‘I’m proud of the way that I went out’

Winnipeg Sun - - SHOWBIZ - BY SA­MAN­THA O’CON­NOR

Finding a true ally in the game of Sur­vivor is as rare as win­ning the $1 mil­lion prize. But some­times, to get to that top spot, play­ers must take a risk and be­tray the one per­son who truly had their back in the first place, to earn the ti­tle of sole sur­vivor.

Just a few weeks ahead of the an­tic­i­pated fi­nale of Sur­vivor: David vs Go­liath, it was 25-year-old Den­ver­based tech­ni­cal writer Gabby Pas­cuzzi who be­gan plot­ting her way to the end. But the only per­son she be­lieved stood in her way to the fin­ish line was her Day One friend, Chris­tian Hu­bicki, who quickly earned the ti­tle of No. 1 threat in the game for his lov­able charisma and un­mis­tak­able de­ter­mi­na­tion.

De­spite lean­ing on her ally up un­til Day 32, Gabby de­cided that it was time to take a risk to rid her­self from the shadow of her over­pow­er­ing partner to earn her own no­to­ri­ety in the game. But she didn’t re­al­ize that Chris­tian was al­ready onto her ploy to oust him and head­ing into tribal coun­cil, he used his hid­den im­mu­nity idol, send­ing Gabby out in­stead.

“To see my­self live out my dream was ex­cit­ing. To see my exit episode was a lit­tle bit tough but I think I was even less emo­tional than I thought I would be, be­cause I’m re­ally proud of the way that

I went out,” Pas­cuzzi said the day af­ter her elim­i­na­tion episode aired.

The Coloradobased cast­away had real­ized it was time to make a move fol­low­ing a visit from their loved ones from home. Af­ter watch­ing Chris­tian in­ter­act with and con­sole his girl­friend, she real­ized that he had played a sim­i­lar role dur­ing her time on the is­land and she was look­ing to fin­ish the rest of the game as a solo player.

While the plan seemed to be in mo­tion, Gabby wasn’t ex­pect­ing things to play out like they did at tribal coun­cil. “We did have a backup plan in case Chris­tian ended up play­ing his idol. I thought the other three votes were go­ing to be for Ali­son (Ray­bould),” she ex­plained. “I was ner­vous about vot­ing out Chris­tian, but I was hope­ful that the plan would make sense. It was a big mo­ment for me in terms of tak­ing the game into my own hands and do­ing some­thing that was risky but that could have a re­ally big pay-off.”

It was Davie Rick­en­backer who tipped Chris­tian off and in­formed him he was on the chop­ping block. And af­ter pulling out his idol to save him­self fol­low­ing the vote, two rogue votes from An­gelina Kee­ley and Mike White sent Gabby pack­ing as the 6th mem­ber of the jury.

“I did not know be­fore tribal. He and I were chat­ting com­pletely nor­mally so now I know that we were both com­pletely ly­ing to each other, but it was at tribal where I started to feel re­ally un­easy just based on how com­fort­able ev­ery­one else felt,” she said.

“That’s when I started to feel like some­thing was not right. But when he got up to play his idol, that’s when I knew it was just ter­ri­ble. I thought the worst-case sce­nario was Ali­son go­ing home. Lit­tle did I know, the worst-case sce­nario was me go­ing home.”

Sur­vivor: David vs Go­liath airs Wed­nes­days on Global and CBS

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