Bi Nguyen talks 'Survivor': A secret alliance, the biggest threat, and Gabby Pascuzzi's betrayal (Exclusive)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/22/2018
Bi Nguyen opted to leave Survivor: David vs. Goliath due to injury right before the tribal swap during Wednesday night's Season 37 episode of Survivor on CBS.
Bi, a 28-year-old MMA fighter from Houston, TX, quit the game on Day 10 after spraining her MCL during the previous challenge. Bi became the fourth castaway to exit the game and the second person to leave based on physical limitations.
And then after a tribal swap, the new Vuku tribe voted out Natalia Azoqa, a 25-year-old industrial engineer from Irvine, CA, on Night 11 at the third Tribal Council session of the Survivor season.
During an exclusive interview with Bi on Thursday, she talked to Reality TV World about her short-lived Survivor experience. Below is the concluding half of what she had to say.
Reality TV World: Carl Boudreaux and yourself seemed shocked when Jessica Peet got voted out of the tribe when the Davids went to Tribal Council. Whom did you think was voting out Lyrsa Torres with you? And you said you felt the most betrayed by Gabby Pascuzzi, so why was that?
Bi Nguyen: I felt most betrayed by Gabby because what most people don't know is we had an alliance. We had a close connection and friendship. It just wasn't apparent to others. We had a secret alliance and a secret connection.
So I felt really betrayed, but after watching the episode, I realized that I let her down in reassuring her about the vote we were going to do. I should've reassured her until the very end.
Reality TV World: Right, because I recall she was worried about getting voted out herself.
Bi Nguyen: Yeah. Gabby is such a sweetheart, and as she's said on the show, she's a little neurotic. So I should have known my friend better and my ally better, and I should have kept reassuring her until the very end.
She's such a smart, big player in the game that her feeling uneasy is dangerous because the girl can play. So that was my big mistake -- I didn't reassure her and she played.
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Reality TV World: Were you aware of how close Gabby was with Christian Hubicki out there though?
Bi Nguyen: Yeah, their friendship, I was aware. We all -- you can tell their personalities click, but everybody got along with Christian. Christian was very, very, very loved on our tribe. I definitely could tell her and Christian were together.
Reality TV World: Lyrsa's reasoning for going after Jessica was that she seemed very close with both Carl and yourself, as if she was the glue that held you together. How close were you to Jessica really? And do you think Lyrsa was right to worry about the three of you together?
Bi Nguyen: I think Jessica is definitely a threat to the game. It was [Elizabeth Olson], I think, that spearheaded that plan, but Jessica was definitely a strong player. I actually had a stronger alliance with Gabby than I had with anyone.
And I think that early in the game, for anyone to think they are so sure on alliances -- especially those that seem so apparent -- are never the ones that are as strong as you think. I was very close with Jessica; I was very close with Carl. But people didn't know I had a very strong alliance with Gabby.
Reality TV World: Did you feel like you could trust Carl? Did you envision aligning with him long-term, or did he just come as part of the package when Jessica was still in the game?
Bi Nguyen: No, I definitely thought I could trust Carl. We were like-minded in the game and Carl is a very genuine person. But, you know, it's hard to say. There are going to be times when you have to play hard, but as far as we played, I trusted Carl.
Reality TV World: Based on what you've been saying, do you think Gabby was the biggest threat left on the David Tribe at the time of your departure?
Bi Nguyen: When I left the game, I thought it was Gabby for sure, hands down. But I think that was emotional. I think now, after watching that episode, [Nick Wilson] is definitely the biggest threat. Nick played very well and I'm very impressed.
Reality TV World: Well, Nick was the original target of your David Tribe and he appeared to quickly redeem himself. Were you surprised by Nick's recovery in the game considering he was on the outs so early on?
Bi Nguyen: No, actually. He was a target in the beginning of the game because nobody could get a read on him. He didn't do a lot around camp and nobody knew anything about Nick. So everybody was like, "We don't know anything about this guy. He's kind of sketchy."
But one night, it showed that he opened up about his mom, and that made him more relatable to us and a little bit more even. So, I wasn't surprised that he wasn't any longer the target. But I am surprised and impressed by how he played afterwards.
Reality TV World: A lot of viewers were surprised you were placed on the David Tribe given you're an athletic and strong MMA fighter. But Jeff Probst pointed out you've been through a lot in your life and have overcome many obstacles. Could you sum up for me why you believe you were put on the David Tribe?
Bi Nguyen: Yeah, I mean, to briefly sum it up, I'm a Vietnamese refugee who has the shortest reach in MMA history. I'm five feet tall and somehow I got to be a world contender in the MMA world, and I've gone through a lot of difficulties in life.
So I think I deserve to be on the David Tribe when you look at how my life has been. And it's truly a spirit thing.
There are some people on the Goliath Tribe didn't come from [a lot] and weren't spoon fed, but it's the spirit. It's the spirit of a David -- the underdog, the fighter -- and I definitely feel like I have the spirit of a David.
Reality TV World: How do you feel about the new "Idol Nullifier" twist that was introduced in last night's episode?
Bi Nguyen: I'm excited for Carl! I'm just so happy for him! I was screaming but I was sad because again, I feel a lot of guilt. I feel like -- I don't know if I had anything to do with him going to Exile Island, but I was just excited for him.
I'm excited for Carl to start playing, and I think it's an awesome twist. And yeah, I'm excited to see what he does with it.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on this season of Survivor? How did you end up on the show?
Bi Nguyen: I actually was approached to go into casting, so they asked me if I was interested in trying out for a show called Survivor. I had only watched a little bit ofSurvivor prior, and yeah, I accepted and went through casting with Jeff and everyone. I guess I fit the David Tribe to a T, and I'm glad I did. It was a great experience.
Reality TV World: Would you like to play again if given the opportunity?
Bi Nguyen: Oh yes! Like I said, when I left, I felt like I was in a good position. And as you saw in the third episode, I was starting to play. I was pumped to play and was ready to play, and I think they underestimated me. And I think I'll be underestimated again if I were to play again, so that would be exciting to see.