It was not a surprise to Hope Driskill when she was voted out of Survivor: Caramoan.
After all, Survivor is a numbers game, and her alliance was in the minority.
After the Fans lost their second straight immunity challenge on Wednesday, the 23-year-old pre-law student knew she was probably going to be going home, despite her efforts to redirect the vote towards Shamar Thomas, the volatile Marine sergeant.
Speaking to PEOPLE, Driskill talks about what she did after being voted off, and how difficult Shamar was to live with.
Which former Survivors did you identify with?
Definitely Parvati. And Brenda [Lowe] and Andrea [Boehlke]. The thing that I liked about those three were that they were incredibly competitive, strong, women. But they also had fun on the show. They were fun, they were playful and entertaining.
You were voted out, and Shamar was spared by his alliance. Allie called him "a waste of life." What was your take?
He’s so much worse than you see on TV. What you see doesn’t do him justice. His strategy was to make camp life miserable. He wanted to make everyone around him miserable, and he was very successful at doing that. He really didn’t want to be there, and I tried to deal with him as best as I could, but he was a nightmare to live with.
But he did try to save you. On the beach, he told you to vote for Eddie. If you had done it, you’d still be in the game.
It was very hard for me to watch that scene. He was essentially telling me how to vote. But when you’re out there on the island, you question everything. There’s no trust, and I certainly didn’t trust Shamar. So I decided to stick with my alliance. Ultimately, it didn’t turn out the way I wanted.
Do you regret not flipping on your alliance?
Knowing everything I know now, I still think I would have done what I did last night. I am a loyal person. That’s how I wanted to play my game. Yes, I didn’t get as far as I wanted to, but I still woke up this morning proud and I didn’t have to throw anyone under the bus.
But your role models are three dangerous women who backstabbed their way through the game.
I know. But Survivor is a crazy, crazy game. That’s what makes it so exciting. You never now what’s going to happen. But I decided to leave with my self-respect.
Your tribe lost a nail-biter of a challenge. Was it as close as it looked?
It was! The lead went back and forth, and we could have won. Immediately after we lost the challenge, there was an extreme feeling of helplessness. That has to be the worst feeling ever. I knew it was probably going to be me.
You my have lost because of Laura’s poor swimming skills. Did you try to deflect the vote to her?
I went to Matt and Michael, and told them that Laura was one of the weakest players. Not because I wanted to vote off Laura, but then I could put some fear into Laura that she was going, and she would come vote with us. But it didn’t work.
And you tried to take out Shamar.
There was a glimmer of hope that maybe they’d all turn on Shamar, because he was making everyone miserable. After he talked to me and told me what the vote was going to be, I went back to the tribe. I figured they wouldn’t get rid of him for being miserable, but maybe they’d vote him off for being untrustworthy, but that didn’t work either.
What happened when you were voted out?
It’s complete disappointment. You want to beg Jeff not to snuff your torch and to let you stay! So I walked down this long, narrow path – the most miserable walk ever. It’s a walk of shame. There was a tiny 1 percent feeling of relief that I got to go eat food and take a shower. I ate like 10 slices of mango and a huge bowl of pasta!
And you didn’t have to be with Shamar!
I was ready not to be surrounded by so much drama and Shamar yelling. But honestly, I would have sacrificed being with Shamar to keep playing the game.
Would you change anything?
There’s so much of what happens that never makes it on the show. Our alliance did everything we could to stay alive, and I’m happy with the way that I played the game and stuck with my strategy the entire time. In the end, I didn’t turn on anyone and I played the game as a loyal person. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get as far as I would have liked. But looking back on it, I wouldn’t change a thing.