Cirie Fields of Survivor: Panama and Survivor: Micronesia is living proof of the importance of the social game in Survivor. Although she never stood out in physical challenges, the 39-year-old made it far on both seasons thanks to her close observations, smart alliances and manipulative skills. Unfortunately, Cirie's Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains tribe mates were on to her from the very beginning, and it only took three votes to send her home after Tom played his immunity idol and teamed with Colby and J.T. to send her home. Cirie talked with TVGuide.com about the blind-side vote, J.T.'s flip, and her tribe's many "alpha males."
TVGuide.com: Were you surprised by the vote?
Cirie Fields: My only thoughts were, I was trying to figure out which one of them flipped. We had a plan and Tom had the idol but the plan was for him to play the idol and Colby to go home. But I was always a little leery. I spent a lot of time talking with my alliance and I would always say, "Are you guys sure about J.T.? Did you guys trust J.T.?" He had already proven himself untrustworthy when he caused problems with Stephenie ... Now he's over here but Tom's constantly in his ear. So I wasn't 100 percent sure, but you never know. Like I said at tribal council, I'm always worried. I never had immunity so I'm always worried. So I wasn't completely shocked.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think J.T. changed his vote?
Cirie: I think from the time we heat the beach, J.T. said, "We have to get rid of Cirie." That was always in his plan. I don't think he ever wanted to go far in the game with me around. I don't blame him so I just think he saw an opportunity and he took it.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think you were targeted so early on in the game? Was that frustrating?
Cirie: It's always frustrating, especially because you look around and you're surrounded by such strength and so many bigger targets. It's like, "Okay, great. I can make you laugh, I can make you smile. But these people have won the game before. They're challenge winners." There were so many other characteristics that I found more threatening, it was frustrating to me that other people didn't see it as threatening as well; that they were more threatened by a little fat girl with a smile.
TVGuide.com: Do you think the team will regret not taking the opportunity to vote Tom or Colby out? Do you see those two players lasting long in the game?
Cirie: I think the Heroes will definitely regret not getting rid of the stronger players. I think they will not do well because the alliance, the way it was set up, there was so much tension in our tribe because of all the heroes. Being the hero, if you already think that you're the greatest person and then they give a hero title, that does not make for a humble person. We had so many alpha males; it was a bad combination from the beginning.
TVGuide.com: Your tribe has now lost three out of four immunity challenges. Do you think that losing streak will continue?
Cirie: You have to get along. Whether you're at work or at home or at school, you have to be able to set aside your differences and your personal feelings and become a team to win at any team challenge. That, we never had. As much as you try and make the day go by, you have to do it with some sort of camaraderie. The camaraderie that was there was false and transparent and it can't come together at the last minute.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think you and Candice were able to establish a strong alliance? You seemed to exhibit good teamwork and to actually be a team.
Cirie: Once the game started and we saw the way the game was played out, we felt like we were in the same spot. Candice is really, really smart and I found that really attractive. That — with the power of two votes — made me really want to play the game with her. Granted, her being so smart could hurt me later down the line, but early on, I felt like two brains are better than one and two votes are better than one.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think you were not welcomed so quickly into the alliance of players from Micronesia season?
Cirie: Amanda ultimately decided against me having the opportunity to speak to the jury for $1 million, so if I was Amanda, I would be a little leery of me ... She had an alliance with J.T., so you try and get the numbers, but you never forget what happened in the past, and can't predict what the other person is feeling ... I think maybe that had something to do with it.
TVGuide.com: Was there anything that surprised you about this experience?
Cirie: The only surprise to me was that I would be thought of as so threatening. It took me far twice, don't get my wrong — but I don't find [my social ability] as threatening as past winners and physical strength. I feel like I had a single threat and there were so many triple threats out there, how could you be so worried about the single threat when you have so many triple threats standing next to you?