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Cristina Coria — Her Life Since Survivor

August 08, 2008 11:00 AM by Ryan Haidet

Christina Coria since Survivor

Cristina Coria was one of the 20 contestants battling it out for $1 million on Survivor: Cook Islands. This former police officer has a very interesting story on how she got picked for the show, but that’s not all. Read on to see RealityTVMagazine’s Ryan Haidet uncovered in his chat with the castaway.

RealityTVMagazine:

What have you been up to since Survivor?

Cristina Coria:

Since I’ve been out of Survivor, I have been medically retired from the police force, so I am currently unemployed (laughs). I go to doctor appointments, therapy. I’m planning a wedding. I just got engaged in February. He’s a Marine and a police officer, but he’ll be leaving for Iraq in December, so we get married (this month). So we’re trying to plan that right now.

RTVMAG:

Word is you want to start your own charity events?

Cristina:

I’m actually trying to put on a few events. Some for police officers and firemen for their families when they’ve died in the line of duty — to raise money for them. Some other events for kids where there’s domestic violence and kids in abusive situations. I’m trying to figure out some great organizations to be a part of and then try to make my own.

RTVMAG:

Anything fans might be surprised to hear about you?

Cristina:

I love dancing. I would love to be on Dancing with the Stars. I love drawing. I don’t think I act like a police officer in the sense of that tough person. I might be a little bit tough, but I’m like soft on the inside.

RTVMAG:

Speaking of being a police officer, weren’t you hurt on duty before?

Cristina:

A few times. I’ve been shot in the line of duty — I almost lost my arm. I got hit by a car where I almost got killed. Been through a bunch of different incidents at work. Through all that, there’s tragedies, but there’s triumphs over tragedies.

RTVMAG:

Looking back, how would you sum up being on Survivor?

Cristina:

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was great being somewhere I’ve never been, trying to live off the land, doing things I’ve never done before. It was intense, but it was intense in a different way. I mean there’s an adrenaline rush being on the show and an adrenaline rush being a police officer. But it was fun.

Cristina Coria

RTVMAG:

Were you a fan of the show before competing on it?

Cristina:

I saw a few episodes before and I thought it’d be great to go on. I actually dated Joel who was on the first one — Joel Klug. It’s funny, I met him at the People’s Choice Awards when they got the award for being the best show.

RTVMAG:

How did you end up at the People’s Choice Awards?

Cristina:

A friend of mine, who works for Fox News, her and I went because my neighbor had something to do with the People’s Choice Awards and got us tickets. So when her and I went I go, “Who’s the cute guy that’s on the thing,” because I never really watched the show before. She’s like, “Oh that’s Joel from Survivor, he competed.” She said, “I’ll introduce you.” So we met and then we started dating. He introduced me to Mark Burnett, introduced me to different people. And that’s when they went on the Weakest Link — you know they did all sorts of stuff. And Mark Burnett, he’s like, “You should go on the show, being a police officer it’d be great.” And years passed and I didn’t really think about it. I started watching one or two episodes, but I never really got into it because I was so busy at work. Then Lynne Spillman casted me and said, “Would you wanna do it?”

RTVMAG:

Getting that phone call must have been awesome.

Cristina:

Yes. She calls me and like a month before they’re going on the show and she’s like, “Do you wanna do it?” And I’m like, “Oh my God, that’d be great, but I don’t think my chief’s gonna give me permission.” So I called my chief and he’s like, “Yeah, that’d be a great idea, you should do it.” I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I’m going on Survivor.” It was a little intense.

RTVMAG:

Explain what those first few moments were like.

Cristina:

So surreal. First of all jumping off the ship into the water, it just didn’t seem real. And then trying to get all the stuff on the raft — it was something that you think you’d see in a movie. And then paddling to the island and then you’re there and you’ve gotta live off the land and work. There’s no stores, so you’re doing everything and there was a lot of work. It was draining.

RTVMAG:

Word is that the boat ride with all 20 of you at the beginning was horrible. Lots of people getting seasick.

Cristina:

I was sitting luckily in the middle so I got a view of everything (laughs). I don’t get seasick or things like that, but everyone else did and they’re turning green. Like Celia was almost like passed out throwing up. It was just funny. Everyone was just not having a good time. I thought they were gonna be like disqualified before we even got to the island. It was pretty intense.

RTVMAG:

How long was the boat ride?

Cristina:

We were on it, half a day probably, a few hours. It was beautiful and then all of a sudden it got cloudy — like a storm. It was like, “What the heck happened?” Like you’re on a set and all of a sudden it turns into this storm. And it was so intense. We had one girl, one of the camera lenses fell and hit her on the head and we thought she was gonna get knocked out. Just so many things were happening. Honestly, it really was surreal, the whole thing.

Honestly we jumped on this boat, we’re paddling and it seemed like we’re paddling forever. And you don’t realize there’s sharks in the water. They’re filming you, but they’re from a distance watching you do this stuff. So we’re paddling, we’re joking around, we’re trying to meet each other and it was just like, “Oh my gosh, we’ve got to paddle to that island?” And the waves, it was just draining and at that point we’re like, “What are we getting ourselves into?”

RTVMAG:

You got to compete with one of Survivor’s most popular players, Ozzy Lusth. What is your take on Ozzy?

Cristina:

You know, he’s a great guy, a real nice person. I really have nothing bad to say about him other than he really didn’t like police officers ’cause he kept saying that on the show. I think that he’s a great athlete. I think that he is just talented in that way. He’s a nice guy.

RTVMAG:

Any advice for a future player?

Cristina:

You know what, if you’re gonna go on the show, be ready for a challenge. Be ready to really challenge your body mentally and physically. And just enjoy it. If you’re a dramatic-type person, they’re probably gonna look for that. But they’re looking for everything. They’re looking for the drama they’re looking for the sincere person. It’s a show with different people that have different personalities.

Images courtesy of Cristina Coria.

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