Monty Brinton/ CBS
Ben "Benry" Henry was ousted from "Survivor: Nicaragua" Wednesday night in what was a complete blindside by the members of his tribe, who told him they were going to vote out Fabio. But they decided Benry was too much of a threat when it came to challenges, even though he had never won an individual Immunity Challenge. Now, ET talks to the 24-year-old club promoter from Los Angeles, CA about strategy and his vote for the Sole Survivor.
ETonline: It appeared that you were quite effectively blindsided by the vote. Did you suspect anything going into Tribal Council?
Benry: I didn't. I was completely blindsided. Going into Tribal, I was pretty content with what I thought was going to happen and where the vote was going. As I said in Tribal, I thought I was safe. I don't think anybody ever sitting in a Tribal Council hotseat should ever think they are safe. It caught me off guard. I think it caught Fabio and Dan off guard, too.
ETonline: Looking back, do you think there was any strategy you might have used that could have changed things?
Benry: There are so many coulda, shoulda, wouldas. I don't like to look back. I don't regret anything because it would be tough to sleep at night. But, there were definitely some things I could have done. In watching it [Wednesday] night, I think I could have very easily persuaded them to go ahead and get rid of Jane while they could of instead of me. That would have broken up that alliance and it would have been even numbers. They obviously knew that Jane would be a threat in the final three. Like Marty said, no one wants to sit next to Jane in the final three. They all voted me out because I was a threat, yet I never once had that necklace around my neck. I never once won individual immunity. Jane has won individual immunity three times. I think I could have persuaded everybody to vote Jane. I said earlier in the season, she has superhuman strength and she will find it in her and you don't know when the next chance to vote her off is. I think Sash was set in his mind that he was going to vote with Chase, Holly and Jane the entire time. They had a very solid alliance. Much more solidified than ours.
ETonline: How much did NaOnka and Purple Kelly's quitting change the course of the game?
Benry: I don't think it hurt me at all. Obviously, NaOnka gave her idol to Chase. Kelly and Na were closer with that alliance as opposed to me. The whole time I was sitting there and they were talking about quitting, I was, "Let them quit. That is two less people we have to get through to get to the $1 million." There is Chase and Sash sitting with them under the shelter with their arms around them, trying to keep them warm. That was absolutely strategic. I think them quitting didn't hurt anybody but Sash a little bit.
ETonline: Should quitters be allowed on the jury?
Benry: I have mixed feelings. One side of me says they were a big part of the game. They were in the game for 29 days with eyes and ears tuned in. They never really had a solid alliance themselves, so they sort of knew what was going on and who was playing a smart game. So, for them to vote could be valuable. At the same time, quitters never win and winners never quit is what I said. I feel like me being able to be a part of the jury … I am grateful for that. I feel that I am still a winner. That side of me doesn't think they should be on it, because I don't think they are winners.
ETonline: You weren't on TV a lot. Is that because you played a low-key game and didn't do anything controversial?
Benry: I think so. I don't know much about the edit. That was my strategy going into the game: lay low, keep quiet, and befriend everybody. I was an asset in challenges. I knew that was going to get me far, so I felt that I wasn't going to strategize much. I think laying low helped me get far.
ETonline: Who are you rooting for to be the Sole Survivor?
Benry: I was obviously tight with Dan and Fabio. They are obviously on the outs right now because of what happened. It would be fun to see one of them battle back and win individual immunity. I always thought Chase was my boy, too. He lost his father. The people that are there right now deserve to be there, I guess, in one way or another. I am a fan of all of them.
ETonline: On what will you base your vote for the Sole Survivor? Several people out and out lied to you prior to this vote. Do you say they were good game players, or do you make it personal?
Benry: Some of it is personal. I know it is a dirty game. It is outwit, outplay, outlast. To do that you have to be deceitful a little bit. I knew what I was getting myself into. Now that I am on the jury you will see who I pick.
"Survivor: Nicaragua" airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on CBS.