Last week Courtney Yates, the 28-year-old Survivor: China runner-up, became the final pre-merge ouster on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. The New York City waitress defended JT’s idol giveaway, speculated on the impact Russell will have on the game and explained why she’d rather hold Jeff’s hat than play another season. –Carrie Bell
You went out swinging in the last two tribal councils.My strength’s that I can attack back in a verbal fight. I’m very articulate in tribals, which is no small deal, as some get undone in that final step.
Did you think you had a shot of staying?I convinced Parvati it was better to keep me, but she was unsuccessful to swing the other two. They were adamant that I had too many Hero connections and ingratiate myself too well. I was surprised a little because I’m so much less of a problem than Sandra.
You’d still like to see a Villain victory?I’m a villain for life! I’m holding a candle for Amanda. She’s my China girl. I know Russell’s horrible, smug and blah, blah, but that’s my team. I’m proud of them.
You’re friends with JT. Will you let him live down giving Russell an idol?JT did what he thought was the best move for him. He’s not in a position where he can blend into the scenery. He’s a huge physical and strategic threat and a past winner. There’s nowhere he can hide. He has to make big moves. I don’t think it was that stupid. He didn’t know Russell was bad. … Just being on the red team doesn’t equate to Russell’s a sociopath … JT was doing what he could, knowing that the villains would target him at the merge and some of his own team don’t like him.
Why align with Boston Rob to begin with?The original alliance was me, Rob, Russell, Danielle, Sandra and Parvati. But Rob and Russell kept getting into scuffles and eventually couldn’t stand each other. Rob is a team player and Russell was off looking for idols on day one. Russell uses fear and I wasn’t afraid of him nor would I let him believe he was controlling me. Tyson and I started palling around because he’s hilarious and Rob wanted in. At the time, Rob was running the show and dominating challenges. I had myself in a plum position as I was buffered on every side by a star with connections. But the Russell-Rob rift kept growing and then the Tyson fubar happened. Rob couldn’t regroup.
Tyson’s theory is Russell, although a great strategist, can never win because he can’t get the votes.You could put a coconut husk next to him and it’d get more votes. I’m most interested in seeing what Russell’s impact is on the game. He’s been green-lighted to burn ’s possessions and sabotage ’s welfare. People are gonna start taking craps in wells, peeing in water and really hurt each other. What’s the difference between that and hiding a machete from 10 who need to eat or burning socks and making them more susceptible to infection?
Two contestants reached the 100-day anniversary this week. Any desire to join that club?The game has evolved into something I don’t care to be a part of. It’s no longer a social game of survival. It’s a too physical game of sabotage and intimidation. I don’t want to drink pee water. I’d be happy to be part of the experience. Just not as a contestant. Maybe I could be Jeff’s hat holder or work at Ponderosa.