For most of her time on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Danielle DiLorenzo was one of the game's strongest players. She had a tight alliance with Parvati Shallow and Russell Hantz from the get-go, she performed well in reward and immunity challenges and held her own when Amanda Kimmel almost stole her clue to a hidden immunity idol. But 30 days on the island of Samoa eventually got to her, in the form of a teary breakdown during Tribal Council when Russell questioned her loyalty to Parvati. Danielle insisted she had remained honest to her allies. The 28-year-old DiLorenzo spoke with TVGuide.com about Russell's bold move to try to turn Parvati against her, her emotional episode and what was in store for Russell had she stayed.
TVGuide.com: How did you feel going into your last Tribal Council?
Danielle DiLorenzo: I knew Russell was trying to get me voted off at one point and so Parvati and I convinced him otherwise. At that point, he had already told Rupert and Colby to write my name down so I definitely didn't see what happened. I just never thought that I was going to go that night. Obviously, because of what happened and how I broke down, he was really just pitting Parvati and I against each other that entire day and I just mentally couldn't handle it. ... Going into tribal council, I was a little worried but I never thought Jerri would turn on me like she did.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think Russell decided to risk his alliance with you and Parvati to break you two up?
Danielle: I just think he saw how I started playing the game and he was threatened. He knew that Parvati and I had the power in our hands and after we planned to get Rupert off that night, I think he knew that he was next on the chopping block. I think by him breaking up Parvati and I gave him control of the game still. I think he was threatened by me, honestly.
TVGuide.com: Did you ever believe what Russell told you about Parvati?
Danielle: I did for a second. When he first said that to me, I looked at him and I was like, "There's no way she would vote me off." Parvati and I were really close and I really did trust her. So deep down, I knew he could be messing with me and that's why, as soon as he said it, I said I'm going to go talk to her and figure this out. So once [Parvati and I] spoke, we both understood that he was basically just trying to get in our heads in telling each other that we were going to vote each other off. At that point, that had been going on all day long. I was fighting because Parvati had told me that he was getting everybody to vote me off so I was running around all day trying to convince everybody that I wasn't trying to vote [Parvati] off. ... Once we got to Tribal Council, I thought I was safe up until the point where I was human and showed my emotions and my heart got involved. At that point, it was late in the game and I was tired, exhausted and mentally drained. I spoke my mind and I knew after I said what I said that Russell was trying to get somebody to flip their vote and obviously Jerri did. I stuck up for myself and I don't regret anything. I'm human, that's all I can say.
TVGuide.com: Do you think about how your emotions at Tribal Council may have played a part in sending you home?
Danielle: I think about it all the time. If I had just not broken down like that, I would have still been in the game. I had a really good shot. ... I'm trying to move on from it and be OK with what happened. It's who I am as a person. I dealt with Russell so much throughout the game, I aligned with him on Day One and I wanted to stay true to him because our alliance was strong, between Parvati, him and I, and I did get far in the game because of that. I don't regret aligning with him, I just wish I had been able to hold it together. The plan was he was going next. I had had conversations with Sandra and Parvati, the three of us aligned, and we were going to get rid of him next.