Survivor SA's Neil: The game beat me, not my opponents

Cape Town – With only two episodes in Survivor SA: Philippines is proving to be action-packed viewing. 

In a Survivor SA first Neil Voller was eliminated via a tie-breaking draw of rocks at tribal council after Luzon couldn’t separate Josie and Annalize after two rounds of voting.

This happened just moments after the 55-year-old HR executive was elected as the tribe’s leader. 

We chatted to Neil about his elimination, his strategy, his unfulfilled role as tribe captain and his alliance. 

This is the first time in Survivor SA history that rocks have been drawn. How do you feel about it? Do you think it is a fair way to break a tie?

No, I just feel that if two people were identified at the bottom of the rung the draw should be between them. But it is the rules of the game.

How do you feel about your elimination?

I have mixed feelings because there were so many highs and lows during tribal council. My strategy was to play under the radar. I didn’t even want to put my application on YouTube because I would have intimidated people by my achievements. Being elected as the leader of the tribe was a definite highlight for me as it was recognition that I was a strong player. Being eliminated via luck of the draw I thought it was okay as nobody voted me out and there wasn’t a target on my back. In the end it was the game that beat me and not my opponents. I still see myself as a superior player.

eil Voller is second castaway to be eliminated in

When your name came up to be voted as leader you were initially hesitant to take on the role. Why did you agree to do it in the end and what would have been your approach as leader of the tribe?

The thing that I picked up with the tribe is that there is a lot of confusion and I knew what needed to be done. However, I couldn’t just step in and pull the team together early on in the game. When my name was thrown in I thought that it was a good opportunity to bring the team together and to win challenges and immunity and to take through a strong team into the merge.  If I was given the opportunity to lead the tribe I would have brought them together, not in an autocratic style though. I would have held them all accountable for whatever task they were given. 

Luzon has lost four challenges and are now two members down. Do you think they can come back after this losing streak?

I am as curious as you to see what will happen. There needs to be a total shake up and in all honesty I don’t have much confidence that they will win. After everything that went down at tribal council the infighting will be worse. If they do win a challenge it will be because the other tribe didn’t perform at their best. There is just too much focus on playing a strategic game. 

Ace was part of your alliance but flipped. What are your thoughts on how he is playing the game?

Ace keeps flip-flopping. He may see it as strategy but I see it as a weak character. He is so easily convinced and goes back on his word quickly.  We didn’t trust him in the alliance. Going forward his word will mean nothing and he will always be seen as someone who cannot be trusted and this reputation will follow him in the competition, even if he makes it to merge.

Is there anything you would have done differently?

I think my game worked out perfectly. I am generally not a small character that hangs around in the background. It took a lot of effort from me. I would have played it exactly the same – being a friend, being Tom's right-hand as people commented on social media.

Who are you rooting for to win?

Tom, I would like him to win. Even though he is not a strategic player he is a solid person and his intentions are clear.

Catch Survivor SA: Philippines Thursdays at 19:00 on M-Net (DStv 101) 

(Photos supplied: M-Net)