Monty Brinton/ CBS
The one thing that is always true on "Survivor" is that grudges play as big a part in who is ousted from the tribe as strategy. Last night, the vote was between Marty, who Jane dislikes from their time together on the Espada tribe and Alina, who Brenda was out to get because Alina tried to have her eliminated at La Flor's first Tribal Council. Now, ET talks to the 23-year-old art student from Downey, CA to find out what she should have done to stay in the game.
ET: You pretty much stayed below the radar until last night's merge. Why do you think you became the center of focus for elimination?
Alina Wilson: There were a few factors. I wasn't so much below the radar the entire time. I was vocal. I was a part of the planning and scheming. I really think that last night's vote was an emotional vote that stems back to the first Tribal Council vote for La Flor. I really think that Brenda had somewhat of a vendetta because I wanted her gone. I lost my alliance back at the first Tribal Council and it followed me throughout the game. They kept waiting to be able to get rid of me, rather than think of me as somebody they could use. I think it was very much an emotional vote.
ET: You were trying to convince everybody to vote Marty off. Were you aware how vulnerable he was?
Alina Wilson: To be honest, I came into the merge not knowing what was going on with Marty. We all thought that Brenda and Marty had teamed up, even though we had heard some rumors once we merged that they didn't get along. We weren't sure if they had some kind of secret alliance going on. Then I heard the thing about Sash and him. I had Jane on my side and Jane hated Marty. I wasn't in a position to bring up anybody else. At least there were numbers to back it. If I had brought up anybody else, like NaOnka, who nobody else was gunning for, except maybe Fabio, it would have put a target on me. The reason I brought up Marty was because he was the only person I was empowered to even bring up.
ET: NaOnka admitted to stealing the food on this episode. It is hard to believe that nobody else wants to get her out. Is her alliance that strong?
Alina Wilson: I am just as baffled as everybody watching. I wish she had gone home that first Tribal Council, but she didn't. She has gotten away with murder since then. She somehow slides by doing everything … I don't know if it is because she is intimidating. I think about it and I'm, "If I had done anything she had done, I would be gone for sure." Not many people can get away with what she gets away with. At this point, I realize why it is strategic to keep her. When nobody likes anybody, it is a good person to keep. Sash's argument was: "If I take her to the end, she is not going to get any votes." It is a strategic move. I would have done the same thing. She doesn't really deserve to be there. She should be gone.
ET: Hindsight is 20/20. Do you think looking back that there is anything you could have done to keep you there?
Alina Wilson: I don't have any major regrets. I loved everything out there. There are so many coulda, shoulda, wouldas. There are strategic moves I think about occasionally. There is one that stands out in my mind and it goes back to the first Tribal Council. I had a great alliance. It was the alliance I imagined before I started the game. If I hadn't gunned so much for Brenda, and taken out her right-hand girl, NaOnka, I would have at least gotten rid of one of the numbers on the opposite alliance. I thought everybody was going to be fine voting for Brenda. We didn't find out until right before Tribal Council that Chase wasn't able to vote for Brenda. That threw everything for a loop. We weren't sure if everybody was going to vote for NaOnka. That is the one big regret. I wish we had communicated more in our alliance.: "Okay, fine. You can't vote for Brenda. Let's vote for NaOnka." That would have kept our numbers strong.
ET: How different was strategizing and making alliances actually being there than watching from home?
Alina Wilson: It is definitely different to be there and form alliances and realize how many alliances are formed just like cliques in high school -- people who just get along. It doesn't matter what they do.
ET: Was the food deprivation the hardest part?
Alina Wilson: I don't want to say it was the hardest part. It was definitely hard. I don't know if there was anything specifically that was hard for me. I kind of relished the whole survival-mode thing, eating scraps and living in random shelter and the rain. I kind of liked that experience. None of it was super excruciating for me. I think one of the hardest things for me was the social aspect, especially when I was on the outs. It was very hard on a day-to-day basis to stay positive and to stay connected to people and socialize. When you are out there and you are stripped to the bare minimum what is really important is human contact. It is hard to be out there without your family and friends and survive.
ET: Was your "Survivor" experience positive enough that you would want to do it again?
Alina Wilson: I would do it a million times. I would pay to do it. It was seriously that cool. When I was there, I would walk around like a crazy person and smile to myself, "Wow! Am I ever going to be able to do something like this again?" I was so blessed to be there. I would do it a million times.
ET: Now that you're gone, who are you rooting for?
Alina Wilson: There are definitely people that I still like and am rooting for. People who I got along with when I was there … people like Jane and Holly and Chase. I am a little more wishy-washy about that. I know more confidently who I am against. That I am sure about. I am definitely rooting against Sash and Brenda. I hate that whole alliance. I am totally against NaOnka. I am rooting against that whole situation.
"Survivor: Nicaragua" airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on CBS.