‘Survivor’ Castaway Brenda ‘Probably Wouldn’t Talk to Dawn Ever Again’


'Survivor: Caramoan' (CBS)

Quick Note: Be sure to stick around for the final days of “Survivor: Caramoan” as we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the contestants, and more. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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“YOLO” is to youth culture what saying “it’s part of the game” is to “Survivor.”  They’re both perfectly acceptable ways of going about your business, but they don’t exempt you from dealing with the consequences of your actions.

If you break your arm while skateboarding, YOLO is as good a reason as any for attempting the move. But, it doesn’t mend your bones any faster.

If you vote out an ally on “Survivor,” saying “it’s part of the game” is a totally understandable reason. But, that doesn’t mean the ally has to reward you for it.

Brenda Lowe was dealt a pretty harsh lesson in “Survivor” last night when she was sent packing by the person she thought was her closest ally. And just because it’s part of the game, didn’t make it any easier to watch. I spoke with her the next morning and had a chance to ask about her relationship with Dawn, the new Brenda vs. the old Brenda, and whether players should start throwing the family challenge…

Gordon Holmes: Last night was rough!
Brenda Lowe: (Laughs) Oh, I know. It sucks.
Holmes: It sounds like you’re in good spirits, though.
Lowe: Yeah, I have to be. I’m happy about it. Well, I’m obviously not happy about the horribleness, but the experience overall.
Holmes: On a scale from one to ten, how much did you trust Dawn going into last night’s Tribal?
Lowe: Going into the Tribal it was a ten.
Holmes: Wow…especially after the retainer incident. People get upset and they cry, but that seemed to be on another level. It was such an intense moment between you two.
Lowe: You have those situations and you are in a moment where you have to take care of someone. It really reminded me of back home. I have a little brother who’s 11 years younger than me. And when we were younger he got hurt and he busted his lip open. Blood was pouring out and my mom was hysterical. I had to take care of him, and calm down my Mom, and make sure everything was OK. That’s exactly what I felt during the whole Dawn thing.  “You’re going to be OK. I’m going to save you. Don’t worry about it, relax.” That feeling of, “Man, I’ve done this before” made me associate her with family. I would never vote off Dawn. I would never do that. As crazy and unstable as she was, it was something you understood because that’s her character. But, I felt so attached. And I thought that was the biggest sign I could receive. This woman chose me to help her, I was able to help her. The two of us could be unbeatable! It sounds so corny now, but I was never going to vote against her.
Holmes: Is this going to stick with you? Will you be able to talk to her at the finale?
Lowe: Umm…I’m not sure. Of course you should always forgive. But, deep down inside with the friendships I have, the quality of friendships I have, probably not. That’s just me being honest. Will I be nasty? No, because my parents didn’t raise me like that. So as far as being warm and inviting? Probably not. If it wasn’t for the finale I probably wouldn’t talk to Dawn ever again.
Holmes: We obviously haven’t heard from Dawn yet about last night’s vote. But, I’d assume one of her counterpoints would be how you targeted Cochran. That’s been a theme lately. You tell Dawn you want to get rid of Cochran, you’re gone. You tell Cochran you want to get rid of Dawn, you’re gone. It seems like they’re doing a fantastic job of hiding how close they really are.
Lowe: That was a big mistake of mine. I knew they were close, but I thought they were close to keep each other calm. I didn’t know they were unbreakable. I thought for sure that Dawn would at least be honest with me. If it was me, Dawn, and Cochran at the end, I’d be fine with that as long as I was there. To their credit, I didn’t see how they genuinely wouldn’t turn on each other. Had I known that, I definitely wouldn’t have called out Cochran’s name. As far as strategy, he was the last strategic person there, so he had to go…the same way he thought that I had to go.

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Holmes: Of the final six, who would’ve been your dream final three?
Lowe: At that moment it was me, Dawn, and Erik. I  don’t think that Sherri deserved it. And Eddie is likable, but he found his way where he is now. And Cochran was the biggest threat, so why would I want him there?

Holmes: Before the game you and I talked about how when we met in Nicaragua you were the nice, fun Brenda we all know and love. But in the game you were stone cold.
Lowe: (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) And this season you were nice and fun in the game. Was it your dad’s direction that put you on that path?
Lowe: Definitely. It was my dad’s direction, it was also getting an opportunity to play before and watch myself. That was a big deal for me. A lot of the time I’d be watching the show and I was on top and doing great, but some of the things I’d say would make me cringe. These are still people. The biggest lesson was that way did not work. You’ve got to do something different. And then out of nowhere having the strangest advice from my family. Before they were like, “Don’t come back without the million dollars!” Now they were like, “Just be humble, be kind.” I thought it was very strange, but it really did help me. It felt great. That attitude had a lot to do with how I was able to connect to people.

Holmes: In the Philippines, Malcolm wins the family reward and it comes back to bite him in the rear. Last night you win the family challenge and it bites you in the rear. Going forward, should players just throw the family challenge?
Lowe: No! I think it’s horrible. You can’t. How could you do that? You have to try your hardest. You’re pumped up with your loved one, doing a challenge together. You always want to do your best. To play it any other way is not good advice.
Holmes: Well…
Lowe: And it’s boring! Can you imagine if everybody threw the challenge? It wouldn’t be fun.
Holmes: Hey, I love my girlfriend, but I could see her two weeks later and possibly have a million-dollar check.
Lowe: (Laughs) That’s true.

Holmes: Alright, word association time…
Lowe: I’m going to do animals because I recently went to the zoo and I thought, “this is perfect.”
Holmes: You and Malcolm. Alright, let’s start with Cochran.
Lowe: When I think of Cochran I think of a red panda.
Holmes: Eddie?
Lowe: Eddie is a fox. A likable fox.
Holmes: Erik?
Lowe: Erik is a Cocker Spaniel. He’s very happy and independent.
Holmes: Phillip?
Lowe: A bear, a huggable one.
Holmes: Sherri?
Lowe: I think Sherri is an emu.
Holmes: Reynold?
Lowe: A lion.
Holmes: Malcolm?
Lowe: A horse, running free with his hair in the wind. (Laughs)
Holmes: His beautiful, flowing mane.
Lowe: (Laughs)
Holmes: Andrea?
Lowe: Andrea is golden panther with striking blue eyes.
Holmes: She’s going to be heartbroken that she’s not a unicorn.
Lowe: (Laughs) Oh! I didn’t see that at the zoo.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Dawn.
Lowe: Dawn…she’s like a beetle.

Holmes: What’s been the reaction from the fans after last night’s vote?
Lowe: I’m getting the best support. They’re so nice. You do get down and you think, “Did I do the right thing?” And people reach out and say you did the right thing. It goes to show how many people have a good set of values in them. So many people were so angered by that because they’re good people. They wouldn’t have done that.

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

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