Survivor fan favorite Cirie Fields just cemented herself even more as an all-time legend – as if that was needed – after winning Peacock’s latest reality competition series, The Traitors, and walking away with the $250,000 prize all to herself.
The New Jersey native’s masterful social and strategic game shined as she made it all the way to the end as a traitor without being detected, and even banishing her fellow traitors – Big Brother winner Cody Calafiore, civilian Christian De La Torre and their recruit, former Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. – along the way.
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“I never really had to do much,” Cirie exclusively tells Us Weekly about having to turn on her own friends. “They would bring the names to me and I would just go along with it. I never really offered anybody’s name up.”
The four-time Survivor player also says she herself never really felt in trouble either. “My name never even came up. I think with Stephenie [La Grossa Kendrick] and Rachel [Reilly], [I had] those numbers, and then with Andie [Vanacore] – because everybody trusted Andie – to have such a close alliance, they had to kind of trust me by default,” she explains.
When Cirie made it to the final four, she chose to banish once more, sealing the deal for her fellow traitor Arie.
“I was thinking about it!” Cirie admits about just splitting the money with him. “I literally was like, ‘It’s over. It could be done. We could be finished. I’ll just finish it with Arie. Me and Arie will split it.’ And then I thought about it even further. I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, but Arie just got on this train, like, two days ago. I’ve been riding this train from the beginning. Yeah, maybe I won’t split it with Arie (laughs).’”
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Of course, the genius that she is, the Survivor: Panama alum had already spoken to her close allies Andie and Quentin [Jiles] and had a plan set in place, telling them, “It would just mean another Porsche or something for him, whereas for us, it would be something different because I had already spoken to them. I knew Quentin had a baby on the way. I knew Andie had a baby on the way. And when you hear giving somebody a new Porsche or a new car versus needs and necessities, it was like a given that if we had to banish [someone else], it would be Arie.”
In the end, her kind demeanor, amazing social skills and killer instincts secured her the win. “I first have to get over the shock of it for myself because it was so emotional during [filming], like, I didn’t really get to celebrate it then,” Cirie tells Us. “So my celebratory feelings are just coming really now. So I gotta get over the shock first (laughs).”
Scroll down to read our full interview with winner Cirie Fields where she talks about her path way to the end, whether she’s still down to compete on Big Brother, and whether she’s Team Sandra or Parvati!
The Traitors is available for streaming now on Peacock.
Us Weekly: Congrats, Cirie! You played a masterful game. How are you feeling this morning?!
Cirie Fields: I didn’t sleep at all last night (laughs). I started binge-watching this at 5:00 a.m. even though I know [what happens]. I don’t know how I feel. It’s bizarre, like, I know that I won and everybody’s gonna see that I won, but I don’t know. It’s a weird feeling, like, finally! Almost like an exhale.
Us: Finally! You can talk about it! I have to ask: Who on the show has actually watched you on Survivor because it seems like none of them based on how they played!
CF: Michael. I know Michael [Davidson] watched. I know the Big Brother people are aware. I don’t think the Bravo people – they probably didn’t, but a lot of the civilian people did.
Us: Clearly they didn’t do anything about it!
CF: I mean, what is there to do though (laughs)? Sharon, what is there to do?!
Us: You just play such an amazing social game. Everyone trusts you. I want to know: I feel like two of the people who knew just how dangerous you can be – Stephenie and Rachel – were also two of the people that trusted you the most. Do you think being on Snake in the Grass together helped?
CF: I think it totally helped to kind of seal up that alliance with me. It was an unspoken alliance with Stephenie, Rachel and I. I guess it’s just because we were just on the show together, so it definitely worked in my favor to have those two girls fighting for me. I heard Stephenie several times saying, “No, it’s definitely not Cirie.” I’m like, “Yes (laughs)!”
Us: I feel like the only time your name ever came up was in the beginning with Brandi [Glanville] and then Stephenie accidentally said it or whatever. Were you ever in danger? Did you ever feel like, “OK, I’m in trouble here,” or no?
