Aubry Bracco is a great person to talk about Survivor with given her innate love of the game, and also that she has such a unique perspective on it after the fact. This was such an interesting season for her because she found herself consistently at the bottom, but somehow finding a way to persevere before getting taken out at the finale five.
Through our interview with her, we discuss more of the various bad circumstances she found herself in this season, plus also her philosophy of the endgame and how much her back was against the wall.
CarterMatt – It feels almost like you were cursed out there, with someone close to you almost always going home.
Aubry Bracco – I felt a bad vibe with this season almost from the moment I drew the red buff and stepped on the beach. I went up to Sandra [early] and said ‘I want to play with you. I want to play with threats.’ She said to me ‘no offensive, you did really well in [season 32] and I think you’re a threat. There are four of you [from Koah Rong] here, so it’s nothing personal.’ I could tell right away that I was a threat because of the recency thing, and because there were four of us from the same season. Then, the typical Aubry pattern started happening. I wanted to work with alpha threats this season, and they just started getting picked off one by one.
I think it must by my Survivor chakra, the energy that I bring to the game and the game brings to me.
It’s funny in a way, though, because all of this tends to happen and you’re still there. How are you able to adjust so quickly after every one of these things happens, and find a way to stay alive?
I think that in life, I’m good at managing chaotic relationships. There was certainly a lot of chaos in Kaoh Rong. I could probably be like a crisis management person after that. I’m pretty good on my feet.
The funny thing is that my name wouldn’t always come up on paper when people had to vote, but I was always that person that if you were to test the waters at any given time, I was a person people wanted to get rid of. There was this air of ‘she can always go,’ and I would always have that vibe … A lot of work that I was doing was [shifting the target] onto someone else, and working the next day to build relationships that were a little more solid. I think Kaoh Rong prepped me for that.
This may be difficult to answer in retrospect, but who of the people voted out early who you were working with were you the saddest to see go?
Probably Malcolm. Malcolm and I had a great relationship and we were able to talk so easily. We would tip each other off on what other people were saying about us. The Malcolm vote-off was a big bummer, and it messed up a lot of long-term plans for a lot of different people.
How were you able to hide your relationship with Tai? You guys were so close the first time, but for most of the season we didn’t see you talking all that much with each other.
The Kaoh Rong Four was like the 21st player this season. Tai and I both talked about this out there — we had to constantly say that we weren’t together and that we were mad at each other. When we went in together we didn’t have any plans, and I actively made sure not to be seen with Tai around camp until we needed each other numbers-wise.
People would always talk about me and Tai. I will never forget on the second day Sandra was testing me with Ciera Eastin. She was like ‘Aubry, you were very close to people on your season like Tai. Go give Ciera a hug like you would Tai so I can see if you mean it.’ She would try to mess with my head! People were talking about that relationship a lot, so I avoided it until we needed to work together.
Was there a final three configuration at final five that you think you could have gone with and won the game?
People ask me about the ideal final three, but my game was really all about trying to get anyone to work with me (laughs). The only Nuku I’d met before the second swap was JT, and he was gone.
It’s hard to say who I could’ve got to the end with and beaten. With Troy and Brad, my story would have been that I was the underdog who drew the red buff and was on the bottom almost immediately after that, but was then able to find a way after the merge to get enough information to understand the Nuku family dynamic and find my place among them.
Who knows? But I was willing to go however I could get there. I was really [stuck] at that final five. Brad didn’t want to work with me; he had made it very clear that he thought I should’ve won Kaoh Rong. Troyzan was totally just with Brad. Sarah and Tai were willing to speak with me, and I was willing to go with them if they would keep me.
Further Survivor finale coverage
If you do want to get some other exit interviews from the finale, plus some reviews and a look ahead to next season, head over to the link here. (Photo: CBS.)