December 8, 2008
Corinne Kaplan, a 29–year-old unemployed pharmaceutical sales rep from Los Angeles and the newest member of the jury on Survivor: Gabon, is bitter about how her season went down. And she was not afraid to talk about it when she called from New York to rant about her nemesis Sugar and all the other undeserving “nerds,” her wild last-ditch effort to stay in the game, the Jerri Manthey comparisons and why she’d love to follow in the footsteps of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. – Carrie Bell
You knew you and Bob were doomed from the start of the merge, but you never gave up. Did you actually think a second fake idol would work?
I had a real slim chance. But I thought the flaw would be with the idol itself. How is anyone going to buy, coming off a fake idol made by Bob the week before, that there’s another idol from Bob? I thought there was no way that Kenny and Crystal were going to buy that it was real. If they did buy it, I was golden. I didn’t think they would try to flush it because it is useless after day 36. That was only one more round. They let Sugar walk around with an idol for like 25 days. They clearly bought it hook line and sinker that it was real.
Did you know at the time that Sugar had an idol?
I knew that she got the idol. She spent like an eternity on exile. But I was told, and I believed, by Sugar and Matty when they were on Fang, that Kellie went home because Sugar played the idol. That made sense to me because Kellie was more athletic and no one liked Sugar. She was very annoying to have around camp so I figured she played it and saved herself.
The final six are not the group people would have imagined — with the exception of Matty and maybe Bob. Are you bitter about all the twists that for all intents and purposes ruined your shot at a million?
Had there not been those twists, I think the final six would look very different. Every time a twist happened, it was to my downfall. It’s a shame because you want to see the person at the end be the one who is the most deserving, smart, strategic, good player. I don’t know what part of America roots for people like this. I get the underdog thing but these are not underdogs. These are just unintelligent, unsuccessful people that got lucky breaks. This is revenge of the nerds edition.
If you couldn’t pick yourself, who do you think played the best game and was most deserving of the win?
Charlie. The biggest difficulty in Survivor — forget about the starvation, the not sleeping and the mosquito bites, is getting along with the other players. Charlie had an unbelievable knack for making people like him. He is an all around nice guy.
Speaking of the physical part, what was that like for you?
I lost 12 pounds in total and nine of those I lost in the first few days I was there. After the fourth day, my stupid short suit had to be cuffed over once. The weight loss isn’t as magnificent as you might think for not eating for that long. Physically, I trained really hard for it. I trained different starvation techniques and without water. I was very equipped to handle that element of the game.
You wished your competitors all miserable lives except Bob and Kenny. With a few months perspective, do you still hate them that much?
I can’t stand Sugar. She is so annoying that we kept sending her to exile to get her away from us. She’s the only girl who ever gained weight on Survivor. I stand by my statements. The bottom line is that Kenny still treated me like a human being. We were outcasts, lepers. If we walked in, everyone walked out. No one would canoe with us. Kenny was the only one that would still talk to me. When I was in the majority, I never treated anyone like that … But the only way this show would turn out good is if Bob won because everyone else there doesn’t deserve a penny of a million dollars.
Do you have a favorite moment that wasn’t shown on the show?
I spent hours a day teaching Charlie how to tap dance and we put on shows. We were organizing a talent show. Charlie and I had a Gay Pride Parade. We did lots of crazy fun things to make the time pass.
You live in L.A., have long curly hair and were the female villian. How often do you get compared to Jerri Manthey?
People compare me to her all the time … I didn’t see her show and I don’t know her. The only thing we have in common is curly hair and that we are both supposed to be the series villain. I said things to get on the show like “I’ll do anything for the million” or “I’ll cross lines.” But I am not really a self-proclaimed b—-. There are lots of kinds of b—— in the world. Sugar is an example of a dumb b—-. I would consider myself to be a fierce b—-. People call Madonna a b—- and we all know how fierce she is. So I am okay with that but I was not trying to be the new Jerri.
What’s next for you? Have you gone back to your job yet?
I had a great job with a great company and I couldn’t get a leave of absence to do the show so I quit my job. I had a company car that I had to give up. When I got back, the economy was terrible and it is the worst possible time to be trying to find a job. Pharmaceutical sales in particular took a major hit. Most of the companies are in a hiring freeze or laying people off like my former employer. I am having an enormous amount of trouble getting another job. So now I am looking to entertain any possibilities with the small amount of shine you get from being on Survivor. I went to college to be a news anchor so I would love to do hosting or anchoring.
Look out Elizabeth.
Oh man, what I wouldn’t give to be her but unfortunately I think that only happens once in a lifetime.