In Nina's absence (she's having a baby!), here is this week's slightly tardy Q&A with the most recently cast-off Survivor — or in this case, Survivors. Chet Welsh and Jonathan Penner discuss their strategies, their disappointments, and the infections that sent both of them into surgery after their departure from the game. This week,
Chet (left) and Jonathan, Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites
Survivor airs on Wednesday at 8 pm/ET on CBS.
TVGuide.com: Do you feel cheated out of the rest of your Survivor experience?
Jonathan: I would like to go back to the island, and get my time back.
Chet: I wasn't the strongest player there, but I was hanging in there, and I think people were starting to realize that a vote can help get the right people off. Of course, I would have liked to have lasted longer in the game.
TVGuide.com: How were your recoveries? Jonathan, you had to go to surgery afterward?
Jonathan: We both actually had to go to surgery and have the debris that was in there removed. My recovery has been slow but steady, and I'm hoping still to have a 100 percent recovery.
TVGuide.com: Clearly your injury was worse than it seemed on TV.
Jonathan: Yeah. There were issues as to how it was handled on the island, and the infection got out of hand to the point where I had to be taken out of the game.
TVGuide.com: And Chet, what happened to your foot?
Chet: I got a piece of coral caught in my heel and instead of coming out, it went into the bone. The infection rate is so high in that environment, that climate, that the infection just grew and it got swollen and started to work up my ankle.
TVGuide.com: Jonathan, it seems like saying goodbye to your tribe was especially emotional for you. Did it seem like you were abandoning them?
Jonathan: Well, I felt especially bad for Eliza because she felt like she had gotten a lifeline from the switch-up. She and I saw a tremendous amount of daylight ahead of us. I knew that my early departure put her in a slightly strange position. And I just felt badly that I had to leave the game. I knew that I was a strong part of that newly formed tribe, and I thought that I would have done really well in time.
TVGuide.com: How would you have played the rest of the game?
Jonathan: Well, I saw Eliza electing Natalie. Myself, and either Kathy and/or Jason were going to get to work together. This is my fantasy of how it was going to work out; who knows how it would have worked out? Parvati would have been taken out. We would have kept James, I would have been able to use James, Jason and Jonathan. Kathy probably would have gone next, or Jason, and then soon thereafter there'd be a merge because I certainly saw that there was going to be at least one other lost on the other side. You know, around 10 there's usually a merge, and then hopefully, if we were still standing, Eliza, Natalie, Alexis and myself would have joined up again with Amy and whoever she was working with, get rid of the rest of the folks, and then you're talking about an endgame situation by then.
TVGuide.com: So you had it pretty much all planned out?
Jonathan: Yes, there are only two ways to play Survivor. One is that way. You plan and things come your way and you have to deal with them. The other way is not to plan one second in front of you and just take things as they come.
TVGuide.com: Chet, you looked to be at risk of being voted off every week, but you never were.
Chet: I hung out with the right girls. I got Tracy and Kathy on my side, and we had three votes going one way, and people liked to keep us around for that reason.
TVGuide.com: At the end, Tracy and Erik wanted you to stick it out for one more vote so they could get rid of Ozzy. Could you just physically not do it anymore or did you just not want to be part of their plan?
Chet: No, I met the medical team earlier that day when I came back from Exile Island and they told me they wanted me to leave the game because of the infection on my foot. I asked to let me try the challenge. If we lost, I'd be voted off rather than just disappear from the game. In a very negative-positive way, I was fortunate for it to happen that way. But it was very encouraging for once to hear tribemates wanting you to stay. For the longest time, they all wanted me to go. Tracy I always knew was in my corner, but it was nice to have Erik come my way. He's a great guy, a class act.
TVGuide.com: Jonathan, what do you think of Cirie's move to eliminate Yau-Man from the game, which was a major blow to your early alliance?
Jonathan: Well, I was very surprised and disappointed, of course, and subsequent to coming home, I found out a lot more of what was going on. Cirie and Yau-Man had a secret alliance. She came back from Exile Island and gave him the four clues that she had found, she didn't tell anyone else. The idea was that he was going to go back to Exile Island with those clues, get a head start, and get the idol, and then the two of them would share the idol for the rest of the game. To deflect attention from this secret twosome, he threw my name in the hat to see who would be the next person to go to Exile. I, of course, knew nothing about this.
TVGuide.com: Amy said some not-so-nice things about you — was there a personal issue between the two of you?
Jonathan: I don't think she understood where I was coming from. She knew that she was the one with the secret. She knew that she was lying and betraying with the alliance she had made. I don’t think she really had a problem with me, but maybe she does, I don’t know.
TVGuide.com: Chet, why did it seem like you, Tracy and Kathy were pitted against the rest of the tribe?
Chet: Well, that started on Day 1, where Tracy and I were approached and told that we were the oldest in the tribe, and that one of us was going to be the first one voted off, and that we should decide amongst ourselves which one it was going to be. That was within the first two hours into the game, without knowing our abilities or disabilities, which told me that the intelligence level was not so high in my original tribe. We took Cathy in with us. And as far as the separate shelters, we were there for five days, the tribe never included us since they thought they knew everything better than we did. They had a floor built in four days — no roof — and they couldn’t figure out how to keep the rain out. We took it upon ourselves to build our own shelter, we had a wonderful shelter built in two and a half hours, and it was very comfortable. Never at any time did we not welcome people in to come join us, and we made it clear that they could, or that we would help them build one the next day. But they turned that into us segregating ourselves from the group.
TVGuide.com: Do you think that either Tracy or Cathy stand a chance now in the game? Do you have any predictions?
Chet: I'd love to see either Tracy or Cathy win, of course.
Jonathan: It could be anyone. You have to play somewhat under the radar. I know we're going to get down to the final three, and it's going to be like: You three are the last three? Somebody is going to emerge having navigated these extremely treacherous waters all the way to the top.
Watch full episodes of Survivor in our Online Video Guide.
Sign up now for our free Daily Scoop e-mail newsletter to get the inside scoop.
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.