You can't say she didn't try. Survivor: Samoa's Laura Morett saved herself from the chopping block multiple times by winning the past two immunity necklaces. Thanks to strong alliances and a tough competitive spirit, she seemed poised to go far in the game. This week, however, the elimination vote tied for the first time — five for Laura and five for Natalie — and made the rare Survivor move of going to the rocks to determine who would go home a very distinct possibility. On the second round of votes, Russell again proved himself one of the most aggressive players this season by convincing former Galu tribe member John to vote for Laura and break the tie. Following a vote that even left host Jeff Probst stunned, TVGuide.com talked with Morett, 39, about why John flipped, her bad blood with Shambo and the alliance you didn't see on TV.
TVGuide.com: Can you talk about your emotions after the vote?
Laura Morett: I think more than shock, it was just utter disappointment that somebody flipped. That now we lost our numbers ... there goes our lead. We're not dumb, we can do the math and we know we lost one more. They have the numbers. It was more like, "Oh, no. Now what?"
TVGuide.com: Did you ever think that someone was going to switch their vote in the second round and not force you guys to go to the rocks?
Laura: I knew that John would flip because [after] Monica went to put the whole plan in play about voting for John, I saw my name twice [at tribal council]. I knew that John was gunning for me ... It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he's going to be the first flipping over and writing my name down. I was pretty much preparing my good-bye speech the first time I saw my two names come up.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think John flipped? Survival instinct or something more personal?
Laura: I hope it wasn't personal. If it was personal, I hope that it was personal because he thought I was a big threat. I think that he was really worried about me and Monica, we had a tight alliance. I know that's crazy because it's only two girls but he was really paranoid about that and it was an opportunity to get rid of me.
TVGuide.com: How difficult was it to find out that your name was up for elimination so many times before?
Laura: I knew because Brett and I had a really tight alliance. He would tell me when John and Erik would bring my name up in discussions. I knew everything because Brett would tell me. When I got sent over to Foa Foa and I came back and it was that fishing challenge, with the hooks and the puzzle? Right when I stepped back on my mat, Brett leans over and in my ear goes, "Lola — that's my Hawaiian name — they want to throw the challenge and vote you out." I was like, "What?!"
TVGuide.com: Why do you think Shambo and you had such tension for so long? What was the source of that animosity?
Laura: It's frustrating to watch it because I was portrayed as the mean girl. But I would just like to say, did you ever, ever see me do one thing mean to her? I never did ... She came after me.
TVGuide.com: Do you think you ever would have been able to change her mind or change her vote?
Laura: I don't think so ... She loved Brett and she didn't know that Brett and I are really tight. When he went to her [to try to change her mind], he's heartbroken because she based her [decisions] on feeling and emotion. When somebody is in that emotion, it's hard for them to stand back and think this through. If we do this what will happen? Brett tried.
TVGuide.com: Can you talk about earlier in the show when you and Dave were chasing Russell and Jaison in the jungle to prevent them from finding another immunity idol?
Laura: It was so funny, when you have Russell, this 3-foot-tall little man jumping and bobbing and weaving through the jungle. Then, you have Dave, this tall lanky guy. It was a fun thing because they were kind of laughing and joking with each other. Russell would be like, "Come on, Dave! Keep up!" I was tailing Jaison and I obviously got the better end of the deal because Jaison does not like to move fast. You see me just walking behind him and sitting on a rock and then you see Dave and Russell just ripping through the jungle. It was hilarious.
TVGuide.com: Who would you like to see make it to the end?
Laura: Even though me and Monica were really right, so were Brett and I. I think that Monica has a huge target because she was my — in their eyes — other half. It's hard to say because she's not weak but she wasn't as much the physical threat that I was. They might think, "Oh, she's going to be good now. She's going to behave." I hope that Brett does really [well]. He's good, he's smart, he's kind. I'm rooting for him.