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Kelly's cup runneth over

Friday, January 26, 2001

Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

Sometimes hype can be deceiving. After the last "Survivor," it seemed like contestants Kelly Wiglesworth and Susan Hawk made up after Sue's devastating snakes-and-rats denouncement of Kelly at the final tribal council.

You remember the highlight of Sue's speech: "If I were ever to pass you along in life again and you were laying there dying of thirst, I would not give you a drink of water. I would let the vultures take you and do whatever they want with you with no ill regrets."

After "Survivor" ended, it appeared that Sue and Kelly had made peace, but you wouldn't think so if you heard her talk at a recent lunch in Pasadena, Calif., touting her forthcoming travel adventure series on E!

"We were never good friends at all" after the show ended, Kelly said. "I forgave her, but I never ever said we were friends again or anything. It was just, get over it. I'm not going to stoop to her level and badmouth her. I definitely forgave her, but I'll never forget that. Who needs friends like that?"

Kelly said she and Sue are civil when they run into each other at "Survivor"-related events, but they don't keep up with one another's lives. Sue may want more of a relationship than Kelly is willing to offer.

"The week before the final show, she sent me a big letter apologizing and asking my forgiveness and I think she did want to be friends," Kelly said. "I certainly have no interest in being her friend. But I will be civil to her."

Kelly, who won $100,000 for coming in second place on "Survivor," said watching the last episode was difficult.

"We were all in the green room [backstage before the live 'Survivor' town hall meeting show] and Gretchen had her arm around me, I had all my boys around me and Sue was sitting on a couch by herself," Kelly said. "Everyone started crying. They were utterly disgusted. Everybody came and sat by me and she sat on the couch by herself."

But Kelly has felt vindicated by the kindness of viewers.

"I'll go out to dinner and the waitress will come over and give me a glass of water and say, 'That's from the table over there,' " Kelly said.

And when she and Sue appear on talk shows together, Sue always offers her water, too.

"Everyone is so nice," Kelly said. "People tell me, 'You're the real winner.' You try for something so hard and it didn't happen, but it's coming back to me tenfold."

Regarding the latest iteration of the series, Kelly thinks the new cast probably learned how to play the game by watching her and Sue and Rich and Rudy, etc. And that will result in more treachery.

"I think it's going to be even meaner the next time around," Kelly said. "That's the point, you make friends and then you stab them in the back."

She jokingly offered another use for the cliff above a waterfall where the new tribal council meets in the Australian Outback.

"After you vote them off," she said, "you can go ahead and push them off the waterfall."

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