The spaghetti ghost came back to haunt Cole Medders on Thursday's episode of Survivor.
The 24-year-old could definitely outplay and outeat his tribemates on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers -- but outwit and outlast them, not so much. His love for (other people's) food and lack of ability to hide it made Cole a target since the merge, with his aptitude for immunity challenges the only thing keeping his fire alive in the game. Thursday's challenge, however, didn't prove to be his strong suit, as Lauren emerged victorious, sealing Cole's fate -- despite Dr. Mike's efforts otherwise.
"I had no idea Mike was going to go make some crazy Statue of Liberty speech and try to draw votes his way, or that he was going to play his idol," Cole told ET of Mike's last-ditch play to send Ben home, revealing that Mike also pulled out a fake idol during tribal council and gave it to Joe. "There was a lot that I didn't know was going to happen."
"When I saw him pull out the idol, I knew I was going home," he added. "There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I was going to be safe."
While Cole had no idea that his actions were such a topic of conversation throughout camp, he knew his fate was sealed as soon as he lost the immunity challenge.
"JP [and I] had a discussion before the challenge, that if it came down to just me and him in the challenge that he would throw it for me, and make sure that I won, because he wanted to make a move with me at the next tribal council and get rid of Ben," he recalled, though things of course did not turn out that way. "Right after the challenge, Devon came up to me and told me basically like, 'Hey man, I think you're a great guy. We're buds, but I'm about to vote for you tonight, and so is everyone else, because you're a big challenge threat.' So I was like, 'Well, there's no way for me to stop this, so I'm probably going home.'"
As far as Cole was concerned, there was nothing he could do to save himself -- and while he admittedly made missteps, he's not sweating it.
"I had a great ride. I enjoyed it the whole time," he confessed, before revealing his three regrets. "My first one was telling Joe about where to find the idol. I wish I would have gotten that for myself. The next one was telling Jessica's secrets. I wish I had not done that. I didn't realize how emotionally that affected her -- I felt really bad seeing her cry on TV. That was pretty sad. And then I wish that I had hidden that plate with spaghetti [during the reward, to hide the clue to the idol that Ryan found]. That was pretty bad."
Spaghetti regrett-is aside, Cole, who said the biggest surprise of his Survivor experience was how hungry he was -- "I thought I was going to get candy bars or food off-camera," he admitted -- has been keeping in touch with his showmance, Jessica Johnston.
"Jessica [and I] keep in touch all the time. We FaceTime a lot. We got to go hang out in Chicago at Lollapalooza with some of the other cast members. We went to hang out in L.A. together for the premiere. We'll be in L.A. in December for the finale, and we're going on a ski trip with each other in January," he said. "So we had got plenty of chances to hang out. We keep in touch all the time, but right now, we're just in two very different places and across the country from each other."
"But I think the best relationships are always built off of great friendships," he said of Jessica, who told ET that they're "definitely in the friend zone." "Anything could happen."
And while Dr. Mike's big move didn't exactly work out, Cole said fans should keep their eyes peeled in the future.
"Don't count Mike and Joe out of it, either. I think they still have a really good chance to get back in this thing. We both know that they are good on their feet, and they can throw down an amazing speech in a heartbeat," he advised.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.