Interview: Hope Driskill talks ‘Survivor: Caramoan’

Another week, another “Survivor: Caramoan” exit interview with a member of the Fans tribe shocked that they were sent packing while aggressively belligerent Shamar remains.
This week’s victim was Hope Driskill, who follows in the footsteps of alliance-mate Allie, who went home last week. 
Of course, with Hope there was a catch. The majority alliance, worried that Reynold might attempt to give Hope his Immunity Idol, decided to split votes between Hope and Eddie. Shamar, not a fan of Eddie, sat in the water and hinted strongly that Hope might want to split with her alliance and write Eddie’s name down. Had Hope done that, Eddie would have been eliminated after one Tribal Council vote, instead of a tie that went against Hope in the revote. 
Hope’s decision was one of several things that I found confusing in Wednesday’s episode, so we covered a lot of that in this week’s exit interview.
Click through for the full conversation…
HitFix: A few things in Wednesday night’s episode seemed a bit fuzzy to me, so I was hoping you could help decipher them. 
Hope Driskill: [She laughs.] I would love to do that.
HitFix: So let’s go to that scene with you and Shamar on the beach talking strategy.
Hope: That was a painful scene for me to watch.
HitFix: What was it like there? What did you think Shamar was proposing? What did you think your role was in what Shamar was proposing?
Hope: Oh man. Watching that scene last night of us sitting in the water, oh, that brought back so many feelings. But you have to think that whenever we were there, we had just lost a challenge and there were several of us that were nervous that we were on the chopping block. Everyone was going around talking, strategizing, panicking. The camp was literally in chaos. And so when you’re there, it’s very, very easy to question the things that everyone is saying to you. As I was sitting in the water and I was listening to what Shamar was telling me, he was essentially laying out the other alliance’s plan and telling me, in a roundabout way, that they were going to split the vote, flush the Idol if they could and if I had just switched my vote to Eddie, then maybe things would have potentially worked out differently. However, in my mind, I’m also thing, “OK. Shamar just went behind his alliance’s back and told me the plan. Why? Why would he do that? He doesn’t really like me.” We didn’t really get along and I just didn’t see what was in it for him. And so honestly, what it came down to was I just really didn’t trust him. I didn’t know if Sherri was telling him to say that or what. And so yeah, it came down to it and I decided to go with my gut, stick loyal to my alliance and just hope that the other members of the alliance would end up voting for Shamar. So yeah, that was a very overwhelming day, I’ll say that much.
HitFix: So then what was your impression watching it again last night regarding his sincerity in that at the beach?
Hope: In that moment last night, it was hard to watch and it was hard to see that, “OK. He literally is laying the plan out for me.” But even being able to watch it and then go back and redo it, I think I still would have done the exact same thing, because “Survivor” is just a crazy game and it makes it exciting, all of the twists and unexpected turns and anything could potentially happen. So yeah. It was crazy to watch it all come together.
HitFix: So that does that mean you haven’t had those “What if I had written Eddie’s name down?” thoughts?
Hope: Oh, yeah. It’s the number one question that I’ve been getting is, “Why didn’t you vote for Eddie?” And what it comes down to is 1) I didn’t really trust Shamar and 2) There was just so much talk going on in the camp, everyone was panicking and 3) I walked away from the game and, granted I didn’t stay in as long as I wanted, but I didn’t turn on anyone. I’m a loyal person and that’s how I played.
HitFix: Going back to the point-by-point deciphering of Wednesday’s episode. After that conversation with Shamar, you went to Julia and spilled. What was your strategy there?
Hope: My strategy right there was just to tell Shamar’s alliance that essentially he had just gone behind their back, told me the plan of what they were thinking about doing and plant it in their minds that he’s not trustworthy. As you saw, he was making everyone miserable, making the camp miserable, making his own alliance miserable. So I was hoping that that misery would combine with the fact that now they’re paranoid that they can’t trust him and all of these things and I was hoping that that would work together in my favor and that they would finally realize, “OK. He needs to finally go. We need to get him out of here.” That was my strategy up until Tribal Council.
HitFix: And then from what we saw, it seemed as if it worked and it seemed as if Laura and Julia were prepared to go with Reynold and flip their vote. But then there was some gap we didn’t see in which something else obviously happened. Was there anything you saw that reconsolidated that alliance around their original plan?
Hope: That was, I think, the hardest thing about watching last night. You see Laura say, “OK, Reynold. I’m for sure I’m in.” Because Laura was very nervous all day long. She was very nervous that because of her performance in the challenge that she would be considered a weak player and that she was up on the chopping block as well. She was very nervous about that and we kept playing it up, basically play up her fear and make her paranoid enough to the point where she would vote with us in order to save herself. I don’t know what the other alliance had, but clearly they really stuck together and I honestly don’t think that Laura was ever planning on voting with us. I think she had in her mind the whole time that she was gonna tell us that she would, but in the end their alliance was going to vote together.
