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Survivor’s Lucy Huang: Society Can’t Handle a ‘Strong’ Female Leader

Another snuffed Survivor leader. After blindsiding alpha male Paul Wachter, Lucy Huang stepped up to guide the Takali tribe on the Wednesday, October 12, episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. Naturally, the move placed a (giant coconut-sized) target on her back.

As acting ruler, she decreed Jessica Lewis be the next to go home. But in a coup d’etat led by Ken McNickle and David Wright — they saw her as a dictator, not a queen — Huang was sent packing, with just two votes. (Special thanks to that hidden immunity idol!)

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“I wasn’t trying to be power hungry,” Huang, 42, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “I was trying to avoid cattiness. The funny thing is we should only expect cattiness from females, but I guess there are some males who do that too.”

Still, it’s not the worst way to bow out of the game. “At least I was liked, and they wanted me to be on the tribe,” she admits. “I was so much of a threat that they had to get rid of me, and Dave had to use his idol. I can deal with that!”

Lucy Huang on 'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X.'
Lucy Huang on ‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X.’

The California-based dietitian shares more with Us.

Us Weekly: Do you think Dave played his idol too early?

Lucy Huang: I think everybody thinks he should have waited. I didn’t see myself as a threat, but I guess he did. He could’ve saved it. I wasn’t trying to get him out, at that point anyway. He could’ve just went with what we all wanted to do, and we could have all made it to the merge. Nothing would have happened!

Us: Why do you think he wanted to save Jessica? They weren’t exactly in an alliance together.

LH: His alliance is Ken and CeCe [Taylor]. So I think Dave probably thought that at any point where they needed a sway vote, they can probably get Jessica on board. It’s still questionable. Everybody was like, “Why? That was stupid.” Especially because I was truly trying to take care of him. I was trying to be like, “Hey, your name is not going to be on the chopping block. This is who we’re voting for. Let’s move forward.”

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Us: Looking back, do you agree with Ken and Dave that you came on too strong?

LH: That’s my personality. I’m a very factual person. I’m not trying got be a dictator. But I do know I should’ve taken some signs from Ken during the time that I got to know him. I’d be cooking and say, “Ken, grab the coconut for the rice,” and he would say, “Say please. Say thank you.” I’m like, “Really?” I’m a doer. I’m a task-oriented person. Just tell me what to do. I don’t need the emotions in it.

Us: Was Ken difficult to have on the tribe?

LH: He is a strong guy, but he’s very sensitive. I’m sure it’s based on whatever experiences he’s had in his life. I think Ken was like, “Why is no one asking my opinion? Why is no one talking to me?” Not that many people asked for my opinion, but I was like, “OK, my name isn’t on there.” If I did have a different opinion, I would speak up. So when Ken was saying, “I don’t like the way you told me what to do. You didn’t even ask for my opinion,” I’m thinking, “You’re a man. If you have an opinion, you can say, ‘Hey, Lucy, can we talk about it?’ Say it yourself. Don’t wait for me to ask if you’re OK with it. You can speak up yourself.”

Us: Why did you decide to turn on Jessica and try to vote her out?

LH: She’s a little too sweet for me. The other thing too is that she’s the one who mentioned that Paul would drop all the girls. At that point, I’m like, “Why are you trying to make me insecure?” It doesn’t matter where you are in hierarchy. We just need to vote out the people and we’ll make it to the merge. It just gave me bad vibes that she was a catty girl who was trying to use you and make you feel not worthy.

Chris Hammons, Jessica Lewis, Ciandre Taylor, David Wright, Ken McNickle, Sunday Burquest, Bret LaBelle and Lucy Huang on 'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.'
Chris Hammons, Jessica Lewis, Ciandre Taylor, David Wright, Ken McNickle, Sunday Burquest, Bret LaBelle and Lucy Huang on ‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.’

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Us: Going forward, how will your exit effect the tribe?

LH: I think there is going to be more mistrust. Bret [LaBelle] and Chris [Hammons], they already felt with Paul that they got blindsided. What happened with me, it causes more uncertainty and paranoia. I think everybody is going to end up having to play their own game now. They’re uncertain about their alliances. Every week is a shocker.

Us: Who do you think will win?

LH: I’m rooting for Chris. He’s actually a very nice guy. When they had that peanut butter and jelly summit, he went with them. When he came back, he was like, “I’m not going to eat my portion today. You guys have our portion.” Then he went out fishing for us, and he brought back fish for us to eat. That says a lot about a person. He went out and did that, which stands out that he’s amazing altogether. I’m rooting for Chris.

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Us: What lesson did you take away from the game?

LH: Everybody has their own story. You really just need to be more aware of who you are talking to and how you are talking to them. Everybody has their own issues and things that they are going through. You’ve got to observe your surroundings more and be more sensitive to people. Also, I think that society, you think they can handle a female being strong, but they still can’t. If it was a male saying those things to Ken, I don’t think that would have went down. They wouldn’t have pulled an idol on a guy trying to give them information. Suddenly, a female does, it’s like, “You can’t talk to me that way.”

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X airs on CBS Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET. 

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