It was all going according to Lucy Huang's plan on Wednesday's episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. Despite a few strategic hiccups, Lucy had engineered a solid majority vote to eliminate Jessica - until David made the shocking move of playing his own immunity idol to protect Jessica, and sent Lucy home in her stead with just two votes.
TVGuide.com chatted with Lucy about what tribe dynamics we didn't see, why she thought she was going to die during the reward challenge, and whether she thinks — objectively speaking, of course — David made the right move.
TVGuide.com: Looking at this as objectively as you can, do you think David made a smart move in playing the idol?
Lucy: I do not think that he made the right move because he didn't need to. I really wasn't a threat. We just needed to make it to the merge, and the dynamics would change in the group anyway. I was basically looking at it as giving him the information that he needed, who the majority of people were going to vote for. There were no emotions tied to it. It didn't need to get there. It was too early. There was no reason. We just needed to make it to the merge.
Obviously it's frustrating to get voted out, period. But how tough was it for you that you were able to successfully engineer this vote, only to have it thwarted?
Lucy: It was great in a way where I was like, OK, wow, I was able to do that. Right? But it was frustrating because, yeah, it didn't go through and it was two votes that I got voted off on. Like, how does that happen? I'm actually happy, in a way, because after that a bunch of people were like, "Wow. Look at Lucy coming out. Damn!" Finally, they get to see how I would have really played. At the end of the day, as long as I played a respected game and my moves were strategic, I think that's what people appreciate.
The fact is, I wasn't trying to be bossy with Dave and Ken. I was just saying, "This is the information. This is who we're voting for. Let's just stick together and go forward." That was basically it. So I was quite disappointed in the fact that they turned on me after our relationship that we built on the island that they didn't show a lot of, as far as how we got along or talked. I was cooking for the tribe up until then. Dave would always be watching the fire and I was the one who was like, "Hey, you're getting really thin. You've got to eat more." I would give him more food. "Dave, you've got to drink." So that kind of threw me off, because I was like, damn, I was the one taking care of you.
What was going through your mind when he stood up and played the idol? Did you immediately think you were going home?
Lucy: Absolutely. I was like, oh sh--. (Laughs) ... But watching it yesterday and seeing that Ken actually changed his vote to Jessica actually makes me feel a lot better about myself. We were able to have closure basically that they didn't really show. I think that was a little too late, because Dave didn't get the message.
We saw a little bit of this, but how tense were things at your camp after Paul's blindside last week?
Lucy: After Paul's blindside, it was completely chaotic because the two guys, Bret and Chris, ended up just feeling completely betrayed, like, "How come nobody communicated with us?" I think that's one of the downfalls. You get to the point where you see people talking all the time, and you think that they have this great relationship. But in all honesty, everybody has their own feelings inside. They just need to talk about it. I did pull Chris aside because Chris was somebody that I was really close to, and he just said, "How come nobody talked to us? How come nobody mentioned this?" But it's hard to tell at that point. Because, if you're hanging out with Paul all the time, how were we going to know? ... If I had just stuck to the plan and been even more quiet than I was, (Laughs), it would have just [gone] through.
In your confessional after the vote you said you learned a couple of lessons too late. What would you do differently if you could?
Lucy: I would have stuck to the plan, first of all. A plan is a plan ... even though Jessica was trying to plant in my head some type of insecurity about the hierarchy, or where I [was] in the alliance. That didn't matter, because at the end of the day I should have just stuck to, OK, the point was the merge, right? Like what I'm saying about Dave and Ken, too. They should have just waited for the swap. I should have just done that too. It didn't matter. Why did I start getting insecure? That's when all the boo-hoo emotional girl stuff comes out. I should have just really blocked that out as I usually do. So, sticking to the plan, and the other thing is the fact that I really need to watch myself or how I speak to people. Not everybody can take my bluntness. I think I mentioned that to Jeff, that with Ken, I know that if I spoke to him just a little bit different, like, "Hey, this is who we're voting for. And this is how we're going to handle this, but if you have any other suggestions let me know, or let's talk about it," I think that would have [fixed] things. But basically it was like, "You're dictating to me, and so I'm not even hearing the fact of what you want to do. You're just being bossy, and I don't like it."
