May 16, 2011

Q&A: Ashley Underwood on Survivor, Boston Rob and the future

Zach Dionne Special to the KJ & Morning Sentinel

Moments after the live “Survivor: Redemption Island” reunion show wrapped, Ashley Underwood took some time to do a post-mortem on the game. The following was our conversation.

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Ashley Underwood made it to the final four on "Survivor: Redemption Island."

CBS

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Well Ashley, it was close. How are you feeling?

Watching the last two hours was a little hard. You heard Rob; if I made it to the end, I would have won. I was his biggest threat. It was just a bummer to watch how close I was to winning.

Rob really put a target on your back, saying you thought you were a “mastermind” and that you had to go. Was that tough to watch?

Guess what? That was Rob’s way of turning everybody against me, which is what he did the entire game with everybody else. He came up to us – “Matt is doing this,” “Kristina is doing this.” He did that about me to turn them against me. And at the end, my closest ally? She gave way. That’s what happened.

Right, Natalie shafted you. What about those brutal comments you made to her at the final tribal council? Was there fallout between you two afterward?

Everything’s cool. I don’t regret anything I said because that’s honestly how I felt at the time. The fact that she chose to sit next to Phillip when she knew he had absolutely no chance to win – she chose Rob winning the million over me, pretty much. If it was me, Natalie and Rob, I would’ve won. So yeah, I sound bitter. I probably am. Whatever. [Laughs]

How do you reconcile losing versus Rob’s tremendous success story?

It’s such a story, and he played the best game I think anyone has ever played. I’m proud of him. He’s a good guy. He deserved it. Fourth time is the charm. And I’m happy I can say I was top four in one of the best seasons that here’s ever been.

But if you’d taken Rob down, you would’ve been a legend in your own right.

Come on. [Laughs] I would have, too. And I would’ve loved every second of it. If I would’ve won that last challenge, dude? I was friends with everybody from Zapatera.

Jeff Probst was kind of rooting for you, too?

I love Jeff. He’s awesome out there. He gives us comfort when we see him, he comes and talks to us one-on-one and checks on us. He’s like our dad. He’s awesome.

I know you spent most of the time the season aired in Maine. How was it?

It’s been amazing. The support has been overwhelming. I just love my state and I’m so thankful I’m from Maine. People care.

Hindsight is 20:20. Any regrets about your game?

I regret …maybe having the spa day? But I really don’t regret it. I know people might want me to say that, but I don’t. You have so much downtime out there. Honestly, it didn’t show the guys getting their beards trimmed and their dreads braided, but it happened. I just want to put that out there.

Lots of readers and viewers seemed curious about the grooming situation out there.

The grooming is so neglected. You just feel like you have to maybe make it a point to make yourself look human.

You started looking pretty scarily skinny toward the end…

I ended up losing 20 pounds total. I lost the most of any of the girls. I was disgusting …when I saw myself for the first time, I cried. Jeff said when I walked into challenges, they would all just cringe because my hip bones were so gross.

(Continued on page 2)

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