There isn't one misstep in particular that Alexis Maxwell can point to as the deciding factor that led to her torch being snuffed on Wednesday's Survivor. But there are several things she would have done differently.
" I did so many things wrong," Maxwell told TVGuide.com this week. "When we were at different reward challenges, Jeff [Probst] would ask questions and I would say the dumbest things. ... I was just really disappointed in my game play."
Maxwell also confessed that she was so convinced of her safety that she spent much of her final Tribal Council mentally going over her strategy after the two tribes merge in next week's episode. The tears viewers saw her shed after she was voted out were definitely not for show.
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Check out our full interview with Alexis to get more of her thoughts on the blindside, as well as whether the girls on the Beauty tribe were unfairly accused of not pulling their weight around camp.
You seemed really upset after Tribal Council. What was going through your mind when your name was called?
Alexis: It was a very real blindside. Throughout that entire Tribal Council, I was just thinking about my post-merge plans, because I knew the merge was the next day. I was so proud of myself, and I couldn't believe that I made it to the merge and I would be in a great spot at the merge. So, when I saw my name written down three times, I knew obviously that I was going home. And it was a complete out-of-body experience. I don't even remember getting up and bringing my torch to Jeff. I think I tried to take my torch with me, too. It was just a mess. I was so upset, because I was just really disappointed in my game play and I thought that I would have done better.
Do you have any regrets?
Alexis: Oh yeah. So many things. (Laughs). I did so many things wrong. I believed telling the Brains that Jefra and me were tight was helpful, because I thought that they would see me as two people instead of one, see me as being able to bring Jefra in. But it was hurtful. ... I didn't think of the obvious things that they would be thinking of. I was too up front about my connections. [And] when we were at different reward challenges, Jeff would ask questions and I would say the dumbest things. (Laughs). Things that don't help me at all. I don't know why I said the stuff that I said. He would say, 'Are you shocked to see Cliff gone?' And I'm like, 'Oh, I'm glad to see my two Beauties standing there.' Who says that? That's so dumb. (Laughs). And I did that more than once. You didn't get to see it, but in previous challenges I said the same thing. It was just very dumb. But I learned. And I would never do that again. My brain was gone.
So what was your strategy going to be, post-merge?
Alexis: I can't remember specifically, but I remember thinking I wasn't going to flip ... because that would just mess my game up. that's five jury votes right there that I wouldn't get. You lose. If you flip, you lose. So, I was at least going to stay with my six for a couple votes, and then once I got to the very bottom, and there were just two more people from the other tribe left, I wanted to switch it up and take it to the top four. So, it was all about switching at the right time and pulling in the bottom people from the new Aparri tribe.
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Has your perception of anyone changed after seeing the confessionals in the episodes?
Alexis: Yeah. I was so wrong about like 90% of the cast. Spencer obviously said a lot of bad things about me in that last episode. Some of it wasn't even pertaining to the game, which was kind of rough. But he warned me and said that he said bad things. I really wouldn't take anybody's confessionals to heart, because it is a TV show and it is Survivor and people are in a different state of mind. I never hold a grudge. I never dislike people. It's just too much energy wasted. I'm fine with everyone. We all have this unspoken bond because we went through the same experience, so I really still enjoy talking to everybody.
You're obviously a huge fan of the game. What was the biggest challenge for you, going from watching on the couch to actually playing?
Alexis: When I got out there, a lot of things hit me at once. Not the elements. The elements were surprisingly the easiest part for me. But the idea of being on camera 24/7 really changed my game a little bit, because I had to think about, are my little cousins watching and future employers watching? I definitely had to think about that, and it made me play a little bit safer than I think I wanted to — which I wouldn't do the second time around, because I think that that didn't matter either way. And even without the cameras, I still felt like every tiny thing that I did could be a reason to send me home. So I was paralyzed with this fear of turning into a threat or sending myself home with something dumb. And in the end, I still did that, even if I was playing safe. So, I think that I was a little bit too safe, and I could have done more.
It sounds like you'd jump at the opportunity to play again.
Alexis: If I ever played again, I would do so much better. I wish that, as a fan, that I went out there and trusted my fan instincts, because I think I would have done better if I did that rather than trusting my real-life instincts. There were things that I said out there in my confessionals like, 'Oh, if I was watching, I would think that they were sending me home tonight.' And I should have listened to myself. But I think my heart being so invested in the game actually clouded my judgment. I would be more logical if I played again. ... So, I am disappointed but I'm so, so happy that I did this.
When you guys were still divided into the Beauty, Brawn and Brains tribes, the girls of the Beauties were accused of not pulling their weight around camp. Care to comment on that?
Alexis: As far as pulling our weight around camp, yeah, we didn't do that much. (Laughs) Jefra and I did a lot. Morgan never did anything, which is fine, because the amount that me and Jefra did wasn't very helpful. We really didn't do that much. But you know, the guys conditioned us to be that way! We would wake up in the morning and the rice would already be cooked, in our bed. It was kind of nice. I can't say that I didn't like it.
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What impact do you think the tribe shakeup had on your game?
Alexis: The shakeup didn't benefit me, because my two allies obviously went to the other tribe, and it made me more of a threat. Especially when Cliff got voted out and Lindsey quit, I thought that L.J. was going to go home that Tribal. The fact that he didn't actually hurt me a lot, because it made me more of a threat with reconnecting with the other side. It sounds bad, but I was hoping LJ went home because I knew that it would have kept me in the game.
Why do you think they decided to vote you out?
Alexis: I think that their decision to send me home was immediate. I really don't think that they were ever contemplating sending Jeremiah home. Which is really unfortunate, because I think I made the arguments for it, and I think that Tony's move [of giving Jeremiah the clue to the hidden immunity idol] was helping me. But I guess they saw through it and they really thought that I was still going to flip. Which I wasn't. I wasn't going to flip. So it was really unfortunate, and I wish that there was something I could have done to prevent it. Because obviously my heart was really in it, and it was just so disappointing for me to have my game be abruptly ended like that. I just wish I would have done better.
What did you think of Tony's move to give Jeremiah the clue to the idol, in the hopes that it would make him a target? You spent much of the episode trying to convince your tribe mates that Jeremiah was lying about it.
Alexis: I love [the move]. I think that it was helping me. I mean, obviously I still went home, but I think that it gave me something to work with, and some ground to stand on and some argument to make against somebody other than myself. And I wish that people would have bought into it a little bit more. ... I don't think that I learned I was wrong until that episode. I don't think I ever talked about that with anyone. Up until last night, I thought that he actually got a clue. (Laughs). So, I was so wrong. But even if I knew that I was wrong, I still would have tried to use it in my favor and tried to convince people that that's what actually happened. I just remember being so confused that day and thinking, there's no way that Jeremiah could be this bad of a liar. And in reality, he was actually telling the truth. So that was my bad.
Who do you see as the biggest threat in the game going forward?
Alexis: I think there are still a few threats in the game. I think that L.J. is a threat, because if he gets near the end, he could do really well. I think Tony is playing so recklessly that if he gets to the end, he could get credit for a lot of moves. I also think that Spencer could kind of skate through and still take credit for some big moves. So, I think a few of them have a really good shot.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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