Alec Merlino (‘Survivor’ 37) exit interview: ‘I knew I was going home 100%,’ he says of unanimous vote [PODCAST]

“I had hope, but I knew I was going home 100%,” Alec Merlino tells Gold Derby about being eliminated in Wednesday’s double-length episode of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath.” Despite having a close relationship with his fellow Goliath tribe members, Alec was sent to Ponderosa by a unanimous vote — in part because he was a physical threat and in part because the Goliaths wanted to show the Davids they could work together. Listen to our “Survivor” exit interview above.

Alec reveals, “Right before tribal I knew because my closest allies came to me and basically just gave me the eyes, gave me the nod. [They] shook their head no like, ‘Not gonna happen, bro. Not this time.’ We just couldn’t get Christian Hubicki and Gabby Pascuzzi on board to swing the vote in favor of me. So I got the boot, bro!”

The fact that there was a unanimous vote suggests the other players didn’t worry that Alec had an idol, so they felt no need to split the vote. “I mean, I’m sure that went through their minds, but they probably had added up the idols in their head,” Alec notes. “All the idols had been found. That would have been pretty epic though if I stood up and had an idol. Can you imagine?”

As for the nearly six-hour immunity challenge in which Christian pulled out the victory over Alec, he remembers, “The whole challenge was exhausting: mentally, physically, emotionally. You’re on a tiny perch. You have like two inches where your heels are placed. Your arms are pressed back, cocked back right up by your ear. Your butt’s against this board so you’re back’s uncomfortable … Christian just beasted it! He was such a stud.”

Also in our “Survivor” podcast, Alec tells us whether he wishes the “Strike Force” alliance would have lasted longer, what it was like reading the letter from home, and if he was irritated that some people chose to sit out of the immunity challenge to eat nachos. Listen to our prior exit interviews with Pat Cusack, Jessica Peet, Jeremy Crawford, Bi Nguyen, Natalia Azoqa, Natalie Cole, Lyrsa Torres, Elizabeth Olson, John Hennigan and Dan Rengering.

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