Exclusive Interviews: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Alec Merlino and Carl Boudreaux

It was a double-dose of Survivor this week. That means not one but two players were sent to jury. Alec’s exit was fairly straight-forward. In contrast, Carl became the first blindsided member of the beloved David alliance. This set the stage for the rest of the season (just two episodes left before the two-hour Finale on Dec. 19th!).

Did you miss any of the action? Get caught up with our Episode 10 and 11 Recap, as well as checking out the Podcast below.


Exclusive Interviews: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Alec Merlino and Carl Boudreaux

Yes, it was closing time first for Alec Merlino, the Goliath member who began making waves even before the season aired. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, Alec posted an Instagram photo of himself and Kara Kay, along with the caption: “F*** it.” This was a huge no-no considering that CBS had yet to officially announce the cast of the season AND that small detail: Alec and Kara had signed NDAs that strictly prohibited them from posting on social media. The story got national attention. Reportedly, Alec’s appearance fee of $10k was revoked, and he was apparently uninvited from the Live Reunion Show. Kara was not punished since the photo was posted from Alec’s account. Not exactly starting off on the right foot, Alec.

RELATED: Exclusive Interview: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Dan Rengering On Making Survivor History

Alec didn’t show up much in the first few episodes, leading many to believe that CBS was giving him a “purple edit” because they were angry with him. But soon, it was clear that Alec played a huge part in this game. Maybe most impressively, he won over many fans as a likable player willing to make moves. Whether they’re considered good or bad is up to you to decide.

Despite it all, Alec became one of the biggest physical threats in the game. If one thing has stayed consistent over Survivor’s 37 seasons, it’s that physical threats cannot be allowed to go deep into the game. Alec gave it his all – literally – but was outlasted by Christian, even after hanging in the Immunity Challenge for over five hours. While it was a valiant effort, it solidified to the others that he should be voted out: He was just too big a threat to go much further. They promptly voted him out unanimously.

Exclusive Interviews: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Alec Merlino and Carl Boudreaux

That leads us to Carl, a character that definitely added to the show this season. His blunt, hold-nothing-back approach rubbed a few people the wrong way. Ultimately, he became known as the leader – or rather, The Godfather – of the Davids. He went to Exile Island earlier in the season and he was the first player in history to find, possess and correctly play the “Idol Nullifyer,” which he used to get Dan out of the game. The move might have gone to his head. After staying somewhat low-key early in the game, he suddenly started more vocally calling the shots. After leaving Gabby out of an important strategic decision, he became the target and in a 5-4 vote, was blindsided by his fellow Davids.

RELATED: Survivor: David vs. Goliath Episode 9 Recap: ‘Goliath-Strong For Too Long’

Exclusive Interviews: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Alec Merlino and Carl Boudreaux

I had the chance to speak with both Alec and Carl today, and you can hear the full interview on the latest edition of the FilmSurvivor Podcast. The full audio is available to download at the bottom of this article. Here are some highlights from the interviews:


On if Christian’s long-winded stories during the challenge had any effect on him dropping out:

Alec Merlino: Christian is a beast, 100%. Christian deserves all the credit for that. He won fair and square, he crushed it. You get up there and you’re physically and mentally drained, you’re in pure agony, it sucks. Christian just played it way better. I tried to take the approach of just being mentally tough, and just putting on like I wasn’t hurting, which I wasn’t, I mean I was feeling good. And then Christian just sort of Zen-ned out, he was able to just talk his way through that challenge…but hats off to him because yeah, really I just couldn’t take it anymore and I just stepped off…I think there was a picture of my face afterwards and I was showing my friends, and I was just like, this is a picture of absolute defeat bro (laughs).

RELATED: Exclusive Interview: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s John Hennigan Reacts To Epic Blindside

Exclusive Interviews: Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s Alec Merlino and Carl Boudreaux


On how others perceived him as being “The Godfather”:

Carl Boudreaux: Ultimately I loved it, I mean, who would like being called “The Godfather” on Survivor? But I didn’t expect that. I was really wondering how that came about. Because I didn’t dictate any moves, any moves that were made we sat down and talked about them collectively as an alliance. So I was sort of puzzled as to how that name came about. Because I was never one that was all, “You’re going to do this and you’re going to do that.” That’s not how my game-play was at all, so I was stunned by that one. But hey, I’ll take it. I’ll go down as “The Godfather,” I’m cool with that.

For much more from Alec and Carl, including Alec’s response to the whole Instagram controversy and whether or not he’ll be at the Live Reunion Show –  please listen to the latest episode of the FilmSurvivor Podcast by clicking here.

Remember! The next episode of Survivor: David vs. Goliath is next Wednesday, and be sure to check back here for my recap and reaction, as well as for my weekly podcast exit interview!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter – @tomsantilli – and on Facebook, for all of the latest Survivor coverage, interviews, and movie reviews.


Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe/David M. Russell