For this season, regular contributor Jacob Derwin is bringing you a brand new weekly (-ish) feature called Alternative Reality. Each week, Jacob will be interviewing stars of non-Survivor reality-tv shows and getting their thoughts on the season. From Big Brother to King of the Nerds to The Amazing Race and more!
This week Jacob talks to Bea Henington from Solitary.
Bea Henington was a contestant on Solitary 4.0, a reality competition series that originally aired on the Fox Reality Channel that put players in their own personal solitary confinement chambers where they participated in challenges until only one “test subject” remained. Bea was the sixth person to leave the show. We talked on the phone about episode two of Survivor: Millennials vs. Generation X.
Jacob Derwin: All right! So starting at the top of the episode: we see David making a comeback! He finds himself an idol in a marked coconut. Did you believe this could happen?
Bea Henington: Oh, absolutely! He was the only person that they showed even looking! Everyone else criticized him so much for looking, and I was thinking: are you freaking crazy? Are they not playing this game? Like, of course! He’s smart enough to be out there looking for the idol; I think he totally deserves it. And I, for one, adore David. So I was really happy he found it – out of all the people to find it – I’m really glad it’s him. I just hope he plays it, y’know?
JD: Yeah I think David represents every single one of us nerds sitting on the couch. I love him for it. So yeah, like you, I was rooting him on. What do you think about that idol hiding? It was in a painted coconut…
BH: That was so hard! I was looking at that scenery, and I was thinking, I would never have found that. I mean it was so… it blended in too well. It was just a tiny little bit of blue, right?
JD: Jeff Probst did hint before the season that the idols were going to be hidden among things – like they would look like everything else around them. I didn’t realize they were going to somehow get it inside of a coconut, but they got it inside of a coconut.
BH: Right? I was analyzing that like, did they superglue that coconut back together? (Laughs) I don’t know how they’d do that!
JD: Either that or some very progressive botany! And while we’re talking about him: David also made fire!
BH: Yes! And I hope that they give him credit for that because everyone is so, “he’s going, he’s going.” I’m like; he’s trying, and he’s not giving up. He’s playing the game. He’s working to make fire, and I think he really proved something with that, and I just hope people give him credit for that, y’know?
JD: I think over time that “Oh, David” mindset everyone seems to have will shift from viewing him as a liability towards a general love for the guy. It will probably be a slow build over time.
BH: I hope so. He’s not so great in the challenges, but we knew that already. But you know, whatever. He’s just a cool guy to have around! He seems really cool. I’d love so hang out with him, so (Laughs).
JD: He seems like a very witty, charming dude. Moving over to the Millennials side. We had some, uh, intimate scenes? I mean, the name of the episode was Love Goggles. We all knew it was going to be a little focused on the Taylor/Figgy… thing. It feels like an obvious question but: if you feel attraction towards someone on your tribe, do you make out with them?
BH: Man, I… truthfully, if it were me, I’d let them know on the DL (down low). And I think that they thought they were keeping it on the DL but c’mon, dude. I mean, they turned around when Michaela snapped those branches to put them in the fire. They saw her. And they kept going. So they’re not being smart and Zeke said that and Jay said that – they’re not being smart with making their relationship known. But, I feel like that’s more of a priority for them right now than playing the game because they’re just not… they’re like “whatever! We don’t care!”
JD: I guess they are being “true millennials” huh? (Note: Jacob is 21.)
BH: They truly are. Thinking about the here and now and not the long run. I think it’s a perfect example.
JD: It’s probably the clearest cut stereotype of that tribe you’re gonna see. To make it worse, nearly every time Figgy talks, it’s about finding a husband. Is this her entire edit? Is this all that matters?
BH: Maybe. I don’t know; I was thinking about that too. What else is there to her that we’re not seeing? The only thing that we’re seeing is her talking with her little three, and ignoring everybody else. So I’m thinking, dude, she’s not even trying to make friends. What is she thinking? But then I’m wondering: what are they not showing us, too. So I don’t want to criticize without knowing the whole story, of course. But then I also wonder what she did to Michaela.
JD: Maybe it’s just the difference in their personalities. Maybe it’s just how Figgy is all out there, and Michaela is more thoughtful?
BH: I still wonder, though, maybe something happened there we just don’t know about. Because remember when they were trying to get Michaela’s vote? And Figgy said, “I don’t know what I ever did to you.” And her response did not make sense, so I feel like that was an edit. Where she’s like, “Now look who’s trying to be my friend.” She didn’t answer the question. So I feel like maybe in real life she did answer the question. Maybe there was something that occurred that we don’t know about yet. But, I don’t know. I like Michaela too. I like her forthrightness and, I mean I’m worried it’s gonna get her booted out of the game quicker y’know? But I really like her.
JD: Depends who you’re with right? When you have someone like her who’s a crazy hard worker, who has spent her whole life determined to be self-sufficient… I’m sure it’s exhausting for her to be around people who are just so not like her, who are so loosey-goosey.
BH: I would feel the same way! Absolutely.
JD: Personally, I feel the better romance right now in the game is between David and Ken.
JD: That’s my power couple choice. What do you think pulled them together? Why do you think they feel so comfortable with one another?
BH: Well, initially I bet they both felt on the outs. I don’t know because we don’t see Ken talking strategy with anyone, we see him doing all these manly things like catching octopus, but we don’t see him making an alliance. David was the first one. And I think it’s a genius alliance. It kind of reminds me of Big Brother alliances where you have one super smart person along with one super strong person. I think it’s one that people would never suspect and that’s why I think it would be great. Plus, I love both of those characters so I’d love to see them stay on for the long run.
JD: You’re right, most of the strategizing we’ve seen so far is between Bret, Chris, and Jessica, maybe Paul sometimes? Even David running around like a crazy person, but not really Ken.
