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Exclusive: David Wright talks game-changing emotional 'Survivor' breakdown and why he voted for Adam Klein to win


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/20/2016 

David Wright finished Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X in fourth place.

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David, a 42-year-old television writer from Sherman Oaks, CA, was voted out of the Vinaka tribe before the Final 3 because nobody thought he or she could beat him in the end during Wednesday night's two-hour finale broadcast on CBS.

David had an amazing transformation on the show, going from a guy who was scared of everything -- the sun, loud noises, bugs, and the list goes on -- to a man who could win Individual Immunity Challenges, strategize his way out of tough situations and make sincere friends.

Season 33's Final 3 castaways were Adam Klein, Ken McNickle and Hannah Shapiro. Adam ended up winning the game with a unanimous 10-person jury vote.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, the day after the finale, David talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.

Reality TV World: How surprised were you that Ken decided to vote you off?

David Wright: I mean, at the end of the day, we're all out there to win a million dollars, and if your best bet at winning that million is to vote a particular person off, then that's exactly what you should do! (Laughs) And no hard feelings.

Reality TV World: Why didn't you cast your vote for Ken to win? Were you truly not bitter against him, at least at that time?

David Wright: I really wasn't [bitter]. I really wasn't. I think in Adam, I saw he was playing a game very similar to mine. He found two idols, and he was also very likeable.

And so, I guess when I was writing Adam's name down at Final Tribal, I kind of felt like in a weird way I was voting for myself. But I thought Ken and Hannah, they could've gotten my votes as well. I think it was a marginal difference, but Adam was so deserving. So, it was easy to write his name down.

Reality TV World: What was your reaction to the entire jury voting for Adam to win? I'm sure some people expected Ken or Hannah to maybe just get one vote or something.

David Wright: I actually thought that Ken would get one vote, and it didn't go that way. So, yeah, that was actually a surprise to me.

Reality TV World: Were you thinking that one vote would be from Jessica Lewis?

David Wright: That's exactly it! Yeah, I thought that was the person who was going to vote for Ken.

Reality TV World: How big an impact do you think Adam's disclosure of his mom's illness during closing jury comments had on the jury vote for him to win?

David Wright: I think it certainly didn't hurt in his case to reveal something like that, but I think he had the game won without even revealing that. So, at the end of the day, it would've made no difference whether he brought it up or not. And his story is amazing, but I still think he was deserving without that.

Reality TV World: What type of role -- if any -- do you think Chris Hammons' campaigning for Adam played in the jury vote? Do you think people listened to him or that it didn't really matter?

David Wright: Ah, you know, I think our minds were fairly made up at that point, but yeah, first of all, Chris is a great talker. And so, I don't know if there was anybody who was on the fence, but if there was, I'm sure that didn't hurt.

Reality TV World: Hannah saved you a couple times thinking she'd have you in her back pocket going forward, that you'd never flip on her as long as she saved your butt. Is that true or did your loyalty always lie with just Ken?

David Wright: My loyalty was always with Ken because I really did trust him. He's the only person I really did trust. The thing about Hannah is she approached me with splitting the votes between [Justin "Jay" Starrett] and myself, forcing Jay to play his idol -- or so that if Jay played his idol, I would go home and it'd be flushed.

I was like, "Yeah, that sends me home. Why are you coming to me with that? That just sends me home." And then when I went to Adam, I was like, "Hey, could we change this me and Jay vote to a Jay and somebody else vote?" I got so much pushback, and that's why I was 100% sure that these people were not on my side at all.

Reality TV World: At what point do you think the game shifted from the tribe viewing you as a liability or a goat to take to the end to one of the biggest threats -- if not the biggest threat -- in the game? Looking back, is there a moment you realize you could've stayed under the radar to lessen the target on your back and maybe change things?

David Wright: Yeah. I think when I had my little emotional breakdown when I tried to back out of that challenge, I think that endeared myself to a lot of people in the game. But, you know, I think I may have overshot a little bit, and I think at that point, likeability-wise, nobody was going to take me to the end.

Reality TV World: Do you have any regrets?

David Wright: At my boot [off], I grabbed Adam's hand and made it higher, and it was just a cocky thing.

[Editor's note: Adam gestured with his hand at Tribal Council to show David had achieved a higher level of gameplay than everyone else and reached the highest bar. When Adam's hand was in the air, David stretched his arm to make the level even higher].

I'm not a cocky person, so I hate seeing that. But yes, I wish I hadn't done that.

To read the first half of Reality TV World's exclusive Survivor interview with David Wright, click here. To read more interviews with this season's Final 6 castaways, click here.


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