Meet Survivor’s Venus Vafa (Exclusive)

venus vafa survivor interview season 46

Survivor returns for its 46th season this Wednesday, February 28, and The TV Watercooler had the opportunity to speak with Canadian castaway Venus Vafa ahead of the premiere!

Venus is a 24-year-old data analyst from Toronto, Ontario, and gives us a glimpse into her Survivor experience – including what it felt like getting dirty as a clean freak, what makes Canadians do well on the show, and the quality she looks for in an ally.

As a self-described “clean freak,” how did you handle the messiness of Survivor?

Oh yeah, there was so much growth in this journey! I had to like, spiritually detach myself from my cleanliness and just accept the dirt! I mean, the dirt and I become one at that point. I had to mentally block it out because otherwise, I would have driven myself insane the entire time.

Right? How do you even clean outdoors…

You don’t! Your nails are forever stained in gunk. And your mouth tastes disgusting all the time. So, it’s a great experience.

So, it’s fair to say that the first thing you did when you got home was take a shower?

A deep shower. I brushed my teeth, which was amazing.

You didn’t start watching Survivor until the pandemic, would you say that you had an advantage of absorbing all those seasons in a few short years versus others who watched it over 20 years?

Oh, 100%! It was fresh in my mind because I had binged the first 20 seasons during COVID-19 and then I continued watching after that. So, I had the benefit of having the “OG Survivor Era” fresh in my mind, as well as the new era [as well]. I was able to combine that knowledge and it really helped my gameplay a lot.

What aspect of the show were you the most nervous about?

Honestly, none of it was because I knew that it was going to be a tough experience. I knew it was going to be difficult for me, but that’s why I wanted to do it. I wanted that challenge, and for that reason, I wasn’t nervous.

I was going to take everything as a learning opportunity while I was in Fiji, and it was amazing. So yeah, it was not so much as nervousness, it was more so excitement.

With Canadians finding success on Survivor, what do you think makes us so good at this game?

They don’t see us coming! Not to get cancelled right away [Laughs]… Honestly, I feel like these Americans with their egos are very full of themselves and they think that this is their game. They think that they should be the next Jeff Probst!

But as a Canadian, you are more humble and come with a sort of gratitude for the game that I feel helps you sort of manoeuvre it in a way more lowkey kind of way, you know?  

What qualities did you look for in an ally?

Oh, I’m very much someone who looks for loyalty – and that’s something I can really tell on a person if they are going to be deeply loyal to me or if they’re just going to stab me in the back!

So definitely loyalty above all else. That’s the most important quality.

What qualities do you hope to be remembered by from the players and the viewers?

That I’m tough and no-nonsense!

And strong.

The whole reason why I went on Survivor and my whole journey is dedicated to the brave women of Iran who are going through a revolution right now. What I hope to be remembered for is for the conversation that I hope to stimulate by being there and by being another Brown face on one of the most popular reality shows in the landscape of media in the 21st century.

That is huge in and of itself. So, what I like to be remembered for is advocating for women, life, and freedom. That’s my entire journey.

Outside of Survivor, what are some of your favourite shows? What was the last show you binged?

What I have been waiting for all the episodes to come out so that I can binge it at once, is The Traitors (U.S. season two). It’s going to be my next favourite show! I’m a huge Parvati Shallow fan and she’s in this season, so I cannot wait to binge-watch that! I know [there will be] drama! I live for the drama!

My other favourite show is Drag Race! I’m obsessed with Drag Race Canada and the U.S. version. Those drag queens really inspire me in my own confidence, so it’s definitely one of my favourite shows.

Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Global and STACKTV. The series also airs on CBS and streams on Paramount+ in the U.S.


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