After an immunity challenge that will go down in history, Alec was eliminated on the Nov. 28 episode of ‘Survivor. We caught up with him EXCLUSIVELY to get scoop on that epic challenge, why we never saw him looking for idols, and more!
Alec Merlino was the ninth person voted out of Survivor: David vs. Goliath, but he didn’t go down without a fight. During the Nov. 28 immunity challenge, the players were forced to stand on a small perch with their arms above their head — and whoever stood the longest won. The fight came down to a battle between Alec and Christian Hubicki, and the challenge lasted five hours before Alec finally stepped down, giving Christian the win. “It was a culmination of so many things,” Alec told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, of his decision to step down. “It was mental exhaustion, it was the fact that my body was in pure agony.”
However, there was one factor that affected Alec above the rest: His opponent. “I would say the main thing was Christian,” he revealed. “Christian KILLED it. The kid could have gone on forever. [His telling] stories — obviously he got in my head mentally. He had a gnarly Goliath moment. He’s a Goliath, not a David.” Of course, Alec was disappointed that he wasn’t able to win the challenge, but he said he was “amped” for Christian. Alec knew he was on the chopping block after he didn’t take home the win, and he fought hard to stay in the game. However, many fans noticed that he wasn’t out looking for a hidden immunity idol to try and save himself.
“I looked for an idol briefly when I knew I was going home,” Alec admitted “I think I probably searched for 30 minutes and I was like…okay, I can either spend my time searching, or spend my time trying to talk to people and try to solidify the Carl [Boudreaux] vote. Plus, you pick up on things. The fact that I was out searching and no one else was out there tells you a lot. If people were gunning for me and knew I was out looking or an idol…don’t you think they’d be out searching, too, to make sure they find it instead? So once I was searching and no one else was coming out, I knew it had probably been found. I gave up on that and decided to rely on social skills, and really focused on having conversations with everyone.”
Of course, the idol had been found by a member of the opposing alliance, Nick Wilson, who woke up before the crack of dawn to go looking before anyone else was up. “The Davids killed it with idols,” Alec confirmed. “It looks like we were just sleeping, and we totally were — when I fall asleep, I’m like lights out — but Nick and Davie [Rickenbacker] were just like, ‘We decided to wake up!’ How do you just DECIDE to wake up? Do you have an alarm out there?!”
There were several times after the merge that you wanted to flip alliances and work with the Davids. Why did it never happen? I think I proved that I was there to play based on personalities. I just wanted to play with people I really trusted and I felt would help get me further. I didn’t want to play David vs Goliath, like the theme. I was constantly entertaining other options, like working with Christian and Gabby [Pascuzzi]. The problem is…you’re trying to play so many different alliances, and save face with people and trying to please people, and on top of all that, you’re trying to think of what the right move is. There is no right move in Survivor because luck is involved. There’s so much that goes into it. I really wanted to work with them, but the problem was the feeling of uncertainty. Other people in my alliance weren’t ready to go. We went back in forth. I felt in my heart I was ready to do it, but then an hour later, we’d be like…wait…. your mind is just racing.
Anything you think you could have done differently? From a viewer’s perspective of course. When people are watching it, they’re like…you could have done this or that. But from my own personal viewpoint, and how I live my life, I don’t regret a single thing. I was out there and was blessed to have the opportunity to go out there and be part of Jeff Probst’s show and be around the production side of things and just compete. I don’t regret anything. I just don’t see the point in it. I’m happy with how I played an the choices I made.