Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Danielle DiLorenzo on the cocaine that washed ashore in Panama
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.
Danielle DiLorenzo's Survivor résumé is pretty damn impressive. In her two seasons (Panama — Exile Island and Heroes vs. Villains), Danielle lasted a total of 72 out of a possible 78 days. Not only that, but she only had a combined eight votes against her in those 72 days and won an individual immunity each time out. (She also was a member of the greatest reality rock & roll entourage ever.) Like I said, impressive.
But even for people who do well in the game, there can be issues. While Danielle made it all the way to day 39 and was runner-up on Panama, she wasn't thrilled with everything she saw on screen. "I was upset with the part of the edit on my first season that made me look lazy," says Danielle. "I am the last thing from lazy."
Like many other players, Danielle — who recently married and now goes by Danielle DiLorenzo Nash — also struggled with acclimating back into society once she returned from the island. "It was so hard for me," she says. "Honestly, I trusted no one and even in my career and friend relationships and romantic relationships. It was so hard to acclimate back to reality. I had to speak to a therapist and just talk to myself telling myself I am not in the game anymore."
Of course, there was plenty of good to go with the bad, and in her Quarantine Questionnaire, Danielle reminisces about some of her accomplishments as well. Read on for that as well as her confirmation of a legendary Survivor story involving a kilo of cocaine washing up on shore. Get ready for Survivor: Cocaine Island, everyone!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you have been up to since appearing on Survivor.
DANIELLE DiLORENZO NATH: Oh, my! Well, I moved from L.A. to Orange County and met the love of my life. Got married in a magical place in San Luis Obispo and had the most amazing wedding right before the world ended. I now own my own boutique hot yoga studio here in Newport Beach and I am a full-time real estate agent. So to say I am busy is an understatement!
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
My proudest moment is placing second the first time I ever played the game and being invited back for another shot at playing the most amazing game ever!! Beating out Cirie in the fire contest was epic for me. Also, getting to the final three and then beating Terry and Aras on the balancing challenge and picking Aras to go to the final two!
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experiences?
Not playing a more social game the first time I played. I would have won if I just was more aware of my social game then, but I was also 24 years old straight out of Boston. I was so competitive, and all I wanted to do was win, but I did not realize how important taking the time to relate with people and bond with people was. For me, it was all about winning and competing and being strong.
What's something that will blow fans' minds that happened out there in one of your seasons but never made it to TV?
A kilo of cocaine with a little red flag on it rolled up on the island in Panama. It was wild!! It was just floating in the ocean. Shane ran out and grabbed and tried to open it to see if it was good (LOL!) and the producers immediately confiscated it. It was hilarious!
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
I was upset with the part of the edit on my first season that made me look lazy. I am the last thing from lazy. I am such a hard worker. It's in my Italian blood. I was completely exhausted and had absolutely no energy from not eating and barely sleeping. I didn't have a lot of weight to lose and my body was not reacting well to the not-eating factor. It really took a toll on me and I just wished that maybe I spoke about it more in my interviews to let people know how much I was struggling. Also, Shane made his not-so-nice comments and he was dead in love with me and was upset because I cuddled with Aras at night and didn't want to cuddle with him. So, he threw a tantrum and was mean to me. That pissed me off. But it is such a whirlwind out there that sometimes until you get away from that world do you even realize what actually happened.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
It was so hard for me. Honestly, I trusted no one and even in my career and friend relationships and romantic relationships. It was so hard to acclimate back to reality. I had to speak to a therapist and just talk to myself telling myself I am not in the game anymore. It took me a while to be okay. Especially after the first time. I think the second time I was more prepared on what to expect. It was still challenging, but not as bad as the first time.
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
No never. I do remember having an "Oh, s— what did I get myself into?" moment in the very first challenge, but never regretted. The hardest thing for me was losing my grandfather when I was on the island for Heroes vs. Villains, and they didn't tell me until after I got voted off. I felt something was wrong on the island and cried about it to Boston Rob one night, but I had to be strong and I know my grandfather would have been so proud of me. It was really hard, because I missed all of his services.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your seasons?
Parvati, Aras, Bruce, Courtney, Sugar, Cirie, Shane. I would say I keep the closest contact with Bruce, Parvati, and Aras. I just think they are good people and we are friends/family. You go through that experience with people and it literally makes you feel like family.
Do you still watch Survivor, and if so, what is your favorite season you were not on and why?
Yes, I watch them all! I loved season 38! Everyone was so witty, and the Tribal Councils were freaking off the chain!!
Who's one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against, and why?
I really liked Elaine Scott from season 39. I would love to play with her. She was smart, real, and didn't take any s—. Reminds me of me. LOL. I thought she played a great game and I loved how real and genuine she was. I think she and I would align if we were playing together.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
I loved the season [Winners at War] where everyone got to see all their family members. That to me was everything! If they made that a thing moving forward for all the contestants, I think that be huge.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
Heck yes!!! OMG if I had one more chance, I know I would have the most amazing shot at winning!!! I know why I did not win on the last two, and I would be so much better this time stronger and wiser!! I would play all three aspects of the game with a vengeance!!!! Put me back on!!! My fans would be stoked too!!!