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Sometimes "Survivor" sucks. You go through months of auditions, you get a million immunization shots, you fly halfway around the world, and then you're arguably the weakest person on a six-person tribe that loses the first immunity challenge.
Man, if only the Heroes had a few extra days to stew in Alan’s…unique…strategy.
I spoke to Katrina the morning after her elimination and had a chance to ask her about Alan’s intensity, JP’s strip search, and Chrissy’s idle idol hands…
Gordon Holmes: It looked like the early tribe dynamics were you and Chrissy, JP and Ashley, and Alan and Ben. How accurate was that?
Katrina Radke: Not so accurate. It was how it was portrayed. I feel like there were a lot of times where it shifted. There were times where I could easily be working with Ashley and JP. There were times where Alan was talking to me about working with him and Ben. There’s a lot more than what’s seen.
Holmes: How close were you Chrissy? They portrayed you two as the “Mom Squad.”
Radke: She was out to get me from the moment we got on the boat. (Laughs)
Radke: Yeah. I love Chrissy, she’s a great person. She admitted that she was very fearful about being the first one going home. Also, because I’m the same age as her, she was threatened by that. And I felt that. If I did something well, she’d try to negate it. Little things like that would happen. I tried to embrace the enemy and love her for who she is. This game brings out a lot of paranoia obviously, but underneath that is a real person. I said, “Why don’t we work together?” And that was very early in the game.
Holmes: That seems to answer my next question. A lot of people were wondering why Chrissy didn't play the Super Idol® for you.
Radke: Of course.
Holmes: So on day three, she goes into her bag and finds this little surprise from Ryan…did she act differently afterward?
Radke: No, we’re doing so many confessionals at that point. We’re not all hanging out together. So, I didn’t know.
Holmes: I wanted to get your opinion on something “Survivor: Cagayan” and “Survivor: Second Chance” alum Kass McQuillen said last night on Twitter after you were eliminated.
Anyone who disputes that being the 40+ mom on Survivor is the hardest to play needs to rewatch this episode. Sad but true #Survivor
— Kass McQuillen (@KassMcQ) September 28, 2017
Holmes: Now, we have a situation where you’re an Olympic athlete, and you were still considered to be the least valuable tribe member.
Radke: You know, that’s funny. There was a moment at Tribal where Jeff asked Chrissy…he called her on the fact that she’s so stressed about being older. And he looked to me and said, “Do you feel that way?” And I said, “No.” Honestly, I know what I’m capable of, this is going to sound bad, I don’t look like I did when I was twenty, but I’m still very strong. I was not worried about what my capabilities were about physical challenges or living out there. I was actually really excited about it. What surprised me was people had perceptions, and when people have perceptions they need to feel that how they see the world is true. If they think a 47-year-old mom can’t do anything, they’re going to try to prove themselves right.
Radke: I remember JP at one point saying, “Oh, let me carry that for you.” And I was just laughing. And one time we were throwing stones to open coconuts. When I opened them, they were so amazed. Am I that woman who can’t do anything? Am I that woman that sits around and creates drama? Or, am I more a 20 year old in a 47-year-old body? It was probably confusing to a lot of people.
Holmes: Did you let anyone know that you’re a former Olympian?
Radke: I did. I remember telling JP about it specifically, and Alan. It was all cool. Alan told me he was a pro. I think I told everybody. And it wasn’t so much to impress them, I wanted them to know I was a straight shooter and they could trust me.
Holmes: So, you’re on the bottom. And I’m trying to think of what arguments I’d use to get people to get me to stick around. You’re in Fiji, there are going to be swimming challenges. Olympians have next-level work ethics…
Radke: I’ve never felt like I’ve had to sell myself. I’ve always just shown it so people knew. So, it was weird to try to get my point across. That’s not my normal nature. I’ll go to bat for myself if I have to. But, I knew that the decision was already made. Alan used my name to tell JP and Ashley that they had the idol. I could’ve worked with JP and Ashley, but they didn’t trust me after that. And when you’ve lost that trust, I didn’t have time to get it back. Maybe I could’ve made a big scene, but the funny thing is, on day two…I just kind of knew and was calm about it. It’s like I had a higher knowing or an intuition. I said this in an interview, a confessional that, “I’m going home tomorrow.” The producer was like, “What?!” (Laughs) Sometimes you just kind of know. When I first saw my tribe, I knew these weren’t the people I had connected with at Ponderosa. I think energetically I was not a match with that group.
Holmes: When Alan blew up on the beach with the whole, does-JP-have-an-idol strip search…is that when he used your name?
Radke: Yeah, Alan came over to Ben and he whispered in his ear. And before that, Alan and I had gone for a walk and he shared with me how he’d like to work with me, but he wished we had gotten together earlier because he had this alliance. Ashley and I were talking together, probably for too long, and people freaked out. Alan apologized to me after the fact for using my name. It happens pretty fast as far as people getting paranoid. Ben asked me if it was true (EDIT: That Katrina had told Alan that Ashley and JP had an idol) and I said, “No, Alan just had a bad moment.” Alan’s a great guy. I love Alan. This game may have been a little bit too much for him.
Holmes: All we saw last night was super intense Alan. Katrina, you’ve got to tell me there’s another, laid-back gear to this guy.
Radke: Oh yeah, he can be very chill. I think the game brought out the paranoia in him.
Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let's start with Ashley.
Radke: (Laughs) So much is coming to my head…he’s very sensitive.
Holmes: Let’s finish off with Chrissy.
Radke: Oh, she’s sensitive too.
Holmes: It's so rough being the first one out, especially in a six-person tribe season. Was there anything that happened that you wish we had seen?
Radke: Yeah, there was this moment where I was looking for the idol and there was this crab coming out of this tree. I really wanted to see that footage. (Laughs) It was pretty funny. I’d like to have that for my own memory book. I wish they’d have shown the whole thing of what happened with Alan. And a lot of things I said at Tribal would give a different perspective of how I played the game. But, I know how I was and I feel good about how I played.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes