Random Reality: Interview with Survivor: Micronesia's Kathy Sleckman and Tracy Hughes-Wolf

Micronesia Kathy Sleckman
Micronesia Tracy Hughes-Wolf

Last week was another double elimination week. Kathy Sleckman and Tracy Hughes-Wolf were the seventh and eighth people to get eliminated from Survivor: Micronesia. Kathy quit, because she missed her kids and couldn’t stand being on the island anymore and Tracy got voted off the more traditional way. Members of the media got the chance to talk to both Kathy and Tracy about their respective eliminations and much more. Here are the highlights of what Tracy and Kathy said in this conference call for Survivor: Micronesia

What was your relationship with Chet. You seemed pretty tight.

Kathy Sleckman: We were like 3 little puppies that were picked up and thrown in the pound. We were in a sack over the dam.

Tracy Hughes-Wolf: We were “old and worthless”. Anybody over 25 thought we were old and worthless.

What about Joel and Mikey?

KS: Badda Bing, badda boom, badda bang.

THW: Mikey had a plan and Mikey told his plan one too many times. If you keep repeating yourself, eventually someone is going to really hear it and do something about it…and we did.

Last week with Chet; what really happened?

THW: When they did an initial lance to remove pressure on his foot, it was a glob of infection that could fill a teacup. It was really bad. He was actually in the hospital for a week or 10 days. He had a really bad infection. The medics came to him and said “your liver, from the infection, is double it’s size, going on 3 times, and you need to think about getting out of this game now.” He begged to stay to do the challenge because he’d like to go out with dignity and if they lost, then he could be voted out. Of course I needed him to vote against Ozzy, but it didn’t work out that way.

Why didn’t they just remove Chet? Why didn’t you talk him into staying for TC and then leaving?

THW: We did that! We begged. I literally was begging. Erik and myself were begging and begging. We begged for hours. For 2 days we talked to him. It’s a 3 day episode. We working at it as hard as we could. It was hard, because I really care about him as a person. For him to be that sick, it would be self righteous for me to…I wouldn’t want to win and have something happen to him. Look at the infection and how quickly it spread in Jonathan’s leg and we knew that. The second after Jonathan was medi-vaced, it really started to work on him. He was really afraid ‘cuz he was feeling bad. He didn’t put his heal down, for how many days? Like 13 days the guy walked on the ball of his foot.

I don’t know why they didn’t show that and more. There’s not enough time in editing to get it all in there. It was bad. It wasn’t just a boo boo.

What about him being lazy?

KS: Chet carried more water than…

THW: He did the hardest job. The well was so far away from the camp and you had to walk. He had a bad foot, so he would walk all the way to the well. He’d get the water. He would carry 8 jugs back himself, or 6 of them. They were heavy and it was a long haul.

KS: They show you what they want to show you. We got delegated to doing the grunt work. The behinds the scenes work, because everybody else wanted their moment in the sun with one machete and we weren’t allowed to have it. With the flint, we weren’t even allowed to attempt to start a fire. We did things like trying to get everybody’s clothes dry or we’d gather palm fronds or coconuts. We got the water. We boiled water when we had fire. We got fire wood. We had to do all the grunt work.

THW: We had one machete and we had 10 people. You think how hard it is to boil water when your fire wood is damp. It took a long time. That was a serious issue, was the water. Forget the food. We had to hydrate. Yes it poured down rain. Yes, we’d suck the water out of the floor of the canoe. You get to a point where you just don’t care. You just need water. You know you’re drinking contaminated water, but you can’t wait for it to boil all the way. When they were boiling the water, it never was at a rapid boil. We kind of took over the water duties.

What’s your relationship with Chet after the show?

KS: Love.

THW: Love, yeah. It’s hard. My husband had a hard time, because he’s like “Gosh, Tracy, all he had to do was hang in there for you”. But there’s 2 sides to the story and you have to really be there and be a part of it. With TV, there’s just not enough hours in the day to show you everything. I’m pretty sure that if everyone had seen the entire story, you would get it. Chet didn’t want to be humiliated and dragged behind Joel and have his head bashed against a pole. He could barely walk. He was up on the ball of his foot and it was slippery and it was muddy. Jonathan fell and punctured his knee when he was coming after me. That’s how quick you can hurt your self out there. He tried. He did.

Kathy, do you regret leaving the show?

