The video gamer was sent home in the season's first blindside

By Patrick Gomez
Updated September 29, 2016 06:50 PM
Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

Mari Takahashi has summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro, but nothing prepared her for being blindsided on Wednesday’s episode of Survivor.

“I feel like I’ve been in limbo since I was voted out but seeing it on TV makes it all very real now,” Takahashi, 31, says of being the first millennial to be voted out on Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.

While still wrapping her head around her elimination, the professional video game player reflects on the behind-the-scenes moves that sent her home and reveals to PEOPLE that Paul Wachter – who was showing symptoms of a possible heart attack on Wednesday’s episode – wasn’t the only castaway who was visited by the medic.

Did you have any idea you were going home?
I didn’t realize how much of a game player Michelle was. I saw her as a siren from the very beginning because I knew she was beautiful and I kind of assumed she was wickedly dangerous and I guess my intuition was correct. Everyone was watching Figgy because she was loud and out there, but Michelle is the one lurking in the shadows, which is way more dangerous.

Did you realize people were already looking at you as a threat?
When we got out on that island, our world became just nine people. That strips away everything you think about yourself. I remember having a moment on the island that I just thought ‘I’m being 14-year-old high school Marni who is scared to talk to the cool kids. I stuck with people I felt were more like me and the kind of people I would hang out with at home. I should have spent more time talking to Michelle and Figgy.

Was Michaela right to believe Michelle when she told her she’d be the next person voted out after Figgy?
Michaela was the easy vote, just because she didn’t get along with everyone on the tribe. But I don’t think Michaela was smart to vote me out. Michelle was really smart. She knew Figgy was on the chopping block and correctly assumed that she would probably be next. As a tribe, we were not going to get rid of our strongest athletes, so Michelle would be next to go from the Triforce … which is a weird name for their alliance since there were four of them. They really should study their root words.

Were you surprised to see the medic have to visit Paul?
Seeing Santa Claus almost have a heart attack was heartbreaking! We had no idea that happened but a couple of people on our tribe got severely dehydrated and had to be treated by the medics – but nothing that near to what happened to Paul. We all knew we were more dehydrated than we should be and out in the sun more than we should have been. I don’t know why that was. We had fire so we had enough water, but several people got sick.

Were the Millenials surprised to lose a physical competition to the Gen X tribe?
Our tribe is outmatched in strength and power just by Ken alone but as a tribe, we all run smaller than the Gen Xers. We’re all much shorter. Maybe we didn’t get enough milk when we were babies.

Do you think you would have lasted longer on the Gen X tribe?
I do wonder if I wouldn’t have gotten along better with the Gen X tribe. I’m a true millennial who will never have a desk job, but I came from a strict, rigid, old-school background of Russian ballet technique. I grew up with the standards that you have to earn your stripes. But at the same time, millennials were more likely to be fluid when it comes to gender alliances. But you can see a boys club forming on the Gen X tribe which I think is because it’s more of an old school thought. I do love that Ken is a part of their weirdo group, though. It’s comforting to see that this statuesque, walking Ken doll has confidence issues too.

Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.