‘Survivor’ Castaway Debbie – ‘(Aubry) Was Hyper, Paranoid, and Neurotic’


Debbie Wanner (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Gordon Holmes: Thank you for doing Reading, PA proud.
Debbie Wanner: Oh, thank you! You must be from around here if you said (red-ing) and not (read-ing).
Holmes: I’m a Wilson High School graduate.
Wanner: Oh, then you’re Governor Mifflin’s arch-nemesis.
Holmes: Oh no, now we have to hate each other.

Holmes: Were you at all surprised by Aubry’s flip last night?
Wanner: I knew it was coming.
Holmes: What tipped you off?
Wanner: After Julia got immunity, I said, “OK, name a name.” And she couldn’t come up with a name. So, that was big. Joe told me. And I saw her and Cydney go off together. You know, Gordon…I knew Aubry was…and I mean this with all due respect…I adore her. She was hyper, paranoid, and neurotic about being voted off. Hey, that’s what keeps you alive.

Holmes: What was the final plan?
Wanner: Let’s see if they’ll give up their idol to play a super idol. Are you telling me that Jason and Tai are really both going to give up their idols to make a super idol for a millionaire? But, I knew I couldn’t sell her on it because she thought she was on the chopping block.  I told her, “It’s not you, it’s Cydney.” But, I had a lot of clues. And what I whispered to Joe was, “Hey, it’s been great. See you later.”
Holmes: So, you knew about the super idol. Was it Tai at the last Tribal that tipped you off?
Wanner: No, Neal told us before he left.
Holmes: And you personally didn’t think they’d use them to save Scot?
Wanner: We didn’t assume, we knew. We knew Tai had an idol, we knew Scot did not, and we knew Jason did. And part of that was overhearing them talk. You’re always in close proximity. I had actually been privy to a conversation between Tai and Jason where they said, “Why would we give up our idols for a millionaire?” And why would you? I couldn’t convince Aubry that she was safe and if she took me or one of the other girls out, she would be safe.

Holmes: Why did you refuse to target Julia before the immunity challenge?
Wanner: I do not like bullies, tyrants… “Survivor” is a game, but we were really starving out there. I lost twenty pounds. I lost more percentage of my body weight than probably anybody. I weighed 92 pounds at one point. So you have these two guys pouring water on our fire, taking our tools, giant clams were destroyed, so there was nothing. And you want to appease them by taking out Julia? You fight fire with fire. You throw rocks? I’m throwing boulders.  I just don’t know why when people are being bullied they take it up the butt with no K-Y.
Holmes: Oh.
Wanner: I stole their shorts.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Wanner: That was all I could do. (Laughs)

Holmes: At the end, a jury has to vote to give you the win. Did you ever consider taking those two heels to the end?
Wanner: I did. But, there were three guys to pick from who were unlikable, so one of them needed to go just to stop the shenanigans. You split up those three stooges and they’re not having any fun. And nobody played an idol. That was pretty cool that Jason gave his idol to Tai. And I’m curious, and I honestly don’t know, what would be hysterical is if Tai refuses to give it back.
Holmes: That’s what I was wondering. You can’t steal an idol, but when you give it to someone, it belongs to them. They were having fun with their little performance, but it seems to me like Tai legally has two idols.
Wanner: He absolutely has two idols! And if you noticed,  Jason says, “I give you this idol.” And Tai says, “I accept.” Those are the rules. Tai now has his own super idol and how stupid were you to do that? But, it was a great stunt. The guys were great TV.

Holmes: It hurt my soul to watch Tai douse the fire.
Wanner: I know.
Holmes: Did you know he was a part of that?
Wanner: I knew it. And it was a struggle him going back and forth. He was so unpredictable. The previous week he votes for Jason. And Jason gives him an idol? You’ve got to be kidding me. They gave him a super idol. Which I do not like the concept for at all. I think that is the only season that stupid stunt should ever come up. It’s just crap.
Holmes: Kudos to the guys for playing the hand that was dealt to them. But it is stupid powerful.
Wanner: And it’s crap. You’re dead and you’re resurrected? I didn’t like it at all. But, I do like that Jason gave it to Tai. You just gave it to the most unpredictable person in this game…who just voted for you, dude! (Laughs)
Holmes: Do you know what was behind that vote?
Wanner: No clue. I don’t think even Tai knows.
Holmes: Maybe it’s the alphabet method.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Nick.
Wanner: Personality of a stone statue.
Holmes: Neal?
Wanner:  Ice cream.
Holmes: Scot?
Wanner: Goliath.
Holmes: Julia?
Wanner: Boston sweetie.
Holmes: Aubry?
Wanner: Geek goddess.
Holmes: Elisabeth?
Wanner: City dweller.
Holmes: Peter?
Wanner:  Hail to the chief. Good guy.
Holmes: Cydney?
Wanner: Wonder Woman.
Holmes: Joe?
Wanner: Ultimate gentleman.
Holmes: Tai?
Wanner: Bi-polar. (Laughs)
Holmes: Michele?
Wanner: “The Great Gatsby” because she’s related distantly to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Jason.
Wanner: I almost have nothing nice to say…dedicated to his family.
Holmes: Who said you had to say something nice?
Wanner:  Yeah…but in my life I’ve been taught to take the high road. I wanted to have fun. But Jason is reprehensible.

Holmes: If you had managed to get rid of the guys last night, what was your plan for the rest of the game?
Wanner: Tai, because  I don’t think he could’ve gotten any votes. He kept flip-flopping. I would’ve taken Tai and Aubry.

Holmes: You’re a very interesting “Survivor” character, which is different than you as a person…
Wanner: Thank you.
Holmes: You’re portrayed as very eccentric out there, but I interview people every week and they seem to enjoy you. Was there anything that happened out there that we didn’t see that you wish people had seen?
Wanner: No, I don’t think I needed to be portrayed so talkative and kooky. The truth was it was Liz who talked non-stop. I said, “I’ll be one of the most forgettable characters on ‘Survivor’ and even if I win people will say, ‘Who’?” I’m nothing to look at, I left weighing 92 pounds, I’m not beauty, brawn, or brains. I can juggle, but when they showed me, they showed me dropping them. So they were going for the kooky old lady character. It just isn’t who I am. I am fun-loving, but nobody worked as hard as me except for Joe.

Holmes: You’re someone who says what she wants and then goes out and tries to get it. I think that would’ve done well in front of a jury. Was that your strategy?
Wanner: My approach to “Survivor” was; in Hollywood a woman is old at 35 years old. The “old” woman is the hardest group you can be in. Why? You’re not in the young girls (T&A) club. And I mean that with all due respect. You’re not in the bodacious club. You’re not going to go into a testosterone male alliance. Unless you can form an alliance of weirdos and outcasts, who may or not be physically fit, you’re really out there by yourself because there’s only one “older” lady out there. Why do you keep putting buffoons out there with no physical capability? I have military training in survival, I can out-lift any of you. I just wanted a smarter, savvy, physically-fit older woman.

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