Interview: Andrea Boehlke and Reynold Toepfer talk ‘Survivor: Caramoan’

Two people were sent home in separate Tribal Councils on Wednesday (May 1) night’s “Survivor.”
Really, it’s a “Survivor” Miracle that Andrea Boehlke and Reynold Toepfer lasted as long as they did. 
Reynold was targeted as a threat from the first second he met with his Fans tribe and he made the early mistake of aligning with his group’s three prettiest members and boasting about it. But boosted by a fortuitous tribal swap and then some challenge domination, he ended up having a good run.
For her part, Andrea was immediately eyed as a dangerous player within the Favorites group, but the first person to target her was Francesca and she went home immediately. Andrea’s name was floated on several occasions, including the memorable episode in which she grew wary after a conversation with Eddie and changed voting strategies seconds before Tribal, saving herself. That was a good move. Going home with an Immunity Idol in her pocket? Less good.
In this week’s “Survivor” double-interview, Andrea and Reynold talk about their respective eliminations, about the challenge of playing as threats and about the proliferation of Idols this season. 
Reynold also explains his Tribal Council mustache.
Check out the full Q&A after the break.
[Note that due to scheduling reasons on my end, I submitted my questions, which were asked in my absence. That meant no follow-ups and it also led me to structure my questions in a slightly different way, which I would have had to do because of the paired interview anyway.]
HitFix: Starting with you, Andrea. I don’t recall ever seeing a player so amused at being blindsided. In that moment at the Tribal Council, how quickly where you able to go through the stages of grief to go from shocked to maybe anger to appreciation of what happened? 
Andrea: I went through the stages very quickly. Two seconds. When I first saw my name, I was like, “This is what?” I don”t think I was ever really mad. I was upset. It is usually not a personal attack when you are voted out. It is because you are a threat so, yeah. I went I went through those stages pretty quick.
HitFix: Were there different circumstances, Andrea, in which you might have been less amused and more angry or disappointed by what happened?
Andrea: I would have been disappointed if I made it all the way to the end and didn”t win. I guess I would have rather been blindsided because it is like ripping off a band aid. I think it would have been harder to make it all the way to the end and not get any votes or win the million.
HitFix: For you, Reynold, you seemed fairly chipper when you were voted out. You’d been facing the axe for so long, did making it as far as you did seem like a victory?
Reynold: Absolutely! I”m very proud of my game. I think it is quite an accomplishment to go that far always being in the minority alliance. I think we made a lot of epic attempts to get the game to swing to our favor and although none were successful I”m very proud that we made a lot of big move attempts. We didn”t go down without a fight.
HitFix: Staying on that subject, you guys were each immediately perceived as a threats, but made it a long way. Andrea, were you surprised by how quickly your name started coming up in votes and did that change your strategy? And Reynold, you had to anticipate being viewed as a threat, but do you think you could deflected that attention differently, rather than immediately aligning with Eddie?
Andrea: I was very surprised that I was perceived as a threat early on because watching my first season I didn”t think I was perceived as a threat. I just thought there were other people that would have been seen as bigger threats. So when my name started coming up I thought I needed to step up and take the leadership role with Phillip, otherwise I was just going to be voted out right away.
Reynold: No. I think, no matter what I did I would come off as a threatening player just by the nature of me physically and my personality. But, I was hoping that I could market my strong persona as someone you would want to align with and not someone to be threatened by.  
HitFix: Each of you found yourselves in quirky, but ultimately unstable alliances. Could you respectively discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Three Amigos and Stealth R Us?
Reynold: The weakness of the Three Amigos would be the number “three.” The strength would be the word “amigo.” We were loyal and a band of brothers no matter what. At least Eddie and I were.
Andrea: Stealth R Us was like a dysfunctional family. Philip was the Dad. Dawn was the mom and then there were all these little kids. Erik and I would go play cards. For a returning alliance we knew that we had to stick together and I think we all had the same vision.
HitFix: You also both found yourselves in tribes that were, perhaps not for the better, being dominated by large personalities. Could y’all talk about the impact that Shamar, for Reynold, and Brandon & Phillip, for Andrea, had in perhaps preventing you from finding your strategic footing early.
Reynold: I think Shamar was a very heroic person in life. I don”t think “Survivor” fit his personality and it just didn”t fit into his life. I just don”t think he wanted to be there. I felt that everyone was better off for him to go.
Andrea: It is hard playing with characters like Brandon and Phillip because you can”t predict what they are going to do. Phillip would pull you into all these one-on-one conversations in front of everyone else. It was very difficult.
HitFix: Since Andrea went out with an Idol and Reynold, you had an Idol you gave to Malcolm that he didn’t actually need, what did you guys think about the very important role Idols played in the second half of this season?
Reynold: I think Idols were the dominating variables of the season. Everyone was paranoid about them or trying to find them. There was not a single vote this season at Tribal that was not revolving around them. And although my two Idols played did not directly work I still think the possession of them helped to further my position in the game to make it 31 days.
Andrea: There were too many Idols. It was ridiculous. Most of our votes were dictated by Idol paranoia. I think me having an Idol but a huge target on my back. It is probably the reason they voted me out then.
HitFix: You guys have had months to think over this “Survivor” experience. For each of you, what decision or move have you second-guessed most?
Reynold: Nothing, because I was playing Fans versus Favorites early on. To their foolishness all the Fans were playing against each other early on. We should have gotten rid of Sherri and Laura one and two to keep us strong so that we would have had a chance going into the swap.
Andrea: Fortunately, I do not wake up every morning and wish I would have done something differently. I should not have hung out with the guys cause it was driving Dawn nuts. I should have hung out with my alliance more because I made people nervous.
HitFix: Reynold, how would you play differently if you got a second chance at “Survivor”? And Andrea, would you want a third shot and how would it be different?
Reynold: Be nicer to everybody. I really am a kind-hearted person and very loyal. I got backstabbed so hard so soon. I was really angry and my response was just to chin up and fight the world. Returning players have learned to be more emotionally resilient.
Andrea: No. I had such a great time this season that I don”t think another season could top it. I think I am good.
HitFix: I fear my readers would be disappointed in me if I didn’t ask: Reynold, could you describe the look you were going for with your Tribal Council mustache?
Reynold: Amigo!!! Ole.