Starting Wednesday, CBS rolls out the new season of the reality competition that started it all. "Survivor" returns, bringing with it the popular "Fans vs Favorites" format to the Caramoan-based outing. Entertainment Weekly spoke with the Nicaragua season's 'Black Widow' Brenda Lowe in anticipation of the premiere to get an idea of what her strategy is on her second stab at the title of Ultimate Survivor.
For those who saw her season in Nicaragua, they may remember that the competitor seemed a virtual shoo-in to coast comfortably into the finals. However, a shift in the tribe turned the vote against Brenda, sending her home in a blind-side she never saw coming. "I feel like I’ve learned so much from the first time from being able to watch and feeling how much it hurts to get voted off, that I don’t think that I would ever make those same mistakes again. And those mistakes were pretty crucial," Lowe explained. "I was doing pretty good. Had I not messed up, I probably would have gotten really far so I wanted that second chance to make those corrections and then probably make it to the end."
Brenda recounts her time on Nicaragua as hinging on two crucial mistakes in her gameplay, mistakes she is intent on avoiding this time around. "One is counting on only one alliance, which I think was a rookie mistake. You should have more than one. And then, two, getting a little too comfortable and thinking that the game was just that easy. Because everything was going great and I thought if I just put it on cruise control I’ll make it all the way to the end, but it’s a lot harder than that," she said.
The castaway is one of the few returning Favorites to not have a built-in alliance with a returning player from her season. However, Lowe claims to not be worried. "The first time I played, people wanted me out on the first day, so I’m kind of used to do that. I don’t know anything else besides that, so I know what it’s like to go in there with a disadvantage," she said. "But you never know. I could still make it out of that. Just because I don’t feel comfortable doesn’t necessarily make that a bad thing."
Brenda was infamous on her season for using her ability to charm the stronger male players. While she seeks to employ a similar strategy this time around, she sees her biggest obstacle to doing so as the returning Brandon Hantz and his innate distrust of female players. "I’m worried about Brandon because he has that connection with Russell and who knows what kind of coaching he’s been getting. I think he has this thing against girls," Lowe explained. "I have a feeling I can work with Corinne and maybe even Phillip, believe it or not. But that’s just from me not ever speaking with these people and knowing nothing about them. I’m just going to have to feel out every person and see what my instincts tell me from the conversations we’re going to have out there."
Don't miss the premiere of "Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs Favorites," airing Wednesay on CBS!