By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
It was perception not reality that ended Helen Li’s Survivor journey.
Although it wasn’t really alluded to on the show, what spurred Carson into siding with Carolyn and Yamil against Helen was that he believed she was the one who unlocked the cage and had a not-so hidden immunity idol in her possession.
“Carson definitely thought I had the idol and was like very, very convinced that I had the idol. So, I get it. If you think someone has the idol, you want to get that out of the game, get that power out. I think that also played into it my eviction,” Helen told GlobalTV.com
As we are seeing, the caged immunity idol twist has certainly has had an effect on the game. It has sparked not only intrigue but a lot of paranoia and fear at all three camps. The only problem is that the fake idol that is packaged along with the real idol is probably meant to be put back into the cage by the finder and the key hidden once again for someone else to discover. At least that is how it appears to be but nobody has done that…yet.
At Tika, nobody was absolutely sure who had released the idol there but if they had to bet, Tika would have thrown their money down on poor Helen.
“I don’t think we had a consensus or understanding of who had the idol. If anything, I think the consensus and understanding was that I had the idol. (laughs) I wasn’t aware of that. At least from my perspective, I knew I didn’t have it and I didn’t think that Carolyn had it because she would probably tipped us off somehow because she was just so unfiltered. She is so genuine and so authentic 100 per cent of the time that I thought that something would gives us a hint that she had it. So, in my eyes, I thought maybe it was like Carson, Sarah or Yam Yam. Yam though was at the top of my list,” she said.
Perceptions about who had the idol aside, Helen admits that her overall game was flawed. She immediately established trust with Carson and Sarah. Because they connected, she was very loyal to them at the start. What she failed to do though was make inroads with Yam Yam or Carolyn. Helen thinks her inability to bond with those two tribemates, especially after Bruce was removed from the game, convinced them not to work her into their future plans. She became expendable to them. Helen thinks the apprehension Carolyn and Yam Yam had about her pushed them towards Sarah, who didn’t even come up as a voting option even though everyone knew she lost her vote.
Helen also found it hard to maneuver in such a small tribe, which was made even smaller when Bruce had to leave.
“Yeah, it was really tough. In a tribe of six alone there’s nowhere to hide. By the end of day one, we’re a tribe of five though and there is really, really nowhere to hide. I think my strategy going into the game was to go with the flow, not ruffle too many feathers, not throw people’s names out, take any leadership positions or put myself in an exposed position of this person’s playing really hard or they’re strategizing too much. I think I probably did that more than I initially envisioned. I think my mindset kind of changed to: How do I best position this tribe to succeed so that we make it into the merge with enough people? I think that was something that probably wasn’t the smartest idea looking back on it and probably could have used a little tempering down,” she said.
Carolyn is not only one of the biggest characters we will see but also one of the most derisive. It seems among the fanbase you either love her or are irritated by her. What I was curious to know is whether we are seeing the real Carolyn on the show, the one that was on the island. According to Helen, we are.
“She’s extremely authentic. What you see on TV is exactly how she was in the island. There’s no pause or anything like that. She’s not like putting on a façade. That’s who she is. She’s an extremely authentic person. She’s like no one else I’ve ever met and probably will ever meet. For me, I was worried because it felt like she would be someone that’s harder to manage and work hand-in-hand with. She might be more of a wild card…I think that she is in a really good position because she has this very simple to underestimate exterior but a lot of things going on under that,” explained Helen.
Although she seemed to have a lot of potential Helen’s Survivor dream was cut short. Naturally, she would jump at the chance to play again if she had the chance.
“I would 100 per cent go again! The way I described it is I felt like I finally got to the airport after so much traffic and I’m so excited for this vacation and then I get kicked off the plane before it takes off! It’s such a bummer because there’s so much I didn’t get to experience like the individual challenges. Anytime the producers call me I will say yes!” she said.
What changes will Helen bring to her strategy if she returns? She is keeping those cards close to her chest.
“My strategy? I’ll just keep that a mystery for now,” she said with a wink and a smile.