This week’s episode of “Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers” featured an interesting vote that didn’t add up and ultimately left Desi Williams walking away with an extinguished torch. Find out why she thought she was not going to make it past this Tribal Council and learn about her crazy day when she was told she made it on the show. Here’s her unique perspective (as told to CBS Local’s Adam Bloom).
AB: During the first tribal vote, did you notice that the vote count was off initially?
D: I did not notice the vote count was off. I feel foolish watching back that I didn’t catch on, but I had no clue to be totally honest.
AB: I think that was the first time that that had ever happened where you’re counting votes – I don’t think people necessarily do that. When they were doing the revote – where did you think you stood at that moment before the second vote was cast? Did you think Joe was going or did you feel like it was you?
D: Going into tribal council, I actually thought I was going home. I was actually more shocked when there was a tie and thought that maybe I had a little bit more hope to stick around if there was a tie the first time around. But going into tribal council, I knew there was a pretty large chance I was going home.
AB: What made you feel that way?
D: I just knew I had created a target on my back. I was a strong physical player and in the game – I knew I was a physical threat. Also I had a feeling Chrissy wanted me out. I tried to approach Chrissy one time to talk strategy and it was clear she didn’t really want to have that conversation with me. In that moment, it was like – okay Chrissy doesn’t want to work with me. She’s going to get rid of me because she’s gotten rid of all of the other girls.
AB: I want to go back to that first immunity challenge after the merge. How difficult was that challenge and can you ever see a rotating ball again? How did it feel to win that first immunity and how difficult was it because that was so impressive.
D: I appreciate it. It was certainly a fun win but I’m going to be the a**hole who actually didn’t find it all that challenging. There was a point that I didn’t do well because I would have put a larger target on my back. I wanted to look at Ashley and say – I can literally do this for hours – you should go ahead and drop that ball because you’re just wasting your time and energy. For whatever reason, that came very natural to me. I found a song in my head and the cadence of the song was perfect to keep the ball rolling without me having to go too fast. So I found a song – I sang that song in my head over and over again. I’ve been a yoga instructor for 10 years so balance isn’t really an issue for me. I literally could have done that for hours and of course I didn’t go back to camp and tell anyone. I acted like it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I guess it was the challenge for me – it just came naturally.
AB: Can you share what that song was?
D: Sure – it’s my fight song. It’s “Encore” by JAY-Z – nothing fancy or over the top. I sang that over and over again so that worked in immunity challenge number one – but did not work for me in challenge number two.
AB: Can you talk about the day you found out that you were going to be on “Survivor”? Do you remember what that day was like and how you felt at that time?
D: I actually do remember that day because there was a series of unfortunate events and then nestled in there was, “You’re going to be on ‘Survivor.’” I left work – I had a doctor’s appointment. It was Valentine’s Day and I didn’t have a date, so I was a little bummed about that. So I’m driving back to work and I get a call saying I’m going to be on “Survivor” and I have this ultimate high. Then 10 minutes later, my car literally breaks down and explodes into smoke on the side of the road. I had to get it towed and get an Uber back to work. It was the worst Valentine’s Day ever except for the fact that I found out I was going to be on “Survivor.” That was my little cloud of hope in an otherwise dismal day.
AB: When you look back at your experience – what was the most difficult thing you remember from it? If somebody were to go on the show – what advice would you give them and what was the most difficult thing for you personally being away for that period of time?
D: For me, it really wasn’t being away – it was the mental component of the game. I know I said this to people after the show – especially for people who stay on the show a long time – I just beg them to learn to trust people again. Inherent in this show is that you cannot trust anyone. We all know it’s a game that becomes your life for 39 days and really before that because you’re thinking survivor as you prepare to go on the show “Survivor.” The hardest thing for me was knowing or reminding myself that everybody is lying to me in this game. The only person that has told me the truth is Joe and everybody else is lying to my face. But that’s not real life and I had to remind myself that when I return to real life – it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to tell the truth to people and they won’t use that truth against you. I think that’s the hardest part – reminding yourself that it’s a game. You can come out of the game and return to life hopefully the same person or a better version of yourself than you were before the game. I think had I stayed in the game longer and had done more deceitful things – I don’t know that I would have returned the same honest person I was.