‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Debra Beebee

If Sierra was “The Bride of the Dragon,” then surely Debra Beebee was “The Bride of the Dragon Slayer.” She was the right-hand confident of one of this season’s most interesting players, “Coach” Ben Wade. However, she wasn’t content to follow Coach all the way, when she felt the time was right, she made a move to ditch him. Unfortunately for her, the time was wrong and she became the fourth member of the jury.

We had an opportunity to talk to the latest castaway the morning after her dismissal to get her thoughts on turning on Coach, Erinn’s strong distaste for mayonnaise, and what it’s like being a school principal with questionable math skills.

Gordon Holmes: Were you shocked by last night’s vote?
Debra Beebee:
I absolutely was shocked. I didn’t have a clue they were taking me out. But right before Tribal Council, JT put his arm around my back and said, “Debra, you know I love you.” And I should have said, “You brat! You’re getting rid of me!” So, I should’ve known, but I really was shocked. What the editing didn’t show was for two days I was being manipulated into voting Coach off. They made it look like I single handedly went after Coach.

Gordon: I feel like we didn’t see much of you until the last few episodes. Could you give us an idea as to what your strategy was through the entire game?
Sure, I didn’t go in with a set strategy except I didn’t want to be a bossy leader. Immediately I formed social bonds with everyone. I don’t like the term “Flying under the radar” because I wasn’t, Coach tried to start an alliance, and I went with it. I was playing the game, but I wasn’t trash talking people.
Gordon: Now you’re telling me I’m not going to get any trash talk out of you today?
Debra: (Laughs) You might get some.

Gordon: Last night you had some trouble understanding what an increment of $20 would be. Are you going to hear about that from your math teachers?
I was dying laughing. I didn’t care how much those French fries cost, I just wanted those dang French fries. Just seeing French fries in front of me, my brain went totally haywire.
Gordon: It’s not fair of them to expect you to do math when they’re waving French fries in front of you.
Debra: I mean, give me a break! To be honest, I wasn’t paying attention to what Jeff was saying.
Gordon: I don’t pay attention to much of what Probst says anyways.
Debra: Yeah! Gimme those fries and that mayonnaise! And Erinn can’t stand the smell of mayonnaise, and I’m eating those fries and that mayonnaise, and she honestly looked at me and said, “Debbie, can you put that mayonnaise on the other side of that tray so I don’t have to smell it or look at it?”
Gordon: I would have smeared it in her face.
Debra: I thought about it.

Gordon: Did the tribe ever warm up to Erinn?
No, they did not. And talking to Erinn out of the game, I like her a lot as a person, she’s a cool kid. But, in the game, for several different reasons the tribe never warmed up to her. I give her credit cause she had a red X on her back the whole time.

Gordon: You told JT and Stephen that if it came to the three of you in a final three, that you’d step aside and let them advance. Did you mean that, or was that part of your game?
At that moment I was being honest. Now, if it got to that and a million dollars was dangling in front of me like a carrot…I don’t know if I could have gone through with it. But I hope I would have. But, JT and Stephen didn’t know me that well at that point.

Gordon: OK, word association time. Coach?

Debra: Complicated.
Gordon: Stephen?
Debra: Mental game.
Gordon: Tyson’s loincloth?
Debra: Hilarious.
Gordon: JT?
Debra: Sweet.
Gordon: Jeff Probst?
Debra: He’s cool.
Gordon: Sierra?
Debra: Sister.

Gordon: Could you give us a feel for what it’s like dealing with the Brazilian weather and bugs for as long as you did?

Debra: Oh my gosh, words can’t do it justice. I think Jeff said it was one of the harshest climates they’ve ever had to deal with on the show. When you’re dealing with 125 degree weather during the day, and mind you I’m from Alabama and I thought it was hot there, and at night it was down to forty. And a lot of times we were wet. And trying to sleep on palm fronds. And the bug bites? HD is not doing it justice. We looked like we had chicken pox. Erinn was totally covered. We all were so bit. Going to the bathroom was a mess. Flies infested every area of you. I can’t imagine worse conditions. And I went out there with the belief that they’d protect you, but it’s all real.

Gordon: Last question, and this is probably the most important question you’ll hear all day…are you an Auburn fan or an Alabama fan?
Debra: I am an Auburn fan! War Eagle! You’ll even see “War Eagle” at the finale.
Gordon: I’ll be there, so I’ll be sure to yell “War Eagle” at you. My father went to school there, my sister went there…
Debra: I don’t have a date for the red carpet, Gordon…
Gordon: You got it!

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