Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Christine Shields flipped off Jeff Probst... with both fingers
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.
Christine Shields is one of the most dominant players in the history of Survivor… as long as that history is only confined to Redemption Island. Voted out on day 5 of Survivor: South Pacific, Christine went on to win five straight duels — making it all the way to the final play-in competition, where she finally lost to Ozzy Lusth, the best challenge competitor in the history of the show.
Christine is a woman who has no trouble speaking her mind, which may be what got her in trouble in the game. But if you expected her to clam up now in her Quarantine Questionnaire, then you haven’t spent enough time with the spitfire of Strong Island. Christine has some choice words about her former tribemate Coach, and reveals that Rick was not the one that she was flipping off on the show — it was actually host Jeff Probst! Read on for all the intel.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, give the update as to what you’ve been up to since appearing on Survivor.
CHRISTINE SHIELDS: After Survivor, I went back home and immediately got back into the swing of things. I went to all of my favorite restaurants and ate like Augustus Gloop! The weight that I had so happily lost on the island was found very quickly.
My family and I have been traveling around this gorgeous country of ours for the last 10 years, trying to hit each state. We have a very stringent criteria to meet to get the “push pin” for the state, so it takes some time. We’ve only got a few left to go.
I am still teaching and still loving it. My students tell me I’m funny and make them laugh. I, sometimes, think they are laughing AT me rather than with me.
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
I was proud when I made fire for my tribe using Albert’s glasses. We didn’t have flint as of yet, but we persevered. Of course, I had to act like Tom Hanks’ character on Cast Away and yell “FIRE! I MADE FIRE!”
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
Oh, gosh! Let me count the mistakes! UGH.
I don’t regret mocking Benjamin (doing the Karate Kid crane pose, so Cobra Kai current). That was totally funny!
I don’t regret saying that Ozzy and Benjamin were temporary. Everyone on the tribe was saying the same, but, as in my very own real life, I usually say what other people can’t. (And, as in my real life, I paid the price for it.)
I don’t regret calling Benjamin out on his bulls---. Someone had to. (Actually, no one HAD to. The ones who kept their mouths shut WAY outlasted me.)
I DO regret not taking each and every player seriously. I should have respected each tribemate as a worthy opponent. I think that was my downfall. If I get another chance to play, it won’t happen again.
What’s something that will blow fans’ minds that happened out there in your season but never made it to TV?
My story did make it to TV, but didn’t happen the way the show portrayed it. It’s kind of a funny story….
I was on Redemption Island for quite some time at this point, so I was alone for much of my time. I get to the duel early to find Jeff Probst there. I was given some time to practice for the tabletop shuffleboard duel. Jeff comes over and remarks on how my fingernails are filthy. I look at him, look at my nails, and — very calmy — ask him which nails I should have manicured, only producing my two middle fingers. We all had a laugh and moved on with the duel against Elyse. (I won.)
When the show aired, the producers took that little interaction and made it look like I gave two angry birds to Rick after he wished me good luck on the duel. I DIDN’T! I flipped off Jeff Probst!
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
I think my edit was definitely on the tough biatch side, but I’m okay with that.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
Entering back into society was not a problem for me. I think spending so much time on Redemption Island helped a lot. I didn’t have all those paranoia type issues that others have. I think my family had it worse. I wouldn’t stop talking!
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
NEVER! There were some sucky points throughout the game, but I never regretted it for one second. Quite the opposite. My son is on the autistic spectrum and didn’t have friends during that period of time, but when the show aired, kids in his school would come up to him and talk to him and ask questions about me and the show. He felt like a homecoming king. THAT made up for any and all sucky parts!
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with the most from your season?
I still talk fairly regularly with Mark Caruso and Stacey Powell. Mark doesn’t live far from me, so we have seen each other periodically. Stacey is still, and will forever be, my sister. She still calls me “Sissy.” My family and I went to visit her some time ago in Dallas. We had a great time.
I often (nope, I’m lying), sometimes, rarely go to the Survivor get-togethers. I really would like to go and see everyone, but they are often held in Manhattan and I’m way too lazy to trek my sorry ass there.
Do you still watch Survivor, and if so, what’s your favorite season you were not on and why?
Yes! My family and I still watch Survivor religiously every Wednesday night. I really don’t have a favorite season. They are all fun in their own way. It’s not the seasons that are my faves, but the individual players.
Who’s one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
I admired Tony’s game, but I think he’d drive me crazy!
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
I guess I would say… limit the amount of times for returning players (except if it’s me, of course!). Four and five times is a bit excessive in my humble opinion.
Finally, would you play again if asked?