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Dawson Addis Had a Secret Alliance on Deal or No Deal Island (Outside the Night Owls)

The Wisconsin realtor was eliminated on his own terms, but he says he had an alliance that never made it to the final TV broadcast. 

By James Grebey

Dawson Addis took the deal. The Wisconsin realtor was the latest contestant eliminated on Deal or No Deal Island, but unlike some of the other players who have had to leave The Banker’s private island, Dawson left on his own terms. 

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Watch Deal or No Deal Island on NBC and Peacock.

“I’m happy with how it turned out. I didn’t have anyone eliminate me,” Dawson told NBC Insider. “It was a prideful moment.”

Faced with the decision to accept the Banker’s personal offer and voluntarily eliminate himself in exchange for a life-changing $100,000 consolation prize rather than risk it all by continuing to open cases, Dawson played it safe.  

“Yeah, I think about ‘What if I played it out?’” he explained. “But there’s the one and six chance of actually winning, and if I would have not won after not taking the deal, it would’ve been the biggest regret of my entire life.”

RELATED: Who Is the Banker on Deal or No Deal Island?

Dawson, who made it pretty far into the competition with the help of his alliance, the Night Owls, spoke to NBC Insider about his return to the real world, his conflicts with Boston Rob, and his secret alliance that never made it to the final TV show.

Sorry to see you go but congrats on the money you did win. What have you been up to since leaving the show?

Honestly, just working. Ever since I got back it’s just been grind mode. I’m trying to forget about the show a little bit because everyone was asking me so many questions and I was just like “I can’t say a word.” I haven't been going out because so many people would ask so many questions and it’s so hard to lie or not tell the truth. Coming back from the island was kind of a shock. On the island, you don’t have a phone, you’re barefoot all the time, you’re showering outside looking at the ocean. And then coming back to reality: it’s freezing cold at my house. It took me probably a solid week, week and a half, to get back into a normal routine of getting up, getting work done, and setting a schedule again.

Jordan Fowler and Dawson Addis reach into a box of snakes in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 106.

Back to the island — what was the most difficult challenge for you?

Probably the snake one, because I f---ing hate snakes. Extremely. They scare the hell out of me. It was totally unexpected. I’m thinking “Put your hand in a box? It’ll be like a puzzle.” And then there were snakes interrupting everything I was trying to do, jabbing at my hand. That was the worst challenge ever. Mentally, I was all over the place after that. It was just “what the hell just happened?”

You and your allies were really anti-Rob by the end of your run. What were your interactions with him like on a regular basis?

Rob and I actually shared the same tent. At the beginning of the show, we would talk in the tent, me, him, and Aron. We would mostly talk about life. I only talked about the game once or twice because every time I walked into the tent, I would notice that he and Aron would start acting a little differently. 

RELATED: Watch Boston Rob Explain Reality Show Strategy on Deal or No Deal Island

But, the one challenge where we were on the boats and had to go to the opposite end of the lagoon — the bluffer and bluffee one — when he and Aron stopped out there and were talking? That p---ed me off, extremely. These two are going to try to throw a game so there’s a benefit to one of them? It wasn’t shown on camera, but I confronted Rob, saying “What the hell were you talking about out there? Were you guys intentionally trying to throw the game?” And he was like, “No, we were just talking about how we wanna do this and yadda yadda.” I was like, “Alright dude.”

Just the fact that he was trying to hide it p---ed me off. That was kind of my big turning point. Then he tried making that fake alliance with me, but I knew it was bulls--- because I saw him bopping around camp having one-on-ones with everyone. I knew it was BS.

Nicholas Grasso and Rob Mariano fist bump while Dawson Addis looks on in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 108.

Any regrets about how you played the game? Would you play anything differently?

Honestly, no. I loved how I played the game. I thought I was doing a good job. I think one thing I would do differently is build a closer relationship with Rob and Aron. Aron and I were pretty good. We had some good conversations, but Rob kind of just took control of Aron. And I was telling Aron, “Dude, he wants to take you to the end because, no offense, but you’re physically not inclined like he is. You’re mentally inclined, but when it comes to a physical challenge at the end, he will take you out.” But Rob already had Aron under his belt at that point.

Did it feel like Rob, by virtue of being a Survivor veteran, had a major advantage, or did the target that put on his back offset that?

I think he had the benefit of knowing the social strategy of it all. Everyone can watch a TV show and learn from it, but he actually has lived it. So he knows things you should or shouldn’t do and he knows not to bring emotions into the game. He definitely had that benefit, but I wouldn’t say he’s the reason I lost. And, it does definitely put a target on his back, but he knows how to turn it away from him. 

Did anyone or anything really surprise you?

Obviously the snakes. What did surprise me was that there was an alliance that wasn’t shown on TV, and that was Alyssa and me. Alyssa and I, the very first day we met, we were like “Hey, we’re gay. Us two, final two.” We agreed to not discuss it or make any part of our relationship obvious at all. We’ll talk but it’s not going to be like, “Come have a one-on-one with me so people start seeing red flags.” 

RELATED: Alyssa Was Also Worried About Aron After Shocking Deal or No Deal Island Exit

That was the reason why, when Stephanie was up against the banker and Alyssa was sitting next to me, I was laughing, because I laugh when I’m in uncomfortable situations.

Alyssa Klinzing and Dawson Addis speak in hammocks in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 104.

The Night Owls knew I had an alliance with Alyssa, and I told them “I don’t want Alyssa out. If that’s better for your guys’ gameplay, do whatever you’re going to do, but I don’t want it for mine.” We were all very open with the Night Owls, but I was so uncomfortable there that I was laughing my ass off. Because, first of all, girl fights, when girls start screaming at each other, they get nasty. And it’s kind of funny when you’re watching it. But, also it’s like, “S---, I’m kind of in the middle of this.”

I’m kind of upset that they didn’t show Alyssa and my alliance. We did have multiple good talks. I said, “Hey if you hear my name, let me know,” she’s like, “If you hear my name, let me know.” I told her, “FYI, you do have targets on you, and I’m telling you that as part of what we agreed on at the beginning.” She’s like, “Really? I appreciate that.” I told her I would do everything I could to turn the target at someone else, but there’s only so much I can do. She appreciated that, but none of that was shown.

Did the other players know about the alliance? You told the Night Owls, but did the rest of them?

I’m pretty sure the only people who knew were Alyssa, Amy, and Steph. And Jordan. Jordan did know about it because Alyssa and Jordan were good. Jordan was actually present when I talked to Alyssa about that. 

Dawson Addis raises his arms and smiles at Joe Manganiello in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 108.

Have you remained in contact with her, the Night Owls, or any of the other players?

The Night Owls and I, we chat every day in a group chat. I love ‘em all to death. They’re gonna be lifelong friends, for sure. Alyssa and I, we’ve chatted here and there but we haven’t talked in a little bit. I talked to Aron recently. There was a little conflict, obviously, for TV, so we chit-chatted to clear that up. Same with Rob. It was just an Instagram message. “How ya doin', man?” Everyone, we’ve all stayed in touch. It hasn’t been as much as the Night Owls texting every day, but we’ve stayed in touch. 

New episodes of Deal or No Deal Island air on Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC, and will be available to stream the next day on Peacock.