'Survivor' Castaway Ali Elliott on Cole's Fainting and Why Ryan Is Still a 'Twerp' (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Ali Elliott drew the "short straw" on Survivor, and not just on Wednesday night's episode.
According to the Los Angeles native, her time on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers was doomed from day one.
"If anything, the reason I was sent home was because of Ryan's luck," Ali told ET over the phone on Thursday, after watching her elimination the day before. "I think that you could say that him grabbing that secret super idol on the boat, that was the beginning of my downfall, because him having that, and happening to give it to Chrissy, and then happening to get on the same swap? Like, seriously, how lucky can you get?"
"So, all of Ryan's luck turned into my unluck, and I became rather unlucky after all of his advantages," she added.
According to Ali, while she was "confident" in her game -- "I knew I could relate to people and build bonds with people" -- she knew she was going home after being the only one not to vote with Soko at last week's tribal council.
"I was hoping that we would win the next immunity challenge, because I knew it was going to be me," she said. "So, looking back at that, who knows if Ryan threw [the challenge]. He didn't do a very good job, so maybe he was scared... I knew I was going to flip on him the second we got to the merge."
Ali definitely turned on Ryan -- calling him a "twerp" and Chrissy a "liar" in her exit interview.
"Me and Ryan were very, very close, and he probably would call himself a twerp," she said with a laugh. "Chrissy and I got close the last few days, and I thought that maybe she had made it personal with a comment here or there. That's why I called her the liar of all liars... It's hard watching afterwards, understanding what was real and what wasn't."
Another player, Cole, almost found himself in the same position, after he fainted at the beginning of Wednesday's episode.
"At the immunity challenge, Dr. Mike had said, 'Oh, people are fainting,' and I was very confused," Ali recalled. "I thought he meant there, at the challenge."
"They told us that Cole fainted back at his camp, so it's very scary, because even though it's a game, and you think that it's this great experience, it's still life. You're still out there. You're not eating. You're sleeping outside or on bamboo, and it can be a struggle. And if you don't prepare well for it, then it can definitely be a lot harder than it has to be," she said. "I have been on plenty of diets before. I definitely know what it is to go on a cleanse and not eat, so that was not an issue for me at all. I actually gained a few pounds before heading out there, to make sure that I still had a little bit of meat on my bones."
At the end of the day, Ali said she wouldn't change her Survivor experience "for the world."
"I think the most surprising part is how much fun I had. Even in the downs, I think that Yawa tribe was a lot of fun," she shared. "It was a great experience, and I was definitely surprised to see that it wasn't that difficult for me."
"There's always some things that you think you could [have done], but going forward, I would play the same way. I'd rather play and lose as myself than play as somebody else and win," she said, adding without hesitation: "I definitely would do it again in a heartbeat."