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Exclusive: Will Wahl -- Leaving big 'Survivor' threats like Justin "Jay" Starrett and David Wright in the game surprises me


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/13/2016 

Will Wahl was voted out of the Vinaka tribe on Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.

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Will, an 18-year-old high school student from Long Valley, NJ, became the 13th castaway voted out of Season 33 of Survivor. He appeared to be blindsided on Night 34 at the game's 13th Tribal Council session, becoming the season's sixth jury member.

"Getting voted off Survivor is not something that I wanted on my Survivor resume," Will joked in his final words. "But I am the youngest person to ever play Survivor, and to be able to experience this is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me so far in my life."

During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Will talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.

Reality TV World: You suggested you wanted to flip-flop back and forth between alliances until the Final Tribal. Was that going to be your strategy for the rest of the game, and if so, why did you think it was a good idea? Because historically in Survivor, that's a risky strategy that often ends with one of the sides -- or both alliances -- losing trust in that person and voting him or her out.

Will Wahl: It's a risky strategy, but the reason I thought it would work because I thought I had [Adam Klein] and [Hannah Shapiro] onboard. My plan was to go to the Final 5 with Hannah and Adam on one side and [Bret LaBelle] and [Sunday Burquest] on the other and be able to choose whichever pair I wanted to go with.

It never got to that point because, like you said, people started to get this idea that I was untrustworthy and that you can't trust Will and he needs to be voted out of this game because he's playing too hard. And my biggest mistake -- or one of my biggest mistakes -- was definitely trusting Adam and Hannah when I definitely should not have.

Reality TV World: If you could have manipulated the game in your favor, which castaways would have been in your ideal Final 3?

Will Wahl: My ideal Final 3 would have been Bret or Sunday, but I happily would've went to the end with Adam or Hannah at that point.

Reality TV World: In the second half of last night's episode when Sunday went home, I understand Hannah's argument for taking out Sunday was that she's an "enticing goat" to take to the end and she thought David Wright would be loyal to her going forward. But why do you think she cared more about that than taking out one of the huge threats in Justin "Jay" Starrett or David ASAP?

Will Wahl: Yeah, I really don't have any idea! The fact that people are leaving big threats like Jay and David in kind of surprises me, and I still don't really know the whole reasoning behind that.

I definitely think that Hannah thought it was the best move to get rid of Sunday for the reasons you were talking about, but is it the best move down the line? That has yet to be seen.

Reality TV World: I was also surprised Adam went along with Hannah's plan.

Will Wahl: Yeah, I mean, I think at that point when you have an ally who's telling you to do something this late in the game, it's kind of hard to go against them.

I saw Adam's line where he was like, "I hate you," which was absolutely hilarious, when talking to Hannah about when she wanted to flip. I thought that was great because it is hard to flip on your alliance member even if you hate the idea they're coming up with.

Reality TV World: Did you truly view Sunday as a goat? Because she seemed to think she would earn jury votes if she made it to the end. Any idea whom she was referring to there?

Will Wahl: You know, I viewed Sunday as a goat while in the game. Outside of the game, I'm not really sure. I feel like if Sunday could have gone to the end and made a few big moves and had a good jury speech, I would have no qualms about voting for Sunday -- if she was able to pull all of that off. But as for Sunday's game right then when she was voted out, I don't think she would've gotten many votes in the end, no.

Reality TV World: Do you think Hannah, Bret and Ken McNickle would have much of a case to win if they made it to the end? Or do you think it would come down to Adam, Jay and David if at least one of them was to make it all the way?

Will Wahl: I can't speak for the rest of the jury. I don't know what all of them think, but as for me, I think anybody can make a case. I'm one of the people where my vote is up in the air as a jury member.

I feel that if somebody is able to make a great case about why they did this and why they did that, I'm willing to vote for anybody, even Ken, who blew up my game -- just as long as they're able to give me a good reason to vote for them.

Reality TV World: Can you elaborate more about how you felt when Ken betrayed you? It was surprising to see for sure.

Will Wahl: It was very surprising to experience, because once we got to the merge, I really wanted to work with Ken, but I felt like I had to go through, like, this interview process to even -- it was like an application to work with Ken and be Ken's ally.

And I would have to have these talks with him every day to try to build his trust. And eventually, when I got his trust, he betrayed mine by going to my old allies and telling them that I was working with him. And it blew my mind that he would do something like that. It really hurt my game and it definitely made me lose any trust I did have with him.

Reality TV World: Did you ever reconcile with Ken? Did he ever approach you and apologize?

Will Wahl: No, not at all. Not during the game. After the game, we worked things out. But during the game, no.

Reality TV World: As a jury member, what criteria did you use when deciding the winner of Survivor? Was it personal for you or would it come down to the best strategy perhaps?

Will Wahl: I feel like social gameplay is definitely underestimated. I feel like somebody who has a very good social game can play a very subtle, strategic game but a very effective, strategic game. And that's something I really recognize and I really appreciate as a juror.

I also like the fact if somebody knows the game well and is able to articulate why they should win and make references back to old seasons, I appreciate that as a fan. If somebody is able to make references back to previous seasons, I respect that as a fan of the show.

So, there's a lot of different factors that go into why I'd want to vote for somebody from the jury. But definitely social gameplay is top priority.

Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor, especially being the youngest castaway ever to play? How did you end up on the show?

Will Wahl: I think I was confident throughout it all, probably a little too confident, borderline arrogant in all my application videos and in the interviews. And I just really gave off this idea that, "Yeah, I'm 18, but I know who I am as a person. I have lived life even though I'm young." And there was this whole confidence that I think impressed them and ended up getting me on the show.

To read the first half of Reality TV World's exclusive Survivor interview with Will Wahl, click here.



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