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By Eric Heinz

Somber as the Ponderosa interviews are, San Clemente’s Alec Merlino, 24, gave his goodbyes after he was voted off the CBS game show Survivor: David vs. Goliath during last night’s episode.

Merlino said in his exit interview that he was certain he was a goner when he went to “tribal,” the moment when contestants vote one of their survivors off the island.

“Just sitting in tribal was obviously unsettling,” Merlino said during the Ponderosa interview. “They said I was a good play(er). I was glad that I was able to just play like myself. I didn’t have to be anyone. I didn’t have to do anything different.”

After he was voted off, Merlino was weighed and it was recorded he lost about 9 pounds over the course of the competition, commenting that he had eaten quite a bit considering the conditions of the show.

“I’m happy for the reasons of why I went out,” Merlino said. “I was more of a threat than I thought I was.”

Sometimes being too good is a deficit. Strategy on the show is not necessarily to keep all the best players on the island, with contestants hoping to whittle the field to a runoff with a mediocre survivor.

San Clemente’s other contestant, Angelina Keeley, 28, is still in the competition along with seven remaining competitors.

Alec Merlino’s Ponderosa Interview

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