December 06, 2010 08:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
“Purple Kelly” Shinn, the youngest contestant on Survivor: Nicaragua, is defending her wimpy choice to quit the competition.Â Just moments after NaOnka Mixon decided to quit the game during last week’s episode, Kelly also threw in the towel.Â In a conference call with reporters, Kelly described her reasons for quitting the game before offering her thoughts on how host Jeff Probst treated her.Â Kelly called Probst a great host, also saying he doesn’t understand what she was going through since he got to spend his time in a warm hotel with clean clothes.Â Her story behind getting on the show is also interesting — short, but says a lot.
Question: Do you have any regrets about how you played the game?
Kelly Shinn: I definitely do not.Â I will stand by every decision that I made throughout the whole game.Â I think that I played a part that reflects my character and my integrity.Â I just always tried to stay true to myself, so I don’t regret anything.
Question: Do you feel you don’t deserve to be on the jury or do you believe you’ve earned that even though you quit?
Kelly Shinn: I definitely feel like my spot was earned.Â I fought through miserable nights with all those people.Â I was there longer than the jury members, really.Â I got to know these people, and just like everybody else, Survivor is a game.Â That’s really all I can say, but I was never embarrassed or never thought that I shouldn’t be there after I had just gone through Hell to get where I was.
Question: At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst was tough on you guys for quitting.Â Do you think he was too hard or just playing it up for TV?
Kelly Shinn: I think that he probably didn’t agree with the decision.Â Overall, I think that Jeff is great for TV.Â I think he works it.Â He’s a great host for Survivor.Â That’s just kind of how he is.Â You know.Â He was totally set every day.Â He went back to a hotel or wherever and had clean clothes.Â He was warm.Â He was dry.Â So he really didn’t understand.Â I’m just gonna say I think he’s great for TV.Â Jeff is a good Survivor host.
Question: How do you feel about the people already on the jury when you decided to quit since they want to be in the game?
Kelly Shinn:Â I look at Survivor, this is a game.Â They are sitting in the jury and got voted out for a reason.Â They slipped somewhere in their strategic planning, and had it not been then it probably would have been soon after.Â Survivor is ultimately a game.Â I am sorry that Alina was so upset with us, and that she felt that way, but I really can’t change that.Â At the time, I did what was best for me.Â I put my health first, and that’s how my decision was made.Â I’m sorry for whoever I offended, but I had to do what I had to do.
Question: Were you surprised about how little exposure you got on the show?
Kelly Shinn: Oh my gosh, yes.Â I was so shocked.Â After everything I had gone through, I thought I would get a little bit more credit than what I had — and a little bit more screen time.Â But really, when I was out there, you’re not thinking about that.Â What can I do to get on TV?Â How should I act?Â What kind of things can I stir up?Â For me to try and stir up any drama, that’s like not really who I am in real life.Â It doesn’t come naturally.Â I’m sure that could’ve gotten me some more air time, but that wasn’t me playing with integrity so I didn’t even go there.Â Overall, as far as the edit goes, I’m kind of shocked.Â I was involved in everything, so I just don’t understand.
Question: Do you believe the limited exposure could have been because you quit or that others had more drama to give?
Kelly Shinn: I want to say it’s because the other people had more drama, but then looking back it just really doesn’t make any sense.Â I was part of everything else just as they were.Â I hate to think it, but I think it’s probably because I walked away.Â But I felt like I added a lot to the show.Â NaOnka also walked away, but yet she is like the biggest player this season.Â It’s just two opposite sides I guess.
Question: How close was Holly at convincing you to stay?
Kelly Shinn: I appreciated everything she had said to me, and respected her for that.Â I think Holly is a great person, but my mind was already made up.Â It was not a matter of me just wanting to get out of Nicaragua.Â I was physically ill.Â I could not handle anything else there. …
Question: When NaOnka quit first, did that make your decision easier or had you guys talked about it to figure everything out?
Kelly Shinn: No we really didn’t talk about it.Â Sitting there my decision was already made.Â There was really no influencing whatsoever.Â It was a matter of me being ill and me needing to put myself first.Â NaOnka really had nothing to do with it.Â We weren’t together for most of the day.Â We spent the morning together, but then we’d go off to the challenge and the Reward so we didn’t see each other again until Tribal Council.
Question: Do you think NaOnka should have stuck it out?
Kelly Shinn: It’s easier said than done, but I know what we were both going through.Â I can’t say that she should have stayed.Â I think she was feeling however she felt and she had to make that decision herself.Â I was going through similar things.Â We were both out there in hardly any clothes.Â Just that was almost the icing on the cake.Â We were just miserable.Â I don’t necessarily think she should have stayed, but she was in a really good position to get to the end with the hidden Immunity Idol.Â I think that is crazy, but Nay will do as she pleases all the time.Â She’ll speak her mind, and be very honest with herself.Â That’s all she was doing.
Question: How did you get selected for the show?
Kelly Shinn: I’m not sure that I can really discuss that, but I can say that I went through the tryout process.Â Doing really everything, and just being able to talk to the right person is what it came down to.
Another interesting note regarding this interview with Kelly came when she openly admitted she had never seen a single episode of Survivor.Â It’s for this reason Kelly said she, “wasn’t really sure how things would go.”
Seven contestants are left in the competition.Â The finale arrives on Sunday, December 19.
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