18. Kourtney Moon:
Kourtney made the kind of Survivor history nobody wants by being the first woman evacuated due to medical reasons and the first one to leave before the first Tribal Council due to such reasons – obviously not a “record” she was shooting for! But that pales in comparison to the current medical issues she is facing.
Indeed, because that situation (which she discusses below), I wasn’t able to interview Kourtney in my usual manner, and was instead part of a group call. So some of these questions are from other interviewers, while the best ones (of course!) are from me. We’ll start with mine, since I was apparently the only one on the call who knew about her current medical situation, some of which she’d hinted at through Twitter, where she linked to a clip of Kindergarten Cop with one of the kids telling Ah-nold that he has a “tumah” and then talking about her “breakfast of champions” on Tuesday being “pain meds and a bag o' fluid.”
Reality News Online: I understand that you are currently having some medical problems that are bigger than your wrist. Do you want to talk about that?
Kourtney: I had emergency surgery this week – they found a tumor in my abdomen and had to remove a few things. It was a pretty traumatic experience. My dad’s in Afghanistan and my mom doesn’t live in Austin. I was in the hospital pretty much alone. And I’m deathly afraid of having my blood drawn.
I went through all these tests and I had these sneaking suspicions something wasn’t right and sure enough they found a grapefruit-sized tumor on my ovary. I was hoping it wasn’t terminal or something crazy like that, but it was not benign [meaning it was cancerous]. I’m waiting back on some test results but my surgeon is really optimistic.
RNO: Let me speak for all of us at Reality News Online and readers who have already contacted me to say we hope you’re doing better and were sorry to see you go in the way you did, and now I’ll only add similar thoughts on your current situation. I can’t believe you’re doing interviews now!
Kourtney: It’s kind of nice instead of staring at the hospital wall. It’s a good change of pace.
RNO: Well, continuing with that change of pace and getting into the game, if the situation had been reversed and one of the men had been injured instead of you, do you think your tribe would have continued the challenge or taken the easy win?
Kourtney: They absolutely would have taken the win. I noticed some of the girls said it was kind of chicken$#!+, but come on, everyone was exhausted and tired! It was a really hard challenge and we weren’t all the way into it yet. It was an easy win and anyone would have done it.
Kourtney: I did find a little clip online that wasn’t in the first episode – the girls all wanted to eat chicken but nobody wanted to kill it. So I stepped up to the plate and did it. I’m not a country girl but I remember when I was a kid, seeing a farmer hacking the chicken’s head. And I wove so many palm fronds for both tribes and there wasn’t much about that either. I would like to say I worked my butt off to try to make tribe life as comfy as possible.
RNO: I don’t want to sound callous and there is no easy way to ask this, but I have already heard from numerous readers and people on Twitter and the like, so I have to ask: Why did the women, in particular, seem to have problems jumping into the net in the way Jeff Probst told them to?
Kourtney: That’s a rough question. I think everyone was just a little unclear on how to jump into the net. I think it just wasn’t as clear and concise as it seemed to be. Let’s leave it at that.
Another Interviewer Question: Was there any instruction given on jumping into the net before the challenge started?
Kourtney: Yeah. There was. My understanding was to put my feet out and go butt-first. Another understanding of mine was if you were to grab the net to help yourself from bouncing, that could save time. My main concern was to save time and not have my knees come up and hit me in the face, which is why I jumped the way I did. I honestly never heard anyone say anything about pulling my hands to my chest, but we were all excited and it could have been something I didn’t hear.
Question: You’re still in the hospital and watched the show there last night – what was the atmosphere like? Were you a celebrity there?
Kourtney: No, I didn’t tell anybody until they walked in and were like, “Whoa, hey.” They got a kick out of that. One of my friends and their baby and my ex-husband and my son were all piled up in the hospital room watching. Even thou we’re not together anymore, he could still poke fun at me and we all got a good laugh.
Question: Was there ever a real possibility of getting back in the game?
Kourtney: No. I knew it was broken from the moment I rolled off that net.
Question: What was the process once medical arrived?
