Kendra McQuarrie (‘Survivor 45’ exit interview): ‘I’m just bummed at myself for not following my gut’

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On Wednesday’s ninth episode of “Survivor 45,” lines had been drawn among original tribal lines and that meant that old Belo was left with the short end of the stick. When Jeff Probst dropped the bomb at the immunity challenge that three players would potentially lose their vote, how the next vote would go was left up in the air. With immunity falling once again around the unanimous target’s neck, Kendra McQuarrie became the next best thing for the old Reba alliance. Read on for Kendra’s “Survivor 45” exit interview from the end of the episode.

Prior to the immunity challenge that gave Bruce Perreault safety for the second cycle in a row, he was the unanimous target among a tribe of people itching to flush his idol out of the game. The challenge also determined that both Emily Flippen and Katurah Topps lost their votes, leaving the vote open to only seven ballots. Those seven ballots were controlled by a dominant foursome of old Reba players who went back and forth between voting out Kendra or Jake O’Kane. Kendra thought that might be the case, saying, “I just got blindsided and I’m just bummed at myself for not following my gut even though I’m a gut player.” Her gut was that they’d use Jake’s name as false hope for her to remain and instead take her out.

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Kendra was a player that competed with her heart on her sleeve, fiercely loyal to her original Belo tribe, but also anxious to make a move against Bruce who had become an annoyance around camp very early on. The fractured Belo alliance is what gave Reba the crack they needed to take control. In that sense, Kendra was right when she admitted that “clearly the stars weren’t aligned” for her or her tribe. She had just seen her best friend in the game, Kellie Nalbandian, go home in an epic blindside vote after all. Both of their falls in the game came, ultimately, at the hands of Bruce who they stalled at taking out longer than they should have.

Still, Kendra kept her optimistic perspective on what it meant to be playing a game she loves. “I don’t even care that I’m starving, I don’t even care that it’s raining,” she concluded. “I love feeling alive and free and having an adventure. This is the greatest adventure I’ve ever had and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”

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