On Wednesday night’s Survivor: David vs. Goliath episode, we had a heck of a crazy merge — and also a heck of a crazy vote. Elizabeth Olson ended up being the person to leave, but that didn’t happen until after a testy exchange in which she tried to shift the target over to Angelina, who earlier in the episode came to her making it clear she was a target. She did everything that she could to save herself and played as hard as humanly possible; it just didn’t work.
We appreciated the effort that Elizabeth brought to the game this season and with that in mind, it was certainly a pleasure to get some of her thoughts on everything that happened in the latest exit interview.
Related Survivor video – For more analysis of this interview, watch our take at the bottom of the article! For some more great Survivor discussion, be sure to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube — also, be sure to check out our official show playlist. We have new videos up 3 times a week!
CarterMatt – Let’s start things off with this — do you think that any votes were turned against you at Tribal Council with all the whispering, or did you feel confident going in that it was going to be you?
Elizabeth – I didn’t know what the chances were, but I knew that the fate was in my hands as to whether or not I could turn people to vote for Angelina. I felt like I had a shot, and with the amount of whispering that was going on, that was feeding that energy. It made me think that there was a chance and I was getting a little bit of momentum, getting some people to bite. Alison was getting pissed off about Angelina already working the jury. She was the one who first said that comment — I didn’t have to feed that. Alison was able to use her intuition and see that, and it played into my cards beautifully.
I was feeling pretty good — not confident, but as good as I could about halfway through Tribal. Then, when I went around to Carl, he basically shot me down and was like ‘I don’t want to hear from you, Elizabeth.’ That was when it was like ‘oh my gosh, I can’t even convince my Davids to vote for Angelina. How can I convince the Goliaths? That’s when I realized it was going to be more difficult than I originally thought.
How much did losing Lyrsa right before the merge hurt your game?
Oh, it was devastating. It felt like I got punched in the face. I had worked really hard to save her, plus I just really liked the girl. We had talked a lot in-game together and I knew she was in my corner. Going into the merge, which was one of the most exciting times in my life, without her was just — I was crying my eyes out [watching her get voted out] at home with my two daughters. They were like ‘why did they vote Lyrsa out?’ and I was like ‘I don’t know,’ but it made me mad (laughs).
Did you and Nick ever sit down for any conversations, sort of along the lines of ‘what gives’? when it comes to that?
That’s one of the biggest regrets I have. I did talk with Nick, but it was more in a group setting and we didn’t really get too intimate. That was a real bummer because we had a good connection at the beginning part of the game. But, in my attempt to make connections with other new people in the game, I kind of abandoned my closest allies, much to my detriment.
I was planning to have that conversation, but I just ran out of time.
Why do you think you and Carl weren’t willing to get on the same page? It was like the opposite of Lyrsa, where you two were such an unlikely duo! I feel like on paper you and Carl should’ve gotten along.
The unlikely happened, but the likely didn’t. I think it just has to do with our personalities more than anything. I’m really passionate and fiery and busy and kind of loud. Carl’s just quiet and chill. It’s just interesting because I was willing to work with him, but he just wasn’t willing to work with me.
Who did you want out more than anyone else at the merge?
Dan! Alec told me that Dan had an idol, and the whole time that I was at Vuku, I really liked Kara but I could tell something was holding her back. As you saw in the episode, they talked for hours that first night after the merge, I realized that was why. I wanted to get Kara back and I wanted to weaken the Goliaths. Plus, he had an idol, he was a physical threat, and he didn’t seem to like me as much as some of the stronger players. It seemed like John and I had a stronger conversation.
How much does that immunity challenge loss haunt you? You were so close!
I have literally woken up in the middle of the night dozens of times since being back home thinking of that. I was so freakin’ close. But, it didn’t happen!
Probst pointed this out last night that this wasn’t some challenge people can just practice in their backyard, and we were in this era for a long time where it felt like people knew all of the immunity challenges and could prepare for them.
Props to [challenge producer] John Kirhoffer, for real. It was so fun getting to play the game being like ‘another new one? This was so awesome!’ — but then, you realized ‘oh s–t, I gotta do it’ and nobody’s ever done it before! Walking into challenges I was like a kid at Christmas being like ‘they built this for me, y’all!’
Did you get the sense that the Goliaths were really hesitant to turn on one of their own so soon?
Yeah. I felt like the Goliaths came in with a strong arm, and that’s when Gabby started to freak out. Gabby was in a pretty good spot with the strike force, the six. But when she saw all the Goliaths out there on the beach fighting over which one of us would be going home, she was like ‘wow, what are we? Chopped liver?’ That’s why I think she was starting to get irritated at Tribal. The Goliaths were very much taking their power position. Angelina was being especially arrogant in coming and talking to me. Who do you think you are? Do you think that I’m that stupid that I’m not going to do anything about this?
When Angelina told you that you were the target, did you really think that was a ploy for a jury vote or she was genuinely looking out for you? Was there a percentage of the two?
I don’t know about a percentage, but there was definitely a split. I’m convinced of that. I would guess that it was around 5-20% human connection, because we had some conversations together and genuinely was feeling for me. She said ‘do you have an idol to play tonight?’, and I don’t think she would have said that unless she really cared. When I said no, she said ‘maybe you should pretend to have one’ and I said ‘I can’t play poker! I suck at lying. It would be worse if I pretended.’
I think there was a genuine connection, but I know also that she was playing the game and I think she underestimated how much of a player and fighter I am. I think it bit her in a way she did not expect.
If you’re going to be voted out from the game, are you glad that it was in such a big, bold way?
Hell yea! I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall when Angelina had to pick up the pieces after that Tribal (laughs). One other funny thing was that when I was packing my bags [for Tribal] and realizing it was probably going to be my last time seeing that beach, the one live chicken was sitting over the bed, just roosting away on top of that. After I got voted out, I was just like ‘I hope that chicken s–ts all over their beds’ (laughs).
Is there anything that you would do differently in retrospect?
Yea. I misread Alec. I thought that he was in my pocket and he ended up not going with me, which was a bad misread. I told him in faith that I wanted to vote for Dan, and he totally went behind my back.
Then, the bed situation [at Vuku] — I regret it, but I don’t. I was playing for the million dollars and I was playing to keep my brain together, as I was missing a lot of sleep. I regret being a jerk about it. And, I regret the immunity! There are always things that you could differently, but overall I feel like I did my best with the information that I had.
What’s your interest level right now in terms of wanting to come back and do it all over again?
I love Survivor as much now as I ever have. That’s my answer.
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