‘Survivor’ castaway Cody Assenmacher explains why he gave his idol back to Jesse Lopez

Reality

Survivor castaway Cody Assenmacher has explained why he gave his hidden Immunity Idol back to Jesse Lopez before the Tribal Council in which Cody got blindsided and voted out.

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On Day 23 of the game, Jesse was holding Cody’s idol and planned to use it at Tribal Council that evening to hopefully scare Karla Cruz Godoy into flushing her idol and blindside Cody.

RELATED LINK: ‘SURVIVOR’ COUPLES NOW: WHO’S STILL TOGETHER?! WHICH SHOWMANCES SPLIT UP? (PHOTOS) 

Cody, however, asked Jesse to see the idol shortly before Tribal Council so he could show it to Karla, and at some point, Cody handed the idol back to Jesse — a moment that was not edited into Wednesday night’s Survivor 43 episode.

Considering Jesse eventually played the idol for Owen Knight and Cody got voted out of the game, Cody was asked why he gave his own idol back to Jesse.

“You know, I got hit with the perfect storm there. That will be in my head for a long time,” Cody admitted toEntertainment Weekly.

The 35-year-old elevator salesman from Iowa who currently resides in Hawaii went on to recall “the situation that played out” that viewers were not privy to.

“Karla had said, ‘Hey, let’s show our idols at Tribal.’ And I said, ‘Okay.’ So I grab it from Jesse, and I have it in my hand. And Jesse, did a great job. He said, ‘Hey, man, I think she may have a Knowledge is Power,'” Cody revealed.

When a player finds a “Knowledge Is Power” advantage, the castaway is able to steal another player’s advantage or idol at Tribal Council as long as he or she can correctly guess who is in possession of one.

“And I sat there, and I processed it,” Cody shared of Jesse’s warning.

“It ran in my head throughout the day leading up to Tribal Council. And as I was showing Karla, I was like, ‘I don’t trust this girl.’ And Jesse never asked for the idol back, so right before Tribal Council, I was like, ‘Hey, man, we played this game for 21 days together. We’re ride-or-dies. He wouldn’t steer me wrong.'”

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Cody therefore said he gave the idol back to Jesse at the “last minute.” After all, Jesse is the person Cody had trusted most in the game.

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“So he played a good game, man,” Cody conceded. “And he spooked me there last minute with that comment. An him not asking for it back is what ultimately made me give it back. Because that was our token of trust.”

Seemingly knowing that Karla had voted for Owen with only six players left in the game at this point, Jesse chose to play Cody’s idol for Owen at Tribal Council.

The move convinced Karla to play her idol in case voted had been cast for her, and it also left Cody vulnerable with nowhere to hide.

As Survivor host Jeff Probst read the votes aloud on Night 23, Cody appeared in shock to hear his name four times.

But Cody told EW that he “knew that was it” once Jesse played the idol for Owen.

“I knew I was gone… And that was probably the maddest I’ve ever been, because when he gave the idol to Jeff, my idol, he came back and he fist-bumps Owen,” Cody vented.

“And they both smile and laugh, and I’m just like, ‘Dude, that’s dirty, bro. Don’t do that.’ I have never been that mad in my life. I just got betrayed. That was tough. So I knew I was gone, but the part of the fist bump and smiling, and I’m like, ‘Did the last 21 days of building a relationship mean nothing to you?'”

Once Cody was voted out of the game and had fury written all over his face, Jesse said he’d explain later.

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Before Cody’s torch was snuffed, Jesse attempted to shake Cody’s hand — and Cody hesitated before giving in.

Cody joked with EW how he briefly considered throwing Jesse into the fire at that point.

“I was numb, bro. At that point I literally was like, ‘You sank both our ships, because you are next. You have no protection, I’m not here to help you, and you just burned our idol. You’re done. You’re gone at five. You sank both our ships,'” Cody explained.

“So I just turned into who I am as a man and shook his hand, gave him a hug, and that’s what I resorted to — took the high road.”

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Jesse told the cameras that he wanted to vote Cody out of the game because the men had made similar moves but Cody had been louder about making them.

Jesse also feared that if Cody managed to make Karla play her idol and then got Karla out, it would be an impressive feat to add to Cody’s Survivor resume.

Although the guys had become best friends, Jesse feared he wouldn’t be able to beat Cody in the end. And Jesse explained that playing Survivor wasn’t about the experience for him — it was about winning the $1 million to give his family security.

“Once I walked out of there when my torch was snuffed, you get put in a tent prior to your final interview, and I damn near ripped it down,” Cody shared of what happened after his Survivor elimination.

“I had a scene in there as if I was in a gang fight in a tent by myself just kicking and screaming and going crazy. So I had that moment, then went back to Ponderosa.”

Luckily for Cody, he wasn’t the only member of the jury at Ponderosa who had been blindsided.

“It was good to have some drinks. It was good to have some talks, had a good cry. I stayed up all night. And it slowly wore off,” Cody said.

“The next Tribal was a day or two away and there’s so much action going on that you don’t get a lot of time really for the woe-is-me mentality.”

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Although Jesse played Cody’s idol, he has another idol in his pocket heading into the next episode and Final 5 Tribal Council that nobody knows about.

Survivor 43 castaway Jeanine Zheng had given her immunity bracelet to Dwight Moore to hold onto before Tribal Council on Night 14, fearing a “Knowledge Is Power” advantage could be played.

Little did Jeanine know, however, Dwight had become paranoid and passed the idol onto Jesse.

RELATED LINK: ‘SURVIVOR’ COUPLES NOW: WHO’S STILL TOGETHER?! WHICH SHOWMANCES SPLIT UP? (PHOTOS) 

When Dwight got voted out of the game, Jeanine and the other castaways just assumed the idol left the game with him.

Survivor airs its Season 43 finale next week on Wednesday, December 14 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.

About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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