Katrina Radke was the first eliminated castaway on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, and she certainly went home in an odd episode. After all, we saw her leave the game without an enormous amount of screen time, and also in an episode that seemed mostly about Alan going at J.P. and Ashley on the Heroes tribe. In the end, J.P., Ashley, and Alan all voted together, and even Katrina’s apparent ally Chrissy opted to vote against her and not use the super-idol that had been given to her in secret.
Despite her early exit from the game we did still have a lot of different questions to ask the Olympian about her time out there, let alone the dynamics of her crazy tribe, in our exit interview. Here’s one tease from what’s ahead — she and Chrissy were not as close of allies as the show made it seem.
CarterMatt – Was the experience of being out there anywhere close to what you thought it would be?
Katrina Radke – I really never even dreamed I’d be the first one out. I didn’t have that in my reality. The biggest thing for me was having this experience after the game which I didn’t think was going to be a part of it. I got to have this really amazing experience [with other eliminated castaways] that I get to cherish, embracing people who came off after me. They’re like my real tribe, really. We had some fun times.
So were there some fun times out there in the game, like when Alan got J.P. to drop his pants?
(Laughs) It was funny, but it’s Survivor! Somebody’s gotta do something like that.
How bad was the paranoia after the immunity challenge? Nobody wants to be the first person voted out of the game. I’m sure that fear was driving everyone.
At that point it was already pretty clear that it was going to be me. I felt it intuitively and I knew, because of the whole thing that happened with Alan and also the whole energy with the tribe. Sometimes with group dynamics we don’t gel with each other. I was a square peg in a round hole.
Do you think your situation would’ve been different if you’d started in a tribe of ten as opposed to one of six?
Oh definitely. I think I would’ve gotten to the merge totally fine.
I’m sure this is the question you’ve gotten a million times. Are you disappointed that Chrissy didn’t play the super-idol to save you?
I think what I’ve had to explain to people is that I’m not upset! We didn’t know she had the idol and the TV show made it look like we were totally aligned and we weren’t. We were friends and we would talk, but the bottom line was that she didn’t want me around. Her whole deal was the age thing. She was so caught up on it.
I would’ve liked to work with her — I told her that — but I think in the end everybody is just trying to save themselves and that’s what she did.
So had the first immunity challenge been a swimming one, would they have realized that you were a little more of a competitor than they gave you credit for?
You know what’s funny? Even though I told them I was an Olympian, I don’t know if they appreciated what I was capable of. That’s fine, I know what I’m capable of and that’s all that matters, but I’m a really strong athlete. I can do a lot of sports, and I would’ve been able to do a lot of things out there and I’m very smart. There were a lot of things that were never expressed out there. A lot of things that I did express the [episode] didn’t show.
How forthcoming or not forthcoming at all was Alan with his own athletic background?
He and I had talked, and I knew he was an elite athlete. I didn’t know he’d done all of this pro stuff. We would talk whenever we would go to get water since that’s about a ten-minute walk.
As for the tribe we never would all get together, the six of us, and talk during my three days. I had little conversations with people here and there, but the six of us never sat down and had big conversations about life.
So who was the person you were the closest to out there?
I don’t know if I could say one specific person. That was probably part of the problem — I would’ve loved to have one or two people as my main allies. There were some other people in the Healer or Hustler tribes that I would’ve loved to do that with more so than this tribe.
With that being said, they are all good people — it’s just hard when the energy doesn’t match up.
How much was your tribe being designated ‘Heroes’ impact all of you? Was there a psychological aftereffect that you had to act like ‘Heroes’ because of that?
The way it effected me was that it made me question whether or not I should tell them that I was an Olympian. That’s what went through my head. Obviously I’m not 20 and an Olympian so it’s not as threatening, but there are still characteristics of Olympians that make you a threat. That was on my mind more so than what you said, but [for] some, they may think that it means that all the expectations are on them to be the Hero because of that [designated]. Some people like that, some people don’t.
It does alter how people look at the game, especially since we’re so much more than these labels. That’s something that was hard for me — we’re an amazing compilation of a lot of different things, and we have the amazing capability to do some different things. So to be labeled like that was frustrating, but to be fair in my swimming career some people did want a label and to be told how amazing they are. We trained hard, had dreams and went after them and that was really wonderful. But to me, a real hero is someone who doesn’t need the attention or the accolades. They are people on their life’s journey to be true to themselves. So many people like to put things on others, a perception that may not be real. I’m a firm believer in people living their life and being true.
You said earlier that you were pretty sure you were going home. With that in mind, how crazy did you go looking for the immunity idol?
I must have looked for a good two hours! It’s a pretty big island — I dug around the well, climbed trees, and looked around and couldn’t find anything. There were no marks on trees or anything notable. I’m curious — I’d like to talk to Tai about [what he did to them]!
Did you have the same perception of J.P. and Ashley that Alan did?
No! They weren’t the power couple (laughs), and I was good with Ashley potentially. It’s kind of funny because we were frustrated by that whole thing. It was clear that they weren’t the power couple. That was just all Alan being worried that they were.
Are you hoping to get another chance to play someday?
I would love to play again. I wish I could’ve lasted a lot longer and got to do more challenges, especially to see the behind the scenes stuff that interests me.
Before that, you have to be called up, right? That’s up to Jeff [Probst] and [casting director] Lynne [Spillman] and other people who are in charge of that.
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