‘Survivor’ Jurors Sebastian and Donathan on Dom’s Aggressive Play and Finding Love


“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: Last night when Dom outed your plan to vote him out at final six…it seemed like that was a turning point for him. He seemed to come off as a bully. Was that the impression you two got?
Sebastian Noel: Totally. They didn’t show much of it, but he was outright bullying Donathan. Right?
Donathan Hurley: Yeah, as Sebastian knows, I sat there in silence through most of it because I was like, “Wow…this sucks…”
Holmes: Some casts will reward big, aggressive gameplay. Whereas this cast seemed to hold Domenick accountable. Do you know if other jurors were impressed by it or were the majority turned off?
Noel: I don’t know if it was an impressive move for the jury. I think it backfired. Maybe a few people were on his side. But at final Tribal when we talked about that move, it seemed like he had nobody on his side.
Hurley: Maybe Chris or Michael liked it…they didn’t show it but, Kellyn didn’t like it at all. Chelsea didn’t. I could tell that Libby and Jenna didn’t like it. Des…I don’t know her position on it. It didn’t do Dom any favors because everybody knew that they had those idols. Everyone was kind of over them at that moment.

Holmes: Sebastian, did you know that Angela was the one who spilled the beans about your extra vote?
Noel: I had a pretty nice conversation, just me and Donathan about that second vote. We were locked and loaded. So when we brought in Angela, she sat there and agreed. I thought she was with us. But, we figured it almost immediately once Dom said he knew I had an extra vote.
Holmes: Tell me when you got to Ponderosa that there was a big bowl of candy waiting for you.
Noel: (Laughs) They had a bunch of bags of gummies.

Holmes: Donathan, before the game started you mentioned that you had hoped to make an African American friend out of all this. And you did!
Hurley: (Laughs)
Holmes: You and Laurel were very close. But in the end, you voted for Wendell. What was behind that decision?
Hurley: I was trying to make a move the whole time and she would never make a move. I wanted to vote for someone who was willing to play the game and she did play the game, but it didn’t really shine and those guys played great games. She was kind of their goat and I couldn’t vote for her.
Holmes: Do you think she thought she had a chance at final Tribal or was she settling for third place?
Hurley: I think she could have pitched that she was the final Malolo. But, it was hard to go against them because they ran the game. She didn’t have a chance at all.

Holmes: We don’t have a Sprint Player of the Season anymore, but we do have Sia. And that was you!
Hurley: (Laughs) It was awesome. It blew my mind. I’ve always been a huge fan of her and I love her music. It was the greatest thing ever.

Holmes: Wendell made it sound like everyone thought Dom had the advantage going into Tribal. He said that Dom thought he would win 8-2. Angela said she didn’t know which way she was going to vote. Did you know going in or did you make up your mind there?
Noel: I knew from the start that Dom was not getting my vote. He nudged me off the rock from day one. He was verbally commanding people around camp. He was that first-day guy that told people how to do things. He rubbed me the wrong way. But he continued to do that. He’d get under your skin and piss you off. He was a conniving little bastard. Wendell had my vote. He was a good friend out there. We were always doing things out there. We created this brothership that they didn’t really show.
Hurley: For me, I got voted out at 37, so I had 38 to really think about it. I’ve always been a superfan and I didn’t want to be remembered as a bitter juror. I wanted to really sit and evaluate both of their games. What I liked about Wendell is he was playing the game that I really wanted to play out there. I did want to be second in command and be at the end and say, “Hey, I let this person do this.” Wendell played a great social game. He was always taking care of the shelter life. It was so great the set-up he built. He let Dom run the show, but he was making his moves too. You can see in the edit they were making decisions together. And I worked with them, so I saw that more than most people. And Wendell was so much more reasonable. I always thought he was a great player.

Holmes: The fire-making challenge is a real game changer. You’ve got Laurel and Angela lobbying to get to the end and you have Wendell saying, “Let’s make fire.” Is being the person who is taken to the end being set up for failure?
Noel: I don’t know if it’s setting up for failure…but everyone gets to focus on the fire winner. Everyone knew Laurel was coat-tailing. So, it was just more proof that she needed a cushion.
Hurley: It is a negative. I think so. The person who wins fire gets a great moment. And the immunity challenge winner has that track record of winning too. It’s like what happened to Ryan, you’re going to look like some kind of dope.

Holmes: Sebastian, I don’t know if you read my pre-game interview with Jenna but she looooooves you.
Noel: (Laughs)
Holmes: And lookit you guys now.
Noel: (Laughs) We hit it off immediately. When you fly out, you’re not supposed to talk on the plane. I was in the very last seat of a big old jumbo jet. And this beautiful lady sits right down next to me. We hit it off right from the start. We talked the whole way. We were secret friends at pre-Ponderosa.

Holmes: Donathan, you found love in a very different way. Coming from an upbringing where people treated you differently due to your sexual orientation. And now the fans seem to have rallied behind you…as well as Sia. This had to have been an incredible experience.
Hurley: It’s been amazing. It’s something I never would have dreamed. Being able to be in the whole season and the love and the support. I have such a great following and I love them all.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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