Chris Noble vs. Domenick Abbate. It’s been the biggest rivalry so far on Survivor: Ghost Island. The standoff came to an early end, though, as Chris found himself on the bad side of the vote after the three tribes finally merged. In our one-on-one interview, Chris revealed his true feelings about Domenick and explained why Libby Vincek is being perceived as such a threatening player. Plus, he discussed the “low-blow” comments Wendell Holland made about him shortly before he was voted off.
SheKnows: Clearly you were blindsided by the vote because you didn’t play the Idol. So, what did you think was going to happen at Tribal Council?
Chris Noble: I knew I was getting two votes from Dom and Wendell. After that, I wasn’t quite sure. There were some question marks because I knew some people wanted to vote for Libby. Your guess is as good as mine. I just had to gamble on building relationships and trust. If there’s any way a guy like me is gonna get to the end in this game — which is why I play, I play to win — I knew I’d have to survive at least one or two Tribals relying on trust. Without being at Tribal, I didn’t know where the lines were drawn before that. I had to risk it because that Idol would’ve become a lot more powerful since I’d get to vote. We’d be one less person down at the next Tribal and my chances of going home would’ve increased even more. That would’ve given me a better opportunity to really take control. It was worth the risk.
SK: Did you reveal to anybody you had found an Idol?
CN: I did tell one person right before we left [for Tribal] so word wouldn’t get out. I told Angela because she actually has been one of my biggest allies. She was one of the closest people I was with throughout the duration of the show since day one. I asked her what people’s thoughts were. I asked her what she wanted to do. Then I asked if they were gonna go for me. She was like, “I think they’re gonna go for you next Tribal. I think some of us are gonna be voting for Libby.” I asked if she was sure, and I was like, “Don’t tell anyone, but I have the Idol. If you think I should play it, I need you to be honest with me. I will play it.” But it didn’t work out. She was honest with me and she did vote Libby.
SK: There has been quite a bit of talk these last few weeks of targeting Libby, but we really haven’t seen much of her story on the show to understand why she’s such a strong threat. What is it about Libby we haven’t learned yet?
CN: She’s unfortunately being labeled as some of these big-time pretty women that were threats strategically [from past seasons] who used flirtation and in the game. It’s unfair to her. If you want my personal opinion, I didn’t think she was like that at all. She was completely loyal to the Malolo tribe. I knew if I was gonna be with her, I would have to be with Malolo, which I was cool with. I personally think some people just might not have liked her for her looks or whatever. I thought there was some unfair judgments on her. She’s as loyal a person as you’re gonna get.
SK: You and Domenick were going after each other since the first episode. What was it about him that made you guys such huge rivals?
CN: We’re very similar personalities, actually. He’s a New Yorker. I’ve lived in New York. You want to get things done, you’ve gotta be quick and you’ve gotta make it happen. You’ve gotta be aggressive, and that’s just who we were. The problem was that we both misunderstood the other’s intentions, which is part of the game. He constantly kept lying to me and I knew I had to get rid of him. He was trouble. I was also going after him, so he had to go after me. It could only go one way.
SK: Looking back, is Domenick somebody you could ever see yourself aligning with?
CN: Now that I know him personally, I definitely would love to [laughs]. There’s something about him I was uneasy about before the game started. Then with the hand raise [in the first episode], that just set me in motion that this guy was trouble. I would love to still align with him, but I would always have it in the back of my head that this guy could easily lie and not blink. I think him and I definitely could do damage together. We both cover certain areas of the game that one of us might lack or one of us might be good at. We would be a good partnership, but he would screw me before I could screw him, probably.
SK: It seems as if Domenick is being showcased as the person who’s playing the best game. Would you agree he’s playing the best game, or is there somebody else lurking in the shadows who we should watch for?
CN: I would definitely say Dom is playing the best game at this point, even as my biggest rival. He took me out, and I can only respect that. He’s got the advantages. He found a way to get Bradley out. He’s manipulated a lot of people. Looking at the season at this point, I still can’t believe how many people wanted to work with him and trust him. It’s absolutely bizarre. They’re either on vacation or just some of the most naive people around because this guy will turn on you in a second. I would say the most courageous game is from Michael. Being an 18-year-old kid, I’m absolutely fascinated with him. I think he’s an amazing character, and I think he’s just really way beyond his years. He’s been on the losing side of just about everything, but he’s done an amazing job. I’m really happy for him. I would be rooting for him if I was a fan.
SK: What is your take on the relationship between Domenick and Wendell? Should Wendell be trusting Domenick?
CN: I think that’s a very creative way for you to get a spoiler, and that’s not gonna happen. At this point in the game, they clearly are a power couple. It’s pretty evident. Everybody went to the water well but them two. They were the ones who scripted my departure and tried to get me to go on their side. What do they see in each other? I can’t tell you. I can’t speak for them. I think they probably see very similar plans. Here’s the catch with that. Wendell is a silent assassin. Wendell likes to observe. I caught onto this during my time out there. He was a silent killer. He’s a really quiet guy, and the minute someone leaves, he would be real quiet and whisper. Dom is the exact opposite, as you can tell. Dom will be out there saying his opinion, and that’s how I was. That’s why the thing between Dom and I was just electric and amazing to watch on television.
SK: Wendell made some very memorable comments as he was voting against you. What was your reaction to watching him say those things?
CN: I think my reaction would be just about like anyone who is on the other side of that. I wear my last name on the back of my jersey with pride. I went out in a noble way. I went out with class. Trust me, I was just as angry and wanted them dead just as much as they wanted me dead. I got eliminated and I went up there and said, “I love you both.” I shook Dom’s hand and I did it with class. This was a competition and they got the best of me. But for him to go the low-blow route and take it to that level was not classy. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed if I did that. I don’t know why it had to be like that. I didn’t even brag about being a rapper. I just goofed around because people kept asking me questions and I thought I’d make them laugh.
SK: Have you talked to Wendell about it since the episode aired?
CN: No. He hasn’t written an apology or anything, but I’m not one that needs an apology. We bonded a lot after we were done with the show. We have a good relationship, so I’m sure at some point things will be talked about. But until then, you guys are asking me how I feel about it, and that’s how I feel. It’s nothing I wouldn’t tell him. I thought it was just ridiculous.
SK: How do you feel the edit portrayed you?
CN: The edit was a roller coaster ride. I’m sure I rode the emotions of the fans just as much. The thing I came out there for the most was to tell my mom’s story and spread awareness of MS. They put it in there, and I will be forever grateful because I accomplished my dream. I spread awareness to over 8.2 million people that episode in my confessional about my mom. The show goes on, but I’m not as arrogant and cocky as some people might have thought in their confessionals. I think I was misunderstood, but this is a TV show. This is what I signed up for. If we had to make this really basic, I had a very complex cut and I am a complex personality. Was it to the extreme at some points? Absolutely. Am I cool with it? Yes. This is television. I know who I am. It was a fun ride. I accomplished something I always set out to do, and I’m grateful for everyone at Survivor and CBS.
SK: How did you get on the show?
CN: A buddy texted me and asked if I was interested in being on Survivor. I said, “Yeah. Sure.” They got me in touch with the right people. To make a long story short because I don’t want to take too much time, they were looking for what I heard in the grapevine was Captain America. My stuff got sent in, I did all the paperwork and video, and I made it. I’m very blessed for that. My mom is very happy about it, too.