We’ve seen plenty of backstabbing and betrayal over the course of 37 seasons of “Survivor”, but Elizabeth Olson experienced both on a whole new level when, after the merge, her fellow David tribe members joined the Goliaths in unanimously voting her out.
However, Elizabeth had a parting gift for Angelina, revealing to the tribe that Angelina confided that Elizabeth would be targeted at Tribal Council in a blatant attempt to curry favour with this season’s first jury member — a strategy that backfired spectacularly when Elizabeth ratted her out to Carl and Gabby, thus ensuring that Angelina will be trusted by no one, and is unlikely to make it to the finish line.
Speaking with ET Canada, the 31-year-old restaurant worker from Longview, Texas, shares what was going through her mind during the dramatic Tribal Council.
“Going into Tribal, I knew that my fate was in my own hands, and if I did not steer the direction off me, I was going to be going home, it was going to be my torch being snuffed,” she explains. “But I was confident that I had a chance to sway the people to vote out Angelina. So I was hopeful, but realistically knowing it could be me at the same time.”
However, by that point the rest of the tribe had already made up their minds and hatched a plan, something she didn’t have time to change.
“One of the things that [viewers] didn’t see was I was whispering to my people as well, trying to get the votes to Angelina,” she divulges. “When it came around to Carl, he said, ‘I don’t even want to hear it.’ So that was a clue to me that the Davids were all against me, but bigger than that, it was shutting down the potential for the Goliaths to flip. Why would they flip to me if my own tribe wasn’t even allied with me, if I didn’t even have my numbers in order? Nobody wants to play in a game with a pissed-off Angelina having failed to vote her out, or attempting to. That’s just not smart game play. Carl throwing me underneath the bus like that, in front of everybody, I could not surmount those odds that he threw in my direction. So good job for him for playing the game.”
In hindsight, Elizabeth feels that “one of my biggest errors was that I misread Alec. I thought he was in my camp, I was hoping that he was and I took that jump of faith, and told him I was going to vote out Dan, and he immediately went and told that to the Goliaths — which was smart game play for him, but I just erred. I thought that he as on my side,” she adds.
“But with that, too, I failed, I think, to keep my friends as close as I needed to,” she continues. “Like, my Thoroughbred alliance, for example, I should have fostered that more at the merge… I also think that I was so focused on the end game, like I had promised Alec and Christian that whole end game thing, but I wasn’t as focused on how am I gonna get from here to there. I needed that group of six or seven, and I did not get that. So I think that I would have been able to focus more on that had Lyrsa been there, but still, it’s my fault for not thinking short-term. Having far-sighted plans instead of short-sighted plans.
Reliving the experience while watching Wednesday’s episode was “actually very emotional,” Elizabeth admits. “My 6-year-old and my 4-year-old were crying a lot with me, and they were both asking me, ‘Mom, why did everybody vote for you? Why did Gabby and Christian vote for you, too? We don’t understand.’ So that was kind of hard to explain that. But I think it was a great learning experience for my children, because, it’s not like we’re always going to win in life, and when we get knocked down, what are we going to do? What are we going to do when people say and do things against us that hurt us? We’re not going to let that define us. We’re stronger than that. It was a good experience.”