The Island: Evelyn Smith Interview

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The Island: Evelyn Smith Interview
At the beginning of The Island's season, Vevmo asked Evelyn to talk to us about her experience on The Island and MTV. She asked that we wait until a few of the episodes had aired so we, and you, would have a better sense of the season and of Evelyn. We're glad she waited, and that she agreed to be interviewed by us. [B]V1man Editorial Staff (c) 2008, [/B] [CENTER] [/CENTER] What follows is the complete interview, including the one question she declined to answer. Enjoy (unless you are part of "The Alliance"). [CENTER][URL=""][IMG][/IMG][/URL] [/CENTER] Q1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how personally satisfying for you was Episode 5 of The Island? A1. Hmmmm…9 Q2. How surprised are you to read that many are calling it one of the best challenge episodes in 16 seasons of the show? A2. I’m shocked, given how negative the reactions to most recent challenges have been. Q3. Do the challenges become personal for you? Are you able to separate the game from whom you and others are? A3. I don’t see how they couldn’t become personal. As much as we’d like to separate the game from who we are, the friendships which emerge are real and extend into our personal lives, as does the money itself. Q4. Editing aside, how much of a shock to the cast was your taking of Johnny’s key following your face-off victory? A4. Total. I refused to discuss the game with anyone for several hours before the announcement and tried to leave everyone in the dark so I could weigh my options. I never told anyone whose key I would or would not take (other than telling Johnny and Kenny I wouldn’t take Kelly Anne’s). Q5. Do you think there is any place in the game for the vicious personal attacks that you and others were subjected to by some in “The Alliance?” A5. Absolutely not. There is never any place, in the game or anywhere else, for the kind of harassment which took place on this challenge. Q6. The Island was your fourth challenge. Looking back on all of them: A. Do you have any regrets? (and if so…) Yes. Not fighting harder the day Katie was eliminated on the Gauntlet. That and not picking my giraffes in a different order on the Inferno (DAMN YOU GIRAFFIC PARK!!). B. Are you particularly proud of anything? (and if so…) Winning the first individual challenge on the Inferno, Ladder Race. That was such an important moment for me because I was the first one out on Fresh Meat and as a result was seen as a joke by the other competitors. Finally being able to prove myself was a wonderful feeling. I guess the fishing challenge on the Inferno was also a big one for me (the one where Alton had to reel me in). I’d pretty much single-handedly lost the Giraffic Park challenge the previous day, and I had to make it up to my team. I was able to do that and slipped into such a zone on that particular challenge. I felt invincible. That’s only happened to me on one other occasion on the challenge and it’s a great feeling, especially when coupled with that kind of redemption. C. Do you believe you were edited fairly? Yes. Finally. D. Is there anything that happened during your challenges that the audience didn’t see but you wish they had seen? Too many things to count, and to name any of them would set off tremendous controversy. Sorry to open up old wounds but I wish everyone had seen the truth behind what happened on the Gauntlet. My issue has always been with weak, heartless players, and that has nothing to do with gender. I always want to see the strongest, most deserving competitors battle it out at the end of these challenges, and that is why you see me “whining” about fairness so much. Because ultimately that is the basis of everything I do on the challenges. I got screwed over on Fresh Meat, well, pretty much worse than anyone ever has in the history of challenges. And that hurt terribly for a long time afterward. That feeling is enough to deter me from ever doing that to a worthy adversary in one of these games. I feel like there was a real failure on the part of the producers to offer up a fair representation of what happened on the Gauntlet, and a real failure on the part of the more dedicated viewers (who should be able to pick these edits apart) to put two and two together and see through the BS. I was the same person on this challenge that I was on Fresh Meat, the Inferno, and the Gauntlet. Why in the hell would I have suddenly transformed into an entirely different human being on the one challenge I’ve done where I had a practically free ride to the end?? Again, put two and two together, because the obvious answer is usually the right one. Q7. We’ve learned that the “The Alliance” was formed before the cast left for Panama . Did you have alliance plans of your own before the challenge? A7. Nope. I had three people with whom I had been close in the past and I took it for granted that we’d look out for one another. Those people let me down almost immediately. Fortunately other individuals came along and surprised me. Q8. Your relationship (friendship) with Kelly Anne seems to have come as a complete surprise to viewers. Where (or when) did you form that relationship? A8. I’d say it started at the Dallas airport as we boarded our flight to Panama. I’d never met her before but we instantly clicked and only grew closer as we both came under almost immediate attack on the Island. She’s one of my dearest friends and I probably could not have made it through that experience without her friendship. I’m just sorry I ever considered screwing her over for the money. Q9. Did your plans change after arriving on the island and hearing the details – no teams, no missions, the face-offs, etc? If so, how? A9. Definitely. Normally, I count on my performances in the challenges to see me through the game, but on this one I knew I’d have to get my hands dirty. The “Family” was very open about their alliance from day one, and my strategy revolved around attempting to rally the outsiders against them. Q10. How many days did you spend in those conditions before the actual shooting began? A10. Filming began on the boat before we ever reached the Island. We only spent 2 hours in a hotel and that was the airport Holiday Inn in Panama City. We were on the boat to the island 8 hours after landing in Panama and the cameras were rolling from then on. Q11. There were lots of rumors before the challenge about this one being “Survivor style.” Was it what you expected and if not, what did you expect and how did the actual situation differ from your expectations? A11. I was initially thrilled to hear that the challenge would be “Survivor style,” and found the realities of the Island to be extremely disappointing. On Survivor, people compete on an almost daily basis. They must also collect food and build shelter to survive. In other words, they’re always doing something. On the Island, we had food and shelter provided for us. Both were pretty lousy, but they were provided for us. Working on the boats was virtually impossible, as we didn’t have the necessary components to actually put the pieces together, so there was no activity there. And as for competitions, well, one would be extraordinarily lucky to even participate in two or three in the entirety of the production. There was a lot of truth to what Dave said when he quit, life on the island was miserably boring 95% of the time. My second and certainly greater disappointment was the game itself. On Survivor, every player is out for the victory. Players don’t know one another and they can be counted on to do whatever is in their best interest throughout the game. For starters, far too many players on the Island already knew each other and had cut deals before filming began. Then you had to contend with the fact that only about half of the players actually wanted to win. Four people on the Island outright quit the game. Even more openly admitted that they just wanted to have fun and make friends. The bottom line is, the castmembers of the Island were simply not cut out for this kind of a game. What we had on the Island were three or four wolves, who were actively fighting for the win…and a flock of sheep. And the fact is, you can’t talk sense into those sheep. They’re afraid and they will always follow the group. If the cast of this challenge was comprised of rational, thinking individuals, then the “Family” would have been exterminated altogether by the middle of the game. I tried many, many times to reason with almost every non-alliance castmember, to no avail. I was playing chess and everyone else was playing checkers. Johnny figured their mentality out from the get-go, and he knew how to work them. Viewers hate the alliance, but their negativity would far more sensibly be directed at the bystanders who allowed the alliance to do as it pleased. I do not by any means approve of the way the alliance members carried themselves on the challenge. I was revolted by it. But strategically speaking, they played the best game for this environment and that is why they were on top. Another thing that must be noted: many players obsessed over how to finish the game with keys, but refused to give the all-important endgame a single moment’s contemplation. Only four of those key-holders were going to win. That means that even within the core “Family” alliance itself…At least one person was bound to get the shaft. My attempts to point this out to people were the sources of my greatest frustration on the island, and players refused to think about the end until they were there, by which time it would be too late. The fact of the matter is that even some players who had keys never gave themselves a prayer of winning the challenge, while others who were not actually on the boats at the end came up short, but at least gave themselves a chance. Rachel came closer to winning the game than some players who survived to cross the finish line. Q12. How much of an impact did Tonya going against Abe and Kenny in the first face-off have on the way the women played the game? A12. The impact of Tonya’s loss was enormous. The one-sidedness of her defeat against two men scared the hell out of most of the women on the Island, and it was taken for granted that any woman would lose to any man in the face-offs. I didn’t see it that way. Tonya was a great competitor on the Inferno, but due to medical and emotional issues was not herself on this one. I felt and continue to feel that a different girl could have won that face-off. It would not have been any easy task, but it could have been done. The only face-off of the season which I must look at as unfair to women was Ring Wrestle. None of us would’ve stood a chance in that one, especially against Derrick or Abram. But then, other face-offs favored women, such as the one Kelly-Anne won. All things considered, I think that the fears of most of the women to compete against men were baseless. Q13. In one of the “dailies” we see Kenny calling you a liar regarding your relationship with reptiles. Would you care to set the record straight? A13. AHAHAHA. Sure. I keep and breed Red acanthurus monitors and Jungle Carpet Pythons. And I was right about that snake: it was a vine snake. Dick. Q14. There are a number of stories on line and the Boca Del Toro newspaper about “The Island” actually being shot at one of Panama ’s major tourist sites. Were you aware of this at the location at the time? Do you think the way the show is produced leads people to be critical of things like the location and the amount of alcohol the cast is seen consuming? A14. I cannot comment on the first part. But yes, the amount of alcohol consumed on these challenges is horrifying. Efforts were made to cut down on it and the amount of alcohol handed out to the cast was dramatically lower on the Island than on previous seasons. Still, it’s pretty ridiculous that we were provided with rum and beer on the Island before clean drinking water. Q15. There has been a rumor around for a while that you were nearly cast for a season of The Real World. Is it true and if it is, what can you tell us about it? A15. Well, I tried out for Fresh Meat at a last-minute casting call in New York, and was chosen for that. I went to Australia, the experience lasted all of 48 hours, and I came home. The following Spring I was called and asked to appear on the Real World Denver, owing to the brevity of my stay on the Fresh Meat Challenge. They changed their minds at the last minute, saying they could only use “fresh faces,” which I completely understood (it was a pretty bizarre request to begin with), and asked me to do the Duel instead. Frankly, I would’ve been terrible on the Real World anyway and had never had much interest in being put under a microscope like that. The Island was basically the Real World from Hell as it is, and that was pure misery. I then came down with mono the week before the Duel and spent my summer more resentful and more bitter than ever, for the way I’d been screwed over on Fresh Meat, cut out of the Duel, and given false hope for the Real World. The worst part is I got mono because my asshole brother decided to drink all of our household beverages straight out of the carton after finding out he had it…as a “joke.” Haha you got me. ***ker. Oh and P.S. ***k Evan for saying at the FM reunion that I would’ve been the “anchor” to sink the Fresh Meat ship if it had been Fresh Meat vs. Alums. We’re ok with each other now but thinking back to that summer, watching him say that, with Casey, Kenny, Diem, Aviv -All people I killed in the individual competitions- giggling…Wow that incensed me then and it still does today. That and watching Danny try to blame losing on me. OK ***k it I admit I’m still not over Fresh Meat. There, I said it. Q16. Will we see Evelyn on another challenge? A16. I really don’t know. I’m definitely taking a long break, but I’m not ready to say I’ll never be back. Q17. People want to know, will you now retire the visor? What is the visor story? A17. Never. The visor’s been with me through thick and thin and I would never go on a challenge without it. The story of the visor can be found on my myspace page, I wrote a whole blog about it! Q18. If you could pick your perfect alliance for a team-based challenge, who would they be? A18. Kelly Anne, Wes, Derrick, and myself. I don’t think I’d ever have to worry about waking up with a knife in my back with those ones. Q19. In one word or phrase, how do you describe each of the cast of The Island? (e.g.; Johnny – misogynist/insecure loser; Paula – a waste of global proportions) A19. If I answer this I’ll piss off way too many people. I won’t touch this one with a ten foot pole. (editor's note, we'll try this again after the reunion show is taped) [CENTER]END [IMG][/IMG][/CENTER]
Oohh! I like her even more now! Thanks V1!!! Very interesting, and very honest!
Thanks V and Evelyn!
