Another Survivor Tribal Council has came and went and this time it was Natalia Azoqa’s flame getting extinguished. Azoqa seemed to be coasting along in the game until the David and Goliath tribes were broken down into the smaller Jabeni, Tiva and Vuku tribes. Separated from her original tribe, things quickly went south for the industrial engineer from Irvine, California.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Azoqa about being voted out, what she felt went wrong on the island and delivering one of the greatest quotes in Survivor history.
MW- Good morning Natalia!
NA- Good morning!
MW- First things first, “If I go home tonight with guns blazing, I’m happy,” is one of the greatest quotes in Survivor history.
NA- [Laughs] Well thank you! I was not happy I said it after the fact because I feel like I willed my fate, you know?
MW- But it’s good to be remembered and that was an all-timer.
NA- Thank you [laughs].
MW- What was going through your mind when Alec voted you out?
NA- Honestly, it hit me early on and you see it at Tribal Council. I was calculating in my head what to do, I was hurt. I tried for a long time to build his trust and it never really worked. Getting on the Vuku Tribe with only five people really exposes your relationships. Having that self doubt and that fear that someone I thought I could slowly build trust with wasn’t working out – I think that’s when you started to see the bossiness and the anger come out of me. Then because Kara wasn’t aware of it it all really came out at Tribal Council – my feelings were finally being confirmed.
I had all this doubt the whole day and then for it to be confirmed at Tribal Council was eye opening. Honestly, I was just calculating how I could switch the vote. When you have Kara who just didn’t believe that Alec really was turning on me it was really hard because my closest ally wasn’t on board. I was beginning to think she was on his side at that point, it was honestly just me calculating.
MW- What do you think made Alec change his mind about the vote?
NA- I think that, on the Goliath Tribe we had a very lighthearted relationship. You didn’t see us talking a lot and I think that was because we never really talked about the game. Alec was one of the few people who never spoke to me about anything game related. Even when Jeremy got voted out, Alec and I are the two people who didn’t want Jeremy to go home. I was really amendment on Natalie going home, I thought that would bond us.
When we got to the Vuku camp we talked about that a lot, how we were unhappy about our close friend going home, and I thought maybe I could build his trust but it just didn’t work. When I start to get the feeling that my thoughts aren’t be relayed the right way I’m going to start to get aggressive. It’s very natural to me to turn to aggression and you clearly see that Alec was completely turned off by that.
It’s hard when you’re talking to a guy like that who doesn’t understand that’s just my expression. With Kara and Angelina it was very easy to speak to both of them and I had no fear that they would retaliate or think that I’m talking down on them because that’s just truly how I talk. Alec never saw that side of me and at Vuku he just saw it out of nowhere. It definitely scared him I think and it obviously lead to me going home.
MW- Tough to change your nature but if you could do the whole thing over again was not being able to reign in the aggression your biggest regret on the island?
NA- I think if I could do it again and I got put on the Vuku tribe again I would play it cool – kind of like Kara. I think I have to let my thoughts internalize and I can’t always express what I’m feeling. All that doubt that you express makes people worried.
In everyday life when I talk to people I always express what I’m feeling because I need to read people. When I was reading him he wasn’t giving me any answers and it honestly made me more crazy. I took that as he wasn’t being truthful with me. Now I wish that I had trusted my instincts and turned on him early. I wish I had followed that as a sign and went about it a different route but when you have an ally who’s is really good at challenges I just didn’t want to think about eliminating someone who is going to help us continue winning when there’s only five of us. It was tough.
MW- The politics and strategy are always going to be a part of Survivor but what was the most unexpectedly difficult part of the game?
NA- First was the weather. I really didn’t expect the weather could get that bad. You see me shaking and that honestly happened on night one. I was shaking the whole night and luckily we had Dan who has a really big body. I literally needed Dan because I was struggling and I can’t always express that. It’s Survivor so you can’t just complain the whole time.
The next thing that really was hard for me was going from the Goliath Tribe, where we all just genuinely got along and you don’t really see a lot of that but we did all get along. We had a lot of fun and we knew we were winning so we didn’t have to play so hard. Going from that to the next day going on Vuku, having five people, I quickly realized I didn’t know if I had Alec’s trust, I don’t know if Kara is really seeing what I’m seeing.
All of a sudden I’m playing really hard, you go from one extreme to another and I think that also lead to my downfall.
MW- With all the knowledge and experience about that game is really like, would you play again?
NA- Oh, I told Jeff point blank, ‘Bring me back.’ I want to come back. I would play every season if I could. I don’t care what the weather is like, I don’t care if I’m put on Exile Island all by myself the whole time – I just want to play. I thought every part of it was so much fun.
The one thing I do feel bad about is that I didn’t get to do an individual challenge. I really, really, really wanted to try those individual challenges and it’s sad that I didn’t get to that point.
MW- Hopefully you’ll get that chance on another season. You certainly sound determined and I think a lot of viewers will have their fingers crossed for you.
NA- Thank you! I will try so hard!
MW- Thank you Natalia, have a good one!
NA- Thank you! You too!
Tune in for an all-new episode of Survivor next Wednesday at 8:00PM ET/PT. Check your local listings for more information.