Misty Giles, <EM>Survivor: Panama</EM> Misty Giles, Survivor: Panama
Misty Giles' hesitation to reveal her occupation on

Survivor: Panama  Exile Island (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET) just may have contributed to her ouster last week, when the La Mina men surmised that her smarts offered an unfair advantage. TVGuide.com spoke with the self-described "tomboy in high heels" about hanging with the boys, doling out those, ahem,

strategic massages, and dining on the tribal delicacy of snail soup. TVGuide.com: What have the reactions been like since your elimination on last week's show?
Misty Giles:
My friends were like, "I know how competitive you are. You have to have won," and all I could say was, "Watch the show." Everyone's pretty bummed and shocked.

TVGuide.com: Last week we saw your tribe feasting on snail soup after entering your seventh day with little food to be had. What exactly does that taste like?
It's terrible! You take some seawater, throw some snails with all the sand and shells in there, and then add some hermit crab. We drank the broth sand and all in hopes that it was going to give us some kind of nourishment. I don't know how bad the food choices could have gotten, but I'd rather eat worms!

TVGuide.com: Who had the idea to cook up that concoction?
The whole tribe figured that we could eat this as food, and we were constantly collecting snails.... It was our nightly ritual to eat snails.

TVGuide.com: Was there a lot of talk after Sally lost the spear and thus La Mina's chances at real food?
There was a lot of talk. If only we had that spear, we would have been eating.

TVGuide.com: When the tribes gathered for the reward challenge, Bobby praised Bruce so openly for being the key to the improved morale at the Casaya camp. After learning of the role he played, which La Mina member was most vocal in deciding to send Bruce back to Exile Island?
They made a detrimental move telling us Bruce was the strong one. I didn't want to send him back, mainly because I knew I didn't have the idol and I didn't want to give him a second chance to look for it. I wanted to send one of the younger girls, because I thought by themselves, they'd crack. It was a smart move at the time, but they came back angry and strong.

TVGuide.com: Having been the first one stranded on Exile Island, what was it like? Did you find yourself doing a lot of searching for the hidden immunity idol?
That's one thing you miss on the one-hour show: my searching for three, four or six hours a day, as long as I had daylight. It was a challenge, emotionally and mentally, to stay focused.

TVGuide.com: It was rather strategic on your part to fool the women on your first tribe into thinking you did find the idol.
I thought that was a good backup plan. Danielle walked up to me and said, "If we have to lose, let's get rid of Sally." It really helped me get in with Danielle and Courtney.

TVGuide.com: When I talked to Melinda last week, she said there were times she'd rather have been alone on Exile than be with her tribe. Did you experience any similar feelings?
We were all smart, hardworking and diligent people. There was no drama. We were starving, but we would have great conversations every night at campfire. They don't show this, but we would sing ourselves to sleep. It was a great comfy, cozy environment, as opposed to the dysfunction that was going on at Casaya.

TVGuide.com: That said, who on La Mina did you bond with most? And which person not as much?
I bonded the most with Sally, and I'm cheering for her now. I didn't expect to have that much in common with her. The person I bonded with least was Terry, but sometimes when you have a lot in common with someone, you just seem to repel. I was trying to scheme in my head, constantly thinking about how to get him gone.

TVGuide.com: Prior to tribal council, the La Mina men said they were intimidated by your intelligence. Do you feel that played a role in your oust?
Man, that's why I didn't date in high school. That was the problem! [Chuckles]

TVGuide.com: Terry, for one, said you were "smart as hell and could cause some trouble."
It stinks to be gone because I didn't just walk around going "Oh, please, dear Terry, show me the way." That's not me and that's not ever going to be me. I thought, "Gee, Terry, if you thought I was that smart, why didn't you get an alliance with me?"

TVGuide.com: Can you pinpoint a key factor in your getting voted off?
Maybe they realized I would have been harder to get rid of later. I wasn't physically hurting, but after all the bug bites I got, maybe they thought, "She's getting eaten alive, it's starting to look gross and we should let her go now."

TVGuide.com: Were you strategizing while giving the guys on your tribe massages, or simply having fun?
It was definitely having fun. You want to have a good time out there, but my goal was to stay in the game as long as possible. I knew the young guys were faltering and were on the fence with their alliance, so we started working Austin and Nick. I got absolutely nothing out of it.

TVGuide.com: In your CBS.com biography, you describe yourself as a "tomboy in high heels." What amenity did you miss most on island?
My toothbrush! I have this oral-hygiene fixation and now I walk around with one in my purse all day. I didn't get any luxury items.

TVGuide.com: Other than brushing your teeth for a good long time, what was the first thing you did when you arrived home?
I have two Boston terriers that I absolutely love and missed so much, so I've said I went out for pizza and Italian food, but I really ordered in and watched movies.

TVGuide.com: As far as your occupation, viewers were let in on the fact that you are an engineer but saw you hesitating to tell your tribe at first.
I didn't tell the younger women, but when it came to the other tribe, I figured that because Dan's an engineer and Terry's a pilot, we could bond [over it]. We all got along fine, but it definitely did not aid me in making the right alliances.

TVGuide.com: Did you struggle at all telling La Mina?
I just came right out with it when Dan said he was an astronaut, explaining how working for NASA has been my dream since I was a child. We were talking for a while and I told him I work on a rocket program, but until then no one knew.

TVGuide.com: You've certainly proved your worth, showing that you can hang with the boys!
I do it on a daily basis in my job, but it didn't work on Survivor. Go figure!

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