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Pop Crave spoke with the first eliminated castaway of Survivor 45, Hannah Rose, who quit the game on Wednesday night’s season premiere.

Check out the full exit interview below!

Courtesy of CBS

During your confessional at the end of the episode, you mentioned being afraid of the audience’s reaction to your bowing out. How have you taken the response so far since it aired?

So it’s just been this morning; you know, watching the show was an amazing experience. Like, I regret nothing. I regret nothing. I’m so proud of myself in doing what I did. But yeah, I’m not even on Instagram, Twitter, or Tik Tok, so I have a very limited exposure to what people are saying. But people are finding ways to contact me via my work, and yeah, it sucks. You know, I have so much deeper respect for celebrities and people [like that]. I just don’t understand people who make a point to, like, tell you awful things about you. But maybe that’s just me. Maybe that’s naive. So anyway, this morning has been tough. But also, I regret nothing, and talking about it in these interviews has been super helpful because I’m like, I’m so glad I went, I’m so glad I did what I did, and I met the people that I’ve met. To me, it’s a little delusional that you think I took someone’s spot that wanted to be there, when part of the reason I quit was so that the other people on my tribe could keep playing. But, you know, that’s fine. Um, yeah, that’s how I feel.

You spoke about having nicotine withdrawals while on the island, on top of not eating. For fans who still might not understand your decision, can you explain just how badly that affected you out there?

Yeah. I can’t believe they aired the nicotine withdrawal comment. That’s getting a lot of traction, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’m sorry, mom and dad.’ And I was kind of joking, but I think [it was] the deprivation. I mean, not having any food, and like, y’all didn’t see us trying to open coconuts without a machete; no food for three days straight; no sleep for longer than that because of before the game started. And then also going through this, the only way I can describe nicotine withdrawal… and I don’t smoke, it’s just like nicotine packets. It’s still nicotine, but I don’t smoke. It’s like an insanity in your head of every other minute being like, ‘It’s fine. I’m gonna rationalize my way out of this.’ And I think it’s what I explained in some of my confessionals. I was like, ‘This feels like addiction withdrawal,’ in that every other minute, my brain is like, ‘You could have a hamburger tonight. You could sleep in a bed tonight.’ And then I’m like, ‘No, no, I’m not going to do that.’ And you know, I got sober young. I know what it’s like to really want to loophole my way through things. But that’s what it felt like. It felt like, ‘Hannah, you don’t have to live this way,’ and then, ‘No, I’m on Survivor, and I made it; I have to do this.’ And then, I realized at tribal, the only reason that I would have stayed would be to save face on national television so that people don’t judge me. And if there’s anything that I am, it’s authentic, and I’m going to choose my gut every single time. Maybe that makes me an awful survivor, but I don’t regret it.

I know those tribal councils are edited down quite a bit, so I’m curious if there was any pushback from Jeff that we didn’t see, considering how historically disappointed he’s been in players that quit.

Oh, my God, that would have shattered my soul. Yeah. So the back and forth with me and Jeff was probably around 25 minutes, and we saw one and a half minutes. And I was really surprised. I mean, I was prepared for him to be like, ‘So you’re going to come out here and be a quitter?’ I was prepared for Daddy Jeff to shame me, and he didn’t at all. I don’t know if it’s just because he’s a really nice guy or if it’s because I spent a lot of time explaining what I was experiencing and why, and that to me, my whole thing the whole time was “courage over comfort.” I thought courage over comfort meant braving the wilderness of Survivor over the comfort of home, and at tribal, it hit me: courage over comfort is saying people aren’t gonna hate me. But my courage is listening to that and not taking this opportunity away from the person I know is going home, right? And I said that to him, and I don’t know if I was remotely articulate. And you know, at one point, he was like, ‘Hannah, what’s coming up for you?’ And I was like, ‘I’m not listening. I’m thinking about food.’ I said to Jeff, ‘I just don’t want you to shame me,’ and he was like, ‘I would never do that.’ He was like, ‘You should absolutely not prioritize what the millions of people watching are gonna think; it doesn’t matter what they think.’ And I was like, ‘Thank you so much,’ and we hugged. When he snuffed my torch, we hugged. And then I walked down the alleyway, and I was like, ‘Woo!’ I have never felt joy like that in my entire life. And relief, honestly.

