Sometimes, things happen on Survivor that are just hard to avoid. For Roark Luskin, hers was going through a tribe swap that left her on her own surrounded by new people. That was a disadvantage for her, but it ultimately wasn’t a death sentence for her game. Instead it was Ryan opting to go along with Chrissy’s plan to blindside her, making her the first person from the former Healers tribe to leave the game.
So what did she have to say about her time out there, the vote last night, and what it was like at the Healers tribe before the swap? We got all of that insight from her in our latest castaway exit interview today. Roark loves the game, so being able to pick her brain on all of this was a fun experience.
CarterMatt – Is it tough to sit back and reflect so much on the game today after being voted out?
Roark Luskin – No. Even though the tribal itself didn’t have a lot of fireworks in terms of advantages, idols or anything like that, I think it was a fun episode of television. I think on Survivor we see a lot of strong, strategic men facing off against strong, strategic men. It’s pretty rare that you see two strong, strategic women facing off against each other — also, Ali. Ali is also very strong. The three of us really throwing down together was a fun piece of television.
At the time that the tribe swap happened, did you think you were going to be screwed as the only Healer in that group? Did you think that you’d be a swing vote?
I felt really good going into the Tribal. Ryan played Ali and I perfectly. When you see Chrissy and I sitting on the log, she is posing to me a Ryan boot. Ali tells Ryan to his face that Chrissy put Ryan’s name out there as the decoy boot, and while Ryan knows he’s just the decoy boot, he plays along. He is moping around camp all day and was so withdrawn. He made it seem like he was so distressed about the votes that were coming his way and the negativity that was going to transpire at tribal. He was just in a terrible mood and we bought it.
Let’s go back to start of the game at the Healers tribe. What did you think about that group? Is that the group that you envisioned you would want to be a part of entering the game?
What an exceptionally strong bunch. I’m sure you saw the three tribes sitting on that boat — when you look at us, we looked pretty dominant. We really were. Those challenges were not close. We have a Healers group text and we often talk like ‘oh, we were too good for this world’ (laughs).
I think all of us are honored to be sitting under the moniker of Healers. It’s a flattering role and I never had more fun than when I was with those people. They made me laugh SO hard. Those were great days.
We didn’t see a whole lot of you on the Healers tribe, but who were you the closest with there?
My ride or die was definitely Desi. We bonded pretty quickly on a personal level. Desi has self-admitted that she’s not a superfan and was cast on the show without being super-familiar with it; she educated herself on it a lot, but one of her strategies was to go out there and meet somebody who really did know the show and play with them as partners. That’s what I was to her. I would bring information to her, and she would bring information to me. She was down to make moves — I wish we could’ve reaped the benefits.
What was it like playing the game with Joe? I’ve joked throughout the season that he may be a relative of Tony since he seems to play the game all over the place.
Joe is great. It’s funny — I would say that Tony creates chaos by lying and throwing pretty crazy lies around, whereas Joe creates chaos by telling the truth. Hearing someone say something so frank out there where everything is usually cloak and dagger behind close doors [is so unexpected]; he is just sitting there and saying ‘this is my plan and this is what I intend on doing, just so everyone knows, be prepared for that.’ It really puts people on tilt. It’s a very different experience playing with somebody like that. Playing on the right side of it with the Healers was lovely; being on the wrong side was troubling.
Joe’s a straight shooter and I have so much respect for somebody who isn’t fake.
This makes it complicated because I was assuming if the Healers went to Tribal, Joe would’ve been in trouble. Who would’ve gone home first had the Healers had to vote someone out?
If we had gone at the first Tribal it definitely would’ve been Dr. Mike because Joe was so adamantly suspicious of him. We wouldn’t have wanted to put our necks out for Dr. Mike on day three.
However, as you see over time, Cole starts getting concerned about Joe. It’s entirely possible that Joe was blindsided, but it was also very well possible that we would’ve targeted somebody else. It could’ve been a split vote or some sort of crazy plan. What I think would’ve been the best idea is getting the girls together and blindsiding Cole. Therefore, we keep Joe’s loyalty instead of freaking him out, because God forbid we flush his idol and Joe comes back furious. If the girls had teamed up to blindside Cole, we go back to camp and say ‘Joe, Cole told everyone about your idol. He was not your friend. We’re your friend.’ That’s a great narrative for Joe.
It would’ve definitely been a man [who went home]. I’ll tell you that.
Had Joe or Desi gone home at the Tribal Council beforehand instead of Alan on Levu, would that have helped you in some capacity?
Yeah. I was dying for those Healer numbers to whittle a little. I would’ve been sad to see Desi go home, but I would’ve been at peace to see Joe go in that spot because we looked like such a target. However, we had a suspicion that he had played the Healer idol. We figured that it had been reset [in camp] but unfortunately on a five-person tribe there’s really just nowhere to go. No one was ever being left alone to look. It was never an option.
If you had made it to the merge, would you have stuck around with some of those people from new Soko?
I definitely would’ve wanted to use new connections through Soko to get out some other Healers. Going six strong with the Healers is not a winning strategy. I think you need to be a bit more flexible than that. I would’ve definitely returned to Jessica and Desi.
This is the thing about the girls’ alliance. I would’ve never stated ‘I’m doing a girls’ alliance,’ but as you can see from watching the show, who would you prefer to work with: Joe and Cole or Desi and Jessica? If your game is to get to the final three, who are you going with? Obviously the girls. I think Ryan was accurate to believe that if Ali and I bonded, we would’ve [worked with the other women] and that foursome was scary.
I would’ve also loved to continue with Dr. Mike. Joe and Cole were the two I felt the least sure about.
I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this, but if they ask you to go back tomorrow, do you?
It’d be pretty hard to say no. I’m a fan who only got to do one tribal. I just want to see more and be out there longer. Ryan’s words in the voting confessional to me were ‘I know how much it means to you to be out here. You’re amazing and I’m sorry.’ As a fan you just want to see more of the game. My mind is right for it, but I really didn’t get the chance.
Did you see our Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers review from last night?
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