After dominating immunity challenges for the past few weeks on Survivor: Cagayan, Tasha Fox rarely found herself in danger at any of the Tribal Councils. But when she lost the immunity challenge in this week's episode to Spencer, she knew she was a goner right away.
"I just felt at the first opportunity that I lost an immunity challenge, I was going home," Tasha told TVGuide.com after her ouster. "It was kind of expected."
With only one more episode to go before the finale, Kass, Tony, Trish, Woo and Spencer all have a 20 percent chance of winning a million dollars. Check out our full Q&A with Tasha for her theory on why Tony's still in the game, a breakdown of her strategy to "wreak havoc" by playing mind games on her fellow castaways, and which of the five remaining contenders would definitely not get her vote in the finale. (Hint: It's not Tony.)
First things first. What is Tony's secret to making people not vote for him?!
Tasha: Tony is still in the game because he has two people in his alliance who know their roles. Woo is the enforcer, so he just pretty much goes with what Tony tells him to do. And then Trish is the cleanup woman. Even if she doesn't know what's going on, no matter what, she'll clean it up for him and make sure everything's okay. So when you have two people in your alliance who really don't necessarily care to take charge and they play their roles, that's how you stay in the game. If I had a Trish and a Woo, I'd still be in the game too.
I was confused about why everyone was trying to flush out Tony's idol. He has two, so he could play one this week and one next week and it wouldn't have mattered, right?
Tasha: No, not necessarily. But you just try to do what you can in the game. Whether it matters or not, you just try to exhaust all possibilities.
What was going through your mind as the votes were read last night?
Tasha: It was not necessarily a blindside. I just felt at the first opportunity that I lost an immunity challenge, I was going home. It was kind of expected.
How frustrating was that immunity challenge, on Day 31 and with that crazy weather?
Tasha: That one was really challenging, because we'd had a really bad storm, so we hadn't eaten anything or drank anything for two days. So, to have to run that much, it was very taxing and exhausting. That was probably the toughest challenge we've had so far, and it was most frustrating given the fact that I was one turn away from winning it over Spencer. So, to be so close just made it more frustrating.
As soon as you lost, did you know you were in danger?
Tasha: Yes, absolutely. I knew that chances are I would be going home. But it didn't stop me from trying to work something out with Woo and Kass. I was hoping that they would come through, but it's Woo and Kass. You don't put much weight in that.
I loved the conversation between you and Kass at the start of the episode. Was it really part of your strategy to pretend to sleep in so that you could overhear things?
Tasha: Oh, absolutely. I did it all the time. And I will say this — I didn't think Tony said anything negative about Kass. He did say her name, so Kass was like, 'Did you hear that?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, I heard it.' She's like, 'I can't believe he's talking about me,' and I'm like, 'I know. You're sitting right here.' Hey, if I can get her upset about something that is totally false, I'm going to do it. It worked.
Did that strategy work in your favor at any other point during the game?
Tasha: I didn't necessarily overhear anything, but last week when Spencer planted the seed about the girls alliance, I took every opportunity to hang out with the girls. 'Hey, does anybody want to go get in the ocean? Does anybody want to walk to the well?' Because I wanted to give the appearance that I was working with the girls and just really try to play on Tony's paranoia. So, I played little mind games like that throughout the season. Anything that I could do to give the appearance of something ... going on, I took advantage of that. And also, there was a time Kass, Trish and I were in the water and I [said], 'Well, if both of you make it to the end, who do I give my vote to? Kass flipping, or Trish for convincing her to flip?' And they got into a big argument about who really made the best move. So I was trying to wreak havoc whenever I had the opportunity.
Now that you've been watching the episodes with the confessionals, has any player's strategy come as a surprise to you?
Tasha: I would say Trish. I really felt like, man, Trish hasn't done anything in this game. But just watching the season, she had her hand in quite a few of the major moves. So, it was interesting to see that. I didn't give Trish as much credit during the game as I have given her now. Good for her.
You auditioned a few times for Survivor before getting cast on the show. Now that you've competed, was the most difficult aspect of the game for you?
Tasha: I auditioned three times, so the third time was the charm. I was so excited, and then I ended up on the Luzon tribe. And I'm like, no! I waited this long to finally get on the show, and my tribe sucks. So I was a little disappointed about that initially. But I'm glad the way everything played out. Thanks to Luzon I was able to hone my strategic skills and my ability to survive, because we had such a troubled start. By the time we got to the merge, I was in game mode. So it all worked out.
Last night, you tweeted that you "left it all on the island."
Tasha: I did, girl. I exhausted every possibility. I would say the theme for my Survivor experience was do the best you can with what you have. For me, in this game, I didn't have very much. But I felt like I did great, given basically the fact that I didn't have an alliance throughout this game. People flipped on me. No one wanted to work with me. I got stood up. No one wanted to strategize. Garrett told me to just sit down. But despite all of those circumstances, I still killed it. At the end of the day, it is an individual game and the only person I could rely on was myself. And I knew that, and I played like that, and I think that's why I was so successful, because I wasn't relying really on anyone other than myself. People get used to being covered by an alliance and then when they get blindsided, they're shocked because they've put so much trust in someone else. And I really didn't have that handicap. ... I can't blindside myself.
Do you have any regrets about the way you played?
Tasha: In terms of my game play, no, I have absolutely no regrets. I think that everything I've done contributed to how far I got. In terms of yesterday, maybe if I could have run a little bit faster, (Laughs), was a little quicker with turning that dial one more time, I could have won. But other than that, yeah, I think I've done all that I could do. ... For someone who's waited so long to play and to get on the show, it was everything that I hoped it would be and more. I played a solid game that I'm proud of, my family, my church members, my coworkers are proud of. And I literally played the game as myself. I didn't have to pretend to be something that I wasn't. I am proud and I have no regrets, and I'm just glad for the opportunity. It was absolutely awesome.
Out of the remaining players, is there anyone who wouldn't get your vote if they made it to the final three?
Tasha: Yeah. If Kass made it to the final three, she definitely would not get my vote. Everyone else, as a juror, if they give me a good story and give me a good narrative, then I would consider voting for them. But Kass, absolutely not. I hold grudges, and I'm a Capricorn, so it's just in my nature. I wouldn't be able to forgive her even if I wanted to.
She was the first person to do a major flip, early on in the season.
Tasha: Yeah. And in my opinion, unnecessarily. But hey, if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have been able to show how great I am strategically and physically. So, thanks, Kass.
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