History was made on Survivor: Nicaragua last night when not one, but two players threw in their buffs at tribal council. Quitting the game is nothing new to viewers but after 28 miserable days with virtually no food and harsh conditions, bad girl NaOnka Mixon and purple Kelly (aka Kelly Shinn) let it be known to their tribe mates early in the day that they wanted out. Both cited physical and mental exhaustion as the reason.
Known for her outrageous shenanigans, could NaOnka have just been pulling another stunt in the game with her shocking announcement? Many thought yes, but once she’d surrendered her hidden immunity Idol (one she had fought so hard to get) to Chase, viewers realized she might actually be serious about her decision – a decision host Jeff Probst was not pleased with.
“I had just had it,” NaOnka tells In Touch. “My mind was made up. That weather was getting worse and Kelly looked like she was about to break.” Sentiments echoed by Kelly. “I could not physically be there anymore,” she reveals. “It was tearing me down. “
That night, with tribal council in full swing, both women stayed true to their word and advised Jeff they would be quitting. And despite some stern words from the host regarding their decision, they were added to the jury who will vote on who wins the prize money. “The fact we get to stay is awesome,” says NaOnka. “We get a say in who gets the million dollars. Purple Kelly and I played the hell out of this game and lasted 28 days of pure hell.”
Today neither player regrets their decision nor how they played the game, especially purple Kelly, who knew nothing about Survivor when she auditioned. She also wants to clear the air surrounding bad-gal NaOnka and those onscreen antics that outraged some viewers. “They showed a lot of bad stuff with Na, “ she tells In Touch. “But she kept a lot of positive energy around the camp. They can say what they want, but she was a lot of fun out there and when you have someone to make you laugh when times are hard, that means everything.”
For more with NaOnka and Kelly, click here.
Name: Kelly Shinn
Current Residence: Mesa, Ariz.
Name: NaOnka Mixon
Current Residence: Los Angeles
Quit: December 1
Viewers did not peg you two as quitters, so what was the deciding factor in leaving the game?
NaOnka: The weather was intense and each day it got worse and worse. The tide was getting higher and our little lake broke into the ocean and the cold… the shorts I wore were already too small for me and as I got skinnier it got worse. Also, I am anemic and I’d shake to the point Chase would hold me to calm me. I had just had it. At the last challenge Benry told me, “Please try in this challenge, just because you are going home, don’t let the team down, I want to eat.” But my mind was made up. That weather was getting worse and Kelly looked like she was about to break.
Kelly: Na pretty much covered it. The weather was unbelievable and to be stuck in a dress in the poring rain for hours on end, and the no food, that stuff really gets to you. And on top of that I was so physically ill and that was the breaking point. I could not physically be there anymore, it was tearing me down.
It seemed Jeff tried everything to make you stay, how mad was he at you both?
Kelly: I don’t blame Jeff for what he said, he is trying to put together a great show. But during tribal council he may sit in the rain with us, but after that he gets to go home and eat and be in a bed. He was always very respectful about the decision and admitted he didn’t know what we were going through, so he understood.
NaOnka: Oh, this was not the first time Jeff said something harsh to me. Every tribal he would say something, so this was the first one he was actually nice to me. There’s nothing Jeff could say that would shock or surprise me. I respect Jeff a lot. He’s very smart and can see straight through you when you are lying. So I think he respected me for being me. The fact he let us stay on the jury showed how big a guy he is as he holds a lot of power in the show and the game.
NaOnka you upset a lot of viewers with your antics and how mean you were. Is that really you?
NaOnka: That was me playing Survivor. Me stealing cause I was hungry and me alone at a chest — I am going to take stuff out of it. I took Fabio’s (Jud’s) socks because he burnt my socks. But I wanted to be warm, he had two pairs of socks and then I had two pairs. Some of the things I did were crazy throughout the game, but I had a fun time watching myself act a fool – it was awesome. People always ask me if that was really me, and then why did you push the girl with one leg down, it’s always the same thing. I just tell everyone it was a game for a million dollars.
Kelly: When stuff went missing, I never thought of NaOnka. I started to put two and two together at the time, but still thought it can’t be Na. Watching it and seeing how she’d strategically planned the conniving devil moves she made, she knew what she was doing. I had no idea and it killed me to watch (laughs). I thought she might calm down, but she got worse, and not in a bad way, just more outrageous every episode. She never failed to entertain.
Both Brenda and Marty wanted badly to be in the game, how was facing them both after you quit?
NaOnka: Kelly and I were nervous about facing them. Especially Brenda. I didn’t care about Alina; I kind of cared about Marty, but Brenda? I had just stabbed my best friend in the back and sent her home and the next day I am giving up the immunity idol I could have used to save her and quitting. I didn’t know if she would even speak to me. There would be a lot of questions that I’d have to answer and just respect her.
Kelly: Alina and I were not close, but Brenda I felt was a true friend so I was glad that she and Marty were open to Na and I, and listening to us and being there for us it meant a lot. Going into it I didn’t know what to expect, it was very nerve- wracking.
What was the first thing you did after quitting?
Kelly: I ate about 15 Mrs. Fields cookies. And slept and slept. I really just tried to recover from everything I had physically gone through and was in the bathroom being sick for days. Na can vouch for that, I was miserable.
NaOnka: I ate the cookies as well. They were our merge cookies so they were important to us. So there were a bunch of those and other food, then a shower that lasted an hour and a half. Reality was a bit scary for us.
How long did it take you both to recover?
NaOnka: Till today, I am not over it.
Kelly: Mentally, every time I think about it I get crazy again. I don’t think I will ever recover. Physically it has been a slow process. I was miserable for weeks afterwards and getting home I was in and out of the doctor’s office. To this day, certain foods I am still working on reintroducing to my diet. I don’t think I am fully recovered. Every time it starts raining, I go crazy and have not been anywhere without a raincoat or sweatshirt since being back in the real world. Until I can leave the house without a sweatshirt and umbrella, I don’t think I’ll be recovered.
Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.