John Powell – GlobalTV.com
He ducked and darted his way through the game with finesse rarely seen on Survivor. Alec Merlino though is quick to admit that it was the people he was playing the game with who made it easier for him to be a double agent and anticipate which side, which alliance he needed to get close to every week after the merger.
“Credit is due where it is due; it was the people I surrounded myself with. Alison [Raybould] was a wealth of information. Kara [Kay] was a wealth of information. Christian [Hubicki] was a wealth of information. It was more about surrounding myself with people who knew what was happening and knew what was going on. It wasn’t like I knew what was going on all the time and there are people out there who played a much better game than I did,” he admitted.
Alec was the first to turn his back on the season’s theme and original alliances deciding that more fluid partnerships was the way to navigate through the tribal politics this season. As a part of the Vuku Tribe, Alec turned on the Goliaths helping Davie Rickenbacker and Elizabeth Olson vote out Natalia Azoqa.
“The Natalia vote wasn’t me trying to be flashy or me trying to add a move to my resume. We all know that pre-merge move isn’t going to play a jury any which way. By that time, the dust has settled. By the time the merger happened most people had forgotten about that. Part of it was gut and instinct. There are so many paths you can take besides sticking with the numbers. There are so many ways you can play it. It was all about showing the Davids I was willing to work with them and take out one of my own. I came into the game to drop the buffs and play the game with people who I thought would get me further in the game,” said Alec as he revealed his game plan if he would have stayed in the game.
John Powell: What was your strategy going forward, if you had survived that vote?
Alec Merlino: “I don’t want to sound cocky and arrogant but this is going to come off that way but I wanted to keep winning Immunity Challenges. I am sure that is everyone’s plan but I felt I had a good shot to win the majority of them. If that had panned out at least I would have been able to keep people close to me. I think when you have Immunity there is a sense of power that comes with it, people are asking you what your plan is so you have more of a hand in the vote. I really didn’t have a plan. I was shifting and adapting day to day. My overall plan was to go out there, be authentic and kind of be the charming person that I am.” (Laughs)
John Powell: Your performance at the Immunity Challenge was quite amazing. What kept you pushing and pushing as that five hour mark approached?
Alec Merlino: “My mom and the fact that I was so close to the loved ones visit. I just love Survivor and I wanted to give my all during every single challenge. It was just my attitude and love for the game. I came up short but Christian was a beast.”
John Powell: Is there anything that you wish made it to air when it comes to your own Survivor: David vs. Goliath journey?
Alec Merlino: “They (the producers) really do a good job of capturing people and their character. I think people did get a good sense of who I was. I live my day-to-day life in a positive way. I try to have good energy. I like to have fun and I am competitive. On Survivor, we become super tight with each other. You are stranded on an island and all you crave are human connections. There was a time right after the merger when we were all watching the sun rise. We were all looking at ourselves not believing we had made it. There are a lot of times when you let your guard down. It is those times I will always remember.”
John Powell: Before the season started you were involved in a little Survivor scandal by posting on social media which is against the CBS player contracts. Can you comment on that situation?
Alec Merlino: “It had nothing to do with Survivor. With social media things can be misconstrued. Anyone who knows me understands I have the utmost respect for Jeff Probst, Survivor, the most incredible show on the air. The fact that I got to be part of that was insane. I grew up watching it with my family. So, to have that as a bone of contention, I own it. It happened. I apologized.”
John Powell: Who do you think is playing the best game and the worst game?
Alec Merlino: “Wow. That puts me on the spot. It is funny because you don’t want to spoil anything, so I am just going to give you the answer that I had when I was voted off. So, when I got voted off, it is something you think about. Who do you think played the best game? In that moment, to be completely honest with you, and is probably the answer you don’t want to hear, I think everyone is really doing a good job. This season has been one of the most unpredictable seasons. Mike [White] and Christian are playing incredible games. Nick [Wilson] and all of his advantages. Everyone should be excited to continue watching.”
Watch Survivor: David Vs Goliath Wednesdays at 8 et/pt on Global.