Kourtney: It took a while to get from camp to any sort of civilization, but once we got there, I had to wait quite a bit before I could see anybody to see if my bones were broken. Once they saw, they determined I couldn’t go back. I had no sense of time, really, when we were in the game so coming back into the real world it was pretty rough transition even after just three days. It was weird.
Question: How is your wrist now?
Kourtney: Doing a lot better but still working on building strength and range of motion.
Question: You’re a motorcycle mechanic, is that injury going to affect your livelihood?
Kourtney: It already really has. I came back, I tried to work, it was excruciating, I couldn’t even degrease an engine. Then around the same time my boss hired a new apprentice to take my place while I was gone, then he was robbed on top of that. He was in a harder situation than me so I told him [I would part ways]. I want to keep working on motorcycles as a hobby but when you work in a garage, you work on everybody’s instead of your own.Question: What was the reaction from people who knew where you were at and they saw you in a cast?
Kourtney: They had to contact my closest loved ones, so they were prepared for it. My dad was in shock with the whole thing. I had not told my ex-husband so when I picked up my son, I had them both convinced I’d been attacked by a shark.
Question: When you arrived at the beach, what was going through your mind?
Kourtney: I didn’t think there would be any past contestants. I think it had happened too many times. I was more afraid of Redemption Island. [The two tribes sharing one beach] being the twist took a minute to register. Then I was pissed off ‘cus they had the better section of the island.
Question: What kind of interaction was there between the tribes?
Kourtney: Everybody went in with the mentality, “this is my tribe, this is your tribe.” That kind of stuck. Everyone was on that [wavelength] except maybe a couple girls who wanted to milk what they could out of the boys.
Question: Before your injury, did you think you were going to be safe if you lost the challenge?
Kourtney: I was – I don’t think I would have been out. It was pretty confirmed Christina was going to be out if we lost the challenge. Monica and I stayed up late that night to figure out what we were going to do to keep Christina from going out.
Question: How certain were you?
Kourtney: I’d overheard conversations and I’d even been asked would I do it [vote her out] too.
Question: After seeing the girls throw each other under the bus at Tribal Council, are you kind of glad you didn’t have to go through that?
Kourtney: Actually, I was looking forward to venting and telling some of the girls how I really felt about them.
Question: Were you able to form any alliances?
Kourtney: I was in the underdog alliance and had a solid bond with Monica and was confident with Christina and Nina.
Question: Were you aware of the five-person alliance of Alicia, Kim, Chelsea, Kat, and Sabrina?
Kourtney: Yeah, though not to the extent that it had happened. It was all in the body language, all in the eye contact. It was very transparent the way that it happened.
Kourtney: Yes and no. I had my assumptions but it wasn’t very clear yet. I kind of felt like Sabrina and Kim had the potential to be puppet masters, but wasn’t quite sure yet.
Question: What did you think about Alicia?
Kourtney: She… oh gosh. She really rubbed me the wrong way, I can’t lie.
Question: Did you have any idea Sabrina had found the idol and given it to Colton?
Kourtney: I learned she’d given it to Colton afterwards but I knew she had found something because all she did was look for the idol all day, every day instead of working around the camp.
Question: What did you think about her giving it to Colton?
Kourtney: I think giving him that idol, she was putting a lot of confidence in his ability to stick around and have any clout.
Question: Matt came across as arrogant – is that what you witnessed?
Kourtney: I stayed away from the men as much as I could. My interaction with Matt were nice, so I was surprised to see the show. I thought he was a human Ken doll. He was never that way towards me. I guess I didn’t interact with him as much as the other girls did.
Question: You mentioned at the very beginning of the show that you thought you might have trouble fitting in with the women. Did you end up fitting in with them?
Kourtney: I was relieved to have bonded with the women I did bond with in the way that I did.
Question: Who left in the game does not stand a chance to win and why?
Kourtney: I would say Colton because he’s going to exhaust his resources if he doesn’t pick a side.
Question: Why did you stop at catching only two chickens?
