Survivor: David on why he's happy he didn't win
David Wright may be a professional television writer, but he could not write himself the perfect ending on Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. But oh, he was close. Sooooo close. David was the last person voted out of the game after his longtime alliance partner Ken flipped to vote him out before the final Tribal Council, just one day shy of what would have been almost certain victory.
How does David feel about being so close to the million dollars? Is he upset at Ken for turning on him? Does he think he could have beaten Jay? And what’s life been like for him since he got back from the island? We asked him all that and more when he called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105), and here are the highlights from our chat.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We gotta know, David: What were you feeling there after Ken voted you out? Were you upset? Or maybe were you proud of him in a weird way?
DAVID: Absolutely. He made the right move. Instantly I felt like no animosity whatsoever. A lot of us in the game spoke openly about, “Look this is just a game. Nobody should take it personally. And it’s a game where there can only be one winner at the end. And we all know that when we enter the game to play.” And Ken made the right move for him. Before that, he was completely trustworthy and loyal and I don’t think I would have gotten as deep into the game without him anyway. So yeah, he made the right move.
Yet you did not vote for Ken to win. Why?
Well, I voted for Adam because I related a little more to Adam’s gameplay in terms of his idol hunting and finding. He was very likable and I guess I saw a lot of myself in his game. So I kind of felt like when I wrote down his name, I was voting for myself. That’s not to say that Ken or Hannah didn’t play great games. Because I think they did. Just by a slight margin, I thought that Adam played a better game.
Take us through that final Tribal Council, because the performances seemed pretty even, yet Adam won unanimously.
First of all, it was a very long Tribal. It went over three hours. I thought Hannah did make a case for herself. And I thought that Ken did too, to be honest. Of course, Adam did, as was reflected in the votes of the jury. But, it was just unbelievable. First of all, I was just recovering from being in the game for 38 days, and just getting my mind back. But both of them made excellent cases. I hope people picked up on that in the edit.
Did you tell anyone else about the fake idol you made? Did any other people know that you laid a trap there for Jay?
Nobody knew that I’d laid the trap, but I had discussed with Hannah the idea of planting a fake idol. But then I told her I was going to abandon it and not do it. Turns out I actually did do it and I was so happy when it worked out, just as a fan and not as for any other reason. I love Jay. Jay’s an awesome guy and he’s a challenge beast. But he’s the one I wanted to capture with that idol and I was very happy and a bit proud when it worked.
And how upset were you when Jeff Probst tossed it into the fire?
Oh, I was fine with that. That’s what Jeff Probst does with fake idols. That was a fun moment.
If you and Jay would have made it to the final, do you think you would have beaten him?
That’s a great question. Jay and I actually discussed that post game and the conclusion that we came to was that, most likely, it would have been five-five. And the jury would have been split and it would have been the first ever tie at final Tribal. We finally would have gotten to see how you break a tie. But unfortunately, that wasn’t mean to be.
We asked Jay the same question and he said the exact same thing. He thinks you guys would have tied. Then he later said he sort of thinks he’d have won.
That’s just Jay.
But you really think it would have been five-five?
Yeah, I think it would have been. And so, in hindsight, Jay probably said as much, I made the wrong move in not agreeing to go to the final with him. Or at least to try.
When Bret and Sunday were sent home, were you sitting there thinking to yourself, “Why the hell are these fools not voting me out?”
I would never call them fools, because I love them both dearly, as well as everyone else in the game. But I did have the thought, “Why the heck am I still in this game? Why is no one getting rid of me?” [Laughs] But everybody has their own idea about what the right move is for their game. And I’m not sure that all the time the right moves were made. But I was happy to get as far as I did.
Does anything keep you up at night about the game at this point?
Well, it’s funny. As soon as I got back from being voted out and as soon as I walked into the Ponderosa and sat down with everybody — and no one’s going to believe this, and they didn’t believe it then — but I really did feel a sense of relief when I got voted out and didn’t have to go to final Tribal. It’s like, I played hard and I wanted to win. But at the same time, I was having all this personal growth and I thought if I were to throw a million dollars on top of that, it would undermine it or do damage to it. In that way, I was happy I didn’t win the million. Should I get so lucky to play again, I’ll take the million dollars.
You said this was a big life-changing moment for you to go out and do this and gain more confidence in yourself and tackle challenges. Has that carried over into your real life since you got back?
It has. I mean, I’m being much more aggressive in terms of going after the things I that I want in life — just the goals that I have. I’m a work in progress, so I’m not a perfect person yet, and never will be, and no one ever will be. But I’m putting energy into living my life rather than being afraid of it.
If you should ever get so lucky to play again, do you worry that people now know what a gamer you are?
Yeah, that’s the only thing that sucks. I feel like there’ll be just a giant target on my back from day 1 and I could potentially be the first one booted out. And to go to whatever location and get voted out after three days and sit there for seven weeks, I don’t know if I could take that.
Just to be clear, if they asked you to play again, your answer is…
Yes, yes. A thousand times, yes!
You can listen to audio of all the Survivor finale interviews below! Also make sure to also read Dalton’s full Survivor finale recap as well as Jeff Probst sharing intel on the next season of Survivor: Game Changers. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
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