Interview: Alec Christy talks 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur'
Indeed, he can take added pleasure in the relative simplicity with which he went out: The dominant alliance was supposed to split votes, but take out Keith. Instead, Natalie flipped and voted Alec out, figuring Keith might be a better ally to keep around.
That beats Drew's exit, which involved throwing a challenge in order to target an all-female voting conspiracy that never existed, subsequently alienating all of the women his his tribe, creating a female conspiracy and getting himself voted out.
Of the brothers, Drew was the "Survivor" fan and Alec told me in his exit interview that he had only watched two episodes before going into the game. And while he understands that he made certain beginners' mistakes, he only sounds a little regretful about, for example, goading Julie into quitting the game and preempting a vote that could have given his alliance a big numbers advantage, or failing to strategize with Jaclyn sufficiently before another vote that went against his alliance.
Generally, Alec is pretty pleased with how he did in making the Top 7. In the full Q&A below he explains why and also discusses what he would do differently now that he actually knows "Survivor"...
HitFix: OK, going into that last tribal council what would you have said your odds of surviving that particular vote were?
Alec Christy: I would say it was like a 60-40 and that I thought I was in the 60. I thought I was gonna squeak by by one vote and I thought it was gonna be Keith going home instead of myself just based on the way that they had talked about how, you know, Keith might be harder to beat in the challenges, which was all right for me. I could deal with that, you know. Whatever’s gonna keep me in the game a little bit longer. But unfortunately Natalie flipped her vote knowing that I was gonna potentially play with Jon and ruin her game plan. So she didn’t like that then she made the move to vote me out.
HitFix: Well in the immediate aftermath there seemed to be a lot of confusion about how the vote had ended up flipping.
Alec Christy: Well it would be Missy and Jon and Jaclyn did not expect that to happen and Natalie flipped her vote and then acted like it was an accident, I think.
HitFix: But were you able to figure out in that moment what had happened?
Alec Christy: You know I was able to figure out somebody flipped their vote but I did not know it was Natalie until a little bit after.
HitFix: What was it like watching last night’s episode? Was there anything that you were able to learn from watching things set up that you hadn’t maybe figured out?
Alec Christy: You know it’s crazy to see what they actually show because there’s so much going on out there. But it seemed like it was about right. I sure wish I could have won Immunity or at least not let Jon win Immunity because that would have changed everything. But it was really tough after Exile to come back and keep playing that game on Day 32. I mean you can’t explain that until you go, you know, you go start your own fire and you have this tiny little pot and you’re boiling water all day in this little small pot just so you can get enough to drink. And you’re no energy and a pathetic amount of rice and it’s hotter than ever and you’re all alone. I mean there’s just so many factors to being on Exile Island. Unfortunately they didn’t show it but it really, really takes a toll on your body. And exiting the game I lost 29 pounds or so, 28 pounds, so by that point in the game my body, it was really suffering.
HitFix: Well I had been sort of struck by that. Jeremy when he came back from Exile he was basically a shell. You came back you looked like you hadn’t slept at all. Did you have any sort of expectations? Was there anything you could have done knowing how bad it was out there?
Alec Christy: You know I really don’t think so because when you’re sent there, you’re sent there with nothing. It's like, "Well shoot if I had a sleeping bag and a tent." I mean yeah. But you’re sent there with nothing and so I mean I didn’t even mention the bugs. It was really, really hard core. I mean you’re out there you’re sleeping on the ground, there’s scorpions crawling around. All kinds of stuff’s going on. One morning a scorpion crawled on my arm and I just flipped him off and went back to sleep and it wasn’t even a big deal. When you get start to living that primitive mindset, I mean everything changes. So no, there’s nothing that you could do to prepare for Exile Island unless you’re gonna sneak some stuff out there.
HitFix: Now when you went out last night in the last interview you said that your ambition outweighed your ability is out there. What did you expect to be able to do that you weren’t able to do and when did you realize maybe that that was going to be the case?
Alec Christy: You know I was just saying more so with my ambition exceeding my talent being like number one, I didn’t know that much about the game of "Survivor," you know, versus a guy like Jeremy who’s seen every episode three times and, you know, grew his nails out long to be able to untie the ropes and everything. I mean it’s so many factors that he thought about that I didn’t think about because I’ve never seen the show. So I mean for not knowing much at all about the show and playing 32 days of it and playing more days than he did, that was great, but I definitely think that when it comes to the challenges I wanted to do better than I did and I expected to do a little bit better than I did. I hung tight on the challenge where I hung onto the pole but then in the next one I was one of the first ones out or whatever. I was expecting to have a little bit more focus, to be a little bit better at those challenges than I was.
HitFix: Well okay, talk a bit more about your frame of reference for "Survivor" coming in. I mean you say you weren’t a fan. Had you never watched the show at all?
Alec Christy: I had seen "Survivor" Blood vs. Water," Season 27 and season 21. Those are the two seasons I had seen. I only watched them while I was at the finals casting in LA. So I was a complete rookie to the game. And it didn’t really hurt me. It hurt me because if I would have known a little bit more I really, really could have done well, made it even farther than I did. But being a rookie in the game made it, you know, I didn’t have a big target on my back. Jeremy had a target on his back every day. So, you know, or even Jon, I mean, Jon’s made it far but he’s got a target on his back. I definitely was a rookie and naïve to a lot of things in the game because I’d never seen the show.
HitFix: Had Drew seen the show?
Alec Christy: Yeah, no Drew has seen it but, you know, we just kind of went like, "Hey, let’s do this." You know you’re put in competition, surviving and, you know, a million dollars all into one big wrap. Sign me up.
HitFix: Okay so now having had the "Survivor" experience...
