Tensions were high on this week’s episode of “Survivor: Ghost Island,” with just one week left until the three-hour season finale. As the remaining seven players began looking for a path to the final three, the power duo of Domenick and Wendell seemed to have everything locked down.
Despite being in an alliance with the dominant players, Donathan became nervous after realizing that he was running out of time to take out these power brokers, and his chance to win the game was slipping away. Donathan turned against the duo in a very public way.
This was fantastic news for Kellyn, the social butterfly and apparent next target for Domenick and Wendell’s tight group.
Having spent several weeks trying to rally the rest of the tribe against Domenick and Wendell, it appeared as though Kellyn might have finally found a partner in Donathan. Or, she could have joined the powerful boys and helped remove Donathan from the game.
At a combative Tribal Council, the votes came back tied between Kellyn and Donathan. When the castaways held a re-vote, Donathan’s ruckus proved to be a non-issue, as it was Kellyn who was sent home with a smile on her face and encouraging words for her fellow players.
“It’s truly been a pleasure from the bottom of my heart,” Kellyn said. “I wish you all the best of luck.”
Kellyn spoke with CBS Local’s Phil Stauskas about her last efforts to stay in the game, where it all started to fall apart, and her personal goals for going through this life-changing experience.
Let’s go back and start with last week. After Chelsea gets voted out, is it fair to say, you had to know that you were the next one, right?
Oh, yeah. I definitely knew I was the next one. The day after Chelsea left, we had the Reward Challenge day, and then the boys pick Laurel to go on. So, it’s like, I knew it was me, and then all these things kept happening just confirming it was me, meaning the boys pick Laurel to go on reward, and then we have a day off.
So, there are days out there when you don’t have a challenge, and so you have an entire day off. And I spent the entire day, like, talking my throat dry, trying to talk Dom through every single jury vote, and like, “You cannot beat Wendell at the end. You can beat me. This is how. You cannot beat Wendell at the end.”
Then, I went to Wendell and said, “Wendell, you cannot beat Dom at the end. Here are all the people and here’s who they’re gonna vote for.” And I actually got Wendell to accidentally admit that he wasn’t gonna take Sebastian, that he didn’t want to take Sebastian to the end at that point.
I go to Sebastian and like, “Wendell’s telling me they’re not taking you to the end, please come with me.”
I was working my tush off. The funny thing in that story is, I wasn’t working Laurel all that much, and that’s because she was gone. There was nothing I could do. I tried and tried, and at that point, I realized I had a better chance — which was not good odds — to make Dom and Wendell flip than I could get Laurel to flip.
Donathan decides that he’s going to have a public confrontation with those boys. What were you doing at that point? We saw a lot of the perspective from Donathan and his reasoning behind going against them. Were you trying to side with Donathan? Were you letting him implode? What was going on?
He starts to get really emotional at Tribal. I was like, hey, this is great. Jeff had asked me, “Hey, what’s going on?” And I was like, you know, I talked to people today, there might be B and C plans. I was just like, talking. I had no… no one looped me in on anything, other than I had talked to Donathan. I thought they were all coming for me. Sebastian had been acting really sad that day. Wendell told me that day, “I unconditionally love you, but you gotta go.”
As Donathan starts to blow things up, I thought, oh man, maybe, just for a split second, they’re openly talking that they’re gonna split the votes? And I realized that… Donathan and I had a conversation like, let’s just vote for Dom so he knows what it feels like to get votes! And as I’m doing the math, as Donathan’s freaking out, I’m like, if I flip and vote for Donathan, I can get this thing to tie up. So, I was having my own little kind of fun, like, I can at least make these people sweat a little bit as I’m going out the door.
So, all of that was happening at Tribal?
All that was happening at Tribal, yeah. I didn’t think that they were even going to split the vote. Ang and Seb, we had been good friends, we had been working together, and they acting very sad that day, and so, I didn’t even think about them splitting the vote between me and Donathan. So then, when I figured that out, Donathan’s starting to blow things up, I start to do the math and realize, oh, I don’t need to waste my emotional vote on Dom. I can vote for Donathan and get it to tie. That all happened while Donathan and Dom were blasting each other, essentially.
