Donning black high heels and an ear-to-ear grin during the tribal council meeting, Survivor: Samoa's Yasmin Giles seemed less than broken up about getting booted from the island. "Did you see the smile on my face?! It was the happiest day of my life," the 33-year-old hairstylist tells TVGuide.com.
Turns out Giles was ready to exit the competition long before her first and last tribal council, an attitude illustrated by her unusual choice of footwear. "Maybe that was a subliminal message that I was not going back to that jungle," she says. "My heels and I started out together and I felt like we were going to leave together. We did the walk of shame out of there."
The day after her "walk of shame," Giles filled us on the "butt kisser" of the island, her final thoughts on her blow-up with Ben Browning and the close alliance you didn't see on TV.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think you came to be so apathetic about going home towards the end?
Yasmin Giles: I think I was playing a game but I was only playing it at challenges. What happened is they emotionally wore me out. Survivor is a bunch of people who lie, cheat and steal, but they also like to use you. I felt like I was beating up my body for a bunch of ungrateful people. Once it's all said and done, if you're on the wrong side of the track, they're going to get rid of you anyway.
TVGuide.com: You looked very shocked at tribal council that your name came up. Why do you think the group decided on you rather than against Monica even after her performance in the challenge?
Yasmin: Did you notice she was missing from a few of the challenges anyway? Other than that, it's because somebody has to take the fall. I always tell people I have strong mind over matter so I'd rather it be me than her, simply because she was a butt kisser. She was in that little clique and I'm a grown woman. Even in high school, I didn't have this thing where I was a follower ... I wasn't the clique-ish type of girl. There's also a big age difference between me and those girls, except for Laura, but that's a whole different story.
TVGuide.com: Was it also frustrating to be on a tribe where there seemed to be a split between very competitive individuals and the less competitive members who were doing yoga in the morning and gossiping?
Yasmin: You know why they were able to do yoga? Because Yasmin was working her butt off in those challenges and we were not sitting in tribal council. Again, to me, a lot came off as one-sided. You're doing yoga but, "Oh, she's not doing enough work but she is helping us win our challenges. I've been noticeably absent from challenges but she doesn't do enough work." Of course you're going to earn your keep around camp if you're not in the challenges. I'm in the challenges but I'm falling short around camp and you want to put me on the chopping block? Well chop me, baby. My body was ready for a rest. I had no idea what I signed up for. I should have gone on The Amazing Race.
TVGuide.com: Do you feel you would have been able to change your fate if you had known earlier that so many people were planning to vote against you?
Yasmin: I am one of those girls that says — and I really do live by this — "whatever is going to be, is going to be." I think it is something that is greater than all of us, regardless of what people believe in. Those were the cards that I was dealt and I was like "Oh, well." I think because it was really time for me to go, there was nothing I could have fixed. My tribe was all over the place so it was already too late. Now had I escaped and Monica had left, maybe I would have been working like a military bride around camp but I didn't get that opportunity.
TVGuide.com: What do you think is in store next for the Galu tribe now that they've lost their first challenge and lost a member? Do you think they'll bounce back?
Yasmin: I'm not sure necessarily, because they're babies to me. I just hope that they begin to be true to themselves. Survivor helps you take a look at who you really are. For instance, my infamous speech was obnoxious but at least I was being true to who I said I was, a motor-mouth, opinionated chick from the Motor City. Those are kids that, like Shambo said, are out there playing a game of 90210, and, as Russell [Swan] said, Club Med. Those days are beyond Yazee. I just hope that they continue to be true to themselves. They were a very strong tribe; they were just all over the place. They may continue to win and god bless them if they do.
TVGuide.com: Now, let's talk about the confrontation you had with Ben. When he was asked about it last week, he said he had no regrets and believed his actions were justified. What do you think looking back on that argument now?
Yasmin: I think that he's damaged goods. I did call him ignorant because he was ignorant. When I said my famous little quote, "The hood is not the wood," I was being funny for TV. That was a confession. On Survivor, no one sits in [on] your confessions so Ben is lying. He knows damn well he never heard me say, "I'm from the hood." Who says, "Hey, I'm from the hood" from when they introduce themselves? I know he judged me on being African-American and being from Detroit. He should regret what he said because not only did he look like a fool but he couldn't get my name right. If you want to attack somebody's character, get the name right! How well did he really know me? He didn't. Everything he said was based on assumption.
TVGuide.com: Was it vindicating to see that he was voted off at least partly due to the comments he made about you?
Yasmin: Ben and I had flip-sides. He was only strong around camp. Did you see any of the challenges? He was not good. I was strong in the challenges and they said I was lazy around camp. I think what he said got him kicked off because it wasn't just about a race thing but Ben was also attacking me as a woman. He was degrading me as a woman. Even if we erase the whole race issue, the other women were a bit upset and they should have been. It was just horrible. I asked Ben, "Can I talk to you for a second in private, please?" I have to keep reiterating that I said "please." All his comments were racist and they were meant to be degrading but it didn't mean anything to me. As I say, "All eyes die when the truth comes to light."
TVGuide.com: Who would you like to see make it to the end or who are you sure will make it to the end this season?
Yasmin: I would like to see my good girl Shambo there. She actually was my only ally and they didn't show enough of us spending time together. Shambo was really outspoken and said weird things, so me and her were very much alike. They just let me go first even though Shambo lost the chicken.