Interview: Lindsey Ogle discusses quitting 'Survivor: Cagayan'
"Survivor" isn't a show for quitters and yet many players have quit on "Survivor" over 28 seasons.
Players have quit with broken bones, nasty infections, heart problems, stomach problems and whatever those two things were that caused Colton to quit. Jenna quit to be near her ailing mother. Susan quit because Richard Hatch rubbed against her. Various levels of in-game misery caused Janu, Kathy, NaOnka and Purple Kelly to quit.
On Wednesday (March 26) night's "Survivor: Cagayan," Lindsey Ogle quit because of her concerns that if she continued to spend time with gloating Bostonian Trish, something bad might happen. Jeff Probst hailed this as a strange sort of "Survivor" first. As a result, the Solana tribe lost Cliff and Lindsey, which Trish and Tony hailed as a huge triumph, even if they were now way down in numbers.
Solana subsequently won two straight challenges, which as either a fluke or addition by subtraction.
In the first of this week's two exit interviews, Lindsey talks a lot about her decision to quit, her thoughts on Trish and whether or not Solana got better without her. She also discusses her post-"Survivor" plans.
Click through for the full Q&A.
HitFix: I guess my first question is what was it like watching the episode last night and what were you telling yourself on the screen?
Lindsey Ogle: I was definitely pacing back and forth and then I started to do the Rocky jump, back-and-forth. I was getting pumped up. I knew that it was the right decision because of my reaction so much later on. That's still what I'm feeling like, "Oh! Oh! Someone's about to get it!" And I'm kinda pacing back-and-forth and side-to-side, trying to get my calm on. But it definitely fired me up. It's different to see it when you've just eaten a whole bowl of pasta and you're like, "I can't believe that." Like, "I'm gonna stay on my pillow in my warm bed and think about what a wimp this girl is. Like, are you kidding me?" Know what I mean?
HitFix: Sure. Sure. Let's talk about the individual parts of what went down. You went off on that walk to get away from your tribemates. Was quitting on your mind? Or was it just getting away from them?
Lindsey: No! No! I am so glad that you asked that question. Absolutely not! I was just thinking, "I am gonna punch her in the throat!" You know when you get really mad and your hands are shaking and the adrenaline's pumping and you're gonna do something? And I didn't wanna do it. I'm like, "OK. I'm just gonna separate myself." And you could see it on there. I'm like, "You need to back away from me and give me a minute." It's like when you're on the playground, you know, one of those who beats up a little kid when they just got their ass beat by somebody else and she's kicking them in the face like, "Yeah! Ha ha! Kick 'em in the face guys! Look!" You know? And I'm like, "Just back off! Give me a second. We're good. Stop talking to me." But I think that she got a little camera courage. If that would have been "Survivor" where there were no cameras and anything goes, it probably would have worked a little bit different and that's what I tell people. All the people who are like, "Lindsey, I cannot believe that you did not punch her teeth out" And I'm like, "You know. People change. I have a seven-year-old kid now." Growing up, if you looked at me funny... I think there's been several people who have experienced my right hook and it's not nothing to be messed with. But I think that Trish had a little camera courage and I was trying to dig it, but I still think that I was a little bit in shock with Cliff. Did it have anything to with Cliff? Of course, absolutely not. I was shocked about it and that probably added to that adrenaline and everything that was going on. I just felt overwhelmed. So I separated myself from the situation.
I was gone for a long period of time. I don't even want to tell you! I'm paceing back and forth and I'm just going through these things like, "OK. If I do this, this is probably gonna be the repercussions." And I'm really glad they didn't show everything. Oh God. It was probably really embarrassing. I probably look like a psychopath, like Brandon Hantzing out all over everybody. I'm like, "I get it now. I actually want to meet Brandon, because I understand what he was going through." But you're tired, you're cold, you're wet, you're hungry. I knew that that was having an effect on my mind. I'm not trying to kick an old lady's ass on national TV. Who would I look like?
HitFix: OK, so you're pacing back and forth. At what point does the conversation turn to, "Get Jeff Probst."
