Joe Explains Why He Didn't Cause A Ruckus During The Tribal That Sent Him Packing Plus, the latest cast-off shares which castaway he's closest with today.
Posted on Nov 30, 2017 01:05pm

During the latest Survivor Tribal Council, 34-year-old Joe Mena was voted out by his fellow castaways during a Tribal that the probation officer described as his "most comfortable" one yet.

STREAM: The Full Survivor Season 35 Episode Entitled "Buy One, Get One Free"

We caught up with the vocal New Yorker after his time on the show to ask about his aggressive gameplay, what his favorite Survivor moment was, and which castaway he's closest with today.

After Ryan played his Idol, what did you think was going to happen?

Joe Mena: That Tribal, I thought it was going to be 80 percent I was going home and 20 percent I was going to stay. What I was presented with was an amazing package and the package was, Ben’s going home, Ryan's going to play his Idol, and then the advantage was going to be used.

I was aware Ryan was going to use his Idol. In fact, I told him to use it, saying, "Hey, we're throwing votes your way. Use your Idol." They didn’t really show the relationship I had with Ryan. We had a decent relationship out there. I wanted to work with him to take out Devon, but I was presented with Ben and the rest of the package so...

You said this was the first Tribal you felt comfortable going into. How shocked were you to find out you were eliminated?

Joe: I wasn't really shocked. That was the only Tribal that I didn’t cause a ruckus because maybe they were voting for me, maybe they weren't voting for me. I just didn’t want to tip the scale. My gut told me I was going home, but I was like, "I can't blow this opportunity."

This is an amazing opportunity to get Ben out, push the Idol, and the advantage being played. So, I wasn't really surprised. Actually, when Lauren went to vote—I don't know why they didn’t show this—but my face… you could tell I was going home at that point.

WATCH: Joe Becomes The Fourth Castaway Of The Season To Head To Ponderosa

You're the first to admit that you played an aggressive game. If you played a second time, would you play the same or differently?

Joe: No, I would never play differently. I already showed my cards. I can't change my style now. I don't regret it because I made the merge. I made it 30 days. If you talk to anyone who didn't make the merge, I think their biggest regret is that they didn't play aggressive enough. You know? So there are pros and cons to both.

There was no way I was able to contain myself. I'm an aggressive individual, I have a lot of energy, and that's the only way I know how to play. When we got to the merge, I think that was the most difficult part for me because the game really slowed down and I was unable to really speed it up.

Based on the information I had out there, I think I did the best that I could.

What was your favorite Survivor moment?

Joe: My favorite moment... well, I have so many. Everyone wants to find an Idol and play successfully, so I have nothing but love to Alan. Thank you, Alan, for being part of this season. Because of Alan, I was able to manipulate him and get him to the point where he had the blinders, and he was able to control Ashley and Devon to vote for me and I was able to blindside him.

I was able to create that plan from beginning to end, and execute it perfectly. That was my moment. Besides that, just everything. I enjoyed the players out there, the challenges, and even messing with the cameramen.

Have you kept in touch with anyone from your season?

Joe: Yeah, I mean, I came into the game saying, I don't care about making friends, but we're human and we're going to establish relationships. Those Healers are amazing individuals, both inside and outside of the game. They're just really good, solid people.

I still communicate with them pretty often through text messages. Ryan, we had a cool relationship. He's a really good dude. I talk to him a lot.

If given the opportunity, would you ever play Survivor again?

Joe: Yeah, I lost. I'm a loser. If I had won, I'd never play again, but the fact that I lost, I'd absolutely have to play again. Why not?

Watch all-new episodes of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers on Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.