“It was like I was always trying to get out of the deep end of the pool,” the insurance adjuster, 39, tells PEOPLE of competing on the CBS reality competition before being voted out on Wednesday’s episode.
Now back home in Granada Hills, Calif., the mother of two reflects on her experience on the show and reveals the strategic moves she made that never made it on air.
Do you regret not trying to go along with Michelle‘s plan to get rid of David?
I just didn’t think it was going to work out because I knew Chris had Zeke in his back pocket and Michelle wouldn’t be able to sway him to go against Chris’ plan.
Why do you think you always found yourself at the bottom of the tribe?
I feel like I had a target on my back from day one and it never went away. I think that happened because I gravitate towards people I have shared interest with. I got along with all the ladies, but I just had more things in common with Rachel and we bonded faster. I think the other ladies saw me off with Rachel and thought we were strategizing, but that wasn’t the case. I wasn’t even thinking about strategy on day one. I was just trying to establish relationships with everyone.
Did you ever find someone you could fully trust?
No. I thought Ken and David and I were really close, but it’s clear now that I didn’t know everything. I didn’t know Dave had the idol or that Jessica had the advantage. Ken is the one who knew everything. Everyone confided in him – including myself. I had doubts about David because he’d flipped before, but Ken was the one who had most of my trust. He’s a well-rounded, trustworthy, good guy. His only problem is that he plays a little emotionally. Other than that, I think he has a really good chance of going far.
How did the twist of being separated by age bracket impact your game?
It impacted it a lot! Most people I hang out with are much younger than me. I’m a Gen X but I’m young at heart. I’m always with my kids, so I’m learning the newest trends and identify more with the care-free spirit of Millennials. They are always willing to try things in unconventional ways and aren’t set in their thinking. I think that’s why they bested us in some of those challenges.
What did your 18-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter think of your game play?
My son has this “whatever” attitude. He’s like, “Whatever, mom.” He only watched the premiere episode with me. But my daughter is my biggest cheerleader and watches every episode with me and critiquing my game. She’s, like, “Mom, why did you do that?” and “Mom, why were you so slow on the balance beam? That’s why you almost got voted out!” She’s so real and in my face about it.
Anything you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I would have gotten to know the Gen X men a little more. If I had bonded with them, I think I would have made it further. I did try with the girls. When Paul went home, I went to all the Gen X women and tried to start an alliance with them and Ken, since he never voted with the guys. I wish I’d been able to make that happen.
What did you learn about yourself while playing the game?
I learned that I’m more trusting than I thought. I thought I was apprehensive, but now I know that I am very loyal. But after going on Survivor, I have come to realize I can love and trust people but also acknowledge they have flaws. That’s been an important lesson to learn not just in the game but for life, too.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.