Survivor’s [Spoiler] Unravels That Fateful (and Very Messy!) Live Tribal Council: ‘It Was Complete Chaos’

The following contains spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Survivor 46.

A live Tribal Council upended everyone’s plans on Survivor Wednesday, causing chaos in the best possible way and blindsiding yet another member of the original Nami tribe.

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The whole thing started with Q telling Jeff that he was going to be the one going home that night, and his wild reveal caused everybody’s mouths to slam on the ground. Q’s can of worms made everyone spiral, as multiple plans went down the drain leading to loads of whispers, side conversations and a whole lotta stress for the players. At the end of the night, Liz got her wish — partially by digging her heels in. Only Tevin and Hunter voted for Venus. The rest of the votes fell on Tevin and he became the second member of the jury. (Read our full recap here.)

Below, Tevin takes us through his game, from masterminding the Soda vote in last week’s episode to his shaky relationship with Venus and Q’s quirky antics.

TVLINE | Holy hell, Tevin, this Tribal Council! What was your instant reaction to hearing Q say he was going to be the one leaving? 
Oh my God, I was like, “What is happening?” He had so many plans with people, so it was so unexpected. I thought we came in with a plan. I thought it might have been Tiffany. Then to watch him about to quit, I was like, “What are you doing?” At a certain point through that Tribal, I was like, “He’s a grown man. If he wants to go, he can go.” I guess I was more confused than anything because I wasn’t even sure what he was referring to about him being partially responsible for this thing. He was speaking very cryptically, and I was like, “Am I left out of the loop or is he talking about something that I know about and I’m just having a hard time remembering?” It was so confusing and I was like, “I don’t know what this man is doing but he’s grown and if he wants to go, declare it. You can go.”

Survivor 46 Tevin
Survivor 46 Tevin

TVLINE | Did you think that maybe it was some sort of strategic ploy?  
No. I always say, watching Survivor and playing Survivor are not the same sport at all because the viewers have more information than the players do. So now watching it, I’m like, “He has done this a couple times before, so could it be him pretending to quit for some strategic, superhero moment that he’s gonna have next episode.” I don’t know. But playing the game, I was like, “No way this is strategy.” It was chaos. I didn’t understand. It was complete chaos at that Tribal.

TVLINE | Tell me a little more about that chaos! What was it like to be sitting in the thick of all that at Tribal? 
It was fun. As I said in one of my confessionals, the fan in me is blowing up while the player in me is glowing up. Literally, that’s what it felt like. I was like, “Jeff, we’re doing a live Tribal,” and then I was like, “OK, back into player mode.” So let’s figure out what’s going on because I thought the plan was Tiffany tonight. If it’s not Tiffany, what are we doing now? So then I’m running around trying to be like, “Listen guys, this is too confusing now.” I heard some people say Q. Some people saying, “Let’s just do Venus.” Some people saying, “Let’s keep the same plan. Let’s do Tiffany.” And so I was like, “This is too confusing. Let’s just do Venus. Let’s keep it easy so we all can be on the same page.” It was exciting, but I was never nervous at that point because I didn’t think that it was me going home. I was just trying to get the votes back in line.

TVLINE | How you were feeling when Jeff was reading the votes? 
I actually recall [that] I had no reaction at all. I was just kind of sitting there watching my name being read. So it was funny while watching it all [on TV], the different things my face was doing. I think when I saw Venus’ name, I was like, “OK, they did it. That’s fine.” But then I started to see my name and immediately I was like, “Oh my God, they got me!” I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t upset. I was just kind of like, “Well, that’s it. I can go get something to eat and now I can go celebrate what I’ve done,” because I was so proud of the game that I played up until that point and how I showed myself. I immediately clicked back into like, “It’s OK. You didn’t win,” but I’m not gonna sit in that too long because I can’t change it, so let’s just go forward. But it was shocking to see.

Survivor Tevin
Survivor Tevin

TVLINE | Venus wanted to take all the credit for the Soda vote. Why wasn’t anyone connecting or wanting to play with Venus out there?  
The reality is that we all wanted to work with her and play with her at some point, they just didn’t show it, which is why I distrusted Soda to such a large degree because Soda and Venus were joined at the hip. It felt like Soda bent over backwards to be nice to her. I felt like Randen was starting to bend over backwards to bring her in and support her. Liz was doing it a lot. Hunter was doing it. I pulled Venus aside one day and had a whole talk with her, but what it felt like to me was that Venus was not willing to take accountability for how she made others feel. I understand what she’s fighting for, but we’re all out here fighting for something, and we all have a reason for being here. We all have feelings and it felt like what we were being met with is, “Venus, you’re doing things to us as well,” and she was telling us, “Well, y’all are just interpreting it that way,” or maybe, “They’re just treating me like this because they don’t want to listen to me or they don’t value me.” That’s not what it was. You have to acknowledge that you are also stepping over boundaries with us, and if we don’t address that, then we’re never gonna be able to get on the same page.

There was a moment in the game where I took Venus to the side. I said, “Let’s talk about what’s going on.” I tried to explain my side, and again, she’s inserting her perspective and cutting me off and not letting me fully expound on what it is that I think is happening and why she may be on the bottom. And then we went a little bit further. I was like, “Venus, this isn’t working. Let’s start this conversation over.” We talked for what I perceived to be about an hour. I said, “Venus, these are my feelings. There are four things happening. There’s intention vs. impact. I understand you don’t intend to hurt people, but you are and you have to take accountability, and then there’s perception vs. reality.

