Survivor: Worlds Apart eliminated Joaquin Souberbielle during Wednesday night's fifth episode of the CBS reality competition's 30th season.
Joaquin, a 27-year-old marketing director from Valley Stream, NY, was voted out of his new Escameca tribe on Night 16 at the season's sixth Tribal Council session.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Joaquin talked about his Survivor experience and what went wrong.
Below is the first half of his interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: You were clearly blindsided by the vote and you looked at Rodney Lavoie Jr. for a second before you walked out. Did you think in that very moment he had lied to you and betrayed you or were you just looking to see your buddy's reaction to your vote off?
Joaquin Souberbielle: Wait, did I really?! Listen, when they said "Joaquin" for the fourth time, it was a complete blackout. I don't even remember going and having that last confessional with the producers and everything.
I totally blacked out, and the last thing I remember now was in the car on the way to Ponderosa. But honestly, yeah, I did think that he was the one. I was like, "Sh-t, man. This motherf-cker!"
But, no, no, no. I got back and [Kelly Remington told me], "Hey, it was [Sierra Dawn Thomas]." And I was like, "What? I could kill her." But yeah, my initial thought was, "Damn, Rodney really stabbed me in the back." But, boy, was I wrong.
Reality TV World: You had Tyler Fredrickson with you and potentially Joe Anglim to work with considering the rest of your tribe were Blue Collars. It also seemed safe to say at the time you had Sierra. So why didn't you just try to bond with Joe and then stick with him, Tyler and Sierra instead of teaming up with Rodney?
Joaquin Souberbielle: Well, the reason I didn't stick with Joe -- which could've been the easy move -- was honestly, I didn't want to see Joe go back and have five No Collars [together] after the merge. I didn't want to see five No Collars there together, because that would've been a really, really bad move.
So, you know what? I took a shot at the dark and I put all my chips in. Unfortunately, it was the wrong move. It cost me the game. And you know what? At the end of the day, I didn't know what happened 12 days prior with Rodney.
All I saw was Sierra crying and crying every two seconds about how she hated everybody. And I was just vibing with my boy Rodney. So I just took it and ran with it, and at the end, Sierra just stabbed me in the back.
Reality TV World: How convinced were you that you had Sierra going into Tribal Council?
Joaquin Souberbielle: I was, like, a million percent sure that I had Sierra in the bag. There was no reason not to think that I did. Tyler felt the same exact way. I was just a little worried that she really hated Rodney more than the other two, and at the end of the day, she did. She despised Rodney. And I ended up having to take a walk.
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Reality TV World: Why do you think Sierra opted to stick with her former Blue Collars? Do you think that was the right choice or a bad move on her part considering what her game will look like going forward?
Joaquin Souberbielle: Nah, she made the right choice. She did. I can't hate her for it. I love the girl. I have no hard feelings. Honestly, she made the right choice. She hopefully will go pretty far. There's a bunch of Blues together now, so, yeah.
Reality TV World: So you don't think the Blue Collars just used her for that one vote? You don't think they'll be looking to get rid of her asap?
Joaquin Souberbielle: No, this right now just solidified her with them -- definitely, 100 percent. There's no reason that they should get rid of her. She just held them down right now instead of turning on them, so she should be good where she is right now.
Reality TV World: Did the thought ever cross your mind you were looking like a power couple with Rodney or did you have a reason to believe you two wouldn't be viewed as threats?
Joaquin Souberbielle: You know what it is? You're 16 days in and you finally get linked up with someone that you could actually have a real conversation with about stuff back home, about friends, about girls.
And you just totally forget you're in the game for however long that is. You're just like, "Wow, this gets pretty cool. I have somebody who I could go out with and probably pop a couple bottles with," you know? So you're out there and that's just, like, all you're thinking.
And finally, for the first time in 16 days, there's someone I can actually really relate to. And it just didn't cross my mind until it was too late -- the day of going to Tribal, or maybe the night before. I said something to Rodney like, "Hey, listen champ. I love you but we can't be vibing out anymore."
And Rodney was like, "Nah, f-ck that! F-ck them! I don't give a sh-t what they feel." I was like, "You're my boy. I'm going to hang out with you every single day." So then it was like, "Oh, alright. I guess f-ck me! Alright. Good talk Rodney. I love you too bro." (Laughs)
Reality TV World: You thought you had Rodney, Tyler and Sierra voting with you. Did you think you had Mike Holloway as well or no? Because I know that Mike tried to appear all buddy-buddy with Rodney.
Joaquin Souberbielle: Nah, nah. I knew for a fact, 100 percent, I didn't have Mike. He and Joe were close. They would go down to the beach and Mike would, you know, play with Joe's hair and they would laugh. So I knew I didn't have Mike at all.
Reality TV World: Why did the guys in your tribe view Joe as the biggest threat? Did you just see him as kind of a "Wild Card" since he had been on the No Collar tribe or did you think he was smarter or more physically capable than the other men in your tribe?
Joaquin Souberbielle: Yeah, it was that. At the end of the day, it was Joe being Joe -- taking these challenges and putting our team on our back. That's just undeniable. You can see it yourself in the first episode.
And then, on top of that, sending Joe back with four other No Collars was a huge threat. But I guess me and Rodney's power couple was a bigger priority for Mike and the Blue Collars than Joe going back with the rest of his tribe.
Reality TV World: So it definitely sounds like your relationship with Rodney was strong and genuine. I didn't know if you had a bit of a strategy behind that bromance.
Joaquin Souberbielle: Nah, yeah, that's my boy. That's my boy.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Joaquin's exclusive interview.