Between her spitfire attitude and spontaneous poetic outbursts, it seemed as though Survivor's Semhar Tadesse never stood a chance. And then, she volunteered herself to be the "coconut shooter" in the immunity challenge — which she tanked — sealing her fate as the first castoff to head to Redemption Island. After a few days of shelter-less solitude she was joined by Christine, the second Survivor casualty, and the two sat beside a non-existent fire and moped. As the ladies geared up for their balancing totem pole challenge, Semhar gave us another taste of her "spoken word performance art" which included such verses as "there is not one thing that I would not do, for my lover, my best friend, my honey, my boo," and "I would give birth to 10 of his children without using any drugs to help ease the pain and then I would give him one more." Ultimately, Semhar lost and was sent packing for good. The 24-year-old LA-native spoke with TVGuide.com about her biggest fear, who she's rooting for, and which contestant gave her bad vibes from day one.
TVGuide.com: What was the thing that surprised you most when you first got to the island?
Semhar Tadesse: One thing I didn't expect to be so harsh was the mosquitos. That was the toughest thing for me. I was covered with over 100 mosquito bites, and I'm allergic, so I had these huge welts all over my body that you could see on camera. You have no idea exactly what you're going to go through, or what this country's climate is like. It is extremely humid. You felt like you were breathing in water... But definitely the mosquitos bites are what got me the worst.
TVGuide.com: In the first episode, it seemed like you were Ozzy's island crush. If you had stayed longer, do you think something would have happened between the two of you?
Tadesse: I can't predict the future, so I have no idea what would have happened between us. Some people start out liking each other, but later they end up hating each other for whatever reason. Survivor obviously has a lot of twists. I have no idea where that would have went, but he's a really sweet guy.
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TVGuide.com: So are you rooting for him to win?
Tadesse: I'm hoping that Ozzy wins. I feel like he plays with integrity. It's his third time and obviously he was on my tribe, so he's the person that I was closest to.
TVGuide.com: There was obviously a little tension between you and Jim. When you found out that he was not a "teacher" like he claimed, and actually in the medical marijuana dispensary business, what was your reaction?
Tadesse: Literally my mouth dropped open when I saw that. It was a huge surprise. Huge. I had no idea that Jim was such a schemer. We thought he was like, a pervert teacher. He was always talking about girls and that was disgusting to us. We were like "God, does he, like, date his students? Should they be taking him to jail right now?"
TVGuide.com: So what do you think about the "lying about your profession" strategy?
Tadesse: As the first person voted off, I can't exactly say what is stupid, but I will say that I think we all would have been a lot closer and cooler with him had we known what he really did. I knew something was off about Jim the second that I met him. I got bad vibes from him. He has an extremely fake smile and the things that come out of his mouth...you look at him and you're like, "Are you serious right now?" He totally loves attention.
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No, that wasn't a huge fear of mine. I almost preferred that, rather than making it to the very end and then getting eliminated. That wasn't my biggest fear. Redemption Island was my biggest fear.TVGuide.com: What is it like there?
There's barely even camera men around you, honestly. You're pretty alone. And this season's Redemption Island is in the rainforest, so it's hard for any light to get through. It was literally pouring down rain. Not only did I not have a shelter, but I could see to the other side of the island where my tribe was and it was just beaming sun over there! Every time I had a fire started it would just go out because of the rain. It was tough.TVGuide.com: What is your opinion about Brandon, Russell Hantz's nephew?
I think Brandon is going through the whole "I want to be a good Christian and I want to represent for my religion the right way" thing. And it's coming off wrong to everyone else. But I understand how he feels. I understand the struggle, and I understand the pressure of being viewed by millions of people. And that pressure just got to him.TVGuide.com: Why did you go on Survivor in the first place?
I mean...who passes up a chance at a million dollars?