Assuming the plan was that the tribe was attempting to flush one of Mark’s Idols, while aiming to vote out Jordie, Dave admitted he was “quietly confident” heading into what would be his last Tribal Council.
“To get into that draw, and then finally get voted out the second round did shock me,” Dave told 10 play.
After the vote was tied between Jordie and Dave, he was certain the tribe would vote out the Joker, who had been unpredictable ever since merge. But the votes piled up on Dave and his time in the game came to an end.
After KJ was burned by Shay at the reward, Dave saw the end of the purgatory three and found his opportunity to bring KJ over, and work on chipping away at Chrissy, hoping to make a move.
“I was pulling Chrissy across and saying, ‘You could have a chance of winning against KJ and I. You need to make a move against these guys, which will be your winning move.’”
“That was my pathway forward, I just had to keep in her ear to convince her she had to make a play because she wasn’t quite aware what the Jury was about,” Dave continued. “I said, you know, you’re going to get burned if you don’t make a play and the biggest play is carrying on with all these guys, and then turn on them. [The Jury] will love you for it.”
Dave had been wanting to make moves for a while, but being part of the core majority alliance post-merge, he admitted that he had “never been more frustrated”.
“I could see it was just a strong six, and I was at the bottom of the six no doubt,” he added.
When KJ found her advantage during the auction, she provided the perfect opportunity to break up the alliance, and gave Dave the exact opportunity to flip on the alliance he needed.
“It was like a circuit breaker,” Dave said. “It was all about timing to actually make a move and break the two couples… there was no point risking that great advantage that KJ had on a re-vote, so we had to go for the kill and that was Jordan.”
Unfortunately, having flipped on the alliance and trying to pull Chrissy across put a target on Dave’s back, one that made his tribe perceive him as more of a threat than the likes of Mark, Jordie and Josh.
Still, Dave had played an incredibly agile game, after daughter Briana was voted out early, Dave managed to score himself a hidden Immunity Idol and then became the centre of one of the most heated Tribals of the season.
Exploding his game, and exposing Sam as a major threat — despite her being an ally, and someone who had been defending Dave all day leading up to that tribal — it was also the iconic moment he coined the now infamous nickname when he said, “Blindside Juicy Dave sure has a ring to it”.
There were theories and rumours about how the nickname came to be, but according to the Juice himself, it was just a spur of the moment line that ended up catching on.
“All of a sudden the guys were going, ‘We do not want to see Juicy Dave’ and next minute Jonathan is calling me Juicy, and it was just stuck in Survivor history,” Dave explained.
De spite earning himself an iconic nickname, Dave admitted that being on Survivor was daughter Briana’s dream, but his nightmare.
“There was nothing I could think of worse than getting on reality TV at my age,” he said, laughing. But when Bri was voted out Dave felt a switch in him. “I went, I’m going to fight like heck to keep under the radar when I need to and carry this thing through to the end.”
After his explosive Tribal Council, Dave managed to shake off the target on his back, knowing that in the two days between Tribals other threats would pop up, he’d just have to try and fade into the background. Though he was often thrown into the mix when split votes came up, Dave managed to up his social game, and ultimately course-corrected, not only making it to merge but doing so in a tight six alliance.
“Briana was overwhelmed with pride that I fought it out to the end,” Dave said. “I was doing it all for her! I didn’t want to get voted out early.”
Australian Survivor: Blood V Water continues Sunday - Monday at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play on demand