‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Marisa Calihan

If there was a lesson to be learned from the premiere of ‘Survivor: Samoa,’ it’s that you should never cross Russell H. We had a chance to sit down with Marisa Calihan, the woman who learned that lesson the hard way, the day after she was voted out of the game.

Gordon Holmes: Are there any CBS representatives in the room?

Marisa Calihan: No, there aren’t.

Gordon: That’s too bad, because I want you to smack them for me.

Marisa: (Laughs)

Gordon: For the past three seasons, the first person voted off is a beautiful woman. I don’t support this trend.

Marisa: And it’s usually a strong one too! I’ll give them a proverbial slap.

Gordon: I appreciate that.

Gordon: How did you enjoy your time on “The Russell H. Show?”

Marisa: What a good way to put it. I don’t know if I’d say it was enjoyable. The challenges were awesome. Seeing the way the crew worked was beautiful. Now, “The Russell Show?” That guy was a creep. I didn’t enjoy being around him ever. Ben was horrible too.

Gordon: I noticed that you and Ben the redneck bar manager from L.A. had it out too. What did we miss last night?

Marisa: As you could see, Russell poured out all of our water. And you have to boil your water before you pour it in the canteens so you don’t get parasites. The water had just been boiled and was very hot. And Ben started bossing me around and I hadn’t slept all night. And he’s telling me to use my common sense and he’s yelling at me and that didn’t fare too well with me. And to be honest, everything you saw, I was very under control. I could have gone downtown with that boy very quickly. Everyone else liked me a lot.

Gordon: Did the others have issues with Ben?

Marisa: Everyone did. Ben was Russell’s target before I told Russell I was worried about him. As soon as Russell found out I wasn’t part of his “Dumb Girl Alliance” I was a target of his.

Gordon: Is “Dumb Dark-Haired Girl” the worst nickname ever?

Marisa: I’m not dumb but I do have dark hair. It’s an incorrect nomenclature.

Gordon: Do you have a nickname for Russell?

Marisa: Gosh, this is really good. Can I take a second? I want to make sure it’s a good one.

Gordon: Take your time.

Gordon: Was last night the first time you learned of Russell’s sabotage with the water and the socks, or did you know while you were out there?

Marisa: No. I’ll tell you what, he burned my socks too. My socks were drying out, and sure enough the next morning they were gone. That was an enlightenment.

Gordon: Is there some kind of “Survivor” rule about destroying others’ property?

Marisa: I guess it didn’t apply this season if there was one. I had no idea that he was doing such wicked things.

Gordon: Did the other members of the tribe know he was doing that?

Marisa: No. I’ve spoken to some of them, and all of them are shocked.

Gordon: We didn’t get a chance to get to know many people last night. Could you give us a brief description of each of your tribemates starting with Ashley?

Marisa: Young, naïve, but spirited.

Gordon: Ben?

Marisa: A poser, I think he’s afraid of women and I think he’s weak.

Gordon: Betsy?

Marisa: Intuitive, strong, and kind.

Gordon: Elizabeth?

Marisa: Sneaky…conniving.

Gordon: Jaison?

Marisa: Diplomatic and capable.

Gordon: Mick?

Marisa: He turned out to be kind of a disappointment.

Gordon: Mike?

Marisa: Mike is hilarious, kind-hearted, and fun.

Gordon: Natalie?

Marisa: She’s tougher than I thought she’d be. But I think she’s a little too trusting.

Gordon: And finally, our buddy Russell?

Marisa: I think Russell H. is…just a really sad person, and he’s a bully. I’d be ashamed if I were him.

Gordon: Now a lot goes into even getting on “Survivor.” Could you give us a brief look at what you have to go through just to become a contestant?

Marisa: I send in my audition tape and get a call that they’re interested in seeing me. I had to get a week off of class, and have to arrange for make-up work. But, of course I can’t tell them what I’m doing so they think I’m full of crap. I go through this whole thing where you stay in a hotel. You can’t speak to a soul, you can’t even leave your hotel for a whole week. You’re getting tests, psychological tests, they’re trying to make sure that you aren’t someone who’s going to lose it and kill people on the island. But, they also want to make sure you’re interesting. When you get further you start getting shots, you’re getting shots for malaria, and typhoid fever, and hepatitis A, everything you can imagine. You’re getting all this before you even know you made it. So then you wait…and you wait…and you wait. And then one day you get a call, and you get to go on “Survivor.” All of the sudden the race is on and you have to rearrange your entire life without telling anyone why. You have to make sure you have enough money to support yourself while you’re away, and when you get home. It’s insanity. It’s so much work to even get to that point.

Gordon: And after all that you were sent home after three days by Russell. Did you think of a nickname for him yet?

Marisa: He’s a slimy little gnome.

Gordon: That works.

Gordon: You looked so sad last night, my heart really went out to you.

Marisa: Well, that was a two-hour tribal council and those guys were really raking me over the coals. And I didn’t get up and go crazy because I didn’t want that to be seen in front of the whole world. It was really hard to have people bullying me like that.

Gordon: But in all fairness, how much of that two hours was actually Jeff Prosbt fixing his hair?

Marisa: (Laughs) Very little, actually.

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