“I Wish the Fans Had Been More Strategic” – An Interview with Survivor: Micronesia’s Tracy
by David Bloomberg -- 03/20/2008
Tracy tried to oust Ozzy for two weeks running, but was foiled each time. Did she feel like Chet left her in the lurch? Did he explain why he wouldn’t help her with the vote last week? What does she think of Joel? And why did she spend her tenth anniversary on Exile Island? Tracy answers all of these questions and more in this exclusive RealityNewsOnline interview!
Tracy generally seemed to understand the mechanics of strategy on Survivor. So how did she end up among the outcasts on her tribe? Why did she align with Chet? And what did she think of Kathy leaving the game? Tracy explains all that and much more right here.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Tracy, and thanks for taking the time to talk to RealityNewsOnline! Starting at the beginning, what was your strategy coming into the game?
Tracy: I’m a woman builder, so I come out of the gates pretty strong. I thought about it and said I have to sit back at the beginning. I did tell Alexis, Natalie, Erik, and Chet I was a builder but didn’t insist I do anything. I was trying to lay back and not be domineering, but we were ousted from the beginning. We were completely put aside, so strategy change right there.
RNO: That leads right to my next question, which is how that strategy changed as the game went on?
Tracy: The whole immunity idol thing that Kathy got, that made us targets. We never had a tribe of ten, ever. The youngin’s were like, “You’re over here, the three oldest.” We even fought for machete time, we had to get permission to get the machete.
The strategy was to bond with Kathy and Chet and to keep their spirits up and keep fighting. The first ploy was to get rid of Mikey B because he said I was the first to go. He felt Kathy had the immunity idol, she would probably give it to Chet, so they’d vote for me because Chet wouldn’t fight [later]. So every moment I tried to get rid of Mikey B. I even confronted him on it, but he didn’t come clean on it. That moment that was my first step because A) I can’t trust him and B) he wants to take me out.
RNO: Moving to the switched-up tribes, once you helped vote out Joel, putting the Fans a person down on the tribe, did you expect to be picked off one by one?
Tracy: I didn’t. I knew that was 90% of the way it was going to go. But I’m an optimist and I really believed I had a chance to turn it around. Ami was clearly not trusting Cirie.
When we picked new tribes, I always remembered how they pick and I knew not to listen to the person beside you. I knew Cirie had once turned on Ami. I really wanted Eliza because she’s so damned good at the puzzles, I should have picked Eliza. I had no idea Ami was going to flop. I should not have picked Cirie. I assumed if we merged, [Ami] and Eliza would team up. I couldn’t flip Cirie, she just wouldn’t budge.
When we first merged, Joel flipped instantly and had a long conversation with Ozzy. I went to Joel and said, “You can’t trust these people.” He flipped quickly. I said, “We’re the fans; if you leave us, we’re done.” He said we gotta take out the weak [over and over again]. If I heard that one more time I was going to vomit. The game is mental, there are so many facets to the game.
I remember overhearing Amanda talking to Cirie saying, “Joel just creeps me out.” Joel didn’t know people saw him that way. He was a little scary at times, you couldn’t predict his mood or temperament. I said, “Joel, you’re going first. Just let’s lock the votes and let me go in a fire challenge with Ozzy.” I grew up with a wood stove, I’m damned good at it. Nope, he wouldn’t hear of it. “We’re taking out Chet.” If that’s the road you’re going down, let’s take you out.
I tried to buy myself some more time. I wish the Fans had been more strategic and really thought… they watched the game and were history buffs on Survivor. I don’t get some of the choices.
RNO: Did Chet explain to you why he wouldn’t go along with your plan to blindside Ozzy at the last vote, and then leave?
Tracy: Chet was very very sick. I dragged him along – he needed to go. We got to the immunity challenge on the stilts and he said, “Medical wanted to take me out but I asked them to please let me do the challenge.” I was so hoping he would go that way. I know he was sick, but it is my opinion it would have been better – of course for me – for him to go out medically. But he really wanted to go through the Tribal process. I can respect his opinion but we begged him for two hours and then I started on Cirie.
RNO: Do you feel that he left you in the lurch?
Tracy: I felt that it just would have been so much sweeter to take out Ozzy.
People ask me all the time, “Why did you bond with Chet?” Did I have a choice? They wouldn’t let me in. I tried to save Mary and get Mikey out first. Joel was screaming and exploded that Chet was leaving. Then he turned around again. I don’t get it. We were still three, we were still a vote. We were never looked upon as being strong. We had to do everything to get Mikey out. Joel would have these outbursts that would freak people out a bit. People got a little scared a bit. In the Malakal tribe, in a moment they didn’t show, he was sharpening the knives, his hair hanging down, and Cirie looked over at me saying, “Amityville horror over there.” He had everybody there not knowing what he was going to do. So the Malakal tribe really wanted him out.
RNO: What did you think of Kathy quitting?
Tracy: You know, they didn’t show this because there’s not enough time. At Exile Island, it was my ten year anniversary, and I spent it with Jason. We had a monsoon coming down, out on Exile Island [the same one Kathy faced, but the tribe had a cave]. I talked to Jason. He told me he had the idol, which we now know is Ozzy’s. I convinced him to throw challenges. He was going to go back and get Kathy to look at me and wink, and Kathy and Eliza and Jason would take out James. I had no idea, I show up and look up when Jeff explains what happened, and I say oh my gosh. Jason shakes his head and says I can’t throw it.
It was a really bad day for Tracy. We had Ami and Eliza and it was beautiful and we didn’t see any of that. There just wasn’t enough time. I was pissed. I wish she could have held on.
Had [Jonathan] Penner not gone out, she wouldn’t have quit. I remember we were talking and Kathy was sleeping alone and Penner was going over to Kathy and Jason was like, come by us. But Penner was like no, she’s all alone. When he left, she couldn’t keep it together, she didn’t have anybody. She needed somebody there, she needed somebody who cared for her and gave her support. When he left, it was over.
RNO: Did you think Ami’s plan had a chance of working?
Tracy: Absolutely. It was a great plan. Ami is very loyal. I love Ami. She’s a loving person and you can trust her. She just hates to get over on people, it’s a real hard thing for her to actually lie. She was loyal to Ozzy. But Ozzy’s not to be trusted.
RNO: Why didn’t you argue to go on the reward trip instead of Exile Island, especially given your lack of rewards to that point?
Tracy: Because Ozzy wouldn’t hear of it. Ozzy was the dictator of the tribe. Erik goes, “You’ve got to do this.” Ozzy needed to shampoo his hair. James said, “I cannot believe Ozzy is not letting her go wash her hair.” Ozzy said, “You’ve got to take this hit for the tribe.” But this was an Herbal Essence reward; it was for women. Everyone looks at me and says you’ve got to listen to Ozzy. Jeff said I could fight it, but I [didn’t want to]. So I went to spend my ten year anniversary at Exile Island with Jason.
RNO: I know you have to run, so do you have anything else you’d like to tell us about your time on Survivor?
Tracy: It was just a great experience. Anybody who thinks about doing the show should go out for it. It’s a mind game and is harder to play than anybody could imagine. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
RNO: Thanks again, Tracy!
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com