Aishia's Jury Speech
Hello jurors! I just want to begin in part of saying I am so grateful for this experience to play this game. I am a huge fan of Survivor, and have been since a young age. To finally get another opportunity to play this game and to have made it so far is just such an overwhelming accomplishment for me personally, and i’m so proud of how far i’ve come. I sit here tonight with the sole intention to prove to you all why I deserve this title of Sole Survivor. The two contenders I sit with tonight are Danielle and Melissa. These two girls have been friends to me in this game, and at some moments - not the greatest friends. But through thick or thin, we managed to make it to the final three together. Now comes the part in my game where I have to lay my game on the table, explain every move, and hope to persuade you folks why that title should go to me. I wish all these girls the best of luck, and plead you be nice to both of them because they've been through a lot and are some of the most genuine people I know.
Okay! Time for my speech. So, starting off on this game I had a lot to think about. I’ve been out of the game for about a year now - and -boom- I get another shot at it. I knew I might have a target on my back because my game had been laid out on the table from another season. All my moves and strategy could already be known and found to anyone. That is why I had to evolve and play differently. I knew I couldn't get away with playing the same Aishia Lawson who placed 8th, I had to be the Aishia Lawson who wasn't afraid to change the pattern and do something different. I decided to do this by not just sticking with one group - and ranging the spectrum. I was placed on Hara, and I quickly found myself in love with these wonderful people. Dylan, Timmy, Tyler, Danielle, and Emilee were my tribe mates. However, there were many other bonds and relationships cross tribe to be made. I met Bryce, Caleb, Hanna, Dreamer, Tamsyn, Grahame, just to name them. I had a pretty good feeling at the start. In our very first challenge, I was dedicated to the purpose of winning. I rallied up our tribe, and kept us all motivated. I remember we had an assembly line going of posters, and I'd make sure to alert everyone the moment it was time for them to post. I encouraged and made sure we were all on task and getting first. And... We won the challenge! I was so proud of my tribe.
Then the second challenge, I more than enough carried my weight in the challenge, it was I think a geography challenge, and I got the highest score. I was so shocked because sometimes I forget the capitol of my own state. Somehow though, we as a group pull through strong and we win again. Then at our third challenge, I single-handedly win it for the tribe! My flag making skills paid off saving our squad for the 3rd vote in a row. I knew this was a necessary win for us because I wanted to go as long as I could in the game immune. That was one of my proudest moments in the game was my own creation protecting the sanctity of our group.
At the swap, I had to endure so many trials. Voting someone out, then having them return and give me a disadvantage. Then, on my own tribe we were about to send me into a Tie Breaker versus Dreamer, - but Tyler forgot to vote so I had to last minute change my mind. Through swindling and convincing, I survive two votes where I could have easily been outed had it not been for the relationships I had built in the game prior. Once the merge came around - I found myself in a state where I had a nice built up bonds with nearly every player left in the game. I felt I had control entirely of the game. I remember knowing that Dreamer and Sami had some feud. I thought, oh wow.. wonderful. I guess that means people will be taking sides, or something like that, right? So I exploited that in order to take charge and go under the radar, getting one of the two out. I fed safety into Dreamer’s ear, ensuring her numbers and promising her safety. I rallied along with my alliance - 10 folks voted Dreamer. I had to make sure that vote was 100% airtight. The next vote, I gracefully won immunity. (Damn Unicorns!) The vote was intended to go one way, but the second I received word that Caleb was coming for Sami and myself, I shifted gears on the *new* target. I had to take initiative. Nobody was going to get away with targeting my alliance. I once again lead the charge to have Caleb voted off. Messaging everyone an explanation, and a 9-2-1 vote where my biggest threat to my game was sent walking out the door. The next vote was absolutely a challenge. I had been playing both sides and had the choice of going with Hara for a vote - and we send a player home, or making a move and showing everyone that loyalties with Hara were not as tight.
Taking out Dylan made me a more open player. It really proved I was not afraid to make moves, which I never have been afraid to make a move but this realy ensured so. Dylan’s vote granted more trust in my current alliance, and also lead the opportunity for more bonds to be built. The following day, I hear Tyler has been trying to come after me. So I spent hard work, time, and dedication into winning immunity and making sure I would not be voted off. I played into his desires, leading him along that I was with him. But in reality Tyler was the victim of that vote. Another vote I was totally in charge of. I knew it was either cut throat or have my throat be cut. The next cycle was incredibly hard. I knew a target had been marked on my back - and I had to win immunity. I was put into a challenge where I had to reveal game and strategy and my voice. But I threw my name under the bus, which in the end worked out in my favor as I was granted immunity. Definitely needed after how big of a threat I was painted to be from the challenge. That vote however, I could not vote. My goal in that vote was to give my vote to someone who I knew would be voting how I wanted. I gave my vote to Danielle, and convinced her my vote would be going to Tamsyn, which she followed through with. After that, there remained 7 players in the game. That vote was the most insane i’d experienced. I discovered that Emilee had been spreading lies to different players, and that my name might be written. In a shocking twist, Emilee was the person who had to be voted out that night. She was a close ally of mine - but so much miscommunication and distrust leads one to take action. I had to take out anyone who was targeting me, and I succeeded. After that, sadly Timmy got evacuated, which was disappointing for my game because Timmy was someone I had really gotten close with and I felt deserved to make it farther because of how close I had gotten to know him and his philosophy on the game was near mine. I’m disappointed he is not on the jury because he was a fan of the game and I knew he was missing out on the jury phase.
