Survivor: Thailand's latest evictee, Shii Ann Huang, maintains that her status as a minority put her at a distinct disadvantage during her 21 days on Koh Tarutao. But surprisingly, the 28-year-old brassy exec recruiter says the fact that she was the reality show's first Asian-American female was the least of her obstacles.
"I'm a New Yorker... and that was the biggest cultural difference," she tells TV Guide Online, noting that the majority of her Sook Jai tribemates hailed from the South. "I've been living in New York for seven years now, and we're known to be outspoken and assertive and we don't like to take things lying down."
Of course, Huang's brazen tactics — specifically, her ill-fated attempt to form an alliance with rival tribe Chuay Gahn — ultimately cost her the $1 million booty. But as the Taiwanese native points out, the knowledge that she shattered a few stereotypes was reward enough. "I showed that Asian-American women weren't these demure flowers or crazy dragon ladies," she says. "We can be just as competitive in physically difficult situations as anyone else."
And to teammate Robb Zbacnik's dismay, she also possessed the ability to devour every morsel of a cooked chicken — including the heart and neck! However, the wannabe Fear Factor contestant has her own theory as to why Robb always had a bone to pick with her. "I think there's a very fine line between love and hate, and I think there might have been a little crush thing going on there," she laughs of her rival. "It reminded me a lot of second grade when the boys would come and grab my hair." (For Robb's take on their contentious relationship, click here.)
Speaking of Survivor-style romantic tension, Huang confesses that she harbored secret fantasies of her own. "I had a huge crush on Papa Jake," she reveals. "He's quite possibly the sexiest male player in Sook Jai. He's got that Sean Connery thing going for him." And what about a certain hunky Big Apple cop? "Ken was too tall for me," she adds. "But he's very good looking, too."