The interview went as follows:
Let me first state that I ABSOLUTELY HATE my voice. I have a tape recorder that I use for whenever I do interviews (and my one and only standup comedy routine), and pressing play on this interview, and hearing my booming, weirdly-intonated voice put me off immediately. I almost wish I could remember her answers word-for-word so that I didn’t have to listen to this tape. But, I will soldier on for all of you and your reading pleasure.
I wanted to start the interview by allowing Christina to tell me what the most important topic on hand was, so I asked her what it was she was working on at the moment.
Christina: I’ve been approached by two companies, one is a non-profit organization called the Workplace Bullying Institute, and I’ve been appointed Celebrity Advocate/Spokesperson for them. And, the other is the ‘A Million More’ campaign, which is a health awareness campaign. They have a flu shot initiative, and they just appointed me the spokesperson. This has been a wonderful experience and opportunity that Survivor has provided for me. People have looked up to me, been moved by me, inspired by me and the way I played the game, and if anything, I’m nothing but grateful.
I followed up with a question in regards to her duties and responsibilities with the Workplace Bullying Institute, but at this point in time, all she knows is that she is going to be the Celebrity Advocate, which from her understanding will entail speaking at conferences and other meetings the Institute has throughout its time. I’d imagine the people at the WBI were Survivor fans and watched the season where she had to endure some serious emotional bullying from the likes of the infamous Colton and his lackey Alicia.
Question: Was your season of Survivor the only time you had dealt with bullying, or had you, in your past dealt with other incidents of bullying that make you more prepared for your role with the WBI? – Also, I am making myself sound a lot more intelligent with the way I’m writing these questions, because if you could hear this tape, you’d realize why I never tried to become a journalist with my constant babbling and rambling on for forty extra words I don’t need to say. All while fluctuating from deep-to-high pitch. I can only imagine what Christina thought of me while she was listening to me speak.
Christina: I’d be lying if I said I never dealt with bullying. Everyone experiences bullying, somewhere from their childhood to the present time. The most recent experience I can think of, outside of my season of Survivor, is when I worked at a major corporation, I was actually bullied by my coworker. We were in a sales environment and it was extremely competitive. What happened was that the guy would taunt me, he would cut out photos of me and place them onto cards to mock me, and try and sabotage some of my deals. I would communicate to him that what he was doing wasn’t cool, that we needed to work together, but it just didn’t register with him that he was being an immature, childish jerk about the situation. I took the issue to corporate, and it was found out that he was bullying other coworkers, as well. And, he was eventually removed from the company.
For me, when I was younger, I could never comprehend working at a company, and doing something like this to a coworker of mine. And, then, I started working at a company and realized it would be very easy to do such things. Of course, I don’t have it in my personality to take it to the extent where I’m going to cut out pictures of people and post them on cards, to place on their desks (I’m sure these were made to be uncomfortable pictures or placing her face/body in uncompromising situations), but working alongside some people I’ve worked alongside with in the past, I can see how people end up not liking certain people. Our careers are our livelihoods, and some people take that WAY more seriously than they need to. I don’t want anyone to misconstrue this as me saying bullying is ok or anything like that, because I don’t believe it is commendable in the slightest, but just putting my own experience out there, as well, stemming from the point of view from not realizing how it can happen to seeing how it actually does.
I made a comment about how I was glad her company took her side rather than her coworkers, and allowing his behavior to continue, and she followed up with an interesting remark about not playing the victim, which I believe is an important thing for people who are bullied to remember (that is, the fact that they are NOT to blame, they ARE the victim in this situation, but that does not mean they need to “play” the victim)
Christina: It was never about my side or his, I never think of myself as the victim. Just like in the game (Survivor), I never played the victim part. I was never “oh, poor me” or off in the corner, asking “why is everyone picking on me.” I would always just say “oh, that’s great” and then always just look at the producers saying things like “these people are obviously more insecure than me and picking on me to make themselves feel better about who they are.” So, I just let them do it since I know who I am, and who I was when I entered the game.
Question: On the season, we really only saw that it was Colton and Alicia picking on you. Was it only them, or were there other people involved we didn’t get to see?
Christina: Really, the whole entire game I was ostracized by my tribe. The women’s alliance didn’t want me at all. And, what they don’t show you is that I was playing way too strong at the beginning, I was already strategizing, and I already knew the girls were in an alliance with themselves, which let me outnumbered and they didn’t like the fact that I went over to the guys tribe and tried to form a rapport and a sub-alliance with them, too. And, that is why my name kept coming up all the time. But, I didn’t have a choice, I wanted to stay in the game. So, it was a lot of Alicia trying to get my tribe against me. And, once we merged tribes, her and Colton formed this kind of ’Bad Girls Club’ (insert me laughing here) and pick on me to get me out. Nobody understood why they didn’t like me. They just thought they were the next ones to go, so their way of strategizing was to be mean to me. That was their only strategy.
