Pop Crave spoke with the seventh eliminated castaway of Survivor 45, Sifu Alsup, who was the first of two castaways voted off on Wednesday night’s episode.
Check out the full exit interview below!
What was it like watching your elimination, and how have you dealt with your elimination since filming wrapped?
Watching it back was like a roller coaster of emotions. You know, you want to see yourself go far. And then falling one short of the jury—that hit even harder, for sure. But I have to wrap it up like this and say that it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I can’t be upset or mad about it. I’m truly enjoying everything that comes with this.
You posted a sweet message last night talking about your Survivor experience, including going through some highs and lows in the game. I’d love to hear more about what those highs and lows were and how those experiences allowed you to come out of the game a fuller person.
Yeah, so coming into this game, I had some trials and tribulations and pain that I was dealing with from losing two of my best friends, and a few other things. And this game exposed me in the best way possible, allowing me to really dig deep and to focus on why I’m there—the fire and the fuel that keeps me going. And so I think the lows were really just me fighting through that and saying, ‘I’m here for a reason to really make a difference and to change my life.’ And the highs were like getting a chance to be there and to see all the amazing things that happen, the challenges, and the scares of just not knowing what’s coming next. So I think it was quite amazing—all of it.
What was your relationship-building like at Mergatory and then the split tribe for yesterday’s episode? Did you feel there was any wiggle room to possibly walk out of tribal council safe?
I really don’t, no. [laughs] I definitely would have tried to play my fake idol or Shot in the Dark. But the only thing missing was that it was back at my camp. So that definitely stops that. But I did go to people; I talked to everybody; we were going to vote for Bruce; and then it just kind of fizzled away as tribal got closer.
Speaking of your fake idol, I’m curious to know why original Reba was under the assumption that you had an idol in the first place considering Dee and Julie saw Austin find the tribe’s Beware Advantage. Can you provide any clarity on that?
You know, Survivor is a game of uncertainty, so I think that they were just like, ‘Well, there could be [another idol], and he could have one. Who knows?’ Blah, blah, blah! And I’m like, ‘Cool! If you think I have an idol, then maybe that diverts some of the attention, and that’s fine with me. It could put more on me, but it’s all I had in that moment to do.
Drew appeared to not have even been an option to vote for last night. Do you know if he was truly considered a target at any point?
Oh, for sure. I mean, you know, what’s funny is you don’t get to see everybody’s name come up, but almost everybody’s name is under fire during those tribal nights. Some people are obviously clearly safe. But, yeah, Drew’s name came up, Kendra’s name came up, and my nickname came up. And Bruce’s name came up quite a bit, but it just ultimately ended on… Sifu! Unfortunately.
Emily was working with Drew and Austin at this point. What prevented you, her, and Drew from coming together?
Yeah, so we did talk, and I had a great conversation with Emily. She was on board to go Bruce as well, and she couldn’t bring Drew in, so it just didn’t work out.
You seemed to be a target at original Reba since the beginning of the game, specifically after getting caught searching for the idol so early on. Can you talk more about your early days on the tribe and what caused that rift?
I think that we all had a really good time, and it was kumbaya in the beginning and a lot of meditation and breathing together; I got to lead some of those. But one little trick or one little thing can change their perception. Or not even perception; it could just say it’s easy to paint a target on him because he got caught doing one thing. So I think that drove a stake in between us. I don’t believe that anybody was malicious or anything, but I do believe that it was just an easy way to paint a target.
I spoke to J. Maya last week, who spoke of recognizing her and your position in the game and wanting to align because of it. She says you then immediately threw her under the bus with the other Reba members. What led you away from aligning with her?
Sure. Again, I love J. Amazing musician, I rock out to her music, and we connected on that. But I think it was the fact that I just didn’t believe a few things she was saying. And I also believed I was being misled, because I thought, in the beginning, she was aligned with Dee and Julie. And so I was like, ‘Well, it makes sense for her to come talk to me and make this sort of formation because, why not? Understand where he’s at, then you know what I’m doing.’ So it was just a suspicion, and I tried to turn around on her as much as I could [laughs].
What was your reaction to finding out J. Maya actually didn’t vote for you in the tribal council where Sean left?
So that is a fun topic because my head immediately went, ‘Dee. J. Dee. J.’ So, like, as soon as I talked to Sean, I was like, ‘Hey, who voted Sifu?’ And then he was like, ‘It wasn’t me.’ And I was like, ‘Alright, we got this. It’s Dee or J.’ So they were equally a target in my head of who wrote me down.
Despite that, you still remained Reba strong. What went into that decision, and did you ever think of branching out beyond them?
Oh, for sure. Yeah, come merge. I was like, *singing* ‘This is great!’ Because I got Katurah […] She’s in St. Louis; I’m 10 minutes away, and we bonded on that. And a lot of these new faces were a chance for me to create new relationships because I knew that my game would be dependent on that. So hypothetically, if I did make it past this vote, I think I would be sitting decently with some new people.
I have to talk about last week’s tribal council, where Kaleb successfully played his Shot in the Dark. Your reaction was awesome! What was it like to be present for Survivor history?
Amazing. I mean, astronomical. What are the chances that I get to be on Season 45, one of the craziest new-era seasons? I’m just flabbergasted that I got the chance to see that in person and feel that energy. I mean, it was, like, nothing I can explain.
Kaleb ended up walking out right after you. Did that surprise you?
Yes, and no, because there was a 50/50, really. He was sitting in a 50/50 odd, and I could tell that, so it was slightly surprising, but I also kind of suspected it. It was like, left or right, you know? You could make either one.
Any final words? What is one lesson you’d say you learned as a student of the game of Survivor?
There’s a lot, but one big one is definitely to take a risk. Take a chance. Be bold. Do something different and lean into who you truly are. Period. And have a frickin fun time, man. This life you get, enjoy it, and do everything you can because this is an amazing opportunity to test yourself, and if you get to test yourself, you grow.
Survivor airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on CBS and Paramount+.