She made America laugh when she "outed" Jason Siska's idol as a mere "stick," but when Eliza Orlins knowingly played her false idol, she joined a small, but growing, number of survivors who had been stung by the show's get-out-of-jail-free card. However, this 25-year-old law student from New York never surrendered, despite her ever-dwindling alliances — marked by the early exits of Yau-Man, Jonathan and Ami — or her battles with the couples' alliance.
With her last words, spoken through the smoke of her snuffed torch, Eliza exposed the idol’s true holder and may have turned the game upside-down. Now the first member of the jury, Eliza is still in a position to impact the game’s outcome, and, as TVGuide.com discovered, she has a lot to say about that.
TVGuide.com: Would you say that your worst moment on Survivor: Micronesia (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET, CBS) was when you realized that your salvation was really nothing more than a stick?
Eliza Orlins: That was pretty bad, but the night after Yau-Man got voted out was also a very low moment. I was so sick, and the boys were saying, "Oh, we wished we’d voted you out instead.”
TVGuide.com: You took your share of lumps this season. Were you injured at all?
Eliza: No, just bumps and bruises, [although] my tonsils were swollen to the size of golf balls and [the medical staff] actually thought they were going to have to pull me out of the game.
TVGuide.com: If Jason actually had the real idol, you would have been in a position to have taken out this season's power player.
Eliza: That would have been amazing! It was something I really wanted to do because Ozzy had so much power in the game. He was playing better than he did last time.
TVGuide.com: You knew that Jason's idol was a fake as soon as you saw it. Did you think that Jason may have been playing dumb and using you to smoke out the real idol?
Eliza: Absolutely. I thought that he had the real idol and gave me a fake because he was convinced that he had [the real one]. That’s when I confronted him on the beach and realized that he [believed that stick] was the idol.
TVGuide.com: Parvati was your target from the very beginning. Do you have any regrets about not trying to work with her instead of against her?
Eliza: If we could have worked together I’m sure we would have made a very powerful alliance. I knew from watching her past season and seeing the way that she connected with people that she was an extremely dangerous player — more dangerous than Ozzy — because she had the potential to stick around once the merge came and pull people onto her side. She’s very charming. I don’t regret targeting her, I just regret the fact that it didn’t work out.
TVGuide.com: You were called out for not being the best social game player. Who do you think is playing the best overall game this season?
Eliza: I think that Cirie is playing a phenomenal game. She is bonding with everyone. Once you get to the merge situation and Cirie is no longer a challenge liability to anyone but herself, there’s no reason to vote her off. She is somebody who could definitely make it really far in this game.
TVGuide.com: Did you ever approach her to be an ally?
Eliza: Oh definitely! Cirie and I were very close. She was an ally, and even though she turned on my original alliance, she fought for me. They wanted to vote me out instead of Yau-Man, and Cirie wouldn’t have it. She saved me.
TVGuide.com: You certainly had a roller-coaster ride. What have you taken away from the experience?
Eliza: I think the first time I took away a lot more because it was things that I did that caused my demise. This time it was a lot of really unfortunate circumstances [that did me in]. Between Fairplay quitting at the beginning, Cirie turning on us, Jonathan getting evacuated and then Kathy quitting, there were so many things that happened that negatively impacted my game. I don’t know that there was anything that I actually could have done better.
TVGuide.com: But you had a good time, right?
Eliza: I did. I loved every minute.
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