I would have to say that I don’t remember the exact details from that season, and I know things change by the second on the island, so I don’t doubt that Colton and Alicia’s names were probably being thrown out here and there for voting out, but I wouldn’t even give those two the benefit of the doubt and say that it was their ’strategy.’ Those two were just morons and vile people who don’t know anything other than being @ssholes to other people. We all saw that it wasn’t just Christina that Colton spit his sh*t out of his mouth at, so I don’t think it was their strategy to be mean, they just met up, realized they were kindred spirits and decided to have some fun on the behalf of other people who were playing a game to win $1 million.
Question: Something interesting I’ve always wondered about is that with all the down time you guys have on the island, what is it exactly that you do to pass the time?
Christina: (laughing) Well, what can you do, you don’t have television. You can run off and hide somewhere and strategize with other people or you can be the loner and not strategize. Me, there were times I wanted to be alone rather than talking to people and strategizing, so I would just run off to the beach and just meditate and clear my mind. I would do yoga on my own. It was just very overwhelming. It just wasn’t a place you could go and relax. It was people constantly talking, strategizing, coming up with ideas to form alliances and sub-alliances.
I asked if they did anything fun or anything outside of strategizing.
Christina: We played games. We would hear Alicia sing Lady Marmalade. To me, that was actually torture because she can’t sing. We would make instruments out of some of the things that were left over there. I would go fishing with Jonas a lot. We would go out hunting for crabs, finding coconuts, but even when you were doing that, you were still building alliances at the same time. Every once in a while, we’d talk about what we did back at home, get to know each other, some of us would give out information about who we are and what we do, but that’s about it. We’d search for firewood and fix our shelter to make sure we don’t get rained on.
So, basically it was all a game! And, I guess that is what I like to hear. I would imagine, if I ever did Survivor (and I never will), I’d take it very seriously, but I also know that I have too much funny inside me not to try and make things light-hearted and fun. But, in the middle of the jungle, when all it does is rain, and you have no food to eat, I’m pretty certain I’d go all kinds of nuts and be singing Lady Marmalade, fully nude, while chasing after a chicken that’s not really there, pretending I’m a character from Lord of the Flies, or Wilson from Cast Away.
Question: Speaking of the rain, is it really as bad as they portray it? They always have that one episode where they make it seem like it’s the worst thing in the world, so is it really that bad?
Christina: Um, I would say it’s worse in person. It’s far worse in person. It pours and what people need to understand is that we build our own shelters out of bamboo, stick, and left over rope. And, what happens is that water will just leak out from the top because people don’t know how to build a good enough roof. There are times where we didn’t have a tarp or the tarp would leak, so it was far worse than what you see on television. So, what you see is a 40 minute edit of rain on-and-off, but what you don’t see is that rain has gone on for ten days, non-stop, without even a break of sunshine.
And, now you know why I won’t be doing Survivor. I can’t imagine just sitting on an island, in the middle of some forested area, with nothing to do, surrounded by a bunch of idiots and a chicken or two, with nothing but rain pouring down on me. No thank you. I’ll stick to my still poorly constructed house, but still good enough to keep the rain on the outside of it!!
It’s at this point where I actually tell Christina that I could never do Survivor, she asks me why, and I tell her it is mostly because I love me some food. She responds by saying Big Brother is probably more up my alley. Why yes it is, Christina! Why yes it is. Perhaps you can mosey on over to the CBS studios and put a good word in for me! I’d appreciate that, thanks.
Question: (this is the question I’ve always wanted to ask an ex Survivor contestant) I know that 39 days is a long time, I wasn’t sure if any of you on your season happened to find anyone doing anything sexual, and not necessarily a couple (if you catch my drift)? I didn’t get to ask it exactly that way, but I thought she still understood what I may have meant.
Christina: There was absolutely no love connection on our season. I think the men versus women break up was interesting, because the women made a pact to only align with other women, and not with the men at all. That is not the way I wanted to play at all. I wanted to be aligned with the guys. It’s interesting how it played, but because the girls were so adamant about not aligning with the guys, there was no love connection at all in the game.
I tried following up by saying something about walking up on a guy who may have just been doing something he shouldn’t have (jerking off – I probably should have just said it), but she didn’t understand what I meant, I don’t think. No worries, Christina. I was embarrassed to go back and try and make you understand, so if you felt like answering now, you know how to contact me! If not, it’s ok, I’m quite sure 90% of the readers of my blog don’t care to know this anyway.
