Art student Alina Wilson became boot number nine this week after eating NaOnka's stolen fruit. Unable to convince her current tribe to stick together, she was unanimously booted (minus Jane). Read on as she talks about NaOnka, Shannon (remember him?), Marty, and what she thinks about Benry's "dirt squirrel" comment...
Why didnít you try harder to get NaOnka out, since sheís the one who put you in a bad position with the food stealing?
You know, I thought about it last night, watching the episode, the way it was shown. It seemed like it would probably be her to go home and I should have gunned for her more. My logic behind that is - I was already in a mess with NaOnka, everyone kind of looked at me like somehow I was connected with NaOnka. If I were to all of a sudden turn on her and try to convince others to vote her out, it would have put an even bigger target on my back as the schemer, as grimy, as whatever it was that they were calling me.
So really the only power I had was to turn on Marty because I didnít know Marty, I had no alliance with him and noone would look at me funny if I was bringing up his name. Not only that, I already had people to back me against Marty: Jane really wanted him gone, and Jane had numbers. But when it came to NaOnka, I had a feeling she was going to get away with murder anyway, like she had this entire season. So I kind of...I donít know, it really didnít seem like a smart move for me to bring up her name.
Why do you think they didnít listen to your idea to get Marty out?
It really was a great strategy, and we were so close! We had enough people, I had six votes, and all we needed was one more person and it wouldnít matter if we got Brenda and Sash. It didnít matter about Brendaís agreement with Marty. All we needed was one person and you saw that scene where I so desperately needed Fabio, ďCome on, I just need one more!Ē I thought maybe afterwards he would have thought about it and maybe flipped, especially after he heard Martyís tirade against Jane at tribal council. I thought to myself, if he just flips and we get seven people...then we would leave Brenda and Sash stunned and shocked that everybody made a decision without them. It would have been beautiful! But I couldnít get Fabio. And as it turns out there were other conversations going on because everybody voted for me, other than Jane and myself. [laughs]
When we talked to Shannon, he said everything would fall apart because people werenít that smart. How do you think the decision making was on the merged tribe?
Iím still stunned. Itís the same...Iím still thinking the same thing, I said it as my final words: these players are stupid! I know itís easy to say that when you get voted out, and itís kind of lame to go ďOh, Iím the only smart one and everybody else is stupid,Ē but just from a viewing standpoint, a lot of the things that are happening donít make sense. When you go back - and now Iíve seen the tribal council where Kelly B was voted out - come on! Marty didnít play the idol and then thereís a tie and then heís exposed? I mean, really? And youíre not gonna get rid of him? That, to me, doesnít make sense. So many things that happened just donít make sense at all. And Iíll say exactly what Shannon said: these players are stupid. Last nightís tribal council was stupid. Why get rid of me? I have no alliance, I have no numbers, Iím not a big threat - who cares if Iím a schemer? Let me scheme, but get rid of me later. [laughs] Iíll say the same thing, it was like retarded players. Doesnít make any sense.
Shannon seemed to be kind of a jerk if we go by the editing. Was he really a good guy?
Shannon is a great guy, and he came across as a jerk and I understand why everybody sees him as that. But the best way I can describe Shannon - heís like a little boy in a grown manís body. The thing about little kids that we love is they just say what comes to their minds, and thatís Shannon. Shannon says anything that comes to his mind, he has no filter, and thatís what I found so endearing about him. At the same time, I knew he could do some dirty work. I knew he could be a villain and I wanted a villain on my alliance just from a strategic standpoint. So he was perfect for me regardless of the fact that I got along with him. Either way, I wanted him in my alliance.
When you found out that Kelly B was gone, did you think you could have been in trouble after the merge, with your main ally out of the game?
She was my main ally, but at the same time, she was a huge target. So I hate to say it because I love Kelly B and I would have loved to play with her to the end, but I was actually slightly relieved. I was like, okay, by association everybody put us together. Maybe if sheís gone I can work on something without the threat of her being my alliance. So in a way I was kind of happy to see her go. I know it sucks and I wish that she would have stayed, but by association everybody hated me because they hated her. So I was kind of happy when she left.
