‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Kelly Sharbaugh

Take everything you know about “Survivor,” wrap it up in a neat little package, and throw it out the window. The rules simply don’t apply anymore. By all accounts, you cannot find a hidden immunity idol without a clue. Russell Hantz has…twice. After the merge, it should be your goal to vote off the strongest physical players in the opposing alliance, right? Then why are Brett and John still in the game while Kelly Sharbaugh was sent home? Worse than that, the poor thing now has to talk to me. I chatted with Kelly the day after her booting to find out if she knew Shambo had turned on Galu, what her strategies were, and what Russell is really like.

Gordon Holmes: How shocked were you when Russell stood up with the idol?
Kelly Sharbaugh:
When Russell played the idol I was completely shocked.  I think we all were. Nobody knew he had it. He must’ve found it when we were at the reward challenge where we got the first clue.
Gordon: When he played the idol, who did you think was going home from Galu?
Kelly: It was definitely going to be Monica or myself, and I thought it was going to be her because everyone was targeting her.

Gordon: Did you have any clue that Shambo had turned on Galu?
Kelly:
Oh yeah, for sure. She was on the outside of our tribe. From the beginning of the game she chose not to sleep in the shelter with all of us. Anything we did, she’d say we didn’t include her. It was clear from the first time that she went over to Foa Foa that she was going to flip. I tried to avoid her at all costs. There was probably a lot we could have done to keep her around, but it was so hard to be around her.

Gordon: I feel like we didn’t get to know you very much during the show. What strategies were you employing that we didn’t see?
Kelly:
I’m a very good listener. I hung back. I was there to play a game, I wasn’t there to get camera time on the beach, or play a role. I think some people are.

Gordon: How strong is Laura’s grasp on Galu?
Kelly:
Laura has a pretty good grasp on everyone. She’s very nurturing at heart. She was always making sure that everyone was taken care of. Everyone got along with her. I wouldn’t call it a ‘grasp.’ I think that, unfortunately, our tribe was so successful that we didn’t have to strategize as much. I don’t think it was one person leading the tribe. It was pretty mutual.

Gordon: I assume the plan was to pick off Foa Foa. Had there been any talk about strategy once they’re all gone?
Kelly:
When Laura went over to Foa Foa, they discussed an all-female alliance with a final three of Monica, Laura, and myself. As the game progressed it seemed like that would be more difficult as Monica and Laura were being targeted. I think that we thought that once Russell was gone we’d be able to pull Natalie over.

Gordon: It seemed last night that Natalie was a little bit of a target. Did Russell hear that correctly?
Kelly:
Yeah, we were trying to figure out what order. We knew that Natalie was Russell’s number one ally.

Gordon: Does anyone consider Jaison or Mick to be threats? For two big, strong guys, nobody seems to be worried about them.
Kelly:
No, they really weren’t. I think Jaison was the least of our worries. As they showed on TV, he wants to quit. He wants to go home, he’s checked out. And physically he’s just wasting away. And Mick? I don’t expect much from Mick. He’d help around camp, but at challenges he couldn’t get it together. But, maybe that’s his strategy.

Gordon: OK, word association time…let’s start with John.
Kelly:
A little bit cocky. The first time I saw him I thought he was a good-looking guy, but I have a history where good-looking guys always turn out to be tools.
Gordon: We totally do.
Kelly: (Laughs) You fall under that category?
Gordon: Well…I am a tool. So, I’m halfway there.
Kelly: (Laughs)
Gordon: Moving on…Danger Dave?
Kelly: His comedy and his wit got me through a lot.
Gordon: Laura?
Kelly: She’s kicking a— in challenges.
Gordon: Natalie?
Kelly: I have more respect for her after watching the show. Especially the rat thing.
Gordon: Rat murder is not something to respect, Kelly.
Kelly: (Laughs) It was the cutest stomping of an animal I’ve ever seen.
Gordon: Cutest rat snuff film ever. OK, let’s finish this up with our good buddy Russell.
Kelly: Russell was a creep. I don’t think I ever saw that guy sleep.

Gordon: Is there anything you didn’t get to express on the show that you’d like to say right now?
Kelly:
Everything! At the end of the day I walked away from it well, I think I grew as a person. I think I showed myself what I could do physically and also that I could do them with dignity.

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