Throughout this season of Survivor (which airs its season finale on Sunday), Kat Edorsson was called out for being too young, naïve, selfish, stupid… you’d think these names would have left lasting wounds for the 22-year-old from Orlando, Fla.
That wouldn’t be the case; a very chatty Kat confirmed in an interview yesterday that her biggest sore point in her Survivor experience was the decision to take Kim and Alicia along on the reward challenge. She deems it a “million dollar mistake,” but nobody will ever know if that's an accurate assessment.
Kat secured her longevity in the game early on by joining an all-female alliance, with Kim and Chelsea leading the way. Up until last week’s episode, Kat appeared to be a good bet for making it to the end, but that decision about which friends to take along for the reward challenge may have done her in.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Kat, but I easily got way more than I bargained for. Hers was by far the most interesting of all the Survivor exit interviews I’ve done to this point, and I’m still rather stunned by some of the things that came out of her mouth.
If you read only one Survivor interview this season, this is probably the one you don’t want to miss.
Some great little nuggets are to be found throughout, so enjoy the wild ride!
I’ll start with something I’m sure you’ve been asked a lot, so I’ll try to approach it from a different angle. When you won the reward challenge, you said you took the girls because you just wanted to have fun. Was that your mindset going in to the game? That you just wanted to have a good time out there and see how far it took you?
Ultimately, that whole situation was actually pretty bad. That was one of the biggest mistakes I made in the game besides me not entertaining Troy’s idea to eliminate Kim. At that time I was just SO fired up! I was fired up by my cousin, I was fired up that I won a reward challenge… ultimately what we didn’t see in the game is it took me such a long time to make those decisions who I picked. I picked Kim automatically because I didn’t want her to strategize without me.
But picking Alicia… everyone asks me ‘Why Kat? Why? It looks like you were so selfish that you didn’t take Christina and Tarzan.’ So this is what I say: Christina and Tarzan, they were different players in the game. They weren’t like Sandra who wasn’t that big of a threat who knew what she was doing and won the million twice. Christina and Tarzan, if I would have asked Christina ‘What game are you playing?’ She probably wouldn’t have said anything; she probably wouldn’t have even known what game she was playing. And if I told Tarzan ‘Hey, we’re going to clean up shop or we’re going to go home’ he would have said ‘Ok, no biggie’ and he would have walked off. They weren’t strategically in the game, they weren’t going to do anything so strategically doing any talking, strategizing, with them… wasn’t going to happen.
However, my mistake was that I didn’t pick Chelsea or Sabrina because they were the ones that were so SOUR that I did not take them, and they went back and made a whole bunch of hoo-ha about why I was so selfish. Unfortunately that’s how the game is played. I made those bad decisions and I really should have… I played a great game but I really should have thought about what I was doing before I actually did it.
What was it that ultimately sealed your fate? Perhaps there was something we didn’t see… because everyone voted against you!
The ultimate thing was, from day one, I went into the game, and I was going to go balls to the wall. I am the funniest thing that has ever hit Survivor. You know, ever. I’m really goofy… I mean 100% of the editing WAS me. What they didn’t show is how serious and levelheaded I can really be. At that time I went into the game, I made a final five, and inside that final five on day 2 I made a final three. Ultimately Kim and Alicia was going to be my best option. I knew Kim was going to win immunities and so was I, or at least be second. But Alicia, I mean… is Alicia. That decision ultimately to go with them two was going to be fine but obviously I’m sitting in this position where I’m sitting talking to you on the phone as opposed to in the game so obviously I made the wrong decision. I just… I don’t know… I can’t even go there with how upset I am about the decisions I made.
Had you won the last immunity challenge, who would you have wanted to be in the final three with?
Ultimately, it would have been my biggest move of the game. If I would have won immunity, I would have entertained both decisions to be with Sabrina, Kim and Chels, or be with Christina, Tarzan and Alicia. Mind you, that would have been the biggest change of the game [not sure what she means here] which is why I think God was looking down on me saying, ‘Kat, it’s not your time to win the million, but I think you’re absolutely adorable so hopefully one day you’ll be able to get another chance. At this time, I don’t think you’re capable of having this kind of glorious win.’ Because that would have gave me a huge advantage, and if I decided to flip on Kim and go for a different route the whole game would have changed. But now that I’m gone it’s gonna be, you know, I can only give them the props for still being in the game. I’m honoured that I played with them.
Looking back, do you take anything that happened on the island personally? Did it take you a while to get over how Kim and Chelsea played you and to hear what Chelsea said about you?
