“Survivor: Nicaragua” had an historical moment on Wednesday night (Dec. 1) when NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn quit the game after 28 days, only 11 days from the end. They tell Zap2it in their joint exit interview why they quit and that they don’t feel bad about it.
Even though you quit the show, are you still glad you went on “Survivor”?
Kelly: “I am so glad. I think ‘Survivor’ is the opportunity and experience of a lifetime. I think it was incredible, even if it was not always beautiful and wonderful. I spent some of the worst days of my life in Nicaragua, but that was part of the experience. I would not have changed anything. I’m so happy to have been a part of ‘Survivor: Nicaragua.'”
NaOnka: “I am so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to have been one of the chosen few African-Americans to have been on this season. It was an honor to be able to say I shared that with Tyrone Davis. I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to be blessed again with an opportunity to go to Nicaragua or surfboard down a volcano or anything like that. I would never regret quitting the game of ‘Survivor’ because there’s so many people who apply to be on the show, it’s a great honor and I thank everybody that had something to do with it and Jeff for allowing us to be on the jury. It was great to have a chance to decide who won the million dollars.”
Do you feel any remorse towards the millions of fans who would give up just about anything in their lives for the chance to play a game that you just quit?
Kelly: “I think they picked us for a reason. We were chosen and it was all for a reason. They knew what kind of people we were and I’m sure they weren’t expecting the outcome that happened. But applicants shouldn’t give up or be upset with us. You have no idea what it’s like out there. Until you’re actually out there … you really just have no idea.”
NaOnka: “It comes to a point in the game where you dig so deep that you can’t dig any more. I wanted to quit post-merge and the only reason why I stayed was because of Chase. He’s the reason why I was still there and it was why I gave him the Idol. I paid him back by giving him the Idol. I wasn’t going to ever use it. I don’t really care what anybody thinks. There was only 20 of us who were on that island who were actually playing that game. The people that are on the jury before us, they have every right to be upset. They respected us too because we played the game with them, we’re a family now. Alina chose to distance herself, which is understandable, she was the first jury member. Brenda and Marty, they welcomed us with open arms. They would do anything to be back in that game, but we’d reached the end of our rope.”
Did you feel bad for your fellow jury members, quitting after they were voted out? And did you think you deserved to be on the jury after quitting?
Kelly: “I definitely think we deserved to be. I don’t think, I know — we sat there for the same nights as everybody else. Pouring rain, miserable shelter, no food, we went through everything that everybody else went through. We got to know everybody well enought o be able to make the decision as for who we wanted to vote for, so I think that it’s very fair we were on the jury.”
Kelly (cont.): “Arriving at Ponderosa, Alina was upset. I could understand that. I just needed to give her her time. Marty and Brenda, I appreciate them so much for welcoming and being open and talking with NaOnka and I about what happened. In the end, they did get voted off. They slipped up somewhere in their strategic plan and they were voted off. ‘Survivor’s a game. People win, people lose, people quit, whatever. I can’t really feel bad just because I look at ‘Survivor’ as being a game.”
NaOnka: “I didn’t feel bad. The only person I cared about was Brenda because Brenda was my best friend out there and I did stab her in the back. I could’ve used the Idol on her, but I didn’t and then I turned around and quit the next day. But then we all had a slumber party that night and just talked about it and talked about life and stepped outside of the game. It’s always gonna be coulda shoulda woulda, but this is what happened. I digested it and moved on.”
NaOnka, did you see yourself in a new light after watching the season at home? Do you feel bad about anything you said about your fellow competitors?
NaOnka: “I never felt bad when I was at home watching it. I laughed at it and I laughed at it real hard. You don’t think about the things that you say, you don’t edit things in your head. I don’t take back anything. With Kelly B. and her prosthetic leg, I didn’t talk about it that much, but I guess I did. But every night when we would wake up and Kelly B.’s leg was always with the logs. She always put it right on there with the logs, so you’d go in to grab a log and there was Kelly B.’s leg. It wasn’t like I was picking on her, but her leg was always right there. Kelly B. got cast just like everyone else. She’s an iron woman, she’s just like the rest of us, that birth defect did not slow her down one bit. I respect her and I ended up outlasting her, but I didn’t hate her and I still don’t hate her and it was just a game.”
NaOnka (cont.): “I kept telling her it was just a game. It’s a game for a million dollars. Every moment of that game it changes, just like the weather. It’s inconsistent. Just like how the viewers are watching it and they never know what the hell I was about to do, that’s how I felt. I didn’t know what the hell I was gonna do. You are not yourself out there.”
Who were you rooting for to win the money after you quit the game?
NaOnka: “I respect Jane’s game because Jane come in like Super Jane. I respect the way Fabio’s played because like Purple Kelly, they had the same game play. They were being smart about being quiet. And I respect Sash’s game because Sash’s game is much like mine. He’s working it. He got Marty to hand him over the Idol. Those are the three I respect most right now. I gave Chase the Idol not because I respect his game but because he saved me.”
Kelly: Overall, I look at everybody and I think Chase is a wonderful person. I think Sash played that game like crazy and I had no idea until I watched it how he was so socially smart and conniving, it was just unbelievable. I’m not sure there’s anyone specifically. I think everyone left up to this point, minus Benry, I’m throwing him out of there, I think that they are all very deserving.”
“Survivor” airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.