‘Survivor’ Cirie: “I’m a Game Changer for a Type of Person Who Didn’t Have the Self Esteem to Come Out Here”


Cirie Fields (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: The good folks at XFINITY sent me deep into the Fijian wilderness to bring you an exclusive look at “Survivor: Game Changers.” While I was there I conducted interviews with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and the entire 20-person cast. I also captured exclusive photos and other behind-the-scenes tidbits. So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Name: Cirie Fields
Age: 45
Hometown: Norwalk, CT
Previously Played On:
“Survivor: Panama” – Finished 4th and Jury member
“Survivor: Micronesia” – Finished 3rd and Jury member
“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Finished 17th
Best Known For: Convincing Erik Reichenbach to give up his immunity idol.

Gordon Holmes: You’re looking great!
Cirie Fields: Why, thank you.
Holmes: It says in your bio that you’re more physically fit, less emotional, less aggressive.
Fields: Yeah, that got me a little bit of trouble. (Laughs)
Holmes: I remember people in “Heroes vs. Villains” being very afraid of you.
Fields: I know! Isn’t that crazy? I’m just a flower. (Laughs)
Holmes: Just a delicate breeze blowing through camp.
Fields: (Laughs)
Holmes: Feel free to use that in the game.
Fields: Oh sure. They couldn’t see the forest for the trees. That’s why we have a two-time winner. Everybody’s after the least, well I’m not going to say least, but a less threatening player than some of the other people.

Holmes: You’re a very good player. But, a lot of people are good players. Why do you think you get singled out?
Fields: I think it’s because I am relatable. I’m old enough to be considered somewhat of an authority. But, I’m young and cool enough to still blend in with the younger people. That makes me a liability. I can go either way. If the young people ain’t feeling me, I can go hang out with the older crowd. And usually, not everybody, but usually people like me.
Holmes: Do you think part of it was that it was a “Heroes” tribe and a lot of people were really into being called heroes?
Fields: I think that may have played a part. Everybody wants to be hero and take out the threat Cirie. Why I’m such a threat is beyond me. You have winners there. I’m hoping that nobody wants to be the hero this time and take out Cirie. Bastards.

Holmes: Two days ago, Jeff Probst said to you, “Game Changers.” What was your impression when you heard that?
Fields: My first impression was kind of like “Heroes.” I’m not a hero. And I didn’t initially feel like a game changer. It took me some time to go and think about it.
Holmes: What’d you come up with?
Fields: I think of a game changer like, someone who found an idol without a clue. Someone who uses two idols on everyone but themselves. You know? I thought of it like major move kinda deals. Even though Erik was a major move, I didn’t think of it as a game changer. And then when I sat and thought of it, maybe I am a game changer. But, maybe I’m a game changer for a type of person who didn’t have the self esteem to come out here. Who cares what people are going to say, if you don’t try you’re not going to get anything.
Holmes: The way I’d look at it is; would someone like John Cochran have had the guts to come out and play without you?
Fields: That’s what I’m saying! It’s not the most glamorous thing, but I wear it proudly. That first time, I challenged myself. I was like any other fan thinking, “Are they going to bring us out some cots and sandwiches after they get what they need for the episode? Then they’ll haul us in a van out to a hotel.”
Holmes: That’s not what happens?
Fields: I think on the sixth day I was thinking, “They’re serious now. What the hell did I do?” And at that point two people were gone. I said, “OK, they can roll me out.”
Holmes: Remember Taj from Tocantins?
Fields: Yes.
Holmes: She told me that she was expecting craft services with fully catered meals.
Fields: I’ve watched since Richard Hatch, and because it’s on TV, I thought they can’t just leave you out there. (Laughs)
Holmes: They certainly can.

Holmes: What do you think of this cast?
Fields: I see some faces I recognize; I see some faces I don’t recognize. I see some, what I would consider veterans. I’m good with them as long as they’re good with me. I don’t feel the same I vibe I felt with “Heroes vs. Villains.”
Holmes: How so?
Fields: There’s this cartoon where two guys are stranded on a desert island. They’re cool, everything’s cool. Like Ponderosa everything is cool. Then on day three they look at each other and one looks like a steak and the other looks like a hotdog. (Laughs) That’s how I felt in “Heroes vs. Villains.”
Holmes: Like a hotdog?
Fields: Exactly. And I was like, “Don’t they see those steaks over there?”

