September 25, 2012 2:24 PM | By C. Joan Porter
Survivor Philippines: Exit interviews

Denise Stapley

Denise Stapley (© CBS)
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Denise Stapley, 41, was crowned the winner of the 25th season of Survivor on Sunday night. While there was no comically large cheque to mark the occasion, the sex therapist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had a lot to celebrate with her fellow competitors and the jury who gave her the win. MSN Canada spoke to Denise about her final days of competition and what's next.

Hi Denise!
Hey Joan - how are you doin' today?

I'm well but I'm sure you're much happier than the rest of us today.
[Laughs]You know, I might be. I'm feeling pretty good this morning. Life is okay here in California. 

Excellent! I guess you're winding down after all these interviews now and going to head home for the holidays?
Yep. We're trying to wind things down here. We'll be heading back home to Iowa and life will hopefully just settle down for a bit and we'll get to breathe and enjoy this. 

But does life actually go back to normal once you win Survivor?
I don't know if it'll be ever quite the same, but I'm such a creature of habit so I truly am going to make every best effort to go back to normal. But, you know, hopefully there will be a few opportunities here and there that wouldn't have been possible before the game of Survivor. Little events that may come up. Other than that, I go back to my office right after the first of the year and life goes on that way. You bet. 

Going back to many months ago how confident were you making your case at that final Tribal Council?
You know, I was confident when we first left the Philippines. I really did feel pretty confident and pretty hopeful, thinking "I think I just did this. I think I just won Survivor." But then over the last eight months - we've had months to wait for this to unfold - I just got more doubtful, replaying those votes over and over again that I just wasn't sure. I wasn't sure how it was going to play out.

So watching the season on TV made you feel less confident going into the live show?
I think as you watch, it makes you a little less confident. You're seeing what's happening behind the scenes, and you're seeing what's being said at Ponderosa, and you do. You start to doubt. Until it's real and those votes are being read on that live show, you just don't bank on it. 

Were you surprised by some of the any of the jury's comments or reactions? I mean I was a little surprised by Penner's. 
I was. I think the biggest was Malcolm. Malcolm came out guns blazing. And I expected him to be angry but I didn't expect quite the intensity that came out. And it was kind of, it really took me aback! I even recall, I didn't even answer his question right the first time and I had to backtrack and answer what he was really asking me because I was so taken aback. I was like "Wow, this is my buddy chewin' my butt!" And Jonathan Penner's comment surprised me. But you know, they're on the jury and they're angry and really trying to make a point and make you squirm. But other ones that I completely anticipated, like Abi. I knew Abi was going to be guns blazing and I was ready for her.

Nov 7, 2012 9:01PM
Abi is an evil little person with a bad temper and a lack of class.will be gleefully watching and celebrating her eviction.
Nov 7, 2012 5:18PM
Nov 7, 2012 8:58PM

What school like, did like this young lady like go to.  And like, did she like, pass like English.

Nov 14, 2012 6:21PM
Nov 8, 2012 12:07AM
I thought this was a news item. I feel so used.

Nov 7, 2012 8:24PM
No , this lady is not so hot , take off your rose tinted glasses and take an unbiased look , maybe she is just the best you have seen but not deserving of kudos
Nov 7, 2012 9:31PM

I would like this (not so hot) HA! lady to contact me so that we can discuss this

interview further....

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