At the marooning, Emily was very clear in that she felt Bruce had an advantage in the game as a returning player. What was your initial reaction to seeing him on that boat, as well as Emily’s assessment of him?

Probably on par with my whole experience of the game, but when I first saw Bruce, I cried. I was like, ‘Oh my God, Bruce is back! He’s a famous person!’ And then I didn’t think anything else of it because I was not thinking strategically at all because I was so anxious. I’ve never experienced anxiety to that level as [I was] standing on that barge. I was crying on the barge. Brandon and I were crying on the barge. And so then Emily starts going at him, and I think at one point the camera pans to me, and I’m like, [cringe face], which is just my face all the time whenever Emily’s coming at someone. And so in the moment, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m very uncomfortable with confrontation.’ In hindsight, and knowing Emily from being in the game with her, I think that’s amazing. I think it’s amazing and courageous. And like, yeah, is it rough around the edges and maybe not strategically the best to come out that strong? Sure. Is she abrasive? Yes. She’s also so amazing and so courageous, and I will go to war for Emily.

By the same token, how did you feel about her painting Kaleb and Sabiyah together as a duo so early on?

Yeah, I mean, listen. I agree with Sabiyah where she said we didn’t ask to be the ones doing Sweat and Savvy, right? But if you look at our tribe, I think that the internet calls us DeLulu, like, just delusional. I mean, we are just such a trash [tribe]. Personality-wise, love us. We are a trash tribe. I mean, look at Reba and Belo, and then at Lulu, and you’re like, ‘Is this the Brains tribe?’ Like, what’s happening here? And no, it’s not. So when you look at our tribe, Kaleb and Sabiyah are clearly the strong ones. They were willing to help build the shelter, to do Sweat and Savvy. They are workhorses, whereas I’m pretending to sweep the camp to look busy. You know what I mean? Like just a different personality. And so I don’t disagree with Emily either. Like they were a duo. They were together because they were the strong ones, and Emily really wanted to break up that duo. The tiny part of my mind that was strategically thinking was like, ‘I don’t want to get rid of them. We can’t even win a challenge with them. Why would we get rid of them so early on?’ But Emily’s point was [that] they’re just gonna pick you off, which was also valid. So… I just love Emily.

Courtesy of CBS

You were involved in both conversations to take out Kaleb and Emily. Were you already checked out during those moments?

Oh, my God, I was kind of just like a fan. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m scrambling before tribal.’ Again, not a great survivor. It was hard for me to be like, ‘Yeah, live and die, Survivor.’ I was just like, ‘We’re scrambling.’ And also, Kendra was there; Kendra from Belo was at our beach! That was a huge piece. I’m like, uh! Basically, it was going to be Emily or Brandon. I was telling Emily, ‘Yes, I’m so down for a Kaleb/Sabiyah vote,’ and then she would turn around and I would just be like, [giving a look], because I was not. So it was gonna be Emily or Brandon, which I was already feeling badly about because they both really wanted to be there. And then at one point, it was like, ‘Well, Brandon is gonna play the Shot in the Dark, so we should vote for Brandon,’ and I was like, no fucks given. I’m not writing Brandon’s name down. It’s day three, and I was like, ‘I’m not writing his name down.’ And they were like, ‘Hannah!’ So then I was gonna write Emily’s name down, and I just remember feeling really badly about it. I know people will be like, ‘It’s Survivor.’ Like, okay, you go out there and cut the throats of people that you’re surviving with. Respect to all Survivor players. No respect if you haven’t done it. It’s just so different than I possibly could have anticipated. And so it probably would have been Emily, but Kendra had a secret vote, so it might have been Brandon. And not knowing, I mean… Emily’s face just looking at me and being like, ‘You promise I’m good?’ and I’m like, ‘Damn, she really wants to be here.’ [Meanwhile,] I’m sitting at tribal, like, ‘I wonder if we’re gonna be able to open a coconut.’ Yeah, I didn’t want to take their spots in this game.