Holmes: Is there anyone you’re looking forward to working with?
Fields: I’d like to work with Tai and Caleb, (expletive deleted) the whole Kaoh Rong four. We can be a Kaoh Rong five as far as I’m concerned. I like Caleb. I thought Aubry killed it on her season. I’d love to be the fifth Kaoh Rong and bring Michaela in as the sixth. I like Troyzan. I don’t mind Brad Culpepper.
Holmes: That’s a ringing endorsement. I don’t mind him.
Fields: (Laughs) You know, I’m open. I’m an equal opportunity employer.

Holmes: Any early targets?
Fields: There are some people I’m worried are wary of me. I feel like JT and Ozzy may, because we have history, may feel like I’m coming for them. It’s probably going to take blood to convince them that that’s not what I’m doing here. I’m a little worried about Sandra too because I have vocalized my opinion on her deserving or not deserving a second win. I was out there with her. And even though I went out early, we played a good amount of challenges that she sat out. I guess the ultimate goal is to make it to the end, so if you do that you should win. However, I’m a game player. I want to have something to say. I won because I did this, this, and this. But, if you want to win because you’re not Russell or Parvati, then I guess a win is a win. I’ve said that. I’m sure she heard it. Little Puerto Rican princess might be holding a grudge there. I get the hotdog vibe from her.

Holmes: You are the first-ever female four-time player.
Fields: I am!
Holmes: That’s something.
Fields: That is. I just have to make it count. I realized there are a handful of people who’ve done that…and when I thought about doing this again, my mind was in so many different places that I honestly didn’t think that I was the only woman to play four times. Even to think about the players it sounds crazy. It just escaped me. Damn!
Holmes: Do you worry that might put a target on your back?
Fields: (Expletive deleted). I hope not.
Holmes: I didn’t before now, Gordon!
Fields: What’re you doing to me? I really didn’t think about that until right now. But, I know they all know it. Bastards.

Holmes: You don’t know anything about Zeke or Michaela. How do you handle that in the game?
Fields: You’d be crazy not to have some questions. Like, what happened? Why didn’t you win? Are you a Russell Jr.? However, you kind of get a feel. Unless I’m completely off, I don’t get that I’ll-burn-your-socks-while-you-sleep vibe from them. Part of it is what you know, and part of it is you have to go with your gut. I’m not getting a hotdog vibe from them yet.
Holmes: I’m trying to figure out the alternate of that. They don’t view me as a hotdog, they view me as a dinner companion.
Fields: Exactly! I’m getting a bowling buddy vibe from them.

Holmes: Alright, pretend we’re on the same beach and I’m trying to get rid of you.
Fields: Bastard!
Holmes: I am. I’d like you to counter the arguments I try to use.
Fields: OK.
Holmes: Cirie is too smart, too savvy. If she got to the final three she would’ve beaten Amanda and Parvati. Let’s get rid of her now.
Fields: I was never on the Brain tribe. You’ve got two Brains here. Aubry made it to the end. I’m smarter than Aubry? I don’t even have good grammar. There are people here who are way more dangerous than me. Look at Aubry. She’s smart, she’s good at challenges. You watch like I watch, she’s way more of a threat than me. The people that I played with? The people I was true to? They won the game.

Holmes: Cirie isn’t the strongest challenge competitor. Let’s get rid of her now.
Fields: I’m not the strongest, but I’m not the weakest. Look around. There’s a two-time winner that’s weaker than I am. She won twice by being right under the radar while y’all are focusing on me.

Holmes: Cirie’s had three chances already.
Fields: I’m not the only person who’s had three chances. Didn’t JT win? Why are you looking at me? You’re going to let there be another two-time winner? A three-time winner? You can always get rid of me down the line.

