Survivor’s [Spoiler] Explains Why He Volunteered to Get Voted Out

The following contains spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Survivor 46.

The stage was set for a perfect Charlie blindside, but yet another unplayed immunity idol caused that plan to crumble.

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In Wednesday’s episode of Survivor, island BFFs Maria and Charlie knew their time as a power duo was through. While Charlie concocted a scheme at the Sanctuary to oust Maria with Liz and Kenzie, Maria also knew she had to let her No. 1 go in order to forge ahead with Q, her No. 2. Q finding an idol seemed like kismet, solidifying their plan of cutting whomever they wanted when it came time for Tribal Council… or so we thought!

When it came time to pull the rug out from under Charlie, Q kept his idol hidden safely in his Q skirt, and the Memphis, Tenn. real estate agent was voted out of the game by a vote of 4-2. (Read our full recap here.)

Below, Q talks to TVLine about becoming the fifth (!) person to leave the game with an idol in his pocket, why he volunteered to get voted out the night of the Tevin vote, spilling the beans about Tiffany’s idol and more!

TVLINE | So Q, are you using your press day to model off the Q skirt? Possibly looking for investors, making pitches…? 
I’m in the Q skirt, baby! We rocking! I’m in the Big Mistake shirt, I got the Q hat… one thing about me, I’m a brand baby! [Laughs]

Survivor recap Episode 12
Survivor recap Episode 12

TVLINE | It seems no one from your season wants to play their idols! Walk me through your decision to not play yours last night?  
I went into Tribal saying I wasn’t gonna play it. I was gonna take the risk. Either I don’t play it at six and go home, or I make it through and I play it at five and make it to the final three, because there was no one left that could beat me on fire. I don’t think they knew that, but I knew for a fact that they could not beat me at fire, so I was like, “OK, I’m gonna gamble.” At that point in the game, Charlie had won two immunities. He was very likable. He hadn’t pissed anybody off. He’d been in every single vote. I thought they would wise up and say he’s actually the bigger threat to win the game if you just look at Survivor history.

The problem is these folks were just so fascinated with Q, Q, Q. They couldn’t get over the Q, Q, Q. Unfortunately for everybody that’s on the jury right now (besides Soda and Tevin), it led to their demises. I’ve heard in other exit interviews that everybody thought they could beat me. Well, if you thought you could beat me, why did you leave the island writing my name down? That makes no sense. It tells me that they’re now on the outside thinking that; they never thought that they could beat me in the game and that’s why they were so happy to write my name down. And, you know, my ability to talk and tell stories would have helped me out in the end.

TVLINE | Why did you believe that Kenzie and Liz would vote for Charlie and not for you? 
At that point in time, my trust was in Maria. Every single vote, even when people thought I was out of it, that I didn’t know what was going on… I knew exactly where the votes were going because Maria would tell me. She would tell me everything. I thought she had those girls in her pocket and she didn’t and that kind of led to my demise. But I was trying to still stay low. I didn’t want to cause too much trouble and too many problems because I wanted to just make it through that vote. So I wasn’t my original self. I wasn’t the person that was running around for the first 17 days causing craziness and controlling things because I had to change. I had to pivot. I had to go under the radar for a little bit and I was starting to come back up. Days 18 -21 were the days I was kind of down. From Days 21-23, I was starting to get my footing back and starting to control things again. So, I put a lot of trust in what Maria was doing, but I also was just rolling the dice and playing a numbers game. Either I go out at six or I make it to three. If those are my odds, I’m fine with going out at six.

TVLINE | Maria seems like the biggest target out there, but you decided to link up and join her. Were you not worried about her chances of winning the game?  
Maria confessed to me out there that she did not do well in public speaking. I also knew that just based off of Tribals and then also when it was time for her to talk at challenges and things of that nature, she’s not that talker to be able to explain everything that she did. She would stumble there. That’s what I was banking on. But I was also saying, “OK, if I make it through that vote and for some reason, both Maria and I are still there at four, they’re gonna put us in fire together if we don’t win.” And if I would have won, I would have given my necklace to whoever that was left and I would have made fire against Maria. It could only be one of us in the final. So I had a plan to try to make sure that I wasn’t sitting there with Maria. I wanted to take her out single-handedly by making fire against her.

Survivor 46 Q
Survivor 46 Q

TVLINE | A few episodes back, you told Maria about Tiffany’s idol. What was your thinking behind that move? 
I created the six to protect me and Tiff. I really did. But then when we got to the merge and I told Tiff how it plays out if we just stick to it. We’re at six and still have her idol, boom! She’s automatically in Final 5 at the very least. Tiff started to get greedy. She started to target Maria who was in the six and when that happened, I had to make a decision. Do I stick with one person or do I gain the ultimate trust from four other people by doing what no one thought would ever be done? Meaning, OK, I brought Tiff in. She broke the rules. If I’m willing to write Tiff’s name down for doing this, now they’re like, “Oh, Q is all-in on this six. We have to make sure we’re doing the same thing for him, if that’s the case.” So that was the thing, man. She was targeting within the six way too early and I had to be the one to say, “This is not the way to do it,” or else it would give them permission to do the same thing. I didn’t want them to have that permission.

