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He came. He saw. He rapped. Chris Noble definitely made his mark on Survivor. Whether he was dominating challenges, busting out rhymes to tribemates, or engaging in one of the most epic feuds in the show’s 36 seasons, the Noble One definitely made his presence felt.
But that presence is no longer. Chris was tragically voted out this week after losing his duel with Domenick and not using the immunity idol he received on a sneaky nighttime jaunt to Ghost Island. Where did it all go wrong? Why couldn’t he and Dom get along? What does he make of his edit? And what does he think of Wendell’s Tribal Council takedown of his rapping skills? We asked him all that and more — including whether the Noble One would consider a return trip to the island.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s jump right into the big feud with Domenick. How different do you think things might have been had Domenick not raised his hand at the end of that opening reward challenge?
CHRIS NOBLE: If he didn’t raise his hand, I think the whole complexion of the game could have been different. It was exhausting having that feud on the island, and it killed both our games in a way, but at the same time, from an entertainment perspective, this was just awesome to watch. And I honestly don’t regret anything.
How surprised were you that nobody sided with you at Tribal Council? Did you think you had the votes walking in there to get Dom or Wendell out?
So here’s the thing: I wasn’t overwhelmingly confident that I was going to get everyone to do what I asked, and I knew Dom and Wendell were going to vote for me. From the outside looking in, it just looks like a stupid play on the idol. But what wasn’t shown was that after I made that dumb decision of talking to 11 tribemates, I went to certain people I was close with individually and talked with them. And for the most part, they all lied.
Even Sebastian, who was my closest ally — he lied to me. So it was tough. My game plan was to build strong relationships in case the inevitable blindside happens, and unfortunately, my relationships weren’t strong enough to overcome the power of the game.
So even after Dom used his Legacy Advantage, the reason you didn’t use your idol is because you thought you would still get Wendell on the split vote?
There is so much going on in this one episode. I personally didn’t think Dom and Wendell had a lot of great relationships with people, and I thought that everyone could tell that Dom is a mixture of Tony, Boston Rob, and Russell. I’m sitting here like, “How can some of these big-time Survivor players not pick up on this? He has an idol. And Dom and Wendell are a legit power couple. How can people not want to get rid of them at the merge? You can get rid of me whenever! The minute I lose a challenge, I’m done.”
I’m running all that through my head. So going into Tribal, I was like, “Okay, if Dom plays his idol, I’m going to risk it. If Dom and Wendell both play their idols, I’m going to play mine. And if none of them play their idol, I’m playing my idol, because then I know that something is up.” I don’t regret my decision not playing the idol. I had to play the long game. I had to risk it. Every Tribal going forward, the odds of me going home go up exponentially. So if I’m going to risk it, now is the time to risk it, because if I risk it and get through it, I’ve bought myself at least six days because I’m playing the idol next Tribal.
And, of course, the terrible irony in all this is that if you had been unsuccessful in extending the idol’s powers at Ghost Island, then you would have been forced to use it this Tribal, and you would still have been in the game.
You’re right. Absolutely. And if that was the case and I only had it for that one, I would have absolutely used it. But I’m not the kind of person that plays what-ifs. It happened the way it happened, and what’s meant to be is meant to be.
How long do you estimate it took you roundtrip to sneak away to Ghost Island, get that idol, and then get back to the shelter before people noticed?
Can I just say that was probably the most incredible moment of my life? It was amazing, and the sky was so beautiful, there was this aura about the whole thing. So time was almost irrelevant, but I would say probably took less than an hour.
I heard that people in the cast didn’t know you had the idol until they watched last night on TV. Is that true?
Only one person knew. I went to Angela strategically right before we had to leave for Tribal. I looked her in the eye, and I was like, “What are people thinking?” She talked. I’m like, “Angela, don’t say anything, but I have the idol. Should I play it tonight?” She said, “No. They’re going to vote for you next Tribal.”
Which she may have thought because she voted for Libby.
One would say.
Let’s get your rebuttal to Wendell’s less-than-glowing comments about your rapping skills while casting his vote. What do you think about him saying, “You’re garbage at rapping”?
