Exclusive: Roark Luskin talks 'Survivor' -- Red flags I ignored and why I was really so ticked at Chrissy Hofbeck
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/27/2017
Roark Luskin was voted out of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Roark, a 27-year-old social worker from Palo Alto, CA who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA, was voted out of her "Soko" tribe on Night 14 of the game through a 3-2 vote instead of her personal target, Chrissy Hofbeck, a 46-year-old financial analyst from Glen Gardner, NJ.
Now that Roark is gone, her "Soko" tribe is comprised of (Hustlers) Ryan Ulrich and Ali Elliott as well as (Heroes) JP Hilsabeck and Chrissy Hofbeck. Ryan served as the swing vote and chose to side with Chrissy and JP instead of Roark and his close pal Ali.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Roark talked about her Survivor experience. Below is a portion of what she had to say.
Reality TV World: When you watched last night's episode, what was going through your mind when you saw Chrissy say that she outsmarted "Mrs. Smarty Pants" (laughs) when casting her vote for you? Did that make you laugh or did that frustrate you?
Roark Luskin: Oh that made me smile! I was thinking last night that we've seen -- the show has given us showdowns like [Zeke Smith] vs. [David Wright], but how often on the show do you see, like, two really smart women throwing down? And, you know, in its own way, that's kind of awesome!
Would it have been even better if we could've worked together and furthered both of our own games? Sure. But I don't really think that was in the cards for either of us. And so, as things go, it was pretty cool to see.
Reality TV World: When Chrissy finally talked game with you after the Immunity Challenge, you were annoyed and almost resentful over the fact she waited until her name was on the chopping block to start a conversation with you. Was that the only problem you had with her? I'm wondering if something else was bothering you because you seemed pretty upset with her.
Roark Luskin: So, Ryan and Ali told me that from Day 9, which was the first day we swapped, Chrissy was just locked in on getting me out. And she and I -- not only do I think that was a strategic choice, but I also think it was a personal choice, because she and I were just like oil and water. We sat on that log and both sort of lied to each other.
And I think that -- even though I think circumstance played a really big role that evolved into, "I wonder what could have happened if I had said this," and even though I don't believe the outcome changes -- I definitely wonder what would've happened if I had said, "Hold. Hold this conversation. I know you brought up my name. You know I brought up your name. Okay, that's on the table. Where do we go from here?"
You know, if I had just sat down and really spelled things out with her, could things have been different? I don't really think so, but it's certainly something I wonder about.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you saw that Chrissy warned JP and Ryan that you were trying to start an all-girls alliance? And just to confirm, that was not your plan or idea, correct?
Roark Luskin: One hundred percent not my plan or idea. She added sort of an empty threat to put a little fear in them. Interestingly, I think Ryan perceived an all-girls threat, but it was because he was looking a few moves ahead, where he saw Ali and I getting really close.
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And then he also looked at, like, "Alright, the Healer girls are also two strong young women that will probably naturally bond with Roark and Ali. That foursome is a little concerning." And so I'm sure that, you know, Ryan was able to look a few moves ahead and see that potentially happening, whether or not I had a stated, intended all-girls alliance.
Reality TV World: Based on interactions you saw at camp, what did you think Ryan's relationship with Chrissy really was? Because like you said earlier, viewers knew about how they had bonded over Ryan's Day 1 advantage but their tribemates were in the dark about that.
Roark Luskin: So another one of my falling into the regret category is that we slept around a bonfire on the beach, and the way we slept, it was sort of me and Ali and then JP and Chrissy on the other side, and Ryan was sleeping over with JP and Chrissy. And that felt really weird to me.
I was like, "Ali, isn't Ryan still close with you? Haven't you been sleeping together since Day 0? What's going on?" And unfortunately my mind just stopped there, like, I had the concern but I didn't act on the concern. And so I didn't go to Ali and say, "I think we've lost Ryan. What do you think?"
And again, I don't really think anything changes, because in that case, she and I then could have quickly reasoned, "Oh, it's also weird that Chrissy knows her name is coming up. Ryan must have told her. Okay, Ryan and Chrissy are evidently a thing. Our only option is to go to JP," and I think we had lost JP. And so, I think Ali and I are on an island [by ourselves] no matter what.
Reality TV World: You mentioned two things in your regret category -- Not being more truthful with Chrissy when you finally communicated and not expressing concern over the tribe's sleeping arrangement. Is there anything else you regret?
Roark Luskin: No, I think those small, sort of -- I had these various gut feelings and didn't really take them to the next level or do something about it.
Reality TV World: There was a little bit of a debate at Tribal Council. Ali insisted Chrissy took over at the Immunity Challenge and wouldn't tap out when she probably needed to, but Chrissy said she asked someone to step in for her and everyone urged her to just continue. What's your recollection of what happened?
Roark Luskin: I think they told the story really well. They showed you what happened, where she turned back to us and said, "What should we do?" And I said, "I'll come in. Ali can come in. What's your comfort?" And she said, "I'll try it again!" And she did.
To read the first portion of Reality TV World's exclusive Survivor interview with Roark Luskin, click here. And be sure to check back with us soon for more.