Survivor Winners at War snub: Tina Wesson talks season 40 on RHAP

Survivor winner Tina Wesson, - (Photo by Mark Johnson/Getty Images)
Survivor winner Tina Wesson, - (Photo by Mark Johnson/Getty Images) /

Tina Wesson, winner of the second season of Survivor, didn’t make the final cast of Winners at War. She went on RHAP to try to explain what happened.

It was a little bit of a shocker for an all-winners season not to include the first man a woman to win Survivor. With everything that happened in Island of the Idols, we understand why Richard Hatch didn’t make the final cast, but what about Tina Wesson?

The Australian Outback champion and the fourth-place finisher in Blood vs. Water talked with Rob Cesternino about her season 40 casting rollercoaster over at RHAP. If you haven’t listened to this interview yet I encourage you to do so, it was a fun one! Here are some highlights from Tina’s comments.

She was asked back for three potential season 40 themes

One thing Tina wanted to make clear was that when Jeff says “we called so and so” it’s not Jeff calling these people himself. Whenever Tina gets contacted about Survivor, it’s always someone from the casting team. They called her months before season 40 news broke out and asked Tina if she would be interested in returning.

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Tina immediately said yes. The only timeframe she wouldn’t agree to return is right after she played. Once she has a year or two recovery time, she is good to go again. The casting team told her they were considering three different themes for season 40. Tina figured that one of them was an all-winners season, but unfortunately, they didn’t tell her what the other two were. Legends? Old School vs. New School? Winners vs. Legends?

Frustration with the casting team

After that initial call, Tina got no word from anyone for a long time. She began to feel anxious and worried because it was getting close to the filming dates and she didn’t know if she would be on or not! She decided to call them herself, and they said that they were still working things out. A little later, very close to the departure date, Tina got notified that she won’t be part of season 40.

Tina is disappointed to be excluded

When she was told no from the casting team, she figured that they weren’t doing an all-winners season then. When she found out about Winners at War, she felt hurt. That said, Tina still has that infectious positive attitude she brought to Survivor and isn’t bitter towards the show. She understood coming into it that this casting process is often rough with poor communication and lack of explanation.

Survivor: Tina Wesson
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 15: Tina Wesson attends CBS’ “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Season Finale at CBS Television City on December 15, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images) /

Was contacted about pre-game alliances

It was interesting to hear that several castaways did reach out to her before season 40, trying to feel her out and potentially form pre-game alliances. Tina didn’t go into a ton of details on this, but she did say that Sandra got in touch with her! So it seems that Sandra was busy in her short time between Island of the Idols and Winners at War.

Who would have she aligned with?

Similar to Yul, Tina’s strategy would have been to align with the outsiders and those who weren’t as connected to the other winners outside of the game. She mentioned names like Sophie, Michelle, Adam, and Ben. She’s also good friends with Ethan, so she would have loved to work with him. Tina is excited to see him out there and said that Ethan would have been the only person she would give up her spot on the show for.

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It is sad not to see Tina out there for this landmark season, but she is still excited to watch this winner drama unfold and so should we. With all of the people the casting team was considering, they might decide to do another returning players season fairly soon. If they do, there is a chance that we could see Tina for a fourth and final time!