Gillian was able to return to her roots when she joined the 17th season of Survivor, located in Gabon, Africa.  This native of South Africa is a long time fan of Survivor and has been trying to get cast on the show since the very beginning.  Gillian may have been aware that her age could be her undoing in the game but she came into Survivor with as much energy and personality as anyone else.  Her tribemate Michelle was voted out first but when the Fang tribe lost their third challenge in a row, they decided that Gillian was the one who needed to leave.  Today, she spoke to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview, weighing on Michelle, her tribe, and what she might have done differently.

Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.

Hey everybody, this Gina from BuddyTV and today, I’m talking to Gillian from Survivor: Gabon. Well, in your introduction video on CBS’s website, it sounded like you had been watching Survivor for quite some time so were you a fan of the show coming in?

Oh, I’ve been a huge fan of the show ever since I caught the first episode that I saw of Borneo. I have been a huge fan. I love Survivor and anything Survivor. I’ve wanted to get on for 8 years and tried everything I could do to get a part and I did it.

Over the years, do you have a favorite Survivor season or player?

I don’t know if I have a favorite season because I basically end up watching it all the time. My favorite players have been – Cirie, in that she was kind of like an everyday woman that had gotten up and did something different which is what I love in people. I think it’s great when people will get up and do something that’s different. Most of the other players were some of the men players and that’s Terry Dietz and I love Yul and I loved Earl so all of those players have been my favorites.

On the first episode, we got to see that you and Bob made the first picks for the tribes. Was that a blessing or a curse?

I actually knew it was going to happen because I know that the Africans revere their elders. When I saw that Bob had made the cast, I knew absolutely that we were going to be doing the picks. In a way, it was a blessing because then, I wouldn’t be left on the mat which sometimes happens to people. So that was a blessing that that wouldn’t happen. It was a curse, in a way, in the strange way that the whole tribe fell.

Why do you think Michelle didn’t get picked at all, in the beginning?

I don’t why she didn’t, that’s what’s kind of strange. All I can think of is that – you know, I wasn’t watching everybody on the mat, down there on the line, I was watching people as they were coming up. I’m wondering if as each person was picking, they were obviously looking at the line to see who else they were going to pick and I’m wondering if Michelle gave off some negative vibes from the get go or something. I don’t know what it was but I didn’t look at the line because I had made my pick.

Did you have an idea that you were going to be a target, early on, in the game?

I knew I would be a target, based on my age because generally, the older players are not looked upon favorably because they are not able to perform as well as the younger people. Unless you have a few twists that keep you going or a good alliance that keeps you in, it’s an issue because of the age and I knew that was going to be a possibility.

What do you think the Fang tribe needs to do in order to turn things around this season?

Oh God, they need to lose some of their negativity and their complaining attitudes.  Start working together and pull it together.  Work as a team.   There’s no teamwork at all.  I kept saying it was like, we were a bunch of mice being scattered in every direction.  They need to pull it together.

Well, I know you didn’t get to spend a lot of time in the game but was this experience everything you had hoped for or do you have any regrets at all?

It was everything I hoped it would be and it was everything I hoped it would not be. I’ve always said, for the 8 years I’ve been applying, “I just hope I don’t get on a really bad tribe.” Unfortunately, I hadn’t read the book The Secret, where the law of attraction is pointed out that whatever it is you’re saying is what is going to happen.


Right. I read 64 books out of preparation and I didn’t read that one. All these years, I’ve been saying, “God, I hope I don’t get on a tribe that is negative and complaining,” and that happened. That was sort of everything. In that way, my tribal experience was everything I hoped it wouldn’t be. I did not like it at all. The actual game itself was awesome and amazing and Survivor is amazing! It is the most awesome, awesome thing. My biggest regret, and they both relate to Crystal – one is picking her and the other is not outing her, because I knew she was an Olympic runner and I wish I had said that.

Well, we liked watching you on the show and I’m sorry you went out so early, Gillian.

Aw, me too, Gina but hey, that was the path of my destiny. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have picked Crystal. That was where my whole downfall started but hey, I thought it was going to work and it didn’t.

Well, I appreciate your time and thank you so much.

Thank you so much, Gina. I appreciate it.

– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)

Gina Scarpa

Staff Writer, BuddyTV