CF: No, not really. Like you said, my name never even came up. I think with Stephenie and Rachel, those numbers, and then with Andie – because everybody trusted Andie – to have such a close alliance, they had to kind of trust me by default.
Us: I think you picked really good – what do we call them – “regular people” (laughs) to align with too.
CF: Absolutely. And it was just by luck, by chance, because they were sitting in my seat on the train. I joined them in the seat where they were and my ticket was there. So it was just by chance that I got to really meet Andie and Michael first, and kind of locked them in first.
Us: I want talk about the decision to vote out Kate [Chastain]. At the time – again, this was in a haze this morning – but I was like, “Does anyone think, ‘Hey, maybe the traitor’s a woman since we’ve only had men?’” And I was thinking maybe you needed Kate still. I was so clearly wrong (laughs).
CF: They did! Stephenie said they had discussions where they said it has to be a woman and it has to be a celebrity woman. So when Kate got voted out, we were down to the final four, and yeah, I had already discussed with Andie and Quentin [Jiles] and I knew that they would – obviously, Quentin’s not gonna vote for himself. And I knew Andie didn’t want to vote for Quentin, so I had to vote Kate.
Us: Got it. So was there any way that you were splitting this money or were you always gonna cut the last traitor?
CF: No, I was thinking about it! I literally was like, “It’s over. It could be done. We could be finished. I’ll just finish it with Arie. Me and Arie will split it.” And then I thought about it even further. I’m like, “Wait a minute, but Arie just got on this train, like, two days ago. I’ve been riding this train from the beginning. Yeah, maybe I won’t split it with Arie (laughs).” That’s literally what happened.
Us: Were you worried about what Arie could or would say at the end there?
CF: No, I wasn’t worried because I knew he wouldn’t just say, ”Cirie’s a traitor too.” And I had already – again, I spoke with Andie and Quentin and I knew that if there was any banishing left to be done, that we were all on the same page and that it would be Arie.
Us: OK, yeah, I don’t know if we saw those conversations but makes total sense. Can’t spoil the ending! When you said something along the lines of “Arie hadn’t earned it,” and then he revealed himself to be a traitor, I was surprised Andie and Quentin didn’t think, “Well, how does Cirie know this information?” They didn’t seem to bat an eye.
CF: Well, what I was saying is not that he didn’t earn it. What I said was that if he was to win it, it would just mean another Porsche or something for him, whereas for us, it would be something different because I had already spoken to them. I knew Quentin had a baby on the way. I knew Andie had a baby on the way. And when you hear giving somebody a new Porsche or a new car versus needs and necessities, it was like a given that if we had to banish [someone else], it would be Arie.
Us: So smart. I’m not sure we saw those conversations either, but I could be misremembering. Which banishment would you say was the hardest for you?
CF: You know whose banishment was really hard for me? Shelbe [Rodriguez]. Shelbe was so emotional and when it got to my turn to say whether I voted for her or not, when I said I voted for her, I saw a tear drop, and she said, “I loved you.” It was just, like, a lot. So I really felt … yeah, it was a lot. Rachel’s was a lot, but Shelbe, I felt it like, ugh, a dagger (laughs).
Us: Speaking of Rachel and even Cody, you really didn’t have to do much. Their names were out there and they were targets.
CF: I never really had to do much. They would bring the names to me and I would just go along with it. I never really offered anybody’s name up.
Us: And that’s why you are Cirie Fields (laughs)! But we have to talk about Cody. How were you feeling about being a traitor with him? And at what point were you like, “Yeah, we have to cut this guy loose.”
CF: I was OK until he got emotional about Ryan [Lochte] and you could see it on his face. And Quentin said he could see it, like, everybody could see it on his face. It’s like, “Come on, pull yourself together.” I know Cody to be a strong gamer. He won Big Brother. So I’m looking for that Big Brother winner to be playing. Not, you know, this under stress emotional wreck that we start to see unravel. And once he made that mistake with Kyle [Cooke] about Ryan leaving – unnecessarily – I was like, “He’s gonna mess it up for all of us.”
