“Survivor” Castaway Christian: “I Certainly Didn’t See the Warning Signs that Mike Wasn’t as Close to Me as I Had Hoped”


“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: Too soon, my friend.
Christian Hubicki: I appreciate that.
Holmes: I wanted to talk to you next Thursday. But…you know…time heals all wounds.
Hubicki: OK, good. I don’t want anyone to be permanently damaged.

Holmes: Alright, the biggest news to come out of last night was clearly John’s “Mayor of Slamtown” jacket…
Hubicki: Oh! I didn’t even notice that! He was wearing his “Mayor of Slamtown” jacket on the jury?
Holmes: He was.
Hubicki: I didn’t notice that. Oh my gosh…I was too worried about everything going on in the game to notice that at the time or even viewing it last night.
Holmes: You’ve got a week between now and the finale. That’s plenty of time to whip up a matching “Comptroller of Slamtown” jacket.
Hubicki: It’s possible. It is the middle of finals, so it might be hard on timing. But, my graphic design game isn’t terrible. Maybe some comptroller paraphernalia can make it in.

Holmes: All season we’re seeing so much Christian. And then last night, next-to-no Christian. What were you up to before Tribal?
Hubicki: It was absolute craziness. There was a series of plans going down. It was probably the most complicating vote. Davie had told me about his final-seven idol and it seemed so unbelievable to me at the time. I hadn’t seen “Ghost Island” at the time. People had speculated about a “shot clock” idol, so it made sense. I had to do some extensive logic-based tests on him to see if he was telling the truth. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, he’s not lying. He’s going to play an idol tonight.” That’s one target off of the board. Nick, I knew, had an idol. So, that’s two targets off of the board. Mike was immune and that leaves Angelina, who nobody seems to want to vote off, Kara and Alison. It was much easier to try to mount votes against Alison. That’s what Davie and I thought was going on, but it’s not surprising in hindsight.
Holmes: OK, what is an example of a logic-based test?
Hubicki: I said, “Hey Davie, this vote is crazy. I just got approached by everyone to vote for you. And I know you’ve got this idol. I don’t want to vote for you without your permission. Should I vote for you tonight to cover for you?” And he said, “Oh yeah, that’s fine” immediately. That means he’s safe tonight.
Holmes: Very interesting.

Holmes: If you were to make a ladder of everyone on the game, and at the top is the person who can beat anyone at final Tribal and at the bottom you put the person who can’t beat anyone. Once you make it to the top, it’s kind of a tightrope to the end. This is where you found yourself. You can’t count on immunity wins and finding an idol is a crapshoot. What can you do to sneak through a vote or two?
Hubicki: You hit the nail on the head. I needed a way to the end that didn’t involve immunity or idols, even though I’d try to get those. Mostly it was ensuring that the game was as crazy as possible so people were more afraid of their imminent demise than of me getting to the end. Over time, that horizon where the end of the game gets closer, I’m going to be a bigger and bigger target. So, there were no big, unbreakable alliances. I figured whenever any alliance got too much power, they’d think, “OK, it’s time to get rid of Christian.” So, things like voting for Carl was ensuring that there wasn’t an alliance of five Davids. That craziness that you saw at seven was orchestrated, in some part, by me. And I felt good about that. It gave me potentially an out in that episode. I executed poorly in that episode. I did not have the mental energy to really juggle all of those plans within plans as effectively as I had hoped. And I certainly didn’t see the warning signs that Mike wasn’t as close to me as I had hoped.

Holmes: Mike seemed to be leading the charge against you last night. How is he viewed at this point? Is he like Angelina where people aren’t afraid to keep him around or do they see him as a threat to win?
Hubicki: I think they should be viewing him as a threat if they aren’t. I was impressed by his game. He’s not a person that should be taken lightly. He has this very enthralling charm about him. And something that should have been a red flag to me is; I would talk to Mike a lot. Mike and I would talk in the middle of the night, which was his idea, which was kind of brilliant. Nobody would know we were talking. And then before Tribal, one at a time, people would walk down to the beach, talk to Mike, then come back. It was like a revolving door of information that Mike had all of. People might think he doesn’t need the money. He’s a millionaire. But, if he doesn’t need the money, why did he take out the person who, in his estimation, is the most likely to win?