Why did everyone hate Kelly B so much?
Oh, you tell me! I mean, I was baffled by it while I was there. But as I watch, I realize how much people really did hate her and itís shocking to me. It doesnít make sense. She got a target on her back, which, in the game of Survivor I understand it, I get it - but at the same time she didnít need to have that target so early on in the game, she could have been valuable to everybody. Later on, if everyone decided that she would be too much of a threat in final three, then I would understand completely. She really did nothing to warrant that kind of hatred and anger towards her. I really think that itís unfortunate because she had a lot to offer. She had a lot to offer to viewers, just watching her as an inspiration, and it was really sad to see her go so early.
What did you think when you watched the episode where NaOnka fought her for the clue?
Gosh, when I watched and looked back on that, s***, I should have jumped in there! Right into those bananas and totally helped Kelly B. I wish I would have, but at the same time, we already had a target on our backs, and it happened so fast. If I would have jumped in there and gone crazy too, somehow NaOnka can get away with stuff like that but I donít think I would have gotten away with it. I think everybody would have gone after me.
Going back to last nightís tribal, do you think people listened to what Marty said about Jane or are they just tuning him out?
I think everybody was kind of irritated by Marty because Marty is a strategist - heís very smart at the game but he kind of sabotages himself by being so vocal about it, and trying to teach everybody the game. I think everybody already knew that Jane was a threat, just like they knew that Kelly B was a threat. I mean, theyíre not the smartest strategic players, but at the same time, I think theyíre smart enough to see that. But he didnít really need to illustrate that, and of all places, did not need to illustrate it at tribal council.
Weíre not really seeing anything of either Dan or Kelly Purple - are they playing more strategically than theyíre letting us see?
I think the editing is absolutely spot on. I mean, thatís all I can say. I donít think that they were being strategic at all, I donít think that they had much to add, I donít think that they were physical in any way and they didnít really add much to camp. So I think theyíre getting a very fair edit.
Did you think NaOnka was being sincere when she talked about teaming up with you, or did you know she had an ulterior motive in getting your jury vote?
Hereís the thing - I look back on it now and I definitely was being a little bit naive, because I really did think that she was legitimately trying to start something new with me, I thought she was giving me a heads up about the fact that everybody was gunning for me so that we could actually do something about it. Obviously, now I realize that wasnít what she was doing. But at the same time, I donít think that sheís strategic enough to have done that and really thought about ďIím gonna do this for a voteĒ. I think afterwards, she probably felt random about doing the entire thing, and random about telling me about it. She had to come up with some sort of explanation and the best explanation she could come up with was to get a jury vote out of me. I would never have given my jury vote to her anyway. From the beginning, the way she treated Kelly B...the one thing you share with me, that you stole? That wasnít going to make me vote for her at all. It was kind of a random play.
Why is NaOnka still in the game? I find it hard to believe...
Oh, I canít believe it either! She really should have gone instead of Shannon. Thatís seriously my fault, I shouldnít have gunned for Brenda so hard. But I donít understand why NaOnkaís still in the game, I donít understand why sheís getting so much airtime, I donít get any of her personality, I get nothing about her - and it drives me crazy. Just as much as Iím sure it drives all the viewers crazy.
Was it obvious to the others how mean she was being - stealing things, being critical of Kelly B?
It was pretty obvious. Definitely not as obvious as what I see now, from her confessionals. But it was obvious to everybody that she was ruthless, and she definitely was very outspoken and she wasnít afraid to hold back. For some reason, either because of intimidation or whatever it is, some people just didnít stand up to her and didnít want to say anything to her. Myself and Kelly B did, and for some reason, nobody liked that. I thought everybody else would stand up with us, but we were the only two standing against NaOnka. Everybody else is protecting her for some reason.
By what we see on the show, Brenda and Sash look like the big power players. Was that evident when you were there?