Holmes: There’s always talk of pre-season alliances in returnee seasons. Are you a part of any? Have you heard any rumors?
Fields: I haven’t heard of any. I’m out of the loop. I went to “The Price Is Right” recently. I talked to Aras on Facetime and Shane wanted me to do his radio show. Other than that, I don’t really stay in contact with people…to my detriment. If there is one, they’re being more discreet than they’ve been in the past. I can’t pick it up. I did see Ozzy and Sierra at “The Price Is Right.” They were getting cozy together. They were like the presenters, the models. But outside of that, in Micronesia they had all kinds of plans I heard after the fact. And you saw how that turned out.

Holmes: You’re not allowed to talk because you’re in lockdown. But, people smile and wink. Is anyone smiling and winking at you?
Fields: You’re overly sensitive because you’re ready to play. Everyone is sitting next to someone. It isn’t overtly obvious. Maybe the people are smarter now. Or, it’s not happening. Everybody smiles at me. There are a few that don’t smile at me like Andrea. I don’t think she’s feeling me. I get the hotdog vibe from her. Oh, and Sarah…she’s giving me that look too. Other people are just now starting to come around. Varner and Debbie, they’ve softened towards me.

Holmes: Any guesses for twists?
Fields: I have no clue. Maybe Exile Island again…I hope it’s that. Maybe old vs. young? I don’t know. I never do.

Holmes: Alright, your opponents are in this deck of cards. Well, except for Michaela and Zeke because we don’t know them yet. I’ll hand you three cards at random. You tell me who’s out first, who you’ll work with and eventually eliminate, and who you’ll take to the end.

Round One: Ozzy, JT, and Tai
Fields: Oh…I like this. I’ll vote out JT because he came for me and he might think I’m coming for him even though I’m not. I’ll align with Ozzy because people would never expect it. They’d expect us to go against each other. I’ll take Tai to the end because I think I can outsmart them.

At this point, a CBS representative and Tai walk by.

Holmes: Let’s let these guys pass. I don’t want them to hear our strategies.
Fields: Are they saying something about me?
Holmes: You’re safe from Tai because he doesn’t eat hotdogs.
Fields: (Laughs) I don’t want him to think I’m a pickle.

Round Two: Troyzan, Sierra, and Jeff
Fields: I’ll vote out Sierra because I don’t know what Ozzy told her about me. I’ll align with Troyzan because he might be trustworthy. He seems to have that vibe. I’ll take Jeff to the end because I think he’s going to annoy people.

Round Three: Tony, Andrea, and Ciera
Fields: I’ll vote out Andrea. She sees me as a hotdog. I’ll align with Tony. I’ll hit him with we’re both from Jersey City. I’ll take Ciera to the end because I think I can beat her in front of the jury.

Round Four: Brad, Caleb, and Sarah
Fields: Ew…I’ll vote out Sarah. She’s looking at me like I’ve had enough chances. I’ll align with Caleb. I think he’ll be true to me. And I’ll take Brad to the end because he’s going to get on people’s nerves.

Round Five: Malcolm, Hali, and Aubry
Fields: Goodbye, Malcolm. Malcolm’s gotta go. He’s giving me the hotdog vibe, too. He’s not going to feel me. He’s into his self a lot. People who are fit like that view me as a charity case. If it came to a vote, I’d be an easy pick for him. Hali, she seems sweet and innocent. I would align with Aubry. I need numbers. And I don’t see much division with the Kaoh Rong four. And I would take Hali to the end. I think I could outtalk her. I could get the mother-with-kids sympathy vote.

Holmes: We’ve got two left. Vote out one and align with the other. I think I know which way this is going.

Round Six: Sandra and Debbie
Three times? Sandra, I’m not going to let you slide under the radar. That’s my job. And Debbie’s good at challenges and she is annoying. And if we lose, I think her aggressiveness and refusal to change her votes might be detrimental to her and beneficial to me.

Don’t miss the two-hour season premiere of “Survivor: Game Changers,” Wednesday March 8, 2017 at 8 p.m. ET.

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

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