The new series, "Survivor: Panama — Exile Island," debuted last night and Tina, the logging sports athlete from Wisconsin, got the ax.
One of the main reasons for her departure was her tribemate, Cirie. In The Early Show's
I just really can't stand the lumberjack lady. And it's so early. I never thought this soon someone would get on my nerves so much. It's just that she doesn't value anything I have to say. ... If I say, "we should turn the fish on its side," and two other people say we should stand the fish up straight, she'll say, "OK, let's stand the fish up straight." Then when we stand it up, she'll say, "I have an even better idea: How about we turn it on its side?" Didn't I just say that five minutes ago?
Tina, 45, didn't take it lightly. After seeing her torch extinguished at the Tribal Council, she delivered her final words: "I think the girls made a huge mistake voting me out. I hope they do terribly. I have no regrets. I was just with the wrong girls."
Visiting The Early Show Friday morning,
"Somebody had to go first," she said. "When I saw the breakdown of the four teams and this and that, and once I got out there, I thought it was very possible I'd go home first."
As to whether she made a mistake in taking a leadership role so soon, Tina said she was just doing what had to be done.
"I don't feel like I was taking a leadership role to start," she told Syler. "To me it was like, somebody's got to do it.
"I just felt like we need to do this and we need to do this and we need to do this. So I wasn't like, I'm going to be the leader. I thought, well, no one else is going to do it. And I'm not going to sleep under the stars and I'm not going to go without water and I'm not going without fire."
Being the first to leave meant Tina was spared the experience of "Exile Island." That's one thing she says she won't miss.
"After one night, I thought, 'I don't want to do that because I kept getting up all night long and keeping the fire stoked.' The fire never went out when I was on the island," she said. "There were a couple of times when girls were getting frightened and I'd run out and start the fire and build it up and it made everyone feel more comfortable being with fire than without. And I thought, 'I don't want to go out there.'"
As for the fish she caught, she denies it was dead when she found it on the rocks.
"I'm the one that caught it. I definitely walked up on it and it was alive. And it was food. I thought it was great," she said.
The disappointment of being cast off "Survivor" is nothing compared to the pain Tina has been through at home.
She had been cast for "Survivor: Guatemala," but her son died in a car accident just six weeks before the start of the season.
That sadness is a burden she carried with her into Panama but chose not to share.
"I just didn't feel it necessary to bring it," she told Syler. "If I had made it further, I might have shared, but that's mine. ... I didn't want to use his death as a means to further myself."