Then I said, “Venus, I’m gonna tell you what your problem is with me and you tell me what my problem is with you so that we can understand each other and we can have a respectful playing field and we’ll go from there.” I told her, “I’m making you feel like a social pariah. I’m ignoring you. Your voice isn’t being heard.” Boom, boom, boom. “Is that correct?” She said, “yes.” I said, “Venus, what’s my problem with you?” She says, “Well, I just feel like you’re interpreting what I’m doing wrong and I’m not doing that.” And I’m like, “OK, this isn’t gonna work. How about we make a safe word? How about the safe word is ‘sunflower.’ If I say ‘sunflower,’ if you say ‘sunflower,’ that means one of us has done something to hurt the other one, we can address it and we can talk about it when we get a chance later.” We agreed on it. That’s what we did.

The last thing I said to Venus was, “Nobody would ever expect us to work together. You and I can make an alliance right here, right now. We can go back to camp, pretend like we still don’t like each other and we can run the game top to bottom. Do you want to be in an alliance?” She said, “yes.” I agreed. We made an alliance, we went back to camp, we stormed around and pretended like we were all mad, and then she immediately started to throw my name around again and it came right back to me. It just felt like people kept trying to extend olive branches, but we were being met with a little bit of friction. At some point, we just went, “Hey, let’s just leave it alone,” and that compounded her feelings because she felt more and more like she was being unheard, unseen and not valued, and it just kept compounding, so I can understand.

TVLINE | Did you have a big plan in mind for Final 3 to reveal your role in the Soda vote?  
Yeah, I wasn’t gonna say anything until the Final 3. It looked like I was running around trying to take credit for the vote. I wasn’t. I told the cameras. I told Liz because I was working with Liz, but I wasn’t running around. I did tell Charlie, too, but Charlie was in on the vote. But I wasn’t running around telling every person that would listen that it was my vote. I was gonna just wait to get to [final] tribal. If it was Venus, then I sit beside her, I’d let her bring it up if that was something that came up. If it didn’t, I would bring it up myself, but I was hoping someone else would say, “Hey, I did that move,” and I’d be like, “Actually, no, I did that.”

What wasn’t shown is that I literally sat Maria and Charlie down together and made the plan and I drew a little chart in the sand and wrote how the votes were gonna go. The way that I made that little chart is exactly how the votes went. I also sat Liz and Venus down together before the Soda vote and told both of them the plan together. I looked Venus in her face and said, “Venus, you will not be going home tonight.” Well, she got a little bit upset at me because she was thinking that I told her I wasn’t going to vote for her and she was like, “Well, Tevin tried to vote me out.” I was like, “No, I didn’t try to vote you out. I said you’re not going home tonight. I didn’t say I wouldn’t vote for you tonight.” Those are two different things. So I was hoping that I was gonna expound on it and explain my master plan later on.

Survivor 46 Tevin
Survivor 46 Tevin

TVLINE | Where did Liz stand in the original Nami tribe? Did you ever think that she’d be the one to come for you?  
Liz and I had a working relationship pretty early on. She, Hunter and I actually were working together as a three, and me and Liz had a very deep, powerful conversation that… I’m gonna keep it a private thing because it was a beautiful moment. But basically, on that conversation that we had, I never thought that Liz would turn on me and I never thought that I would have to turn on her because that’s just the kind of conversation that we had. I let my walls down with her and I just didn’t see it coming. She got me and it was a great move that she pulled off. Looking back on it now, Liz is someone I should have looked at a little bit more viciously.

TVLINE | It seems like saying “I want to vote Soda out” 15 days prior is way different than actually getting the plan in motion and making it happen, no?  
I definitely feel that that’s true. It doesn’t matter to me how many people say, “I thought about Soda first.” At the beginning, middle and end of the day, I sat Liz and Venus down together and told them to plan, and I sat Maria and Charlie down together and told them the plan, and the votes went exactly like I said they were gonna go. And I put that extra vote on Venus. I know people were confused about that, but that extra vote prevented a lot of stuff from going wrong because I thought Venus might have an idol. And so, if she played it for Soda, then whoever she voted for went home, or she could have played it for herself… so much could have gone wrong. But me putting that vote on Venus stopped that. For me, yeah, it’s about who got the votes where they needed to go, and I do think that that was me, right on.

TVLINE | Q seemed to think that hide and seek tactics could give him clues as to how everyone would play the game of Survivor. What do you think? Any parallels between the two games?  
Honestly, as a viewer, it was entertaining as hell. The way his brain works is crazy! It’s interesting because I can see what he’s saying. There is something to making people do this crazy thing and they’re free and just being like “la, la, la,” but the small intricacies that they choose to do may be telling about their personality, which may be telling about how they’re playing the game. I can see it. But at the same time I’m like, “That’s a bit of a stretch, Q, to think that if I can’t find you in hide and seek, I can’t find you in the game. What are you talking about?” So I can kind of see both sides of it. But one thing for sure: It was entertaining! 

TVLINE | Any updates, that you know of, about the mass production of the Q skirt?  
I don’t know, but I definitely want one! He definitely over-hyped it and now I kind of want a Q skirt. [Laughs] But then my question is, why sell it? Can’t I just use a hoodie I already own to make my own Q skirt? Do I have to buy a specific fabric to make it a Q skirt? How does the Q skirt work in regard to trademarking and branding? I have questions!

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