Last night on Survivor we ended up seeing the elimination of Ali Elliott who had the potential to go really far. She did all the right things that you can in the game: She made alliances, she was likable around camp, and she didn’t do anything to put a big target on her back. So what happened? It’s really just that simple as being in the wrong place on the wrong tribe at the wrong time. The numbers were dwindling on her tribe, and after Soko lost the immunity challenge for the second week in a row Ryan ultimately tried to keep her by concocting a plan to get rid of JP.
However, it was seemingly Chrissy and Ryan who made the decision to eventually send her out of the game. She didn’t want to let go of JP, and that put Ryan in a position where he could either go to rocks or just eliminate Ali from the game. What we were interested in most of all (in terms of our exit interview with Ali) was whether or not there was a way for her to stick around that she didn’t think of while she was out there, or if Chrissy really had that big of a role to play in her exit to begin with. Check that out (and a whole lot more) below.
CarterMatt – How do you feel about your time in the game watching the show back? Are you happy with your game or frustrated with anything?
Ali Elliott – I played the game to the best of my ability and the best way that I knew how to play. I’m happy that I was able to be myself and I didn’t have to lie or put on a mask or be different than who I was. It is such an amazing game, so it is interesting to watch it play out. I kind of just got screwed! There are some things that I could’ve done differently, but in the end I feel like a lot of it had to do with the super-idol [Ryan gave Chrissy earlier in the game].
I feel like at an early point in the Hustlers tribe you were in a great spot. Did you feel like you were in control?
Yes! That was my strategy. I just wanted to connect with people and really build some of those bonds. I wanted to make the game as easy as possible so that I could make it to the merge. I thought I had made some of those relationships and that people could trust me. I was really close to all of the people that were left in between Lauren and Devon and Ryan. We had a great bond and after the swap I was hoping we could come back together and rebuild what we had built.
Was losing Patrick a huge blow to your game, or was it just the tribe swap?
Patrick made his own game what it was. I had warned him multiple times that people were talking about him and saying that he was annoying or obnoxious. He’s a fun guy and he has a great personality, but it didn’t mesh well with the game of Survivor. He needed to tone it down at times and at that point in the game I felt like I had built better relationships with people with better social games than Patrick, and they could benefit me more.
What did Ryan do to make you want to trust him as much as you did?
I think that Ryan and I were very similar socially. We related well with people. A lot of the time out there it can be really boring! You’re trying to stay out of the sun and not think about food. I think Ryan and I bonded because we were on the same page — we were kind of like brother and sister out there. We got along great and it seemed like we had the same thought process.
Do you think that Ryan was intending to keep you around as a part of the game? Did he fold thinking that he didn’t want to force a tie?
I don’t think Ryan wanted to keep me. I think that once he decided to not include me in the vote to get rid of Roark, I think that’s when he decided ‘I no longer need Ali.’ I don’t think at last night’s tribal he had any [interest] in keeping me … I think that if he had wanted to keep me, he would have come to me before the Roark vote and said ‘hey Ali, I do still want to work with you.’
Based on what you’re saying, after the Roark vote you didn’t have much of a chance. With that in mind, is there anything you wish you had done before that?
We didn’t spend a lot of time talking strategy with JP. He didn’t seem to even follow a loose strategy of the game. We never had a sense of what he was thinking game-wise. I just thought that he was so close with Chrissy that he was never going to come up with an original thought for himself.
Maybe that’s something that [Roark and I] could have done, but we never had any idea that Ryan was going to flip. Even if we did, it probably wasn’t going to happen.
Was there much of a focus or a discussion about hidden immunity idols?
Patrick talked about it a lot, and at one point Ryan and I went out together. I looked for idols whenever I possibly could, but it’s so much harder to look for idols than it appears on TV! It just looks like you dig in a spot and there’s the idol. No. You’re going out in the dark because you don’t want people to see you and then you’re dealing with insects and animals and things of that sort. I definitely looked and tried, but it’s a lot harder than it looks. You need hours and not just minutes.
Do you blame Chrissy mostly for your elimination, and do you think she was threatened by you socially?
I don’t think that Chrissy had anything to do with it. I just think at this point in the game Chrissy had been lucky because of Ryan. He decided to pick her to get the super-idol, Ryan then ended up in the same swapped tribe as Chrissy, and Ryan told Chrissy that he was the one who ended up giving her the super-idol. Then, Ryan voted out Roark to save Chrissy! I don’t think Chrissy did anything when it comes to this point in the game. I think she’s a very smart person, but I also think that she’s been very lucky in regards to Ryan.
It would’ve been the same thing for me if Ryan had picked me to go further in the game. There’s always that turning point and I think him voting out Roark was a turning point for Chrissy and her game.
Let’s look ahead now and hypothesize. Where did you want to go after the merge had you made it there?
I’d get back with Lauren since we were very close and always on the same page. I was hoping that it would be me, Lauren, Ryan and Devon still. The game would probably depend on if we decided to go with Roark or with the Heroes. I never could see the Heroes and the Healers teaming up so we probably would’ve been that swing tribe. Since we had that connection with Roark we probably could’ve worked with her. She already thought there were cracks in that Healer tribe anyways and we could’ve moved ourselves up in the ranks.
What was your ideal final three plan?
I didn’t know everyone out there, but I really wanted to be there with Lauren. I actually wouldn’t have minded doing it with Lauren and Devon. Devon is very smart but he isn’t the best public speaker and that probably would have benefited me in that aspect. I think getting to the end with Lauren would’ve been great.
I know there were really tough parts of the game out there, but what is something that you actually enjoyed?
I love the challenges, even though that is one of the things that was the hardest for me. There were times where I would cry because we lost so much. I hated losing, but just from the aspect of seeing all of the different challenges come together and doing the puzzles, I think they were very enjoyable to get into.
What’s the desire to go back and prove to everyone that you really just had some bad luck out there?
I would go back in a heartbeat. I love this game so much. I’ve already been so blessed to go out there and be able to play it one time; to play it again would be a total dream come true.
Want more Survivor coverage?
Be sure to head over here to read a review of last night’s Survivor episode.
Meanwhile, like us on Facebook to get more news on Survivor and many other shows we cover! You can also share your thoughts on this interview below. (Photo: CBS.)
Want more TV news? Then sign up for the CarterMatt Newsletter!