It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. But isn’t that always the case for everyone who does not win Survivor? Morgan Ricke thought she had a perfect plan in place on Survivor: Ghost Island. She and alliance-mates Domenick and Wendell were ready to join with the folks from Malolo now on their tribe to vote out fellow former Naviti partner Angela. And Morgan assured her pals that she had Libby on lockdown to make it happen.
But she was wrong. The Malolos flipped the script and blindsided Morgan instead. What went wrong? Why did the Navitis turn on Angela anyway, even after she went with them instead of Chris’ plan? And why did Morgan will her Legacy Advantage to Domenick instead of Wendell? We asked the ousted player all that and more when she called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105) Thursday morning, and she revealed the one thing she wishes she had done differently when it comes to Libby. Here are some highlights from our chat.
EW RADIO: Why try to take out Angela even though she said she did not agree with Chris’ plan?
MORGAN RICKE: We just couldn’t trust Angela. She was so tight with Chris and in the original Naviti, Dom, Wendell, and I were in an alliance opposite Angela and Chris. The original Naviti was 5 vs. 5, so Angela just really didn’t confide in us. She really didn’t tell her story. She was just “I don’t want to talk about it.” So it was really hard to get to know her on a personal level and it was really hard to trust her. She didn’t have those intimate conversations that the other people had. So we just felt like we couldn’t trust her. She had lied before so we decided we wanted to blindside her. We had pulled it off. She had no clue what was going on at Tribal, let’s just say that. Like, I was blindsided, but Angela had absolutely no clue what was going on.
Did the Malolos of James, Laurel, Donathan, and Libby make the smart move in taking you out?
From their perspective, yes. I understand why they chose me having had seven months to talk to everyone. And basically they thought I was the glue holding old Naviti together. So they thought when Chris came back to the island and it was Chris, myself, Dom, and Wendell, that I could put a band-aid over that and patch things up because I did talk to Chris and we did have conversations and we did get along, so from their perspective, I was the glue holding everything together.
And then you told everyone to “not trust the cute blond” in Libby on your way out.
I was really proud of that comment because I completely blacked out. I don’t remember walking up to Jeff, I don’t remember getting my torch snuffed. I completely blacked out. So I was really proud of that comment because I am a competitor and obviously I didn’t want to go home. That was so sad and depressing and you have all these feelings and emotions and your heart’s pounding, so I was proud of that comment. I love Libby. No harsh feelings. It was a great move on our part because we did kind of gain trust with each other.
And Survivor is all about gaining trust and then breaking trust at the right time. And she seemed like she wanted to keep you. She wasn’t the ringleader in that. She wanted to keep you, but when you have your whole alliance wanting one thing you have to sometimes begrudgingly go along with it, which seemed to be the case with Libby.
So why give your legacy advantage to Domenick and not Wendell?
Dom, Wendell, and I were all super close, obviously, but Dom and I just had a stronger bond. We both slept by the fire. We never slept on the bed. We would get up at night and go to the beach and watch the stars and talk strategy. We communicated a lot more than Wendell and I did. Wendell is more of a laid back player, as you can see, while Dom was so crazy, I was like Dom’s mother. I was like, “Dude, you have got to stop!” And we would have these conversations at night once everyone else was asleep. Now, of course, I fell asleep for, like, 10 minutes and he found that dang idol, but we spent a lot of time together and really trusted each other. I felt that connection with Dom right off the bat.
Did he tell you that he had found the real idol?
I honestly didn’t know he had found the real idol. Dom is one of those players who kind of wears everything on his sleeve, and so I had an idea that if anyone was going to find the real idol, it was Dom. He kept doing this fake idol stuff, but then he had a real note. There was a lot of stuff going on there, but 100 percent knew about the idol? No. I didn’t know about the real idol.
Anything that surprised you watching the season play back?
Probably that James sucks at challenges. That’s so mean to say, but of course he wanted to get me out! I’m better in the water than him, on the freakin’ Ninja Warrior steps he failed and had to go back again. The dude honestly has one of the highest IQs and hasn’t done a puzzle challenge yet. He’s supposed to be this Harvard athlete, well, I was an athlete too. Apparently he can run in a straight line on a track and field, but… I was really surprised watching that on TV.
What was it like meeting Jacob at Ponderosa after you both became Legacy Advantage victims because he gave that to you and wanted to work with you later on, but now neither of you made it or got to use it?
He was so in a depression. He kept apologizing. I’ll never forget his face and his reaction. He was so upset. He was actually in the bathroom when I got to Ponderosa and so Stephanie came out and she hugged me and was the warmest welcome ever, and I see Jacob coming out of the bathroom and he pretty much just collapses on the floor. It was hilarious because he was just so upset. Hopefully, we’ll see if Dom can reverse the curse. Who knows!
If you could go back and change one thing about your game that might alter the outcome, what would it be?
One of the questions Libby asked me before we went to Tribal just out of the blue as we were packing up to go, she asked me “Are you a fan of Survivor?” Because obviously there are recruits this season and she is one of the recruits. So in my mind, I’m wondering why she is asking me. Is she asking me, wondering, oh, is Morgan this strategic threat who has watched all these seasons? I was being compared to Kim, and Kim already won the million, so people have this idea about me. So that was the question that I wish I had more time to answer, but she wanted to know if I was a fan of the show.
I kind of played it off like, “Of course, this has been something my family and I watched every Wednesday night,” but you don’t want to go too far on one end or the other. So I wonder if I had answered that differently and played up the family thing more because she’s so religious and so much about family that I should have played it up more. It wouldn’t even have been playing it up, honestly. It’s a huge thing for my family. But I wonder if that would have changed anything at the last minute.