Third time was the charm — sort of — for Survivor: Vanuatu castoff Lisa Keiffer. After reaching the semifinals of the contestant searches twice before, she finally made it onto the reality show. Too bad her flip-flopping between the older and younger cliques of the Yasur tribe — and a certain misunderstanding with Ami — got Lisa's torch snuffed. Here, the busy 44-year-old mother of six from New Orleans tells TV Guide Online about her South Pacific adventure.
TV Guide Online: Wow, you look so much better now than you did on the show!
Lisa Keiffer: I know. Can you believe how I looked? My face was so thin. What if I lasted the whole time? I would have been a walking skeleton.
TVGO: Eliza was looking emaciated as well.
Lisa: You thought she looked thinner? I was looking at me going, "Ewww." But I'm glad to know that she looked thinner.
TVGO: Were you excited to do a battle of the sexes?
Lisa: No, I was not happy about that. I did not want all women. I went to an all-girls high school, and the first thing I thought about was golly, these are tough women — and women can be moody and catty and whiny. I could hang with Twila. She says it like it is.
TVGO: Will you stay friends with anyone?
Lisa: I am sure that I will. When that [drama] happened with Ami last [Thursday], I was very frustrated that she wouldn't believe me. At the same time, Ami's a great girl and I'm sure that we'll all be fine together at the end.
TVGO: You made the mistake of telling Ami that other people should learn where the water was, just in case. Did that comment cause your downfall, or was there more to it?
Lisa: I think she used that comment, but looking back, I was real strong in the challenges and I got along real well with everyone, especially when the guys came. I don't think she liked that.
TVGO: You bonded well with the younger and older women, but ended up switching alliances. Did that rub people the wrong way too?
Lisa: The first impression I got when I saw these women was, "Oh, I'm toast. Look at these young chicks out there, and then there is me." But the funny thing is, within the second day Mia and Eliza walked up to me and said, "We need to form an alliance right now." I said, "Absolutely, I'm in." I was on the young tribe. How did that happen? I think they were shocked that I was 44 and had six children. I chose that alliance and went with it, and then, of course, it fell apart with Eliza. Then Scout approached me and that is when I jumped on that bandwagon.
TVGO: Were you surprised they didn't vote Eliza off, since she basically lost the pig challenge for you?
Lisa: I was disappointed and I couldn't understand why I went before Eliza. Watch out if there is an All-Stars.
TVGO: So you want another shot?
Lisa: I would leave tomorrow if they called me right now and said, "Can you get on a plane and go to Survivor 10?" I tried out four times to get on. I made it to the semifinals for Survivor 3 and 5 and finally I got on. This time it was just a fluke. I sent in my video and made it to the semifinals and got rejected. About a month later, they had called me for The Amazing Race. I like that show as well, but not like Survivor. But I happened to be in L.A. one week visiting my son and it was when the 50 finalists for Survivor were in town. When they found out I was in L.A., the [producers] said, "Can you come in for a quick interview?" That quick interview turned into a week and the next thing I knew, I was on Survivor.
TVGO: That's so cool.
Lisa: It was a total miracle. My husband and I attribute it to the fact that, even before I tried out, he wanted to go into full-time ministry and give up his law practice. We made that decision together and it was right after that when things turned around. I really believe that if you honor God, he gives you the desires of your heart. And that is what happened.