‘Survivor’ Castaway Hope: ‘Shamar Was Sherri’s Puppet’


Hope Driskill (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Let’s take a look at the list of reasons why people are early targets in the game of “Survivor.”

Always arguing?
Not helping around camp?
Spilling their alliance’s plans?

All of those things apply to “Survivor’s” newest problem child, Shamar. And yet he’s safely by Sherri’s side while Hope was sent to hang out with her buddy Allie.

I spoke with Hope the morning after her elimination and had a chance to ask her about the Sherri/Shamar alliance, why she didn’t take the offer to flip, and why Reynold held on to his idol…

Gordon Holmes: I’m very bummed to see you go. We don’t get nearly enough Missouri girls on “Survivor.”
Driskill: I know! I’m so bummed that I didn’t last longer. It’s hard to watch your torch get snuffed.
Holmes: And your name is so good for puns. The fans are Hopeless, Hope is lost. The one everyone missed? The fans have Driskilled their chances.
Driskill: (Laughs) I know, and I was waiting to see the #keephopealive trend start going.

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Holmes: So, last night Shamar was trying to get you to vote for Eddie. Why didn’t you make that move?
Driskill:  The entire day had been filled with everyone running around, talking, panicking… There were so many trust issues going on. Everyone was talking and strategizing with everybody else. And I was sitting there in the water and I was looking at Shamar and I honestly didn’t know if I could trust him. I didn’t know if he was telling me the truth. Or, if he was telling me something that his alliance had told him to tell me. I know that he didn’t really like me. But at the same time, there was something in his voice that made me think he was telling the truth. He hates Eddie enough to do this. So, I went back and told the tribe what he had said in hopes of maybe getting them to see that he was untrustworthy and potentially vote him out.
Holmes: Before the challenge, Shamar had talked about quitting, but Sherri talked him into sticking around in case you lost the challenge. After the challenge, was there any more talk of Shamar just quitting at Tribal?
Driskill: I’ll just say this about Shamar…he really didn’t want to be there. He was just making everyone miserable. He said that himself, that was his strategy to make life miserable. He for sure did that. My whole logic on this was, “Let’s put him out of his misery. He doesn’t want to be here. Let’s send him home.”
Holmes: Whoa…hold the phone here, Hope. You’re trying to tell me that Shamar was making people miserable? Cause I talked to Allie last week and she seemed to adore him.
Driskill: (Laughs) Oh, he was so much fun to be around. It was great.

Holmes: Sherri has taken Shamar under her wing as her Phillip. Was it obvious to you guys that that was her plan?
Driskill: Shamar was Sherri’s puppet. It was obvious to me while we were out there. There were so many interviews…which you probably didn’t see of me…but Shamar was her puppet. He was doing every single thing that she was telling him to do. And she was loving it. She was living it up. She’d get him rice and water, and let’s make Shamar comfortable. It was so irritating to watch. That played in to why I didn’t switch my vote and vote for Eddie. I knew that Shamar was completely being played by Sherri and that fed into the lack of trust that I had for him.
Holmes: You, Reynold, and Eddie had been on the outs for a few days. But do people like Matt, Michael, Julia, and Laura appreciate what’s going on? Does the Sherri/Shamar alliance concern them at all?
Driskill: I think. The day I got voted out, I do think that it was a little concerning to them because we’re all there for the same reason, to win. So, in the back of your mind you can’t really trust anyone. I think they all knew that Sherri was extremely strategic. And if she’s using Shamar like this, she’s going to keep him around as long as possible.

Holmes: Was getting the tribe to turn on Shamar the only angle you guys were working before Tribal?
Driskill: They didn’t show how much of a huge panic we were all in. Everyone was pulling people to the side. There was so much talking going on. Just thinking about it is stressful for me. There was a lot of talk very early on about Laura and her performance in the last challenge. So, we all thought at first, let’s talk to Matt and Michael and get Laura out. She’s not helping in the challenges and we need to start winning.
Holmes: Don’t be stressed out, this is a safe place.
Driskill: (Laughs) I’m safe now.

Holmes: Being down six to three, you couldn’t really use the idol to defend against a split vote. Was there any talk of trading the idol straight up for safety for your alliance?
Driskill: There really wasn’t. We had our hands full with talk of them trying to flush the idol. And all of the talk of them splitting the vote, it just made Reynold nervous. So, he kept the idol to himself knowing he’d need it later. And I don’t blame him at all for that.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Allie.
Driskill: Friendship.
Holmes: Eddie?
Driskill: Clown.
Holmes: Did you say “Frown”?
Driskill: (Laughs) Clown! Like a class clown.
Holmes: OK, I had to be sure because I messed up last week. Allie said “Hero” and I thought she had said “Virile.”
Driskill: She told me about that, we were laughing.
Holmes: He’s both, but that’s not my call to make.
Driskill: (Laughs)
Holmes: Sherri?
Driskill: Strategizer.
Holmes: Laura?
Driskill: Swimmer.
Holmes: Julia?
Driskill: This is bad…but I think of puss blisters.
Holmes: That is bad. Michael?
Driskill: Jokester.
Holmes: Shamar?
Driskill: (Laughs) Sleepy.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Reynold.
Driskill: Actor.

Holmes: You were out there for nine days, which in “Survivor” isn’t a long time, but for the real world, nine days in that situation is a big deal. Did that time change you at all?
Driskill: I went on “Survivor” because it was something that was so out of my comfort zone. And I like to keep life exciting. I didn’t last as long as I wanted to, but I was out there for a decent amount of time. I did get to sleep in the rain and experience dehydration and all of the hardships. And I think that after the show I’m proud that I did it and it’s made me appreciate a lot of things in my life. It’s opened my eyes that I don’t need as many materialistic things as I thought I did.

Holmes: Alright, this is probably the most important question…
Driskill: (Laughs) There’s no telling what this could be!
Holmes: It’s a tough one. How hard was it to be away from Cardinals baseball during your time out there?
Driskill: (Laughs)
Holmes: That seems like a nightmare.
Driskill: It was a nightmare and I was nervous about that. But, it was so far from my mind. All I thought was, “We need to boil the water.”
Holmes: So it goes water, food, shelter, baseball?
Driskill: It was water, shelter, baseball, then sunburn.

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

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