There was good news and bad news for Davie Rickenbacker on the season finale of Survivor: David vs. Goliath. The bad news was he was voted out first in the episode, coming in sixth place overall. The good news is that he immediately became the best dressed jury member…well, ever.
We spoke to Davie to get his take on that epic speech he gave the others after being voted out, how he thinks he would have done at the end, why he voted the way he did, and whether he would ever come back to play again. (Also make sure to read our interviews with Survivor champ Nick Wilson, runner-up Mike White, Angelina, Kara, and Alison.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with your big moment of the episode which was the big speech up there after getting voted out where you said that the person who orchestrated your blind side earned your vote and it was up to others to make a big move to win it back. What was that all about and why can’t you just be bitter like everybody else after getting voted out?
DAVIE RICKENBACKER: I did that for two reasons. One, my own selfish reason is I wanted to know who orchestrated the move, which Mike gave away that it was him. I wasn’t 100 percent sure that Nick wasn’t in on it, so I was reading everyone’s faces. Reading the room.
And then the second part is: I said that to light a fire mainly under Nick’s ass. Like, “These Goliath’s are lying to you, dude. I need you to kick it into third gear, fourth gear, whatever the saying is. And I need you to bring home this win.” And I think that really did light that fire to where he was able to take out Goliath, after Goliath, after Goliath, after Goliath. And win all of those immunity wins. So I think absolutely it was the best thing for me to say for him to where he was able to bring home that bacon.
Speaking of things that are on fire, let’s talk about your jury wardrobe because, man, you were en fuego in those duds! Is that what off-island Davie looks like or what?
That’s 100 percent off-island Davie! Because you know, you saw me in the reunion show. I got to give credit to Chalk Mark Custom Clothing. They made me a custom-made suit. I’ve always been a dapper person. My fraternity, we’re known for being really smooth. That’s Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. And that was the twirling of the stick. That was the distraction. It’s something I’ve learned with them. We’ve just been really smooth, suave fellows. And that’s where I learned to get that swag.
Here’s the big question: How do you think you’d do if you make it into the final three?
I think if I made it to the final three, I would have been best making it to the final three with Christian instead of Nick. If you’re talking about the final three that they had, me in place of Nick, I think I would have easily beaten those two Goliaths. If the final three would have been me and Christian and maybe an Angelina — or me and Christian and a Mike — I think I would have been able to even get Gabby’s vote because I would have been giving Gabby credit for those moves that Christian was getting credit for. I would have been able to work that jury.
You know, the relationships I made out there, you didn’t see a lot of it because they’ve got to tell a certain story for the winner. But I was out there making alliances. I had a very close alliance with Kara. Very close alliance with Angelina. Very close alliance with Carl. Everybody. So I think that if I had made it to the final three, I probably would have fared pretty well. But that’s not to say that I should have, because I think that everything happens for a reason and this just wasn’t my time.
It’s interesting to hear you talking about Christian, because we heard everyone saying, “Oh, we got to get Christian out.” But you’re saying you wanted to be sitting next to him at the end.
Exactly. I mean, I changed my mind. I wavered day by day. And people will think, “Davie, you’re crazy because you would have lost immediately against Christian.” But I think the fact that I was saving him as a meat shield, I basically would have gotten to the end and said, “Christian, you wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for me.”
And of course he could have argued that, “Well, maybe that was my move.” But I think I would have been able to be humble and be genuine with the jury to where they would understand that, “Yes, Davie, you played a damn good game. And getting Christian here, that was a great move.” Now, I’m sure Christian may have gotten one or two votes. But I think I could have taken it home against him.
If you could go back and change one thing about your game that maybe would have gotten you to the end and given you a different result, what would it be?
You know, I’ve thought about this long and hard. And I think that I’m to blame for us losing the numbers. I had a very close relationship with Carl, a very close relationship with Gabby to where I should have been able to mend those fences between them. I would pull Carl aside here and there and tell him, “Carl, you’ve got to take an easier approach with Gabby.” And I would pull Gabby aside and tell her, “Carl is going to just do what he does.”
But I probably should have taken more time with each of them separately and had longer conversations so that they both realized we need to work together and at least get more of an advantage before we lose another David. And I think that may have been my big mistake in how the Davids just got picked off one by one by one until my boy Nick came and took it home.
Okay, I need to know what you thought about Angelina’s whole weird fake idol move. Because the whole reason she was doing it was for the jury. And I looked at the jury and you guys did not look impressed.
What did you make of that whole thing?
I see why she did it. She wasn’t a big challenge person. She hadn’t really done too much other than the rice negotiation. So she needed some things on her resume. I’m so indifferent. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. but I’m so indifferent to that fake idol play. It kind of just made her painted as villain. But the thing about me is, I like villains! Villains have more fun. You know, #DevilishDavie. I liked the move as a fan because it was funny. But as a jury member, it waivers either way. You know, indifferent.
You made your vote for Nick last spring. You’ve watched the season now play back on TV. You stand by the vote?
Oh yeah, 100 percent. You know, I was a bit perturbed with the edit in the beginning because they weren’t showing how close me and Nick were. Or how close me and Christian were. And I do understand a certain story has to be told. But me and Nick made those alliances to where we said, you know, we will be voting for either of the other person whether they make it to the end. And me and Nick are basically best friends. Our alliance name was Team Dick. And that’s our names together: Davie and Nick. Me and Nick, we hang out and we’re going to Slam Town next month. I’m just so happy that my friend was able to pull out this win so that he can go forth and do whatever he needs to do in his life.
It’s so funny you mentioned that about your edit early on, because I remember watching it and saying, “I can’t tell who this guy is close to.”
I had no sense whatsoever of who your closest alliance members were.
Yeah, it was frustrating. It was 100 percent frustrating. And they show the snippet of me on the blind side vote with Jess where I’m telling Christian and Nick about getting blindsided by my closest allies, and I look like an idiot because I hadn’t said anything to them on screen in the edit.” “Well, how are these guys his closest allies if he hasn’t said a word to them?” I think it did get better post-merge but it was just really frustrating to watch.
I think people really enjoyed watching you because you were playing hard and you seemed to be enjoying yourself out there and it’s hard to do both those things. I could see you definitely getting that call asking you to come back. If you get that call, are you going to answer that call?
Do you want the long answer or the short answer?
Whatever the right answer is.
Yeah, okay. So the long answer is, I saw people out there like Carl and Pat and Dan fighting for something more. I’m a single man. I don’t have any kids. I think if I go back, it would have to be when I find the love of my life or when I have some children. Because I need something to give me that second wind so that I know who I’m out there fighting for. Of course, you know, I’ve got my immediate family, but my parents are good. I just didn’t have anyone that I was fighting for other than me and my dog, Rubio.
Also make sure to read our interviews with winner Nick, Mike White, Angelina, Kara, and Alison, our full episode recap as well as intel from the host and four returning players on NEXT season of Survivor. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.