By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
Voted out after rallying the troops to get rid of one of the biggest threats this season in Zeke Smith, Will talked to Global TV about what it was like to test his faith in the game, his swing vote strategy and if he got to have a cold brew in Fiji.
John Powell: Congrats to you not only be the youngest castaway to ever play Survivor but to also make it to the jury.
Will Wahl: Thanks! That means so much!
John Powell: As a juror and super fan, when picking a winner what is the criteria that matters to you the most?
Will Wahl: “I feel like if someone has a good social game, is able to make friends and play a strategic game but have that social game to fall back on then all of that is very important. Inevitably, your strategic game is going to falter at times. There is no way to play a perfect strategic game but if you have that strong social game then you can get through the blunders, the mistakes and keep on playing through the game.”
John Powell: Was your age more of an advantage or disadvantage in the game?
Will Wahl: “I feel like in the beginning of the game, it was a major advantage. It helped me integrate into the tribe and it kept me in the middle. People didn’t really invite me into their alliances but yet I was always the swing vote that people needed to make a move happen. That is a decent place to be in at the start of the game.”
“So, it was an advantage in that regard but as the game progressed it became a disadvantage. The jury was full of people who thought of me as just a kid who cannot really play the game and they didn’t really respect the game I was playing. That is a huge obstacle I had to overcome.”
John Powell: Do you think you were underestimated as a player because of your age?
Will Wahl: “When I looked at the jury and saw their faces, especially Taylor, he would look at me like I was a little kid all the time, my impression was they were looking at me with sympathy. That terrified me. That is when I become obsessed with building my resume. I was scared about getting to the end and everyone calling me a goat. That was my biggest fear. I would rather go out fighting than be dragged as a goat to the end. That is not how I wanted to play Survivor.”
John Powell: I got some interesting emails about you and the legal drinking age being 19 in Fiji. Were you ever able to celebrate with the rest of the castaways or was that forbidden?
Will Wahl: “What Jeff Probst says is final and if he doesn’t want you drinking, he won’t let you drink. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to drink.” (Laughs)
John Powell: Like others this season, faith is an important part of your life. Did the game ever test that faith?
Will Wahl: “If anything, I grew stronger in my faith. Whenever I felt alone or uncomfortable I would turn to my faith as a way to calm me and give me protection. My faith gave me a sense of security in an environment where there was no security.”
“As far as the manipulation and backstabbing goes, I could reconcile with that because it is a game and within the context of a game, it is okay to make moves, lie and cheat. That’s the name of the game. The game and real life are completely separate. I am not going to manipulate, lie, cheat and steal in real life but in Survivor that is a completely different scenario.”
John Powell: For sure, I mean, the game is set up to force you to lie, even if it is just about whether you are voting someone out or not. It seems people are also willing to forgive those little white lies as well.
Will Wahl: “Exactly. There is definitely a line to be drawn. There is lying then there is Russell Hantz lying just for fun.”
John Powell: When you went after Zeke so publicly, did you think there would be repercussions considering how this year’s game has progressed?
Will Wahl: “Thing is, I never wanted the move to be public. The moment that Ken made it public was the moment that I thought I was going home. I honestly did not think I was going to survive to the final nine until I realized how polarized both sides were. How Zeke and David were at each other’s throats. I realized I had an opportunity and I am going to play the swing vote. That way, I can make it through. When Ken blew up my game though it all became public and that painted a very big target on my back.”
John Powell: We saw you butt heads with Ken a couple of times. What was your relationship with him like and many castaways I have spoken to were baffled by his gameplay. Can you explain a little about that to us?
Will Wahl: “Ken is a really nice guy. I was willing and wanting to work with him since the merge. It felt though that I had to go through an interview process. It was like an application to work with Ken. Every day I would have these talks with him and he would grill me on trust questions trying to trip me up. As soon as I finished his application and became his ally, he goes and betrays my trust and blows up my entire game! I really don’t understand what Ken was thinking at that moment.”
John Powell: You have been able to sit back and watch the episodes. What do you wish they would have shown more of?
Will Wahl: “I have no complaints about my edit. The way things were shown was an accurate representation of what happened out there. They cannot show everything. I wish it was like Big Brother and you could turn on the live feeds to see what is going on but that is not how Survivor works. I am just very happy with my edit.”
John Powell: What surprised you the most about the experience itself?
Will Wahl: “The thing that surprised me the most was real the conversations were and how real the strategy was. I always knew the physical part of the game was real and the whole atmosphere of living on an island was real but I had no idea how real the strategy is. How you really create bonds out there and create this society. It is fascinating to me that we created our own world out there.”
John Powell: What are your future plans, Will?
Will Wahl: “I am attending Ohio State University for political science so that is what is currently going on but I would love to get a second chance to maybe play Survivor again one day! We will see though if that is ever in the works for me again.”
Next time on Survivor…
Watch ‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X’ – Episode 12 now on GlobalTV.com/Survivor or on the Global Go app. Don’t miss the three-hour Survivor season finale and reunion special next Wednesday, Dec 14 at 8 et/pt on Global.