STREAM: The Full Survivor Season 35 Episode Entitled "This Is Why You Play Survivor"
Let's find out what the 24-year-old celebrity assistant had to say about taking her real-life skill set to the game, Ryan's unexpected betrayal, and why she feels so blessed.
What was going through your head when you learned you were the next eliminated?
Ali Elliott: It was hard because going into Survivor, it had always been a dream of mine to play the game. I had a strategy going in and I knew what I was going to do, I just got unlucky. Knowing that my dream was now over and even watching back last night, I cried. It's something so close to my heart.
To even be able to say now that I've done this and played Survivor, it's still just very surreal. I'm just so utterly blessed.
Looking back, is there anything you think you could have done differently to escape elimination?
Ali: I mean, it's very difficult when you're left out on a boat. When you're with someone who you think is your closest ally at that moment in the game, it's hard to turn around from that. So, I did whatever I could. I became the sheik, I became the yes/no person, and I was willing to do and say whatever I needed to to have people trust me.
I did search for Idols where I could. I don't know if there's anything I could have done differently. I really don't. That Super Idol was really just my downfall. It was a connection between two people that didn't know each other and I ended up on the other side.
If you could say something to Ryan now, what would you say?
Ali: With Ryan, I kind of understand his game. The past is the past, and I love the game and appreciate it for what it is—a game. I don't think anything he said was personal, but I am confused on his decision on not adding me in on the vote because he could have had both me and Chrissy in that trust circle.
Ryan's a great person. Me and him were like brother and sister out there. We would laugh and play and joke. It was a great relationship and I have no hard feelings for Ryan at all. I understand the game and I hope it benefits him.
Did your experience as an celebrity assistant come in handy on Survivor?
Ali: Being an assistant, you have to sort of hide your true feelings at times and you have to adapt to anything and everything you're doing that day. I feel like it kind of prepared me for the game of Survivor because you're dealing with a whole lot of different people, and everybody has different views on things and different backgrounds.
Even in my world, you deal with a lot of people, whether it's hair and makeup, or people on set, or even people taking out groceries. In my world at home, I have to be a chameleon and blend in.
And, that's Survivor. You have to relate to people on a personal level even though it's not a personal game.
Do you have a favorite unaired moment you can share with Survivor fans?
Ali: I think that the most fun we really had was at that Yawa camp. We were a whole bunch of misfits... that's what we called ourselves. We were a completely random group of people compared to the other two tribes. We definitely had a lot of laughs and fun, like me waking up every hour yelling at people to stop laying on my hair. The funny part was someone ended up telling me my hair was stuck on bamboo!
It was just such a great experience. At every moment, I was just trying to take it all in. I am utterly blessed. People dream of going on Survivor and I feel so blessed that I got to do it.
What did Survivor teach you about yourself?
Ali: I've always been a strong person in who I am. I know who I am and I'm a confident person, but I never knew how I could translate that into a game. I learned that it's okay to just be myself. A lot of people go in the game and they change who they are. They lie about their age and where they come from.
And for me, I'm happy that I was able to play the game and see that people liked me for me. I could go out there, be myself, have a great time, and not change who I was.
After this game, it's nice to know that I could just be me.
Watch all-new episodes of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers on Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.