Alec Christy: If I could go do that again I’d really, really think I’d be, you know, I think I could go farther. I mean I was this close this time and I think I have like the body-type and the mindset that’s good for this game because all these big, strong athletic guys number one, they’re really hurting really fast out there. And number two, nobody wants to play against those big guys in the end. So I don’t have that stereotype attached to me and that really helped me a lot. Being, you know, the skinny white boy was kind of good for me.
HitFix: If I tell you to hop into a time machine right now and go back to the day before you started on the beach, what are you telling yourself not to do that you did?
Alec Christy: You know I would just accept the fact that women on the show or some women on the show, not all of them, but some women on the show are not gonna pull their weight. And they’re gonna sit around and I am just gonna have to live with that and not call them out and not be rude to them because they’re being rude to me and not doing anything all day. And so maybe just keeping that on the outset with that regard. Everyone made me out to be the rude villain guy and all this and that but really it was just me saying how it is. "Hey, you guys don’t really do much and it kind of sucks. I don’t like it." And unfortunately that didn’t help me and I would have kept my mouth shut a little bit and maybe not overlookef some of the other people who I didn’t think I needed at the time in the game. So maybe that’s just giving everyone else the time of day that, you know, made them feel like they could use me or I could use them at some point in the game versus having my plan that I thought was definitely going to work. You know, obviously it didn’t, here I am.
HitFix: When you look back at certain key things like Julie quitting for example...
Alec Christy: I made Julie quit. I made Julie quit. I should have just shut up. I did, you know, even if they didn’t show that it happened that way, I made Julie quit. I told her that I would like some trail mix like four times in a row and she shortly thereafter quit the game.
HitFix: Okay, when you’re out there do you realize that that was a mistake and do other people make it clear to you, "Hey dude, you blew that"?
Alec Christy: You know at the time I didn’t. I realized it was a mistake like three days after, four days after. At the time I couldn’t stand Julie. I can’t stand her. I mean I’m surviving on an island with her. She’s rationing the amount of food I get every day. She’s putting more in her bowl than mine. I don’t know it was just like everything about what was going on with her aggravated me and it was just really tough for me to live with that. I wish that discipline of just like, "Hey let it go, you know," a guy like Jeremy he was really good at that. He was really good at just letting things slide that even though he should probably say something or have an opinion about them. And I’m opinionated and that was something that got me in trouble. I couldn’t stand the way that Julie or Jaclyn or Baylor just kind of sat around and didn’t do much all day. It aggravated me and that got me in trouble.
HitFix: How about the situation with Jaclyn where the first time around you guys neglected her and that caused problems. And then the second time around do you think you sort of overcompensated for that?
Alec Christy: Well yeah, you can’t win with anybody. "Oh, he’s not talking to me enough" and then everyone’s like, "Oh my God, he’s flirting with her so much now." Where’s the middle ground? I don’t know. I mean I was just being nice to her at that point and maybe there was a little bit of flirting going on but they put such a spin on it like, you know, I’m gonna marry Jaclyn or something. I don’t know what’s going on but come on, I mean that’s ridiculous.
HitFix: So your interpretation is that the edit made it look more flirtatious than what it was...
Alec Christy: Well the edit and Missy. Missy made it look that way. Oh my gosh like, "Alec and Jaclyn flirting and dah, dah, dah." Give me a break. I just wish there was somebody to flirt with Missy because then she wouldn’t have said a damn thing. But nobody wanted to flirt with Missy.
HitFix: You talked on the second episode last night about having to do uncharacteristic things to keep yourself in the game. And there was sort of the semi flirtation, semi confession with Baylor. Was that the most that you were able to do at that moment?
Alec Christy: At that moment, yeah. I mean because, you know, I had already kind of duped Missy and Baylor and Jon and Jaclyn a couple of votes before so I was trying to find any reason for them to keep me around at that point because I had already lied to all of them, but at the same time that’s what the game is and I knew that so I knew that I still had a shot and I was gonna go give it my all and just try to make something happen where there wasn’t much there.
HitFix: When was the last time when you were out there when you actually felt like you were strategically in control in any way?
Alec Christy: You know it was right before Josh got voted out. I was pretty confident we were really, really about to make some things happen in the game. And obviously that didn’t go our way. And then I almost want to say I felt like I was about to be in control after that vote with Jon and the Idol. Had we got Jon out I think that our alliance would have been the one in control after that.
HitFix: When I talked to Reed already today he said that he knew the second the words came out of Keith’s mouth, "Stick to the plan."
Alec Christy: It was over. It was over. Yeah, it was done.
HitFix: And you recognized the minute the words came out?
Alec Christy: Oh my God. It’s crazy to relive that moment because we were so close and we lied through our teeth to all of them and they believed us. It was incredible. It was an incredible plan whenever all of our backs are against the wall and unfortunately Keith just kind of gave us away.
HitFix: You talked last night about how at least you could say that you beat Drew. Here’s my question. How frequently do you make fun of Drew specifically for the *way* he went out of the game?
Alec Christy: Oh that, you know, I say to him Drew, "I can’t believe you looked at the camera and said that." That’s Drew. He’s opinionated and he believes in himself and I take nothing from him for what he does and the way he did it. I just wish he could have been a little bit more humble and a little bit smarter because that game plan was no good. I just wish he would have played a little bit more like I did. Going with the flow according to Jeremy is no good. But I mean I was sitting in the top seven and it wasn’t effortless at all but it wasn’t the hardest thing ever to get to that top seven. And I don’t think Jeremy was ever gonna get there because of how big of a threat he was. And even if Drew held it together, Drew would have been a threat as well being the big athlete and this and that. So I guess I just wished that Drew would have kind of just coasted a little bit more, gone with the flow and let the game come to him versus trying to take it.