On Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, Ashley Nolan refused to do any trash-talking. In our one-on-one interview with Ashley, she said there are no hard feelings toward Devon whatsoever and added that Chrissy doesn’t deserve all the negativity she’s been getting from other players. She also defended Ben against his haters before revealing her plan to win the game.
SheKnows: The plan was to vote out Ben, but when he surprised everybody with another Immunity Idol, the group had to come up with a new target. As those conversations were happening at Tribal Council, what did you think was going to be the outcome?
Ashley Nolan: When Ben pulled out his Idol, it was a shock. Everybody else was like, “We’re gonna stick to the plan.” That didn’t make sense because our plan was to vote out Ben, and he just pulled out an Idol. I figured I must be their plan. Ultimately, there was some conversation that wasn’t aired from that Tribal, but it included me asking Devon what the heck he was doing. He said, “Sorry, Ash. I’m not with you.” I knew it was going to be me before the votes were read.
SK: Are you angry with Devon for turning on you?
AN: Not at all. My anger was gone by the time I reached the end of the dock. I get it. It’s a game. I think that’s something that’s becoming more common with Survivor players these days. There’s not as much bitterness because it’s a game. Everyone wants to win, and I think the relationship Devon and I built was true and genuine. We had a friendship, and he did what he had to do for the game. I can’t hate him for that. It’s a crazy game. Same thing with Chrissy. She and I didn’t align together the whole game, but we even laugh about it to this day. We thoroughly enjoyed each other as people. Of all days, I get a Christmas card from Chrissy yesterday. Then I got a text from Chrissy saying, “I went back and forth on wanting to talk to you today. I just wanted to reach out. I hope everything is OK.” She knew it was the night she was about to backstab me. I was like, “No worries. It’s just a game. No love lost.”
SK: Speaking of Chrissy, many people on the jury have been very vocal about how much they dislike her. In fact, Desiree said Chrissy is one of her least favorite people on earth because of her lies. Did you see that side of Chrissy?
AN: This is all so fascinating to me. I think I’m learning more about myself when I hear these things about Chrissy. I have a blessing and a curse to just see the good side of people. I thought she was pleasant and fun. She was very motherly, which would annoy people at times. As a person, I would totally hang out with Chrissy. I just didn’t get it. I don’t know if it’s just me when everybody else seems to have a similar opinion of her. We didn’t align together, but as a person, I always liked her. I still do. I think she’s taking a little too much heat from people. I don’t know if it’s immaturity on their part or just being mean.
SK: Joe told us that he thinks Ben is a “fucking asshole.” What’s your take on Ben?
AN: I love Ben. I don’t know what’s wrong with all the haters. I called Ben my Survivor husband on multiple occasions. I thought he was a pleasure. He’s seen things in life that none of us can compare. We should have compassion for each person and where they come from in life. He’s doing the best with what he has in life. Did he get intense at times? Yes. I think he did the best with who he was under the stress of the game. We all have a side of us that comes out in that game that’s probably not our best. I think we’re all good people, and Ben’s an amazing man, husband and father. That’s who I saw out there.
SK: Are you disappointed so many other castaways are doing so much post-game trash talking?
AN: It’s unfortunate. I don’t know if they really mean their words or if they’re saying things for attention and hype. Is that just them? I don’t know. I think it would be unfortunate to be the type of person that puts that much energy into disliking or talking badly about someone else when we were all just there to live this wonderful friggin’ experience. We were all put on that island for a reason. We had something in us to do this. With all of our differences, we all had more in common being there. There’s no reason to have hard feelings.
SK: What was your final-three plan?
AN: At that point, once Lauren was gone, Devon and Mike would have been my ideal final three. Mike had no other alliances. He had no say in 99 percent of the votes we had up to that point. I feel like it would’ve been easy to up my game at that final Tribal compared to his.
SK: What argument would you have made to beat Devon?
AN: He was telling me at a Reward that he and I had the same game. I think that was really true. He came up with Ben being a double agent. That was a point I looked at Devon with new eyes and thought he was a genius. After that, though, I came up with a couple ideas and he looked at me like I was better at the game than him. The biggest thing of all was I would hopefully be able to verbalize it better than he would. It was common in Tribal Council that he wouldn’t give the best responses to Jeff. Devon was not an idiot by any means, but could he sell his game as well as I could sell mine? I think I would’ve beat him there.
SK: How did you get on the show?
AN: I just went to an open casting call in my hometown. I wanted to make a video for years, and I just never did it. I went to my open casting call because my dad asked me if I was ever gonna go apply. I showed up and the next thing I know, I’m on an island with a bunch of weirdos [laughs]. I did some binge-watching before I went out just to make sure I knew the progressions the game had taken. I was definitely a fan before.