Exclusive: Simone Nguyen talks 'Survivor' -- I wish I wasn't so subtle when fighting to stay over Patrick Bolton
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/11/2017
Simone Nguyen was voted out of the Hustlers tribe during the second episode of Survivor's 35th season called Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers on CBS.
Simone, a 25-year-old diversity advocate from Worcester, MA who currently resides in New York, NY, was voted out of the "Yawa" tribe through a unanimous vote on Day 6 after the tribe finished in last place at the second Immunity Challenge of the season.
Simone cast her vote, however, for Patrick Bolton, a 24-year-old small business owner from Lanett, AL who currently resides in Auburn, AL.
During a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Simone talked about her short-lived Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion of what she had to say.
Reality TV World: What did you make of Ryan and Devon's relationship? Were you aware they were that close while you were out there or does their friendship and tight alliance surprise you watching the season back?
Simone Nguyen: Okay, so I could tell that Ryan basically had all the guys wrapped around his finger, and I could tell that he was connecting with Lauren on, like, a next level. Okay so, for Ryan, Patrick was like a court jester, right? He would make anybody laugh unplanned, on cue, and Patrick was eating it up.
And Devon was also eating it up, so you could tell there were definitely a lot of vibes from the guys going on. But even with Lauren -- I had kind of witnessed this conversation where Ryan and Lauren, like, Lauren is a bigger girl and Ryan is a tinier guy, and they're talking and Lauren is saying, like, "That's just the way that your body looks; You can't help it. I've dealt with this my entire life."
And I was just saying to myself, like, "Oh my God, this is so real! I will never be able to connect with them on this because they are just, like, making so much sense and talking to each other and connecting with each other."
So I could tell that Ryan was pretty much -- he was as in control as Ali was, of the vote. So, it was definitely tough for me, because I was trying to make an inroad somewhere and try to connect with people, but it was tough finding common ground.
Reality TV World: Did you establish any pre-game connections or alliances? And do you think you would've fared better in the game had you been placed on a different tribe based on what you've seen and learned about the other castaways?
Simone Nguyen: Oh my God, can I just say, like, oh my God, I appreciate the eye candy so much! Let me just highlight the fact that I was not hiding it about anybody. Have you seen [Cole Medders]'s body?! Like, have you seen [Desi Williams]'s body?!
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I would look at them and would be like, "God, thank you for just being in my line of sight! This is so wonderful." And so I looked over at the Hustlers' tribe and was like, "Oh yeah," all those people looked really fun. But, you know, I'm not sure how I would've fared on the other tribes. Those other people are great and they're also really good players too, hopefully, but I'm still me. So, who knows!
Reality TV World: I noticed Devon wrote a little heart next to your name when he voted for you. Was there anything to that?
Simone Nguyen: Oh God, can we talk about my island crush!? He was so nice to look at for six days, like, always shirtless. Thank God. That was so nice, like, he is just as handsome -- as good as he looks onscreen, he is so much better looking in person! But no, I have a boyfriend. I was actually the only non-single person on my tribe, so I probably shouldn't have flirted as much with Devon.
Reality TV World: What's the most frustrating thing about being voted off second? You probably feel like you have a lot of unfinished business.
Simone Nguyen: Well, obviously I would go back and I would play in, like, a heartbeat! But it was frustrating because I really did feel it was close between me and Patrick.
If I'm being, like, completely honest, I think I should've played up the fact of, like, "Look, Patrick is so loud! He is so unpredictable! He searches for the idol day and night. I caught him and he didn't stop! I'm telling you now." I think I would've laid on the sauce, like, a lot thicker, whereas I was trying to be subtle.
I was trying to, like, infest people. I was trying to plant ideas in their head and let people know, rather than letting them have all the control. Because I think I probably could have, you know, trash talked him a lot more, even though that's kind of a mean thing to do.
Reality TV World: You were shown complaining about the bugs and lack of air conditioning and stuff, but then you seemed to have a little bit of a transformation in which you gutted a fish in front of people and said you were working really hard at camp. So what came over you, and looking back, would you say it was miserable living on that island or something different?
Simone Nguyen: No, I chose this! Survivor is a gift, like, over 15,000 people apply every year, and I was given this gift. So yeah, I was suffering, and it hurts to be out there, yeah, and yeah, I do miss the air conditioning. But there wasn't one second where I was just like, "Oh, no, I don't want to be here."
Like, no! I wanted to be there every day. Every day after I was voted out, I was just like, "Man, I wish I was still playing the game." You know, I had tons of fun, and I feel like if you go camping for the first time on Survivor, you don't have to take any of your own pictures and it'll leave a nice story for you. So, that was nice.
To read the rest of Reality TV World's exclusive interview with Simone, click here and here.