“Survivor” Castaway Elizabeth – “My Goal Was to Win and Jeff (Probst) Got Into My Head”


“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

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Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Gordon Holmes: When Angelina approached you last night, did you get the sense that she wanted to work with you at all, or did this seem strictly like a jury management move?
Elizabeth Olson: I think she was playing “Survivor.” We had already had a bonding moment, a heart to heart. That maybe tipped the scale as to whether or not she should say that to me or not. But, in saying it, she was definitely working the jury. I’m glad Alison was intuitive enough to see that. I didn’t have to say it, they figured it out on their own. The Goliaths were pretty pissed at Tribal that Angelina was telling me their plans and trying to manage the jury already.
Holmes: Was there any chance to maybe use that information before Tribal?
Olson: Angelina did not tell me with time before Tribal. I had to do all of my blowing up at Tribal. I did not have time to talk to the Goliaths.

Holmes: The vote ended up being unanimous.
Olson: I know! What’s up with that?!
Holmes: What is up with that? Did you think the vote was going to be down David vs. Goliath lines?
Olson: Heading in I knew that people were gunning for me. I didn’t know that Carl was the lead charge on that. He had been throwing me under the bus. That was a little bit hard to watch. But, I don’t have hard feelings, he’s playing the game. I don’t blame him for it, that’s what you do. It was frustrating because I did have hope that we could send a Goliath packing. I did not know it was going to be unanimous, but it was not surprising. It was surprising that there was enough communication going on to get all the Davids on board with it. The Goliaths were forthright with everyone except for me.
Holmes: Did that feud with you and Carl start with the uncomfortable bed, or do you think it dates all the way back to the Jessica vote?
Olson: I think it’s just a core difference of who we are. We’re just like oil and water. Which is funny because we’re both from Texas. We have a lot of things that we should bond about. He’s very laid back and I’m very aggressive and crazy. I’m literally wanting to do something all the time. I cannot sit still. And Carl’s like, “Mmm…man…I’m gonna sit by the fire. You know? You wanna come talk to me? I’m by the fire.” And he’s the only one who caught a fish and he wouldn’t go out and fish. Man, I can’t even swim and I’m out there fishing. We were just very different people. The whole bed situation didn’t help. But, when I found out he was going to join my tribe, I thought of all the people, why does it have to be Carl?

Holmes: Alright, the post-merge word associations take a while, so let’s jump into this. Davie?
Olson: Hilarious.
Holmes: Pat?
Olson: Hard working.
Holmes: Jessica?
Olson: Teenager.
Holmes: Christian?
Olson: Friend.
Holmes: Natalia?
Olson: Smart.
Holmes: John?
Olson: Good.
Holmes: Gabby?
Olson: Amazing.
Holmes: Kara?
Olson: Beautiful.
Holmes: Lyrsa?
Olson: My buddy.
Holmes: Nick?
Olson: Complicated.
Holmes: Dan?
Olson: Sleezeball.
Holmes: Mike?
Olson: Interesting.
Holmes: Alec?
Olson: Surfer.
Holmes: Bi?
Olson: Quitter.
Holmes: Carl?
Olson: Lazy.
Holmes: Alison?
Olson: Smart.
Holmes: Angelina?
Olson: Smart…again.

Holmes: Bi left the game when her knee was injured. She wasn’t forced out of the game. Is that a popular sentiment that she’s a quitter?
Olson: Yeah, we were all kind of pissed at her. Jeff was too. You don’t get on “Survivor” and then quit, especially if you’re a fighter. I understand that she’s in a situation where she has a career where she has to have health, but we clearly told her she wouldn’t have to do anything else to risk her knee. She could sit out. Take one for the team and then go home at the next Tribal. She wasn’t willing to listen and try to understand the game enough or respect the players that she had suffered through the cyclone with to consider that. It was very frustrating.

Holmes: You also referred to Dan as a “sleezeball.” What’s behind that?
Olson: Dude! He’s just…I don’t even know. He’s childish. Very childish. He was pouting around camp. I don’t like people that pout. He was pouting because he had to work. And I was like, “Bro, look here…I’m out here swinging the hammer with you. That’s just life.” Grow a pair of balls and grow up. You’re not nine anymore.

Holmes: They briefly made it look like you and Nick were forming an alliance. I believe it was the “Thoroughbreds.” Did anything ever come of that?
Olson: I think that’s one of my regrets in the game is I didn’t reconnect with him as much as I should have at the merge. We did have a really good connection and we’d worked together to get out Jessica way back when. I was trying so hard to get new relationships that I did not focus on my secondary…Davids. My first big connection on the Davids was Christian. I was extremely close with Christian. But, I did not reconnect with my secondary…like Nick.

Holmes: Alec and Christian have formed a “Strike Force” alliance that’s half Davids and half Goliaths. Gabby is a part of that as well. She was very emotional during Tribal, because she thought she was on the bottom. Do you think that was genuine, or do you think she was trying to throw the Goliaths off of the Strike Force’s scent?
Olson: It was definitely genuine. It was irritating sitting at the fire and watching all of the Goliaths go down and talk like they were man-handling us and we couldn’t do anything about it. And she was like, “We really are on the bottom. This sucks.” And she had to vote for her good friend and it was like lambs being led to the slaughter. And during Tribal, I was getting hammered by Angelina and it must have been frustrating for Gabby. She was very upset.

Holmes: I want to be really careful with this next question so we don’t veer into spoiler territory. You’re the first juror, some people think that person sets the tone for the jury. Heading into this game, what kind of juror did you expect to be? Someone who respects strategy…social game…challenge strength…camp work ethic?
Olson: I’m pretty mathematical in my day-to-day life. I look at life as a math problem. So, for me it’s Outwit/Outplay/Outlast, one third, one third, one third. So, I look at each contestant that way. How did they play strategically? How did they play socially? How hard was their journey to get there? You add that up and figure out who played the best game trying to be as objective as possible. Not “Who’s my best buddy?” It’s who played the best freaking game all around.

Holmes: So, I’m going to apologize for picking you to win, because almost all of my winner picks have lost.
Olson: Yeah!
Holmes: I’m so sorry.
Olson: (Laughs) I was planning on winning, dude.
Holmes: Blame it on me.
Olson: My goal was to win and Jeff got into my head. A day before the game started he said, “We picked y’all because you’re going to make the best TV. You’re awesome. We love you. You being you is going to help you get the furthest in the game.” And I thought, yeah…that’s what I’ve got to do. I need to change my strategy. So, I decided I was going to be myself and have fun.
Holmes: There’s a lesson to take from all of that. And it’s not, “Don’t be yourself,” it’s “Don’t ever listen to Jeff Probst.”
Olson: (Laughs) For real though, bro! I love him to death. And he’s really cool in real life. The reason “Survivor” is awesome is because Jeff is passionate about it. He’s insane.
Holmes: Oh yeah, and the people who’ve never experienced it, might not appreciate that he’s not just the guy who shows up every three days and tells you what to do. He’s producing, he’s directing, he wears like a hundred different hats.
Olson: His passion for this game oozes out to everyone underneath him. They believe in it because Jeff believes in it. And that makes the players believe it. He doesn’t get enough credit.
Holmes: Well, I’m going to cut all of this out of the interview because I don’t want him getting a big head.

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