'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Rachel Foulger on Redemption Island and Tyson's Decision Not to Swap Places

The "loved one" tribe member talks to THR about being voted out based on a strategy that didn't work and whether the animosity directed at Brad Culpepper is deserved.
Rachel Foulger

Survivor's blood vs. water twist has claimed another victim.

Rachel Foulger, a cocktail waitress/graphic designer from Provo, Utah, was voted out of her tribe not based on her performance but with the hope that her boyfriend, Tyson Apostol, would switch places with her on Redemption Island, thereby weakening the other tribe. But he didn't, and after losing the Redemption Island duel, Foulger was sent home.

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On Thursday, she talked to The Hollywood Reporter about her time on the island.

How disappointed were you to be voted out so early?

I thought I was going to be [on Survivor] a little longer than I was. It was short-lived. I would have liked to stay out there longer; however, I am still really content. I think I did as much as I could do out there. I was voted off not really having anything to do with my performance in the game; it was just to get Tyson out. I feel content having done all that I could.

How much did you know about what the guys' alliance was thinking in terms of voting you out, and how much did you learn while watching the show?

I learned a little bit. I was surprised that I was such a target. It does make sense getting voted out in the hopes that Tyson would switch with me. I wish they would have pried a little bit to see if that's what I would have done and they would have known that I wouldn't have. It wasn't ever an option in my mind to switch. And a little part of me thought the switch would keep me in the game, that they wouldn't want Tyson in that arena. Part of me thought maybe it would keep me safe, but it didn't.

Did you have any doubts at all that maybe Tyson should trade places?

I know that Tyson was probably in a better spot in the game than I was. I was outnumbered from the very beginning, just being a woman. Also knowing that Tyson played the game already twice before, he's more experienced than me, and I think as a couple we could probably get a little further in the game by keeping him in there versus putting me in that game.

It looked like that Redemption Island duel was neck and neck at the end between you and Marissa. How close was it in actuality?

We both did hit our dominoes right at the end. Mine stopped, and hers didn't. That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was so hot that day. It was a brutal challenge, and it took us over an hour. To be under that kind of heat and pressure, both of us were about ready to pass out.

What was your reaction to being split up the first day on the beach?

I was shocked. I kinda figured both Tyson and I, at some point, they were going to split us up. I just didn't know it was going to be on that very first day. Tyson and I were both surprised; I thought we had a little more time to talk and discuss and strategize, but we didn't at all.

Had you talked strategy beforehand?

No, not really. Just general things like, be friends with everybody, make sure everybody likes you, don't cause drama, don't try to strategize too soon in the game. But it was also too late in the game for me. I didn't know my time was coming so soon.

Had you talked about what might happen if you have to write one another's name down?'

No, we really didn't. That was all improvised.

Was Tyson able to give you any tips about the survival part of Survivor?

Mostly not anything I didn't already know. Just the biggest key is try to stay hydrated out there, especially in the elements. I did remember those words and tried to drink lots of coconut water. As you can see, my tribe was also not very experienced. There wasn't an expert out there I could learn from. We couldn't get the fire going, lots of things that we could have learned if we were out there with [someone like] Rupert.

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Brad Culpepper is taking a lot of heat from both tribes. Is he truly the ringleader, or is he being unfairly blamed for the way all the votes are going down?

He's definitely a dominant figure out there. A lot of people really liked Brad. He was kind of our entertainment out there; he's a fun guy and a good guy but very dominant. And at that part of the game, before anybody really began strategizing or making alliances, we were all kind of doing what Brad told us to do. It was great to have someone be the ringleader, although he was probably putting a target on his back. From the very first day on the beach, he was saying, "This is what we need to do." I don't know if he's the best strategist, but he's a good guy and a fun person.

Marissa cursed at him, and in next week's episode Candice gives him the finger, as we saw in the preview. Do you think he deserves all that animosity?

Yeah, I think so -- at least a little bit. He was in control of everything, and when someone is voted out, there's anger. He voted John out after making a pretty strong alliance with him, so there's some animosity there, and I'm really excited to see it next week.

Were you surprised they voted John out?

Yeah, I was. I was really surprised. I don't think it's a smart move to [break up] a solid alliance too early on in this game, but that's what they did. John didn't play the [hidden immunity] idol [clues] very well, so that kind of put a target on his back. He was being so secretive about the idol and making everybody at camp feel a little uneasy. So I get, a little, why they did that, but I was still surprised.

Why did you want to play Survivor?

One, mostly for the challenge. Two, I met Tyson just four months before he went out for his very first season in Tocantins, so Survivor has been a big part of our relationship. He left twice to do the show, so it was great for me to experience what he has been up to for the past four or five years. And last but not least, for the money.

Would you do it again?

I would have to think about that. I think yes, I would do it again. Now I'm not as naive and really know what I would be getting myself into. I'd definitely have to prepare myself for that. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a great opportunity. The Philippines were beautiful, and I was glad to have gone out there with Tyson, although I didn't hardly get to see him or play with him. I had a good time -- no regrets.

What's next for you and Tyson?

We need to settle down eventually. We've been together five years now; the next thing we need to figure out is getting married, I guess.

Check back later for THR's interview with Colton Cumbie, who quit in last night's episode. Survivor: Blood vs. Water airs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on CBS.