[quote]OK ***k it I admit I’m still not over Fresh Meat. There, I said it.[/quote]You got a horrible edit [I]and[/I] [B]Danny was your partner.[/B] We fully understand the type of long term damage that could do to someone, so don't be hard on yourself Evelyn. Heck, a young psychiatrist could make a career out of the storm path created by [I]that[/I] "hurricane." :wink2:
Great, great interview. Thanks Evelyn & V1man!
Thanks for the interview!! Ev seems to be really cool and upfront, LOL
Awesome interview...thanks
Great interview thanks to both of you! Ev is always pretty open with her opinion.
[quote=GoldenWarrior;33471]Ev is always pretty open with her opinion.[/quote] She doesn't parse words. :D
Interesting interview. Thanks to V1 and Ev
Thanks V1 and Evelyn!
Excellent Interview, thankyou so much Ev and V! I love the snake and visor questions...perfect! I am definitely pulling for her to be there in the end!
Thank you for taking the time to interview Ev V1man, and thank you for taking the time to be interviewed Ev. :D
Good read. Thanks Ev and V1!
Thanks V1, and Ev! Great interview. I love her long, explanatory insight.
[QUOTE=Dartagnan;33791]Thanks V1, and Ev! Great interview. I love her long, explanatory insight.[/QUOTE] Where have you been? We've missed you!
[quote=V1man;33792]Where have you been? We've missed you![/quote] Well anywhere to getting ready for college to family issues is where I have been, but I have missed you guys as well. Loads. I plan on being on just as much as before by the end of this week though.
OtherPplsDrama (not verified)
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[quote=V1man;33451][SIZE=3].[/SIZE][SIZE=2][B]Q13.[/B] In one of the “dailies” we see Kenny calling you a liar regarding your relationship with reptiles. Would you care to set the record straight? [/SIZE] [SIZE=2][COLOR=blue]A13.[/COLOR] AHAHAHA. Sure. I keep and breed Red acanthurus monitors and Jungle Carpet Pythons. And I was right about that snake: it was a vine snake. Dick.[/SIZE][/quote] [SIZE=2]Hahaha I love that answer. Dick! :D[/SIZE] [SIZE=2][quote=V1man;33451][B]Q17.[/B] People want to know, will you now retire the visor? What is the visor story? [/quote][/SIZE][quote=V1man;33451] [SIZE=2][COLOR=blue]A17.[/COLOR] Never. The visor’s been with me through thick and thin and I would never go on a challenge without it. The story of the visor can be found on my myspace page, I wrote a whole blog about it! [CENTER][IMG][/IMG][/CENTER] [/quote] [/SIZE] [SIZE=2]Ok fine, I guess since it has sentimental value..... :)[/SIZE] Thank you so much Evelyn for taking the time for us. Your answers were all very open and informative, and a great read. And as always V1, thank you for setting it up.
From Evelyn's Myspace Blog another vevmo shoutout!! [quote]The Island-Interview Hi guys, I'm sorry I've been so horrible about responding to messages the last couple of days, I've been ridiculously busy trying to get all of my work done and I swear I've never received half so many messages in all the time I've been on these's a little overwhelming!! Anywho, I did an interview with the site, which can be seen here: [URL=""][/URL] I know I am quite long-winded at times so it might be a little thick to get through, but if you guys do want insight into my approach to these games it's worthwhile!! Thanks all! Evelyn [/quote]
Thanks Evelyn! You rock my socks! ;)
Thanks to Evelyn and V1 for providing us with this interview. Ev is one of my favorite castmembers, and I like her up-front style, especially with a good sense of humor.
[QUOTE=LilysMom;34097]From Evelyn's Myspace Blog another vevmo shoutout!![/QUOTE] WOOOOOO A SHOUTOUT! Vevmorocks.
I was going to ask if anyone knew why Evelyn holds Casey in such high regard when Casey hasn't ever really proved herself to be much of a competitor. Then I saw the FM aftershow with Danny and "The Sh*t they should have shown"...which explained a lot.
Anonymous (not verified)
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God I love her in this challenge.