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: Libby Vincek
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Current residence: Houston, Texas
Occupation: Social Media Strategist
Gordon Holmes: There is a rumor that you’ve worked at Disney World.
Libby Vincek: Let’s just say I work in a very magical place and get to help put lots of smiles on guests faces.
Holmes: You must have some amazing stories.
Vincek: It really allows you to see people in a light that a lot of people don’t get to see. They’re very vulnerable. It’s their dream to meet their favorite characters and see why these parks are so magical. So, getting to see their faces when they do get to meet someone and experience the magic like that is very wonderful.
Holmes: That’s really interesting. I always thought I’d want to be a mall Santa for a day. Just to see that magic.
Vincek: Awww…kids have the coolest personalities. They have these great ideas. They have such creative minds.
Holmes: What’s the funniest thing a kid has said to you?
Vincek: I asked a kid to tell me a joke and she said, “Spaghetti doctor.” (Laughs) And one little boy, I told him he seemed like a very brave guard. And he told me, “I’ll protect you from all the dragons! I’m a dragon slayer back home.” I think the best part is when you get to meet people and their last wish ever is to visit these magical destinations, and you get to see them fulfill that childhood dream of theirs.
Holmes: So, we’re going to be a Santa and Mrs. Claus at a mall someday. And then start a band called “Spaghetti Doctor.”
Vincek: Yes! The elves can be our backup.
Holmes: Your politics are that of a true Southern girl. What does that mean?
Vincek: I’d like to say that I’m a conservative Christian girl. It’s pretty stereotypical. But, growing up and traveling all around, working in sales, you’re exposed to a lot of different people and you gain respect for people with different beliefs and faiths. Going to school, one of my friends, she doesn’t believe in God. I’m very firm in my beliefs, and some things I do disagree on, but I am open to people and have respect for people who have strong beliefs that are the opposite. I don’t firmly believe that all of my beliefs are how everybody should live. This world is built around people with different beliefs.
Holmes: We’re in a weird political climate now where it seems like there’s little debate, it’s just anger.
Vincek: The people that believe that you’re wrong, it’s like you’re wrong!
Holmes: You’re wrong and you’re evil.
Vincek: You’re not the person I thought you were.
Holmes: “Survivor” is a reflection of society. Are you going to keep your beliefs close to your vest?
Vincek: I would like to say, if I’m with people who disagree with me, I’m going to show them the respect that they deserve. If they don’t show me the respect that I deserve…the way that you’re treating me is the way you think I deserve to be treated. I’m not going to be around someone who’s going to bully me for what I believe. But, timing is everything and if she’s telling me that I’m stupid and God is wrong and she’s part of alliance that I need to be a part of? That’s the bad part of the game.
Holmes: Are there any parts of your background that you’re going to keep a secret?
Vincek: I’m not going to bring up my work at Disney. When you sign on with Disney, you promise not to ruin the magic of the parks. I feel like there is more to me than just being a Disney cast member, but I have definitely developed a lot of social skills from my time there that will help me in the game.
Holmes: Are you a big fan of the show?
Vincek: Yeah! I mean, we have a super fan, fro man. I can tell he’s a fan. But I wouldn’t say I’m a super fan. In preparing for this, you have to know the show. And I’ve gained this love for it. And I’m thinking, “Wow, God…you’ve been preparing me this whole time for something like this.” My entire life has been building to something extreme like this.
Holmes: Have you set any boundaries as far as lying, cheating, stealing?
Vincek: I’m not going to be a bully. I’m not going to be hurtful. We have to lie in this game. You can’t lie the entire time to everybody or you won’t win. But, there’s a way in this game to know when to lie. You have to learn when you can let your guard down a little bit. I feel like that’s what makes a good winner; someone who knows their limits. And you don’t have to be cruel and bully people to be on top. Those are my limits.
Holmes: What about flirting?
Vincek: If you have to flirt, you’ve got to flirt.
Holmes: Are you single and ready to mingle?
Vincek: Single girl! And ready to mingle.
Holmes: You guys are in the dark as far as twists and themes. What do you think is going on here?
Vincek: It’s hard. Every time I’m like, “How did you think of that?” All I can think of is physical challenges. Make us jump out of a plane.
Holmes: Are the nerves getting to you? Any “Survivor” stress dreams?
Vincek: Yes! I had to eat a pig intestine and Jeff was like staring at me like, “Can you eat it, Libby?” And I was like, “Yes I can!” He said, “I don’t think you can.” And he was just staring at me. And I woke up and was thinking, “Does Jeff think I can’t do this?!” Was he second guessing me? But, he definitely believes in me.
Holmes: We did that once with a scorpion. And you just psych yourself out, but once you’re doing it…you kinda just do it.
Vincek: What was it like eating a scorpion?
Holmes: It actually wasn’t that bad. But I know they’ll do stuff worse than that.
Vincek: They wouldn’t make us eat anything that would hurt us.
Holmes: Right, they don’t want that. They want you running around on the beach, not hunched over in the shelter.
Holmes: Alright, I’m going to give you two “Survivor” scenarios. You tell me which one you would rather do.
Holmes: Align with a Hillary supporter or a Trump supporter?
Vincek: I’d rather align with a Hillary supporter because opposites attract.
Holmes: Would you rather steal a vote or eliminate a juror?
Vincek: Steal a vote.
Holmes: Endurance challenge or word puzzle?
Vincek: Endurance challenge.
Holmes: Align with a racist or a sexist?
Vincek: Um…a racist.
Holmes: Voted out first or before final Tribal?
Vincek: Before final Tribal.
Holmes: Align with an adulterer or a tax cheat.
Vincek: Tax cheat.
Holmes: Lose the family challenge or win and have to decide who to take?
Vincek: Lose the family challenge. That’s that big moment that all alliances explode. My sister, I’d fall to the ground. She’s my best friend. But I told her, “I’m not going to try to win this thing.
Holmes: Caught stealing food or caught idol hunting?
Vincek: Hunting for an idol. Food is precious.
Holmes: Align with a super fan or someone who doesn’t watch the show.
Vincek: Super fan.
Holmes: Dance challenge or karaoke challenge?
Vincek: Dance challenge.
Holmes: What kind of first impression do you think you make?
Vincek: I feel like the group thinks I’m nice. I smile a lot. I feel like they’ve put that, pretty girl, she’s nice, that whole persona.
Holmes: So you think you’re really pretty.
Vincek: (Laughs) Alright.
Holmes: If you give me a chance to quote Regina George from “Mean Girls,” I’m going to take it.
Vincek: (Laughs) OK, Regina. No, I think that that has definitely come across to some people. I don’t like to pay attention to that. If you like me, like me for my heart. I really do believe in that. But peoples’ first impression is that she’s pretty full of herself. She thinks she’s pretty. She’s nice, but she might be fake. But, I want people to know that they can trust me. It’s going to be hard because I’m not going to trust them. But, I’m a small-town girl, I get my hands dirty, I hunt and I fish. I can make fire. And I’m excited to prove that. I’m not going to throw it in anybody’s face.
NOTE: The cast members do not know each other’s names at this point. I showed Libby a picture of each of her competitors and asked her to share her first impressions.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes