Adam Klein (‘Survivor 40’) exit interview: ‘I made one too many mistakes,’ including playing a non-existent idol

“I made one too many mistakes,” Adam Klein sighed after being voted out during Wednesday’s episode of “Survivor: Winners at War.” In his exit interview from the Edge of Extinction, this “Millennials vs. Gen X” champion continued, “Three strikes and you’re out in this game. The thought that there was an idol at tribal allowed me to play more aggressively than I should have and it cost me.” Adam’s elimination was a not a shocker as he was Gold Derby’s odds-on pick to go home for the past several weeks in a row.

Over the past 20 years of CBS’s reality TV show, many contestants have played fake idols, but this is indeed the first time somebody ever played a non-existent idol. To recap, Adam noticed that part of Jeff Probst‘s podium resembled the symbol on an immunity idol, so he made the bold move to walk over and try to remove it. “Worth a shot,” he embarrassingly stated when he couldn’t pull it off of the lectern.

“You’re convinced it’s not?” Probst asked with a deadpan expression on his face.

Adam then jumped up and proclaimed, “Is it? Can I play it? I want to play that.”

“You want to play this?” Probst replied. “This thing that you can’t get off of the voting podium? So if that is an idol, it would be historic. The first idol ever hidden at tribal council in plain view of all players, selected by you and played for you.”

Adam smiled, “Exactly!” After all, what did he have to lose at that point?

The rest of the tribe members waited patiently for Probst to reveal the truth, and it didn’t come as a surprise when he declared, “That is … not a hidden immunity idol. That was just part of the voting podium. Any votes cast for Adam will still count.”

For the record, Adam ended up receiving eight votes at the scramble-filled tribal council, with Nick Wilson receiving two and Sarah Lacina receiving one. On his way out of the game, Adam bequeathed his fire token to Denise Stapley, his BFF since day one on the island.

When Adam arrived at the Edge of Extinction, the former voted-out players welcomed him with open arms. “Nice try on that immunity idol at the end there,” Parvati Shallow remarked with a wink. Talk about a real “Survivor” moment we will never forget.

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