Survivor: Cagayan's Trish Hegarty describes herself as "loyal to a fault." Which is why she would still vote for Tony Vlachos to win the million dollars, even though Vlachos — who had been her ally since Day 1 — betrayed her on Wednesday's episode, casting one of the votes that led to her ouster.
Hegarty tells TVGuide.com she didn't even realize that Tony had burned her until she got to Ponderosa. "To be honest with you, it was a little upsetting when I found out that he wrote my name down," Hegarty said this week. "I thought that everybody had voted me out, but not Tony. ... I figured out really quickly why he did it, knowing that he was probably afraid that he was not going to beat me in the jury. I understood it. I've always understood Tony the whole entire game, from beginning to end, and even now."
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Check out our full interview with Trish to find out why she'd still vote for Tony, as well as to get her no-holds-barred thoughts on Kass. (Claws are out!)
You seemed to take the elimination in stride. How did you feel about Tony's betrayal?
Trish: I didn't find out until I got back to Ponderosa that Tony in fact wrote my name down, and I was really upset about that. Because it just happens so fast that you're just like, "Oh wow." All of a sudden you're in shock. It's a weird feeling. I can't explain it. ... And I knew why he did it, so I wasn't really upset with him. This is a game. If he didn't turn on me, I would have eventually had to turn on him.
He voted you out because he didn't think he'd be able to beat you in the final, which is kind of a compliment.
Trish: Exactly. And he has played such a great game that it was a huge compliment, because I really feel like he's played the best game in Survivor history, to be perfectly honest with you.
Things really came to a head with you and Kass this episode, culminating with her flipping you off after Jeff snuffed your torch.
Trish: Kass was interviewed, and she said in the interview, 'I like to see people at their absolute worst. There's nothing that makes me happier than to see people struggling and at their worst.' And I think that really narrows down who Kass McQuillen is. Just 365 days a year, 24/7, she likes to see people at their worst. And I like to see people at their best. We shared not one philosophy, not one parenting skill. We shared nothing in common. And they only showed part of the stuff that she did. She was nasty for no reason, just unnecessarily nasty. Just a really rotten human being. It's the only way that I can say it. And I don't even feel good about saying that, but I'm not a fake person. I'm very genuine, and I have to speak my truth. There was nothing to like about her. Nothing. She'd lash out at you and then you'd turn around and say something and then all of a sudden she was the victim, like, 'Oh, poor me, he's picking on me.' It's like, well, you started it. It was almost like she wasn't an adult. It was like dealing with one of the kids I used to teach in kindergarten.
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It's funny that despite all of Tony's backstabbings, Kass really seems to be the player whom everyone loves to hate.
Trish: The reason why people don't like Kass has nothing to do with anything in the game. It just comes right down to her constitution and who she is. As far as I'm concerned, there's just not a nice bone in the woman's body. I called her a sociopath and I meant it. She has not a conscience. I hated going to Tribal Council and putting people's names down. ... She loved it.
While you and Tony were eating pizza, did you do any strategizing that wasn't shown in the episode?
Trish: No, because Tony and I kept saying that he and I were going to go to the end with Kass. That's what we kind of wanted. But then when I got in a fight with her, I really wanted her off. ... I was like, 'I don't think I can do another three days with her, Tony. I really don't think I can. Even though I know we both can beat her, I don't think I can stand her another three days.' I mean, that's how bad it got. ... We didn't do any strategizing, because we had already made the plan. But then obviously Woo got into Tony's head and sort of got him to flip, convinced him that he couldn't beat me [in the final].
How good was that pizza, though?
Trish: Oh my goodness. Well, Tony wolfed it down so fast. I kept saying to him, 'Slow down,' because I was afraid he was going to throw up. He literally sucked down those three Cokes in like 15 seconds. He was so sick. I said, 'I told you not to do that.' [Laughs]. But that pizza tasted so good. You know what's so funny about food is, not only was I starving, but you miss consistencies of food. It was really great to crunch something, like the crust. Rice is so soft, and you miss the consistencies of food too, not only just the flavor and the taste and food itself.
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Are you pleased about how you played the game? Do you have any regrets?
Trish: I played exactly the way I wanted to play. I went in there with the philosophy that I was going to be my nice, fun self and get to know everybody and play a good social game, which I feel like I did. And I was going to stick with my alliance that I started off with, which is something that I did. ... So, I am very proud of the game I played. The one regret that I have in the game is that... I would have so much rather played the game with Sarah than Kass. I really liked Sarah and I was really sad to see her go.
Do you think Tony voting you out will leave jurors with a bad taste in their mouths? You guys had an alliance from the beginning.
Trish: It may come back to bite him. Survivor's such a tricky game, because now you've got all these disgruntled jurors. Even though Tony's played the best game ever, they may not give him the money if he ends up in the end because they don't like him, because he screwed them all. He's no dummy. He knew that. And I think he knew that the only person he could sit next to and win was Kass.
Of the Final 4, is there anyone who definitely wouldn't get your vote at the final?
Trish: Kass wouldn't get my vote, but I think that the people that should be sitting in the final two would be Spencer and Tony. I think they're both deserving of the million dollars. If I made it to the end and I sat next to Tony ... I wouldn't feel good for the rest of my life feeling like I won on a disgruntled jury. Because if I sat next to Tony and I won, I would have only won because of the jury was angry at Tony. Tony played a much better game than I did. I shouldn't say he played a much better game. He played a much harder game than I did. He worked so hard 24/7. And Spencer came from nothing. He never had an alliance. He did have an alliance with Tasha. She said they didn't, but they did. They had a very strong alliance, and then when she left he was once again left alone. And he worked really hard. He won a lot of the challenges. He was very athletic and he was very easy to get along with. He stood right up to Tony.
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So who would you vote for, if it comes down to Spencer and Tony?
Trish: To be honest with you, I would definitely vote for Tony. I love Spencer. I can't say enough about the kid. He's just one of the most fabulous people I've ever met in my entire life, and he played one hell of a game. ... He was such a gentleman out there. He's such good company and he's just so smart and he's so well-read. Him and Tony couldn't be any different, yet they had a really great relationship. They would stay up at night ant talk about poker. They really got along well. But Tony was my alliance, and I'm loyal to a fault. I always have been. It's always been one of my biggest problems, is that I'm a very loyal person. I started off the game with Tony and what Tony and I established was genuine. We had a very good relationship, and we still do. I really think that Tony played a great game, and I would definitely give him the million dollars. ... I really want to stress the fact that, love or hate Tony, he's a really good man, and he was really good to me out there, and we're still very close. I have no resentments towards him at all. He played a great game, and if he wins, I'm happy for him. Because he deserves it.
As a Survivor fan, how do you think this season stacks up?
Trish: I think this is going to sound really conceited, and I hate to say it, but I think it was the best [season] ever, because of Tony. He was a character. He made the whole show. He's so funny, and he was just so alive and he had fun there. There's been seasons where people don't have those type of personalities. He's bringing out his bag of tricks. He's making spy shacks. I mean, who does that? He was hysterical. And I think he made it very entertaining.
If you were Trish, would you still vote for Tony? Weigh in below — and catch up on the latest episodes of Survivor here.
The Survivor: Cagayan finale airs Wednesday at 8/7c on CBS. Check TVGuide.com next week for Jeff Probst's breakdown of the final four and the season overall.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)