As a contestant on Survivor: Redemption Island, Andrea Boehlke is best known as the person that betrayed her island beau, joining with Boston Rob and the rest of his brainwashed minions to send poor Matt straight back to Redemption Island — even as he was trying to realign with them. (Ouch!) In truth, she was in a bit of a bad spot since Matt went and told Rob how the two of them had been approached about flipping — leading to Rob’s decision to once again cut the cord. Andrea did not do a lot else to distinguish herself that season, most likely being cast again for Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites (premiering Feb. 13 on CBS) simply to fill the necessary blond-in-a-bikini slot. However, when I spoke to her last May just days before filming began, Andrea struck me as both thoughtful about the game and someone who was ready to learn from her passive gameplay the first time around. Read on as the Favorite discussed how she planned to play differently, the player she was most worried about, and how she felt about shacking up with Phillip Sheppard again.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why are you going to win this time, Andrea? What do you have up your sleeve?
ANDREA BOEHLKE: I have a lot of shenanigans up my sleeve. I’m coming in a lot more aggressive this time, and I’m definitely in a better place mentally. I’m in the same place physically. I’ve done this already. I’m really, really excited. I’m not scared. Last time I was 50 percent exited, 50 percent terrified. I didn’t know what to expect. But this time I’m completely ready and I feel really optimistic.
EW: What’s your biggest regret about the last time you played?
ANDREA: My biggest regret about the last time is that I wasn’t willing to take any more risks. It was really tricky my season because if I would have done more strategizing with other people in my alliance I probably would have gotten voted out even earlier because it was kind of a tattletale season. So I felt really stuck. I do look back and think maybe at the merge I could have flipped with Matt. The problem though is that Matt ended up going back to my original alliance and telling everything that we had planned, so then if I had flipped that would have been flipping by myself and the numbers would not have been there anyway. So the whole season in general was really frustrating. But I think I would have been talking more and tried to work something out with Grant maybe. But I know so many of them were so buddy-buddy with Boston Rob that I would have been told on anyway.
EW: Matt confided in you early on and you turned your back on him. Do you think that hurts you here with the other players that saw that? Whenever you have played before you are going to be judged on what you did before, so how do you think that plays out?
ANDREA: It could go two different ways. People could either see me as, “Oh, Andrea. She was in Rob’s alliance, was kind of a follower, and got blindsided by Rob.” Or they can see me as “Oh, she totally betrayed Matt, lied to his face, and she also was pretty strong in challenges. She won the duel so she’s a threat. Let’s get her out of here!” It could go two different ways. I hope people realize, if they do see me as backstabbing Matt, that there was a reason and it was strategic and hopefully they don’t see me as only that. That’s definitely something I have to keep in mind though — that people might only remember me as that.
EW: I think you’re in a pretty good place. Often when you have returning players on all-star type seasons, people that are likeable and little bit under the radar — in the way you weren’t the kingpin of your season — tend to do pretty well. You did turn on Matt, but you were with a group of other people and it wasn’t like you flipped to a completely different group.
ANDREA: And I think I’m in good favor with the people that I see here returning. I know there are some people that can’t stand each other right off the bat. There are some huge personalities and people gunning for each other right away. I don’t have any enemies that I know of off the bat, so hopefully I’ll be safe in the beginning in terms of that. And also, I want be more strategic and come up with alliances that will get me farther in the game.
EW: Let’s talk about the other players here. Can you handle playing another season with Phillip? Can you mentally handle that?
ANDREA: You know, I was with him for 37 days so I know what it’s like, where he might be grating on a lot of these people that only saw him on TV and they don’t actually know what it’s like to live with him. So it is awful and it was hard, but because I’ve done it I know I can do it again, and it might actually be entertainment to watch how other people react to him. So I can maybe use that as an advantage.
EW: Survivor is often all about numbers, You have three Redemption Island people there. Is that a good thing for you in terms of a possible instant alliance, or does it make you too much of a target?
ANDREA: I hope that other people don’t look at us and say, “Oh, three people from Redemption Island.” But if you look closer you’ll see that Phillip and Francesca cannot stand each other. I remember Phillip on day 37 still talking about Francesca! Still talking about how she was going to watch the season and be so upset that he made it all the way to the end. He talked about her every day and how she was his nemesis. I don’t understand.
EW: Could he pronounce her name right on day 37?
ANDREA: No, he probably will never be able to. But they can’t stand each other, so I could be in between them because I get along with Francesca, and for the most part get along with Phillip and may have to make a decision at some point. If they could work with each other that could be great, but I don’t know that I see that happening.
EW: Tell me your thoughts on some of the other players and people you may want to get close to or stay far away from.
ANDREA: I’m really excited. When I saw Dawn I was really excited. She just seems like a really awesome genuine person that you can trust. I would love to align with Dawn and she is such a Survivor mom and she is someone I am really excited about. I’m leery about the younger girls. I’m leery about Brenda. I know she’s really strategic. She might see me as someone she wants to get out right away because I’m another young girl. And I see that with her. And if there ever comes a point where I need to flirt and get new fan boys on my side, Brenda is in my same league. Of course I have to meet her and see my vibe with her, but I’m very leery of Brenda. And Corinne I don’t really know very well. I just have to know that they could be gunning for me right away so I have to be really on my toes with the younger girls. I’m excited about Cochran.
EW: Will you trust him?
ANDREA: He seems like he’s easily persuaded by people, but if I get rid of the people that could persuade him to their side, maybe he might stick with me. Brandon, I don’t know. He’s a wild card for me because in his season he gunned for Mikayla right away. She didn’t even do anything wrong. So I’m like, are my shorts too short with him? Brandon is just kind of…well, you saw his season. Words cannot even describe.
EW: Any hesitation at all about coming back?
ANDREA: No, I was definitely gung-ho about coming back. I think for me it’s been a really good amount of time too. It still feels fresh. I remember everything. I remember how hard it was and essentially how much it sucked, but it was a long enough time that I could get a good enough grasp for the whole process and whole perception of what’s actually going to happen. There was a time where I maybe would have returned earlier when they were throwing around different season ideas but that would have been too soon. Now it’s a really good time and I feel like I’m more ready now than I would have been and probably ever will be.
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