(CBS) – Another week, another member of Ua tribe has their Survivor flame extinguished. This week it was Genie Chen who had to stand before Jeff Probst and hear the words no Survivor player wants to hear “The Tribe Has Spoken.”
CBS’ Matt Weiss spoke to Genie about her time on the island, the tribal council that sent her home and the art of eating bugs.READ MORE: ‘Survivor 41’ Episode 5 Recap: Trust Carries You To The End
MW- Hello Genie! Sorry thing didn’t go your way but it’s nice to see you today.
GC- Yeah, yeah man it was heartbreaking but also now that the anxiety of it all has been released it’s a it’s kind of a relief. I knew it was coming and now that it’s here it’s like ok cool, I don’t have to be anxious about it anymore.
MW- That’s a great way to look at it. What was it like to live out a dream and actually make it onto Survivor in the first place?
GC- Well that was by far the greatest adventure I’ve ever experienced in my life. To have been a part of this season, 41, with about 50% BIPOC and just all these amazing people. CBS had almost two years to gather this group and I feel 100% lucky that I was a part of this season.
MW- You played a very straightforward, very honest game. Was that your strategy going in or was that just a byproduct of how the game was going?
GC- Well you know what, I don’t know how to be anyone other than myself. That wasn’t quite a strategy, I was just going to be myself.
The strategy for me more so was that I was just going to be so likable that I wouldn’t be the first, second or third voted out. I wanted them to want to keep me around. So that was really my only strategy.
MW- And you weren’t the first, second or third so you succeeded. Congratulations!
GC- [Laughs] Not even the fourth or fifth either!
MW- Mission accomplished [laughs]. It seemed like you, Shan and Ricard had a good thing going but then the beware advantage came into play. You all agreed not to open it, you walk away for a little bit, and they open it…
GC- First of all, when we agreed to that I was like okay great but they were scheming away. I was out there fishing for us to get us food to compete in the next challenge so we would have some energy. So yeah, seeing that was a little hard. I was like, man, I was pretty much gaslighted the whole time.
MW- Obviously the challenges didn’t go Ua’s way. What was it about those challenges when you’re there facing it in person that makes them so difficult?
GC- Oh man, first of all, we’ve had no food, at all. This is the first season where remember we don’t have rice. I don’t know why they’re not concentrating a little more on that in the edit. We were literally eating earthworms just for protein. We were eating grubs we’d find in wood, everybody is so depleted.
At this point I was very gassed. I was participating in that slingshot but I don’t even know if they showed it because my shots were not even close to hitting the targets [laughs]. It was so difficult without any food to perform in those challenges and it was like they didn’t let up. I thought maybe the more you starve the less physical things happen but it was all physical all the time.READ MORE: Jairus “JD” Robinson Shares Why He Kept Giving Shan His Extra ‘Survivor’ Vote: ‘My Only Play Was To Suck Up To The People In Power’
MW- Just out of curiosity, what do earthworms taste like?
GC- Oh, they were so delicious! I was just happy to not have coconut in my mouth. It tastes like chow mein. Felt like I was at my grandma’s restaurant. [Laughs]
MW- So you really enjoyed it?
GC- Oh yea!
MW- [Laughs] You were made for Survivor. Now looking at council, it essentially came down to you versus Ricard both pitching Shan for why you should stick around. Did you feel confident going into that or did you have a sense that this might be the end of the road?
GC- Well, you know, there were little clues that it might be me. When I came back from the challenge and Shan was like ‘hey did you go get that immunity?’, I was like, well, no, we agree we’re going to leave it and if I take it now I lose my vote. When we went into the challenge Shan came up with a brilliant idea and said well why don’t I just say the phrase, leave this idle here, make the other teams think their items are turned on when it has no power.
I was like that’s a great idea and that was a great idea. like if we did do it that way. That was the first time my hair started coming up though. I still felt good with Shan though because strategically speaking, when it’s only two more people and you go to the merge you want to take the person you trust the most. I just knew it wasn’t Ricard.
Ricard just didn’t really get anybody’s trust from the beginning. From that beginning when I actually wrote Ricard’s name down it was because we thought every he was going to be the second choice anyway.
MW- Unfortunately things didn’t go your way, but as you look back on your journey now what do you take away from it?
GC- You know I take away that I just need to trust myself even more. I did things out there that I didn’t even think I would be able to do. I used the Hawaiian sling and I got us fish. I was capable of doing all these things I never thought I would be able to do.
I shouldn’t have played with as much fear as I did at the end. I was afraid of that stupid beware advantage and I just should have believed in myself a little more.
MW- That’s great you came away from it with a better idea of what you can do! Last question before I let you go you mentioned that your game had a lot of fear to it, if you had the opportunity to do it again, are you going back for a second round?
GC- Well, you know, I was gonna say it’s so miserable with no food and it was so tough but.. OH YEA I would do it again! I would leave right now I’m ready!
MW- [Laughs] Happy to hear it and hope we see you back out there sometime. Thank you so much Genie and all the best!
GC- Thank you so much!MORE NEWS: Survivor’s Brad Reese Says He Could Have ‘Outran That Monster’ With A Few More Power Ups
Survivor 41 airs Wednesday night’s at 8:00 PM ET/PT on CBS and available to stream with Paramount+. Check your local listings for more information.