Finale arrives, and it’s time to make a real game changing move. Who do I want to take to the end with me? There is 4 people whom are all fighting for that title just as equally as I am, but only 3 will make it. Grahame - Grahame lied to me. He said he was with me and I knew he was actually against me. I felt betrayed - because I had never written his name down prior - nor lead any vote to do so. That’s when I knew I had to pull out the idol that I had been saving nearly the entire merge. The Aishidol, that I had to keep a secret from most of my friends. By the way the answer was Julie McGee. People had already theorized I had it, but I came up with a convinient plan to make Grahame think Danielle was the real person who had it. I played it knowing I did not need it - but proving that I wasn’t going to let him land a vote on me. I feel bad because he had been such a close ally for so long - but at the end of the day it wasn't who shot first, we both took charge at each other at the same time. Taking him out was smart for my game however because he was above average at challenges, and if anyone stood in the way of the final immunity, it’d be him. My plan had been all along for Melissa to get the final immunity. Which is why I threw my competition. I knew Melissa was someone I could trust - and who had said she would not vote me. Once it was clear that Melissa had won the FIC - the most difficult vote ever ensued. I was tasked voting out 1 of my 2 friends. Sami or Danielle. It was back and forth for literally like 9 hours. You can ask the hosts - I switched that vote at least 10 times. Originally I voted Danielle because I felt she was a huge threat to win this game, but at the revote. I went with my loyalty over strategy because Danielle and I had built such an intense relationship over the season and I could not bare to see her voted off. I felt so sad Sami had to be the victim of a revote. Especially because I told her that i'd make it a tiebreaker. But Danielle and I had a really personal talk and I was rushed with emotions and kept Danielle safe. I do not regret that.. (yet I guess..) because Danielle really deserved to be here. We promised each other final 3 this entire game, and I needed a reality check to remind me just how great of friends we really are.
All in all, my game was incredibly strategy based, with some room left for emotional decisions. (Exempt the F4 tribal, that was strategy -> emotional). I understand I might have been perceived as cold and merciless in vote offs, lying and bloodthirsty to advance. But I did actions so I did not have to deal with the emotional and moral weight being put on me for doing those actions. I was voted “most strategic player” and “most likely to win this game if not stopped”. There has been a target on my back this entire season. There was people coming after me - and I had to cut them loose. I survived this season by the relationships I made, the actions and words I spoke, and the moves I made and conducted at the end of the day. Every single juror out there I had planned and worked on sending home, even at Grahame’s vote I set a backup vote Sami’s way incase there was an idol play - but I still was the one who directed the charge. There was so much thinking, strategy, and involvement I had built up. I just ask that you not be bitter about how you were taken out of this game. I did what I had to do to keep moving forward, surviving, and guarenteeing myself this covited spot in the final 3. I truly felt I played a game that was resilient, overcoming, and truly an underdog story. Odds were against me from the get-go. I had to on day one become the social and likable person - talking to everyone. I became someone people all trusted and wanted to keep around. I did not expect to make it this far, time and time again I had opportunity to be taken out. The relationships I made helped me get my way, up until the very last breath i’ve been fighting to make it here. I fought hard to get here, and I think I truly fought hard enough to win this game. This is the end result i’ve been waiting for this entire game. I know there is some jury that may harbor bitter feelings towards me and waiting to disassemble my game and come at me out of pure emotion, but I tell you right now that my game had all the qualifications of a sole survivor whether you enjoy that or not. I outsmarted , I outplayed, and I outlasted.
I was responsible for every vote, I had 2 karma cards and hinders thrown in my game. I had all of the stakes built up against me but I never quit, I never stopped fighting, and I made it here. I played my cards right, I feel played my game excellent to the best I could offer, and I did every move with the intent of moving forward and keeping my friends safe. I kept people I needed for rounds, and protected those who were voting my way. I know there is a lot of grudge against me, and people are already willingy ready to vote another way. But do not turn away so quickly, hear me out and listen to my plead. For tonight's vote I truly hope you can respect my game for what it is, understand, and I wish you all the best of luck when you cast your vote. Thank you for listening to my speech and I cannot wait to answer your questions. Thank you so much if you stuck through this incredibly massive text read.