Last night's episode of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" had not one, but two people exit the game for good. While all of the talk and attention seems to be focused on Colton Cumbie - who quit the game for a record second time - it was Rachel who left the more traditional way: Finishing in last place during the episode's Redemption Island (three-person) Duel. I spoke with Rachel today, after last night's episode where we saw her convince her boyfriend Tyson to remain in the game.
Being a new player this season and being the first new player to leave the game (on the heels of Rupert and Colton), we didn't get to know much about Rachel. She did seem to be a sharp player, but ultimately her demise in the game stemmed from her association with Tyson. In an attempt to weaken the returning player tribe, the five-guy alliance (Brad, Hayden, Caleb, John and Vytas) figured they'd vote out Rachel, hoping that Tyson might swap with her at Redemption Island and therefore completing their plan. Tyson allowed Rachel to determine her own fate, and Rachel ultimately told Tyson to remain in the game.
Time will tell if it was the best move for Tyson, but for Rachel, it marked the end of the line. She was not able to finish the domino challenge and finished in third place behind Candice and Marissa. She said her goodbyes to Tyson and assured him that she "had fun" during her brief time in the game.
Here is my exclusive one-on-one interview with Rachel, the third person to leave "Survivor: Blood vs. Water":
Tom Santilli, Survivor Examiner: Hello Rachel! How's it going?
Rachel Foulger: Good!
Tom Santilli: Do you have any regrets from the game? Was there anything you could have done to wedge yourself into the all-guy alliance on your tribe?
Rachel: I really don't think there was anything else I could have done. And no, I don't really have any regrets. I knew I was outnumbered as a woman and so I tried to get in with the guys. I made an alliance with John and thought I had an in there. Once I found out about the whole switch thing at Redemption Island, that's when I knew I had a target on my back.
Tom Santilli: Did you get the sense that the guys were truly aligned with Brad, or did you feel that they were more using his big personality as a shield in the game?
Rachel: Definitely more of a shield and that's definitely how it was from Day One. Brad was kind of taking charge and I think that was great for the guys because they could be strategic and sort of have a wall to hide behind. I don't think they're really playing with Brad, I think everybody knows that Brad is a little bit ridiculous.
Tom Santilli: We only know Tyson from television. The Tyson that we see out there, is that the Tyson you know? What are some other sides of him that maybe we aren't all aware of?
Rachel: Yeah, well, I think you got to see that side of him last night. Just kind of more sincere, sensitive guy. Yeah, he's really funny, free-spirited and goofy but he also has that side that came out just last night.
Tom Santilli: What was your reaction to the whole Colton thing that played out in front of you at Redemption Island?
Rachel: I was mostly just surprised. I had absolutely no idea what was going on at the tribe my boyfriend was on. I was just sort of taken aback. I was concentrating so much on the challenge that I had to fight through. I was just ready to win that challenge and there was definitely a distraction there.
Tom Santilli: Tyson is known for some questionable decisions his past few times in the game, most memorably, getting duped by Russell Hantz during Heroes vs. Villains, which led to his immediate exit from the game. What is Tyson's biggest hurdle moving forward in this game and what does he have to do to go far?
Rachel: Really just to try to avoid over-thinking the game. That's what he did the last time he was on, so he's just not going to over-think it.
For even more, be sure to watch Rachel's day after interview to the left of this column. Also be sure to subscribe to this column (above by my name) to receive email alerts of new postings and you'll want to follow me on Twitter too, @tomsantilli, and at tomsantilli.com as well!
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