The following are spoilers for Wednesday’s episode Survivor.
there’s really nowhere to hide Survivor,
The small tribe numbers became a big factor for the Tika tribe after losing their strongest player, Bruce, to a medical evacuation last week and losing Wednesday’s complicated snake maze immunity challenge. (Read a full recap here.)
Despite all the paranoia surrounding his tribe’s closed-off idol, Carson’s vote became crucial at Tribal Council, and the 20-year-old NASA engineering student joined forces with Yam Yam and Caroline to vote for her little-known ally Helen. Took sides
Below, Helen talks to TVLine about who she thought might have snatched the idol, why Carson eventually turned on her and what she regrets from her time on the island.
tvline , I’ve seen you go too far in this game! what happened there
Helen Lee , So I did, Nick, I did too! It was a good old fashioned blindside! I love watching him on TV, I don’t love being a part of him in real life. I really thought I was tight with Carson and Sarah, and I thought we were going to make that first vote together. Sarah lost her vote, which obviously isn’t ideal, and I think that played a part in that as well, and we didn’t have yum the way we would have thought we did. For many different reasons, Carson flipped and here I am chatting with you!
tvline , Why do you think he finally turned against you?
Some of this is going to be speculation, I don’t want to speak for them, but I think for a couple of reasons. He was very confident that I had the idol. He was reading my body language. I was off, dumping my bag very fast no matter what. I understood. If you think I have an idol, why don’t you throw it away? Get it out of there.
One more thing, she and I both knew Sarah didn’t have the vote, so in that case, you look at your numbers, and you’re in a three-person majority with two votes, and if you don’t get yam It becomes a 2-2 split, and getting the plan you want across the finish line becomes very shaky. Ultimately, you look at some of the things he said in the pregame, and he said he wanted to be strategic, he wanted to get out of strategic threats, and I think Sarah, Carson and I thought that way about the game. , And maybe he didn’t want to. He wanted to surround himself with people who thought about him differently than he did.
tvline , How were you expecting the vote from Yum Yum?
Yum Yum Great question. We spent a lot of time talking to him and trying to sway him to our side. He was saying, “Yes, yes, I am with you. anyone but me. I don’t care who it is. I’m fine voting for Caroline.” I think a big misunderstanding on my part was just how tight they both actually were. My sense was that they were close and bonded, but probably didn’t fit together strategically, and Yam was doing a really good job at selling, “I don’t care who it is as long as it’s not me.” ” In case Sarah gets her vote or not, I’m thinking, “Let’s try to get her a majority vote and work with us.” But I was apprehensive about going inside. I wasn’t 100 percent sure this plan would work.
tvline , When you were emptying all four bags, why didn’t you suspect Caroline to be the idol?
So I guess Caroline was going for a walk or making a confessional or something like that, but like Yama said, her stuff was everywhere. I think his bag was empty most of the time. Caroline does a really good job of playing her strategic and self-aware pieces. She comes across as this very wild super authentic, unfiltered person and it caused us to think, “If Caroline gets the idol, I guess we’ll be able to tell.” But he didn’t tell anyone. She did a great job of making it so that none of us really suspected her that much, so kudos to her!
tvline , So, is the Caroline we’re seeing on TV the real Caroline? What was it like being there with him?
There’s no pause, no stop button, that’s Caroline 24/7. The sounds she made, you could hear them all over the forest, several times a day, every single day. And so we were like, “If he finds the key, we’ll hear him scream about it from meters away.” She’s exactly as she appears on TV, but far more intelligent, self-aware, and strategic than I ever knew.
tvline , What happened to the bird cage when you entered the aboriginal, and what was your best guess for what was inside it?
Everyone was sure that the cage was empty. I was a little more skeptical than some of my tribemates, because it wasn’t very clear. Honestly, I was mad that people were telling me it was because they wanted us to stop looking for this key. In that case, if we’re not looking for it, someone else is, and they get it and get idolized. I wasn’t 100 percent certain it was completely empty. I didn’t expect, if it was empty, that anyone would own it, so in my mind, Carolyn was probably the lowest on my suspicion list, but Carson, Sarah, yum, I could see one of those near them. it is. I was hoping it would be Carson or Sarah because I was working with them and hoped it wouldn’t come to bite me in the ass, but it was clearly Caroline and we were none the wiser.
tvline , what was the hardest part about being on Survivor For you?
I think the first few days were really tough because you have a vision of how your game is going. The first day, we get our friends, I’m like, “Okay, I don’t think our tribe is the strongest. Hopefully we can keep up with the immunity challenges.” By the end of the first day, our strongest player is down and out. He’s gone. He was someone I was probably hoping to work with. So now we’re down to five guys in this game where the numbers Means everything, especially when you go to the merge and beyond. It felt like we were getting bogged down at every turn and it was tough. You look at the first immunity challenge, it was probably the biggest excitement ever. It was the first time we got a win.
Going into Tribal Council, you know everyone is a super fan and is there to play. Without any prior history of how someone’s words measure up against their actions, you are really being blind. All you can do is trust your gut and the people you trust blindly. Trying to manipulate the paranoia you have is hard. You don’t want to be too crazy, but you don’t want to be crazy enough, and I think I was more in that latter bucket. [Laughs]
tvline , Didn’t see something you want to edit?
One thing is how crazy the nights were in Tika. This tribe came to play and you feel it at night. We had 12 hours of darkness. This is Fiji during the winter. It’s cold. None of us was sleeping. I would basically stay up all night and see one or two people pass by at each time of the night. Whether they were searching for idols or looking for keys, they were just gone. There was a lot of paranoia around camp, and you see that especially at night when they think they have the cover of darkness, but nobody’s noticed and everybody knows what everybody’s doing.
tvline , What do you wish you would have done differently?
There are a million things I could have done differently. Maybe I don’t cross my arms and Carson will never think I have an idol. Something as simple as that. But I think for me, my biggest regret is not trying to grow myself a little bit more with Caroline and Yam. Another piece I look back and kick myself… I go into this game knowing people are going to look at me a certain way. There are stereotypes that Asians are smart, and those are things you have to work against. I knew that I would have to tinker with parts of myself to try to last long in the game, and I don’t think I did as planned in that regard. [Laughs]