Chase Rice claims he went into Survivor: Nicaragua's final jury session believing he would lose the jury voting to fellow castaway Jud "Fabio" Birza via a 5-4 vote.
And as viewers saw during Sunday night's live finale broadcast, that's exactly what happened -- resulting in Fabio claiming Survivor: Nicaragua's $1 million grand prize and Matthew "Sash" Lenahan, the competition's third finalist, receiving zero votes.
On Monday, Chase talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: Nicaragua experience.
Reality TV World: So were you surprised you lost? Had you been thinking you were going to win?
Chase Rice: No, I was thinking I got second. I was thinking it went down exactly how it did, 4-5, and I was right, unfortunately.
Reality TV World: So you expected to be one vote shy?
Chase Rice: Yup. I expected it to go exactly how it did.
Reality TV World: Last nightâ€™s finale showed [Brenda Lowe], [Jane Bright] and [Alina Wilson] voting for you -- do you know who your fourth vote was?
Chase Rice: Am I allowed to say that?
[A CBS publicist interrupts and notes the full voting results have not been released]
Chase Rice: I'm not allowed to say that I guess.
Reality TV World: Between [Shannon Elkins], Brenda, Jane, and [Holly Hoffman], it seemed like "it'd be hard to vote out" became your "kiss of death" type of quote this season. Were you aware of that while you were out there?
Chase Rice: What, that it was hard to vote people out for me?
Reality TV World: Well yes, every person that you said it was hard to vote for and allied with ended up being someone you still voted out in the end.
Chase Rice: Yeah, I mean well, that's the way I am. I don't live my life like that and having to vote people out of something. So, it was, to me, there are still people out there I still feel bad about having to vote people out.
That's why Survivor might not be the best game for me. Hey, at least I do what I have to do and I ended up doing it, and I got to the end, so, right?
Reality TV World: What made you decide to vote Holly out instead of Sash at the Final 4 Tribal Council? It seemed you had more loyalty to Holly but you obviously changed your mind. Was it just a situation where you thought Sash gave you a better chance to win?
Chase Rice: No, I just -- I was doing what [Jud "Fabio" Birza] wanted to do -- Fabio wanted to take the guys, so at that point, I was desperate to get myself to the end. So that's what [Fabio] wanted to do so I went along with it.
Reality TV World: Do you really think your music career doesn't get any benefit at all from being on Survivor, because that's hard for most folks -- including Fabio, as he showed on the reunion show -- to believe.
Chase Rice: I just -- from what I'm telling you -- it hasn't, which I said last night, I'm fine with. I'm not -- I didn't go on Survivor to promote my music -- but I think that last night absolutely helped when [Survivorhost Jeff Probst] let me play in front of millions of people.
So that was the main thing, because on the show, I'm not a musician. So, that's why I don't think it really helped me. But now, last night, I've had so many people asking me now like, "I didn't even know you did music." But now they know, so last night definitely helped. Up until last night? No. I hadn't gotten any help from it.
Reality TV World: [Marty Piombo] really seemed to have a pretty low opinion of you -- why do you think that was?
Chase Rice: I don't know. I don't really care about Marty. Nah, we're friends now and we're cool, but yeah, he -- while we were out there we did not care about each other and it was very clear that we didn't like each other -- and that's his opinion and that's my opinion, so that's whatever. He can say what he wants.
I think it's hilarious that he thinks he's -- I'm so dumb, I'm the dumbestSurvivor ever -- well that must make him really really damn dumb, because he went out about seven or eight people before me, so.
Reality TV World: Matthew "Sash" Lenahan and yourself both betrayed Jane and voted her out, but even though your betrayal hurt more -- given you had been much closer to her -- she still seemed to forgive you and vote for you during the jury session while she called Sash a "New York City river rat." Why do you think that was?
Chase Rice: I just think you know, I think Jane can see -- she can look at me and she can tell the friendship we had out there was genuine -- and that's what she based everything on. It's true.
Even now, she's still probably bitter that I voted her out, but I mean, we do have a genuine friendship and she's a really cool lady and I get along with her. She definitely is pretty bitter about some things that went on during the game, but that's okay. Some people take it that way.
Reality TV World: Do you think Jane was remotely objective about the situation or do you think she was just blindly loyal to you given your common Carolina background?
Chase Rice: Well, she's just a loyal lady. She's loyal to her Carolina roots and that's what it should be, and I wasn't as much as I probably should have been, but I can't look back and wonder, "What if?" In my eyes, if she got to the end, she was going to win.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor: Nicaragua? How did you end up on the show?
Chase Rice: I had a friend from college who had connections to CBS. She thought I'd be perfect for the show, so I did the application process and got lucky.