KS: You know, if I said I didn’t think about it, I would be a liar. I have thought about it. The immediate conclusion I come to is I couldn’t have, I mentally just could not take another second. I mean I just shut down mentally. It wasn’t a big gory infection or anything. Pretty much my brain, it just shut down. I was thinking bad thoughts. I had, you know, in my mind I would always talk to my daughter and my husband to find some type of inner strength and that was gone. I just… When I lost Jonathan, I got really close to Jonathan, and when he left, that was like the first strike. I lost Chet. I lost Tracy. Jame and Parvati and them, they were very lovely to me, but there wasn’t that closeness.

THW: We were 2 hours away from turning the game around. That was the hardest part for me. If Jason could have gotten back to camp and she held on until that nightfall, then Jason would have gotten back. She looked at me. I was going to signal to her and we were going to take over the game and it just snowballed.

What I mean by that is that Jason was going to go back and was going to throw a challenge to vote out James. He was going to continue to throw the challenges. We figured it would probably be 2 or 3 more before the merge. We had a plan to get the fans back together. We were going to bring Ami and Eliza with us. It didn’t work that way.

You were planning on throwing challenges?

THW: There were challenges being thrown out there. Go back and rewind with your Tivo and you’ll find out. It’s amazing. That was the plan from the Favorites. One of the first things that Fairplay said, and Yau-man, that the Favorites got together and said that if we split, we throw them until we get back together again. So be it.

Which ones do you think were thrown?

THW: Definitely when were we breaking the plates. We had such a lead. Look at the ones where we had a great big lead and it’s always the Favorites at the back end, slowing it down. You don’t think about it. You would think that after they threw one challenge, that you would make sure that you could get the rear, but when you have people saying “You’re going to do this. You’re going to do this.”. I’m a great puzzle person. If you say you’re good they’re going to tell you where to go. Ozzy pretty much dictated a lot of what we did and how we did it.

Look at the chicken. There was LuLu, Gloria, and Juanita. There were 3 chickens. We didn’t eat them. They all sat there for Ozzy. I bet he had some big feast.

What are your opinions of Ozzy?

KS: I knew that he had the Immunity Idol. How they showed it was that I just sat there, but I didn’t. Obviously Cirie and I had found all of the clues that we needed. We knew the Idol was on Exile. I told Ozzy that I wasn’t interested. No, you go ahead. Because that gave me some along time to look for it, which I did while he was gone. I just had it in my head that it was in one of the nooks in teh rock that was over my head. I just keep looking. When Ozzy came back, I knew he had it.

Even after he held up the white starfish, as soon as he turned away, my head is up, because I’m looking in the rooks. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t show that, but maybe that didn’t jibe with the story they were trying to tell.

He’s a very nice guy. We talked. The first time on Exile island was 2 days. We talked and he told me about what he wanted to to do and things like that. It was like “Ozzy, can you find us a clam because you’re Ozzy. That’s what you do”.

I thought he was a nice guy while we were out there. He didn’t do anything bad to me. He was personable to me. Cirie was very lovely to me. Ami was very lovely. I really adored all of the Favorites.

THW: I think he’s a really nice guy and a hell of a swimmer. I look forward to seeing him at the reunion. He made a comment about me not telling the truth. I think the game gets the best of you out there and you just got to own certain things. If you can rewind, I don’t know what he’s talking about. I think that he was frustrated because this was his second time around and he wanted to win even more than you can imagine. It’s interesting to see you head start to see things the way that you want to see them. It’s clearly, it’s on air. Just rewind the show and you can see. I don’t know what he’s talking about. I try to be as honest as I possibly could and not to insult.

I think one of the things that they did was, being the Favorites. once we get to Malakal, and Ami got really tired of it, and this is one of the reasons that she pulled away, is that they were brutally, they would make fun. They would, what they heck are they teaching us? Cirie sat and kept the fire maintained and would poke it and poke it. We’d go get water, but what was there to teach us?

We had a challenge where we could have gotten the fish. The guys came over to teach us how to fish and stuff. Ozzy said “Well that’s the stupidest challenge. We already know how to fish. We’ve already won all the fishing supplies. So why would we want to win?” Well, maybe I want to learn how to fish, Ozzy! Maybe i want to depend on myself to catch a fish. He was playing the game very well and looking out for himself and that’s good. I’m proud of the way that he played the game. No hard feelings. I’m sure that when we meet again, when our paths cross, we’ll be alright with it.

Tracy, what would you do different?

THW: I wouldn’t sit back, so quietly at the beginning. I would have tried to bond more quickly with Alexis and Natalie. Alexis has a conscience. She’s guilty. She hates to lie. It bothered her. One day I stumbled upon her and she was in tears, sitting alone. I said “What’s the matter?” and she said that I’m having a hard time, this is when we were taking Mikey out. She felt that she was betraying him. I knew that she had a conscience. I wish I had paid more attention to body language and just bonded. The first 4 days that we were out there, we were so distraught and so uncomfortable and so wet, that you just try to get acclimated. You don’t really think about what was happening in the game and I would do that quicker this time. Day one, when my feet hit there. Second time around would be a hell of a lot better for me.

