Although she didn't make it far, the 33-year-old says she appreciates the experience

By Steve Helling
October 09, 2013 04:30 PM
Credit: Timothy Kuratek/CBS

Rachel Foulger began dating three-time Survivor contestant Tyson Apostol in 2008, right before he competed on the show for the first time. For years, she has heard all about the ins and outs of the show – but never fully understood it until she played it herself.

Despite being likable and capable, she found herself on the wrong side of the numbers and left the game on Day 7. (She was voted off Survivor: Blood vs. Water in an attempt to weaken Apostol.)

Upbeat about her departure, Foulger, 33, talks about the production, the elements – and whether she had fun playing the game.

We didn’t get to see much of you on the show.
I know! I had some funny moments and funny lines. There was really not much time to show that.

But what we saw was likable. You were good at challenges and easy to get along with.
That’s the thing. There’s nothing I really did wrong that made them target me. It would be tough if they had voted me off because I was annoying or weak. But that’s not what happened. They knew that by voting me off, they would weaken Tyson. Also, my tribe was voting off girls; I definitely had to scramble more because I’m a woman.

Is it frustrating to be voted off due to no fault of your own?
It is. I had bonded with the guys; I tend to get along with guys in real life. I think everyone out there liked me. But they wanted to vote me off in the hopes that Tyson would switch places with me and he’d leave the game.

But he didn’t. Did that bother you?
Not at all. He’s in a very good position. Why would he sacrifice that for me? I’d be going to his tribe at a disadvantage. I wanted him to play his game. The best move I could make was to not switch with Tyson.

Which was harder: dealing with the elements or with the people?
The elements. It was so hot out there. But I’m not a dramatic person so I wasn’t dealing with drama all the time. That makes things much easier.

When did you and Tyson start dating?
A few years back, right before he went on Survivor: Tocantins [in 2009]. So as long as I’ve been with him, he’s been known for being on Survivor.

So you’ve heard him talk about it all the time.
All the time. Laughs. Yeah, I’ve heard a lot about it.

What surprised you about the show?
I was surprised that the production of the show was so huge. There’s like 400 people standing around. You’re doing challenges with a huge audience. There are cameramen, medical people, that type of thing. I thought it was fascinating!

You owe a lot of your ouster to Brad Culpepper. Is he as villainous as he appears on TV?
You know, he’s a funny guy. He’s always talking. Sometimes you’re listening to him and laughing. Other times, you’re rolling your eyes! He’s a nice guy. I liked him.

When you left, Tyson asked you if you had any fun. Did you?
Hmm. I don’t know how to answer that. Survivor is not fun. It’s not like going to Disneyland. So “fun” is not the right word. But I am so grateful for my time on the show and for the opportunity. It was a memorable experience I’ll never forget! I’m so glad I did it.