Kat Edorsson was voted out of her tribe on last week's Survivor: Blood vs. Water, and last night she lost her Redemption Island puzzle duel, snuffing her hopes of winning Survivor in her second go-around. Now, the 23-year-old Florida student is talking to ETonline about whether she regrets making a move against Monica, how her performance on the show affected her relationship with Big Brother 12 winner, boyfriend Hayden Moss, and whether she was sure at the time he would even hypothetically split the million with her.
ETonline: I know that at a certain point in [your final] Tribal Council you got the idea that you might be going home, but did you think you were going home when you went into that Tribal Council?
Kat Edorsson: I had an idea. You can tell when you're going home when nobody can look at you, and nobody can give you any type of eye contact. So I had a feeling that I was definitely the one going home.
ETonline: So looking back on it, do you regret trying to make a move against Monica, or would you do that again?
Kat: You know, I should've never lied to Monica, I should have just straight out told her. But the thing is that, where Monica's head was at, I feel like the damage was done for her, because there's so much trust that we weren't able to build from the beginning of the game, because of so many things that happened. And it wasn't just Monica not trusting me, I couldn’t trust Monica at the time. She's a really great friend of mine right now, but in the game I couldn't trust her because there was so much going on. … I was having Tina's back more than anyone else in the game at the time. But little did I know that Tina threw me under the bus, so it's like, thanks Tina!
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ETonline: Totally. And do you think that the tribe swap really affected your game a lot?
Kat: Absolutely. Survivor, the one portion is social game and your next portion is going to be the environment, and your next portion is definitely going to be luck of the draw. And on this season of Survivor it was not in my favor. … Everybody that came back to play this time had their own agenda, so it was a lot harder this time.
ETonline: Yeah and also, there are so many twists this season, so even for the audience, you really never have any idea what's going to happen week to week.
Kat: Exactly. And sitting on the couch at home and you're confused, I mean, how do you think that we felt? We were just kind of like, uhhhh I don't know what to do!
ETonline: I'm sure the returning players came back thinking, "Hey, we know how this game is played, this is the strategy we're going to use," but then with all of the new twists this season, it's almost like it's a completely new game.
Kat: Yeah, it really is. I can tell you that, out of 27 seasons, there's not one Survivor player that's going to understand this game except for the 20 of us who played. … Because there's so many different aspects – you can't just go out there and play the game that you want to play. 'Cause ideally, when I was out there, I was playing the game that I thought would be best for Hayden and I. There was no "me," it was more about "us." And when [you're thinking] about "us," then you're thinking, "Okay, if I stay with Monica it would be beneficial for my game, but if I work with Tina, Tina and Aras have already won a game. So why don't I keep the winners around, so then my boyfriend can feel comfortable if he ever made the final three to sit next to winners." You know what I mean? So at the time, I wouldn't mind, or he wouldn't mind, being in the jury because that would've been one additional vote for us. It's very confusing, it's very complicated and that's why I was crying so much, because it was hard.
ETonline: Yeah and like you said, if you make it to the merge, then you have a jury vote. So, that must've been hard for you, knowing that the merge was coming soon.
Kat: Right, that's what really bothered me the most. I mean, who wants to date someone that doesn't make the merge? I'm not excited that I know [I just had to make it through] one more [duel], just one more. I'm telling you, there's a preview of the next upcoming episode, and in the duel, they're holding on to balance beams. And I promise I would have held on to that thing until my arms broke off, like I did last time. Because it's easier said than done, but when you're out there, you know your strengths and weaknesses, and my strength is endurance, my weakness is my brain. So I knew that it wasn't going to be easy for me to get out of that duel this time, but if I would have played something like, I don't know, like holding on to something, or pushing someone over, it probably would've been more beneficial for me.
ETonline: So in terms of Hayden, just out of curiosity, how long had you guys been dating before you went into it?
Kat: A little less than a year. It was hard because Hayden and I had been dating a little bit less than a year, there were people on my tribe who have known him longer than me. I live in Florida, he lives in Dallas. The longest I've ever seen my boyfriend is maybe five days in a row. And to see him for 17 days stranded on an island, not being able to say a word to him, how am I supposed to know how he feels? Or how am I supposed to know what he's thinking? I barely even know him. I love him, he's the love of my life, and if we ever get married someday that would be incredible. But at that time, Survivor not only messes with your mind, but it messes with who you are. So if I was in denial about our relationship at the time, I mean, wouldn't you be? You barely know the person and it's for a million dollars. That check is not going into both our accounts. It's only going into one, and who's to say that he has to split the money, or I have to split the money. You know, all we can go on is our word. But it was just really hard. And not to mention, Hayden has a great following and he's one of the biggest recognized players from Big Brother, everybody loves him, and his girlfriend doesn't make the merge? That's an exciting conversation to have with all the guys. Come on.
ETonline: I feel like a lot of people's significant others went home, and [the show never showed anyone] dissing someone for that, you know?
Kat: It really was just a joke, 'cause even when I was leaving on my Tribal Council, I was like, "Thank God I didn't cry again this season," you know? The majority of the time I'm always just joking. I would rather have people laugh at me than not laugh at all. That's always been my thing. And Hayden and I just have a very playful relationship, so when I say, "Babe, just don't leave me for this shit," I literally am just joking. Hayden would never, he's not shallow and he loves me dearly and he accepts me for who I am and we’re very, very happy. But at that time, I just didn't want him to be disappointed in me and since I was sorry, it might have sounded like a little bit more than that.
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ETonline: So when you did reunite with him later, I'm sure his reaction was fine, right? He wasn't disappointed in you…
Kat: Yeah, but you know girl, between you and I, I was a little bit pissed. I was a little mad. ... If there was a chance of me getting back into the game, I wanted it. And that's why he was so upset in this episode, because he knows how much this means to me. [Survivor] is the reason Hayden and I met. If I wasn't on Survivor, we would never be together. I met him at a reality event. So our whole life has changed from the decisions we made and this experience has changed my life so dramatically, and the fact that it was taken away from me, and Hayden could have had the chance to give me a second chance. You know, throw a dog a bone, that one bone that I've been wanting to have. Yeah, I wanted to give it to him for at least 24 hours when he got home. But after that I took him out to wings and football and it was just fine after that.
ETonline: And how is your relationship today?
Kat: We're incredible. He's the love of my life, he's my best friend and we're together. … I still live in Florida, he still lives in Dallas. We still want to have a part in our life when we can move to the same state, which is what we're hoping for in April, because I graduate in April. We're excited to see where our life is going to take us and we're so thankful that we got to do something like this together.
Survivor: Blood vs. Water airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.