'Survivor's Ashley Nolan on That Devon Diss and What to Expect From the Jury (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Just days earlier, Ashley Nolan's immunity necklace was as good as Devon's, but on Wednesday's episode of Survivor, their alliance went kaput.
The 26-year-old lifeguard definitely proved that she had the strength to win challenges and the smarts to create strong alliances, but those alliances clearly weren't as strong as she thought.
"When [Devon and Chrissy] picked Ryan for the reward is when it first struck me as odd. I was like, 'OK. There's a good chance that I just lost him,' but I was trying to be optimistic, and in my head, I was like, 'Maybe he's going to work for both of us. Maybe he's going to make some moves for both of us against Ben or against Mike,'" Ashley told ET over the phone on Thursday. "But when they got back, everything seemed different."
"I felt like I was being told slightly different variations of things from different people, and that's essentially when I felt like maybe I lost Devon," she continued. "But I didn't think it was going to happen so quickly, like, the very next vote was going to be me. I didn't think he'd turn on me just like that."
Devon's betrayal definitely came fast, but according to Nolan, she would have stuck around longer if Ben didn't miraculously find an idol at camp just before heading to tribal council.
"I don't think I was the first choice by any means," she said. "But as soon as [Ben] pulled his idol, nobody really flinched too much and was just trying to, like, stick to the plan, and I'm sitting here like, 'OK. What the heck is that?' That's when I'm like, 'Oh. The plan is me.'"
Ashley was promptly voted out by the tribe, including her closest ally, Devon, who was hilariously snubbed for a hug on her way out. "It was too much to give him a hug. Like, you totally pulled the wool over my eyes, and like, stabbed me in the back," Ashley explained, noting that the two have since repaired their relationship and have "no hard feelings whatsoever."
She also doesn't hold a grudge against Chrissy, who viewers saw advocated for her elimination. "I don't know why we never just played together," Ashley shared. "She did try to an extent to offer to work with each other [at the family reward challenge], but I was so blindly confident in the alliance that I had with Devon and Lauren that I shut it down. And that's a big regret of mine, that I just kind of... I didn't even entertain that idea of working with them."
"That's another regret, that I felt too comfortable in my own alliances that I didn't make enough of an effort with people outside of my alliances," she continued. "I think that was a big part of my demise, just lack of conversation."
According to Ashley, however, conversation will be a big deal in the finale, as members of the jury get their chance to ask the final three about their gameplay before casting their vote for Sole Survivor.
"I think people will be surprised by my vote, and how it all plays out, but I don't think there was a lot of bitterness [on the jury]. There was a lot of conversations that went into the decision, a lot of fair questions that were asked that really allowed for everyone to have an equal playing field, no matter who they did wrong, or who they screwed over or anything like that," she explained, adding that the final three "won't be the final three that you think. "A lot of fairness went into the decision, and who played the best game."
The season finale of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers airs Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.