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Exclusive: Aubry Bracco talks 'Survivor': If I scrapped my way into the Final 3, I'd find a way to beat Sarah Lacina


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/27/2017 

Aubry Bracco finished Survivor: Game Changers in fifth place during Wednesday night's Season 34 finale on CBS.

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Aubry, a 30-year-old from Cambridge, MA, defeated Cirie Fields, who finished in sixth place. However, Aubry fell behind Tai Trang in fourth place, Troy "Troyzan" Robertson in third place, Brad Culpepper in second place, and finally Sarah Lacina, who won the $1 million grand prize and was crowned the "Sole Survivor."

Aubry got voted out on Night 37 of the game. She had been aiming to eliminated Troyzan at the time so in case Brad won the final Individual Immunity Challenge, he wouldn't have a clear-cut decision on whom to take with him to the end. (After all, Brad and Troyzan were best buddies out there). Sarah and Tai, however, decided against teaming up with Aubry.

During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Aubry talked about her Survivor: Game Changers experience. Below is what she had to say.

Reality TV World: Why did you vote for Sarah to win?

Aubry Bracco: Yeah, I voted for Sarah because I thought her control over both the social and strategic part of the game was pretty masterful. She was able to be a strategy beast. She was able to be pretty ruthless in a [Tony Vlachos] kind of way, but at the same time, she was able to make everyone feel like she was their No. 1, like she was their sister or their best friend or someone close to them.

I mean, just watching how she was kind of able to layer the right emotion over any strategic move to get the exact result she wanted out of it, it was pretty incredible to see, and we were about at, like, the Final 8 and I said, "I think Sarah might be the next Tony of this game, and everybody doesn't see it."

I would tell people, like during that scene when [Andrea Boehlke] and I are talking and Andrea was like, "Sarah is a threat," I was just as much -- if not more so -- like, "We need to get her out. Why are these people not seeing it?" So I just think she was unbelievable in that respect.

Reality TV World: Yes I was going to ask you about that. Before Andrea got voted out, you were shown telling her that it wasn't the right time to take out Sarah and that Brad absolutely needed to go first -- but Andrea was shown really pushing to take out Sarah. So I had been wondering since then if you regretted that, because it was a big turning point in your game.

Aubry Bracco: Yeah! That's the thing, I wanted to go with Andrea. I wanted Sarah out. I was probably the biggest champion out there of wanting her out.

But the problem is, we didn't have the numbers to take her out, so we had to pick the next best thing, and I'm still -- I mean, I wish Andrea hadn't gone because it was a turning point in the game, but it was never that I didn't want to vote out Sarah, it was that Cirie was really close to her and [Michaela Bradshaw] was really close to Cirie, and so we just didn't have the numbers to do it.

Reality TV World: Had you made it to the end, do you think you could have beaten Sarah and/or Brad?

Aubry Bracco: So my whole game was a totally different game. I was playing to get anybody to play with me. I was really kind of screwed from Day 1, and I would've gone to the end with whomever I could've gotten to the end with. My story was going to be all about starting out on that cursed Mana tribe and scrapping my way.

I didn't meet any Nuku in the game, except for [James "J.T." Thomas], until the second tribal swap. So I went into the merge essentially not having had a pre-merge with all of the people running the game. So, I mean, Sarah wasn't in my ideal Final 3, but hell, if I could actually get there and she was in it, I was going to find a way to beat her.

And I think I could have beaten Brad by my social game, I think. I was really proud of the way I got to the merge, and I was able to kind of, like, see what was happening and somehow find a crack and work my way in to get into an alliance even though I had met most of those people at the merge.

Reality TV World: You had a fairly quiet edit all season long, but as you just said, you played an under-the-radar game. Do you feel you haven't received the credit you deserve for your gameplay this season, or maybe you feel you made a move in particular that went unnoticed?

Aubry Bracco: What I would say is that I used to be a writer and you know instinctually like, "There's a headline on this story!" And the thing is, I was never the headline of what was going on. I was making a lot of moves kind of like right behind the curtain.

So, the analogy I've been using is that if this season was a train barreling down the track to Day 39, the Nukus were driving it and I wasn't even on the train. I was on the side of the track doing anything I could to derail that train so that I could jump on and play.

So I was fine with it. I did make a lot of moves, but a lot of people made a lot of moves, and this is a returnee season with a lot of players. And yeah, it's cool, it was a different game I was playing.

I was playing to have anybody play with me the entire time. And unfortunately, even though I was really proud of that game, I wasn't able to spearhead as many of the moves. But I was there working, and in some ways, I think I played a better game than my first.

Reality TV World: Are you surprised that when five people were left in the game, they took you out instead of banding together to take Sarah out when they had the chance? Do you think that's indicative of you being a bigger threat than Sarah?

Aubry Bracco: Yeah, this game had a lot of [moving parts]. I don't understand why they wouldn't want to take her out. I think that was crazy. I mean, I would have loved to pitch to them to take out Sarah, but the fact of the matter is, Brad told me right off the bat that he thought I should have won Kaoh Rong, which told me that he didn't want to go to the end with me.

And Troyzan clearly had a very tight relationship with Brad, whatever the nature of that was. And they were not going to work with me. So, I was shocked they didn't want to do it, but also, at that point in the game, I knew that's how it worked. There were people in this game who were like, "We're sticking together."

It's like they had signed some blood agreement and I hadn't been present for that signing. And I think the preconceived notion of Kaoh Rong, and the fact there were four of us -- I know that was tough for Tai, that he heard a lot about the "Kaoh Rong Four." Not to speak for Tai, but that was a really big thing in the game.

Reality TV World: Did you guys actually have a pre-game alliance, the Kaoh Rong Four, or talk about sticking together once the game began?

Aubry Bracco: No, we didn't have one! That was just people's perception. It really was like, "We can throw you under the bus over the fact there are four of you," when the truth of the matter was Tai and I kind of had a little bit of a rocky end in Kaoh Rong where it was tough to watch, because a lot went down. So we said, "We'll see what happens," so there was nothing really there.

[Debbie Wanner] and I didn't even say goodbye after the finale, and I didn't even play with [Caleb Reynolds], so there never was. Never was. But it's easy to say, "Hey, there are four of them and they were just in Kaoh Rong." So there was a target.

Reality TV World: When Ozzy Lusth was vouching for Brad at the Final Tribal about how his challenge wins were so impressive,  you were shown rolling your eyes in annoyance. (Laughs) Why was that? Did you have a specific issue with Ozzy's case or Brad's game, or maybe you think winning multiple Immunity Challenges isn't that big of a deal anymore given how Survivor has evolved in recent years?

Aubry Bracco: Yeah, I didn't even realize it was a response to Ozzy. I think quite frankly at that point, he had been a little bit long-winded, and we were getting late in the night. But I think that for me, I don't think winning challenges is enough. Brad Culpepper was a great person to me through the game, but I also saw his social game kind of disintegrate.

I think winning challenges is super important, but this is a game where there are people with all different abilities and who have all different ways to win. I think I value a more holistic game as opposed to just a challenge-driven game.

Check Reality TV World's Survivor: Game Changers webpage in order to read more of our exclusive interviews with the season's Final 6 castaways.



Aubry Bracco/Instagram

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