The motto of “Survivor” is “Outwit, Outlast, Outplay” but sometimes a more applicable motto could be two simple words: “**** happens.”
That was the case on this week’s Tribal Council, when John Hennigan found himself the unwitting victim of a shocking blindside when intended victim Christian was rescued by Davie, who played a hidden immunity idol.
Things became even more unpredictable when the next intended victim, Angelina, convinced Dan to play one of his two idols, keeping her in the game for another week.
Then, in a move that nobody saw coming, John became the latest “David vs. Goliath” castaway to have his torch snuffed, becoming the second member of the season-37 jury.
ET Canada spoke to the 38-year-old pro wrestler about being blindsided and he admits he did not see it coming.
“I didn’t expect exactly what was going to happen until Jeff read the first vote that had my name written down, and I knew immediately in my heart of hearts that I was going home, and I was just shocked,” he says. “I was so surprised. I didn’t think it was my time.”
Looking back now, he admits, “I was overconfident. I was pretty sure I was going to stay in the game. I felt like I had been playing a really good game and had relationships with everybody. I just didn’t account for the double-idol play, and the Strike Force of six that I now know about…. and everything that went down that I wasn’t privy to.”
Reflecting on his time on the island, Hennigan says that “Survivor” is something that must be experienced firsthand to be truly understood.
“I think you can read stuff and be told stuff, but you’re so uncomfortable in ‘Survivor’. You’re hungry, you’re cold, you’re mentally exhausted from being ‘on’ all the time, constantly monitoring your threat level and trying to keep track of who’s talking to who and who might have an idol, that you get into this kind of broken-down, raw emotional state,” he explains.
“In that state, I was able to feel like I was able to be more introspective about who I am, what’s important to me, going forward from the show… those moments you experience when playing ‘Survivor’ that you can’t really recreate, or learn from talking to somebody on the phone.”
Joining Elizabeth on the jury, John says what he’s looking for from the remaining castaways is “great gameplay, and when I say great gameplay that could mean physically, strategically, mentally, socially. It’s also kind of fun to watch the Tribal Councils and see all these people who I know, some more than others, struggle to be the sole Survivor.”
If he had the chance to do it all over again, what would he do differently? “If I had to do it over again,” he jokes, “I would win!”