Wednesday’s 10th episode of “Survivor 43” featured one of the most epic displays of determination when Noelle Lambert overcame a huge deficit to win the reward challenge. After the valiant feat, Noelle’s comrades in the game took advantage of a window of opportunity to blindside her at the next tribal council, sending her to jury as the fourth member. Read on for her “Survivor 43” exit interview from the end of the episode.
After two unanimous votes last week, Noelle’s elimination was a return to form for a group of players that have been maneuvering through votes with only slim majorities. Noelle was voted out 5-2-1 with a meaningful tip of scales against her from original tribe mates Jesse Lopez and Cody Assenmacher. The result for Noelle was a blindside that she attributes to them having “smelled it coming.” She says, “I came into this game wanting to play the hardest and that’s what got me voted off, but they did a good job.”
Noelle’s elimination came on the heels of a tremendous win at the reward challenge where her ability to traverse the balance beam portion of the obstacle course seemed impossible. She was in tears and on the brink of quitting, but Noelle pushed through, finished the balance beam and very quickly completed the final stage of the course (a bag toss to an elevated platform) quicker than the others. It was an ultimate come-from-behind moment that likely spurred her opponents into wanting to get rid of such a physical and social threat sooner rather than later.
In the day leading up to the tribal council, Jesse developed a master plan to make Noelle feel comfortable while stringing together enough votes to blindside her. He explained to players like Cody and Mike Gabler that every time they’d taken out one of Noelle’s closest allies, she rebounded the following week by pulling in a new number one. That message struck a chord with Gabler, despite him and Karla Cruz Godoy considering that Jesse and Cody were in fact playing from a very powerful position in the middle. With Cassidy Clark as a solid fifth vote, the slim majority was formed to take out Noelle.
Noelle’s legacy on the season will remain her determination and aggressive strategic play. She played from the forefront of minority alliances since the merge, struggling to make headway against a dominating original Coco group. Her most successful move came in the previous week when she blindsided James Jones, dismantling the Coco alliance.
While that move ultimately paved the way for Jesse and Cody to sit in the seat of power against her, it was a move indicative of Noelle’s fearless style of play. She pridefully remarked on her “Survivor” legacy, “I’m absolutely satisfied with what I’ve been able to do and accomplish especially physically. To be the first above knee amputee to ever play this game of Survivor. Hopefully I can pave the way for a new generation of people to start applying.”
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