‘Survivor’ Castaway Corinne Kaplan: Phillip ‘Has an Extremely Low I.Q.’


'Survivor: Caramoan' (CBS)

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I am freakishly good at “Survivor.”

From the comfort of my couch I know exactly what I’ll do, who I’ll align with, which challenges I’ll win, and everything else on the path to a sweet million-dollar check. I think smiling and nodding while Phillip goes about his antics would be an easy price to pay for a place in the dominant alliance.

But like many things in life, it’s easier said than done.

Corinne Kaplan learned the hard way that putting up with Mr. Sheppard’s whims on a twenty-four hour basis is much harder than sitting on my couch. I spoke to her the morning after her elimination and asked about trusting Dawn, liking Brandon, and tolerating Phillip…

Gordon Holmes: My girl got voted out last night.
Corinne Kaplan: (Laughs) I know.
Holmes: Anger.
Kaplan: Tell me about it.
Holmes: So, it seemed like a total blindside. Is that accurate?
Kaplan: Yeah, I definitely knew something was up at Tribal because you get a feeling that something’s not right. That’s why I gave that Mike Tyson quote because I wanted to make it known that I understand that it’s possible that I was going home.
Holmes: When Phillip was talking about splitting the vote, was that a better opportunity to make something happen? He thinks he has four for Reynold and four for Eddie when in reality you could have had five for Phillip.
Kaplan: Here’s the problem; my little alliance of Malcolm, Eddie, Reynold, and Michael, none of them are actually playing the game at that point. Nobody’s talking to anyone. I’m having to deal with everyone else. Dawn’s coming to me with her problems, Cochran’s coming to me with his problems. At first they wanted Michael out and you know how I feel about Micheal. That wasn’t happening.
Holmes: Wait, how do you feel about Michael?
Kaplan: (Laughs) Worship him.
Holmes: Got it.
Kaplan: So then they decide to take out one of the big guys, Reynold or Eddie. So, one of them will have to play the idol. And, it’s not so easy when they want to split the votes and you have to talk to people who aren’t that accessible to you to reorganize everybody. And I really thought we needed the idol. But I thought I could make a decent case for Sherri and that way we’d have two idols. Reynold had told me he had the idol. I guess it’s getting greedy, but I pitched the Sherri story. And I was aware that it was possible that we’d have to split the votes, which is hard. You’ve got to get people alone. You’ve got to explain what’s going on. It’s complicated.

Holmes: I’ve interviewed Phillip a few times and I get that he’s an interesting fellow. As I’m watching the show I’m thinking if you play along with his nicknames and his eccentricities that you’d have the perfect person to take to the end of the game. What happened to you two where you couldn’t put up with the Dominatrix business anymore?
Kaplan: Here’s the problem; I was putting up with his (expletive deleted) for a long time. I did go along with the stupid names and the organization. But, he got a little too much bravado and he’d make decisions. He has an extremely low IQ as you can tell by him mispronouncing every word over five letters long. And he started commanding us to do what he wanted us to do. It’s fine when he’s a crazy person in the corner, and he’s in his pink panties and he’s giving people’s names. But when he starts calling shots it’s hard. He’s very difficult to reel in. He starts affecting your gameplay, so he’s not an easy person to take along. He’s making decisions and they’re horrible ones.

Holmes: The last two weeks we’ve learned that the best three ways to spread secrets are telephone, telegraph, tell-a-Dawn.
Kaplan: (Laughs)
Holmes: Buh-dum-dum. Did you not know until last night that she was the one who outted you?
Kaplan: I had an idea. I have to tell you, Malcolm was my alliance because I loved him from the beginning, but Dawn was my very best friend. When I say that I spent every minute with Dawn, I did. We were extremely close. My family and friends were all like “Why?! Why?!”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Kaplan: But I was in an alliance with Dawn. And you saw it where she cries a lot. I love her, but she’s not terribly stable as a person. She’s constantly insecure with her position. She started to freak out. She talks to me all the time. She talks to Cochran, but not as much, which is why I didn’t know they were as close as they were. When she was upset I was the one that talked her down. I was trying to talk her off a ledge, and I said, “Look, worst case scenario we can always flip.” And it was always “We.” I’m not doing anything without her. I said, “Here are some options.” And she doesn’t like Phillip either. And when I’m telling her this story, I was saying hypothetically. Cochran burned her her first season, so I’m thinking she’s not going to trust Cochran over me. And if I have no other redeeming qualities, the one thing I am is loyal. I felt like it was safe to talk to her, I thought it’d make her feel better. And I didn’t feel like Malcolm had Erik on lock, because clearly he didn’t. And without Erik, I thought we needed Dawn. I wasn’t playing for Tribal, I was playing for the long game. I had no idea Dawn would sell me out. It was hard mentally for me to take, and I’m a very strong person mentally. I don’t get attached to a lot of people, but I was really attached to Dawn. She really was my best friend.

