Exclusive Interview: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Natalie Cole: ‘I Could Have Been Shown As A Heroic Character’

Survivor‘s Natalie Cole might be a lot of things, but one thing she is not is uninteresting.

If you missed any of the action, you can catch up with our Episode 5 Recap, as well as checking out the Podcast below.


Exclusive Interview: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Natalie Cole:

Natalie Cole wasn’t long for this game, but man was she a hoot-and-a-half to watch. In fairness, she was given perhaps the most uphill battle of anyone on this cast, given the fact that she is by far the oldest contest this season, nine years older than the next closest in age (that would be Mike White). But she quickly showed that age wasn’t the only thing that was going to set her apart. Her abrasive, brash demeanor was instantly noticed by her Goliath tribe mates, and she became a target not because of how good a player she was, but because some of the others simply could not stand her.

Natalie would give orders around camp, and did not seem to have many personal connections. She did survive her first Tribal Council, when Jeremy Crawford was voted out after attempting to help Natalie understand how she was being perceived by others. And despite finding herself on the majority of her tribe after the swap, Natalie was ultimately voted out seemingly because Mike just could not go on one more day with her in the game.

She’s definitely been the most polarizing player so far this season, with some loving her as a character or admiring her no-holds-barred approach to life, while others have despised her and were jumping up and down last night when she was sent packing. Natalie left the game with her pride intact (and with her jacket) and I had the chance to speak with her today on the FilmSurvivor Podcast (the full audio of which you can find and download at the bottom of this article). Here are some highlights from the interview:


On all the things that were said about her on the show, and which ones she thinks are true and/or untrue:

Natalie Cole: I don’t believe I can attempt to fully unwrap the very powerful narrative that’s been told. And that narrative was very clear to me from the preview forward, that I was a Goliath…my singular verbal influence can’t change what has been told. So I can’t say that something is accurate, you know, some of the stuff that you saw or things that you said, I did say at one time or another. The key is, when did I really say that and what was it about? And also I know this. I felt like I was under attack, in fact, I know that I was. I was verbally abused and belittled the entire time from Jeremy. So I was in defensive mode. I felt like an abused woman and I was protecting myself, and in doing so I became further isolated and then ostracized…with the hand I had been dealt, I thought I had played it fairly well.

Exclusive Interview: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Natalie Cole:

On whether or not her age played into her not fitting in at camp:

Natalie: That didn’t factor in for me, I did expect [the cast] to be younger. It’s always been younger…so I wasn’t surprised by that. 

On if there were any surprises as to how she was portrayed or what she saw on TV:

Natalie: Well event the order of Tribal Council last night, it rolled a little differently, so I was surprised by that. And it was more traumatic at Tribal then what was shown. Even though I wasn’t blindsided, just the way they went about it…what was very, very surprising is that I could have been shown as a heroic character in a number of regards, and not any of that got shown. So how it’s edited, at the end of day, was surprising to me. It was the negative moments that I had, amplified.

Exclusive Interview: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Natalie Cole:

For much more from Natalie Cole, including my full interview, please listen to the latest episode of the FilmSurvivor Podcast by clicking here.

Remember! The next episode of Survivor: David vs. Goliath is next Wednesday, and be sure to check back here for my recap and reaction, as well as for my weekly podcast exit interview!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter – @tomsantilli – and on Facebook, for all of the latest Survivor coverage, interviews, and movie reviews.


Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe/David M. Russell