November 04, 2011 08:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
She was undefeated on Redemption Island until this week when Ozzy Lusth beat her in the duel. Although she was originally voted off the Upolu tribe in the second episode, Christine Shields Markoski just now became the latest person officially eliminated from Survivor: South Pacific. In a conference call with reporters, Christine said that Coach was definitely her biggest rival and she explained her thoughts on Ozzy’s story about being blindsided by Cochran. Did she believe his act? Oh yeah, remember when Christine flipped Rick off at one of the duels as he cheered her on? Christine said her middle finger was not intended for Rick but for somebody else? Who was it that Christine actually gave the bird to? All that and so much more inside the full interview!
Question: How did you keep a positive attitude being on Redemption Island for so long?
Christine Shields Markoski: I tried to keep myself busy. I think that was key. I had a hard time, as you saw on the TV, in the beginning a bit. I cracked a little. I was thinking about my kids, my family and my husband. Being out there alone you tend to start going crazy with your thoughts. I worked through that, got over that hump and I just kept myself busy. I sewed, I decorated, I hunted, I fished, I journaled, every second of the day I was just doing something. That’s really what kept my positive attitude, ya know.
Question: Do you think that your comment about Coach being a temporary player early on made you a target?
Christine Shields Markoski: I think he took that comment and ran with it. I don’t think it was that comment in particular that made me a target. I think it was that I was calling him out on all of his bologna on the Upolu beach. I think he wanted to get me out for that reason, but used the excuse of the comment to really get me out. He wouldn’t tell the TV that, “She’s calling me lazy. She’s calling me a disappearing act. She claims that I don’t do anything on the beach.” I don’t think he could say that to the TV, so he said, “Oh yeah, because she called me a temporary player, I don’t like it.” I think he just took that comment and ran with that one.
Question: Would you say Coach was your biggest rival?
Christine Shields Markoski: Oh yeah. I think it was Benjamin who put that humongous target on my back and wanted to get me out — and he did. If I made it through the merge, he would still be my biggest rival. Definitely. Hands down.
Question: When you see Coach this December at the live show, will you call him Coach or Benjamin?
Christine Shields Markoski: Oh! I’ll call him Benji. Hahahaha.
Question: Why Benji?
Christine Shields Markoski: He probably hates that even more than Benjamin.
Question: Do you see any potential friendship outside of the game between the two of you?
Christine Shields Markoski: Benjamin and I? Oh no. I don’t think so. … I just don’t think he’s a nice person. I find him arrogant. He thinks he’s King Farouk and everyone must bow down to him. He thinks he’s omnipotent and he’s not. I don’t find that a quality in a friend of mine. So I don’t see us being BFFs anytime soon.
Question: Do you think he can win though?
Christine Shields Markoski: If they can continue to pick off Savaii and if Upolu continues to follow him implicitly, yeah. He does have that chance.
Question: How disappointed would you be if that was the outcome?
Christine Shields Markoski: I don’t think I would be disappointed, but it would validate my point in saying he should have been temporary. Because had he been temporary, that would have been one of us sitting up there and not him.
Question: What was up with Stacey’s remarks about Coach and Chuck E. Cheese jokes?
Christine Shields Markoski: Wasn’t that awesome? It was actually Chuck-e-the-cheese. Hahaha. I told Stacey I’m gonna write a book and just call it Stacey-isms because I just love the stuff she comes up with. It’s just brilliant. I think it had something to do with him telling stories. Like you do at Chuck E. Cheese. Tell stories and it’s all kiddie time, it’s all just play. I think that’s what she meant.
Question: When you first arrived at the duel arena in this week’s episode, Ozzy went on his big act with the lies involving Cochran. Ozzy’s act came across so phony on television, but was it that way in person?
Christine Shields Markoski: I didn’t really focus that much on his little monologue at all. I just kept thinking about the challenge and I was kind of just focusing on that. What he was saying just kind of went in and out very quickly so I didn’t give it much credence at all.
Question: What about the time you spent with him at Redemption? Did you believe Ozzy’s story there?
Christine Shields Markoski: Oh yeah. I believed it. Why would I not believe it? Everyone else that came through was very forthcoming and they told me what was going on at their beach. Why would I think that someone would voluntarily get themselves voted off (and) dream up this story? … I believed him completely.
Question: At one duel, it looked like you gave somebody at Upolu the middle finger as they cheered you on. Did you actually flip somebody off or was that clever editing with them blurring your finger out as you scratched your face or something?
Christine Shields Markoski: Oh no, I gave someone the finger. Hahaha.
Question: Was that directed at Rick?
Christine Shields Markoski: No, it wasn’t directed at Rick. But I did give someone the finger. Hahaha.
Question: Who was it?
Christine Shields Markoski: It was Jeff.
Question: Oh really? Jeff Probst? Why?
Christine Shields Markoski: Being on Redemption Island, I missed my manicure appointment, so my fingernails were filthy. So Jeff made a comment about my fingernails being filthy. So I said, “Oh yeah, Jeff. Which finger in particular is filthy? This one?” And that’s what happened. Hahaha.
Question: It really did look like you flipped Upolu off — especially Rick.
Christine Shields Markoski: I know! It really did. My kids looked and me and said, “Mommy! You’re not supposed to do that.” I said, “I know. You’re not allowed to do it.” Hahaha.
Question: Is there anybody in particular that you would like to see win?
Christine Shields Markoski: I would like to see Dawn win. I think she’s a very strong person and she’s a mom, so I have that connection with her. But also, Cochran. He’s worked really hard at staying alive and I think that’s commendable. He’s sticking to it. Either one of them, I think.
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Photos courtesy: CBS