You did stick to your plan, though, which was to get Jessica out. And it would have been successful if David hadn't played the idol.
Lucy: Well, stick to the original plan. We had an original plan with the six of who was going to be voted out, and then we started getting all changed up. A lot of it had to do with Jessica bringing things up, how we voted Paul out. And then we just started getting all mixed up, instead of just saying, we had the four in line already, of who should go.
Was there anything else from the episode that viewers didn't see that you think is important?
Lucy: First of all, it would just be the insecurity that Jessica was making me and Sunday feel about ourselves and our alliance, and the fact that she was basically the leader of the females. ... The other thing is the fact that, prior to Tribal, I actually went to Ken and apologized for how I spoke to him. I was explaining to him like I explained earlier about how I was trying to give him the information, and that at home, in my real life, I'm basically the boss of everything. I have to schedule everything. I have four kids, a business, a husband, so my life is intense and constantly moving. That's all I need to know, because that's all I have time for. So I said, "I'm not trying to talk to you disrespectfully, but in my life, this is what happens." And then I apologized. I shed some tears. And then at Tribal, when he and Jessica went at it, I think that he realized more that I was really true to him. Because I didn't go gossip. I didn't go talk about anything behind his back, the way that she came and took his information and spoke to me about it.
The reward challenge looked like one of the most physically grueling challenges in Survivor history. How tough was it out there?
Lucy: When you look at my body, you think that I'm completely strong and I can handle anything, but I literally felt like I was going to die and drown. But I also knew that I needed to win for the team. So, I tried my best. You saw me at one point, I was holding on to both Michaela and Hannah with both arms. I had them, so that Jessica could swim further up. And Michaela's strong. Michaela's much taller than I am. I'm only five-foot-two. I had to tread water because I couldn't stand on the sand at all. So, I was exhausted and holding two girls back. Michaela, she is taller than me, so she was probably able to grip the sand on the bottom a little bit. But, that was hard. And literally, there were times that I kept swallowing water, but I just knew that I had to keep going. I didn't want to disappoint, basically. It was kind of like one of those, I've gotta do this. It doesn't matter. If I die, I guess somebody will come and get me, but at least I tried my best. And I did. You saw me doing the best I could. It was hard. It was definitely difficult ... but I'm glad that I got to experience that because all those experiences helped me grow as a person and help me know what I'm able to tolerate as well.
Who do you think is the biggest threat on your tribe going forward?
Lucy: I think they need to watch out for Chris. I'm actually rooting for Chris, because he is strong. He is a gentleman, actually, as well. And he's just so likeable. He's like a big teddy bear. He did something on the island that was very respectful. I know that going forward, he probably will continue to impress people in a way. When they went on the peanut butter and jelly summit, and he was one of them that got to eat, when they got back they said, "Hey, you guys eat tonight. We're not going to eat your portion. You guys can have our portion." But not only did they do that, he actually went fishing for us. He went out for two hours. ... He actually went out and took two hours to fish for us. That was like, "Wow. You're amazing. Right?" Because most people are like, "No way. I'm trying to save my energy. I'm good to go." But he wasn't like that, and it wasn't that [far] into the game where he had such a tight, tight bond with us, right? But he did it. So that, to me, is amazing. He looks kind of tough. He's a big guy. But he absolutely has the biggest heart.
Would you play Survivor again?
Lucy: Oh, absolutely. I was cheated. I wasn't supposed to be voted off yesterday. You guys got to see how I would play ... oh my god. Shortchanged. I think that people can appreciate the way I played as well, and they didn't appreciate Ken's sensitivity, you know? It's a game, right?! It's a game. I want to do those individual challenges too, because I know I could kick ass.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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