Jennifer Lanzetti found herself in the second category last week on the show.
Although castmate Alecia Holden was clearly to be the next to go, Lanzetti made a comment about the vote being "up in the air" at tribal council. By the time it was over, Jeff Probst was snuffing her torch.
But the 38-year-old contractor from Utah tells PEOPLE that we didn't see everything that happened – and she wants to set the record straight.
Monty Brinton / CBS / Getty
(Laughs) I've been better! You saw how I crashed and burned on national TV!
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I did. Was it awful for you to watch?
Oh, I sat there and cringed. You have to remember that we filmed this like 10 months ago. I knew it was coming and I knew it was going to hurt. But that's Survivor!
So did it shake out like how we saw it on TV?
Not really. It didn't happen like that. It wasn't just the comment I made. I knew I was in trouble long before we went to tribal. My only recourse was to tell the truth. I'm not a good liar, and if I go down in history for that, it's okay.
What part of tribal council was the most accurate?
(Laughs) That's a loaded question! Oh, let's see? I really did go on the defense for the entire time. We were there for a very long time, and I was literally fighting for my spot the entire time. Not once did I make any progress. I was sincerely trying. I was looking for a way to stay in the game.
So why didn't you go with the girls' alliance?
What girls alliance? They turned on me! It was a mess!
You got burned trying to play the game. You were entertaining other alliances, and it caught up with you.
Exactly. That's exactly what happened.
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Is there any consolation that you went down swinging?
There is! I wasn't waiting for my number to be up. There are zero regrets about playing hard. I hope I'm remembered for trying a girls' alliance on a brawn tribe. I wanted to play the game.
You'll be remembered for having a bug crawl in your ear.
You're right. That was painful. It really was the worst pain I had in my life.
What did it sound like?
I couldn't turn off my hearing, so it was driving me crazy. I was listening to it dig and dig and dig. I wondered if I could suck it up, so there was a lot of mental talk going on, just trying to stay in the game.
Did you consider quitting?
I didn't. It took all my mental strength to stay in the game. It was just awful. I didn't realize that it had crawled out of my ear and then back into my ear until they showed it on TV. It was just awful.
So what has been the reaction from fans of the show?
Well, I get a lot of people who say that they could have gotten further in the game, and now I have an answer. I can say, "you wouldn't make it past having a worm in your ear!" It's a good reply!
So are you glad you did it, and would you do it again?
I am glad I did the show, and I'd definitely try it again.
If you played again, how would you do it differently?
I would follow my gut from the start. But you know, this is Survivor. You can follow your gut and get voted off second – or you can follow your gut and win the game!
Survivor: Kaoh Rong airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.