‘I Could Have Destroyed Her Game If I Wanted To’: Jesse Hansen Reveals If He’s Forgiven Sam Gash

It was the betrayal of the season when Sam pulled off a blindside of her closest ally after stealing his Idol.

On Sunday night, the ‘committee’ core alliance crumbled as brothers Jordie and Jesse set their sights on taking out top dog Josh. But Mark and Sam had other plans and, after Jordie won individual immunity, they decided to take out his brother.

Surrounded by current and past players at a viewing party organised by the very woman who blindsided him, Jesse said he felt nothing but support as he received a standing ovation while they watched him get voted out.

“There was a moment I stepped outside afterwards, because you get some of those emotions that you felt in that moment,” he told 10 play. “My brother and I were so grateful to get the opportunity to play Survivor, but it definitely hurts when that happens.”

Post-merge, Jesse was in a pretty great position. Aware that he and Sam were heading into a solid majority that had been formed early on in the game, there was a tight six informally known as ‘the committee’. But the season’s twist of Blood V Water took hold, and both Sam and Jesse were pulled to align with their blood over water earlier than he had anticipated.

“My brother already had this plan in motion since, I guess late Tribe Swap, so I came into merge and really the plan was already in motion,” Jesse explained.

“I definitely knew I was copping votes but I trusted that I would have a six-four majority in my way, and that Sam and Mark were going to vote with us to vote Josh off but, unfortunately, that six-four ended up being the opposite way and Sam and Mark flipped.”

To add salt in the wound, Jesse had recently found a hidden Immunity Idol that Sam was able to steal off him right before his blindside.

“I could have just asked for it back in front of everyone and she would have been forced to give it back to me, or everyone would have known she had an Idol so, either way, she would have a target on her back if she didn’t give it to me,” Jesse said.

When Jesse saw Jonathan pull his name out of the urn for a fifth time, Jesse knew things hadn’t gone his way, and his alliance had flipped. But with his brother still in the game, he had to tread carefully in order to protect him as much as possible.

“I really could have destroyed her game if I wanted to,” he admitted, “but I hoped in that moment she saw I didn’t, and she was going to take that and would have respect for the way she came upon that Idol.

“Every decision I made in that moment was about putting my brother in the best position I could moving forward, and to ensure I didn’t burn bridges and hopefully put him in a position to go deep in the game.”

While handing over the Idol may have been a mistake, Jesse did it for the right reasons.

“That was the best way I could build trust with Sammy because I knew our relationship was being strained, as we were both being pulled towards our blood relatives,” Jesse explained.

“That was a way I could show her, I do trust you, I want to work with you towards the end and that was one of the things I hoped would get them to vote with us… Unfortunately it didn’t work out.”

In the moment, the devastation of being voted out of the game was a lot to handle but having had time to process and hear the background machinations of what lead to his blindside, Jesse ‘completely respects’ the move Sam and Mark made.

“If I was in their shoes, I think it was the right move for Mark. He really does need the stability of Jordan and Josh at this point in the game. I was unaware of the relationship that my brother and Mark and, and I guess how severed that was.

“Definitely it was the right decision for them, a massive move and full credit to them. As a fan of Survivor, I guess it was a pretty good episode last night,” he added, laughing.

As for Sam, his closest ally in the game from day two, has he forgiven her for the double-cross?

“Definitely, definitely. Even in that moment you got to see a mutual respect for each other and I had a respect for her gameplay,” Jesse said.

“We’re really good friends, we get along really, really well and have total respect for each other’s games and we understand that potentially, if it hadn’t been a Blood V Water season and we had been there by ourselves, we would have been going quite deep together into the game.”

Not only forming a close relationship with Sam, Jesse also admitted that the experience had made himself and his brother Jordie even closer.

“Two weeks before we went on the show our stepmum passed away, so we became really close together on the show,” Jesse said.

“We realised, when you’re out there and you are trying to survive, family is all you’ve got in life,” he said, adding, “we were going to choose blood on the show every single week.”

Australian Survivor: Blood V Water continues Sunday - Monday at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play on demand