Us: He did wear it on his face a bit too, as Stephenie mentioned a few times.
CF: Yep. And it just got worse as the days went on. So yeah, I kind of knew his days were numbered. I knew he would self-destruct, as I knew Christian would self-destruct because he talked too much.
Us: Yeah, I felt like Christian was not long for the game.
CF: I’m surprised he made it pretty far though!
Us: Did you guys think about recruiting anyone else other than Arie? Why did you settle on Arie?
CF: Arie’s so mild-mannered and you know what, everybody else made it so blatantly clear that they despise traitors and they would never wanna be a traitor and yada yada yada. But the funny thing is, every last one of them asked me why I didn’t recruit them when I got home, like, “You should have recruited me!” I’m like, “Well, I didn’t think you wanted to by you the way you talked.”
Us: Assuming you would never pick Stephenie, even though she was an ally, based on her performance on the other show.
CF: Stephenie, I would never, because of what you said, she showed her performance in Snake in the Grass. I would never put her in a position to have to lie for us. But I wouldn’t mind taking Kate. Kate is hilarious! Kate is hilarious.
Us: I agree! People seemed to really dislike her, but I love Kate!
CF: I do too! She just has this dry humor. Kate is hilarious. Hilarious.
Us: Did you specifically want another celebrity recruited to maybe take the heat off you if needed? Was that part of your decision at all?
CF: No, not at all because they were looking for a celebrity woman, so Arie didn’t really fit that bill. We just took the path of path of least resistance and honestly, I didn’t think anybody would take the bait, but Arie did and we were thrilled.
Us: If you had gotten to the end with Cody or Christian, do you think you would’ve cut them or split the money?
CF: I don’t know. It depends on the scenario and what the suspicion was at the time because if they were under suspicion then it might’ve just played into my hand for me to cut them. It depends on a lot of scenarios for that one.
Us: Very true. I was surprised Arie just kind of gave up at the end. Did that surprise you?
CF: I wasn’t really surprised because I think once he knew he was gone, what better way to try to redeem yourself than by saying what he said. But it was already too late in my opinion, because we already went around to ask if we wanted to finish the game or banish again, and he was the first person to go and he said finish the game. So what he said after, after having the opportunity to finish the game and win – ‘cause all I had to do was say finish the game and me and Arie would’ve walked off into the sunset. However, now that you know you are going to be banished, to surrender yourself, it is kind of lackluster to me a little bit (laughs). But I love Arie.
Us: Do you think you would’ve done just as well as a faithful, or do you think you had to be a traitor to win?
CF: Oh, you know what? I don’t know. I think I would’ve done just as well as a faithful (laughs).
Us: I agree! You have really good reads on people.
CF: Exactly. So I think I would’ve done well either way. I would’ve just been splitting the money if I was a faithful.
Us: So what are the plans?! Your family must be so excited. How are you planning to celebrate?
CF: I don’t know what I’m going to do. I first have to get over the shock of it for myself because it was so emotional during [filming], I didn’t really get to celebrate it then. So my celebratory feelings are just coming really now. So I gotta get over the shock first (laughs).
Us: Just give it a few hours and let it settle in. People will be celebrating your win all over social media!
CF: Yes, give me some hours and let it all hit me, and then I could come up with something (laughs).
Us: So we talked before about you going on Big Brother. Is that something you’re still interested in?
CF: I would love to go on Big Brother! I think if I would’ve done Big Brother first – when I say that to the Survivor people, they say, “No, no, you’re supposed to come on Survivor” (laughs) – I feel like if I’d have went on Big Brother first, hands down I would’ve won.
Us: Finally, I have to ask: Cirie, are you Team Sandra or Team Parvati?!
CF: (Screams and laughs). I love both of them, but – if I’m gonna keep it a “but” with you, Sharon, and I like to keep it a “but” – I’m Team Parvati!!!
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