Ashley and Andrea were on the same tribe during Survivor: Redemption Island, but it'd be hard to say they were on the same team in the end. Both were a part of the Ometepe alliance, masterminded by Boston Rob but executed by the likes of Ashley and Andrea, amongst others. Attractive, young, but inexperienced in the game, Rob saw them both as worthy allies to take far into the game, despite the fact that they each emerged as independent players in their own right.
Ashley, the pro basketball player and Miss USA contestant, seemed at first to be just one of Rob's pawns. She spent the first half of the season following through with his plans, but post-merge Ashley emerged as one of the fiercest competitors on the island. Of the Ometepe 6, Ashley seemed to have her own agenda and while closely aligned with Rob, also introduced strategies that would have gotten her to the end despite Rob...but just never pulled the trigger when she had the chance. She stayed true to the Ometepe alliance, but that didn't mean she liked everybody...no love was lost on Phillip, leading to numerous heated exchanges between Ashley and the former Federal Agent, much to our amusement. Ashley was a threat to Rob that he didn't seem to realize until late in the game, and almost too late had he not won the very last challenge.
Andrea on the other hand, was one of the first threats Rob noticed from Day 1. Her close relationship with Matt posed way too big of a threat to Rob's plans, and ultimately Andrea's closeness with Matt led to her being put on the outside of the Ometepe 6. Andrea too, had her own game going for her, but just never had the right opportunity to try to get rid of Rob until it was too late. Although she wasn't a part of the first blindside of Matt, she was instrumental in blindsiding him a second time. That aside, the two still seemed to have a deep connection outside of the game, leading Probst to question them at the Reunion Show as to their relationship status...whatever status that may be, they do share one thing in common: Matt and Andrea are the only two to have returned to the game from Redemption Island (and the were both immediately voted out following their return.)
So it's clear that there was a conflict with Phillip.
Andrea: Phillip was a trip. Ashley had a worse time dealing with him than I did. But I had a love/hate relationship with him. Like I appreciated that he worked hard around camp, was always entertaining, and always had something to talk about, but also there were times where he would just go off on us, and we would just fight.
Ashley: For me, obviously you saw how much Phillip and I clashed. I just have a really strong personality, it's harder for me to keep things in which is why you may have seen all the facial expressions. That was easier than just blowing up in his face all the time. Obviously I would never want to live with Phillip again (laughs), but it's a game and now I would definitely go have lunch with Phillip, no problem.
So Ashley, looking back now do you understand why Natalie stuck with Rob instead of you?
Ashley: Watching it again brought back all the feelings and emotions. I still would have rather her just voted for Phillip and have it go to a tie-breaker, like that's easier to handle for me. She knew she had no chance of winning, she knew Phillip had no chance of winning, so basically, she just chose Rob to win a million over me. It kind of sucks obviously.
Andrea, a big turning point in the game was after Matt returned to the game, he outed your strategy to Rob. Talk about how that made you feel.
Andrea: That moment was so pivotal in my game. I was willing to work with Matt, and it would have totally changed the game if I would have worked with Matt. I really trusted him. The last time I had talked to him I said I wanted to work with you, don't say anything, don't tell anybody what we're planning. Then I go up on the perch and [he told me that he talked to Rob], and my heart just dropped. I was like, this is the worst thing that can happen! At that point, I just couldn't work with Matt if every time I tell him something he just throws me under the bus, so I love that kid, he's so great, but that was a game-changing moment if he wouldn't have gone and told Rob what was up.
Ashley, it was shown a lot on the show how Natalie was told exactly what to do by Rob. Do you feel that you were in the same boat as Natalie, or do you feel you had more of an individual strategy?
Ashley: I think it was a bit of both. I think in the beginning we were clearly taking our lead from Rob. But as it got down to less and less people, I was definitely thinking about making a plan for myself, and I definitely don't think Natalie was doing that at all. I was definitely thinking of all the different scenarios, and I knew that I had built up a good relationship with the players on the jury and that I was a big threat. So I knew I had to win those last 3 challenges in a row, and just came up a little bit short in that last one. I put that pressure on myself, but just fell short.
Was your final vote (for the winner) a difficult one, since you had been so close to Natalie?
Ashley: No. For me, I said before that if I wasn't in the finals myself, I was going to vote for the most deserving. It didn't matter that Natalie and I were friends, I didn't think she was the most deserving. That's why Rob got my vote. He played brilliantly, the best game he ever played, and I just wanted to reward whoever played the best game, and that was Rob.
Had you have won the final Immunity Challenge, do you think you would have taken Rob with you to Final 3 or would you have also chosen Phillip and Natalie?
Ashley: Good question. Honestly I want to say that I would have taken Phillip and Natalie, but I think at that point I was so like, stick to your alliance, do what you said you were going to do from the beginning, be that trustworthy person. I honestly think that had I won that last challenge and having then won 3 in a row, and having had a good relationship with the Zapatera members on the jury, I really think I would have had a great chance to win, and that's why Rob didn't take me with him to the end. But I would have considered taking Rob with me to the end.
Now Andrea, looking back to the 1st blindside of Matt, it seems that afterwards you actually were able to still give a tremendous amount of trust in Rob and the others. Do you look back at that as a real moment and signal that Rob wasn't to be trusted?
Andrea: It was definitely a signal, and it's so funny, but watching it on TV you're like, how can you get so close after what happened? But the days are long, and the time between Matt's blindside and him re-entering the game...but Rob was just really good at making everyone feel comfortable. They never showed me and Grant interacting, but Grant and I had a lot of interaction, where we kind of built up a trust too.
But didn't you have a bit of bad blood towards Rob after he took out Matt so early? Did you ever feel like you wanted to exact revenge or at least to take him out because he was untrustworthy?
Andrea: I do remember going up to Kristina after that and saying, OK, we have to do something. But Kristina was always weird too, she was difficult to trust as well. But yah, in the back of my head I always thought of that, but it's just hard when everyone was just so loyal to Rob.
What was your Final 3 plan as you had progressed through the game?
Andrea: I was keeping my options open, and it seems so silly now, but all of us believed Rob. But I did see myself going with Rob, as everyone did. It was just so weird and so stupid. I mean if we had just talked, like Ashley and I said to each other afterwards, if we would have just talked and figured things out...but that's why Rob played a really good game, he just kept us all against each other.
Now Andrea, I have to ask, Jeff Probst alluded to this at the Reunion Show, but is there any romantic relationship between you and Matt that will continue into the future?
Andrea: (laughs) It's so funny that everyone asks that...I do feel really close to him, and I don't know exactly how he feels about me, but we're really close, we talk a lot, and I mean maybe. We're in different parts of the country too, but we'll definitely keep up our friendship and I'm kind of open to whatever (laughs).