Question: Going back to the bullying, with Colton, I wasn’t sure if you remember something that he said/did that sticks out in your head that they didn’t show or perhaps edited out?
Christina: Well, there was a lot of confusion, a lot of people think that if I hadn’t helped Colton, I’d have been the next one voted out. Colton had been telling me that it wasn’t going to be me, it was going to be Alicia to be the next to go. I don’t know if that was true, it was his words, not mine, but that is what he claimed to me that was going to be the game changer there. That’s it, really, with that.
I was looking for a little bit more juice from that question, perhaps Colton saying something that no network could ever possibly air, but my guess is that she is probably just so tired of hearing about Colton that she didn’t want to answer anymore. Or, perhaps, they truly did show us all the worst of him.
Question/Comment: I’m guessing that you don’t speak to him outside…
Christina: (emphatically) I do. I don’t talk to anyone from my cast on a normal basis, because I do have a life, but I think that they are all doing pretty well. I’m cordial with all of them.
Question: Is there anyone that you are more than cordial with or hang out with?
Christina: Well, they all live in different states, so it’s kind of hard to have that kind of relationship with someone. The only one I probably have a great friendship or connection with would be Troyzan (after seeing some of Christina’s modeling pictures, and Troyzan being a swimsuit model photographer, I can see this connection). Also Sabrina, Jay, Jonas, Monica, and I haven’t talked to Nina or Courtney in a while. People forget that there is life after Survivor.
I think we all forget that because of all the past contestants from this show, and other reality shows who go on to try and pursue careers in Hollywood. There are a ton of those wafting around like a bad fart, so I think we always assume that these reality contestants all move to LA after the season ends, move into an apartment with each other, hook up constantly, and just try and make it back onto TV or in the movies somehow. I know Sugar has done a few TV shows (she was on Weeds – naked, at that) here and there. And, I won’t run down the list of others who have tried, because that would just take all damn day and I’m already running at two hours to finish typing up this interview, so I need to get on with it so I can get on with my day!!
Question: I can’t let you go without asking you what your thoughts/feelings are about this season of Survivor (Philippines) so far?
Christina: Yes, I have a show called AfterBuzzTV (afterbuzztv.com), where I recap Survivor Philippines right now.
Question: Do you have any favorites so far?
Christina: I can’t say I have any least favorites right now. I knew Zane was going to go. He was hilarious person and I wanted him to stay a little longer, because he’s just so funny. The Angie girl, I don’t know what inspired her to mention cookies when asked about being voted off, but I didn’t understand that one. I think that was my favorite.
This is when we were both just laughing. I still have to say that moment is probably going to go down as the funniest moment in Survivor history. I’m sorry that it had to be Angie, but wow! That was just dumb on any, and every level of the meaning of the word dumb.
(Christina continued): My favorite for the win, well at Survivor AfterBuzz, we have our Survivor fantasy pool (which I have to say is a great idea that maybe I’ll try and incorporate into my next seasons blog – for Big Brother as well as Survivor), and my picks were Abi-Maria Gomes (the big-booty Brazilian chick), Malcolm, Denise, and I also have Dana.
I’d say that is a fairly strong fantasy team for this season of Survivor. I think it’s too early to choose who is a favorite to win this season, but I can see a scenario where Denise wins this season. Abi-Maria is way too f*cking crazy, Malcolm is too strong of a guy so you know they’re going after him soon, and Dana, I don’t even remember. So, there’s that. But, you never know with Survivor, do you?
Question: If you could have had the first pick in the fantasy draft, who would you have taken?
Christina: (excitedly) Mike Skupin. I wanted Mike Skupin but someone took him.
That was all I had for Christina, and at this point I asked her to send us off with whatever she wanted Survivor fans to know most about what she has going on. She wanted everyone to check out afterbuzztv.com every Wednesday at 9:00 PST to watch her and her co-hosts do the recaps for Survivor, and to comment, as well. She said it’s a great way to interact with the season, and also former contestants, so check it out when you have the chance to do so.
I would like to thank Christina for taking the time out to speak with me. She was traveling the next day, so I know she was busy and may not have wanted to take up too much time speaking with me, so I left a million questions on the table for perhaps another time, or another former contestant. I’m quite sure she didn’t want to have me ask what she thinks it takes to win or what she would have done differently during her season, or even what it was like to take a dump in a rain forest, with wild chickens running around! Although, I’d imagine that is the ideal time for a chicken to run up on you and, literally, scare the sh*t right out of you!! Sometimes, you need some help to get it out, and I’d imagine a wild chicken might just do that.