Kourtney: Catching the chickens was not my department. The boys had the coop so the girls were keeping them in burlap sacks. That’s one of the reasons why we ended up killing one. We couldn’t make a little housing to secure them. The guys tried a few times but Chelsea was a rock star when it came to that.
Question: You had mentioned in a web clip that you were concerned and hoped your son would take something positive out of this – how was his reaction?
Kourtney: He was really excited to see me on TV. That excitement overruled the shock of seeing me break my arm. I think he was really excited to see Mommy on TV and was bummed I wouldn’t be on any more episodes.
Question: Was this your first attempt to get on Survivor?
Kourtney: It was my very first. I had never watched Survivor prior to this experience. You could say I was recruited. I did have to fill out an application and video, but they found me.
Question: Would you do it again?
Kourtney: Yeah, I think I would.
Last night was easily the weirdest first episode to a “Survivor” season ever. The two tribes were fighting like cats and dogs at the One World beach, there wasn’t a complete immunity challenge, and nobody was voted out of the game.
One of those things was because of the producers’ brainchild. The second and third were due to Kourtney Moon’s ill-fated leap into a cargo net.
I had the chance to speak with Kourtney the morning after her
unfortunate accident to find out what went wrong during her jump, why
the women of Salani are underperforming, and which of her tribemates was
Gordon Holmes: So what happened last night during your jump?
Kourtney Moon: I thought I had my arms out far enough. And once my butt hit the net I was going to grab onto the net to stop the bouncing. But I guess what ended up happening is I didn’t have my arms outstretched far enough. Once the net hit its lowest point my arm absorbed the impact in a not-so-pretty way. I heard the crack. And, I’d never broken a bone, so I thought, maybe I just popped something. But, it was broken. And I didn’t know it was broken until I looked at my hand and it was just dangling. I thought, “Oh (expletive deleted).”
Holmes: What’s the status of your arm now? Did they have to amputate?
Moon: Oh God, no. They didn’t have to amputate.
Holmes: OK, good.
Moon: They ended up having to move it back into place and they weren’t so successful the first time. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It hasn’t been quite the same ever since.
Holmes: It had to have been disappointing to be derailed so quickly.
Moon: It comes in waves. I think of what the possibilities could have been if I hadn’t broken my arm. It wasn’t a situation where I was voted out. Throughout the first three days I was approached by a lot of the male tribe members and I was making some really good connections with my own tribe members, so I was pretty optimistic.
Holmes: What deals had you been working out?
Moon: I wouldn’t say “deals.” My approach was that it was still early in the game and I was trying to feel everybody out.
Holmes: A lot of people think the women did not come off well last night.
Moon: As a female tribe I thought we should at least try to do things on our own at first before we ask the boys for anything. In that respect, I very rarely went over there to ask them for anything. At the same time, it was frustrating when some of the girls, that was their plan A.
Holmes: Was much effort made to create your own fire?
Moon: Actually, I set Kat up to make fire, because I was making the fire pit. They would work on it for maybe five or ten minutes at a time and then one of the guys would walk by and they’d be all “Oh…help me, help me.” It was frustrating to watch that. The cute girls were just running around, flirting with the boys, trying to get them to do whatever they could for them.
Holmes: Did you know Mike was responsible for stealing the items at the beginning of the show?
Moon: I didn’t until it was too late. I’d look down at the pile and think that we had more over there. I did remember having the axe and the pots. But there was so much going on. At one point Kat had her hand stuck in a jug and one of the guys was pulling on it and almost broke her hand. I was so preoccupied with that that I didn’t see anything.
Moon: That’s evil!
Holmes: Oh, I’m aware. Let’s start with Nina.
Moon: Light, I can’t say enough about Monica. She just emanated light like an angel.
Moon: I didn’t trust her.
Moon: She seemed warm, but I didn’t trust her either.
Moon: (Laughs) Emotional.
Holmes: Adorable fuzzy hats?
Moon: That’s actually my son’s hat! I have a small head and he has a normal head, so he asked me to wear his favorite hat on the show. It was a really big thing for him.