“Survivor” is a lot like life. It doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes you aren’t voted out because you’re annoying or because you’re a threat. Sometimes you’re voted out because you can’t chug a smoothie made of poorly blended sea life chunks. We had a chance to sit down with Ashley Trainer the day after she was voted out of “Survivor” to get her take on how viable a “Survivor Smoothie” could be in the chain restaurant business, the disgusting things too much rain will do to your feet, and perhaps grossest of all…the fact that Evil Russell Hantz is actually a charming guy.
Gordon Holmes: So say you’re a “Survivor” fan and you’re in New York and you’re looking for a place to have lunch. You stroll into a little place in Times Square called the “Survivor” Café.
Ashley Trainer: (Laughs) OK.
Gordon: It’s a theme restaurant with all kinds of crazy crap on the walls like buffs and torches. And there are hamburgers and chicken fingers and whatnot on the menu. But if you’re really adventurous you can order a slug guts smoothie.
Ashley: (Laughs) Wait, are you asking would I do it?
Gordon: I’m asking: A, is it an awesome idea? And B, would you partake?
Ashley: I think it’s an awesome idea. And I would never ever do it again.
Gordon: Never ever?
Ashley: No, but I think it’s an awesome idea, because all of these people think they could do it. They should at least try it, then say, “I give you props for giving it your all.”
Gordon: If you could do me a favor and describe the taste, just so our chefs will have something to go off of…
Ashley: OK, honestly I tried to take it all down, but you couldn’t because there were pieces of something in the chunks. They kind of look like beans and in each of those there were things. Chunks of who knows what. It tasted like…um…you know that smell when you go to the ocean and it smells like rotten fish and seaweed mixed together? Multiply that by about a hundred and you’ll know what that tasted like.
Gordon: So, when we get this restaurant off the ground, I’ll make sure you get a consultant fee.
Ashley: Thank you!
Gordon: They spend a lot of time on Russell. They basically make us think he’s the devil. But last night, this lovely young woman named Ashley said he is the one person she trusts the most next to her buddy Natalie. What’s going on there?
Ashley: Honestly, Russell was really good to my face. He’d sneak me extra food, he would make me think that we were going to be the final two. I don’t know what it is about him, but he’s charming in a really weird way. He always made sure I was comfortable. He snuck me and Natalie extra food. He was so good to my face otherwise I wouldn’t have said that about him. I really thought he was my ally.
Gordon: So you didn’t know he had the immunity idol?
Ashley: I kind of had a feeling, but Liz was sitting there going, “I know Russell has it, I know Russell has it!” But from what I’d seen you get on Russell’s bad side, you get voted off.
Gordon: What did you think when you watched at home and saw things like Russell dumping out the water or burning the socks?
Ashley: I was in absolute shock. I’d seen “Survivor” and in the 19 seasons, I’d never seen someone do the strategy he did. You normally want to make your tribe strong, but he enjoyed making us miserable. I honestly am in shock still.
Gordon: Did you have any idea you were going home last night?
Ashley: I kind of had a feeling. Once Jaison said something and Mick said something I thought, “Alright, I’m going home tonight.” And once I voted, I came back and none of the tribe members looked at me. I knew it.
Gordon: Hopefully they took you someplace dry and warm after that.
Ashley: Oh yes (Laughs) and I got food.
Gordon: Now, I’d heard it rained for something like 48 hours.
Ashley: That’s 100% accurate. It may have rained longer than that. It was the worst thing ever. You’re freezing…my body shook the entire time. And you can’t get dry. My clothes were soaking wet and as you saw we were cuddled up into a ball. It takes you to your breaking point. But I could have kept going.
Gordon: It’s seems like Jaison is having a tough time out there.
Ashley: (Laughs) Yes, Jaison was absolutely miserable. He definitely spoke his words, but he’s a man and he has the physical strength that I don’t. It was better for the tribe to keep him around.
Gordon: Now, with his U.S. national water polo experience, you’d think he’d be used to prune hands and feet.
Ashley: (Laughs) I know, but they get to the point that you touch things and they break open. And your feet? It’s horrible. You’d touch the bamboo we used for a floor and they’d break open.
Gordon: Thanks Ashley, I’ve lost my appetite for the “Survivor” Café now.
Ashley: People don’t understand how horrible it is. There’s no end, and there’s no weather forecast telling you when the rain will end.
Gordon: So last week Yasmin tells me there’s no craft services and this week you tell me there’s no weather report?
Ashley: (Laughs) I know, isn’t it crazy?!
Gordon: Now when I spoke to Betsy and Mike, they seemed to enjoy Ben. Do you think he was misrepresented?
Ashley: Honestly, I don’t think he was misrepresented. He was horrible to me. They kind of showed a little bit of the fight we got into. I just ended up getting up and walking away.
Gordon: OK, word association time. Let’s start with Elizabeth.
Ashley: My best friend.
Gordon: Russell H.?
Ashley: Two sided.
Ashley: A breath of fresh air.
Ashley: She’s funny.
Gordon: What did you learn from your time out there?
Ashley: I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought I was. All my friends are texting me like “Oh my God, I’m so proud of you. I never thought you could do anything like that.” And I didn’t think I could either. I’m so proud of myself. I’m finally happy, and I’ve found happiness in myself.
Gordon: Who would’ve thought you’d find that in Samoa.
Ashley: I know!
Gordon: How about the dogs we saw in your family video; how do they think you did?
Ashley: My dogs are very proud of me. They are my life. They’re so important to me.
Gordon: Were they down on you for not swallowing the sea slug guts?
Ashley: Probably, they probably think they could have done it.
Gordon: And a good dog won’t call you out on that.
Ashley: That true, and they gave me lots of kisses after the show last night.
Gordon: They might talk about it behind your back.
Ashley: Yeah…like Russell.