Holmes: Alright, you promised me a quick and efficient word association. Let’s see if you’re a man of your word.
Hubicki: I will try. I wish I had prepared more.
Holmes: That defeats the purpose. Let’s start with Alec.
Hubicki: Charismatic as hell.
Holmes: Kara?
Hubicki: Stealthy.
Holmes: Alison?
Hubicki: Confident.
Holmes: Dan?
Hubicki: Brochacho. (Laughs)
Holmes: Nick?
Hubicki: Clever.
Homels: John?
Hubicki: Awesome.
Holmes: Lyrsa?
Hubicki: Endearing.
Holmes: Bi?
Hubicki: Tough.
Holmes: Jessica?
Hubicki: Unfortunate that she had to go.
Holmes: Davie?
Hubicki: He’s a gem.
Holmes: Gabby?
Hubicki: Genuine.
Holmes: Pat?
Hubicki: Hard-worker.
Holmes: Elizabeth?
Hubicki: Smart as hell.
Holmes: Carl?
Hubicki: Straight-forward.
Holmes: Mike?
Hubicki: Beguiling.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Angelina.
Hubicki: Self-assured.
Holmes: See, you killed it.
Hubicki: OK! Good.

Holmes: Last night, Probst asked if anyone wanted to plead their case to get to go on the reward challenge. Angelina did, then Davie promptly picked Kara. Is that what really happened or were more people asking to go along?
Hubicki: I think Alison made some kind of statement that she hadn’t been on a reward in a while, even though I’d been on the same rewards. I didn’t say that. I said, “Hey Davie, we’ll catch up later.” I didn’t want him taking me on reward. Other people had said some things, but Angelina is the one who really made a pleading case for it.
Holmes: They’re making it seem like every third word out of her mouth is “rice.” How often did it really come up?
Hubicki: She said she didn’t want it brought up. When we got back to camp after the rice negotiation I said, in front of a few people, “Thanks so much for getting us the rice.” And she took me aside and said, “Christian, I appreciate that, but I don’t want to make a big deal about the rice negotiation. So, if you wouldn’t mind not bringing it up.” Of course, she proceeds to bring it up. She wasn’t mentioning it every third sentence around camp, but at the mat chats at the challenge, you’d hear about the rice. I’m not sure it was helping her case as much as she thought, but, that’s her game.

Holmes: Gabby flipped on you last week, which I thought was a great move. How wary of her were you in the game?
Hubicki: I also thought it was a good move by Gabby. When Davie told me, you can see my reaction wasn’t like, “No way!” It made sense. It made total sense. I knew she was going to come for me at some point. I knew she wasn’t going to lie down and die. She needed to make a case for her. I’d just get all the credit for our joint moves. And I didn’t want it. I didn’t need credit, I just needed to get further in the game. But, I’d get it because I’m the guy in the glasses. People expect me to be strategic. I expected her to come for me, maybe at seven? And I think she knew that and that’s why she came for me at eight, which I didn’t expect until Davie told me. I believed him immediately. He could have been lying to me and I would’ve believed him.

Holmes: I don’t think you expected to be quite as popular as you are. What is your takeaway as you head back into civilian life now that America had a chance to spend some time with you and they seem very fond of you.
Hubicki: It’s very flattering to hear all of these nice things. You don’t know how you’re going to come across on TV. Going in, I didn’t think this was going to happen. I talk about robots, I talk about science, I have this weird vocabulary, and that flies pretty well with the engineering department here. But, I didn’t know how it was going to fly with the Mayor of Slamtown. How’s he going to respond? Turns out he was game to talk about the demographics of Slamtown. It was wonderful. I had so much more traction than I ever expected. In fact, I had too much traction. I thought I’d go out and pull out every charm tactic I had and be 50% as charming as Alec. These people are from all walks of life, they’re not scientists. So, going back into civilian life, maybe I don’t have to worry about talking to the teller at the bank about what I do. As long as it’s not too long. Slightly less than five and a half hours.

Holmes: We got to meet Emily last week. You two are adorable. What’s her take on this whole fiasco?
Hubicki: (Laughs) I think Emily still has no idea how to process all of this. We both watch the show. But now I’m on it. Oh, and she got to wear her cool fish skirt on TV, it was made by her mom, which was cool.
Holmes: Let her know that one of the press dorks is pulling for you two to be a “Blood vs. Water” couple.
Hubicki: I’ll let her know. And I’ll gage her enthusiasm.

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