It really did hurt me to re-watch. I mean everybody knows how hard it is to watch your million-dollar mistake on national television in front of everyone. I think the majority of my Twitter fans and my fans in general, they don’t hate me, they’re upset with me. They’re disappointed because they know how far I could have made it and I just made a dumb decision and I wasn’t entertaining Troy when I should have. Those things were just childish and immature; those are the decisions that I made.
For Chelsea to say that I didn’t deserve to be in the final 3, that was baffling to me. Not only did I play a fantastic game, I had a great attitude and a fantastic relationship with everyone on my tribe. AND, it’s a big part that you guys don’t see how much we do around camp. I mean, I was fantastic and I always helped out. So, for Sabrina to call me selfish and for Chelsea to say I didn’t deserve to be in the final 3 was absurd. I was very upset when I did see it. I have a lot of love for everybody and I’ve always been just smiles. I’d rather have everyone laughing at me than not laughing at all. I mean, it was hurtful. I didn’t deserve that.
Have you made up since?
Obviously we can’t talk about it while the show is still on, but I can tell you that I have a heart of gold and I would never hate anybody. I was actually very blessed and very pleased with how they edited me and I’m blessed to have had this life-changing experience in playing Survivor so I have no regrets and I can’t blame anyone for eliminating me. If I could take that reward challenge decision back I would have… I would have rather had me stay at the camp while everyone else went on the reward… I knew that during the immunity challenge… Kim says that ‘Kat was the best option’, we were going to get rid of Chelsea and Sabrina for a very long time and she could not save me when the majority flipped. When Alicia flipped there was no saving me anymore; that’s just the way the game is. It’s very deceitful and very painful.
What is your theory on going in to the game of Survivor with a totally different version of yourself? It seems like the way you were in the game probably isn’t all that different from real life Kat. Is that fair, and do you think that worked against you?
That’s really tough because, even Troy, well both Kim and Troy saw the goodness in me and I honestly think the only reason those rumors were spread that I was young and that I was selfish was so that they didn’t feel guilty for eliminating me. There was no reason for it. They had to get rid of somebody, and Chelsea and Sabrina ultimately were the worst decisions for Kim to keep because if they ever made it to the final three they’d have to play against some really good players. Ultimately I think they just wanted to have an excuse to stay in the game and Sabrina is just fantastic at communication, and Chelsea is the All American Hero, so they had to make up an excuse to get rid of me. It was sad.
Notice how I haven’t mentioned the words youth or naïve yet?
I’m happy that… some people haven’t asked as much as you’d think. They played that up a lot. I was the youngest in the tribe and nobody wants to hear me use that as an excuse, but when you’re with WOMEN… like even Natalie when she was young, there were other winners that were younger than me… even Sophie, she was younger than me but she was playing with boys so it was easier to play with boys than just straight women and be the youngest.
If you’re a selfish girl, all the women will come attack you. But if you’re sweet and lovable, then they’ll be like, ‘Awww, she’s so sweet,’ like you can’t hurt her. But ultimately they stabbed me in the heart and blindsided me, so, you can’t please everybody.
Given your youth, did your experience out there teach you any important life lessons that you’ll take with you forever?
Yes! Even from day 2 when we were jumping off the balcony and Nina came and attacked me… Ultimately it was one of the biggest changes in my life that I’ve made. I actually took a look at my life and all the decisions I’ve made and I took a step back, and I was like, ‘You know what? I think the sound of my own voice isn’t as powerful as the group I’ve been dealing with for the last 33 days.’ If I can take anything back from the game it would be to think before I speak. A lot of people, in the interviews I’ve been having people were like ‘Whoa, Kat, you’re just so well spoken and so level-headed, I never knew this side of you.’ And it’s unfortunate, because in the editing no one actually saw that I was pretty smart, but I was just goofy.
I would just think before I speak, I’ll make a few moves ahead in my mind before I actually think about doing it, and I’m actually very thankful that I was part of something like this. AND, I can take back how much you really appreciate the things you were given on a daily basis as opposed to the things that just happen to come to you. Survivor is that one game that you learn that even talking to your family, or having food delivered to you, being able to eat food, is such a pleasure. As opposed to something you just automatically receive. You realize how selfish you really used to be before you played Survivor and you come home selfless and you come home a better person and you want to share your story with other people.
Survivor airs tonight at 8 pm on Global, with the season finale airing Sunday at 8 pm.