'Survivor' castaway Dwight Moore: Jeanine Zheng wasn't asking for her idol back, it was something else
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/09/2022
Survivor castaway Dwight Moore has revealed that Jeanine Zheng wasn't actually asking him for her idol back in the middle of Tribal Council, although it seemed that way on the show.
On last week's Survivor 43episode, Dwight believed James Jones had found a "Knowledge is Power" advantage, which would enable James to steal an idol or advantage as long as he could correctly guess the player who had one in his or her possession.
Dwight therefore orchestrated a plan for castaways to shuffle their advantages and idols around at camp in order to protect the players whom James might've suspected had power.
Jeanine gave her immunity bracelet to Dwight to hold onto before Tribal Council on Night 14 of the game.
"Lord, I wish I played it," Dwight lamented to Entertainment Weekly after his elimination aired on CBS.
Dwight ended up receiving vote after vote at Tribal Council, which prompted Jeanine to repeatedly show Dwight her open hand. Jeanine's gesturing led viewers to believe that she had been trying to get her idol back before Dwight got voted out of the game.
"She was actually just patting my leg just to make sure I was okay," Dwight revealed.
"We talked about that. She wasn't reaching back to grab the idol because we all know the rules of once the votes start reading, you can't transfer anything."
"If I recall, once you start voting," he continued, "idols and advantages stay where they are. They're locked in place. You're kind of in limbo in the game. You can't change anything about the game state.
Dwight reiterated how Jeanine was just trying to make sure he was alright.
"She was like, 'You're fine, you're fine, you're fine.' Once I saw two votes for Dwight, I was like, 'Okay, it's fine. I got three. Okay, four.' And then I was like, 'It could be me.' And they're just like, 'No, no, no, you're fine,'" Dwight recalled.
"You see [Noelle Lambert] and she's like, 'Dwight, you're fine.' And the fifth one comes up, they're just like, 'Oh sh-t, he's definitely not fine.' So yeah, they were just trying to cover me on that one. She wasn't actually reaching for the Idol."
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Dwight therefore confirmed, "No, she wasn't asking for the idol back, she was just... being a friend at that moment."
But Dwight was shown comforting and reassuring Jeanine during that stressful Tribal moment, telling her, "I got you," and, "I see you," as the votes were being read.
"I genuinely don't think I said that during Tribal," Dwight revealed to EW.
"I think it was spliced in from somewhere else. But during Tribal, I was talking to Jeanine and Noelle -- and this was before the votes were read, so it's during Tribal -- I was talking to them like, 'I think I'm catching five or six.'"
Providing more context, Dwight explained how he knew the former "Coco" tribe members were all voting for him that whole entire day.
"And then minutes before Tribal, I see [Sami Layadi] and [Cassidy Clark] talking, and then I see Sami get up, go to the beach, talk to James and Karla Cruz Godoy. So I was like, 'Okay, I'm catching five.' Because it was very obvious that he flipped on me," Dwight explained.
"So then I'm talking to [Owen Knight], 'We need to undo the split. Could you put a vote on James instead? Because Baka's voting [Ryan Medrano] and Vesi's voting James.' We didn't get to finish the conversation because we got sent to Tribal."
During Tribal Council, Dwight said he tried to talk to Jeanine.
"I'm like, 'Okay, switch over to James,' so that's chaos in itself. During Tribal, we were talking a bit, but it was really just like, 'Okay, we're undoing the split,' and they were saying, 'I got you. I think you're fine. I think you're fine,'" Dwight said.
When asked why he didn't play Jeanine's idol for himself, Dwight said he definitely thought about it.
However, Dwight acknowledged it was "a risk" to play the idol at that point.
"Because if I'm wrong, then I am playing someone else's idol incorrectly -- so [then] I come back with the people who tried to vote me out mad at me, and the people who trusted me mad at me. It's just a whole disaster," Dwight said.
He added, "If it was my idol that I found, I'd be like, 'Cool, whatever. I don't even want one vote.' But it becomes a problem when it's someone else's."
Dwight told EW that another reason he didn't play the idol was because his allies seemed confident that he was going to stay. He questioned, as a result, if he was "just being paranoid."
Dwight shared, "They had conversations as well on my behalf. So it's like, 'Listen, if they believe in this, I'll trust them on this. I had their back before they had mine.'"
On last week's episode, Dwight was voted out of Survivor 43 with six votes instead of Ryan, who received three votes, and James, who received two votes.
"I genuinely just got completely blindsided," Dwight admitted.
Jeanine had cast her vote for Ryan, assuming the merged Gaia Tribe was going to split their votes between Ryan and James.
Jesse Lopez and Cody Assenmacher, however, decided to flip on their former Vesi Tribe and get Dwight out while they had the chance.
The men thought Dwight was a strong player and that his ouster would also weaken Noelle, who had seemingly been controlling the game at that point.
"Going into Tribal, I kind of knew I was catching a few votes just the way it was going, but I never imagined Jesse and Cody were gonna flip on me that day," Dwight said.