And then there were six.
That's how many players are still in the running for the million-dollar prize on Survivor: The Amazon. Thursday night, tribal alliances went out the window. Rob, Butch, Christy, Heidi, Jenna and Matt remain in the game, while Alex Bell went to sit on the jury. He joined Julie Chen on The Early Show.
Chen wanted to know if it was painful to watch himself getting voted out?
"You know, it's not," Bell replied. "It was a lot of fun. And I have no regrets. And I hold no grudges against anyone. I had a blast."
Chen was incredulous. "Did you drink the Kool-Aid or something? Rob was your buddy all the way through and then did you wrong."
"Yeah, but he was playing his game the way he wanted to play it," Bell said. "That was his choice. It was fine. That's what you have to expect. That's kind of what you have to expect.
So, asked Chen, "You would have done the same to him, then?"
"No. I didn't. Last night, I sat there and I told him, 'if it came down to you and me, I'd vote you out.' And that's just how I would treat any of my friends. That's the way I chose to do it. Rob chose to do it differently than me."
Chen wanted to know if he thought it was a mistake to let Rob know of his plans.
"I guess you could call it a mistake," he answered. "But that's really how I would treat the people that I consider my friends. When I train for triathlon, I train with my buddies. We share training secrets. We do it all together. That's just who I am. And I wasn't about to go out there and change who I am to win a game. One of my really good friends -- Shawn -- before I went, he knew I was going, one of the very few people who knew I was going, and he and my roommate Dan said the same thing, just go be yourself. Be who you are."
Was he surprised that he was voted off?
"Wow, I was a little bit surprised. But I'll be honest; I was sitting there in tribal council, I had three votes; Matt had three votes. Jeff pulled the last vote out and before he said anything I looked at him and I just went, 'oh, it's me.' And then he read my name. I was like okay, wow, time to go. It was a little bit shocking. But it wasn't amazingly surprising. Wasn't like 'oh, no.'"
Chen wanted to know about Matt, "because the last few weeks, he's kind of scaring us. Was he scary? Or is it all maybe that's his strategy?"
"Maybe it was his strategy," Bell replied. "I don't know. It was a little disconcerting. There were nights when it was yeah, -- it got a little nerve-racking. Personally I never felt like I was in physical danger. But you kind of look at Matt going, 'what's going on behind the eyes there?' And he just spent an inordinate amount of time sharpening his machete. It could have been that we were all out in the middle of the jungle and tired and hungry. Acting a little bit weird ourselves. But it was a little nerve-racking."
Chen was curious about why he wanted to be in the game. Was it the physical challenge? Was it for the million-dollar prize?
"It really was for the challenge and the adventure," he said. "I've been doing outdoor stuff for a long time. Backpacking, and doing triathlons. So the money would have been a perk."
The experience did change him, Bell admitted.
"It's not often that people get a chance to see what they're really all about. Like, stripped of your job, and your clothes, and your car, and your house, and you know, all those things that we kind of build our lives around, and really get to check out who you are as a person and what your personality is like. All you have out there is your personality."
What's the deal with Shawna, Chen wanted to know.
"Shawna and I are friends. We're not allowed to, like, hang out -- I'll see her and everyone else at the finale. I'm really excited about Shawna. She's awesome. She's a great girl, and I'm sure that we'll be friends for a long time."
But he added, "I actually am seeing someone who's not affiliated with the show in any way at all."
Bell was asked if he had made it to the final three with Jenna and Heidi and won the final immunity, who would he have chosen to take to the final vote and why?
"That's a really good question," he said. "I think quite honestly I probably would have taken Jenna. Not any offense to Heidi at all. But you know, Jenna's mom's been sick for a long time. And the money would be useful. Her mom's been battling breast cancer for about 10 years, and I don't know, I think that would be -- that would be a good reason to take her along with me."
Now that he's on the jury, what will be his criteria for voting for the winner?
"I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the game, see how it all plays out. I think the most important criteria when you're picking a winner is who played the game the best. And who really made an effort to be the sole survivor. I think that's really what it comes down to."
Right now, who's playing the game the best at this point in the game, asked Chen.
"You gotta give it to Rob. You gotta give it to my boy Rob," he said without hesitation. "He played a great game. He's playing a great game. He's doing it all. He's outwitting, outplaying and outlasting everyone."