kristina kell survivor 'Survivor: Redemption Island's' Kristina Kell: 'I underestimated [Phillip's] lunacy'Kristina Kell, battling exhaustion and dehydration, could not best Matt Elrod at “Redemption Island” and was sent home. She tells Zap2it about her experience and how disappointed she was in her tribe.

Are you glad you did ‘Survivor,’ was it everything you hoped it would be?

“I’m thrilled I was given the opportunity to do something like ‘Survivor.’ Talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m so grateful … I knew it was gonna be hard, I knew it was going to be really tough. It was so much, so much harder than I ever iamgeind. Especially the mental part of the game and the emotion that it brings up in you. I thought I was a really tough cookie when I walked into ‘Survivor’ and ‘Survivor’ taught me different. It was so, so grueling and difficult. That’s what makes it so awesome as well. How awesome that someone like me gets to do something like this. The gratitude I came back with for the things I have, it was intense. Talk about redemption, how prolific is that word. You take everything for granted at home, but coming back from ‘Survivor,’ I take nothing for granted.”

Do you wish you had done anything differently?

[laughs] “Yeah, like maybe 100 things. I wish I hadn’t been on the wrong side of the numbers, I wish I had tried harder to bond with the younger people. Andrea, who had half a brain and I liked her, but Natalie and Ashley were dumb as bricks, it was just really tough to make any kind of bond with them. Boston Rob knew right off the bat that I came to play and that I had a brain and he was worried about that. I would’ve like to make more of a connection with Rob, but just at the very beginning he shut me out and there was just no getting back in.

[As for Phillip,] I told him about the Idol not because I wanted to but because I absolutely had to. He didn’t understand the numbers, he didn’t understand the Idol, he didn’t understand anything. I didn’t realize at the time the full extent of his paranoid delusional state. It really came out in that first Tribal Council and we were shocked. I underestimated his lunacy. I had no choice, these were the only people I had to work with, the crazy guy and Rob’s harem and it’s like, are you kidding me? C’mon people, throw me a bone here.” [laughs]

At Redemption Island, you looked exhausted, like you might collapse. Is that what was going on with you?

“You’re very perceptive, that’s exactly what was going on. The day before Redemption Island I hadn’t eaten much. The day of the duel I hadn’t eaten anything, the water was really scarce. I hadn’t slept the night before because of torrential rains. I went to the duel and of course I get heavy blocks to lift around, it’s mid-day it’s like a 100 degrees and my fingers and my hands and my arms were numb because of the dehydration. I’d lost feeling in my fingers and hands, which by the way didn’t return for about five days. I couldn’t really hear voices. I felt like I was going to faint but I just kept telling myself, ‘Kris, don’t faint on TV, don’t fain ton TV, keep it together.’ I think it was just sheer willpower of not embarrassing myself on national TV. S***, they give me heavy blocks! Not sticks and a ring, or small blocks to stack. Ten heavy blocks to pull around against Matt, who is 22 and looks like Adonis over there. God, people!” [laughs]

How do you think your tribe is as a group right now?

“I watched the episode last night and I wanted to puke. Watching Natalie and Ashley and their inane conversation. That’s what it was like, these girls laying around, doing nothing …. Grant would do whatever Rob said, you can see it on TV. It’s like, do something! Be your own person! Have a brain! It’s frustrating. Everyone hated Phillip, he’s on the outs, but another smart Rob move is keep Phillip around. He can always be the fall guy. Rob’s a good player. Rob knows Andrea wants to stab him in the back, I tried to get her on my side over and over and over again. She knew Rob didn’t trust her, she knew all this but she wouldn’t do anything about it. I spent hours trying to convince her and she wouldn’t. So what are you gonna do?”

Who were you rooting for once you were eliminated?

“I’d love to see Matt come back and kick Rob’s a**, I would love to see that. Rob deserves it and Matt’s a good, solid, cool, kind, smart, fierce competitor. I would love to see Matt come back and do what I know Matt wants to do, which is get Rob back for betraying him. Stupidest move ever.”

Any messages for your fans?

“I’m so just beside myself with gratitude for the kind words and the support that so many strangers have given me, reached out. It’s just amazing, it makes me feel really good. Especially watching myself get kicked off, watching myself lose. Everyone that’s said something nice to me, I feel it inside and it’s been really important and it’s really helped.”

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."