Crystal Cox, the latest Survivor: Gabon contestant to be sent home, talked with TVGuide.com about her experience on the show and prediction for Sunday's finale, in which she'll be among the judges who votes on a final winner. She won't make a prediction except to say he or she will be a he: Ken Hoang, Matty Whitmore, or Bob Crowley.
Why not the barely-seen Susie Smith or the plotting pin-up Jessica "Sugar" Kiper? Sugar fell into Crystal's bad graces by turning on her, bringing an end to the Kenny-completing alliance Matty dubbed "The Evil Three."
"You know, she doesn't get my vote," Crystal said in our phone interview Friday.
Crystal, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist in track for the 4 X 400m Relay, also talked about what she learned in Gabon and plans to do after the finale. (It airs Sunday at 8 pm/ET on CBS.)
TVGuide.com: You're a gold medalist, but on the course on Thursday's episode you looked a little lost.
Crystal: Oh my God, yes! I was blindfolded, for one. I tried to visually place it in my mind and obviously I placed it wrong. ... Jeff was like, Crystal, stay on course! Like with any of the challenges, not just the one from last night, they have been very difficult for me. As we know, I didn't play a physical game, I played a social game.
TVGuide.com: Did you feel added pressure to win the physical competitions?
Crystal: Yes, I did! I did! And the thing was, it was like, Hey, how am I gonna do this? Because you know, folks had such high expectations of me. And I was like, I don't even know how to do this and do that. I think what really got me from day one was running up the hill. It wasn't a typical hill. It was a very steep mountain that was gravelly and I fell. I skidded all the way to the bottom. From that day forward I knew: what have I gotten myself into?
TVGuide.com: So if it had been a normal surface there wouldn't have been any contest.
Crystal: Exactly. Surfaces that make me run at least 20 mph. ... No question. Regardless of how famished I was and dehydrated, it wouldn't have been any question.
TVGuide.com: The show's gotten really complicated to follow. Is it even more complicated when you're in the middle of it?
Crystal: I don't think it got too complicated. You just have to know who your alliances are and know who's talking a bunch of BS. And in the end, it's always going to boil down to a numbers game and who wants who gone.
TVGuide.com: When Matty dubbed your alliance "The Evil Three," did that get inside your head at all?
Crystal: Honestly, I'm just like whatever, because watching how the season has been edited so far it's like, they're gonna edit me as a mean, angry person. Which is fine — if that's what's gonna sell and that's what's gonna make Hollywood love me, I'm all for it.
TVGuide.com: So you're planning to act?
Crystal: Yeah, hopefully. ... I can't really commit to anything until this whole thing is done with CBS.
TVGuide.com: How would you summarize the Survivor: Gabon experience?
Crystal: I just enjoyed myself out there and I regretted not voting for Matty the week prior, and I did not know it was going to be a snowball effect like it was. I'm very proud I made it 36 out of 39 days and I think I played a hell of a game.
TVGuide.com: Did you learn anything?
Crystal: Yeah, I've learned that as much as I've lived in denial, I am an outspoken person. And I've learned to step back and just be a little more conservative now. It was an honor to play the game with 18 personalities.
TVGuide.com: Very diplomatic.
Crystal: Yeah, I can't say 18 wonderful people, so I'll say 18 personalities.