TVLINE | Your big Applebee’s decision: Tiffany said that people offered to give up their spots for Liz, but you wouldn’t let that happen. Why not?  
Listen, I won the reward. I’m taking the people I’m taking for a reason. Now, if they want to give up their spot, give up the spot, but I’m picking who’s coming. I won the reward. It’s just that plain and simple. I did not want Liz there because I did not see myself working with Liz at that time and she had already wrote my name down twice at the same Tribal knowing that Hunter was going home. A lot of folks asked, “Well, why did you vote for Ben at that vote?” I knew they didn’t have enough votes to send me home unless Hunter played an idol. I was fine with going home in that situation if Hunter played an idol. But I told Hunter I was not gonna write his name down, so I did not do that, and I was gonna use that as a ploy, of course, if I made it all to the end, just to build that rapport back with Hunter.

And then, a lot of people didn’t see this, but when Tiffany got blindsided and left, she stood up and hugged me before she left. No one else. She hugged me and said, “Go win this damn thing.” So I knew then Tiffany didn’t hate me as much as they said. Tevin had no reason to hate me. So that’s three people I felt like I could get votes from. So the Applebee’s thing? I was gonna always keep Liz in the game. I didn’t need her jury vote.

TVLINE | At the Tevin vote, you asked everyone to vote you out so you could be the one to leave the game. When I was watching that, I thought it was some sort of strategic play and that maybe you had something up your sleeve. What was going on there? 
The thing is, I never, ever wanted to quit the game. I was never going to quit in the game. If I wanted to leave because maybe it was too tough or I was tired of it or I felt some sort of way about the game, I would have just left. I don’t need permission to leave. I don’t need them to vote me out and I don’t care what people think to say. But what happened was before that vote, the day of, I screwed up in two different ways. Liz had an idea that she was so excited about. So over-the-top happy for the first time in I don’t know how many days. I went and told Hunter about it, trying to save Tevin with him and then Hunter went to Liz and then now Liz is boo-hoo crying. Now, all of this is before the Applebee’s, of course. Me and Liz are not on bad terms right now. When she came up crying and she was like, “I’ll just vote Tiffany with y’all,” I was like, “Whoa! Why did this just change?” Hunter went and talked to her and I was like, “Man, I just told Hunter not to do that! Now he got this girl crying.” I felt bad about that.

Survivor 46 Episode 8
Survivor 46 Episode 8

Then I also felt bad because Tevin, he’s in my alliance, my six. I’ve spent all this time trying to get the votes off of him, but I have yet to alert him to say, “Your name is out there, man. We need to try to shake this thing up some more.” So I didn’t do right about Tevin and he’s part of my alliance that I started. So it was just one of those things of feeling bad about that and just saying, “I feel responsible.” I raised my hand and in my everyday life, that’s who I am. Just like we got to see the “Burdette Fumbles” [headline]. In my high school, every time we lose, we have to run sprints for how many points you lost by. We lost by six points that game. I raised my hand and said, “Coach, I will run the sprints for everybody. I fumbled. It was my fault. Let me take the heat for every single teammate I have.” That’s who I am. I’ve always been that way. Seventeen of those people were there for the million dollars. I was there for the title. The million dollars would not have changed my life one bit, so it was moreso thinking like, “Dang, bro. Tevin is about to go home. That money would change his life. He deserves it.” And I screwed it up. I didn’t protect him like I should’ve. Let me try to make it right and say, “Hey, I screwed up, you guys. I’m willing to be voted out,” but they didn’t do it.

TVLINE | If they call you for Season 50, would you play again and what would you do differently? 
If they call me, the answer is gonna be yes. And what’s gonna be different is I’m gonna make sure I prepare. I was bad at puzzles, man, and I didn’t work out one day to go out there. I didn’t do any training. I was gassed and tired at challenges, so I’ll make sure that all that stuff is in order. I thought, “It’s not that hard!” Oh my goodness, I was in for a rude awakening! So I’ll make sure I prepare myself mentally for the challenges, and as far as my body, my grip strength, my endurance, but then also work on puzzles. We’ll see what happens.

They always say I’m unpredictable, and a lot of these things that I did in the game was never told to anybody. It was never told to production, It was never told to castmates. So that’s why everybody is so caught off guard with it. They didn’t even know it was coming.

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