Beth Perry
November 29, 2004 12:00 AM

The tables have turned on Survivor: Vanuatu – Islands of Fire. With a 4-3 vote, Leann Slaby, 35, became the first female in five episodes to be sent home as the women broke their previously tight alliance. The Milwaukee model talked to PEOPLE after her ouster about falling victim to a bad allegiance and proving her naysayers wrong.

Are you proud of your time on the show?
I was at a strange time in my life because I was going through a divorce. I remember a couple of times when my ex-husband and I would watch the show, and he’d say, “Oh my God, you could never do that.” And you know what? I can! It was hard, and I did it. I’m not a girly girl, and I didn’t cry over dirty fingernails or being hungry.

And now you have a new boyfriend.
We met doing an independent film. He was one of the producers and called me in to do some voice-overs. We started talking, and my marriage had been over, so it was an instant chemistry sort of thing. We?ve been dating since right before I left for the show.

What was the first thing you did after being voted off?
I quit smoking before I went on the show, and sadly, the first thing I had was chocolate and a cigarette. And I think a beer wasn’t too far behind that.

Why did you trust Twila?
She was the first person I made an alliance with. And I was ready to go through with that all the way. (In the end) she was being a little skittish, and that made me uneasy, but I believed her when she swore on her son.

What was it like to find out that she had turned her back on you?
I’m more upset with myself than her. She did what you’re supposed to do. Everybody knows you’ve got to lie to people. I just thought, “I’m one of the final seven and I’ve gotten this far without having to lie to anyone about alliances.” That was my downfall.

In Episode 9, you and Julie shared your challenge prize, chicken wings, with the women but gave the men just bones. What can you tell us about that?
The thing is nobody on that island was starving. We were hungry, but for the most part, we were just tired of the same crappy food over and over. So it wasn’t like I was depriving (the men) of life. It was my reward! Who is to say that I have to give these people a part of my reward?

So have your eating habits bounced back to normal?
It was the strangest thing: (After being voted off) I ate until I was full, and then I kept eating. Your body knows it’s been deprived of food, so you just can’t eat enough. I would eat myself sick. I think I gained back all the weight I lost on the island in two days.

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