If you think back to some of the best and most-likable Survivor players over the years, Cirie Fields has to be at the top of the list. She plays hard, but there’s also a certain joy about how she plays that strikes a chord with many people. She’s not the physical beast or ultimate survivalist, but she does what she needs to do in order to get the job done.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot she could’ve done to fend off against five different people being immune. Her elimination was both shocking and sad, but it’s hardly a surprise to see today in the exit press that Cirie is taking it all in stride.
CarterMatt – Do you ever get used to being such a popular player who people really look up to and love rooting for on the show?
Cirie Fields – No not really. I don’t feel like one of the superstars. I’m not the Queen, and I’m not a challenge beast. It’s weird — I mean it’s flattering (laughs), but I’m just regular.
What I found so fun about this season is that everybody knew you were a huge threat. You got to the merge, and nobody seemed all that anxious to get rid of you. Even how you got voted out was absolutely insane. Why weren’t these people more eager to get rid of you? Were you just able to charm them and make them at ease?
I think I placed myself in the majority for the most part. I got lucky thanks to the Survivor Gods some of the time, and I think people had bigger targets and it helped for me to make myself really small and not noticeable, which was my plan.
Are you someone who thinks a lot about what you could’ve done differently? Does this season bother you more than in either Micronesia or Panama, when you also got really close?
This time it hurts a little less because of the way I went out. It was so epic, and I was stuck between fandom and … Cirie-dom (laughs). I was experiencing it as a fan, but also as a player in the game. I was like ‘d–n, you went out,’ but also like ‘d–n, look how you went out!’ There were mixed emotions.
Did you get the sense you could’ve won at the end, and pretty easily?
I don’t know about ‘easily,’ but I do think I could have. I would’ve had to do some good talking and get my point across with the people I played with, but I do think that it was definitely possible.
Do you like the new jury format? I think that would’ve been perfect for you in the final three since you’re such a good communicator.
I loved the new jury format. Not only do you get more information, but in how you exchange that information you can possibly sway some other jury members to your way of thinking.
I have this picture in my head of you out looking for idols, because I really wanted you to find one! How often were you looking?
We searched all the time! I don’t know how with some of these people idols just fall out of trees, or they go to bed and wake up with an idol in their pocket (laughs). I don’t know! How things stand out to some of these people, I don’t know. I’m going to have Tai write a book on Idol Finding 101. Him and Russell [Hantz].
Were you even thinking about looking for things like the Legacy Advantage and the Vote Steal? Those weren’t things that were a part of the game in Heroes vs. Villains.
Not really! I wasn’t really focusing on all that; we were mostly just idol-searching. All of these newfangled game-changing things, I wasn’t really looking for them. I don’t think anyone was looking for them. They may have been looking for idols, but I don’t think they were looking for all of the advantages that were out there.
I want to go back to Tavua when you and Ozzy formed a closer bond, and that was really great to see since you guys had such a history. At the time that happened, did you think you could go far in the game with him?
I think I made enough of a bond with Ozzy for him to think that I wasn’t coming after him, and that I didn’t carry any baggage from any other seasons. I think when I gave Ozzy bits of information and suggestions on how he could play his game better, I think that broke down some of his walls. I would’ve felt okay going to the finals with Ozzy.
The show made a big deal out of you finishing the challenge and Jeff and the other players encouraging you, but did you ever wish that Jeff made it less of a deal? You don’t want people targeting out there for any reason!
[Honestly], though, Jeff was pretty good this season! He didn’t mention the fact that I had never gone to Tribal or the fact that I had the largest number of days out there. Jeff’s game changed a little bit too. He was really into finding out what was going on in this season.
I mean, he still called me out on stuff like ‘Cirie belly-flops off the twenty-foot pole’ and ‘Cirie … still digging!’ — typical Jeff stuff. He didn’t put me in the limelight at the wrong time.
One of your best moves this season that I don’t think is getting enough credit is how you were able to keep Michaela around after the merge. What went into making that happen?
I couldn’t make many moves because a lot of people were watching me. However, I knew that just one little [statement] could change things.
Sierra and Brad were adamant that it had to be Michaela. However, with Zeke and the other guys, they were saying ‘it doesn’t make a difference.’ I knew that Troyzan wanted to get back to his old tribe with Hali. I shared that information with Zeke and was like ‘look, the reason that they want Michaela and not Hali is that with Troyzan and Hali, that gives them two numbers instead of one. I could be wrong, so just go ask them and see how they react.’ They reacted just how I thought that they would. That gave Zeke pause, and it was enough to change things without really putting the target on myself.
Cirie, will you be the first person to play five times? Please say yes.
You know what? I never say never, and I’d probably never say never to Survivor. If the opportunity exists, I’m gonna take it.
Further Survivor finale coverage
If you do want to get some other exit interviews from the finale, plus some reviews and a look ahead to next season, head over to the link here. (Photo: CBS.)