Making big, game-changing moves on “Survivor” can take a player from the bottom to the top — but can also yield unfortunate consequences when things don’t go as planned, which proved to be the case for Gabby Pascuzzi.
Realizing her tight alliance with Christian was beginning to leave her vulnerable, she hatched a bold scheme to target Christian in a split-vote move that, in theory, would result in either him or Allison sent home.
Things did not work out that way. Thanks to some intel courtesy of Davie, Christian was on to Gabby’s plot, using his immunity idol at Tribal Council and ensuring the votes went to Gabby in the season’s biggest blindside boomerang.
ET Canada aught up with the 25-year-old technical writer from Denver, who explained why the time was right to attempt such a big move.
“I had been thinking the whole game that I needed to play the game without Christian so I could be seen as a player in my own right,” she says. “The timing of it was really tricky, because I worried about doing it too soon, but similarly I was worried about doing it too late, and totally missing my chance. And I think I would have regretted it way more if I did not take the shot and ran out of time. So the reason I tried to do it at the final eight specifically was because I knew he had an idol, I knew he was good at immunities, and I was thinking, there are only four votes left to make a move… I wanted to do it when he least expected it.
Although she was quick to congratulate Christian on figuring out what she was up to, she admits she “was crushed when Christian pulled the idol out, because I knew that either something had gone very wrong and I didn’t know who was going home — I was hoping it was Allison that was going home, because I had planned a split vote between Christian and Allison. But something sinking in my stomach told me that my plan had gone wrong and that they had ended up targeting me. So that was a heart-wrenching moment when he played the idol. But I commend him for figuring it out — with the help of Davie, of course.”
As Gabby explains, the experience of actually playing “Survivor” is vastly different from watching as a viewer. “Just how hard it is strategically, because you don’t have all the information, like you do when you’re a fan and you’re watching from home,” she says. “So when you see players making decisions, they’re just making the best decisions that they think they should make with the information that they have at that time. And there’s no way of knowing if the information is good, if it’s bad, if it’s totally useless. You’re really out on your own and you realize that the mental fatigue that it takes and the mental fortitude that it takes to keep going in the game.”
However, she insists that she has no regrets about the way she played the game. “I was really proud to watch it back on TV because I’m proud of the game that I played,” says Gabby. “There were some emotional moments that were hard to watch because they felt so raw to me, but at the same time I was empowered watching that, just seeing how far I’d come and how much I’d grown. From that crying girl on the beach in the early days who was scared of being on the bottom, going to the woman that tried to make a game-changing move and take out some of the biggest threats in the game. I’m just really proud of the transformation that I underwent, and it was really fun to watch back.”