“Survivor” Castaway Big Wendy – “I Knew My Tribemates Would Not Die If They Didn’t Eat (the Chickens)”

“Survivor: Edge of Extinction” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: The great chicken liberation! Walk me through the thought process that led you to make a maneuver that may earn you $14,000 from Sia, but probably hurt your overall game. Also, do you still eat meat?

Wendy Diaz: I have always been compassionate towards animals. Having eight rescue pets myself, I couldn’t imagine standing by and seeing these chickens become dinner when I could easily help them. I no longer eat meat but regardless if I did, I would still continue to help animals in any way that I can. I knew my tribemates would not die if they didn’t eat them, but the same couldn’t be said about the chickens themselves. Life is such a wonderful thing, and even if I allowed them one more month of scratching at the dirt cleaning their feathers and soaking up the sun, then it was well worth it for me.

Holmes: I’ve always said “The only thing you can trust in this game is that people will work in their own best interest.” However, it didn’t seem to be in your best interest to stick with Reem, and it didn’t seem in your best interest to free the chickens. Did winning the game come in second to your own personal out-of-the-game values?

Diaz: I never wanted to win the game if it meant going against what I believe. I’m not delusional, I understand that the game includes lying and deception but I wasn’t going to do anything beyond that. This was a social experiment, and I’ve seen that people will do whatever it takes to win a million dollars, I guess I’m just different. I couldn’t stand to see Reem getting ganged up on, so I went against it. I didn’t get along with my original tribe because they would relish in the failure of others, I wouldn’t go along with that either. “Survivor” is a social experiment, not everyone is going to play the same.  At the end of the day, 17 people will lose.

Holmes: Your Tourette tics seemed to be acting up during the final part of Wednesday’s challenge. Did that affect your ability to compete in a puzzle that requires such concentration?

Diaz: Coming into this game, I knew that my Tourette’s would definitely play a large role when it came to individual immunity challenges. My motor tics get triggered when I do really concentrated work (balancing, holding things, etc.). Since I’ve lived with tics my entire life, I know when they will be a hindrance and although I could have probably won the challenge if it hadn’t been for my tics, I do not sulk at this fact because I know I tried my best regardless. I want to bring awareness to the Tourette’s community and show people everywhere living with this disorder that nothing should stop you from attempting the things you want to accomplish in life. Don’t be ashamed of who you are, disregard what other people have to  say about you, continue to fight for the things who want.

Holmes: OK, let’s finish this off with some word association. What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear the name…Reem?

Diaz: Strong.

Holmes: Keith?

Diaz: Unbreakable.

Holmes: Eric?

Diaz: Sweet.

Holmes: David?

Diaz: Genuine.

Holmes: Rick?

Diaz: Kool-Aid.

Holmes: Chris?

Diaz: Quiet.

Holmes: Gavin? 

Diaz: Super Fan!

Holmes: And, let’s finish with Aubry.

Diaz: Sociable.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes