Last night, we saw a lot of you telling stories and chatting. Was that a misrepresentation of you?
Absolutely. First of all, I would have to be nuts to say “Oh yeah, that was me.” But, honestly, if you go by the persona that you have seen of me and, you know, we're almost halfway into the season, have I been an annoying talker throughout the season? I think if that's who I really was that's who I already would have been being. What I mean by that is, for example, Rocky has been that from day one. You can't just overnight become an annoying talker. Which, all of a sudden, overnight, it seems like I had become an annoying talker. I really think that they were grasping at straws, Rocky was paranoid, and for some reason started feeling threatened by me or had something against me. Maybe he was upset that I didn't think his penis was a pretty sight. Who knows? You never know people's egos and maybe he decided, “Forget her, I need to come up with something,” and happened to catch me in that moment where Michelle and I were having a little down time. Certainly, you must imagine that they had a lot of downtime where the guys were having guy talk.
Overall, were you happy with the way CBS portrayed and with the persona of you that they created?
For the most part I am pleased that I was portrayed as someone who kept it together and was respectful and kept her dignity throughout the game. A mental player who never gave up. They never showed me weak or any weaker than the rest of my tribemates in the state that we were in. I wish they had shown...I have a real sarcastic and feisty side that did come out several times and the scheming I did that was a little mean. There was also that side to me that I had to do at some points to try and save my back when I thought I was vulnerable.
So, I wish they had shown more of the feisty and sarcastic sense of humor that I have and that I'm known for. My friends were like “Where's that crazy Rita with all of her funny comments?” I'm sad they didn't show that part of me. I'm sad they didn't show me digging for the immunity idol, you know, because I must've looked stupid. I think Sylvia said on the show that she told me where it was and people must've wondered, “What is that idiot Rita doing not looking for it?” Those, I think, were things I wish they would've shown, but, for the most part, I am very pleased with the persona because I was able to do something that is so hard to in this game which is keep my integrity and leave with some class.
How confident were you going into that last tribal council?
Oh, honey, I knew that it was going to be me about five minutes before we went to tribal council. It was literally that late into it. Before those five minutes, I was 100% confident that it was going to be Anthony.
Who are you rooting for as the season goes along?
I'm rooting for Michelle. I'm rooting for Edgardo. I am rooting for Alex. I would say those are my three picks.
Any final thoughts?
I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and my kids are thrilled. I'm the mom that rocks now. I hope to be an example for other single parents to keep dreaming and not give up. I can't thank everyone involved with Survivor enough, from the first person on the first rung of the ladder all the way up to Mark Burnett for such a class act production. I'm so grateful for the experience and I can't wait, if I get another chance to go out there, I'm all over it.
(Interview conducted by Oscar Dahl)