"In classic Goliath fashion, David with the sling! Two votes from a distance, it's all it takes to take down a Goliath in the game of Survivor. And ironically, I predicted tonight a brochacho blindside," John said with a laugh in his final words. "I was talking about Christian though! And it ended up being me. Ugh, son of a b-tch."
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, John talked about his Survivor experience and that chaotic Tribal Council session. Below is a portion of what he had to say.
Reality TV World: Walking into Tribal Council, were you anticipating the vote would be cut and dry, that the Goliaths were voting for Christian and the Davids were voting for Angelina?
John Hennigan: Yeah, I was. We were planning on a blindsided and people didn't see this coming. I was shocked by the way everything turned out. I was just caught up in the Goliaths' vote for Christian and [executing] our strategy... In my opinion, Davie [saving] Christian was well played, and they were a step ahead of me.
Reality TV World: Dan seemed to be on the fence about the decision to play his idol for Angelina. What did you think the chances were he was going to play it for her? Did you get the sense Dan was very unsure?
John Hennigan: No. I was, based on the conversations I had had with Dan, he was pretty decided that if an idol was played for Christian, he was going to play his idol for Angelina. I didn't realize he was on the fence about it until I saw the episode last night.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised Dan did choose to play the idol though, considering he was shown saying he wanted Angelina out anyways and Goliath still would've had the numbers without her?
John Hennigan: No, I feel like Dan is a very loyal guy. It's one of his best qualities. I think he made his mind up to play the idol and, just based on what he does every day, he's kind of a heroic guy. So it didn't surprise me he played his idol to save Angelina.
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Reality TV World: When Dan chose to play his idol for Angelina, what do you think Dan was expecting to happen? Do you think he was expecting there to be a revote or a purple-rock tiebreaker?
John Hennigan: I think he thought there was going to be a re-vote. I know (laughs) he didn't expect me to get voted out. I'm sure, like, he had immunity, so that was a big part of the other reason why he probably chose to play the idol. We were pretty tight; I know he didn't want me to be the one to go home.
Reality TV World: Just to clarify, if the votes only came down to Angelina vs. Christian and there was a re-vote after the two idols were played, what do you think would've happened?
John Hennigan: We didn't have a super good idea, we just thought, "If that happens, we'll do some whispering at Tribal and then decide whom we should vote for." I feel like I thought that was going to happen, but... at that Tribal, I was a little slow, and I should have thought a few extra steps ahead.
I just felt like I was overconfident, maybe along with some of the other Goliaths, because the game had been going really well for the Goliaths up until the "brochacho" blindside.
Reality TV World: After Dan played his idol for Angelina, you flashed a huge smile. I'm assuming you were thinking there would be a re-vote and a different original David member would go home? You clearly didn't think it was going to be you based on your reaction. (Laughs)
John Hennigan: Oh yeah, exactly! I was shocked. When [Jeff Probst] read the first vote for me, it kind of hit me all of a sudden that I was going to go home. I felt like I knew right away seeing there was one vote that someone must have planned on taking me out. Ugh, yeah!
Reality TV World: If Dan had any suspicion votes were coming your way, do you think he would have played his idol for you instead of Angelina?
John Hennigan: Umm, yeah, probably! I think he would have played it for any person in his Goliath alliance who needed the votes. I don't think any of us thought about the Davids potentially splitting the votes, which makes total sense.
Reality TV World: I wanted to dive more into that. Why do you think you received three votes? The only two scenarios that made sense to me is if the David guys got wind a Goliath might be playing an idol for Angelina, or if Christian, Davie and Nick Wilson simply preferred that you went home all along instead of Angelina.
John Hennigan: I think it was both of those things. I think Nick found out from [Alec Merlino] -- which I found out from watching the episode back -- that we wanted a Christian blindside. And then everyone in the game knew that Dan had one idol. I don't think people knew he had two.
I just think logically [unintelligible]... if there was a revote, the Goliaths outnumber the Davids 7-5 and the Goliaths are just going to choose a second target to send to Ponderosa.
So I think when I think back on how everything was going, Alec was working with the Davids and he must have perceived me as the biggest threat, and I really hadn't talked strategy at all with a lot of the Davids, even though I was really tight with [Gabby Pascuzzi] and Christian, [Mike White] was in their alliance.
I think that was a big part of what kind of sealed my fate, was that I really didn't strategize with the Davids. I was so "Goliath strong" and I was trying to play a loyal game, so when they had an option to choose a Goliath to go home, why not choose the guy who's not talking strategy.