“My first reaction was, this is an epic theme and probably has been in the works for a long time,” Stephanie Gonzalez tells us after being the first person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island.” (Read our live blog recap of the season premiere.) “There’s been so many mistakes and idols played wrong and fake idols that were terrible and idols taken home. I was excited, but I was scared. I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’ Now you’ve gotta really bring your A-game. You really have to correct what past players have done, and that’s a lot of pressure.” Listen to our “Survivor” exit interview podcast above.
“You don’t want to be that girl that went home with James’ idol,” Gonzalez adds about the immense pressure she felt about the Ghost Island twist for Season 36 of CBS’s landmark reality TV show. “Talking about it has chills on my arms. It’s still such an incredible concept and so well thought-out. This game just got amped up by like 100.”
SEE ‘Survivor’ Winners List (Seasons 1 – 35)
At tribal council Gonzalez made the bold move of getting up from her seat and whispering with many of her Malolo alliance members. What were they all chatting about? “There’s gonna be eight votes against me, I already know it. So I need to intervene,” Gonzalez explains. “I got up, I spoke to Brendan Shapiro, I spoke to Michael Yerger, I realized that they didn’t orchestrate their lie. Michael told me we were supposed to vote for Jenna Bowman. Brendan told me we were gonna vote for Donathan Hurley. And then I realized, they can’t even get their lies straight.”
Also in our “Survivor: Ghost Island” exit interview, Gonzalez recalls her absolute favorite moment from her three days on the show, what she thinks of 18-year-old Michael lying about his age, who she sees as playing the smartest game, and who she wants to go home next. In the two-hour season premiere Jacob Derwin was the second person eliminated, meaning only 18 players are left in the game. Who do you think has the best shot at winning “Survivor: Ghost Island”?
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Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on CBS. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.