Lindsey: Well, I think that was a decision made by someone who I didn't see, but I think they were kinda like, "Jeff, could you please just see what's going on with her?" He's just very good at determining people's inner thoughts. Know what I mean? He can bring things out and he can also pacify things. Him and I talked for quite a long time and a lot of people are like, "Ugh. Do you know how many thousands of people would die to get in your spot? And you totally quit!" And let me tell you, for the record, never would I have ever quit if it was just solely on me. And a lot of people are like, "You're blaming it on your daughter. I can't believe you." Jeff's a pretty honest guy. He's one of those guys you can drink a beer with and he'd tell you what's up. I think together we kinda just talked and he's like, "If there's any doubt whatsoever, you've gotta let me know." It was one of those where I'm like, "Man. I don't know. I really want to just calm down," but I knew that as soon as I saw her, it would be right back at it. It stood through the test of time. It was so consistent with her that she was cruisin' for a bruisin'. I told him, "I don't feel comfortable with this. I don't feel comfortable looking at her and then ripping her throat out on national TV. She doesn't deserve it and I'm not gonna go there." I think that we kinda agreed on the sand that night that, "Maybe you're good." I told him, "It's not because I'm cold, wet and hungry. I feel like it's a variable but it is not the reason why. I'm not gonna say, 'I'm so hungry and I'm chilly.' Like, duh. I've been that way since I've been out here. But this skinny broad is wanting a piece of me." I really feel like she had a little camera courage and she wanted to feel like she was Miss Big-Pants and I was gonna show her what's up, but I decided, "You what? It's not even worth it." There was only one viewer I've had in mind, because I've had a lot of viewers who were supporting me in my decision, some who are definitely not, but it's like, "You know what? When it comes down to it, I don't really care what you think." I don't care if you think that was the wrong decision. I appreciate your support. Thank you very much. But you know what? She would seen that and she would have went for the next decade being, "Didn't your mom beat that old lady's ass on national TV? What a bully." You don't want to put that on your child. You have to make decisions. A lot of people are like, "You knew you were a mother when you left." Um, duh. Of course I knew that I was a mother. I understand that. Thank you very much. Keep it moving. Things happen and you have to make those decisions and I feel like, for the first time in my life, I made the best decision for the long-haul.
HitFix: What was the conversation you had with your daughter last night? Did you watch the episode together? What was the teachable moment?
Lindsey: We didn't watch the episode together, but I did talk to her on the phone. I don't let her watch it until I see it myself, but she watched it, we DVR it. I said, "If you wanna watch it, you can. If you don't want to, that's fine too." So she watched it and she's like. "Mom. You did the right thing. I'm really proud of you." It's one of those that, it makes me sad and it sucks, but at the same time, I knew that she was proud of me and I knew that even though I might not be a badass for the for the rest of the world, I'm the apple of her eye and she's the apple of mine and that's all that matters. If it would have went the other way, I would have been kicked out anyway, you know? And I wasn't gonna risk being that person.
HitFix: But bottom line this for me: You're out there and you're pacing. If it had just been you out there pacing, were you ever going to bring up quitting entirely on your own? Without Jeff Probst coming out on the beach, etc?
Lindsey: I think that we all make our own decisions. Jeff never said, "You need to quit." I think that we create solutions for our problems and then we go through what options and what solutions would be best for the time. Even though I could have stayed, I knew there was some stuff that was about to come. You could tell by the numbers. We were getting fewer and fewer. It would have been a week. You could just kinda tell by the energy of what was going on: There's gonna be some mix-ups, there's gonna be some twists, there's gonna be some turns. It's "Survivor." You never know what's gonna happen. But putting yourself out there? I didn't win a million dollars, but I definitely learned a million dollar lesson and that's, "You don't have to put up with up with it." You make the choice. You make your own decisions that lead you to where you are and my choices from that point up to then led me to, "I'm a show where millions of people watch. This is really cool. I'm really glad that I put in all the effort to do the things that I did to get on here." I feel like I'm good with it. I'm at peace with it. There is a little bit of vinegar left in my feelings for Trish, but I'm sure she's a cool person outside of the game. She's just not my cup of tea and I'm not hers.
HitFix: Are you really sure she's a cool person outside of the game?
Lindsey: I don't know! You get perceived as this one thing on TV, but you're really something else. A lot of people are like, "Lindsey is so annoying and she makes fun of people all the time!" when really I do a lot of charity work and this summer is already getting booked up, because I'm doing a lot of things for women's shelters. I have all these things that I want to do to help. Because I didn't win the million dollars, I've made it a point that I want to do some stuff around my community to empower women and to encourage them to be outside and to exercise and to push themselves. Someone might think, "Oh, that Lindsey. She's a bitch. I don't like her and she's mean to everybody," but that's not me at all. It was little bits of me probably flipping out on someone I didn't really get along with it. It only takes one. It gives them good TV. I don't know. I think that she's an OK person. I'm sure. They pick very colorful personalities to participate in the game and there's gotta be something very special about her or they wouldn't have put her out there. I just couldn't find it.
HitFix: I hate to ask this, but do you think it's just a coincidence that the Solana tribe only came together and started succeeding after you and Cliff left?
Lindsey: I don't think that had anything to with it at all. I think that was a fluke. I mean, let's be honest, Cliff has like a six-foot reach. It would have been like playing against the Little Rascals with Cliff. It was a tiebreaker [in the Reward]. It wasn't like a blowout. Even the pole challenge. [She sighs.] We won that one, too. There's a lot with that that I have my own thoughts on. I think they got it set up. Let's just say that. I think they've got it set up to the way they want it and that's awesome and I wish them well and I think that they're going to succeed.
HitFix: And are you actually rooting for them?
Lindsey: Absolutely not. No. No. I hope that Trish... I hope that someone farts in her canteen. Let's just say that. I'm kidding! I'm kidding! No, it's all good. There's just people you don't like. There's people that you really like. There's people who you don't like. It's fine. You just move on and you do what you've gotta do. There's gonna be one winner and there's gonna be a lot of losers. And I happen to be on the losing side of it, but it's what you do with the game that you've gotten, even if it was five seconds or not. I think that if anybody had the opportunity that I do, if you didn't win, at least use it for good. That's my whole plan.