You could make a case for a few different contestants in terms of who has played the best pre-merge game on Survivor: Worlds Apart (Jeff Probst gave his vote to Joe). But the season’s most colorful character has definitely been Shirin Oskooi. The 31-year-old Yahoo executive from San Francisco has fully integrated herself into the ways of the wild—whether that means going au naturel or watching monkeys get it on in a tree. With the merge just around the corner (Wednesday night at 8pm on CBS), Shirin was the automatic choice for this exclusive interview opportunity with a player still in the game—and she reveals what may have happened at the last Nagarote vote-off had Mike not thrown the challenge for Escameca.
EW: Congratulations! The rest of Nagarote found you less annoying that Max. Would I be correct in assuming that is not going to rank very high on your list of life accomplishments?
SHIRIN OSKOOI: Max and I are the kids who sit at the front of the class, who put in our 10,000 hours of practice, who dress up on holidays. That makes us annoying to this particular group of people on Survivor, and it makes us extremely accomplished in our lives and careers. So no, it’s not high on my rather long list of accomplishments. :)
Okay, let’s talk about monkey sex. What exactly about that experience compelled you to watch and then share all the details with the rest of your tribe? And after you get done answering that question, please share every last detail with us ‘cause I am actually kind of curious.
Monkey sex isn’t “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” straightforward. There’s a foreplay ritual that’s fascinating involving the female kissing the male then forcing her butt upon him over and over until finally the male gives in and plays ball. The male then goes back to eating like nothing happened, and the female runs away, moving on with her life. It was like being live in the studio audience of National Geographic.
At this point in the game I was bored and miserable. Joaquin and Tyler were openly mean and condescending to me, and we all tiptoed around them. Even Max (rightfully) avoided me to stay in good with the other men. The monkeys actually talked to me (and thankfully not about their sexual conquests unlike some other animals out there) and were a welcome distraction from…nothing. There is literally nothing they distracted me from because there is nothing to do most of the time on Survivor.
So you have sort of pioneered a new fashion style here on Survivor: the top-on, bottoms-off look. What is that all about and did anyone out there seem to take issue with you walking around bottomless?
I believe it is called “shirt-c—ing,” and Burning Man popularized the look. I was washing dishes just before sunset and didn’t want my bottoms to get wet. That would have been unsanitary and would have kept me freezing throughout the night. I was by myself down the beach doing the dishes in private when the men walked down to see what I was up to, much to everyone’s dismay. Allow me to take a stab at putting this in the context of the Collars theme: We are critiquing the methods of the working woman while fully clothed business men are sneering at the labor. In retrospect, I simply should not have washed the dishes.
Okay, we need more intel on the bunny you slaughtered to prepare yourself for Survivor. Where did you get this bunny and how did you kill it and what did you do with it after that?
Some friends of friends of mine put on a special rabbit slaughter and butchery class. It taught me a lot about the meat industry and the value of buying meat from a trusted source that treats animals humanely. I think it’s important for people to understand how their food is acquired and prepared, particularly as a meat eater. It happened to also serve the purpose of preparing me for Survivor where we do kill to eat: Joe’s lizard, Mike’s snake (and scorpion), and the chickens from the reward challenge.
You very well may have been saved by Mike throwing that challenge. Did you have any indication when it happened that he was throwing it, and do you think you would have gone home then had your tribe lost?
You didn’t get to see it, but Sierra put in a spectacular performance as well. We had no idea that Escameca threw that challenge—other than Kelly, of course. Going into that immunity challenge, Hali, Jenn and I had a deal to vote out Kelly if we had lost in order to weaken the original blue collars. Whether that would have actually happened, we’ll never know. I’m 100% happy with not knowing.
We’ll see what happens after the merge when it goes down this week, but what was your immediate reaction on A) making it to the merge, which is something all players strive for, and B) getting to shake things up and perhaps escape what may have been your doom at the next vote on Nagarote?
Making the merge was incredibly special for me. It’s a moment, a benchmark. It means I’ll get to participate in an individual immunity challenge. It means I was out there long enough to feel the physical toll of the game, which I see as a positive—an integral part of the experience. It means new life in the game.
Check out Shirin and Hali in an exclusive deleted scene from last week’s episode in the video player below. Also make sure to watch our exclusive sneak peek video of Wednesday’s tribe merge. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.