Tuesday, February 18, 2014

EXIT INTERVIEW. Survivor South Africa: Champions' Shona Macdonald: 'It felt like a dream. I played a game that I was proud of'.

On Sunday evening Shonda Macdonald (24) was sent packing in one of two ousters from Survivor South Africa: Champions on M-Net after her Selatan tribe discovered that she knew about, and had an alliance of sorts with fellow contestant David.

TV with Thinus caught up with her, as Shona Macdonald talked about missing shampoo, revealed the surprising ways in which she prepared for the show, what she felt after Zavion still wrote her name down, suffering sunburn, who she'd like to see win, what was difficult and what surprised her the most.

Why did you start to cry and broke down while you were on the island before you went to tribal council and after it was revealed you knew and had the immunity idol?
I was feeling really upset. Obviously I'd been confronted by my friends about the idol and I was in shock. I'm an emotional person. I'm either really happy or I'm really sad. There's very seldom a medium kind of level with me. 

And also I thought that if I show my friends that I'm upset about it that they're upset with me, then hopefully they will feel a bit sad and they won't be so hard on me. 

I didn't think that they would vote me off but I thought that if they were thinking about it they would think "oh it will hurt her feelings". So I did feel genuinely upset but I didn't hold it in because I thought it might help me.

Why do you think the rest of your tribe perceived you to be "more backstabbing" or more "guilty" than David? Because exactly what people could have accused you of, they could have accused him of as well? Or do you think you behaviour made you look more guilty?
I think initially they didn't see me as much of a threat. Also I was living in a happy little bubble on the island and that I wasn't playing much of a game.

The fact that I was able to hide this idol from them so successfully, scared them. I don't think they thought I was a backstabber. I think they just realised that I'm taking the game a lot more seriously than what they've initially thought and that I'm a real contender in the game. I think that made them a little uneasy.

David - you know, he's very easy to read. Everyone though that he had the immunity idol. He's not really good at concealing things.

It appeared as if you had worse sunburn when we saw your back than any of the other people. Was it worrying or bothersome to you or was it in the overall scope of things not an issue?
There are no illusions on Survivor. Exactly what you're seeing it exactly what's happening. Before I burnt Ashleigh did at the beginning. And like Ashleigh I've got fair skin.

So of course if I'm going to be in the sun all day doing challenges and cracking open rocks for oysters I'm going to get sunburn. You d expose yourself to the elements and that is part of Survivor

That's why you'd see me in a lot of other challenges on a hot day wearing a long shirt because I do want to protect my skin. It is a worry. Cancer is a real thing. But you don't expose yourself unneccessarily.

I've been sunburnt before and I'll get sunburn again. it's not the end of the world for me.

Looking back,  is there something you would have done differently?
Yes, definitely. My biggest regret is probably acting too quickly without thinking. I shouldn't have taken the idol. I got a bit paranoid.

I should have just left it there. I think David would probably have gone home that night. I don't they really did trust David and I think they really did trust me. 

I think if it was his word against mine, if they dodn't confront me about it before tribal council, they probably would just have thought that he was lying. Otherwise if they had confronted me about it, I can't tell you what I would have done - my mind changes all the time. 

Had I not moved it or had I moved it, I don't think I would have given it to Corne. And if I had given it to Corne, I would have asked for the idol back at tribal council when I realised 'oh dear, my name is getting written down tonight'. 

I think in the episode you can see my face changes when Moira says that somebody's name was up. That's when I realised: 'oh dear, these people are going to turn on me'. I then should have said can i have the idol back and make a case for that. So my biggest regret is not acting.

What was also very fascinating is that you turned to Zavion and asked him to please not vote for you. And then he actually did. And I'm wondering if you can tell me what you make of that.
You know what, everyone's entitled to their vote on Survivor.

you can never be cross with somebody for putting your name down. I've written some people's names down as well, and I hope that they don't hold any grudges against me for doing that. 

The fact that I asked him to please not vote for me, I was trying my luck. I thought ... you know Zavion and I got a lot closer. All my hairstyles that started to come with the braids and everything, Zavion was doing them.

So I thought lets try and work our friendship a little bit. See if that will maybe change his mind. Maybe he will be a swing vote. 

You never know, if you don't try, you're missing out.

Who would you like to see win?
I would like to see Altaaf win. I think he's a very honest player. He was the nicest person to me on the island. He was always telling me 'don't worry' and really making an effort. So I'd like to see him win.

What was the most difficult thing for you?
The most difficult thing was not having shampoo and conditioner. I like to keep my hair quite nicely kept and the fact that you have sand in it all the time and that horrible feeling when its just come out of the sea - that to me was the worst. 

What do you appreciate the most after the experience - shampoo or ...
My friends. Its very difficult being in a situation where you don't have anyone that you can really turn to for advice. You don't know is that person being real to you, are they genuinely your friend? Are they going to tell other people what you've done?

Its nice to have a sounding board and a support system where a person doesn't have anything to gain from it and give you advice as a friend. That is what I really appreciate so much from real life.

Where do you think you fit in - given that you were more mentally strong than a most of the players we've seen  - where do you think you fit in into the overall game in terms of how you carried yourself?
In terms of ranking?

Ja, 'cause we now saw someone quit and we saw in previous episodes, people - kind of like struggling to keep their temper in check and things like that. You were always cheery and clever with alliances.
Look, I think its very difficult to rate people because everyone brings different elements to a tribe.

That's why its so nice with South African Survivor that there are such diversity in our tribes. Obviously physical strength - that was a huge thing. And a lot of people were physically a lot stronger than I was.

But I do think I'm a very positive person. And I probably had the strongest mental state there. Nothing would be able to get me down. Even after my name was written down - I was scared because of Zavion. I wasn't worried about my own feelings. I understood that it was part of the game. 

I think that I did prepare a lot for coming on the show - I read a lot of books, I read survival guides, I sowed invisible thread into my clothes to use as fishing line, I put fish hooks in my hat, I mentally prepared myself, I read books on how to deal with people, i went on a paleo diet for three months so that I didn't detox on camera. So in that sense I think I was the most well-prepared person on the island.

I think I would have done quite well. I think I was playing a strategic game. And I played a game that I was proud of.

What surprised you the most about the whole experience?
It's quite a surreal experience. It often doesn't feel like I'm living a normal life. Or that this is really happening. Or that I'm on TV. I feel exactly  like I've always have. 

At the beginning of the show I was in a happy little bubble. And I was just enjoying it so much that it took me a while to get into the game. And once I was in the game, it didn't feel like I was on a reality TV show or that I was playing a game.

It was ... I can't explain what it felt like. That's how weird it was. It felt like a dream.