CBS LOCAL- CBS aired Season 34, Episodes 13 and 14 of Survivor: Game Changers this past Wednesday and we had the chance to interview the first player eliminated this week, Andrea Boehlke. Here’s her first-hand account (as told to CBS Local’s Adam Bloom) on the Zeke-Varner tribal council, the elimination ceremony that sent her home and much more.
Related: Check out Michaela Bradshaw’s post-elimination interview here.
Episode 13 Castoff: Andrea Boehlke
AB- I’m curious when you’re walking away from tribal after you were voted off do you remember the thoughts that were going through your head as you were walking away?
Andrea- I remember that I didn’t know who had voted with me. I didn’t know that Aubry was the one that voted with me and I was trying to figure it out. I’m thinking, man everyone turned on me except one person was kept out of the loop. I thought maybe Tai was kept out of the loop because sometimes he’s just left out of the loop. But then later when I found out it was Aubry it made sense, because Aubry and I had started getting really, really close and I think everyone saw that. So that ‘s why they didn’t clue her in on the vote. I remember feeling super bummed and thinking that my time was just cut short. I just felt like I had so much more game left in me. I know everyone thinks that, but it felt that way more this time than my other two seasons.
AB- I felt that way too actually. I’m curious, when you were voted off you had an interesting reaction with Cirie, did you have any idea that she was behind getting you out? It looked like you were kind of playful with her.
Andrea- I think that, I felt, if I was going to be blindsided it was going to be by Cirie. I had an idea it was maybe Cirie, plus I had so many votes against me that obviously she was involved in some capacity. Cirie and I always had this playful relationship so I have no idea why I felt I wanted to tickle her at that moment but it just happened (laughs). Even though everyone else had voted me out too, for some reason it was more playful when it came to Cirie.
AB- There was another thing it seemed odd, at least to the audience, when you don’t have the reward challenges and just go straight to immunity challenges. I’m just curious how you guys feel about that or do they ever edit out an entire reward challenge? Or do you feel it’s just a sign of the game changing and speeding up?
Andrea- I don’t know if they’ve ever edited out a reward challenge, they haven’t on my seasons. But at that point it was day 33 so I think there’s still eight people left you kind of want things to speed up. We also just had the family visit, so I think as players you’re kind of ready to get the game moving.
AB- So you actually appreciate the fact that it’s moving quicker at that point.
Andrea- You do! At that point you kind of just want to get a lot of these people out.
AB- Now I want to take you back to a quick moment at the Zeke-Varner tribal council, it just seems like it was a very historical television moment. I really felt that your reaction was emotional and incredibly powerful. I think it echoed the feelings that many people at home were feeling. Just looking back it now, I’m curious your takeaways from that moment.
Andrea- Well that was a very shocking moment and a very emotional time for a lot of us, especially Zeke because it still seems so wrong. You don’t just out somebody on national television, but I remember in that moment I was completely shocked and just really felt for Zeke. I can’t even imagine what that feels like, you know a lot of Zeke’s friends didn’t even know. So to be outed in that way is very, I don’t want to say tragic, but I feel it wasn’t very fair to him at all.
AB- I think the way it was shown opened a lot of eyes and it will be interesting to see what Zeke does from here.
Andrea- Well the thing is, Zeke is super resilient and he was prepared that this could possibly happen. By playing Survivor you sign a contract you know that this is a thing that could come up. So Zeke even said that he was prepared if this was going to happen. Of course he didn’t want it to come out in that fashion, it would have been great if he could have revealed it when he was ready, if he even wanted to. But I think that ultimately it will be a good thing and Zeke is going to be a great role model. I think it’s also going to raise awareness for everything out there. When you look at someone like Sarah is a good example, she was explaining that a lot of people where she’s from don’t understand the transgender community and everything that goes along with that. Now those people who have been watching Survivor and follow Zeke as a Survivor player, hopefully their opinion of him doesn’t change and they’re a little more open minded now. So I think ultimately it’s a really great thing.
AB- Going back to the show now, how did you find out you were going to be back on it and was there any question in your mind about saying yes?
Andrea- Yea, so they called me a little over a year ago. Last spring I got the call and I wasn’t sure if it was a good move for me career wise. Now things are really cooking with my career and I’m very happy about that. Gong back on Survivor it takes you out of your real life. It’s kind of like a step back, you’re in this crazy world and then you have to come back and watch yourself on TV. You also don’t know how you’re going to be portrayed, there’s a lot of risks. So I wasn’t sure and initially I kind of thought it wasn’t a good move for me, even though I love the game so much. Then I couldn’t sleep at night and my family are huge Survivor fans and really wanted me to be on it. So that night I couldn’t seep I had this revelation of, why not? Life is short, you love the game, who cares if you’re voted out early it’s not going to really effect your career. No matter what everyone is going to know me as Andrea from Survivor. Ideally, it will be Andrea the host who also did Survivor but no matter what you were on Survivor so why not just embrace it. I’m glad I decided to go back on and do it.
AB- Do you enjoy watching the show now?
Andrea- No! It’s the worst! (laughs)
AB- What’s your experience, where do you watch it ? Are you with your family?
Andrea- No, I live in New York and my family is in Wisconsin so they have huge viewing parties in Wisconsin. I actually got to host an after show for People and Entertainment Weekly. I work at People as a host right now and we would have live viewing parties, we had a live audience that came in watched Survivor and then we did an after show. It was really cool that CBS would let me do this and I got to talk about the season right after we saw it. I got to watch with a bunch of friends and fans, so that’s been a really fun experience.
AB- That’s great, I have a last question here that I’ve asked a few other castmates. I’m curious when you’re on the island a lot of them have talked about when they fall asleep at night they dream these very vivid dreams, your senses are off a little bit. Did you have any crazy dreams while you were on the island or do you dream when you’re at home that you’re back on the island.
Andrea- Sometimes, I don’t really remember. I know my second season I dreamed that Malcolm had an idol and it turned out he actually did have an idol. I don’t really have too many Survivor dreams, once in a while I do. I get more sleep paralysis which is really terrifying. That’s a new thing.
AB- Do you ever wake up at home and think you’re on the island or it takes you a second to realize that you’re not on the island?
Andrea- No, I think I’m one of those players that has a pretty big separation. I know some people are kind of like half in the game and half not. I’m more of a person that once it’s done, it’s just done.
Tune in on Wednesday, May 24, at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS to see episode 15 of Survivor: Game Changers, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.