While many viewers were hoping she might walk away the winner, Aubry Bracco knew she wasn't going to be the Survivor champ against Michele Fitzgerald.
"I knew the minute I stepped out of that Tribal in that moment. Survivor is about moments and being on the right side of the moment, and I knew I didn't have that moment when I stepped out of Tribal," Aubry told us on the finale's red carpet.
She ultimately finished the game in second place by a vote of 5-2.
"I could read the room," she continued. "If you go to a dinner party, you know if people are having a good time or a bad time, you know where they're at. When people stood up, some people didn't ask me questions. I knew when Scot came up and said what he had to say to Michele that I just didn't have the moment in that moment. I considered myself an underdog throughout the game, but I'm always someone who believes you should take responsibility for your actions, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get it done. At that point in the game, the people in the jury did not consider me to be the underdog. That's not something you can force people to believe. They have to feel it, and that group didn't feel it."
The final Tribal Council was filmed more than a year before the winner was actually revealed, which became a torturous 12 months for Aubry to think about her self-perceived impending loss.
"I believed that I had played the best game," she said. "I believed I was strategic. I didn't think I ever stopped. I made one-on-one emotional connections, but I also knew you can feel that you owned it and played the best game, but that's the beauty of Survivor. It's all up to the jury and I just wasn't what the jury needed at that moment in time."
Had she lost the tie-breaking fire-making challenge and landed on the jury, Aubry knew she was going to vote for Cydney to win it all.
"Cydney played a fierce game. She's a tough competitor and I just have a lot of respect for how she runs her life."
On the flip side, we asked Aubry if she agrees with fans who say Michele may be one of the most unforgettable winners ever. Her response was swift and blunt.
"I think we have an amazing season with amazing people. Anyone who can get to the end after 39 days on that season, I think it's a memorable group."
And if Aubry has it her way, this won't be the last time she digs her toes in the sand to battle it out for $1 million.
"Of course I would do Survivor again. It's the best experience of my life. Super humbling. All the fans have been amazing, saying that they related to me. That means a lot to me because they could just as easily be any other fan in my position. It's just been really humbling. I'm very grateful."
How would she summarize her entire Survivor experience with a single hashtag? #ShockAndAubs.
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