‘Survivor’ Castaway Dana: Jeff Kent ‘Fights Directly Against What I Fight For’


'Survivor: Philippines' (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

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The “Survivor” producers tempted fate and it bit them.

When you host a season where you invite back players who had been medically evacuated it’s bound to result in someone being carted off. Dana Lambert was that someone.

(Poor Dana never got to visit Tribal Council, but at least she got to wear Jeff Probst’s jacket.)

I spoke with Dana the morning after her elimination episode and had a chance to discuss her medical concerns, her relationship with Jeff Kent, and which member of Kalabaw is a “chauvinist”…

Gordon Holmes: Good morning, Dana. How are you?
Dana Lambert: I’m doing good! Way better.
Holmes: Excellent. You did not look so good last time we saw you.
Lambert: Yeah. (Laughs).
Holmes: People were concerned because they don’t do a follow-up on the show. So please, walk us through everything that happened.
Lambert: Well, I pretty much started the game sick in my stomach. I was definitely hanging around the bathroom there in the beginning. And, it just started going downhill. Everything I ate would come back up. And then living off of coconut didn’t help. I felt that sickness the whole twelve days I was there. And, I’d get to challenges and I’d say, “C’mon Dana, suck it up and kick ass in this challenge.” I’d try to hide the sickness as best I could. But there in the end it just all came to a head. There was no way to hide it anymore.
Holmes: Did they find out if it was an infection?
Lambert: After I left the game I went to a clinic in the Caramoans. I spent a day there getting fluids. It was basically dehydration. And then I spent some more days in Manila in the hospital getting more fluids. It was pretty bad news.

Holmes: There was some concern before the season started about how you, a lesbian, would get along with Jeff Kent, someone who donated money to Prop 8 in California. What was your relationship like?
Lambert: You know, I wish I would have known that. I don’t know if I would have treated the situation any differently if I’d know that he makes so much money. Because he fights directly against what I fight for. But, I also believe that you don’t change people’s minds by being a jerk to them. I feel like we got along pretty good on the island. He’s kind of a southern boy and I respect him a lot. I felt like just him knowing who I was and what kind of person I was, maybe it opened his mind. I don’t believe in homophobia. I don’t believe that people are scared of gay people. I believe that they’re basically just (expletive deleted). They just don’t want to accept it because maybe they’ve never been around it. So, I think it was good for him, he got to be around me. He knew that I was a pretty normal girl. Maybe he took something from that. Maybe all gay people aren’t so bad after all.
Holmes: It seemed like you two were getting along pretty well.
Lambert: Actually, when I first got to the island, Penner asked if I wanted to be in his alliance. But then Jeff and I started talking and we clicked automatically. That was until he turned against me and decided he was going to write my name down if there was a chance. That’s when I asked, “Why follow the guys when I can lead the girls?”
Holmes: So there was talk of booting you if Kalabaw went to Tribal?
Lambert: I don’t know. For Jeff, he was saying let’s use your name as a decoy but really try to get Dawson out first. As soon as he said that I realized that it was no longer me, Dawson, Katie, Jeff, and Carter against Penner. I could begin to see that he had a different route. I knew that physically they still needed me in challenges. So they were going to keep me around as long as they needed me.

Holmes: Dawson knew that Jeff Kent was a former Major League Baseball player. Had anyone else picked up on that?
Lambert: I had no idea. And she did not tell me and I wish she would have. I would have approached that situation differently last night. I would not have approached him with it, I would have approached everyone else. He already has millions of dollars. Why do we need to give him another million? But, it wasn’t my choice.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Carter.
Lambert: Chauvinist
Holmes: Penner?
Lambert: Awesome. Super awesome man.
Holmes: Jeff Kent?
Lambert: Hard worker.
Holmes: Denise?
Lambert: Strong woman.
Holmes: Dawson?
Lambert: Upbeat to a fault.
Holmes: Katie?
Lambert: Genuinely sweet…but weak around camp.

Holmes: Just to jump back into that…Carter’s a chauvinist?
Lambert: Carter was definitely playing the male game. Whether or not he was in our alliance, when it came to challenges Carter’s thought every single time is that he wanted to sit all of the girls. And I know it probably has a lot to do with his age, but he definitely has that thing where women are weak, men are not. He just didn’t have any faith or trust in women that they could compete as hard as he could. I like Carter, but he did piss me off quite a few times.
Holmes: That’s a shame, because if I need to remember a non-illness Dana moment on “Survivor,” I’m going to be the way you killed it in that diving challenge.
Lambert: Yeah, I guess after reading plenty Twitters and comments, I guess I can swim after all. (Laughs) I think honestly, if I had to go against RC racing she would have kicked my butt. But, underwater I’m pretty comfortable.
Holmes: I think RC would kick most people’s butts.
Lambert: Yeah, she was a badass in that challenge.

Holmes: Russell Swan was eliminated in “Survivor: Samoa” due to a medical issue and it really seemed to haunt him. You’re in a very similar situation. Have you been able to find peace with the way you left the game?
Lambert: If I had to make the same decision again, I would. But, it was upsetting because I felt like me being sick the whole twelve days…I felt like my bubbly personality that I wanted to get across to people…I felt like I didn’t get a chance to get it across. I think maybe I could have even done better in challenges. It’s just not fair, but it’s how it happens sometimes. And you just can’t beat yourself up about it. It is what it is.

Any Questions: Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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