, motivated, grateful, & open-minded — in 2007. We have 4 children right now... 3 girls, Wilder (10), River (8), Tayah (5, who we adopted after fostering her for 2 1/2 years) and Legend (just turned 1, who we have been fostering since he was 2 days old).

I still exercise as much as I can, and have recently gotten into Yoga and the whole mindfulness thing. That started with I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2017 and underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.  It really helped get me through the tough times and the surgeries that took place after. Yoga and meditation has really changed my perspective and I am looking to help spread that into education if possible.

What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?

I think the proudest moment ever was when Kathy and I came from behind to beat John and the General in the dug-out canoe race. I believe that was the biggest comeback in the history of Survivor! And man, what a feast!!!

What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?

My biggest regret was letting chance control the vote the night I was voted out. I regret not going to Pascal and Neleh and begging them to keep me around. I mentioned it and said I would stay with them to the end, but I never pushed it. I was so upset that night! I even had a necklace made that I wore on the show that had the quote "Choice not chance determines your destiny" that would help me to remember that.

Then the emotions of having such a different experience with those guys than my first tribe enter my brain. My damn heart got in the way! I am so very mad with myself, to this very day. If I am given the chance again, I know that will not happen!

What’s something that will blow fans’ minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?

I don't think there was anything that I know about that would blow fans' minds.  Rob did whisper to me as we were walking up to Tribal Council the night they voted out Hunter that I didn't have anything to worry about.

How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?

As far as the edit goes, you say what you say. Now it is not always in the correct order or scenario, but I think they did an amazing job with editing.

What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?

I love being outdoors and challenging myself. I missed that greatly when I returned to my normal life. No big adjustments for me, but I was only out there for 18 days. I never once felt like I was starving, or just completely deflated.

Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?

I never felt like I regretted going on the show during the game or after. I never really struggled in the game mentally. I didn't get sick or hurt, nor did I feel as though I was starving. I loved sleeping under the stars and all that came with the island and the show. I still say to this day that it truly changed my life — for the better. I grew up so much and realized what was important in my life (not right away, but a bit down the road).

Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?

We all just had a Zoom Reunion… well, all but three of us. I really do care about each one of those people. I still keep in touch with Rob and Peter somewhat through texting and such.  Vee, John, Sean, and I communicate through social media sometimes as well. I see a few of them at the Give Kids the World Charity Event also. I am not one that loves to talk on the phone or stuff like that, so it is mostly my fault for not keeping in touch. But I have to say we had an amazing group of players, all of whom I hope to keep up with for life.

Do you still watch Survivor, and if so, what’s your favorite season you were not on and why?

I do still watch, and with my kids! My favorite season was Second Chance (although I should have been on it😜). I just really enjoyed the pure joy and excitement that I could see in those guys’ eyes, getting another shot at the title. They all left it all out there, which I would not expect anything less. I really liked the group too, and I liked the outcome. Seeing everyone give it their all and really playing the game made it the best for me. But, there are lots that are right behind it!

Who’s one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?

I really wish that I could have played with Parvati. She is truly a badass and someone whom I admire for who she is. Also, Coach, because he was just so bizarre and crazy!

If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?

You know, I really LOVE Survivor. I think that the producers do an amazing job. Not much I would change except another season of second chance Survivors (true second chancers that didn't make it to the jury) that I would be a part of! I would like to see more about the contestants — like, in the beginning episodes, I felt like I really got to know them much better. But the casts, challenges, edits, location, and, of course, the host are all top notch!

Finally, would you play again if asked?

Would I play again? HELL YES! I really do think it will always be an unfinished part of my life. So if you have any pull, Dalton, can you throw in a good word for me?! Being a wife, a mother of four, a middle school educator and administrator, a foster mom, a cancer survivor, a past watermelon queen, a wildlife/outdoor freak, and just a damn good, strong individual should help, right? I have never been away from my kids for more than three nights, so that would be difficult, but sharing that with them and having them see me in action could never be replaced. I'd leave tomorrow... well, maybe not tomorrow, but you get the picture.

To keep track of our daily Survivor Quarantine Questionnaires and get all latest updates, check out EW's Survivor hub, and follow Dalton on Twitter.

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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!"

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