I think how people respond to adversity and conflict shows their true character. We all were battling, and I handled my exit first-class and with respect, and he handled that situation with no class. But what I will say is that Wendell’s and my relationship outside of the game is good, and I hope that whatever anger and hate that he had for me — because I think it goes deeper than just the game — I hope that’s gone. Because you don’t have to take it to that level no matter what the situation is. You don’t.
When you say it was beyond the game, what do you think it was? What do you think his issue was personally with you?
I don’t know. I just know that I could never feel that kind of anger to push the envelope that far. I don’t know where the anger came from. It was a competitive battle, but I never bashed anyone like that out there, so I can’t think where that anger came from.
I loved your exit. What I loved was you and Dom going after each other so hard, but then when it was over, and you were voted out, you all hugged it out and complimented each other. I’m sure you were massively disappointed because you’re a competitive guy, but was there any bitterness there?
I’m a competitor, but man, that battle was awesome. I respected both their games, and that’s why it’s hard for me to sit here with respect for both of them, and I was the one voted out, and it’s just watching Wendell and him saying what he said — I just thought that was ridiculous and not classy at all. Especially when I’m not even claiming I’m a big rapper or anything. I just did that to cheer people up and give ‘em laughs. So wherever anger that transpired in him, I hope he grew from that.
Speaking of giving some people some laughs, can we talk about your Ponderosa rap video now?
First off, I want to do a special shoutout to James and Ryan. They did an incredible job creating this and editing it. We all sat down and came up with ideas with how we would cut it, like as far as the helicopter, the jet ski, the pool — those two are geniuses, and I respect the hell out of them. The rap was a blessing, and you can say what you want, but if I don’t get voted out the time I get voted out, this rap video does not happen. I was sick almost my entire time out in Ponderosa, and the one or two days I was normal, I wrote the rap in like two hours, woke up the next day, we did four hours of filming, and then I was deathly ill and on medication two hours later.
Well, you made a sick video and then you got sick, so there you go. What do you think of the edit you got? Because we saw you dominate in competitions and make a really heartfelt connection with Donathan and have a nice tender moment talking about your mother, but then there were other scenes where people were kind of rolling their eyes as you talked about your accomplishments, and they left in you mispronouncing the word beneficiary. What was it like having to take the bad with the good and see that stuff on TV?
If you guys thought my edit was a rollercoaster ride, so did I. I think my edit would portray myself accurately to the extremes. Look, I’m a confident person. I can also be emotional. I’m okay being vulnerable because I have confidence and faith in myself that I’m going to overcome whatever the outcome is and whatever people say. Ultimately, my main goal was to tell my mom’s story and spread awareness of multiple sclerosis, because there are 2.3-plus million people out there that have this disease that has no cure. I set out on that mission, and I accomplished it.
I’m realistic. I know someone with my personality and athleticism — the chances of me winning that game were probably slimmer than anybody’s, and I battled. I gave it my all, and I tried to make a name for myself while spreading the awareness of MS, and I did that. I am not that arrogant and cocky in real life. I definitely think the eye-rolling is because people misunderstand me. I think people misunderstand my ego sometimes because maybe their ego is the one that’s fragile. I’ve experienced a lot in my life. I’ve accomplished a lot. And I’ve failed a lot. And I think when people hear my life story like they did out on the island, they probably misunderstood it. I wasn’t bragging, and I have accomplished a lot. And I was never shy about my failures either. They just chose to hate on the wrong things.
Would you come back and do this whole thing over again if they asked you to play a second time?
Absolutely. I would get on that rollercoaster. I would play the game differently. I didn’t want to have to go to battle so early — especially with a big target on my back. But the way the game started, I had to play on the offense immediately, especially with someone as intelligent as Dom. So much like him, he knew that I was his biggest threat, and he was mine. And that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.
Before you go, can you lay down one funky fresh rhyme for me, preferably involving a current or former member of the Miami Heat?
Ooof, current or former? Well, the only one I can think of on the top of my head was the one they ended up dropping about Dwyane Wade.
Fine, give me something non-basketball-related then. Freestyle whatever you want. ANYTHING!
How about this? I’ll give you this. Are you ready?
I am so ready.
My life is like a casino/ I push them all in and gamble on me though / I flip-pocket aces and sip some Tito / And pray to the gods and hope I get that green dough.