Is it fair to have Fans who’ve never played the game before play against Favorites with experience?

KS: Fair, smair. Life isn’t fair. I thought it was a brilliant idea. When they came out, I thought, wow, what a great idea! Instead of another All Stars or another… I thought it was a brilliant idea.

THW: I love playing with them. I thought it was good. They had a hand up on it, but what we failed to do, was in our tribe. We are responsible for not sticky together as a tribe. That’s where we fell short. When I was with Joel and we merged with Malakal, he was taking Chet out. I said Joel, do you really think that you are not on the pecking order? You are such a threat to this tribe and to Ozzy. We had so many water challenges. I said this to him. We’re going to have more challenges coming up that are going to be more brute strength. You are a threat. How many water challenges can you have? He said that Chet doesn’t want to be here and I’ve bonded with Ozzy and Cirie and I know that they are going to take me with them. I’m like “What a fool”.

I couldn’t believe that he was actually going to go with it. They were laughing in the cave, talking about him, Cirie and Amanda. Amanda was like ‘He freaks me out” and “he gives me the creeps” and I’m like “he’s so done”. I went back down and reiterated to him again, but he wasn’t budging. He was taking Chet out. All I did was that I was really quiet. I didn’t say anything to Erik because I knew he’d run right back to them and say something. So I kept Erik out of the loop and Joel and Chet went with them and took him out. it was sweet revenge.

Kathy, looking for the Idol with Cirie, how hard was that?

KS: It took us a total of about 6 and a half hours. It was pretty tough. Cirie can keep her head above water. She’s not a strong swimmer. She was so kind to me at a moment when I really needed it. We bonded really close. I helped her. I made sure nothing would happen to her while we were going back and forth. We just kept thinking, with the last clue, it’s over your head, but under a rock. We were thinking, because those islands were mushroomed shaped, that the rock goes over your head. It had to be in a nook or a cranny in the rocks. She climbed, when we couldn’t find it. We made a promise to each other that if we ever won a reward challenge that I would send her back, but that never happened. I kind of made a promise to her that I wouldn’t help anybody else find the idol.

What was it like getting sent back to Exile ISland over and over again?

KS: It’s kind of like getting kicked in the butt by a mule, over and over and over again.

THW: It’s that they didn’t have the Idoal. Everytime they sent Kathy, they didn’t have the Idol. You’ll notice that Kathy doesn’t go once they get the Idol. They wanted Kathy to go because they thought that she was mentally not there and that she was having a hard time.

KS: It was like they were psychic or something!

You mentioned about the machete. What was that like?

KS: Did you see that, when Jason is like “Where’s the machete? How did they get it?” He hid it. Seriously!


KS: How do you explain it? They wanted to be the macho, my moment in the sun, like a hero.

THW: I haven’t figured it out. I’m clueless. I’m clueless about a lot of things, btu I couldn’t figure that out. We didn’t… I don’t know.

KS: There was no way that we purposely issolated our selves from the other people. We had no other choice. We tried to fix the shelter. We sat there for hours, trying to fix it. She needed the machete. They wouldn’t give itt o her. You begged for the machete.

THW: We took the war canoe, Chet, Kathy and I took it out to find fruit or to just look for a new beach to get away. Jason and I exchanged words. He was saying “I hope you don’t come back”, but Joel’s like “We need the canoe”. That’s all they really wanted, was the canoe, not us. We get back and after we had finished building the shelter, they had taken all of the firewood, and it all had fire ants in it, and shoved it in our shelter.

KS: To keep it dry.

THW: We said OK, we’re OK with that. So we take out all of the… we’re sleeping with ants, but we’re OK. Jason proceeds to walk over to the shelter and starts ripping off my roof. You got enough palm fornds here, btu taking them form the bottom? It took 3 hours to layer them. It was herendious. I said that you need to step away from the shelter, Jason. Get away from my shelter. He did. I had like “kill” in my eyes. Kill Bill? Kill Jason.

Kathy, at what point did you consciencely make the decision I may have to leave this game early?

KS: When the warriors were bring us in on the canoes. Just kidding!!! Just kidding! Don’t print that!

