‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Finalist Hannah – ‘I Thought Being a Strong Woman Like Jessica Would Get Me Targeted’

'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

Gordon Holmes: Good morning, Hannah.
Hannah Shapiro: Good morning! I’m sorry if my voice cracks and you can’t understand me. My apologies.
Holmes: I’ll let it go one or two times, but so help me if there is a fourth!
Shapiro: Hang up and say Hannah is the worst.
Holmes: I was going to give her my vote for the million, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to vote for a voice cracker.
Shapiro: That’s why I lost. The article headline should be, “Hannah’s Voice Cracks at Final Tribal, Nobody Wants to Vote for Her.”

Shapiro: It’s so nice to speak to you again. We talked before I went to the island, we’re talking now.
Holmes: We’re bringing it full circle. We get 42 minutes with you a week and we don’t get to see everything, so now we get your side of the story.
Shapiro: I love being heard.
Holmes: I am your voice.
Shapiro: I would choose no one else.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X”

Holmes: I kind of half pay attention to the reunions. I’m putting together my recap and other stuff. A member of my staff texted me to ask if there’s something romantic going on with you and Ken. Did I miss something?
Shapiro: There’s nothing romantic between me and Ken. I was making a point that Probst called me out for being a flirt, and if I’m a flirt I’m a very untraditional flirt in the history of the show. I wanted to make the point that you can be weird and quirky and flirt with a real pretty man and be bold in your life in every aspect. In the past they’d cast these beautiful women and these guys would make these comments about them. I wanted to flip the script and objectify a bunch of men on national television.
Holmes: Did you think your objectification of men was going to help you with the jury?
Shapiro: I think it helps me every day.

Holmes: We’re making light of this, but before the game you said that you’ve seen men who act like you win “Survivor.” Spoiler Alert: David even says in his word association that you are a “female, Jewish” version of him. Do you think you would have been viewed differently by the jury if you were a man?
Shapiro: I absolutely think that. There are exceptions to the rule, but if you make a move as a man, you’re a game player. If you make a move as a woman you’re a flipper. I think if you’re loyal as a man, you’re loyal. I think if you’re loyal as a woman, you’re a goat. Especially in a season with a primarily male jury and male merge. Perception is everything in this game. And it’s something I knew going into the game. Gender is probably something I should have taken into deeper consideration as I tried to figure out how to maneuver my way to the end. I do not think I lost because of a gender thing, but I do think that when you’re primarily playing with dudes that it becomes tricky. And, it’s not like a woman hasn’t ever been able to beat two dudes. And because I’m a quirky female, it may have more personally hurt than if I was a dude.

Holmes: Bret’s voted out and he calls you a flipper. Will changes his alliance and it’s a resume builder.
Shapiro: Yeah! It’s funny, I think women have to play “Survivor” differently. For the Bret thing, when Zeke convinced Bret to go to rocks for him, Zeke convinced a man whose ally he had voted out to passionately put his hand in a bag of rocks. And one of the ways he did this was by convincing Bret of the narrative of me as a crazy flipper. Bret played a very emotional game and he didn’t always understand the strategy that was going on. I love Bret, and he was playing a fantastic social game, but he’d say he’s playing with idiots and that’s a reflection of not understanding some other people’s strategy.

Holmes: This argument about women and men being viewed differently is a very strong one. But, you’re pitching to a mostly male jury.
Shapiro: Yeah. I thought about saying that, but you can’t tell a bunch of dudes…I remember after the game I told Will that I thought gender does play a role in things and he got really defensive. A month later, we talked and he said, “You know Hannah, I thought you were calling me sexist, but I now kind of understand what you were saying.” It’s tricky. We see the state of the world. I think everything about yourself plays a role in “Survivor.” What I regret is not taking into account certain elements of perception.

Holmes: Ken obviously made the call to vote out David himself, but Adam gets credit for that move from Chris and presumably the rest of the jury. What was your take on what happened there?
Shapiro: Ken was key to my game. I thought I could beat him. And he would go on these hour-long ramblings about loyalty. So, I knew I couldn’t take out his ally in a more traditional way with a blindside because I knew I would lose Ken’s trust. I had been working on how to create some kind of wedge between him and Dave. I love Dave, the jury loved Dave too. When Dave made the fake idol, Ken was sort of hurt that Dave didn’t tell him about it. We were sitting on the beach and Ken said, “I can’t believe Dave didn’t tell me about his fake idol.” I was like, “Yeah, I know. Maybe he isn’t as close to you as you think he is.” And part of voting out Bret was showing how the jury would react to Dave not being voted out. And I’m not saying Adam didn’t argue as well, but I lead with being quirky and goofy. I thought being a strong woman like Jessica would get me targeted. So, with Chris I lead with sports and goofy. If Chris’s perception of me is goofy and his perception of Adam is strategy, he’s going to give that credit to Adam. And people say, “Why didn’t you fight Chris?” I fought as hard as I could at final Tribal on every point that everyone threw at me. There was no point where I sat there quietly.

Holmes: Alright, word association time.
Shapiro: I read Zeke’s, I’m so nervous.
Holmes: As you should be, you’ll be graded later. Let’s start with Mari.
Shapiro: The coolest, most bad-ass chick I’ve ever met.
Holmes: Figgy?
Shapiro: Very pretty.
Holmes: Michaela?
Shapiro: Strong, smart…independent.
Holmes: Michelle?
Shapiro: Dragons.
Holmes: Michelle’s dragon dress?
Shapiro: Phenomenal.
Holmes: Taylor?
Shapiro: Goofy blue eyes
Holmes: Jessica?
Shapiro: Like a powerful lady.
Holmes: Zeke?
Shapiro: The best human in the world.
Holmes: Will?
Shapiro: More mature than I was at eighteen.
Holmes: Sunday?
Shapiro: A sweetheart.
Holmes: Jay?
Shapiro: Game player.
Holmes: Bret?
Shapiro: Life of the party.
Holmes: David?
Shapiro: Gen-X me.
Holmes: Ken?
Shapiro: Open to the world.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Adam.
Shapiro: A brother to me. Did I do better or worse than the lightning round before the game?
Holmes: I don’t remember.
Shapiro: You yelled at me because I was taking so long.
Holmes: Lightning round, Shapiro!
Shapiro: (Laughs) I was so bad it. I was thinking, “I’m going to be so bad on the island, I can’t even handle a lightning round!”

Holmes: Jay, Adam, and David are all big threats headed toward the end of the game. Was there anything you could do to whittle them down closer to the Sunday vote?
Shapiro: I think even Sunday doesn’t fully understand, but I knew if Jay won immunity and Bret and Sunday were still in it that me, Adam, and Ken were in trouble. That scared me. I was playing with the intention of sitting at the end with Adam and Ken. Watching it back, it’s easy to see where things were headed. But at the time, it’s what made the most sense. I will say, was it the right move to get Bret out so Sunday would have been an option? Yes, probably the better move, but for me it was the wrong time to take out David.

Holmes: I wasn’t keeping track, but your voice squeaked more than four times.
Shapiro: (Laughs)
Holmes: And I let it go.
Shapiro: Well, thank you.

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

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