Monty Brinton/ CBS
On week two of "Survivor: Nicaragua," the Espada (40-plus) tribe was more savvy than on week one and played the Medallion of Power when it came to the Immunity Challenge. The strategy worked and they won, meaning that someone from the LaFlor Tribe (under 30) had to go home. It was fascinating to watch as Shannon Elkins and Brenda Lowe both lobbied their fellow LaFlor members to send the other one home. Brenda was the victor, but Shannon didn't do himself any favors when he went on a rant against several team members during Tribal Council -- just prior to the vote.
ET: Had you seen previous seasons of "Survivor"?
Shannon Elkins: Are you trying to make me sound stupid?
ET: No. I just can't imagine why on earth you went into that rant during Tribal Council just before a vote. Going in, it seemed as if the vote was evenly split five-five.
Shannon Elkins: Listen, have you ever played "Survivor" before?
ET: I have never gone, but I have watched a lot of seasons.
Shannon Elkins: I am sure you have interviewed many "Survivors" and they told you when they were going out … before you go into Tribal, there is a process you go through. If somebody is not looking at you, or making eye contact with you, you pretty much know that they are voting against you. That is what happened to me. There were many more people not looking at me than there were giving me the wink like, "You're good." Nobody was even trying to lie to me like, "You're good." They were going against me. Yes, it looked like it was five-five, but Ben … his mind was made up that he was sending me home. He was going with Chase because he had more of a relationship with Chase. So, that is when I went in there and everybody said, "If you'd just kept your mouth shut, you would have stayed." If I had kept my mouth shut, me and you would have had nothing to talk about today because my ass would have been blindsided going home. All you and me would have had to talk about today was what color my shirt is.
ET: So, why had you targeted Brenda?
Shannon Elkins: Brenda was the best of the girls. If any of those girls knew what was going on in life … and, I guess, because she is a business owner, she has more experience in life. Kelly B. is still dabbling in school. She wants to be a doctor. Brenda knew what was going on. She was more like me for the guys. So, I knew she was my biggest threat. When I pulled the two girls with me … this is why we didn't vote NaOnka off because she was a sitting duck. We could have sent her home whenever we wanted. The reason why we didn't go with Na was we knew that Brenda and Chase had fallen in love. They thought they were on the show "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette." Two, you've always got to break that up. And three, my girls came on our side because they wanted to get Brenda out. If I don't give them the vote on Brenda, and lie to them and we go NaOnka, then next week … what? I make it two or three more days out there and lose more weight and [get] more stinky and hungry, because now we lied to our girls. Then me and Chase are the big targets. I knew I was a target from the get-go. That is why we went that route and we didn't send Ne home. Ne was the easiest vote. We could have sent her home hands down. In order to keep the girls and show our loyalty and respect for having the girls come on our side, we had to give them that first vote.
ET: Why did you feel it was necessary to attack Sash's sexuality?
Shannon Elkins: I am going to go with you on this one, too, and I know you are going to write it however you want. This is why I went at it the way I did. Like things you don't see in Tribal. It was a little bit longer than that. You probably only caught 30 or 40 percent of it. He kept on and on and on calling me a liar. I was, "Dude, I didn't lie to anybody here. Ask everybody." That was when I was, "Do you trust me? Did I lie to you?" Nobody could answer. Maybe they were just cowards. I didn't lie to anybody. I played a straightforward game. I told them how it is. That is what did me in. It made me seem as if I was bold and brash. Those little kids are not used to that. They aren't used to dealing with grownups. What happened is he kept on, so finally what I said was, "Dude, OK, fine. I lied to you and you lied to me." I was going to let it go. He said, "When did I lie to you?" I said, "When you told me you weren't gay." That is how that happened. I don't even care what his sexual preference was. All I was trying to do was attack the guy and show, "Look, you can go with Chase. You don't even know where he is at. He is looking for Chris [Harrison] to walk in to give Brenda the rose. Or, you can go with a guy who won't really tell you who he really is as a person and he is lying to y'all." That is why I went after him that way. I wanted to prove, "Look, did this guy really tell y'all who he really is? He is a liar."
ET: What was your strategy going in to the game?
Shannon Elkins: I didn't know it was going to be 30 and younger: Me and nine children vs. 10 adults. My strategy was to go in and align with the other alpha male. Like I said on the show, Rob [Mariano] and Russell [Hantz], they spent all their time battling each other -- so much stress and high school bullshit. I didn't want that. So, I went straight to the guy that looked like an alpha male. I didn't know Brenda had his balls at the time. When I went to him and questioned him, he was for it. I said, "Look, dude. I don't want to battle you and you don't want to battle me. Let's just go and run the thing. Alpha males against the rest. You know what I am saying? Let's just make it easy on everybody." That was what my strategy was to align with the alpha male and see where it took me. I didn't want to fight the alpha male because I knew I was going to be viewed as one. Actually, when they did the young deal, I was, "I am screwed." I even said it many times…. I knew that was what was going on. My strategy was to align with the alpha male. It just so happened he fell in love with a girl out there and she played him like a fiddle.
ET: So how does it feel to be the first one eliminated from your tribe? Shannon Elkins: It feels so good, I am glad you asked. [joke] No, it is all good. I have no bitterness. I am not bitter about anything. I think it was a great experience. Thank you CBS for letting me do it. That is it. I have no beef with it except me and Jeff [Probst] are going to have a little conversation at the finale because he has been bashing me the whole time I was playing. Hopefully, he will give me some questions so I can go after him.
"Survivor: Nicaragua" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.