We’re inching our way towards the merge, as we have now said good-bye to a fifth contestant this season on Survivor. Already over a third of the way through the game, there have been a few blindsides and a few tense Tribal Councils, but mostly, we’ve said good-bye to players that weren’t long for the game or that haven’t been given all that much air-time through five episodes. That being said, tonight’s big decision by one player could end up being a pivotal moment in the game that we look back on and wonder “what if” this person would have chose differently?
Caution, as spoilers from this week’s episode are to follow! Turn back now! If you want to get caught up, be sure to check out the Episode 5 Recap here.
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Roark Luskin, the 27-year-old social worker from Palo Alto, California, took the blunt of Ryan’s decision to stick with new ally Chrissy over his original ally Ali. We might have seen it coming, given the fact that Roark has struggled to get any air-time this season, compared to Chrissy who has been shown as an important strategic player. Tonight marked Roark’s first and final Tribal Council, never having to go there previously since her Healers tribe managed to avoid Tribal altogether during the first portion of the game. That might have played into Roark’s minimal screen-time, but even after the tribe swap, we only really got to see her play during this week’s episode. She was the lone Healer on her new tribe, but instead of becoming the swing vote, she ended up being the easy first post-swap target.
I had the chance to speak to Roark today on the FilmSurvivor Podcast (the full audio of which you can find and download at the bottom of this article). But here were some highlights:
ROARK INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:
On her relationship with Chrissy:
Roark Luskin: It started on Day Nine, which was day one of the swap, Chrissy made it very clear from that moment that she wanted to get rid of me and I think that was both a personal and a strategic decision. She and I were just sort of oil and water out there. I certainly wonder what it would be like if we had met in the real world…we’re both smart, ambitious women who want big things for the world, but because we met out there, there was no bridge to be built.
On her lack of air-time through the first four episodes:
Roark: [The Survivor Producers] are absolutely incredible story-tellers, they’re so good at their jobs…this is my boot, I had my little capsule moment but this is not my story. But watching all of these people that I had such affection for is really, really wonderful. Just hearing their voices again, getting to celebrate with them through this is really, really fun.
On why she thinks Ryan may have ultimately decided to vote her out instead of Chrissy:
Roark: I really liked Ryan, you know, in a lot of our pre-game interviews before we had even met, me and Ryan both had said that we wanted to work together. In an alternate universe where he and I were on a starting tribe, I think things could have looked really different. In a way, that breaks my heart, because I adore Ryan and would have loved to have seen a Roark-Ryan partnership play out. Unfortunately that did not come to fruition. But one of my regrets is that I did not spend enough time one-on-one with Ryan…I leaned too much on Ali to be a go-between, and that was 100% my fault…but I really did not spend enough time with Ryan. And I wonder if we had really hashed out what we saw going forward, again, this is a woulda-shoulda-coulda if things would have been a bit different had we had the opportunity to really hash it out.
For much more from Roark Luskin, including my full interview, please listen to the latest episode of the FilmSurvivor Podcast below or by clicking here.
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ROARK’S ELIMINATION?
Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira