Austin Carty, the 24-year-old author and model from High Point, North Carolina, found himself kicked out of the game in a 6-3 vote after admitting that he had deliberately lost an immunity challenge as a tactic to make the Casaya alliance think he was weak.
"That was so stupid to let them know my plan," Austin lamented soon afterward, hoping he'd be able to recover, "because now I'm afraid people are questioning whether they really trust me."
And they didn't – ultimately expelling him as a game player, and therefore a threat to their own hopes and ambitions. Visiting The Early Show Friday, Austin said he wasn't at all surprised. "It was pretty much a foregone conclusion," he said.
Asked by co-anchor Julie Chen whether Terry betrayed Austin by refusing to give him the immunity idol, Austin said no, but that he did feel let down. "I feel disappointed. I think that strategically he could have made a better move on his own part by giving me the idol. We could have got Aras eliminated and I think the tribe would have fractured at that point," he said. "But that's all hindsight and hindsight is 20/20."
Coming over here, my original intention with the idol was to make a forgery to look like I had found the idol. I happen to have the amulet that I won the very first reward challenge in my bag. And all I did was take this scepterish-looking bamboo rod and wrap the amulet that I had around it to make it look like a hidden immunity idol. I wanted Danielle to see so that way she would believe that I had the hidden immunity idol. I think that my scheme is brilliant. But it's eating me up inside, and I believe I've reached the point where I found out what I'm not willing to do for a million dollars. So I'm not going to do it.
Even after getting the boot, Austin stands by that decision. "I pride myself on being honest," he told Chen. "I don't think it would have been such a bad thing for me to use that. I don't think it would have been the most dishonest thing in the history of the world. But at the same time I walked out of there without having to lie and I kept my integrity."