To be honest, I think theyíre getting way more credit than they deserve. I mean, theyíve made really random moves! Yeah, theyíre being sneaky and kind of smart about things but at the same time - the vote where Kelly B went home. Get rid of Marty, he was completely exposed. The last three tribal councils, they havenít gotten rid of him. On a strategic level, theyíre kind of running the show by default, but I donít think that theyíre running it because theyíre that much better players than anybody else out there.
What did you struggle with the most out there?
I struggled mostly, I think, with the entire social thing. Iíve always been a person who gets along with everybody around me, Iíve always been able to make connections with people, but for some reason this group of people was so hard to make a connection with. They just didnít seem to want to make a connection with me. So I struggled the most with that, with the social thing, and realizing that some people didnít like me out there and some people were threatened by me. That whole thing was a little bit unfamiliar to me, so I was struggling with that.
In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently?
Yeah. Obviously, thereís all the things I think I coulda, woulda, shoulda. So many small, strategic plays that I think about, but the one thing that stands out to me is the first tribal council. I shouldnít have gunned so hard for Brenda, and rather than vote for Brenda, take out her right hand girl which is NaOnka. Then she would have lost her number and our alliance would have been strong. It wouldnít have mattered if Chase was tight with Brenda, it wouldnít have mattered that Chase couldnít vote for Brenda, because Chase could vote for NaOnka. And that at least gets rid of a number thatís not part of our alliance, rather than take out Shannon, whoís part of our alliance, then we lose a number.
Is Fabio really as clueless as heís being edited, or is that an act?
[laughs] I really donít think itís an act! Fabio is clueless, but heís a smart guy. Itís not that heís dumb, but heís very...up in the air, all over the place, he kind of blows with the wind. And thatís exactly what heís being edited to look like, because he did blow from one direction to another just like that, at the drop of a dime. It was kind of interesting to watch being there, because I could see it happening, I could see him when he was so involved with Shannon. When Shannon was there, he would have done anything Shannon said. And as soon as Shannon left, he blew to another direction! Then when something happened there, he blew to another direction. So it kinda makes him seem like an airhead, and he kinda is! Regardless of whether heís intelligent or not, his personality kind of tends to just float around, rather than be solid and be confident.
What was your relationship with Benry like, and what did you think about his ďdirt squirrelĒ comment?
Um, wow. I literally sat here, shocked. I was like, ďWhat?!Ē He had so much animosity towards me, I was shocked. Thereís nothing that wasnít shown that would explain that much animosity towards me. I know we kind of didnít get along just because sometimes we would get irritated with each other at tribal or at camp, but that was just part of everyday life. There was nothing that I did to warrant that kind of...I donít know, it was bizarre to me. I was kind of shocked by it. At least he finally said something that was entertaining, heís not the most entertaining guy or interesting person. Thank goodness he actually has one good soundbite for the season! [everyone laughing] It was really random and I donít know what dirt squirrel is, but Iíll wear it proudly. If Iím a dirt squirrel, Iím a dirt squirrel. Whatever.
Before the other tribe came over for the merge and you gave your speech about the six of you sticking together, did you think everybody else was on board with that?
Oh, I hate that scene because it really kind of makes me look like a fool, just sitting there thinking everybody is agreeing with me. [laughs] But to be honest, we had been talking about it for days! We were anticipating a merge and we were trying to think of how we could take power back, if power was in Marty, Brenda, and Sashís hands on the other side. It really was a smart play, because either we all take power, or we go over there and give them power right back. So thatís what I was trying to get across to everybody, it really would have been smart to do that because noone would expect the six of us to stick together. Everyone was expecting that La Flor would go back to old La Flor, Brenda and NaOnka would go back together, and all would be well. But if we mixed it up at that moment, at merge, it would have been so brilliant and so great, and changed the entire game.
Yeah, I was really sitting there thinking everyone was going to be smart and try to do something different, try to make a big move, but I guess I was a one man army. [laughs] It was funny for me to watch, I didnít realize it was that bad! I definitely thought one or two people were questioning the plan, but I didnít think everybody was.
*Thanks to Mariner for the interview!