"I just didn't want to compromise my integrity," she told The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen Friday. "I never did during the game, and I stood for what I believe in and that's it. I took myself out."
The ailing Tornell, who quit the game when it became apparent she would not be voted out at tribal council, said she did not do it to "save" Stephenie LaGrossa, the contestant who had been targeted.
While many of the remaining contestants did not get along with Tornell, and some were outright hostile, they wanted to keep her in the game because she was not a threat. La Grossa, meanwhile, was targeted because she was seen as a fierce competitor.
"I threw a wrench into their game," she said, "because I think that they wanted…you know, they were going to use me as a pawn, and I wasn't going to be a pawn for anyone."
As for LaGrossa, the Tornell said, "We liked her. She always smiled at us during challenges. I love her. But we fought against her for so long. She was part of the other tribe. Why not keep our tribe together all the way to the end? But then they decided to take Coby out, which shocked me. And then I couldn't take it any more."
Tornell called her move "a power play" and added, "I think I threw them for a loop and now they're going to have to deal with this."
Tornell, who suffered with stomach problems during the entire game said it was much easier doing two shows a night, six nights a week, in Vegas, than competing in the game. Part of the problem, she said, was dealing with the many different personalities on the beach.
That is one reason why her night alone on another beach, meant as a punishment for being the first to quit the immunity challenge, turned out to be a joy. She called her time alone "My own special moment" and said that is when she began to think about quitting the game.
Here's what she had to say about some of her fellow contestants:
- Stephenie: "She just got really emotional (when Tornell said she would be OK if the others voted her off) which is fine. But I thought, 'That has nothing to do with this.' You know? If you want something so badly and I want it in a different way, respect the fact that I want it in a different way. I respect your commitment to the whole game. Respect mine."
- Katie: "Katie is a very unique individual. And I am my own person, and we're different. Obviously, that was apparent. She couldn't get along with the fact that I was always getting sick and that I was just falling to pieces and whatever. And she always had humor in her answers. So she just kind of got – I don't know, - nasty.
- Coby: "The alliances were played and I think in my head I just was standing alone. And after I was really alone."