In NFL parlance, the former cornerback got burned. Alan Ball was booted out of Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers after Devon had his vote blocked and Joe played a hidden immunity idol. (Too bad he didn’t make him strip naked and hop around at camp to prove he didn’t have one.)
Why did Alan and Ashley put their votes on Joe? How does he feel now about his strip search of JP? And what was his long-term strategy? We asked Alan all that and more when he called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105), and you can now hear the entire interview on the EW Morning Live podcast. Here are a few highlights, including his candid thoughts on Joe and his big regret at that final Tribal Council.
On why they voted for Joe, even after Joe hinted before Tribal that he had an idol:
“It’s something we weighed and we weighed it out in terms of, do we want to take Desi out or do we want to take Joe out? And honestly, I wasn’t giving Joe enough credit to really manipulate the game in terms of that blowup. I didn’t give his IQ that much credit in terms of being able to do that. We placed it on him because honestly, I don’t think I would have lasted in that camp with him. I had no choice but to vote him out and I don’t think even if Ashley and I had decided to vote Desi that it would have gone through because I don’t think I could have lasted another day in that camp with Joe.
“It was almost immediate. As soon as we got back to camp and he started talking, it was like, okay, it’s going to be painful. And for me, I went on the show to really have a good time. From the first episode, people thought I was crazy, but for me, that was just me having a good time. When we got back to the camp, the whole aura of the game changed because I was actually really annoyed. Like, when he opened his mouth, I was just really annoyed. And I think that continued through, and by the time it was time to vote, it was just, like, I don’t have a choice! I can’t see it any other way. I think I said it when I wrote my vote down — this tribe isn’t big enough for the both of us. [Laughs] So either you or me got to go, and I kind of knew the way things were going down that I was on my way out, kind of in the middle of Tribal.”
On if he thinks Ashley really did tip her hand to Joe at Tribal with a bad poker face:
“Yeah, I do. It sucks because I think I held my face pretty well and I wanted him to show his hand and call my bluff. Everybody’s not born with a poker face and I think my poker face was pretty good, and it happens. The way that Tribal went down, there was no way around some of the things that went down. And like I said, if he had played it on Desi, it would have been a different outcome, but we had to ride with what we went with. We wanted him out and that’s what we had to do. Ashley plays the game she wants to play and hopefully she has a poker face later on in the game, and if not, you’ll be interviewing her soon.”
On appearing to not give up the throwing rope in the challenge:
“That was some editing magic. We actually switched that rope three or four times. And Joe was throwing it so badly and Ashley couldn’t get it five feet. So I ended throwing myself out. For the sake of the show and the way they need to edit the story line, it did look like that, but I don’t think that had anything to do with why I went home. At the end of the day, they did show it like I wouldn’t give up the rope, but we switched that rope three or four times. If you watched it from the beginning, Joe couldn’t throw that rope three feet. I don’t know if he’s played a sport ever or done anything physical in his life because he couldn’t get the rope near the sled, and Ashley couldn’t either.”
On if he and Joe have kept up a friendship after they left the island:
“No, not at all.”
On his personal feelings on Ashley and JP:
“That was all game. I don’t have any problem with Ashley. I don’t have any problem with JP. Hopefully they don’t have a problem with me. Ashley, did she get on my nerves at times out there? Yeah. But I left the game at the game. I don’t have any harsh feelings towards anyone. I haven’t communicated with them but I don’t have any hard feelings towards anyone.”
On the one thing he wishes he could change about his game:
“When I look at that Tribal, even though I was so far down the road of destroying that relationship with Joe at Tribal, I think when Devon read that advantage, I think we could have just flipped the tribe and just voted Devon out. It would have been us four. Looking back, if I had the time to whisper to Ashley’s ear and even communicate with Joe or Desi, I think they all would have been on board possibly. But then again, Joe had a lot of power with his idol so he may have been just like, ‘No, I want you out.’ So I think that’s something that we could have done. And I think last minute I may have been able after he read that advantage, whispered in Ashley’s ear and said, ‘Okay, we’ve got to switch these votes.’”
To hear the entire interview — as well as our chats with The Gifted’s Stephen Moyer and The Orville’s Adrianne Palicki — check out te EW Morning Live podcast on iTunes right here. Also make sure to check out our Survivor recap and Q&A with Jeff Probst.