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Survivor 43 showed the Coco Tribe on top. But they finally had to cut someone loose. Showbiz Cheat Sheet talked to Lindsay Carmine about why she was really voted off over Zoom on Oct. 14.

[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for the Survivor 43 Episode 4.] 

Lindsay hoped to use Karla for information on ‘Survivor 43’

Q: My first question for you is, did you know that Karla [Cruz] was in the middle of the girls’ alliance and what Ryan [Medrano] and Geo [Bustamante] had going?

Lindsay: I knew that she was talking to them. I honestly thought her perspective was, let me talk with Ryan and go and get information from them and then bring it back to us. I was grateful for that because I really wanted to play a loyal game. I’m a terrible liar, so I wouldn’t have been able to play both sides in that instance.

Ryan and I had a great relationship out there. Geo and I had a great relationship out there and I respected and valued them. So if Karla was willing to do the dirty work in terms of playing both sides, then let her do that.

My strategy going into the game, it was pretty loose. I always compare strategy in Survivor to a birth plan. Like they’re great to have, but they’re totally unrealistic, right? Like you need to be there in the moment and going through that experience before you kind of you figure out what you’re doing.

I’m really good at adapting and I call it like my bob and weave, but and I get that from being a nurse. You know, when I’m walking into people’s rooms, I have no idea what’s about to happen. Right? So I kind of took that approach into the game of Survivor. What I wanted to do was I didn’t have to be the one that was making all the big moves, but I did want to have all the information. For example, I didn’t necessarily need to find the idols and go after the advantages. I needed to know who had them and how I was going to play the game based off of that information.

Lindsay says Geo is at the bottom of the Coco Tribe

Jeff Probst snuffs out Lindsay Carmine's torch on 'Survivor 43'.
Lindsay Carmine and Jeff Probst on ‘Survivor 43’ | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

Q: The one downside for you guys winning that was that we really didn’t get to learn as much. So it was very interesting in this last episode that we got to see the dynamic that apparently Geo’s rubbing people the wrong way. But you said you had a good relationship with him. So one of my questions is, did you see any of the interactions where you’re like, OK, there’s a little friction there. Maybe he’s at the bottom of this or anything like that?

Lindsay: So, unfortunately, Geo was always at the bottom. You know, Geo was on day one, we threw out Joe’s name, and that was kind of how we went, which made it kind of easy for us to coast through and not have to talk so much strategy.

How many different times can you walk to the water well and say are ‘We still good? It’s Geo? It’s Geo?’ So while we were all eager to play the game in terms of strategy, it’s hard out there. It’s hard living on a beach. Right?

And so I took it as, OK, we already know who our first vote is going to be like, let me use this time to, to, to build our shelter, so we’re not cold and getting wet. Let me use this time to figure out how to find food. Let me, let me get my social game really strong. So at that point, I was like, OK, my social game is strong. My physical challenge game is strong. I was doing great in both those aspects. We just didn’t have enough time, or we had all the time. There was just we didn’t really need to strategize that much.

Q: Why was it immediately Geo at the bottom?

Lindsay: Two reasons. One, I sadly can’t talk about right now. It’s not my story to tell and I want Geo to be able to tell that story. But number two, during the Marooning Challenge, Geo was very adamant about doing the running portion of the challenge. And when he didn’t do well, my concern was, was that maybe he wasn’t self aware in terms of what his strengths were and what his weaknesses were.

I needed to keep Ryan for challenge strength. I needed to keep James [Jones] because I really, really wanted to work with James. And there was no way that I was going to write down Karla and Cassidy [Clark]’s name once I told them that I’d be willing to work with them. So by default it left Geo as the vote and he was the easy vote. It was everyone agreed with it, nobody was fighting it, so we just went with it.

The source of Lindsay’s paranoia before the vote

Q: You’re saying it was the easy vote, but then your paranoia took over and for some reason you really didn’t want to believe that it was Geo. Yeah. What was that? Was it really just that sometimes that’s what the game is? Or was it something else that was, like, kind of lighting that paranoia in you?

Lindsay: I never got paranoid until Geo, and I had a conversation on the beach maybe 3 hours before we’re going to Tribal Council, and Geo said, ‘Lindsay, I hate to do this to you, but your name’s being thrown out there and it’s going to be you going home tonight.’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry. What?’

Because I knew that Bryan and Geo, they had wanted Cassidy to go home since the beginning. So I knew that Cassidy was always going to be the vote. And I said, ‘Geo, why? Why me?’ And he said, ‘Well, Ryan says that you’re a threat in the game.’

And again, like, that was a huge red flag for me, especially because out of all the people in the game, Ryan was talking strategy the least. Ryan’s mentality was like, Why are we talking strategy when we’re not going to Tribal Council? Let’s keep this positivity train going. There’s no need to talk strategy until there’s a need to talk strategy. However, I knew that Ryan was talking strategy. When we go to confessionals, when everyone’s off having conversations, you talk, everybody talks. So I knew that Ryan was talking to people. It just wasn’t me. So that was definitely a red flag. And so that’s where kind of my paranoia started to set in.

Karla’s reason for getting rid of Lindsay

Q: So if you’re putting yourself and like Karla’s position and you are between you have a women’s alliance. One of them doesn’t seem to be trusting you for some reason. I mean Tribal Council is the only way to really build that trust so I could see one avenue of they keep you and hopefully that’s it. You never have paranoia again. You’ve been through it. Or like they said, this could be a liability. This is hard to work with. Cut the person loose. What are you doing in that position?

Lindsay: Karla deserves more credit than what she’s getting. Karla didn’t vote me out because I was paranoid. Karla voted me out for two reasons. Number one, she saw me as a huge threat, and she was worried that once the merge hit that I would either go on individual immunity runs, that she saw the social game that I was playing out there.

She knew how personable and sociable that I was. She was really concerned with that, but she was also playing both sides. And when she saw Geo and I talking on the beach that day and she realized that Geo was giving me information, all of a sudden she was worried about her game. Geo and Lindsey are about to figure out that I’m playing both sides.

There was a conversation that Geo and I had on the beach where Geo threw out James name I–and it was such a joke. Geo knew I was coming for him. I knew he was going for Cassidy. And yet here we are having this conversation like, ‘James is the vote tonight? You’re going to vote James? I’m going to vote James.’

And it was a joke. I mean, it was such a ridiculous conversation. However, the important part of that conversation was Geo said, ‘Well, I need to go talk to Karla and solidify that.’ And I said, ‘Don’t worry about it. I got Karla. Karla and I are working together. Don’t waste your time. I’m about to go talk to Karla anyway. I’ll just tell her the votes James.’

And that set off a red flag to Geo. And so Geo and Karla are having this conversation. Karla’s starting to freak out because she’s like, ‘Things are getting messy.’ Karla was having a really hard time keeping her lies in place. And so in order for Karla to save her game, she needed to get rid of me. And that’s what she did. It was a very smart move on Karla’s part. My tribe deserves credit for it. The part that I hate is that everybody thinks that it was because I was paranoid, and that’s not it.

What we missed from Cody’s negotiation with the Coco Tribe


1 ‘Survivor’ Season 43 Castaway Competed in the Paralympics After Losing Her Leg in an Accident

Q: Is there anything we didn’t see in that negotiation with Cody [Assenmacher]?

Lindsay: One of the concerns that I had, I really wanted to trust James in this game. He was one of my–he’s one of my favorite people in the entire world. I absolutely love him. He was my Jungle James out there. And he was always telling me the truth.

But I know Philly, and I know men like him from Philly, and I knew he wasn’t playing a quiet game. James is an incredibly smart human being, and he deserves credit for the social game that he was playing out there, which unfortunately, you guys aren’t saying.

But James came back after the journey and told us that he didn’t risk his vote, and I didn’t necessarily believe that. So when Cody came to do the raid, I decided to bring up that journey just to see what Cody’s take was on it and see how much Noelle had told him. And so when Cody started talking about it, James got really weird and kind of shut the conversation down.

And at first I thought, ‘Wait, is it just me? Am I, am I reading into James’s response?’ But after talking to Karla and Cassidy, they both thought it was really strange too. So that was a huge red flag for me. And one of the reasons why I didn’t necessarily trust James in that moment.

This interview has been condensed for this article.

Other Exit Interviews:

‘Survivor 43’: Nneka Talks Struggling in That Challenge, Bonding With Cody, and More

‘Survivor 43’: Justine Says ‘Hats off!’ to Cody for Clever Idol Hat, Shares What the Edit Left Out

Morriah on Disappointing the Dad of ‘Survivor 43’ and Not Believing Gabler