By: John Powell – GobalTV.com
As fans it is easy for us to play backseat Survivor. We have access to the bigger picture, all the information each season while the castaways themselves can only base their decisions on what they see and hear.
“That was another huge moment for me and my game. If I had known what was happening on that reward I would have been all over Ben’s offer. I didn’t know Devon [Pinto] was planning on switching sides and Ben was a bit of a loose cannon and it was hard to trust him again. I should have seen his desperation and took advantage of that,” confessed the Florida lifeguard.
The other crucial moment Ashley admits was not considering a similar offer from Chrissy Hofbeck when they were on a reward together. Ashley believes her reaction closed a door that would have been better left open.
“I can only make the most sense of it by saying the pivotal moment was at the Loved Ones Reward when she (Chrissy) made an attempt to get me on their side, to vote with them. At that time though, I was so foolishly confident in the alliance I was in that instead of giving her anything to work with I brushed her off. That was a moment and a move that I regret. Chrissy and I are on really good terms now and we joke about it. We really enjoyed each other out there. I realize that I am one of the few people that say that but I genuinely like Chrissy and I think that might just be me looking at the best in people. I tend to do that. I think because of the Ryan [Ulrich] and Devon separation we never clicked game-wise,” she said.
Since the game ended, Ashley has also ironed things out with Devon who betrayed her last episode electing to support a plan to vote her out over someone like Mike Zahalsky.
John Powell: Now that you have time to take it all in and process your experience, how do you feel towards Devon and his gameplay? Have you spoken to him about what happened?
Ashley Nolan: “Totally. He and I are still very good friends. We still keep in touch. Everything is fine with us. Mike being in the position that he was in tried to get between Devon and I. They didn’t really show that too much. Mike was telling me that Devon was going to flip on me and he was telling Devon I was going to flip on him. Maybe it is just me and my personality but I get what Devon did and there were no hard feelings five minutes after I walked off that set. He did what he had to do and I should have done it before he did. I should have beaten Devon to the punch.”
John Powell: You are a very competitive person. On one hand, it must have been disappointing to lose but on the other hand, you have to be proud of how long you lasted in the game.
Ashley Nolan: “I tried not to go in with high expectations of what was going to happen. It is such a crazy game. You never know, you could be the first person out. There is no way of going into Survivor and guessing what is going to happen. Any little thing can change the outcome. Looking back, what could I really do? What is done is done.”
John Powell: From the Reward Challenge pick did you think the tide was turning against you or did you get a sense that something was wrong before that day?
Ashley Nolan: “I had no idea until that moment. That was an “uh-oh” moment for me. Until then, everything was fine. Lauren [Rimmer] getting voted out was awful for our alliance but I still thought it was Devon and I who would figure out what to do next. Maybe we could use Mike? Maybe we could use Ben? The line in the sand had been drawn between me and Devon and Ryan and Chrissy early on when Ryan and Devon had a falling out. I really thought Devon and I were moving forward together. When they didn’t pick me for the Reward and they didn’t pick Mike that was a big “uh-oh”. Them picking Ryan was not a good sign.”
John Powell: This seems to be a very emotional season with all sorts of revealing outbursts and people sometimes playing with their hearts. Why do you think that is?
Ashley Nolan: “We just had an interesting group of people. It was a very passionate group. Chrissy is the first one that comes to mind when you say playing with your emotions. We all did it though. For instance, when you have someone like Joe [Mena] whose gameplay was just to diminish the character of his opponents and to get in their heads, you wonder if that is really necessary? You reach a certain point where real-life sneaks in and you know it is Survivor but that kind of gameplay is just not cool.”
John Powell: It must be so hard to resist that emotional temptation especially when the very presence of someone is really bugging the crap out of you.
Ashley Nolan: “It is difficult but we kept Joe around longer than I ever wanted us to. Ultimately though, he was not a threat so even he stayed longer. If we were all playing with our hearts instead he would have been gone earlier.”
John Powell: When it comes to your edit is there anything you wish they would have shown more of?
Ashley Nolan: “When Lauren, Devon and I really started to make some moves, I felt like I was in a lot more conversations then they showed and I also knew a lot more than they showed. They showed a lot of the conversations being spearheaded by Devon or Lauren but I was leading things as well but the edit didn’t get that message across but it is television.”
John Powell: What process as a juror did you go through in order to pick a winner? What qualities or attributes were most important to you?
Ashley Nolan: “It wasn’t just one thing or another. Survivor is winning challenges, winning immunities, really giving your all, being knowledgeable of the game, using advantages and manipulating other people, there is a lot that goes into it. For me, it was who did it all? Who is pulling their weight at camp? That is something that a lot of us jurors actually look at.”
John Powell: I probably don’t even have to ask this as I know your answer but…Would you ever play again and would you play any differently?
Ashley Nolan: “I would absolutely play again but I don’t know if I would play any different because I felt I genuinely went in as myself and did the best that I could.”
Next time on the season finale of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers…