Last night, Sylvia Kwan
became the third member of Ravu to be voted off of Survivor: Fiji
. The Ravu camp has not been the benficiary of this year's twist, having to survive with only a pot and a machete. They have yet to win a challenge and are all weak and hungry and thirsty. Sylvia Kwan was pegged as a bossy leader from early on and, combined with her two stints on Exile Island, made her the vote of choice in last night's tribal council. Sylvia was kind enough to talk to us today about her time on Survivor
Can you tell us how you found yourself on Survivor? Was it something you always wanted to do?
Not even close. It's probably the last thing I wanted to do, but what happened was I was at a restaurant in Santa Monica for my son's 18th birthday, we had a big party there. And there I was discovered by casting agents for CBS saying, "You've got to be on Survivor, we're looking for somebody just like you!" And I was like, "No, no no!"
So you were a reluctant Survivor?
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When you first got to the island, you were all grouped into one camp, everyone is together, and you come across all the supplies for the new camp. Were you pretty excited to put your architectural expertise on display?
Regrettably, yes. I was so excited because I'd never seen anything like it on Survivor. So I said, "Oh my god, this is a chance for me to really step up and do something really fun and help the tribes out and build something great." But then I thought, "Uh-oh. Maybe not so good because now my head's poking up above the radar.” And so both thoughts flashed through.
Would you have done something differently if you had the chance? Could you have pretended that you didn't know what you were doing?
It was actually pretty easy to have done this and I didn't do it. Because what I said was, "Oh yes, I'm an architect, but we need somebody who knows building so is there a contractor?" And Gary raised his hand. And what I could have done right at that moment was say, "Oh God, thank God Gary that you're here because these plans are drawn, that's what I do, I draw the plans. You build it, here, and I'll do whatever I can to help you."
Can you tell us how bad Exile Island is really? We don't get to see a whole lot of it on the show.
I know, it went really fast this time, they usually show a lot more of Exile. It was pretty, sort of, devoid of anything and the sea snakes, it was the only place I saw sea snakes. They were really prevalent over there. They were in the water so you were never quite safe anywhere, except on top of the tower I really was safe. That's where I slept, by the way, because I had to run away from the snakes. The only thing edible there was the coconut and there we a few unripe fruits there. That's it!
How big a disadvantage do you think your stay on Exile Island was, just in terms of building an alliance and whatever lead to you being voted off?
Well, the first time to Exile was bad enough because it meant that they had 24 hours to figure out what's wrong with me and so on and so forth. And then after that challenge, because they couldn't vote me off, they voted Jessica off, but I'm telling you if I wasn't on Exile, they would have voted me off that first night. They loved Jessica, they didn't want to vote her off but there was nobody else tp vote off, except maybe Rita, but she came back and saved herself. So, when I came back I felt a certain coldness, as cold as ice. And, you know what I found out later on? They were all mad at me because I had divided the tribes and they didn't feel like I divided it very well because they were the losers.
Did you divide the tribes as equally as you could?
Well, I had a different agenda, unfortunately, at that time, because the night before Dreamz had come to me and he said "Oh Sylvia, I got to tell you something. 10 of us already formed an alliance against the nine of you while you were building the shelter. We were on the beach yesterday and we formed an alliance and the two leaders are Liliana and Rocky. And here are the other names." So they gave me all the names. And that was at night. Oh, and he said they were going to vote all the old people off first. So I said "Oh my God,gso talk to the older people and see if you can get them to talk to others and let's get an alliance of 10, I'll come over to you." So really that happened late that previous night and the next morning I talked to a couple of the older people, but then boom we were off to a challenge where I had to divide them up right then and there. So, the only information I had was what Dreamz had told me and I never got a chance to verify it.
Do you think Dreamz was telling the truth?
To this day, I still don't know.
They edited you as sort of bossy, but when we talked to Jessica, she said that you weren't that way at all. Are you upset with the way they portrayed you?
What should they have shown that they didn't?
Well, I was a much more collaborative person and, in fact, Gary was every bit a part of the construction as I was, every bit. And they cut him out completely. And I'm not sure why they did that. Maybe to simplify the story, to make me the one leader. And then it's just easier to pinpoint me and then vote me off. But let me give a change, let's twist our mind for a second here, if Gary had in fact taken over the construction project and got it done, what would they have called him?
Never, they never call a guy bossy, never. Have you thought about that? And as soon as a woman gets up and does her job, which is my job, it's not even something that was a stretch at all, it's something I do everyday. And I did it very collaboratively like I do in real life, and look what happened. They call me bossy.
Do you think it's either/or? Either you are the leader or you just kind of slink back? Is there an in-between role that you think you could have taken?
The best example of an in-between on our team is Earl. He's really quietly, but in the background, strongly shaping the whole outcome of our tribe anyway, right? Just watch him. When he was on the tribe, nobody touched his people. Lindsey walked off and Erica had the moment in the game. We were able to vote her off because Earl wasn't there. As soon as Earl came back and we wanted to vote Anthony off, he was blocking it and that's why I lost. So, he's strong but quiet. I would have liked to have been that kind of guy.
What was your confidence level going into tribal council, did you think you had a good chance to stick around?
To me it was 50/50. Me or Anthony. Even though everybody had assured me, especially Michelle twisting the knife at the end. She was never nice to me the whole time. I don't know why, I don't know. So that was kind of insulting.
Is there anyone you are rooting for?
Well, you know, I keep thinking that it would be such a great story if Dreamz won. A formally homeless guy? Winning a million? I mean, could you imagine how big that story would be? S,o I'm kind of rooting for him. Financially, it'd be great if he won.