Both women agree they would have gone farther if the teams hadn't switched up
Both tribes were forced to vote off a member this week on Survivor. Kelly Bruno – a University of North Carolina medical student, amputee and Ironman competitor – and Yve Rojas – a homemaker and mother-of-two – were the unlucky ones sent home. Bruno, 26, and Rojas, 41, spoke with PEOPLE about their eliminations, the mid-game switcheroo and being outlasted by a complainer with bad knees and a girl who justified tackling the disabled for an immunity clue.
How upsetting is it that Daniel complains and threatens to quit constantly yet skates through every week?
Yve: He was not having any fun. He cursed the game, where we were, everything, and I really wanted to play. It was so hard and disheartening to look at Danny’s miserable face as I was walking out and thinking, “You don’t even want to be here.”
Why do you think he changes his tune about quitting at tribal councils?
Yve: Maybe he was in awe of Jeff and didn’t want to disappoint him.
Jeff doesn’t take kindly to quitters.
Yve: That’s what I was banking on. I thought he’d give him a harder time and the others would vote for him out of respect for the game, the fans and those of us who wanted to be there. Of course, I understand the strategy of keeping someone around who will be easy to get rid of anytime.
Did it come down to you saying you had good relationships on the older tribe?
Yve: I knew Alina was a target at the old La Flor so I said I had good relationships to make her think I could help her if we merged, but I also immediately backtracked to put a more negative line on it, which they didn’t show, so I was shocked to hear that concern.
Kelly, on the other hand, you seemed totally surprised to see your name. Was there nothing that made you suspect how they felt about you?
Kelly: Kelly S. had come up to me and Jill earlier that evening and asked us to vote for her because she was having a hard time. She mentioned my name had come up. I didn’t have any reason to think there was anything to it, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I talked to others who denied it. I believed the plan was for the young tribe to stick together and flush out the idol. When Marty didn’t play it, I assumed I was fine because it was going to be a good time to get him out because he’s a real threat.
Do you think their sympathy vote argument was valid?
Kelly: They’re the ones who’d be voting, so wouldn’t they be able to stop a pity vote? It’s not like it’s open to the public. I guess they had sympathy for me. I thought I’d proved very clearly that I didn’t want pity, I wasn’t going to use that strategy and that wasn’t why I was there.
If they hadn’t changed the tribes, would you have gotten farther?
Yve: Absolutely. My core alliance with Marty, Jill and Daniel was working out beautifully.
Kelly: Before the switch, I knew where I stood. I was in a precarious situation and knew I was going to have to work hard to survive. Me and Alina were the next two and we grouped with Fabio and Benry and were working on Chase so I had more potential to do better. But after, I didn’t have a chance to change people’s minds or affect the plan.
Who would you give the money too?
Kelly: Alina was the one person who stuck by me and stood up to Na. She’s a strong individual and playing a hard game.
Yve: Marty. He’s playing the game well. I respect his knowledge and passion to play.
Favorite and least favorite moments?
Yve: Looking at those monkeys was my favorite because it was the first time that something alive and beautiful was apparent. Otherwise it was rain, mud, thorns, bland and dark.
Kelly: My least favorite moment was getting pushed to the ground for a clue. A line was definitely crossed that could not be undone. My favorite thing was watching the sunset everyday and appreciating what I was doing there and the experience.