HitFix: Who do you credit for that? Everyone seems to be talking about how horrible and horrifying Shamar is and yet he keeps surviving these votes and people keep sticking with him. What do you make of that?
Hope: Shamar is Sherri’s puppet. It still is mind-blowing to me that Laura and Julia were siding with her and were aligning with her. I don’t get it and I don’t understand why the other members of their alliance didn’t see Sherri as being a threat for playing Shamar like that. It makes so much more sense to me, it’s so much more logical that they would have switched over, but yeah… Unfortunately their bond was tight, up until the very end of Tribal Council.
HitFix: Last week, in her exit interview, Allie told me that the editing was not making Shamar look bad and that, if anything, it was making him look better than he actually was.
Hope: Yeah! Actually, that’s hilarious. The way that they show it on TV, people are giving strong reactions and saying, “Oh, he makes the game miserable, blah blah blah” and I’m just like, “You know what? What they show on TV doesn’t even do it justice.” You have to remember that cameras are on us 24-7. That’s so much time that Shamar had to get in everyone’s faces and, trust me, he did that. He stuck with his strategy and made camp life pretty miserable for just about everyone.
HitFix: Are you taking it as a strategy? Or are you taking it as “That’s just Shamar”?
Hope: Well, he says it’s his strategy and I don’t know him outside the game at all and I think that was just his strategy, to make everyone want to go home and not be there. And so far it’s worked for him.
HitFix: On the last episode, though, he seemed to indicate that he had a slightly different or better relationship with you than with Eddie and Reynold at least. Did you not feel that way?
Hope: I think that he just really, really disliked Eddie and Reynold so much, to the point where he was willing to tell me what the other plan was so that I would stick around and Eddie would go home. You heard it yourself: I’m on the No Talking list, too. I think that that really just came from the fact that he disliked Eddie and Reynold that much. Just more than me.
HitFix: So you guys didn’t have any bond beyond that of any other sort?
Hope: [Laughs.] No, no. No, no.
HitFix: You talked earlier about the importance of being loyal out there, but in the previous Tribal Council, your alliance had been shattered and it was 6-3, it wasn’t like you had any numbers to work with. Was there any scrambling that we didn’t get to see to possibly realign or shake things up or find new allies out there?
Hope: Immediately after we had lost the challenge, I tried to distance myself a little bit from Reynold and Eddie and tried to spend time with members of the other alliance. I spent a lot of time, which they didn’t show, with Matt and with Michael. I got along with pretty much everyone and Matt and Michael and I got along very well and I spent a lot of time with them where we would discuss the fact of, “Well, we should send Laura home” and that came up time and time again. She said it herself. She wasn’t performing in the challenges and the name of the game in “Survivor” is “We need to win those challenges so that we don’t have to keep sending people home and we can send the other tribe home.” So that came up a lot and we had a lot of talks and I know that even up until Tribal Council, Michael and Matt were still questioning that maybe they should vote Laura out. Unfortunately, like I said, their alliance and their bond, they all stuck pretty close together.
HitFix: The edit has made it look very much like The Reynold Alliance that he managed and oversaw out there and then there were the other three people who were just out there, quietly, with him. I assume that’s not your perspective on what was happening out there?
Hope: Oh no. Not at all. I think the only reason that it looks like that is because Reynold is notorious for giving Academy Award speeches whenever he talks, so it kinda makes it look like he was leading our alliance, but I don’t think it was like that at all. Really, in the beginning, we didn’t even see it as an alliance of four. We saw it as an alliance of five. Matt was our secret weapon. We thought we had Matt. We thought he was voting with us. So we saw it as an alliance of five, when the public, when it came on air, it was kind of blown out of proportion like, “Oh, the four of them, they don’t have the numbers,” when in reality, we very much thought we would have the numbers with Matt.
HitFix: And finally, just as a fan of the game, who were you most disappointed among the Favorites that you didn’t get the chance to actually really play with out there?
Hope: I’m so disappointed that I didn’t get to play with them. I hate to say it, but I would have loved for Phillip to have given me a name and job title. I would have loved to have gotten to play with Brenda and with Andrea, because they were two of my favorites that I had watched on TV before. Corinne just looks wild and has no filter. I would have loved to have gotten to play with her. So yeah, it was very disappointing that 1) I had to go home this early and 2) I didn’t get to meet all of them.
HitFix: What would you have *wanted* your Phillip nickname to be?
Hope: Oh… My God… [Laughing.] I don’t even know. I kinda want to ask him what it would have been, because I feel like that’s something that only the mind of Phillip could have come up with!
Other “Survivor: Caramoan” exit interviews:

Allie Pohevitz