When it came to the re-vote, did you still feel like, “okay, it’s me now,” or were you holding out hope for Donathan? What did your gut tell you?
My gut was finally right. I thought it was go time for me. I just came to the end of the road, you know? I was outmatched. I was outplayed by Dom and Wendell. The three of us were the people from Naviti who were pretty strategic and were trying to work things through, and the fact that those two were together… I just didn’t have enough muscle to go against those two guys, literally and figuratively.
Where do you think your game really started to fall apart? Because you seemed like you were in control early on.
I think, I get to the merge and Bradley’s gone. Now, I have single-handedly gone after all the Malolos, because Bradley was my shield. He was the one who people thought was running the show. Now, he’s gone. I was the perceived second in command, and I really… I think, at that point, I really couldn’t get my footing.
I think I had exposed my hand too early, even though I thought, oh, I’ve just been voting with the numbers. I was trying to hide under that. But it was really hard. And then, it took me too long to realize that Des was flipping on me. And then, I ultimately knew I had literally, probably, sealed my own fate at the Michael vote, when I didn’t have the guts to put my votes on Wendell.
You went to Ghost Island twice. Tell me a little bit about your experiences out there. What’s that place like?
The first time I went, I did not want… when I left for “Survivor,” I was like, please, God, don’t let it be like an Exile Island season. I just don’t want to spend the night out there by myself. Luckily, we got fire, so I didn’t have to make fire. I could drink water and eat. So, that was a huge blessing. But choosing not to play the game is SO hard, such a battle of like, oh, you know viewers at home want you to risk this vote and, oh, I want to be playing an individual game, but is it time yet?
People forget that my gut was totally right that night. If I wouldn’t have needed that vote, and I did need that vote, otherwise we could have been in big trouble. So, I don’t regret not playing. No, not at all. Sorry, viewers at home who wish I would have taken the risk, but I have zero regrets for that.
The second time you go out, you get your extra vote. First of all, did you know that Sebastian had it six days later?
I did not, and neither did Sebastian know where I had been storing that extra vote, the poor guy. Sebastian got that same extra vote that I had been storing, as you all saw, in my bathing suit bottom. That’s what he gets for not telling me about the extra vote, which we could have used to make a move last night.
I know you were a fan of the show. When you went out to Ghost Island, and you knew about these advantages, was there anything that you were hoping to see, other than the extra vote?
I would have loved to just open up an idol, that would have been great.
But no, it was so fun. You don’t get to see all of Ghost Island from the show, but I think there was an article out before the show started that… between 50 and 100 relics that were actual immunity idols and team immunity statues and necklaces and all that stuff. And it was so cool to go out there and see all that stuff. It gave you something to do to pass time while you’re out on the island by yourself for 24 hours, to go look at everything from past seasons and all the torches hung above you as you slept in the shelter on Ghost Island. It was a “Survivor” fan’s dream to see all of that stuff. Other than the fact that none of those idols were in my pocket, I got to see a whole museum’s worth of relics.
You had mentioned that you had just recently been through a divorce, and you brought your personal story into the show a little bit. Other than winning, you definitely seemed like you had a goal in going out there. Do you feel like you accomplished what you set out to do?
Yes, I do.
Signing up for “Survivor,” and to take this risk for myself, was just a dream that I had. And to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and that was to take a risk, sign up to see if I could get on “Survivor,” and go out there and play my heart out and be myself. And I won an individual immunity. I was in a helicopter on “Survivor” after winning a reward. Like, I just went for it and I did it. No, I didn’t win. But I built alliances. I voted for almost everyone correctly. I made it to seventh place. Like, I worked my ass off out there, and no one — no internet comment, no podcaster, no anything — will ever take away the journey that I have for myself and the friends that I’ve made from that show that have impacted my life in such a positive way.
Watch “Survivor: Ghost Island” Wednesdays at 8:00 PM EST/PST on CBS.