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Ta Ta, Teresa

Survivor: The Team In Africa -- Teresa Cooper
CBS
Flight attendant Teresa Cooper, the only remaining member of the original Samburu tribe, is the latest castaway to get the boot on Survivor: Africa. She joined Early Show Co-Anchor Jane Clayson to talk about her experiences.

Cooper admitted that she was disappointed that she didn't make it until the final four, and ultimately the end of the game. "I think that because of the way that things started out with our tribes being split, I realized I'm in trouble. But once Mark swapped things around, then I knew, I think can stay in it for the long haul. But ultimately the same tribes held to the end."

Clayson noted that the first alliances held strong.

Cooper agreed - to a point. "It's funny, our first alliances didn't. Because when we got Brandon and Little Bit - which is Kim Powers - and Frank and myself, I figured we could probably come back and take over. But Brandon decided to go with Lex, so their first alliance was stronger and, of course, ours wasn't. Unfortunately."

In a last-ditch effort to save herself, Cooper came clean with Lex about an earlier vote against him. Clayson asked what was the reason for it.

"I only had one option to go, and that was trying to get Lex and Kim Johnson to vote off Tom," she said. "From the minute I voted for him (Lex), I always said, 'What's the big deal? It was just one vote. One vote!'"

"I think for them, for the old Boran it (the vote against Lex) showed something's going on that we don't know about - we're losing control and I think that bothered him (Lex) more than anything is not having control. So from the moment I saw how upset not only he was, but the other Boran members were, I thought, you know, 'Oh my goodness. I need to let him know. But I think I'll wait until the perfect time.'"

She then revealed a little about her strategy. "Last night, I knew I was going to let him know before I was voted out. And all of a sudden to me it seemed, like, well... I asked 'Lex, am I going tonight?' and he said, 'Yes, T-Bird.' And I thought if nothing else, let me try this different strategy. I knew I was going to let him know that I voted for him anyway, and maybe it might show that the alliance that he thought was so strong - there's a little problem with it."

Cooper went on: "If Lex had said to me, 'T-Bird, was that you who had voted for me last night?' I would have said, 'Lex, it was.' Probably, that might not have been the best thing to do, but he never asked me. He just said, 'I know you're the real deal.' So I just kept looking at him, like, O.K."

"Lex is absolutely wonderful," she said. "He's a great guy. I think he's real sensitive, and I think it comes across a little bit like anger. But he's absolutely wonderful."

Clayson commented that while Cooper might have like Lex, it seemed like she loved Frank.

Cooper agreed, even though she eventually voted against him. "I love Frankie. Frank and I were very close. We were very god friends, and the vote I cast for him was very difficult. Frank had actually said, 'T-Bird, vote for me and hopefully you'll be able to stay in longer.' That just shows how much we cared for each other, and I'm sure he would have done the same thing had it been the other way."

Clayson wanted to know about the chicken - why didn't they just eat it?

Cooper explained that they would have needed at least three to four hours to cook it, and that they never knew when they would be called up for a reward or immunity challenge, so they didn't want to risk it. Besides, she said, "Chasing chickens was just something to do."

Perhaps the biggest winner Thursday night was a hospital in Kenya. As part of the reward challenge, Lex delivered HIV and AIDS treatments to a free clinic there.

It was particularly meaningful for Cooper. "I lost my brother 12 years ago to AIDS. At that time, very little was known. There were some treatments, and there still are, but there is not a cure. Bringing the supplies to the hospital was very special to me. It brought it all back home."

"I had tears of joy when I saw the supplies," she said. "I thought, maybe I can give back a little. You always want to make a difference."

As a Survivor,, she did.


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