‘Survivor’s Charlie Davis: Maria kept flip-flopping on her Kenzie vote after the finale

Reality

Survivor runner-up Charlie Davis claims Maria Shrime Gonzalez has been flip-flopping on her explanation for why she had voted to give Kenzie Petty the $1 million prize over him in the Season 46 finale.

During Survivor 46’s Final Tribal Council on Night 26 of the game, five jury members voted for Kenzie to win the game, and only three jury members voted for Charlie to be crowned the “Sole Survivor.”

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Charlie admitted to Survivor host Jeff Probst he was “shocked” to discover his No. 1 ally, Maria, hadn’t voted in his favor, and Jeff pointed out how Charlie appeared to be in “despair” over losing the game he loves.

When asked about post-show conversations with Maria, Charlie disclosed, “I mean, it’s so up and down with her,” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“Weeks after the game, she called me and told me she regretted her vote for Kenzie. She wished she voted for me. And then she came to visit Boston one time and then was saying, ‘Oh, I can’t have any regrets, so I don’t regret it anymore.’ And so I’m really just done with the whole flip-flopping of your reasons why.”

Charlie alleged that a couple of days ago, Maria texted him “completely new reasons about why” she had given Kenzie her vote “that she hadn’t said for an entire year.”

Charlie vented, “So I’m pretty much just done with that type of guessing game with her. I never know if I’ll get the right answer. I think I have a pretty good idea in my mind. I think she should stick to her reasons at the after-show. That’s been the most consistent that she said, but it is what it is.”

Had Maria cast her vote for Charlie to win, the results would’ve been a 4-4 jury vote — and Charlie’s other best friend in the game, third-place finisher Ben Katzman, would’ve had to break the tie. 

In that case, Charlie said he believes he would’ve won Survivor 46, since he and Ben were “super tight” in his eyes.

“I was just as much there for him as Kenzie in terms of panic attacks. He was there for me, and we had a really close strategic relationship too,” Charlie said.

During the Survivor 46 after-show, Maria explained that she had voted for Kenzie to win because of the fire in Kenzie’s eyes during the firestarting challenge against Liz Wilcox.

Maria said that she could tell Kenzie wanted it really badly, and Maria added at the time how she’d love to see Kenzie, a hardworking hairstylist, start her life — and a family — with the prize money.

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When asked if Charlie bought Maria’s “fire in the eyes” explanation for her vote, Charlie admitted, “I honestly don’t know. I’ve heard a lot of different things from Pondy, which I don’t think is necessarily inconsistent with that.”

“But honestly, it’s really hard to pin down [an explanation] with Maria because for literally the whole last year, she’s pretty much been on message with that,” Charlie continued, before mentioning how she’s been wishy-washy about justifying or regretting her decision more recently.

“Obviously, we’ve tried to talk about this and I’ve tried to nurture a friendship as best I could.”

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Looking back on that Final Tribal Council on Night 26 of the game, Charlie reiterated how Maria’s decision caught him totally off-guard.

“It was very stark. One of the very last things she said to me before getting voted out was, ‘Get to the Final 3, you’ve got my vote.’ So I don’t know what more I can do. It feels to me almost like it’s like a perfect control experiment,” Charlie recalled.

“Obviously, I have to perform at final Tribal, that’s always on me,” he explained. “But in terms of thinking I had someone’s vote going in, yeah, I really did think I had Maria’s vote 1000%.”

Charlie shared how he thinks Maria was probably influenced by the other jurors at Ponderosa.

“At Pondy, I think there was a lot going on, but in my eyes, it’s almost like a perfect control experiment,” Charlie said.

“In the game, she left and said she was going to vote for me. Something happens in her mind at Pondy and all of a sudden that’s switched up. Yeah, I’ve definitely done my detective work.”

Charlie insisted that Maria had no hard feelings towards him for her vote off in fifth place because she “absolutely knew” she was going home at that point.

“I didn’t feed her any sort of line. She was pitching different names. I was basically telling her, ‘Sorry, they’re not landing.’ They weren’t landing. I wasn’t really trying to help them land,” Charlie confessed.

“I was trying to nurture that to a degree because if she finds an idol, I wanted her to work with me. I did tell her basically, ‘Yeah, I’ve been working with these people for a lot longer than you think.’ And so that wasn’t a total blindside.”

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Charlie said he was careful not to divulge too much information to Maria at the time because she had the power to flip on him and rally votes against him at Final Five.

“[I was] not immune. So that was the balancing act I was taking. But I tried to just go out and sort of honor our friendship as we went out and still hope for the vote, but tough. Tough,” Charlie said.

Even after voting his closest ally out, Charlie recalled feeling really “good” and “confident” walking into jury questioning at the Final Tribal Council.

“But [I was] not overconfident. I tried the whole game not to underestimate anyone. I think that’s really a way to get yourself voted out of Survivor or lose Survivor,” Charlie said.

“Obviously, I lost anyways, but I honestly felt good about my chances of pitching my case to the jury. The way that I was thinking about it going in is I really thought it was: Tiffany was probably going to be a Kenzie vote, but then I thought Maria is probably going to be a Charlie vote.”

He added, “So I thought that’s somewhat of a wash and it’s really just a matter of trying to pick up as many jurors as you can. And I did feel like I could definitely give a really solid pitch to a lot of people.”

When the million dollars slipped through Charlie’s fingers, he admitted it was very difficult to shift right from Jeff reading the votes for Survivor’s winner to the celebratory after-show.

“It was super tough… It was really hard to compose myself. I am grateful to the couple of producers that were there. They came to me and were like, ‘Man, you played an awesome game,’ just trying to get me in the zone,” Charlie shared.

“But honestly, it did feel like the best analogy is a sports team that loses game seven on a buzzer beater, and then it’s like, ‘Alright, time to do press,’ and everyone’s going to ask them about the shots they missed, or maybe their teammate dunked the ball on their own basket would be the better analogy here.”

Charlie reiterated how it was “really hard” to put on a brave face but he’s “so proud” of how he handled himself.

“And I do think the final Tribal was close. There were a couple of somewhat big moments that I thought were big moments for my final Tribal that weren’t shown where I really felt like, ‘Oh, man, I could be winning this,'” Charlie explained.

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He added, “I really just explained my game in a lot more detail than they showed on the show, and about the pieces I was moving… I was very much separating myself from Maria’s game.”

Charlie reasoned, “I thought if they were voting off of strategy — and you can vote off whatever reason you want — if they were voting off strategy, they would probably be voting for me… It’s just only three people voted mainly off of that.”

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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