Holmes: I wanted to get your take on Brandon’s meltdown. We’ve heard from him, we’ve heard from fans, but you’re the first favorite I’ve had a chance to talk to.
Kaplan: Apparently Brandon doesn’t like me, but I liked Brandon. If I was younger, maybe not as mentally there, I would have had the same meltdown. Phillip was driving me just as crazy. I’m smarter about the way I handled it, but I sympathize with Brandon. But, he’s got the Hantz in him, so he doesn’t want to just be voted out. And mind you, if our whole team was intact, we would have beaten them in that challenge. Nobody would’ve gone home, then they would’ve shuffled the tribes. So, when the meltdown happened, I was the closest person to him when he started spilling the rice. I’m seeing him do this and in my head, I thought once you destroyed the camp you get out of the game, you’ve screwed your whole game up. I never felt physically threatened and I think it’s embarrassing for Phillip, he said he slept with one eye open, it wasn’t like that at all. Brandon’s a sweet kid. He actually cries a lot. It wasn’t nearly as dangerous as they’re making it seem.

Holmes: After Gabon you set the bar for the word association. Let’s see how you do this time. We’ll start with some dude named Malcolm.
Kaplan: Aww…adoration. I love him. He’s like a little brother to me.
Holmes: Would you love him more if he was gay?
Kaplan: Of course. That’s the sprinkles on the sundae.
Holmes: So there’s a likability ceiling for heterosexuals, but homosexuals know no bounds.
Kaplan: Yes!
Holmes: Dawn?
Kaplan: Fraudulent.
Holmes: Cochran?
Kaplan: I thought he was gay for a while there. Apparently he’s not. He’s a weasel.
Holmes: Eddie?
Kaplan: Always the pretty ones who are dumb. I love Eddie, too.
Holmes: Reynold?
Kaplan: He’s like a Disney prince.
Holmes: Sherri?
Kaplan: Oh…I have nothing in common with her. Annoying?
Holmes: Brenda?
Kaplan: Who?
Holmes: Touche. Erik?
Kaplan: Vacant…useless.
Holmes: Some guy named Michael?
Kaplan: (Laughs) My savior.
Holmes: Phillip?
Kaplan: I say this to my friends all the time, and I hope this isn’t too harsh, but I call him the living miscarriage. He shouldn’t have been born.
Holmes: We’ll finish with Andrea.
Kaplan: Insecure.

Holmes: When I said, “Sherri,” you dropped. I have no read on her. Can you help me out there?
Kaplan: All I know about Sherri is she is very annoying. She never stops talking. Kind of like Susie (Smith) from my season.  And I knew she was an uber fan because she named her kid Colby after Colby (Donaldson). But, when watching the show back it looks like she’s strategizing and making moves. She’s talking so much all the time, we used to fight over who gets to sleep next to her, because you want to sleep but she doesn’t shut up. Eddie and Reynold hate her. As soon as we got out there they were like, “She’s the worst! Thirty minutes into this merge you will hate her as much as we do.”

Holmes: Last night Probst said, “the ninth person voted out…” and I’m saying “and…and?!”
Kaplan: I looked up at him and said, “Am I not on the jury?” And he said, “No.” And that’s when I started to really spin out. The whole time I just wanted to make the jury, and that is embarrassing. It just sucked.
Holmes: Agreed.

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