Rick Nelson: I just worked my ass off and didn't lie on 'Survivor'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/23/2011
Rick Nelson made it to the Final 5 but was voted out of his merged Te Tuna tribe and Upolu alliance, becoming the eighth member of the jury during Sunday night's Survivor: South Pacific finale broadcast on CBS.
During a Monday conference call with reporters, Rick, a 51-year-old rancher from Aurora, UT, talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: South Pacific experience -- including what his argument would have been to the jury to convince them he should win the game had he actually made it to the Final 3.
Reality TV World: You acknowledged how you didn't win any Individual Immunity Challenges and didn't feel you could beat "Ozzy" Oscar Lusth in a challenge when trying to convince your tribe that you should remain in the game over Albert Destrade or Sophie Clarke near the end. So what would your argument have been to the jury if you made it to the Final 3? What did you expect to say that was going to convince them you deserved to win?
Rick Nelson: My whole thing was I didn't lie and that's what hurt a couple of them there, as you heard. I didn't lie to anybody. I didn't make any alliances that -- just basically, I didn't lie. That was my whole strategy, to just kind of work my ass off around camp as hard as I could and just, yeah, not lie to anybody and hopefully get down through there. But it didn't work.
Reality TV World: What are your own thoughts on "Coach" Benjamin Wade's use of religion during the season?
Rick Nelson: Well, everybody has their own personal connection with the Lord and it's cool and it's good. Just the one little thing where if you pray for something in your pocket then it's not a good thing, but everyone's going to have their own connection, and it's good.
Also during the call, Rick told reporters what he thought about his quiet edit and what he believed was his strategic role in his alliance.
You had a quiet edit on the show where viewers didn't see much of you throughout the season. How do you feel about the way you were portrayed?
Rick Nelson: It's all good man. I am a quiet guy and that was my whole thing going in -- was to -- if I get yipping, I really get spouting off bad. It was good. It's a show of history and you can't change history, and it was a phenomenal series. I got a kick out of it. I liked it.
How involved did you feel in the alliance? Did you feel like you were really involved strategically or what was your role in the alliance?
Rick Nelson: In the five, it just threw me to death because we did stick together and we did do it to the five. I told them all up-front that my biggest fault was man, when I give you my word, it's my word. Good, bad, right, or wrong -- whatever. I will live up to my word but we didn't make it to the end -- the five.
Early on in the season, you said that of all the people who could return to the game, you wouldn't have wanted Coach. At what point did you change your mind and warm up to and accept him?
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Rick Nelson: I really didn't accept him at first, but specifically in that first night when the five of us broke off and we went over by the water and we were talking, it's not brain surgery. There's four on the other side, there's five of us standing there and we're making an alliance.
It's like, "Hey man, five beats four all day long." And I didn't really trust him much, but the more I got to know him, the more I kind of bought into the honor, integrity thing and everything with the other people that were in the alliance and it worked.
It did and it just kind of -- it was pretty overwhelming to think that the five of us could do it. But then, when you get to five, then it gets ugly.