March 08, 2013 03:00 PM by Ryan Haidet
Despite her strong strategic sense, Laura Alexander’s challenge weaknesses resulted in her eventual demise on Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites. Because she believed she was in a tight alliance, Laura said she was completely surprised that all of her tribemates voted her out of the game. She was mostly surprised to see, however, that it was Matt — one of her allies — who put the plan against her in motion. In an exit interview with reporters, Laura also explained why it was so important for her to keep Shamar alive in the game.
Question: How surprised were you that everybody at Gota voted against you?
Laura Alexander: (Laughs) I was very surprised. I was definitely blindsided that night. I thought that my alliance would value loyalty over strength at that point in the game considering how far in we were and that there could potentially be a tribal swap coming up. Yeah, I was definitely surprised and definitely disappointed. … They never actually told me that it was going to be me going home that night. I was definitely blindsided.
Question: After you were blindsided and out of the game, who did you think was to blame for your elimination?
Laura Alexander: Before the episode aired, I really thought Reynold and Eddie were leading that blindside. They were the two on the outs, they were desperate. I thought that they were throwing my name around all day that they were potentially leading the movement to get me out and my alliance just happened to be susceptible to it and that they voted me out. I didn’t realize though until I watched the episode that it was actually Matt that orchestrated it. That was a little bit disappointing to watch because I thought, at that point, our alliance was pretty strong.
Question: What do you think was the main element that made you a target?
Laura Alexander: I think there were several factors. … Shamar, for so long, had been such a distraction to the rest of the tribe that it saved me in some way because I didn’t take any of that attention. With Shamar being medically evacuated before we left for the challenge, at that point we came back from the challenge all the focus was sort of on me more so than usual. I think there were a few different factors going into why I left that night. I think if Matt hadn’t brought my name up, I’m not sure my core alliance would have been on board with that. They did vote unanimously, but I don’t think they were all voting with the same enthusiasm.
Question: How serious were you considering on flipping on your alliance when Hope was still in the game?
Laura Alexander: I never flipped on my alliance. I told my alliance to split the vote between Hope and Reynold to potentially flush the Idol. I knew that a couple votes were going to come my way from Reynold, Eddie and Hope, and Shamar was being unstable. That’s the point I went over to Reynold and said, “Hey, what do you think about voting out Shamar instead of me tonight?” as anybody would do in my position. Reynold was, of course, all over the plan. … That move, really, was just to solidify exactly who I wanted to go home that night and to ensure that my name wouldn’t be on any parchment. But at no point did I actually flip on my alliance.
Question: Did you agree with Sherri regarding keeping Shamar alive in the game?
Laura Alexander: Absolutely. It was definitely both of our strategies to keep Shamar in the game as long as possible. As long as Shamar was upsetting people and stirring up the camp life a little bit, it was great for me. He detracted attention away from me as the biggest physical liability in challenges. As long as he was around, everybody saw him as the next vote instead of seeing me as the next vote.
Question: When Shamar was medically evacuated, was there a sense of relief around camp that his negativity was gone or were you immediately worried about your status in the game?
Laura Alexander: I was upset, actually, when he first was medically evacuated. I was shocked at how upset I was because I wasn’t expecting it to really affect me. But it did. I think to see anybody medically evacuated from the game, it’s sad to watch because we all have put so much of our time and our lives aside to be there. It’s such an amazing opportunity that to get evacuated for a reason like that, you just feel bad. Going back to camp, it was sort of a bittersweet feeling. He didn’t get along with the majority of our tribe, so I think some people were relieved. I think Sherri and I were both a little bit uneasy since he was a big part of our strategy. Of course, I don’t think any of us would have wished that he would have went home the way that he did. Yeah, it was definitely bittersweet.
Question: Looking deeper into the game, did you see other people in your alliance as expendable?
Laura Alexander: I thought myself, Sherri and potentially Matt would be going further in the game. I found Michael as somebody that would have been one of my first options to go out of my alliance — mostly because I found him to be a strategic threat out of anybody in my alliance. I didn’t trust him. Julia, I could have potentially taken further in the game, too, especially without Michael. I think without Michael or Matt, Julia would have been more vulnerable and potentially would have been closer to me at that point. Sherri was always my number one. I would have definitely went deep in the game with Sherri. Matt and Julia could have been options, but I think for a swap or a potential merge, Sherri and I would have stayed close and probably worked with some of the Favorites?
Question: What is something about you that viewers didn’t get to see?
Laura Alexander: I think Sherri and I had a lot of funny one-on-one conversations. Whether they were strategic or not, I think that we had some funny one-on-ones that would have been hilarious to watch that weren’t shown. I think the big strategy moment of me going up to Reynold, I think a lot of people questioned whether that was legitimate or not. I don’t think people realized that was just totally my game. I wasn’t planning on flipping my vote at all. That was just complete strategy on my part to make sure that my name wasn’t written down on parchment. … At the end, I’m happy with the way that it came out and I’m so appreciative of the opportunity.
Question: It seems some viewers don’t think this season has been as entertaining as others. Being a fan of the show yourself, how would you rank this season?
Laura Alexander: I guess I’d have to see the whole season to totally make that judgment — even though I think I know a little bit more than you do (laughs). … I do think this one is going to be a very entertaining season and I think fans will be more than satisfied at how it plays out.
Question: How did you get placed on this season?
Laura Alexander: I submitted an application in October 2011. I got a call a couple weeks later and the rest is history. It was totally surreal. I didn’t even believe who I was on the phone with. It was crazy. I didn’t really believe they were gonna do it until I was on the plane.
Question: It looks like next week’s episode will have a major meltdown with Brandon Hantz. Did you ever see any brewing tension with Brandon and his tribemates when you would compete against Bikal in challenges? Was there any sign of what’s coming?
Laura Alexander: I think we all know Brandon is a little off his rocker (laughs). The only reason that I would have guessed is that I watched his season before, so I knew that, at least how it was portrayed on television, that he’s definitely a wildcard. There weren’t a lot of time for the two tribes to interact at these challenges. But I remember in the very first challenge after Brandon won, you’ll see that he has this big victorious moment. I think that was just like, “OK, man. Geez.” I could have never predicted that (what’s coming) by any means.
What do you think of Laura’s comments? Would you have played a similar strategy in keeping Shamar around as long as possible? Are you happy or sad she’s out of the game already? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS