Home / Culture / ‘Survivor’ contestant Krista Klumpp tells all; former AU cheerleader says LSU bad boy Russell thinks Auburn is ‘the best school of all time’

‘Survivor’ contestant Krista Klumpp tells all; former AU cheerleader says LSU bad boy Russell thinks Auburn is ‘the best school of all time’

“It’s the eye of the tiger…” — Survivor

The contestant occupying “that curious corner of male fan psychology” having been wrongfully evicted two episodes back, it’s going to be hard for the Auburn fan to continue caring about “Survivor: Redemption Island.” Screen-capping a bikini-clad former Auburn cheerleader fighting for cash in the Nicaraguan jungle was one of the highlights of our week; no longer.

But we thought one more interview would give us one last last legitimate excuse — see us reaching here and here — to exploit Krista Klumpp… and also some answers: why would an Auburn “cool beans Christian girl” form an alliance with LSU bad-boy Russell?

Also: why is Zapatera so lame? (Yes, we’re still watching.)

TWER: Were you at all self-conscious showing so much skin in front of other folks?

KRISTA: Other folks on the tribe? No, that’s the last thing I worried about. Other folks as the viewers? Not really. I don’t put too much thought into stuff like that. I’m a confident person, becasue I know I’m NOT perfect. If I thought I was perfect I would probably be more worried about showing so much skin and people finding imperfections. It’s not anything no one else has seen before.

TWER: You obviously aren’t a stranger to the camera, but has it been weird seeing yourself on T.V., at least outside the context of two-second closeups at sporting event?

KRISTA: Yes, I never knew I made some of the faces I make. When I’m thinking really hard it looks like I’m mad, but I’m really just concentrating!  And I need to stop biting my nails!

TWER: Were there certain angles to the drama that were ignored by the show’s producers that you thought should have been included, or certain things you didn’t think were such a big deal but that were played up?

KRISTA: There was never a good explanation shown of why I aligned  with Russell in the beginning and that confused a lot of people, because Russell seemed like the last person I would have formed an alliance with. It is a long story, but we first connected on our faith, similar southern backgrounds and strong desires to play “Survivor” to WIN! Everything you see is very accurate of how things happened. Of course there is never enough time to show every converstation. They never showed Mike stealing my bread from me after we won the food reward… I still haven’t figured out why he had it out for me from the beginning. And I was not shown much with Russell and Stephanie in terms of our game plan and decision making, but I get it… they are way more dramatic and outspoken. I like to think before I speak. That’s not as interesting for TV!

TWER: Are you keeping up with anyone from the show? Have you been in touch with Russell? Plan to keep up with him? Did y’all get into it over football?

KRISTA: Russell and I talked about Auburn and LSU football all the time on the island. He is an LSU alumni, so you know there were some heated debates. We decided to just agree that the SEC was the best conference in order to keep our alliance from dividing! Of course it was with great pleasure to see Auburn beat LSU this year and win the National Championship! He then agreed Auburn was the best school of all time!

TWER: So we kind of thought Stephanie might have been the one going home — she’d been the most talkative, and seemed to be the face of the post-Russel Russel Rebellion. But you kind of went off — and it was wonderful; the Brady Bunch line was great — at your last tribal council, while Stephanie was quiet. What happened? Also, the tribe’s standard response to your (repeated) claim that most of them weren’t “playing the game” was something to the effect of “well, you say that but you’re the one leaving.” And yet it did seem that way — that Brady Bunch Zapatera, post-Russell, and especially post-Krista, had no real plan, or the personnel and personality to execute it even if they did. What was wrong with them? Had Russell not been in the picture, what would your strategy have been? What, looking back, could you have done differently?

KRISTA: Had Russell not been there things would have been completly different. How? It’s hard to say, but Russell caused those people to lose their minds… in like two days. That’s pretty impressive for an individual to have that much influence! I believe they became stressed out as soon as they saw him hanging out with Stephanie and I so much, but we really just got along better with each other. Obviously, we were not a threat if we had 3 and they had 6? It started to seem as if they were playing the “Get Rid of Russell” game instead of playing “Survivor”. At that point I knew I didn’t have the same mind set as any of them. If they didn’t like Russell, that’s perfectly fine and understandable, but they needed to keep his expertise and strengths on the tribe especially if the other tribe had someone of equal value! What I meant by saying they were not “playing the game” is that I knew they didnt have a plan… a back-up.. a strategy… nothing beyond outing Russell. I stayed positive and team oriented even after Russell left. I didn’t beg for acceptance nor did I ask forgiveness. I pouted for a little bit and then I got over it. They would have done the same thing had Ralph been blindsided! They were not interested in coming up with any other plans that involved me nor Stephanie which is why you never saw them discuss anything with us.

Stephanie stepped up in the challenge we lost right before the vote that voted me off. If I had to put some strategic thought to it, I believe they thought she would bring more to the challenges. Who knows why they chose me over her? They may not even know, but I had a good feeling it was going to be me so I let it all out! Mike tried to say it was because I was “abrasive” and didn’t try to build trust… ha ha. I guess becasue I disagreed with them throwing the challenge? I would have rather him have just said, “We don’t have a reason, you’re just next…” cause that’s closer to the truth!

In terms of their personalities… well… deprivation of food and energy certainly didn’t help them on the interesting scale. I just needed the Auburn family and I could have lasted out there for months!

Looking back, I feel like I got the short end of the stick in terms of tribes and demographics. Only Stephanie was anywhere near my age. Russell may be older, but he can act 15 a lot of the time! Ha ha! I certainly don’t regret anything and am thankful for the respect the show gave to Matt and I in terms of our faith and beliefs. Not many times will you see moments like that respected on national television. I will be forever grateful! I lost 15 lbs in 15 days. I can only imagine what would have happened to my health had I made it to the end. I have so much respect for the show and for every “Survivor” contestant to ever step foot on an island becasue this was the hardest most challenging thing I have ever experienced or will experience in my life!  A million dollars is a small prize considering the challenges this game presents!

Read TWER’s first interview with Krista Klumpp here. See some great photos of her mom here. Watch a crazy fan video here — and we apologize to anyone who was confused by the title; it’s a Kriss Kross reference.

Photo courtesy of CBS Broadcasting Inc.

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