Survivor 42’s Zach Wurtenberger Reflects on Unanimous Vote


Still grateful. Survivor superfan Zach Wurtenberger appears again at his expertise “so positively” even after being voted out first in the course of the premiere episode on Wednesday, March 9.

The pupil, 22, “wasn’t one hundred percent sure” he was going dwelling however “felt pretty confident” the tribe was leaning towards conserving Tori Meehan over him. He was proper and he was voted out unanimously as he couldn’t vote since he used his Shot within the Dark.

“There was just not enough people fighting for me,” Zach completely tells Us Weekly. “You had Romeo [Escobar] fighting for me a little bit, but Romeo himself wasn’t gonna be able to turn the numbers.”

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After the problem, the Florida native seemingly took duty for the tribe’s loss as he was answerable for the puzzle alongside Swati Goel. Still, Zach says he doesn’t “feel like I particularly fell on my sword so much as – just in that moment – like, ‘Hey, you know, I’m sorry. I wish that we had done better on that puzzle.’”

The producers “kind of protected” him, he admits. “They edited out me in that challenge being like, ‘I know this puzzle, I know this puzzle.’ And then getting there and not really knowing the puzzle super well. Swati said a very similar thing and they just didn’t show that.”

As for what he thinks he may have probably executed higher to remain within the sport, Zach tells Us: “I think that there is a chance of me going just completely nuclear on Tori in that moment. I think that that could have possibly swayed things. I also think I would’ve come off a lot worse. … Maybe this is a youth thing. Maybe this is kind of a naivety for me, but I just didn’t have the heart. I do really like Tori, and I did really feel bad that I was trying to end her dream to save my own.”

What else did Zach must say about his sport? And as a fan, what did he take into consideration this “new era” of Survivor? Scroll right down to learn our full interview.

Survivor airs Wednesdays on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.

Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

Us Weekly: How are you feeling this morning?

Zach Wurtenberger: I’m feeling nice.

Us: What was it like watching it again?

ZW: Honestly, it was actually enjoyable. I used to be actually having fun with it once more to see how they edited every little thing collectively and the way every little thing was portrayed. I used to be actually pleased with how my story got here collectively.

Us: As a superfan, was the expertise what you anticipated?

ZW: As a fan, it positively wasn’t what I anticipated. It’s like you possibly can’t actually anticipate to dwell out within the jungle. The individuals that you simply’re with too. It was, like, utterly not what I anticipated. I believe that watching the present by way of was … perhaps it was extra so what I anticipated, what I hoped. It was an incredible episode.

Us: What did you consider this accelerated model of the sport?

ZW: I imply, I’m at all times gonna be a purist. I’d’ve beloved to get to do the entire 39 days, no ship wheel island, all that stuff. But I’d play Survivor if it was three days lengthy, and hey, look, it was for me. I’d’ve performed it doesn’t matter what. So even when it was just like the “new era,” it was nonetheless blast.

Us: How dangerous was the meals scenario?

ZW: It was dangerous. I imply, you don’t have any meals. The most we had was coconuts, which we couldn’t even actually eat as a result of Drea [Wheeler]’s allergic to coconuts. Maybe there are different actuality exhibits which have much less coconuts. You have an allergy to coconuts (laughs). So we at all times needed to be actually cautious with consuming the coconuts in order that we weren’t gonna make Drea get sick.

Us: So let’s speak about tribal. Talk to me about the way it went from Tori to you and once you realized you had been going dwelling.

ZW: It was a gentle progress. The pushers of it had been – clearly Tori was going to do something to verify it wasn’t her – and then you definately had Rocksroy [Bailey] who was at all times simply gonna [base his decision] on challenges, sadly. Swati was gonna go together with wherever the numbers went. She wasn’t actually gonna put herself on the market too strongly in any respect. So that was at all times gonna be a tricky spot. There was simply not sufficient individuals combating for me. You had Romeo combating for me slightly bit, however Romeo himself wasn’t gonna be capable to flip the numbers.

Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

Us: Some individuals on social media needed me to ask about you falling on your sword a bit after the problem. Why did you instantly take duty for the loss? Talk to me about that.

