Claire Rafson (‘Survivor 44’ exit interview): ‘I’m so sad, but this experience has been everything’

Wednesday’s third episode of “Survivor 44” ended in a straight-forward Tribal Council where Claire Rafson was dialed in to the fact that her Soka tribe mates were planning to vote her out. She smartly played her Shot in the Dark advantage, but came up with a “Not Safe” scroll, meaning all votes cast for her still counted. As such, she was voted out in an unanimous 4-0 vote. Read on for her “Survivor 44” exit interview from the end of the episode.

“I got outplayed. I got eliminated,” said Claire at the start of her final confessional. “I’m so sad, but this experience has been everything.” The decision for Soka to target Claire came down to the fact that she had not participated in any of their tribal immunity challenges, leaving the impression that she brought the least to the table in terms of “tribe strength.” She did her best to convince the others that tribe strength is more about trust and loyalty than winning challenges, but they had clearly made up their mind in the debate and decided to keep Josh Wilder, the other vote option, around for his physical strength.

Though she’ll be known as the player that sat out three straight immunity challenges before getting voted out, Claire did attempt to play a smart and strategic game. Noticing that Frannie Marin and Matt Blankinship had developed a close personal bond, Claire originally wanted the tribe to split them up. Frannie was able to convince Claire to keep Matt on side with them and switched her focus to Josh as the less trustworthy option. Because Matt had no vote at this Tribal Council, they needed to bring another player in with them, but Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt and Danny Massa, “number one” to each other, weren’t willing to.

On her way out, Claire reflected on what kept her from coming out to “Survivor” in the past. “I’m the biggest fan,” she said. “It’s been my dream forever and I’ve been so afraid to come out here because of this exact situation, but I’m glad that I took the chance.” The “exact situation” she speaks of is being voted out, though she should at least relish in the fact that it was not a blindside, as it was for the two players voted out prior to her this season. In the end, it was worth it for Claire even if cut short. She concluded, “It was an amazing experience. I just wish I got to see more.”

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