Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Lindsey Cascaddan can't name her entire Worlds Apart cast
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.
Survivor players often describe their cast as a family. A slightly (or severely, depending on the season) dysfunctional family, perhaps, but a family nonetheless - one bonded by their unique once-in-a-lifetime experience. And then there is Lindsey Cascaddan (now Lindsey Cascaddan Roberts). "I'll be honest," she says when asked whom she still keeps in touch with from Survivor: Worlds Apart. "I probably couldn't even name my whole cast. That sounds bad, but I'm not into pretending."
No, she is not. Cascaddan tells it like it is, and her fellow Blue Collar tribemates on Escameca learned that quickly when she boldly predicted in front of the entire cast at the start of season 30 that one of the Blue Collars would win the game. (She was right.) She would later get into heated arguments with Mike Holloway and Rodney Lavoie Jr. back at camp, which made her vulnerable when Escameca finally lost their first immunity challenge, resulting in the hairdresser's ouster on day 11.
While Cascaddan may not have won the game, she is proud that she remained 100 percent true to herself, something she considers far more enriching than any million-dollar check. Now it's time to reward yourself with her Quarantine Questionnaire, because this is one former Survivor player who is indeed not into pretending.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, what have you been up to since appearing on Survivor?
LINDSEY CASCADDAN ROBERTS: Oh my gosh, so much! My high school sweetheart and I tied the knot as the show was airing. He had just made it safely back from a combat tour in Afghanistan and [I had returned] from Survivor, so I guess if we had a team name it would literally be the Survivors! We have had two more little girls, which makes three in total for us. We also opened three businesses, which we run in our daily lives, and I still do hair part-time here in Winter Park, Florida. We both half-retired last year to focus on dreaming, raising littles, and slowing down to enjoy life after chaos. We bought our dream house a couple of years ago, so we spend most days cozied up as a family or at the barn riding horses with our girls.
What is your proudest moment ever from playing Survivor?
I'm really proud I played as me, not a version of myself edified for TV. I've seen a lot of people who play this game change who they are to win. I didn't go against my morals or who I am to win money that most of the winners blow through faster than they won it. I'm not a people pleaser, I'm not a "guy's girl," and I'm proud I didn't pretend to be to get farther in my game. I'm a girl's girl through and through. Women are my people, and I think my daughters could watch my game and say, "I'm proud that's my mom." Not everyone who plays can say that.
What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experience?
I said this when I left the island and I'll say it again: I regret nothing. I played my game. I stayed true to myself. I left home saying I would either win a million dollars or be the first person voted out. Our tribe and the entire game would have been so different if we had gone to Tribal earlier and seen alliances and drawn some lines in the sand, but we were a tribe of winners. I called a Blue Collar win two minutes into the game and I was right - we won so much that it actually hurt us. We had no idea who was playing with whom for so long! But I don't regret not "playing the game." That's not who I am, and that's made me a lot more money and friends than Survivor could ever provide me.
What's something that will blow fans' minds that happened in your season but never made it to TV?
Watching the show with friends and family is so weird because you guys don't get to see the seemingly unimportant moments that ended up being what I remembered as the moments. I will always remember surfing on wood that we salvaged from the island. I will always remember holding each other, crying, talking about family and home.
Something that not a lot of people will tell you about Survivor is that you have an insanely unique moment in time to leave your entire life behind. You have absolutely no distractions. No food. No booze. No relationships. No responsibility. No family. No schedule. No money. You get to quiet your brain and just be if you want to. And this exact experience is what most Survivor players and fans would tell you is the actual distraction that takes most people out of the game and loses the million for them. And that might be true, but I look at the winners and there's not one I would trade lives with. A lot of people lose themselves out there and come back wanting to go back forever, go back to win, go back to undo or redo something, go back to find themselves. To me, that's losing, no matter how much money someone hands you in the end.
How do you feel about the edit you got on the show?
Everyone gets the edit they deserve. I truly believe that. If you looked boring, you're probably boring. If you looked like an ass, you're probably an ass. If you looked weird, you're probably weird. Can they copy and paste things here and there? Sure. But they can't make you say or do anything. They can't edit your face and body language. That's you, boo! You just might not like you.
What was it like coming back to regular society after being out there? Was there culture shock or an adjustment coming back?
I landed in Houston and had a long layover before heading home to Florida. They handed me my phone, and when I turned it on the dinging went on for literally minutes, and I just cried. It was so overwhelming! Thousands of texts and voicemails. I called my husband right away, and I'll never forget his voice. He was so happy. He was deployed when I left, so we hadn't seen each other in 10 months! Little things were so hard though. The first time I bought coffee after the show, I walked away without paying. Money wasn't a thing. Our mind creates habits so fast, it's amazing. I had really forgotten that money existed.
Was there ever a point either during the game or after you got back where you regretted going on the show?
On the plane to Nicaragua I had one moment where I thought, "What the f--- am I doing?" But I sat down and just decided to leave, take a risk. And after I decided to let the wheels leave the ground with me on them, I devised not to live a single second in regret.
Whom do you still talk, text, or email with from your season?
I'll be honest, I probably couldn't even name my whole cast. That sounds bad, but I'm not into pretending. I still keep up with Sierra [Dawn Thomas], who is my girl since day one. Because of that, obviously I've adopted Joe [Anglim] into my family now too. Carolyn [Rivera] and I keep up with each other, and believe it or not, Rodney and I chat here and there. I know, I know, chicken parm and tuna. But… it works.
Do you still watch Survivor, and, if so, what's your favorite season you were not on and why?
I do watch Survivor. To be honest, I don't have a favorite season, which my brother will kill me for saying. Our grandfather was the world's biggest fan and could tell you a season and an episode and give you a minute-by-second replay. I like Survivor, but I couldn't tell you a season I care more about than another. We are all just normal people.
Who's one player from another Survivor season you wish you could have played with or against and why?
I told Parvati [Shallow] that I wish I could play with her one time, and I'll never take that back. Other than that, I don't think anyone's overly special. We all have the same odds of winning, and as much as I have fun watching, I couldn't tell you who I would care to play with. Let me play with Jeff Probst.
If you could make one change to any aspect of Survivor, what would it be and why?
I would ration each person with their own rice because some of these dummies would be selling their bodies by day 3. It was a huge point of contention on our tribe, but I think it would have been so interesting to see some of the people who got far but had no self-control and ended up surviving on other people's smart choices. Let people be partially self-sufficient and have to get along with others.
Finally, would you play again if asked?
No, I don't think so. I'm happy I played. Survivor is the s---! Best reality show ever. Been there, done that. I love my Survivor family, but it's time to raise my own family now and put my votes on me.