Monty Brinton/Landov
September 17, 2010 03:40 PM

It’s a new season of Survivor and that can mean only one thing – a new name will be added to the illustrious list of first castaways to get the Probst snuff. On Nicaragua, that unlucky lady was Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff, 48, a former army lieutenant colonel and goat rancher, who spoke with PEOPLE about the distinction from her ranch in Fromberg, Mont.

Your husband pegged you as the first to go. How bad did he feel for jinxing you?To clarify, he said I would be first if I talked a lot, so that’s why I tried not to be as verbal or boisterous as I usually am. I don’t like to blame him, but he felt so horrible. He had been teasing me and he was actually shocked it was me.

After watching the episode, do you think that your verbose tribal plea pushed some people to vote for you?Not at all. You only saw a small group debating me or Jimmy. I think it was decided already. I don’t think I made it worse. I know that’s what Tyrone said but he’s one of nine people. I couldn’t sit there like a bump on a log and do nothing.

Why were you so miffed that no one had asked your age?It was an example of how little people took an interest in me. They didn’t try to get to know me.

Why not mention that you are ex-military? That seems like it would suggest you had lots of useful skills.I don’t think making a different plea about being in the military would have made it better. I think they would have wondered why I held it till then. I should have tooted my horn as soon as we got there. But I was trying to keep a low profile, be likable, not take charge or talk too much and work hard around camp.

Do you think your chances would have been better on a typical mixed-age tribe?I had the best opportunity to do well being on a team with people my age because I wasn’t a target from the beginning just because I was the oldest. I was concerned about my age going in. I was sure I would be the oldest. I wondered if I should lie and say I was younger and then I wondered if they’d believe that.

Does the older team stand a chance?I don’t think the young team has the advantage, because the older team has a lot of life experience and that can help in the game. You tend to overreact when you are younger so I can see the younger people bickering more or holding grudges. You make better decisions when you don’t overreact.

Who are you cheering for?I would love to see Jane win. She’s a great person with a positive attitude. Her heart is really in it. It would really change her life. And she started fire without flint on day one.

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