Simone’s Survivor Experience Was Full Of Firsts Despite An Early Elimination Plus, the native New Englander tells Survivor fans who she sees as this season's biggest charmer.
Posted on Oct 5, 2017 04:35pm

The second Tribal Council of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers gathered the Hustlers Tribe to make their toughest decision yet—which of their own would get sent packing?

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Simone Nguyen, a 25-year-old diversity advocate, entered the competition ready for every new lesson she'd learn along the way. That's why it stung so hard when her journey was cut short after her tribemates voted her off the island.

Still, Simone walked away from the experience more open than ever before and she's ready to explain why.

Let's find out what the self-proclaimed "Masshole" had to say about her brief experience on the show, all the things she learned about herself, and which unexpected castaway she's labeling the most charming person of the season.

How shocked were you to learn you were the next castoff this season?

Simone Nguyen​: Okay, so I know myself. I know what I look like. I know that the track record of Asian women on the recent seasons hasn't been so hot, but I really thought to myself, either I'm going to get voted out first, second, or third, or I'm going to go deep and everyone's going to forget about me.

So, I was really hoping to escape that Tribal Council unscathed, but obviously that didn't happen.

Is there anything you think you could have done differently to have made it further in the game?

Simone: I think my real mistake was putting on weight for show. I was just like, oh, I'll just lose it... I'm not going to let people think of me as this skinny little b**** from Massachusetts. But then once I got there, I was like, what did I do to myself?

Literally the only things I could do were puzzles and balance beams, but then I lost the puzzle. Maybe just like drag me along, I don't care!

Shout out to Devon for saving my life. He was just like, "Swim with me Simone. Let's get to the boat." I was like, "Yes, ab man. Let's do that thing. Thank you for saving my life."

You mentioned this was your first time camping. How did that go for you?

Simone: Look, the only way you can get me to go camping again is to invite me back on Survivor, because if you invited me back I would go in a second.

You know, it's not my favorite activity. I eventually was able to "go" in the ocean. I can’t believe that they showed that on screen. I loved every second of being out there on Survivor. I was very open about struggling and I was very open with myself and with others. I was trying to have a really wonderful experience and I did have that.

I should have worked out more, maybe taken up CrossFit, not gained weight, and just tried my hardest. There are just so many random configurations that you can't predict how you are going to do.

There were so many firsts out there for me. This was my first time leaving the country. This was my first time going on a roller coaster in that first Immunity Challenge. It was my first time swimming in that ocean. It was the first in so many ways… not just an aqua dump.

It was real. It was raw. The fact that I was being so vulnerable; for me, watching that back, I can be a little bit proud of that. I will always be thankful to Survivor for giving me the chance to be brave because you can't compare this experience to anything else. It's once in a lifetime.

Who are you rooting for this season now as a viewer?

Simone: Any and all the people on the Hustlers Tribe, because as much as I didn't like the fact that they voted me off, those people were some of the nicest people who I met [and] who I never would have met otherwise.

I said it before and I'll say it again, Ryan was the biggest social threat I've ever met in my life. Somehow this kid that's tinier than all the other men out here, doesn't drink, hasn't had a girlfriend, and has never been on a date in his life… he is charming everybody.

In terms of the triple threat, you got to give up to Ali. Ali is smart. She is just one of those people that you look at and think, I can't believe you're this smart, that you look the way that you do, and you're athletic. I would hate you if I didn't want to be you.

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Do you have one distinct Survivor memory that you'll be taking with you forever?

Simone: This probably wasn't shown on the show, but I have this incredible fear of heights and I've never been on a roller coaster in my life. I have a fear of flying and a fear of horror movies, and basically a fear of everything.

So I was like, I'm clearly going to have to go face these fears. Day 1, marooning, scared of heights, don't know what to do. I need to jump off the boat? I'm in thigh-high boots with my boho New York suit, and I'm just thinking to myself, "Nooooooo. Why?"

So I just jumped off the boat and tried my hardest not to die. I will always remember that.

Watch all-new episodes of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers on Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.