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Survivor's Andrea Says Ponderosa "Wasn't as Happy-Go-Lucky" After Such a Tumultuous Season

Plus: Why she took Zeke's betrayal so personally

Liz Raftery

Survivor's Andrea Boehlke had a pretty strong showing in her third outing, but unfortunately fell short of the million-dollar prize when she was voted out on Wednesday night's first of two eliminations. Though the disappointment about the result still stings, there still was a bit of a silver lining.

"It was fine," she tells with a resigned laugh, speaking about her third time playing. "Obviously it's a lot of pressure going into your third season. I really wanted to win. It was almost like an all-or-nothing type situation for me. So, being voted out (at eight players) is definitely a big disappointment. I wanted to go to the end, clearly. But looking back now, after having filmed this a year ago, I'm really proud that I made it to 100 days, that I won two more individual immunity challenges, that I got to see my mom out there. All of those things made the whole experience worth it for me."

Check out our full chat with Andrea to see why she reacted so harshly to Zeke's betrayal, what her biggest regret is, and whether things were awkward at Ponderosa after the tumultuous Tribal Councils that have been a highlight of this season. (Spoiler alert: They were.)

Survivor's Zeke: "I knew I was a goner" after the Varner Tribal

What was your reaction when you saw who you'd be playing against this season?
Andrea: I was very intimidated by the players. You have people like
Cirie, like Sandra, Tony, Malcolm. I was very intimidated. However, there were so many good players that there was a sense of comfort knowing that I wasn't viewed as a huge threat like some of these other people. So, it was a mixed feeling. I was glad that there were much bigger threats in the game to start with, for sure.

Your elimination was clearly a true blindside. What was going through your mind during Tribal Council?
I felt that we were going to stick together. We'd just voted for Sierra the last time. I thought Brad was a huge threat, so I thought it made sense logically to take Brad out next. When I checked in with everybody, I kind of thought we were all on the same page. The problem is, I should have been nervous, seeing that people weren't scrambling more. I should have looked at what people on the quote, unquote "bottom" were doing. ... I should have picked up on how calm everyone felt and done a little more investigating. But even if I would have done more investigating, it's not like they were going to tell me, "Oh yeah, the real plan is to vote out you, Andrea." So, I don't know if I should have just been more perceptive overall. Maybe I should have been paranoid at that point.

Do you have any specific regrets about moves you made this season?
I do wish that maybe I would have pushed the Sarah issue more. But, if I would have done that, no matter what, Cirie clearly wanted to go with Sarah to the end. So I think it was a dead end for me either way. I think one thing that really did screw my game is when Zeke came for me very early on, and then put into everyone's mind that I was this big threat. All of a sudden, you see someone like Debbie calling me a huge strategic threat, when I haven't even done anything in the game. Pre-game, she said that she thought I was a Playboy model in one of her preseason interviews. So where did she get that idea from? It's because someone, Zeke, started putting into everyone's head I was a huge threat, and all of a sudden, it's kind of a group think situation and I was labeled a big strategic threat when I'm standing next to people like Aubry and Cirie. So, yeah, there were definitely things in the season I think that really led to my demise. Some of that I didn't even really have control over.

Andrea Boehlke, Survivor: Game Changers
Screen Grab, CBS

You really did a 180 on Zeke. You seemed so upset at the Tribal Council where Varner outed him, but then a few days later, you seemed so angry when you found out he was working with Michaela and said "I hope to see you never" when you wrote his name down. Why did you take that so personally?
I was with Zeke since Day 1. It was always him, me and Sarah. And then, when we got to the merge, it just made sense that we would stick together. We had Cirie. We had a really good group going. It didn't really make sense that he would flip. So when he did that and specifically targeted me, of all the people, it felt very personal. If you're going to flip, why take out someone that had your back from Day 1? And I think it really hurt because I was not planning on going against Zeke. Look, I didn't want to sit with him in the Final 3. He was right about that, just like he didn't want to sit with me. But I wasn't going to specifically target him. I figured that we would be in this together. At some point, someone's going to take one of us out. There's no way we would just randomly both be in the end. It's not that easy, you know? So, him going after me specifically after we had been together since Day 1 and had a really close bond in my eyes felt very personal. I mean, did I overreact? Maybe. But probably not, because if I wouldn't have voted him out, he was going to come after me next anyway.

Survivor: The biggest blindsides of all time

Have you guys smoothed things over now?
Andrea: Oh yeah. We've talked. When we saw each other in Ponderosa, I was really nervous that he was gonna be super pissed at me. But we kind of laughed it off. The thing is, Zeke and I are very similar. We both like to be the center of attention. [Laughs] We like to have our way or the highway. And when you have two people like that trying to have their say, it will result in something like you've witnessed.

How was the vibe at Ponderosa, after such a tumultuous season?
It was a very interesting vibe. People were in decent spirits. I didn't think there was a lot of bitterness, but it was definitely tinged with a... darkness. That sounds very gloomy. I think because of everything that happened in the season, it wasn't as happy-go-lucky as other Ponderosas I've been in. For example, like my Caramoan season. That Ponderosa was a huge party. This time around, I think a lot of us were kind of over it, especially after everything that happened. It was a hard season.

Let's talk about the second vote from last night. What was the reaction among the jury members as you're sitting there seeing that crazy Tribal Council unfold?
We were blown away by that Tribal Council. Because it was very confusing. Even just re-watching, I was confused. We were trying to figure out the dynamics, because we're also kind of still in the game at that point. But, man, that was really confusing. And of all the people that [could have gotten] voted out, Michaela was the last one I thought would actually be voted out, of those people. When we were making our guesses on who was actually going to go, we thought it was going to be either
Tai or Aubrey. Maybe Sarah was going to turn on Cirie. We had no idea. None of us were thinking it was Michaela. So that kind of came out of left field.

Do you think that was a good move by Sarah to target Michaela?
I think it was a good move, because Cirie and Michaela were very tight. So, Sarah just knocked off one of Cirie's numbers.

Would you do a fourth season if they asked you?
I'm not going to say no, but I'm not really thinking about it right now.

Going into next week's finale, who do you think has the strongest case for being Sole Survivor?
Well, Sarah obviously has a good case. Anyone watching will see that. And then, I think Cirie has a good shot. She'll have to recover from this blunder at this last Tribal Council, but Cirie is very smart, and she's someone that, if she went [to the end], I still think Cirie beats anyone in the end. ... And then, personally, I'm a big Aubrey fan. Even after playing with her, I absolutely loved her. I think there's still time. That's the thing. If you make a few great moves at the end, I think Aubrey would still have a chance, and maybe Brad. I think there's still a bunch of people that do have a shot.

Survivor: Game Changers' two-hour finale / reunion show airs next Wednesday at 8/7c on CBS. Who's your pick to win?

(Full disclosure: is owned by CBS.)