ZW: I don’t know. I don’t really feel like I notably fell on my sword a lot as – simply in that second – like, “Hey, you know, I’m sorry. I wish that we had done better on that puzzle.” But I definitely wasn’t pulling a Zane [Knight] and being like, “Guys, vote me out, vote me out.” It was only a fast second. And I did actually really feel dangerous about that. [The producers] sort of protected me slightly bit. They edited out me in that problem being like, “I know this puzzle, I know this puzzle.” And then getting there and probably not realizing the puzzle tremendous nicely. Swati mentioned a really related factor they usually simply didn’t present that.

Us: Right. We do typically see the one that seems like they tousled apologize to the tribe after the problem. Anyway, when did you determine it’s best to play the Shot within the Dark?

ZW: I wasn’t 100% certain that I used to be getting voted on the market. I felt fairly assured. I felt prefer it was in all probability, like, a 70 – 80 % [chance], however I additionally knew that my vote wasn’t gonna truly matter at this tribal as a result of I knew it was both all me or all Tori. So I simply was like, “Well, if my vote doesn’t matter and I can decrease my odds by 16 point whatever percent, why wouldn’t I do it?”

Us: What was the plan for tribal as you knew it? What had been you advised was occurring?

ZW: I knew it was both me or Tori, and I used to be pushing for Tori in that second. And Tori was pushing for me. It made it fairly straightforward for everybody else to sort of simply again off in that second and sort of let one among us go. So I felt prefer it was gonna be one of many two of us. And I felt like I used to be not getting the reassurances from my tribe that I in all probability would’ve been getting had they not been concentrating on me in that second.

Us: So there was no speak about one among you having an idol?

ZW: That didn’t even matter as a result of it was clear I used to be voting for Tori and Tori was voting for me. Even if Tori had an idol, it’s like, “OK, then she just gets Zach out so we don’t even have to worry about about this.” So there wasn’t an excessive amount of concern about idols and stuff. Plus, idols don’t even work anymore with the phrases and stuff. We didn’t know that, however there actually was not a risk of that.

Us: Right. How do you are feeling about this new period of idols and benefits?

ZW: Well, it’s humorous since you see these individuals run again with pretend blood on them and also you’re like, “What is going on here?” And now you get to see all the behind the scenes on that stuff. When I bought again to Ponderosa, I used to be like, “Oh man, if only I had found an idol,” after which I came upon that, like, if I had discovered an idol, I wouldn’t have even been capable of play the Shot within the Dark.

Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

Us: True! Loads of the episode was additionally spent on Jackson [Fox]’s story. What had been your ideas watching that final evening?

ZW: I simply assume that Jackson is an unbelievable particular person and is among the most inspirational individuals I’ve ever met. I’m so glad that they had been capable of have his story on the market. It’s so nice that he bought to speak all that by way of. I actually assume that Jackson is phenomenal and I had such a pleasure attending to to spend Ponderosa with him.

Us: Looking again, what will likely be your fondest reminiscence from doing the present?

ZW: Honestly, I take a look at all the expertise so positively. It could also be that the three days within the sport – on the very least the ultimate day within the sport – wasn’t notably essentially the most enjoyable day of my life. When I take into consideration attending to be at Ponderosa afterwards with individuals and, like, all of the pre-game stuff, and attending to dwell my dream and have all these firsts of attending to go to challenges and tribal and all of that, each single step I simply felt so grateful that I had this chance.

Us: Does that imply you’re curious about taking part in once more?

ZW: It’s not possible to say no to Survivor. It actually is. We speak about it as a as soon as in a lifetime alternative, proper? And should you get a as soon as in a lifetime alternative twice, it’s not possible to say no. I’d positively play once more. I’d positively work actually shut with Reem [Daly]. But additionally, on the identical time, if that is the top of my Survivor experience, I couldn’t be extra grateful for it.

Us: Do you assume there was something you can have executed at tribal council to remain or do you assume it was a executed deal at that time?

ZW: I believe that there’s a probability of me going simply utterly nuclear on Tori in that second. I believe that that might have probably swayed issues. I additionally assume I’d’ve come off rather a lot worse. So it’s sort of like this backwards and forwards for me. Maybe it is a youth factor. Maybe that is sort of a naivety for me, however I simply didn’t have the guts. I do actually like Tori, and I did actually really feel dangerous that I used to be making an attempt to finish her dream to avoid wasting my very own. Um, yeah. So I believe that if I may have pushed a lot tougher for her, perhaps I may have modified one thing, however on the finish of the day, I simply know that that’s not, at that second, what I’d’ve been capable of do. It would’ve been onerous to get the votes at that time. They needed energy.