Survivor: Roark reveals her secret paranoia scheme we didn’t see

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Roark Luskin went to her first Tribal Council this week on Survivor. It also turned out to be her last.

Roark was voted out when Ryan flipped on his alliance-partner Ali, joining JP and Chrissy in ousting the former Healer. What went wrong? How did Roark go from being the swing vote to being swung right out of the game? We asked the 27-year-old social worker that and more when she 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.

On how confident she was feeling heading into Tribal Council:
“Oh, I felt great. Ryan played Ali and I perfectly, frankly. The plan Ali and I had been fed was that Ryan was my decoy boot, and he just spent the whole day looking sad, being quiet and forlorn. And I remember asking Ali, ‘Is this how he always is before Tribal?’ And I really relied on Ali to tell me what Ryan was like because of her time on Hustlers beach, and that’s sort of a regret that I have, that I didn’t spend enough time with Ryan myself — even though I don’t think that would have changed anything. Ryan played us great, we felt pretty good going in that it was going to be 3-2, and it was 3-2, just not the way I wanted it.”

On what she could have done to change the outcome:
“I really believe the only thing I could have done was find an idol. Ali and I had no idea about the Chrissy-Ryan day 1 advantage connection. And so I had no idea stepping onto that swap mat that I was essentially walking into one of the most untraditional swap relationships that has ever occurred. And Ryan had that established trust with Chrissy, so I absolutely understand why he did what he did. From the Twitterverse, it doesn’t seem that he’s getting a lot of credit for that choice, and I completely understand that choice.”

On whether she wanted to realign with the Healers at the merge or stick with new Soko:
“I was genuinely hoping to do a combo. As you can see from how the story is being told, and absolutely is what was happening — Joe, Cole, and Dr. Mike were a little bit more of erratic players, whereas I had a really great foothold with the Healers, specifically the girls. Jessica and Dei really trusted my judgment. They were like, ‘You’re a fan. You seem to know what you’re doing. Let’s do that.’ Dr. Mike and I shared some really emotional moments. He was really emotionally vulnerable with me where he shared how much he missed his wife, and things from his past. So Dr. Mike and I were really emotionally connected as well and I felt like I could return to Dr. Mike.

“But Cole and Joe, to me, felt very unmanageable, so I made it very clear on swap Soko, ‘We’ve never voted together! We kind of like each other as friends, but here are some people I’d really like to get rid of from the Healers.’ And so I tried to make it really clear that there were cracks, there were not established trusts. I did my best on that. But I did make it clear to Ali that I had some people I could build bridges with.”

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On whether she had a personality clash with Chrissy or if it was just gameplay:
“Oh, I would say that that was real. The day we came back from that swap, she pulled everyone else and was like, ‘Okay, the obvious move is Roark here.’ And from the moment we land back on Soko beach, really, really wanted me to go, And I think that once I learned the negative things she was saying about me, I got fixated on that. I remember in one of my confessionals saying that if Ali and Ryan want to use me for numbers to get back to Healers, that’s fine because I have use for them now too. I’m fine being used as long as I can use you. If Chrissy doesn’t see a way to use me, then I sure as heck have no way to use her. There was no way she was working with me and Ali.”

On who was her ride-or-die:
“It was Desi. Cole did not tell her about the idol. I did. And I’m glad I did because she went up to him on swapped Levu and said, ‘By the way, I know you have this. We’re going to use it.’ So I’m very glad that she went into that swap with that information and was able to partner with Joe in that way. So I’m really glad I told her that. So Desi is my girl. I adore her.”

On dealing with getting so little screen time:
“It’s okay. My mom’s a writer. I know how stories work. I knew they can’t start a story that doesn’t have a finish. There were awesome little game things I was doing that I would have loved to have made air but I completely understand why they can’t tell those stories. Like, one of my fun little things that was happening is that Joe, once he found the idol himself, because very paranoid that Dr. Mike was making a fake idol. So anything we were getting with beads — like our tribe flag had beads on it — whenever I was alone, I was grabbing them and burying them. And Joe would come back and be like ‘The fake idol is getting bigger!’ The bullseye was on Dr. Mike really early, and I was like, if it starts shifting it could go anywhere, so I was trying to feed paranoia. I was doing little things. It’s okay, I understand why [that never made it to air], because it never comes to fruition, and so it’s not a good story for television. It is what it is. I had a great time. I’m glad I wore the uniform.”

To hear the entire interview — as well as our interviews with living legend Kreem Abdul-Jabbar and This is Us’ Chris Sullivan— subscribe on iTunes right here. Also make sure to check out our full Survivor episode recap as well as weekly Jeff Probst Q&A.

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