Well, as you probably know, my torch was snuffed and my experience in the game of Survivor ended very differently from what I had hoped for.. We have just seen many athletes in the Olympics have a very different outcome to their quest for gold, one of which was Lola Jones who tripped over a hurdle. Well I tripped over an Olympian.
I chose Crystal in the schoolyard pick at the beginning after thinking about my pick for a very long time. I knew I would be picking as we were in Africa and they revere their elders and Bob and I were the oldest. I knew she was an Olympic runner before I got there. I had spent the entire week before the game studying each of the contestants in order to make my pick and make it a good one. On the one hand, it could definitely be Crystal, because she could run and the other one that I decided on would be Marcus. He had such a wonderful friendly open and nice aura about him. And of course beautiful blue eyes. Mainly, he seemed to embody the spirit of a Ubuntu, which was to be part of my philosophy of my game.
And when I saw the hill and the terrain we would be doing our challenges on I knew I needed someone who could run and be my counterpart on land as I don’t run well (as you saw !!!). And so I knew I had to pick Crystal. She could run, and I could swim, I had a feeling maybe she would not do very well in water. So, what a good complement we would be to each other. And sadly looking back, how different my game would’ve been if I had not known about Crystals running and had gone with Marcus and what might’ve been sort of like the Kota tribe.
That was the downfall of my game but as I believe in destiny that was to be my game. My tribe turned out to be the weirdest bunch of misfits (other than Dan) and I just could not be like them. I pretended all was great to pump up morale but that went over like a lead balloon and I ended up being booted because I was too happy and it annoyed them. Good grief, what a thing, to be booted because you are enthusiastic and happy. After spending the first 24 hours with them. I realized that they were definitely desecrating the spirit of Ubuntu on African soil, and they would definitely be cursed.
AND I was not the weakest; I beat Susie and CRYSTAL up a very challenging hill. After watching the show what I can mainly say is that the editing made me out to seem much weaker than I was. I was actually the strongest. The only one who was not tired, hot, weak, sick and hating it all. I loved it and was in my element.
I was the one collecting and chopping firewood, smashing termite mounds looking for food, making the fires, boiling water, swimming, paddling the canoe, making furniture out of elephant bones and all that stuff but then that would not have played into the weaker player image. Oh well C’est la vie,TV.
My embarrassing run up the first challenge hill obviously made my tribe mates think I was weaker than I was and by beating Crystal, an Olympic runner, I obviously embarrassed her and pitted her against me as a result. It was clear she was out to get me after that. Read my blogs on my website gillianlarson.com for more. However my entire Survivor experience (other than the Fang tribe) was awesome and I will always feel privileged to have been a part of it.
I also have this stubborn determination to follow the sense of right. I followed all the rules pre game and refused to make eye contact with the other players as it was against the rules. As a result I heard from them that they had figured me a cold and unfriendly person. Their eye contact had also started a bond that went into the game with them.
C’est la vie,TV.
We were all sad at the outcome of the whole thing but the more important thing is the long lasting memories that have come out of the whole experience for me, my family and so many friends. Survivor is a game, life is not and my game of life is awesome. I cannot tell you enough how much I have enjoyed watching so many people be a part of an experience that doesn’t happen too often. The fun and excitement all around it has been mind boggling. Thank you all for all your amazing excitement, support and participation in the whole thing. I cannot tell you how many messages I have received or heard of from people saying that I have inspired them in some way. This is sooo special and if my message of perseverance, having a dream and going for it does inspire even one person , then my game played out better than I had ever hoped for and was a huge success.
We had an amazing Premier Party with over 310 family and friends there to share it together. My family all gave incredible speeches that had most of us crying. Thanks you all for your beautiful words. I had always had on my application forms when asked what is the accomplishment I am most proud of, it was always “my amazing family’ and you are.
It was a real family event and all the kids there, were awesome. They made there own torches and other crafts and watched the show from sleeping bags up front on the floor. It was amazing to be a part of such a wonderful multigenerational celebration. It was an incredible demonstration of “Ubuntu” I put together a Preshow of slides from the past 8 years that I call “My Journey to Survivor” that showed all the crazy things I did to get on the game. It was fun and enjoyed by all. I also made “My Fhan Club of the world” show which looped thru the first hour that is a tongue in cheek show that many of you participated in. It too was fun.
We had tikis lining the walkway, Survivor music playing, torches with all the contestants on them and African table decorations. The whole evening was awesome. There was much boooing (at Randy mainly) and cheering and hooting and hollering and a dead silence as my name was read out. Then everyone stood and clapped. Sure made that walk away moment a tear jerker and something I will never forget.. So now it is over and as I always say “it is not what happens to you in life but how you handle it that defines the path your life then takes” I move on and am already booking speaking engagements as a motivational speaker. I have also spent 2, 6 hour days doing phone interviews with dozens of the media and tomorrow it is International. You can catch some of them if you google “Gillian Larson”
Now what fun is that. !!!!!
This will be my last “Survivor Group email” as I will be posting thoughts on my game and the game as it progresses on my website.
Kendra wrote an amazing and deeply moving letter to her friends after “My Boot”. She is a gifted writer and it made me cry which is something I never do. It can be read on my website under “she’s a Survivor” .
There are a few other videos of mine on the CBS.com site under most popular videos that are good to watch. My “day after comments” gives you a good idea of where I am at post game. Tribal Council voting shows what my tribe said as they gave me the “boot” Boo hoo. And Gillian secret scene is great.
Don’t forget the Sprint vote. It seems this year it may only be the player of the week but check it out in case it is more. The main thing is you could win $10.000 for voting. It is under the Survivor Central tab and then the Sprint Vote section. It should be up soon.
Prepare for it.
What ever it is you have wanted to do.
Mine was well worth the ride.