The start of the breaking point for me was Exile Island with me and Ami. The storm where they showed the Fans beach. We were stuck on Exile Island with nothing. The cameras broke. The rain was so hard that we just sat there like POWs against a wall, being pelted in the pitch dark. It started going down, between the rats and I’m talking about the 2 legged rats and the 4 legged rats and just Mother Nature. It was so humbling to be out there. You think that you have a breaking point, but it’s so far away, and then when it hits you at 200 miles an hour right in the face, it’s a very humbling experience.

THW: My husband said something to me that is so true right now. He said “Tracy, if you’re going go on this show, you need to go sleep in the yard, with no blanket and no pillow”. I looked at him and laughed. Leave the sprinklers on all night and that would have been a great preparation. If anybody wants to go on the show, sprinklers on in the yard, no blanket and find yourself a twig.

KS: On an ant hole…

THW: Put some honey so the ants will come and basically that’s how you prepare.

Kathy, did you “shut down” or did you go crazy out there?

KS: Oh, I’ll own crazy! I’ll not only own it, I’ll wear the badge. Are you talking about the rumors on the web about the crazy old lady who tries to chop her fingers off? I had some bad thoughts.

I can honestly tell you that I had some bad thoughts. Because I had those thoughts, it was well received that I should go. Eliza actually made a really good comment after Jeff asked that. She said “Yes, Jeff. If she does stay, we’ll always wonder where the machete is.” So, Eliza, she was funny. That did make me laugh. That’s how bad it got for me out there. I know people can sit and judge sitting on their couch, watching it, just as I have, but I was in a really bad place out there, mentally.

Ami’s plan to get rid of Ozzy, what happened? Why did it fall through?

THW: OK. Can somebody please let me know the answer to that question? It’s killing me. That is something that I’m absolutely… my jaws are opens. I can’t figure why they didn’t go with it. I thought it was masterful. It was a great idea. Let’s take him out. It’ll be great. Blindside. Boom! Boom! and it would have been right after MIkey and Joel and then Ozzy. It would have been great. My gosh! It would have been Girl Power. Erik was just a runner. He was Runner Boy. He would do anything that we asked. He was so sweet. OK. Yeah. Yeah. OK. Yeah. I thought it was a great plan but it didn’t play out that way. Please let me know when you find out why.

How about the week before, why didn’t you pull Ami over with Chet?

THW: We did. Myself and Erik. I did trust Ami. Ami is a really loyal person and her loyalty got in her way of playing the game, I feel . I feel that she should have gotten rid of the strongest player at that time, which was Ozzy. He’s beaten in water challenges. He’s not a brute strength, but he’s a fire starter. He can do it all. He’s awesome, but can he be beat in the water? Absolutely not. The chances were that we would have 30% more water challenges, so get rid of Ozzy. If you wanted to win the challenge, Ami alredy had a hurt knee. Please. She was limping. We needed to take him out. I begged Cirie. I asked to go to a fire challenge. The vote would be 3/3 and we’ll go to a fire challenge. She asked if I was comfortable buildinga fire? I grew up with a wood stove. I had to build a fire every day. Not because it was pretty, but to stay warm. Please. Let’s do the challenge.

Ozzy seemed to be dominating everything in that tribe…

THW: I think he’s related to Fidal Castro. I think that’s his uncle or something. He is definitely a dictator. I said that to him. I said it at Tribal. It was edited out. I was very prood of Cirie because she got my back. Everybody on the tribe that night said we agree that Ozzy kind of runs the show. I was like “You think?”. He’s like “How do I run the show?”. Why couldn’t we eat the chickens? There were 3 chickens. I would have killed the chickens and eaten them. He wanted to get rid of everybody else and save a big royal feast for himself so he could be strong going down to the end.

When did Chet really get hurt?

KS: The wrestling challnge with the bags. He got some coral in his show. He was limping around everytime we’d go for water. I noticed him limping. He thought he had a bone bruise.

THW: It started pussing up. it started a bug infection up his leg. He couldn’t put his heel down. If you watch from after that challenge on, he never steps with his foot down. He walked forever getting water. It’s a long way to the water hole. He went all the way there and back, carrying 8 and 6 water bottles. Those are heavy. He always walked. He was hurt. He was sick. The infection had really started to spread.

How is it that the 2 couples are so visible and still there?

THW: People got foolish. People forgot that it was a game of Survivor. That’s a beautiful question. I’m going to put that on my wall.

KS: Jonathan knew that they needed to go.

THW: When I bonded with Jason, he was going to go back and throw the challenge to get James gone. We had to get rid of James or we had to get rid of Ozzy. They had to be broken up. Amen. We agree.

CBS LogoSurvivor: Micronesia airs on CBS in the U.S. on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Survivor: Micronesia airs on the GLOBAL network in Canada on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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