BH: Also, what was up with everyone thinking Paul is in control? I’m like, what? I don’t view Paul as a threat. Bret and Chris, the attorney, I feel like those are the ones that are actually quietly in control. To me, they’re the threat.
JD: Maybe because Paul’s just a little louder? Seems like every time he talks he’s talking about talking.
JD: We should discuss Paul’s moment in the episode! It seems it was heat exhaustion that put him down.
BH: Yeah, I thought it was a heart attack at first. I was like, whoa.
JD: Seemed like everyone else did too.
BH: Yeah, well he was talking about a tightness in his chest and his hands going numb, and I was like, oh no.
JD: Definitely very scary. Last week when I talked to Justin and Diana, we talked about how it was bound to be Paul because he’s a bigger guy and an older guy.
BH: Y’know, he’s from Key West. And he’s a boat mechanic and so he works out in the heat and humidity all the time; like he’s outdoors nonstop and he’s very red and tannish. There’s no way that the heat and humidity are bothering him that much; like that’s what he lives in. So I’m a little confused as well as to why he went down. Of course there’s not as much food as he would normally have but still – I’m from Florida, so I would be used to it just like I thought he would be totally used to it. I’m like, yeah, that’s your backyard!
JD: Hopefully he’s good from here on out! Moving on, he’s participating in the challenge! He’s diving into the water, doing his thing.
BH: I saw that! I was watching him very carefully!
JD: What did you think about the challenge?
BH: I thought it was pretty awesome. And I was actually surprised no one missed – what was that a balloon that they had to catch that had the key? When they had to jump for it, I was thinking, what happens when they miss? They have to swim all the way back around? Like holy cow. And I was waiting for someone to miss it and thank god no one did because that would have just been devastating.
JD: Not even David! In fact, Gen X won the challenge.
BH: I was so happy they won because that’s my people! (Laughs) That’s my age group, that’s the tribe I would have been on, so I was pulling for them.
JD: Do you feel like you have a kinship with both tribes in some ways or just Gen X?
BH: Personally, and I’ve always thought this, but I could always fit in with the older crowd, especially on Survivor because I am older. But my heart and my spirit, the way I look, everything about me is so much younger that people are shocked when they find out how old I am. So I feel for both tribes but ultimately, because of my age I know I would have been placed on Gen X, so I feel like those are my people.
JD: It’s a little piece of you out there! I get that. I feel it with Will personally. I’m 21, been applying since I was 18, and he’s out there doing what I wanted to do at 18! I would love for Will to win just to represent people like me who wanted to do this thing right out of high school.
BH: Yes! I respect him so much, and I think, man, honestly I’m kind of jealous of him.
JD: Yeah, same! (Laughs)
BH: This is gonna change his life. His life is not the same from here on out! He’s getting this at 18 when he’s still in high school! Mind-blowing. I’m so happy for him!
JD: After the challenge, we’ve got the Millennials going to tribal, and it looks like Figgy is the one in trouble, but some things change. Let’s talk a little bit about what happened here. How did this change happen?
BH: It was Michelle. Michelle, who’s not even a part of the “Triforce,” she was the fourth one brought in, and she doesn’t even realize that; it was her not wanting to lose her numbers and her alliance. And so she decided to go for Mari, which killed me. I was like, no! What are you doing!? And I understand, if I were in her position, I would have done the same thing but, gah.
JD: Why do you think they went for Mari?
BH: I don’t know I was sitting there so baffled trying to figure out why she thought of that, although I do feel like Mari was a strong player. Maybe that’s why she threw her name out there so quickly. But I also feel like they were going to throw out someone’s name, y’know? Anyone but Figgy. I was ready to see Figgy go, though, so… (Laughs)
JD: Mari leaving this early proved to every one of us who writes about this show, who analyzes it… it was basically the editors flipping us off. It’s a big change and threw a lot of us for a loop.
BH: Yeah. And I’m not happy about it. The look on Adam’s face at tribal once they read the votes, like, that’s how I felt inside. Like, I knew it was going to happen, and I still felt like that. I was just shocked; devastated and shocked.
JD: And we still have to talk about what was going on at tribal with Hannah and Michelle!
BH: Was that not the most hilarious thing?
JD: It’s funny looking back because even if Hannah had voted the other way, Mari still would have gone home. They had the numbers. But when Hannah asks Michelle why she should vote for Mari, Michelle’s answer is “I’ll tell you later.”
BH: Right. The whole time I’m watching I’m thinking like, dude, what are you doing? How could you spring this on Hannah at the last freaking second? And clearly, the poor girl was having a heart attack. That’s not how she planned to vote, and we saw her, she articulated for us that she was torn between proving her loyalty to Michelle… she wanted to go with it, but she didn’t understand why. I went back, and I thought: why did Michelle not tell her initially? I wonder if Michelle doubted Michaela’s vote and then decided to pull in Hannah at the last possible second, and then poor Hannah has this meltdown at the booth. But I love her. To me, she’s like David in that I love and respect their transparency and their vulnerability. And that’s what we saw with Hannah, which was adorable and hilarious and I felt so bad for her because you felt what she was feeling, she was so torn.
JD: Probst even looking over to make sure she was okay! I’m right there with you, but I’m sure you were yelling at your screen too. “Hannah don’t do it!”
BH: Yes! Don’t! Screaming at the TV. But y’know what? She did it, and so did Michaela. So now we know Michaela’s really in it to play the game. She’s voting to save someone that she can’t stand. I feel she’s gonna be a really strong player.
JD: I agree. We’ll see where she goes.
For the rest of our interview, including Bea’s winner picks and thoughts on the next player voted out, check out our Next Time On… Survivor article tomorrow.