05/06/2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
, a Los Angeles-based model, began Survivor
sick with the flu and was chosen by her team as the weakest link. Reed, 23, overcame the bad first impression and managed to last for 30 days
in Tocantins, Brazil, before she was ousted from the game. She chatted with PEOPLE.com about her spats with Coach and Debbie, her first post-elimination meal and why she doesn’t regret not rejoining a Timbira alliance. -- Carrie BellIn light of the reprieve you were handed last week, did you think you had a chance of surviving the vote again this week?
No, miracles only happen once in a blue moon. JT and Stephen told me they were going to vote out Coach because he lied -- and I proved it -- but then he won immunity for the first time in his flipping life. So then they said, "It’s you or Debbie." They were honest that it would be hard to vote Debbie when Coach and I were fighting so much. Going into tribal council, JT and Stephen said they weren’t going to be able to keep me because of the drama and fighting with Coach and because I was a stronger threat physically to them. I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want them to stroke my ego and then wave goodbye.
You seemed to give up the fight toward the end. Were you ready to go home?
It was very Survivor
high school. They had been treating me so badly for the last six days so I was okay with going. When Brendan got voted out, they made me sleep on the farthest side of the shelter in the rain. I was chattering so loud that Coach woke up and got pissed off at me for disturbing him. It was hard to fight to stay in a place where don’t want you. It’s a game for a million dollars, and some care more about that than treating kindly. It only makes them look bad when the girl they are being a complete bee-yotch to is probably the nicest person there and would have probably helped you get to where you needed without lying.
Bravo for calling out Coach and Debbie. Did it anger you that he kept claiming you were the one who brought up rekindling the Timbira alliance?
I thought the drama I caused in the last episode was justified. I wasn’t going to go out without catching them. They were calling me a liar and I defended myself with the truth. It felt great to do it and it was well deserved. All of America knows he’s a liar and I’m sure his parents aren’t answering his calls now.
Looking back, do you regret not taking them up on that offer?
Nope. I begged for their grace in a loyal, honest, heartfelt way for three days and they denied me. Then they turned around and begged me for the same thing in five minutes. Maybe if Coach had taken the high road like me or a different approach I would have considered it.
Tyson was fairly mean to you throughout the game. Did things get better between you two at Ponderosa?
For sure our relationship got better out of the game. I think it is his schtick to be a funny guy/jerk. He’s the kind of person that if you don’t tell him a story and get to the climax really fast, you lose his interest. He is demeaning to women and it must have really sucked for him that I lasted longer than he did.
You didn’t seem to have any extra weight to lose but somehow you dropped 11 lbs.
It was scary. At one point, my face was sinking in. My ribs were hanging out the back. My pants, which were size 25, had to be held up with a piece of rope around my waist. But I think your body adapts.
Did you make up for it after being voted off?
Yeah. I ran for the truck because I knew there’d be food in there. I ate like 15 cookies, an apple--anything I could get my hands on -- and it all tasted better than they ever had before. And I ate so much peanut butter. I dunked Snickers in it. I rolled granola in it Everything was eaten with peanut butter.
Was there ever an enjoyable moment?
Yes. On day 10, I thought to myself, ‘I love this.’ We were living this beautiful simple life if you took away the conniving and the voting. For awhile, we kept winning so we were close and we weren’t having to turn on each other and that was the best time. I could just be a jungle kid with the machete strapped to my waist climbing trees and picking fruit and be a caveman. You don’t really need all the stuff we have and do everyday. Your teeth find a way to clean themselves. I was scrubbing my face with sand and my skin never looked better.
What’s your next move now that you’ve reentered civilization?
I am still modeling. I have a jewelry collection coming out. I am waiting to hear if I got a hosting gig for this travel show that goes to 11 different countries. Good things are happening. Survivor
is a great platform for character building.