8:56pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'Survivor: Philippines': Carter on His Biggest Regrets and Why He Thought He Was Safe
Carter Williams was the latest player to be voted out of CBS' Survivor: Philippines on Wednesday night's episode.
After a visit from their loved ones, Lisa Whelchel and Michael Skupin began targeting Malcolm Freberg, but the plan was foiled once he won individual immunity.
It came down to voting out Carter or the polarizing Abi-Maria Gomes, but in the end, they decided it was a smarter move to vote out the "threat." That leaves five remaining players, while Carter becomes the sixth member of the jury. Only one episode remains until the Dec. 16 finale.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old track coach from Shawnee, Kan., talked to The Hollywood Reporter about his biggest regrets, his friendship with returning player Skupin and why he thought he was safe in this week's episode.
The Hollywood Reporter: So how are you doing?
Carter Williams: Well, I'm OK. I've been better. It's kinda fun talking it out because watching it was like re-wounding old wounds.
THR: Even though you knew what was coming, it hard to see yourself voted out?
Carter: Yeah, I actually waited until this morning to watch it, and I watched it alone, just to calm down. I also wanted all the people that were rooting for me to let it sink in and I got a great response from so many people, phone calls and text messages and tweets. It happened so long ago, but still watching it, I was reliving it.
THR: Did you know you were the one who was getting voted out?
Carter: For a good amount of time, I thought it was going to be Abi, and it just made sense. I mean, as much as it sucks, like I said at the end of my game, I got voted out because they played with their heads and not their hearts, and who can blame them? It's Survivor. It's a game for a million dollars. As much as I didn't want to, I saw it coming. I saw the writing in the sand. Malcolm and Denise had a stone cold game this whole time and I didn't think I could go against that. I thought Lisa and Skupin wanted to work with me and get Malcolm out. Why keep two physical, young guys around as opposed to getting rid of one. I thought they were willing to work with me, and the plan blew up.
THR: Because Malcolm won the immunity challenge.
Carter: Uh huh. Otherwise, we would have gotten him out. Unfortunately, it didn't work.
THR: What was the hardest thing about playing Survivor?
Carter: I think getting to know people on such a personal level -- you become friends with them and suffer through so much hardship -- and then watching them go or seeing them having a hand in me leaving. Skupin at the last tribal said, "This guy is like a son to me." He told my mom, "What a great guy." To have someone who just complimented you like that vote you out, that's hard.
THR: Do you still keep in touch with Skupin?
Carter: Yeah I do, actually.
THR: Any regrets?
Carter: I regret losing to Malcolm in the final immunity challenge, but the hardest thing to swallow was losing to Abi. Penner got sent home that night, and that sucked.
THR: In hindsight, do you wish you'd saved your money at the auction in case a game-playing advantage came up? [Abi bid all of her $500 allotment on a clue that allowed her to win the immunity idol.]
Carter: I was under the impression I was in a pretty close alliance with Skupin and Lisa because even before that handshake thing went down, I felt like there was an agreement. I talked to Skupin about it a few times. I wasn't that scared. I didn't know that we were on the bottom. I didn't know what magic things were happening without us being aware. Looking back on it, I wish I could have another chance at the challenge. I'm carrying the weight of the Abi haters on my shoulders.
THR: Is Abi being portrayed accurately?
Carter: They can't show things that didn't happen. They can't put words in her mouth. Abi didn't have as big a problem with me and Malcolm and Peter -- the young boys, which is funny -- but more with authority. She's like a puppy with teeth -- a young sweet innocent girl, but if she gets upset, she bites you and she doesn't realize how much it can hurt.
THR: So do you think it's a cultural thing or just her personality? [Abi is Brazilian, and host Jeff Probst has repeatedly asked her and her tribemates that question.]
Carter: Obviously, it could be a bit of both. I probably could go to Brazil and find people who don't act like that. But I'm also from the Midwest, and my personality is different than someone like Pete, who talks about being from New Jersey and certain things [that are different from the Midwest]. So I clearly think where you're from does play into who you are. I don't think she constantly has to be right or brag and gloat like she does. No matter where you're from, it plays a role in who you are but that's no excuse for certain things.
THR: I read in your bio that you're a surfer. How did that happen with your being from Kansas?
Carter: I actually went to school for four years in California. Every time I go back, I surf.