The identity of Survivor's grand-prize winner may not be the only secret CBS is trying to keep a lid on. In Part 2 of TV Guide Online's exclusive chat with castaway Colleen Haskell, the 23-year-old Miami Ad School student reveals surprising details about the crisis that brought life on Pulau Tiga to a virtual standstill ? and nearly drove the contestants to quit. Also, Haskell shares her true feelings about nemesis Richard, and takes the media to task for its ruthless pursuit of Survivor skeletons. Tell me something the cameras didn't show.
There was a competition that wasn't shown on camera last week. It was just a little competition. And I won it so I wish it was shown. I don't think it's being shown how bored we all were. Oh man, they're editing all of that out. Also, how bad the rain was. The rain was not fun and it was very difficult. It drained you so much you just wanted to leave. Especially on this last episode. They showed it at the beginning... it was torrential downpour, non-stop, and it went on for over 24 hours. There came a point when every single person there was like, "You know what? I'm walking right up to that camera guy and I'm asking for off this island!" I didn't even care. But the irony of it is, even if somebody did [want to leave], there was no way they could get us off. I mean it was a horrible tropical storm. The boat got lost and one of them flipped over. CBS had a lot of problems with it and like the Malaysians who were working on the island had lots of problems. So it was a horrible, horrible situation. I think it started when Greg left and it stopped when Gervase left. So for that whole nine days, it rained at least once a day, but then it rained for three days straight one time. It really wasn't very fun.
Did you ever really consider leaving?
You're just thinking in your head, "I just want to go home, I just want to be with my family... " But then, right when you would honestly be willing to just check out, something would happen where it was like... "Six more days, I can do this." Sean's dad just came on this last episode and brought some treats and it was just, "Oh my God, sugar and Triscuits!" That gave us a boost. So just when you thought you couldn't do it anymore, something would happen that would make it all okay.
How hard has it been to keep "The Big Secret?"
You know I think it would be even harder to give it away at this point because it's just so ingrained in my head not to talk about it. I think it's much more fun if people don't know, of course. Nobody really wants to know.
Have you told anyone?
No. I came home and lied to my parents about who it was and they saw them kicked off and realized that wasn't who it was. Now nobody knows.
Have you been watching every episode?
I actually have class, but I tape it and then I'll watch it. But usually what ends up happening is that people will call wanting to talk about the episode and I'll never get through it, or I'll fast-forward stuff because I'll be like, "Lived it. Lived it. Lived it." But I definitely watch it. It's like somebody filmed my summer camp.
Did viewers' reaction to one particular thing surprise you?
The sex scandal [with me and Greg]! I didn't think people cared so much. Also, [people] made a little bit of a deal about Gervase having four kids. I was kind of surprised that I heard some comments about that afterwards, when the truth of the matter is, yeah, maybe he shouldn't have any more kids, but he's an excellent father and the kids all lived with him. So he was doing his thing. He wasn't a bad father. And the fact that his girlfriend had a kid while he was [on the island], people were kind of criticizing that. But he was there to win a million dollars, and that's going to help whatever kid that's coming along. And Jenna, the same thing. That girl is an excellent, excellent mother. I mean the girl is 23 years-old, married, divorced and has two four-year-olds, and for her to just handle this all so well and just be there to make some money for her children, I admire her so much.
The media is uncovering some dirt about your fellow contestants, like Kelly got into some trouble for biting her husband...
I think it's awful that people care. I think that everybody on the show ? all 16 of us ? devoted two months of our lives to this and that's all that people should concern themselves with. We didn't sign up... in my contract, nowhere did it say that you were allowed to pick apart my life. That's what comes with being on a television show, of course, but I think it's too bad that some publications want to even go there. We all knew about it on the island. We'd talk. Everybody knows every detail about everyone. That's all you could do was talk to each other. So we knew all of these things about Kelly. But I can't believe that people would want to bring it up. It's really sad, I think.
How do you feel about the way the public is reacting to Richard? Is it validating, since you were the first one to speak out against him?
I love it. I think it's hysterical. Richard is a disaster, but at the same time, no one is seeing his whole personality. He's very intelligent and I loved talking to him and I loved picking on him and he loved picking on me. And they're not showing him saying anything about me and I'm sure he must have, because we would just go back and forth. It was like we found a new game, which was, "Let's bug each other!" He'd say something and I'd disagree; I'd say something and he'd really question it. So, I think it's so funny. But the thing is, he's excellent at the game and so is Sue and so is Rudy and they don't care. None of them do.
Will you watch the next Survivor?
Oh yeah. I think it's going to be so much better. Not better ? who could be better than the 16 of us? I think that now people know how to play it. We walked into this having no idea what was going on. Never having seen anything like this before. Not knowing about alliances and immunity challenges. And Mark Burnett would figure things out as he went along, too, so I think this next one is going to be much more organized and the players are going to be much more strategic, which is going to be great to watch.
What other changes would you make?
There are little things that already are going to be changed, like maybe [allowing us] to drop our family a line now and then to say we're alive, that kind of stuff. But the game itself? A lot of people are wondering whether there should or shouldn't be alliances. Should they make that illegal? And I think that's ridiculous. That's part of the game.
Tell me about your scars.
I have some really bad scars on my legs. They're bad. They say [they won't go away for] one to three years. You know, they're battle wounds. I think they're cool. I think they're going to be all the rage this fall. First I wore the hair wrap and now I'm doing the leg-scar thing.
You've done a million interviews. Tell me something that you didn't tell anyone else.
I haven't talked about the period thing at all. [Laughter] So you have that scoop! Run to your editor, "I know all about the menstruation thing!" You can put it on the front page!