QUICK NOTE: The good folks at XFINITY sent me deep into the Fijian wilderness to bring you an exclusive look at “Survivor: Ghost Island.” While I was there I conducted interviews with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and the entire cast. I also captured exclusive photos and other behind-the-scenes tidbits. So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.
Name: Chelsea Townsend
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Current residence: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: EMT/Pro Cheerleader
Gordon Holmes: If you were on a deserted island, you would want ice cream. I love ice cream, so I get it.
Chelsea Townsend: (Laughs)
Holmes: What’s the best ice cream? And there is a correct answer.
Townsend: Um…it’d have to be Half Baked. It’s like vanilla, chocolate, cookie dough, and fudge bites.
Holmes: That sounds good. It wasn’t the correct answer though.
Townsend: OK, then what is it?
Holmes: We were looking for cookies and cream. Cookies and cream.
Townsend: You’re wrong.
Holmes: Why do you think you were cast?
Townsend: I have a lot to offer. I have a girly, cheerleader side, which is good and peppy. But I also have a very competitive, go-getter side. That involves all my medical job. I’m a dynamic person.
Holmes: Is there anything that isn’t in your bio that you didn’t list? You can tell me now, because it’s too late to kick you out if you have some horrible secret.
Townsend: (Laughs) No.
Holmes: It doesn’t have to be big, but if there’s a homicide, you should let me know.
Townsend: (Laughs) I don’t think I could kill anyone.
Holmes: That speaks well of you.
Holmes: Is there anything about your backstory that you’re going to keep a secret?
Townsend: I’m actually going to try to be a physician’s assistant. I’m in the middle of applying to grad school now. I think I’m going to leave that part out. I feel like with doctors and people who are in the medical profession are thought to be extremely smart. So, I think if I play off the cheerleader thing, they might not know that I’m a strategic person. It’ll keep the target off of my back until I have to bust out.
Holmes: Just slitting throats left and right.
Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Townsend: Huge. I’ve been watching it for years.
Holmes: This is where you say something annoying like, “I’ve been watching it since I was six.” And then I hate myself for being old.
Holmes: Is that where this is going?
Townsend: A long, long time. Many years.
Holmes: Who knows you’re out here?
Townsend: My immediate family knows, so they are excited to say the least. They’ve been like, “You’d better do well or you’re going to get so much crap from us.”
Holmes: Will you be disowned if you’re the first one out?
Townsend: That’s not going to happen. I’ll be sitting there at the end.
Holmes: What’re we going to do with that million dollars?
Holmes: Cause I’ve got some big plans. I want you to be on board.
Townsend: (Laughs) A chunk of it is going so I don’t have student loans.
Holmes: Some people come out here and set boundaries for themselves as far as lying, cheating, stealing…where are you with that?
Townsend: My mindset is I want to give this my all. This is a game, and even though in a normal format I’m a very loyal person, I’m very honest with my friends. But, this is a game. You have to lie, you have to deceive sometimes to get further in the game. It’s not personal, you’re playing the game. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m going to have to deceive people I’m going to befriend.
Holmes: What about flirting? Is that on the table?
Townsend: I’m a girl. If I have to flirt a little bit… (Laughs)
Holmes: Is there anyone back home who’s going to be upset if they see you flirting?
Townsend: I don’t know.
Holmes: You don’t know if you have a significant other?
Townsend: Oh…sorry…just family back home.
Holmes: You’re in lockdown now, but there’s always winking and nodding. Are you doing any of that?
Townsend: There are people who are more friendly than others. It’s kind of weird. You smile, you nod, you laugh a little bit. That’s only with some people. Others just walk right by you. I’ve tried to smile at everybody.
Holmes: You’re in the dark as far as themes or twists. Any guesses?
Townsend: I’m excited to find out, but I don’t know. They’ve given us nothing.
Holmes: Have you been having any “Survivor” stress dreams?
Townsend: I’ve had a couple. It involves me finding an idol and then not using it.
Holmes: Alright, I’m going to give you two “Survivor” situations. You tell me which one you’d rather deal with.
Townsend: Oh no.
Holmes: You’ll be fine. Would you rather align with a Hillary supporter or a Trump supporter?
Townsend: (Laughs) I’d have to say a Hillary supporter. Not a big fan of Trump, I’m a woman.
Holmes: Steal a vote or eliminate a juror?
Townsend: Steal a vote, I think I can woo over the jurors.
Holmes: Endurance challenge or word puzzle?
Townsend: Endurance challenge…but I’m good with both.
Holmes: Align with a racist or a sexist?
Townsend: Neither? (Laughs)
Holmes: Not an option.
Townsend: (Laughs) I guess a sexist so I could change their mind.
Holmes: Voted out first or before final Tribal?
Townsend: Final Tribal, I want to experience as much of this game as I can.
Holmes: Align with an adulterer or a tax cheat?
Townsend: Oh jeez! I guess a tax cheat. I don’t know.
Holmes: Lose the family challenge or win and have to decide who to take with you?
Townsend: I’d rather win. My sister told me before I went on the show, “If you don’t make it there, I’m going to be so mad at you. I have to be on ‘Survivor.’” But I told her she’d better be ready to win. She has to win so I can eat.
Holmes: Caught stealing food or idol hunting?
Townsend: Stealing food. Everyone will be pissed, but if they think you have an idol that puts a huge target on your back.
Holmes: Align with a super fan or someone who doesn’t watch the show?
Townsend: Super fan, I feel like they’ll be better with strategy.
Holmes: I know the answer to this last one; dance challenge or karaoke challenge?
Townsend: Dance challenge!
Holmes: What kind of a first impression do you think you put out there?
Townsend: I’d like to think it’s that I’m very friendly. Easy to talk to. I’m easy-going, you can come talk to me. Hopefully people feel like they can trust me.
NOTE: The cast members do not know each other’s names at this point. I showed Chelsea a picture of each of the competitors and asked her to share her first impressions.
Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Ghost Island” – Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 8 pm ET.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes