If you are a fan of “Survivor,” then you know that Russell Hantz is one of the worst villains (or best players, depending on how you view him) to play the game. When Russell returned to “Survivor” for the third time, tribemate Stephanie Valencia was eager to team up with him. Due to the rest of tribe Zapatera’s fear of Russell, Stephanie’s alliance was quickly squashed and Stephanie was soon voted to Redemption Island. Unfortunately for Stephanie, opposing tribe member Matt beat her in the Redemption Island duel and sent Stephanie home.
During Stephanie’s exit press interviews, she took the time to answer some questions for an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Content Network.
Candice Cain: What was the audition process for “Survivor” like?
Stephanie Valencia: It was very intense. I just tried to be myself.
CC: What was the most challenging part of being on “Survivor”?
SV: The social aspect of the game was the most challenge. Not getting along with tribe mates and then having to play the game with them was extremely difficult. I just didn’t understand why my tribe would want to get rid of numbers before the merge. That was unnecessary.
CC: What was the easiest part?
SV: The easiest part… None of it is easy. Even when there is down time, all you do is think about food. Maybe sleeping was the easiest…
CC: Do you regret going on the show or not?
SV: No, not at all. I always feel like I make decisions in my life, whether good or bad, and then you get amazing experiences. I saw a beautiful country, challenged myself, etc., so I feel extremely lucky.
CC: What surprised you most about the social aspect of the game?
SV: I was surprised how difficult it was to get along with people. I thought it was going to be easy to develop real friendship and relationship but the game is so much harder socially than I ever anticipated.
CC: Is it as real as people think?
SV: Yes, it is as real as people think! We starve, we freeze – it is all real.
CC: Do you plan on keeping in touch with any of your cast mates?
SV: I can’t wait to talk to Krista! That is a friendship I hope to keep. I’m really excited for the reunion show. I hope that it is not weird and goes well, because I want to continue to have relationships with everyone. We shared something so rare and have that to bond over.
CC: What were the highlights of being on “Survivor”?
SV: Being in the game! I loved going to challenges. Those were the best days. It gives you something to do.
CC: What were some of the lowlights?
SV: The days that we were bored out of our mind. We would try to keep busy but we didn’t have the energy.
CC: Would you do it again?
CC: What did you miss most when you were filming “Survivor”?
SV: I missed sweats. That is weird because I don’t really even like them. I should say “my family,” but I was so mentally prepared when I left home and they were all so supportive, so when I was in the game I tried not to think about them too much because that would have made things worse.
CC: What is your biggest regret in your strategy?
SV: Not getting others to align with us! Not getting our way. I think we should have given more energy into convincing people that we had a strong team and we shouldn’t have thrown any challenges.
CC: What would you do differently if you could play your season all over again?
SV: I wouldn’t do anything any different. I’m very proud of the progress that I made and it just wasn’t meant to be. I had a great experience.