They say in the game of Survivor it is best to go big or go home. Devon Pinto exemplified that with his attitude towards a controversial new twist that forced him into a fire-making contest against Ben rather than a free pass to the final three. Had Devon won, it would have been a big hero moment that could have propelled him to the million-dollar prize. But he didn’t, meaning he moved straight to the jury and never got the chance to sit at the final Tribal Council.
We chatted with the fourth-place finisher the morning after the finale to get his thoughts on everything that went down.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY How difficult is it to be that close?
DEVON PINTO: I know if this close is the right word. As far as how I did, I couldn’t have asked for anything different that what happened.
What sort of reaction were you getting from people last night?
I got a lot of positive feedback, which was really nice. All that positive energy was nice and heartwarming. A little overwhelming, but all good.
Chrissy told me that she thinks you really got a raw deal with that fire-making twist. Do you agree?
Nothing in the game of Survivor is fair and I think it was an awesome way to go out. It’s all good.
If you win that fire-making challenge, do you think you win the game?
It’s a high possibility. I definitely had a better chance of winning the game if I had won the fire-making challenge. It could have happened.
How do you think the votes would have gone if it was you, Chrissy, and Ryan at the end? Have you done the math in your head in terms of who would have voted for whom?
No, I haven’t. I’m not a big what-if kind of guy. What happened happened and you can think about what-if but that’s not the real case.
If Chrissy had given you a choice between competing in fire like you did or getting a free pass like Ryan, which would you have taken?
I think my only path was to participate in the fire challenge. I was meant to participate in that and that was shot. If I was going to win, that is exactly how I was going to win.
You voted for Ryan to win. Why?
I voted for Ryan to win because on the first day we promised each other we’d never write each other’s name down unless it was the final one to win. And we never wrote each other’s name down so he was in the final three and I just had to stay true to that promise.
You turned on Ryan earlier in the game after he told Ben about his idol. Do you think that was a hasty move on your part?
I don’t think I ever turned on Ryan because I never gunned for him personally.
I know you’re not big on what-ifs but have you thought about if you could go back and change one thing about your game what it would be?
Honestly, no. I think how I played the game was the best I could and wouldn’t change anything about what I did.
Make sure to read our full Survivor finale recap as well as our interviews with winner Ben, runner-up Chrissy, finalist Ryan, and fifth-placer Dr. Mike. Also get some inside intel on NEXT season from Jeff Probst as well as Probst answering all the finale burning questions. And for tons more finale coverage, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.