‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’ castoff Nina Poersch: ‘America didn’t see the real me’

“I’m not a weak player, I know how the game is played. I know there are idols out there, I knew I needed one. America didn’t see the real me,” says “Survivor” castoff Nina Poersch about her elimination during our new Q&A (read below). “But you know, at the end of the day, it’s just a game.”

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We’re so sorry to see you go. Even though you were on the outs with your tribe for most of the game, were you still able to enjoy yourself out there?

I did enjoy myself. It was an amazing adventure that I feel blessed to have experienced it. The audience only sees a small part of what went on out there. I wasn’t on the outs with my whole tribe, just the young kids.

The game of Survivor is really hard already. But throw in the extra element of hearing loss and it’s almost impossible. Did you feel like the underdog the entire time?

I felt like the underdog half of the time. I got along great with Vince and Will. I think that for the others, it was hard for them to deal with someone who had a disability. Joe said that he was exposed to deaf people in his life, but for the game of “Survivor” he was able to use what he knew to his advantage. He knew that I would struggle. Who knows, maybe he passed that info to the others. I don’t know. I knew going into the game that I would struggle with my hearing, but I’m good at going with the flow, even now in my real life, people have no clue that I’m deaf.

Was there anybody on the other tribes that you think you could have worked really well with?

Yes, I think I would have worked well with several others on the other tribes. Knowing what I know now, I would say that I would have worked well with Carolyn, Max, Lindsey and Tyler.

At Tribal Council, how much of a chance did Will really have of being eliminated? The way the episode was edited made it seem like it was 50/50 between you two.

Going into tribal they already decided to vote me out. That was my gut feeling. I’m 51 years, we have gut feelings and they are usually right on target. They didn’t want me there, it was obvious to me, in the way they spoke to me at Tribal Council. You have to remember Tribal Council can go for two hours, so you’re only hearing a small portion. Even at Tribal Council Joe brought up my hearing and called it a disadvantage, which is why you hear me call it that. So for Jenn and Hali, heck even Will to say that I brought it up all the time, is simply not true. It was brought up to me several times without me even mentioning it.

Did you search for the Immunity idol out there? We didn’t really see that on camera.

I wish they had shown me looking the the Immunity idol. I spent hours looking for it. I felt that my edit showed me as a weak player who didn’t do much of anything. They didn’t show any of my and Vince’s strategizing. I was looking forward to seeing that on TV.

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Is there anything really fun or memorable that didn’t make it on TV?

Yes, I’m an adventurist and love nature and creepy crawlies. So finding scorpions while I was out looking for the Immunity idol was awesome. Also, playing the game and strategizing with Vince and Will, talking the game was awesome!

Going back to last week, it seemed as though we would have a tie vote, but then Will went off on his own and voted out Vince. His reasoning is that he’s “playing chess, not checkers.” Do you think Will made a good move in taking out Vince so early?

No I don’t. If we would have had Vince for this challenge, he would not have gone for sidelining me. That would have given us Vince and myself to help carry the bucket and plug holes. While I waited from my tribe mates to bring the bucket I could see that very few holes were being plugged. I specifically looked to see what Will was doing and how he was performing. I did not see him plugging any holes and I knew that Joe’s decision to keep me on the sidelines was not smart. The reason I watched Will was if we went to tribal I needed something to back up my fight to get rid of him and to keep me.

Tell us about the audition process: How did you get cast on Season 30? Was was it like the first time you met Jeff Probst?

My hairstylist also does Natalie Tenerelli‘s (“Redemption Island”) hair and she asked if she knew anyone who would want to do the show. My hairstylist knew I was a huge fan and that I would love a chance to do the show and gave her my name. Natalie passed my name along to the right people and I got a call, filled my application out, made my video and the rest is history. Meeting Jeff for the first time was so surreal, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Do you have any favorite players from previous seasons?

I have lots of favorites, but I have meet a lot of previous players, so some of how I feel is clouded by that. As a longtime fan, I know that what you see on TV isn’t always how someone is in real life. I don’t dislike or like anyone personally for how they were seen on TV, however I do have a lot of respect for the winners and how they got to the end, even if their gameplay may not have been how I would play the game. But it’s a game of outwitting, outlasting and outplaying. My favorite winners would be Richard Hatch, Kim Spradlin, Bob Crowley and Denise Stapley. Outside of the winners I have to give a huge shout out to Coby Archa, Jamie Newton and Malcolm Freberg.

Thanks Nina!

Our Top 30 craziest, most inventive ideas for ‘Survivor’ Season 30

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