Survivor New Zealand eliminated contestant, Matt

Matt, you were eliminated when you had a way to save yourself. Was the Hidden Immunity idol actually in your pocket?

Yes. It’s in my pocket right now. It’s the souvenir nobody wants.

Why didn’t you play it?

I’m a gambling man, so I assessed my chances. I knew there was a chance of me going home, but I had some conversations with certain people.  I knew Adam was going to be voting Tess, and I didn’t realise Dave was as much of a swing vote as he was. So I thought there would be three votes going for Tess, even if there was two going for me. 

I did have a conversation with Dave before Tribal Council, and I asked him if I needed to play my Idol, and he said, “Nah nah, you’re all good, you’re safe.”  Me and Dave had gotten that far helping each other, so I thought his information was accurate. But obviously yeah, Dave was a bigger swing vote than I thought.

It’s easy for me to say sitting at home watching -  but I just think if you EVER have an inkling that your name’s going to be written down (especially when we’re at the tail end of the game), I’m sorry but to me you’d be crazy not to play it. 

That’s alright. Being a fan too, I overthought some stuff way too much. I was thinking of the different challenges that were going to be coming up, and I thought the next one might involve a puzzle, so I was like, “I don’t know if I can win that one.”

And that was also where mine and Dave’s relationship was a disadvantage, because we had more of an unconditional trust. So when he told me I didn’t need to play my Idol, I didn’t think he’d be putting my name down. 

You and Dave have a friendship that goes back before the show, which people didn’t know about. Did you put too much trust in Dave, do you think? 

Yeah that was probably the ultimate reason why I did get sent home with the Idol in my pocket. We had worked our relationship really well up until that point. I wouldn’t say we controlled everything, but we had a part to play, and a lot of the votes we were involved in together. So then when I did confront him, I did trust him. In my gut I knew something was up but I was like, “I need to trust Dave on this vote.” 

How are you guys now? 

We’re fine, we’re good mates. Nothing has changed, we’re probably stronger from this whole thing. We’ll probably catch up tonight for a beer or something.   

See Matt's initial reaction to his elimination, in his episode of Jury Villa.

Survivor New Zealand continues Sundays at 7pm on TVNZ 2, stream the latest episodes right here.