Survivor Contestant, Alicia Rosa, Gets a Dose of TV Reality

What a difference a television season makes.

Last February, just days before ‘Survivor: One World’ aired, I had a chance to talk with contestant Alicia Rosa about why she wanted to be on the show and some of the things she learned from the experience. Just one day after the big finale I talked with her again. This time, we talked about how the deluge of attention from both fans and critics may have altered her perception of the reality TV adventure.

In what ways is ‘Survivor’ like real life?
It’s hard because I want to be everybody ‘s friend…but I loved Kim (Spradlin, this year’s winner) so much that I signed her check for a million dollars. I believed everything she said. So, the game of Survivor is way different than real life, and it’s only if you are able to separate those that you can win.

Did you know how you would be perceived by viewers?
It was a slap in the face to get all the negativity. I really thought I was funny, just joking and playing it up, but watching it on TV; I wanted to hide from the world because that’s just not who I am.

I had to surround myself with people who really knew true Alicia and not “Survivor Alicia.”

Do you feel that the criticism is fair?
I am not the person to blame it on the edit. If I said it, I own it. The edit is definitely not on my side though, and it shows a lot of negativity. It is disheartening to see that it was not shown that people loved me, that we were friends.

Was I mean on the show? Yes, I was trying to play up the bad girl character and I definitely crossed a line. I definitely wanted to be this bad girl because I knew I wasn’t as athletically fit (as my competitors) and couldn’t compete that way so I had to have my social game up and wanted to be intimidating. But, I could’ve still been a spitfire and sassy, but still played it classy.

Would you do anything different now that you’ve watched yourself?
First of all, if I played it again I would wear a sports bra and granny panties! I seriously must have the most blurred-out body parts in the history of ‘Survivor’!

But seriously, it truly is a game at the end of the day, and I really feel that I played up this ‘role’ but I went too far. You are on TV and you want to be somebody exciting to watch. People don’t know you and you are trying to win a million dollars. People are quick to judge, but we were all fighting for a million dollars, we were hungry and sleep-deprived and away from home.

Still, I made some mistakes with what I said about Christina (comparing her to a special needs student). I talked about that at the reunion. I hate that it came out that way because it is not what’s in my heart. I love my students (who are special needs students)…what I said, that person is not who I am.

This season was the first time in ‘Survivor’ history that the Final 5  were women, why do you think that happened?
That was something that I had wanted to have happen. I wanted to show that women could put all that cattiness aside and come together. We were dysfunctional in the beginning and losing until we came together.

I love that we represented women of all different shapes and sizes and colors.

I understand you are releasing an original song that will be available on iTunes on Wednesday, May 16.
It’s called “Free” and it’s a reflection of how I feel about myself and how I’ve been perceived on TV, about how I feel about all of the negativity that has been said by the public.

Alicia sang me a few verses, and I think you’ll want to check it out. 

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