Alec Merlino talks 'Survivor' preview: My jaw dropped seeing Gabby Pascuzzi flip on Christian Hubicki! (Exclusive)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/05/2018
Alec Merlino was voted out of Survivor: David vs. Goliath in the latest episode of Season 37 on CBS.
Alec, a 24-year-old bartender from San Clemente, CA, became the eleventh castaway to leave the game and the fourth jury member on Night 28 through a unanimous vote of 9-1 at Tribal Council.
Alec, however, voted for Carl Boudreaux, a 41-year-old truck driver from Beaumont, TX, who currently resides in Houston, TX, because Carl appeared to be in charge of the Davids and had previously made his impressive "idol nullifier" play against Dan Rengering. Alec also accused "the godfather" of being cocky.
Alec was targeted because he was the biggest physical threat left in the game. In fact, he placed second in the Individual Immunity Challenge right before his vote-off, lasting nearly six hours in a showdown of balance and endurance against Christian Hubicki.
During a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Alec talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion of what he had to say.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you saw that? And do you think you underestimated Gabby in the game?
Alec Merlino: My jaw dropped! My jaw dropped. I was like, "Oh my gosh, you're flipping on Christian now?!" Like I said, do you see how fast the game changes? Your biggest ally is now flipping on you. Christian and Gabby have been ride-or-dies up until [now].
So to see -- and this goes back to me saying you have to stand behind your game and don't regret it. Because what if I hadn't gone home? What if Christian had kept me in and then it was Christian and I? If Gabby tried to flip on Christian, what if I had your back?
I mean, who knows! We'll see what happens, but yeah, I was just as surprised as everyone else. I was like, "Wait, what?! Gabby, you're flipping on Christian now?" So we'll see how it pans out, but it's some pretty intense stuff.
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Reality TV World: Going back to Dan's vote-off, given Alison and yourself were strategizing so much with the Davids, why do you think Nick Wilson stole Alison's vote? I was wondering if maybe Kara Kay and yourself had maybe warned the Davids that Alison was leaning more towards sticking with the Goliaths before Tribal.
Alec Merlino: No, like, okay so Kara, Alison and I, we were very close to the Davids. I would say our direct line of communication with the Davids was Christian. And so, Christian is a smart [player]... I'm sure Christian and Gabby maybe got the feeling we were feeling a little wishy-washy.
So, good on Nick for stealing Alison's vote, but I think for Nick, it was just about him needing to steal a vote from a Goliath he felt may or may not write Christian's name down.
So, I'm almost positive he just chose it and he did it out of, like -- it was kind of funny because it was Alison and she's such a prominent character in the show right now, and so to steal Alison's vote, it's like, "Oh my God!"
Everyone's vote is equal, but this was, like, "Alison's vote!" Imagine if someone stole Christian's vote, right? That's a big deal in the eyes of viewers. So, I think he just took it as, "Haha, I got your vote!"
If he chose mine, it would've been like, "Whatever, dude," because I had immunity. I knew I was safe. I remember Alison looking at me and she was like, "I'm going home," during Tribal.
And I was like, "Oh my gosh, dude, this sucks." But I think he was like, "I need to take Alec, Kara or Alison's vote," one of the Goliaths because they were voting against Christian.
So I'm pretty sure he just picked someone and rolled with it, but choosing Alison was like icing on the cake, I guess. It was like, "Look at me, I can take Alison's vote!"
Reality TV World: Did your alliance have plans to stick with Dan and the Goliaths until Nick played his "steal-a-vote" advantage, or were you guys going to split your votes between Dan and Angelina Keeley the whole time?
Alec Merlino: Myself, Alison and Kara were so back and forth about voting for Christian or voting for Angelina. The complete, honest, 100 percent truth is, we wanted so badly to work with the Davids. I really did.
I was just like, "Dude, I just want to work with people; I don't want to work with Davids and Goliaths." I just wanted to work with personalities I dig. And so, before the vote, we said, "How about we vote Christian."
And Alison thought about whether there might be a "steal a vote." And we were like, "Well, then we'll go with Angelina and it saves face with the Davids and hopefully proves loyalty." Did it work? I don't know.
Because the thing is, they stole a vote. And so, even though we wrote Angelina's name down, they didn't know at the time, "Were you doing it just to save face or were you actually going to do it?"
So for them to steal our vote, they never actually got to see where our loyalties lied. But I will say myself, Alison and Kara, we were ready to switch.
To read the rest of Reality TV World's exclusive Survivor interview with Alec, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.