By People Staff
Updated December 01, 2020 06:54 PM
Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

She’s played this game twice, and most recently with two of the in her alliance, but Panama: Exile Island and Micronesia veteran Cirie Fields still seemed to have all the power in the Heroes tribe until Palau winner Tom put a little doubt in Tocantins winner JT‘s ear and set a course for Cirie’s blindside. The Norwalk, Conn., registered nurse talks to PEOPLE about blindsides, weight loss and that smell. — Cynthia Wang

So you were blindsided!JT, from Day 1, said he was threatened by me and I should go and, you know, if you feel that way! If I felt that way about a player, it would be my solo mission to get rid of them, so I don’t think there was anything I could have done. JT, and rightfully so, thought, ‘I should get rid of her. Here is my opportunity.’ And that’s how I felt. Here is our opportunity to get rid of one of the stronger players. You have to strike while the iron is hot. Being a fan of the game, although it’s you at the time, you have to say, “Good move! I would have done the same thing.” Being that it’s me, I can’t be bitter. My hat is off to JT. He made a move he should have, and good for him. He might have made the right move!

Was there ever a thought of just gunning for Colby?The plan was for Tom to waste his idol and get rid of one of the stronger players. You saw everyone was on board for that plan except JT, and I don’t blame him for that because although that plan was great for my game, he felt it wouldn’t have been so good for his game. By getting rid of me or Candice, it strengthens his bond with Tom and he still has his alliance with James, Amanda and Rupert to fall back on so it would put him in the perfect position.

Jeff was definitely baiting Rupert and others at tribal council. Do those exchanges affect the vote?Any conversation can sway a vote one way or the other, and this is what Jeff does. He gets to the root of what’s going on and you just have to sit there and hope and pray, cross your toes and try not to react to what he’s saying to make it so obvious that he’s right! You know that Jeff is going to make it hard. That’s why I love this show. I love watching him try to expose what’s going on. That’s his job.

You looked slim at the Survivor 10-year reunion!In the little bit of time on the show I lost 10 pounds, and maybe that will prove to that they’re not bringing out sandwiches and soda! I always get, ‘Once the cameras stop, they give you food, you can tell me.’ No! The cameras never stop and they don’t give you food. I lost 10 pounds in 11 days because you are not eating!

So what’s it like, literally, to be on Survivor for a third time?The second you hit the beach, there is this smell, and it’s not like a bad smell, it’s just that smell. I guess it’s an island smell. You can’t deny this smell and as soon as you smell it, it all comes back to you and it’s not a good remembrance. It’s like, ‘oh my God, that smell again! I’m back again! Where are the bugs? Oh no, I’m going to have to pee outside!” Then you adapt, or you don’t.

Do you adapt?I still hate bugs. It’s funny, doing the confessionals, producers would say, ‘sit right here,’ and I’ll be like, ‘but there’s stuff there!’ And then they are like, ‘oh, come on, it’s your third time. Have a seat.’ But I never get over that! Playing the game three times doesn’t change your perception of bugs and dirt. Monty Brinton/CBS