Last week on the Survivor: Edge of Extinction finale, Julie Rosenberg capped off her time on the show with a third-place finish — one that came about after a series of tricky moves and bizarre, idol-related votes. She had a crazy run to get as far as she did, and she was smart to build great relationships and work with the right people at the right time. While it didn’t lead to her getting any jury votes, she can claim a number of important decisions — especially around the middle of the merge, when she and Ron were in the game driver’s seat.
So what does Julie think about her time in the game, and also in particular that crazy Tribal Council where she was visibly upset prior to Julia going home? We discuss all of that below with our red carpet interview from when we were at the Survivor finale. Meanwhile, be sure to also check out our video all about ways to change the immunity idol at the bottom of this article; Remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube so you don’t miss any of our Survivor videos and take a look at our series playlist.
CarterMatt – Is it hard to go back and watch the finale, knowing that you were so close?
Julie – For me, it’s not. I am so proud of how I played that game. I don’t have any regrets. I made it 39 days, and it’s exactly what I wanted to achieve, minus winning. I would’ve liked to have won, but I’m all good by how it went down. I’m not surprised about the way things happened; I knew that I was probably going to be third and I probably wasn’t going to get any votes.
It’s okay. Looking back, I probably could’ve played a little bit more aggressively and done some things that could’ve changed the jury’s mind. It’s fine. I’m happy with how things ended.
So you’re able to put most of everything in the game behind?
Sure. I’m sure this is not what the majority of what people would say, but for me, I’m putting it behind me. I am at peace with my game. I had the adventure of a lifetime and I loved every second of it — other than the stuff that was so brutal (laughs). That part feels so far away! It’s hard to remember all the horrible stuff, and now you just remember all of the good parts.
You had this interesting experience where you didn’t go to Tribal Council for the first major part of the game. Do you think that ended up helping you, even though some people feel like it’s good to be ‘battle-tested’ early on?
For me, yes. Coming into the game, being the oldest person on my tribe, and the smallest and physically the weakest, I knew it was going to be an issue and I was so worried that I would get voted out first. The fact that we won challenge after challenge — I really didn’t have to worry about that. It gave me a lot of time to build strong relationships. I got myself into an alliance very quickly, and that alliance solidified itself as time went on. I felt very comfortable, and I’m so thankful that I didn’t have to go to Tribal — it gave me a little time to build bonds.
At a certain point after the merge, it seemed like the Kama 6 were in power. Did you think that alliance could make it really far in the game and be the final six?
No. We were a really strong alliance, and when we merged, I felt really confident; but, I knew at some point it would break. No alliance of six stays together; they’re going to implode on each other. That’s when I started making moves — I reached out to Devens and I made a relationship with him and I knew he was buddies with David. I wanted to figure out what my move was going to be. I just didn’t think that the Kama 6 was going to blow up as fast as they did, and that’s what really surprised me and threw me in the game.
I knew [the alliance blowing up] was going to happen, I just wish that I had been the one to do it later on.
You talked about that crazy Tribal Council where Julia went home in your final Tribal Council. How were you even able to have the wherewithal to even accomplish anything in there?
So much was going on for me before I stepped foot into Tribal. Leading up to that Tribal, I was in pure starvation mode. I was the one who hadn’t eaten the longest from the merge feast. Other people got Chinese food; other people had opted for pizza instead of doing a challenge. I didn’t do any of that. I was starving and was physically wiped out, emotionally drained. I was missing my kids like crazy and tears were starting during the day.
Then, going into that Tribal I knew I was on the bottom with Ron. Our alliance had broken up and I had felt like I had to do something, but I had no votes to do it with. When Jeff asked me that question that triggered me to break down and cry, it felt chaotic, but for me it was orchestrated chaos. I knew something had to change and I could not stay in that alliance. With the breakdown, I was hoping that something would happen and I’m really happy it did.
I’m so grateful that Rick and Wardog threw out a lifeline to me and Ron, and they were really instrumental in orchestrating the Julia vote-out. Yet, before even going to Tribal, I went to Devens and David and said ‘we need to get Julia out; I just don’t know how to do it.’ Her name was on my radar, and my goal was accomplished. I may have looked like a crazy person doing it, but I got it done.
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