I should hate Courtney Yates. I mean, really hate her. She shows up to play Survivor, aggressively goes out of her way to make no moves whatsoever, and then, when she somehow, someway makes it to the finals in China, makes zero effort to win. And then when invited back for Fans Vs. Favorites, says, “No thanks, not interested.” All that could be perceived as a slap in the face to the thousands of people who would do anything to play this game. But I can’t hate Courtney. In fact, I find her fascinating. Maybe it’s because I appreciate seeing someone on TV actually more emaciated than yours truly. Maybe it’s because she can show up on the set of Survivor Talk and start chugging disgusting smoothie concoctions just for the hell of it — no questions asked. But I think it’s something else. I think it is the fact that Courtney has no misconceptions about herself in the least. She is refreshingly honest and candid, not just about other people she is playing against, but about what see sees in the mirror as well. [Courtney on who is the most overrated person in Heroes Vs. Villains, plus exclusive on location video after the jump.]
This little back and forth tells you everything you need to know about Courtney. When I asked her in Samoa before the game started who was the most overrated person out there — giving her the perfect opportunity to talk smack about anyone she wanted — here is how she answered: “Is it bad form to say maybe I might be a little overrated? No allusions about my abilities, you know? Maybe they were just like short a blond. They weren’t sure Sugar was gonna show and they just needed another platinum. I don’t know.”
That is vintage, uncut Yates. If you could bottle that and sell it on the open market, it would fetch you a million dollars an ounce. There are a lot of people that show up on Survivor and beat their chests and talk about how awesome they are (hey, what’s up, Russell?). Not Courtney. She knows exactly who she is, as well as what she can and can’t do. Our discussion before the game contained zero strategy talk whatsoever. And believe me, I tried. But having no strategy is probably the best strategy for Courtney. Look how far it got her last time. Just keep your head down and go with the flow. No one thinks of Courtney as a threat, and if she can continue to convince them that she is no threat to do anything whatsoever, she could again get a free ride. “I feel like I’m playing with the big dogs here and I’m wrapped in bacon,” she told me. “I’m swimming in the shark tank covered in pork chops. This is a disaster, so if I make it past the first thing, aces for me.” Again, vintage Yates.
And you know Courtney is going to make good TV. When I was on location at the first immunity challenge, I had to keep myself from bursting out laughing when she attempted to drag part of a boat that needed to be assembled into the water before giving up and grabbing an oar instead, and then trying to get another part of the boat that was closer to the water, but then giving up on that as well and simply letting Russell and Danielle deal with it. Hilarious. What made it even funnier is that she also knew how lame it was and was cracking up herself. Any other contestant would have been busy making excuses. Not Courtney.
There is nothing I would love in the entire world more than to see Courtney and Russell go toe to toe, and considering that she referred to him as a “troll” on Survivor Talk this fall (after filming of Heroes Vs. Villains) that could be a possibility. Whatever she does, and however far she makes it, it’s sure to be entertaining. To be further entertained (Courtney in snorkel gear!), make sure to watch the video below. Fantastic stuff. This is the 15th in a series of daily profiles on the contestants of Survivor: Heroes Vs Villains. If you missed our first 14 (including Russell, Boston Rob, Cirie, and Coach), there are links to all those players below the video. And to enjoy interviews with all the Heroes and Villains, head over to our action packed Survivor video hub. Up next on Monday: Tocantins’ Tyson Apostol. Oh, and for Survivor scoop delivered right to you, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Okay, take it away, Courtney.…
Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS