‘Survivor: Philippines’ Pre-Game Interview: Dana Lambert


Dana Lambert (CBS)

XfinityTV.com sent me deep into the wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of “Survivor” stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

Name: Dana Lambert
Home: Winston-Salem, NC
Occupation: Cosmetologist
Tribe: Kalabaw

Gordon Holmes: I forgot to pack hair gel for this trip. I complained about it non-stop until we found a place that had some. How’re you going to survive 39 days without any hair-care products?
Dana Lambert: I need hair gel to make my hair stick up like this! I do not wake up like this.
Holmes: So, what’s the plan?
Lambert: Salt water.
Holmes: That works?
Lambert: Yeah. I use a lot of products with salt water in it for guys. So, maybe I can go with that taut, tasseled beach look.
Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Lambert: Yeah, I’ve watched the show for eleven years.
Holmes: Worst case, you don’t want to go out there and have your hair freak out like Marty (Piombo) from “Survivor: Nicaragua.”
Lambert: Your hair would do that.
Holmes: Yeah, it’s thick, so if it’s too short it poofs out like a Q-tip.

Holmes: It says in your bio that you spent some time in rehab. What were you working out there?
Lambert: You know, I don’t do N.A. (Narcotics Anonymous) or any of that stuff now. I was 20, and I woke up one day and I think I’d had enough. I’d lost a couple of friends and a small town breeds bored children, I guess. I woke up one day and I told my mom I wanted to go to rehab. She said, “You’ve got a problem with drugs?” (Laughs) So, I went to rehab, I spent my 21st birthday there, and I’ve been 12 years clean.
Holmes: Congratulations.
Lambert: Just another chapter.
Holmes: When I was reading your bio last night, and I was wondering if going through that process of being without something that your bodies thinks it needs will serve you well in the game.
Lambert: Yeah, well I smoked cigarettes up to five months ago to prepare for the game. But I really don’t think I have an addictive personality. I think I did that because I needed to get out of town. It wasn’t that I was afraid that I couldn’t quit them. I was just bored and wanted to do something different. But, I definitely learned from that and I do think it will help me in the game. I think I do well under stress.
Holmes: You’re facing a potential 39 days without a lot of food, without a lot of water.
Lambert: Yeah, those coping skills are going to have to be pretty good out there.

Holmes: You’ve been around the new cast for a few days…
Lambert: Yeah, and whether or not I’ve talked to these people or not, I’ve definitely noticed some of their habits.
Holmes: Are you someone who has trouble around people who annoy you or can you stand back and be cool with it?
Lambert: I’m going to stand back. I’m going to let someone else bitch about it first. And I see who makes their beds, I see who cleans up after themselves after dinners. There are some older women here. I’ll let them take on that challenge directly. And if they don’t directly, I’ll take a different approach.
Holmes: What are your first impressions of these folks?
Lambert: I definitely stand out as a girl from Arkansas with punk hair and tatted up.
Holmes: That tattoo is very cool.
Lambert: Thanks. This is a cover-up actually. I have four or five tattoos.
Holmes: What’s it covering up?
Lambert: It’s actually two cover-ups. I got one when I was really young. It was like a naked woman. She looked like she had Down syndrome in the face. It looked like a prison tat. So, I got it covered up with a Celtic knot, and then I got that covered up again.
Holmes: Back to the original question, what do you think of the cast?
Lambert: I think they’re interesting enough. It’s hard to tell without talking to people, but you get some interesting eye contact from people. A couple of the women, they look soft. Like sweet, nice women. And some of the guys look like frat boys. Probably a tad of arrogance in the younger dudes.

Holmes: Do you have any problems with lying in the game?
Lambert: I’ve been struggling with that. I didn’t originally come to this show to win a million dollars. I came to this show because I’m from Arkansas and I’ve never traveled out of the country. I thought, “Oh man, what a free trip.”
Holmes: To be honest, you did get quite the free trip.
Lambert: Yeah. No doubt. Three planes, boat ride and four buses. But now that I’m here, I’m competitive, so I want to win.
Holmes: What about flirting?
Lambert: I’m prepared to do all those things.
Holmes: Nice. Coming out guns blazing.
Lambert: But I don’t want to. I don’t want to be that person who has to put myself to the side, but it’s a game.
Holmes: I’m a big believer that you can’t give yourself rules before the game starts.
Lambert: And that’s why I hate to say how I’m going to play because it never turns out that way. I’m just not that manipulative. I used to be, but I guess I grew out of it. It’ll probably be my downfall in the game.
Holmes: Really?
Lambert: Well, maybe when I get closer to the prize it’ll kick in.

Holmes: If you could align with any former “Survivor” player, who would it be and why?
Lambert: James (Clement) because he’s strong and he wants to win. He hates to lose, which is my nature. Parvati (Shallow) because she’s a flirt and she can get what she wants out of the alpha males. “Boston” Rob (Mariano) because he stays out of the drama and picks up the leadership skills without really fighting for it.
Holmes: But what do you bring to these alliances? Everyone needs a role.
Lambert: I think what I would bring is…I fit well in pulling people together as a team. I’m level headed and can maintain them. Also, I’m pretty handy around camp.

Don’t miss the premiere of “Survivor: Philippines” – Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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