Eighteen players vied for the million dollars on Survivor: One World this season, but in truth, 17 of them never really stood a chance. 29-year-old bridal shop owner Kim Spradlin turned Samoa into her own personal domination station, and in the end, the jury said “I do” when voting to give her the victory. (Only bitter Troy and confused Leif opted to vote for runner-up Sabrina instead.) Now $1,100,000 richer after winning both the game and the fan favorite vote, Kim took a few minutes out from her sleepless morning to dissect her own game and reveal whether she would consider doing it all over again.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First question: Where’s the hidden immunity idol you never used?
KIM SPRADLIN: You know what? I gave it to Troy! I thought about bringing it out at the final Tribal Council and be like “Hey I had this since day 12 and never even needed it to play it,” but I decided that sort of felt like pouring salt on the wound for people that felt betrayed. So as soon as I got back to Ponderosa that first night I gave it to Troy because I thought it might mean the most to him out of everyone there.
How worried were you about the possibility of your peers being infected with Bitter Jury Syndrome?
My gosh, so worried. Honestly, at the actual final Tribal Council, I was kind of pleasantly surprised. Obviously you had Kat and Alicia who I thought were going to be the most angry who kind of stood up and said “vote Kim” with their Kim campaign buttons, and that was awesome. And I walked away from that feeling really good. But as time went on and I watched the show I got really paranoid that more people were probably angrier than I thought, so I was genuinely expecting to see Sabrina’s name come up five times
Are you surprised that Sabrina got more votes than Chelsea?
I thought Chelsea was my biggest competition the entire time through the game. I honestly never thought it was going to come down to Sabrina and I. I thought it was going to come down to Chelsea and I, like J.T and Stephen, and that hopefully I might pull more votes than Chelsea. But after the final Tribal Council I knew that Chelsea probably didn’t get a vote. That became pretty clear as we sat there.
Will Troyzan simply never be able to admit that you owned him in this game?
Ohhhhhh, I don’t know. He’s just struggling right now. I honestly love Troy. I think he’s a cool guy and this was a big dream of his, and I think he’s having a little bit of a hard time coping with the way it all went down.
For me, your best move was getting Troy to vote out Mike. Was that the key of the game for you?
I think that was a bigger power play but I really do think it was the week we sent home Jonas. There were a lot of people who did not want Jonas going home, including Sabrina, Chelsea, and Jay. I felt like he was such a close ally with Troy and if he had three more days with Troy it may be me going home instead of Jonas. I think that was the first really key move, and then the second one, we already had the number to take out Mike.
As dominant as your performance was, there are so many times and opportunities over the course of 39 days for things to go wrong. What was your worst move in the game?
Well, up until last night I thought it might have been taking Sabrina. But my scariest moment was the whole thing with the helicopter ride and not taking Kat. I should have sent Chelsea back to camp. I knew how solid she was, and Kat absolutely could not handle that.
You kept talking about getting rid of Chelsea at various points in time but never did. How close were you really to getting rid of her?
You have so much time to think. I definitely ran all scenarios. I never wanted to fall so in love with another player that I couldn’t see clearly what the threats and dangers of keeping that person around were. I did think Chelsea was my biggest threat and I did really think through whether it was stupid to keep her, and I decided if people were going to respect what I did, I was going to win, and if they didn’t, there was going to be someone in the final three that could beat me, and I would rather it be her.
Did telling Chelsea about your hidden immunity idol sway your decision to keep her because you worried that by not giving it to her and voting her out, that would make her a jury vote against you?
Definitely. And me keeping Chelsea and Sabrina at the end, that was half the decision. Sabrina had been threatening me — every time we were voting someone off, she made sure I knew that she was not going to be voting logically for the best player. She was going to be pissed. That didn’t seem like a good person to send to the jury, and I had a good idea that I had Christina’s vote, so it kind of just felt like let me sit here with the people that share the blame with me as opposed to random people where I’m not sure how it will shake out.
It was a dominant performance on every level — social, strategic, and physical. How would you stack yourself up against the Boston Robs and Tom Westmans and other people that have played so well?
It’s so hard. I feel like I can’t clearly watch and judge my season. It’s the hardest thing to see it objectively. I understand the comment where it felt like it was a little boring because it felt so dominated. I also feel like people give me too much credit. I’ve been saying that from the beginning. I just went out there like anybody else hoping not to go home first and kept looking up thinking, God, this is going really well. This couldn’t be going better. I don’t know how I would play against a different group of people. You change one thing and I could go home any week against someone else.
Would you play against a different group of people if they asked you to come back?
Of course. How do you say no to that?
Okay, the million dollar question, or I suppose the $1,100,000 question: What are you going to do with the money?
I had tried so hard not to think about that because I did not want to be disappointed last night, but I definitely have some bills to pay, some small bridal shops I’m excited to put some money into. And spruce up a little bit. I’m going to have some fun with it. I didn’t come from a ton of money, so just getting myself set up in a better way — that’s really appealing to me. And getting to be generous with it with my family and friends.
To read Dalton’s recap of the Survivor: One World finale, click here. Also, make sure to read Jeff Probst’s take on the finale here, and also check this article out for some bonus insight from the host on the big twist for next season, Survivor: Philippines. Click on the video player below for an exclusive deleted scene from the finale and for more Survivor news and views all year long, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.