On last night’s episode of Survivor: China, Fei Long lost both their reward and immunity challenges. They decided to vote out Christian radio host, Leslie Nease. The clue she received regarding the immunity idol didn’t help her find it in time. Self-described as a Survivor superfan who currently lives in a “Christian bubble”, Nease had been trying to get on the show for years. She wanted to experience something new and step outside of her comfort zone. She walked away feeling like a winner and formed true friendships in China. Today, she talked to BuddyTV, sounding off about her fellow tribe members and spilling secrets we, the viewers, didn’t know.
Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.
Hey everyone, this is Gina from BuddyTV and I’m talking to the latest eliminated tribe member from Survivor: China, Leslie. Hi Leslie, how are you?
I’m great! How are you doin’?
I’m good. So tell me if you were a fan of Survivor in previous seasons and if this was your first year trying out for the show.
Actually huge, like psycho, psychotic fan of Survivor. I love Survivor and watched it since the first episode and I’ve been trying out every season since season 4 … and so, 11 times and I finally was discovered this year and I was on the show and I never got a call before this year, so it was a huge thrill for me to be able to play the game.
Yeah, that’s such a good story when you hear someone who’s been trying out for so many years and they finally get on because some people never tried out and they just sort of happen to be on the show, so it’s great when a fan gets on.
Yeah, diversity. I think it’s great to have people like me, but it’s also good to have people that don’t know what they’re doing, which you know, even me knowing exactly how to play the game … there were so many lines I wasn’t willing to cross that it compromised my game play.
So early on, Jeff took you guys to a Buddhist temple, then you end up on a tribe with people who don’t exactly share your religious views … did being on the show test you with your faith at all?
Oh, it absolutely did. It absolutely tested me with my faith. One of the reasons I did Survivor was because I live in a really kind of a Christian bubble. I mean I’m from the Bible Belt, I do a Christian radio show, I have Christian friends, Christian Family; it’s so easy for me to walk out my faith in a situation like that and I thought, “What and incredible challenge to get out there and not only have the adventure of a lifetime but to see if my faith can withstand it,” and it did but I’m not saying that it was easy, it was really hard. I mean, some things were said that were kinda like digs at me and stuff. I can take it, I know that it’s not personal, but you know I walked out of there with my head high and I made some incredible friendships in the process. I don’t regret a thing. I see where I’m weak now and I see where I’m strong.
If you had stayed in the game longer, would you have been a person who manipulated and lied? Or would you have been honest and loyal to those you stuck with in your alliance?
You know, my plan going into the game was to play with integrity and to play an honest game which I’ve seen other people do. The problem is, when you go with a plan like that, it’s kinda hard to get that plan going if you don’t have people with you who are trustworthy. Day two, they didn’t show this, but on day two, Todd and Amanda came up to me and asked me to be in an alliance with them and James and Aaron … so we had a five person alliance. Those were the people that I had to trust.
When they approached me, I wasn’t sure that I trusted them but I really thought to myself: “If I say no to the majority of the tribe, I’m outta here.” Unfortunately, when I got the clue, they didn’t show that Todd and I had a relationship. Todd and I were really close out there … I mean, he’s a great kid. But the reason I shared it with him was because I was in that five person alliance, I couldn’t share with Amanda because her and Aaron seemed to have sort of a love thing going, you know? The just seemed to really be connecting which, they haven’t shown. My only choice was Todd, and I trusted him.
A lot of people, if he can improve his social game at least, see James as the frontrunner this season, what do you think about that? Because you actually lived with him and know him better than the rest of us.
Well, you know what, I saw him as a frontrunner in the very beginning. I knew that if he could get his social game together, there’s be no stopping him. I worried about him making it through once there would be a merge, you know what I mean? Like because of his strength people were going to try to get rid of him. So I was really wanting to kind of team up with him … but once he got hungry, I mean it, he really got like cranky. He said some things, even last night, that I’m sure he would never say in normal life. You know, I think James is a really good guy and I think that it just got the best of him and I think because of that it was just hard for me to line up with him.
When you watch back the episodes, and you see that Jaime gave you the clue for the idol because she thought you were a weak player, what was your opinion on that? Because you took it as a very genuine gesture.
Well I believe it was a genuine gesture. You know when she told me … when she gave it to me, which they don’t show … she intend to give it to Courtney initially. What they didn’t show is that I was very close with Jaime the whole time she was there … she and I were inseparable. We spent a lot of time together and she changed her mind and decided to give it to me because she didn’t want to see me go anywhere. I think it was a genuine gesture, unfortunately, they can’t edit everything … so … I mean I was a weak player, I don’t believe I was the weakest player though and neither did Jaime … I don’t think. I don’t know, you would have to ask her.
Oh, I will. You know, you said it yourself that you live in a Christian bubble … when you leave somewhere like China and you come home, what do you take away from that experience?
You know I came back home and my faith was much stronger. I’ve challenged myself to get out a little bit more and not to stay sort of in my safety zone of where I’m at. You know, the Bible’s very clear that you’re to be in the world and not of the world and I think that sometimes as Christians we’re afraid to get into the world because we’re afraid that we’re not going to be strong enough or we’re not going to be this enough and that people are going to judge us. You know, we gotta stop being afraid. It was a true test of my faith and I walk away … I swear to you, I feel like I won. You tell me I got voted off third, that’s fine, but I won because I walked out of there knowing what I hoped to find out about myself was true.
We look forward to seeing you at the finale and I just wanted to wish you good luck in life.
Thank you so much, I appreciate your time.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)