'Survivor: Nicaragua's' Kelly Bruno hopes she changed 'the perspective on disabled athletes'

kelly-bruno-survivor.jpg"Survivor: Nicaragua" had a double elimination Wednesday night (Oct. 20) and Kelly Bruno was one of the victims. Perceived as a huge threat to get sympathy votes because of her artificial leg, Kelly nevertheless says she was thrilled to have had the chance. You can also read our exit Q&A with Yve Rojas here.

Are you glad you did "Survivor"?

"I'm so thrilled I had the opportunity to be on "Survivor." It was a lot harder than I was expecting. It's a lot easier to watch from your couch at home. It's a different story being out there. It definitely made me a stronger person."


Were you surprised to watch the show and see all the stuff your tribemates were saying about you behind your back?

"I knew there was a general sentiment and people had singled me out. I knew that without hearing what people were saying just because of the body language and the interactions. It was always very tense. I knew. I had a pretty good sense of what was going on out there. The only thing I could do was play my game and be who I am and just play strong and hope they saw that and respected it."

We were surprised you were still a target early on, because you more than proved your worth in physical challenges, were you surprised by that?

"I was surprised that doing well in the challenges almost seemed to hurt me more than it helped. I went from being a sympathy vote to being a threat because people were worried about me being too competitive, too strong. I had to prove I wouldn't use my leg for sympathy and then I found out I got voted out for being too strong. It's hard to hear, but if there's a way to go out, that's one of the most respectable ways and I'm okay with that. I did what I went out there to do, which is to change the perspective on disabled athletes. To win the money too, sure, but it showed that I'm as capable as anybody else out there."

Who were you rooting for once you were booted off?

"I was wishing Alina well because she was in my alliance and I knew she was a strong individual. And recently, after seeing that Fabio voted for me, it's hard to support him now, but his kind of carefree perspective on life is really kind of refreshing and I did appreciate that while I was out there."

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Photo and video credit: CBS


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