Speaking of Kendra visiting Lulu prior to the vote (which was edited out of the episode), what was your encounter with her like?

Yeah, so my judgments of Kendra before meeting her were so off and a reflection of my own shit. It was just a reflection of me being judgmental because she exudes this positive, carefree, enthusiastic energy, which I don’t know if I exude any of. But I think I was threatened by her, just like happiness, because I was so anxious. So then when I actually met her, she gets to Lulu Beach, trash beach, everyone’s saying hi to her, I walk into the jungle, and I’m like, ‘I’m not doing this.’ And I’m so glad they didn’t show that because, like, again, I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not who I am. I’m being an asshole.’ Anyway, I went up to her, and we met, and I was like, ‘I just want you to know, I’ve been a really big bitch about you, and I’m really sorry.’ And she was like, ‘Girl, it’s okay!’ and then we bonded, and I was like, ‘I’m obsessed with you!’ And then she would just be in all the conversations about the vote. I didn’t know she had a secret vote; I found out later. Again, it makes me even more glad that I did what I did and [that] I threatened my tribe to vote me out and quit. I know that it’s a quit. It’s fine. Because I think with Kendra’s secret vote, it might have been Brandon.

How did you plan on moving forward in the game had you stuck it out?

Woof, I mean, I would love to be like, ‘This was my plan!’ And I had all these plans during pregame. I had so many plans, and then getting out there, it was like, I couldn’t function. And I’m not proud of that. But I’m like, that’s who I am. I think I probably would have played a more passive game. Like, obviously, I wasn’t as outspoken as Emily; the confrontation was making me uncomfortable. I think I would have allied with probably everyone, and then it would have bit me in the ass. I just don’t think I’m a very good survivor. And, you know, watching the game from home, I thought I would be. And I’m not. I don’t know what I would have done. I don’t know; I just wanted to eat. And even now, thinking about it, I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s valid. I don’t know how people do it. Props to them. They’re amazing and resilient.’

Did you have any clarity once you took your first bite of food at Ponderosa? At that point, how did you feel about your decision to leave?

So my fear was anticipation of how it would be received. It was not, ‘Am I questioning making that decision? Was it worth it? A million dollars, blah, blah, blah.’ I told Jeff verbatim, ‘This ain’t it. You can’t pay me a million dollars to stay another minute in this game.’ Ugh, Daddy, Jeff. And, you know, when I left and was at Ponderosa, I took a couple of days to journal every single moment of the game and then all my thoughts and feelings. If I read that now, I don’t even have to, but if I read that now, I’m like, ‘I would have done great on Big Brother!’ You know? That would have been great for me. It was not for me, but I’m so glad I did it. And I regret nothing. And you get to watch Emily and Brandon keep playing!

It’s funny you say that. I also think you’d do great on Big Brother!

I will never do it. I will never do it.

Now that all is said and done, what do you make of your experience overall?

I think my plot synopsis when people ask is: The game itself was so hard and not fun. The friendships I made [and] the connections I made were the best. This whole process, from the very beginning of applying to coming home and having this second family, knowing what I know, I would still do it again. I mean, I will never do it again. But like if I went back in time, I would do it again. I learned so much about myself, and I don’t think that I’m weak or a “quitter.” Like all the things people are shouting at me on the internet. I’m like, you know what? I was myself, and a lot of you aren’t gonna like that. I did the best I could with what I had. And I got to hug Jeff Probst. So, done.

Courtesy of CBS

Check out the video format of our interview with Hannah here.

Survivor airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on CBS and Paramount+.