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Matt, a 25-year-old pro snowboarder from Denver, CO, and Redmond, a 28-year-old former U.S. Navy corpsman from Murrieta, CA, were ousted from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the eleventh leg's Pit Stop on the islands of Sevit Some in Seoul, South Korea in last place due to transportation problems.
"We were both just super happy to be here," Redmond noted.
"We wanted to show the world that nothing can bring you down. No matter what your struggle is, you can succeed," Matt said, before telling his buddy, "I'm stoked you were my partner. We had a good time."
"Thanks for picking me," Redmond replied.
The Amazing Race episode kicked off with Matt and Redmond ripping open their first clue in first place at 11:57PM in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.
The teams were instructed to fly to Seoul, South Korea, and once there, they'd receive their next clue from a K-Pop group in the Gangnam District.
"We believe there's one more team that's going to get eliminated [before the finals]. And it's not going to be us," Redmond said, adding that Tara Carr and Joey Covino were the only team left who have beaten them before.
Scott Flanary, a 34-year-old recruiting manager from West Hollywood, CA, and Brooke Camhi, a 36-year-old criminal attorney from New York, NY, left the Vietnam Pit Stop in second place at 1:48AM, saying they were the "underdogs." Scott noted they were one of two teams left who hadn't won a leg this season, but he pointed out that some teams who have never won a leg did go on to win The Amazing Race.
Tara, a 38-year-old U.S. Army officer from Alexandria, VA, and Joey, a 46-year-old police sergeant from Saugus, MA, departed in third place at 2:16AM. Joey said the previous leg was the toughest one by far but they managed to get through it.
And on their heels were London Kaye, a 27-year-old artist from Brooklyn, NY, and Logan Bauer, a 27-year-old surgical consultant from Columbus, GA, in fourth -- and last -- place at 2:26AM.
All the teams booked seats on the same flight to Seoul. Once the plane landed, three teams hopped in taxis and raced to their next destination, but not Matt and Redmond, who had heard from locals that traveling by the subway was faster.
The boys therefore purchased subway tickets and headed underground. Matt and Redmond were confident about their decision once they spotted traffic in the city streets. However, Matt and Redmond ended up missing their transfer train by a matter of seconds.
Tara and Joey arrived first in the Gangnam District and spotted a stage labeled "Gangnam Style," on which four women were dancing to music. So the team ran up to the stage and one woman handed them their next clue.
The teams' next set of clues sent them by taxi to Hanyang University Olympic Gym, where they must search for their next clue.
As they looked for a taxi, Brooke and Scott arrived in second place and received their clue from the dancer, followed by London and Logan. Back on the subway, Matt and Redmond unfortunately still had two stops to go.
Once at the gym, teams saw kids stacking plastic cups into three pyramids on tables and then breaking them down again extremely quickly.
It then became time for one member from each team to complete a Roadblock task.
For the Roadblock the participating Racers were required to follow the children's lead by stacking and disassembling the cups in under seven seconds.
Brooke took on this Roadblock task for her team, as well as Joey and Logan.
Meanwhile, Matt and Redmond had left the subway and secured a taxi to take them to the gym. Matt asked to go to the Olympic Gym at Hanyang University, and his team's driver just repeated back, "Olympic gym."
Matt had a feeling Redmond and himself were in last place because the girl standing onstage only had one clue left to give. And much to their dismay, the driver ended up taking them to the wrong location that was 20 minutes away from where they needed to be.
Back at the Roadblock, the three Racers needed multiple attempts to get the job done.
Brooke completed the Roadblock task before any of the other teams, and she was followed by Joey and then Logan. By the time London and Logan left the task, Matt and Redmond were just arriving. It took Redmond three attempts to stack and disassemble the cups in under seven seconds.
The teams' next set of clues sent them via taxi to the Mugyewon Arts and Cultural Center, where they had to search for their next clue. Tara and Joey arrived in second place, followed by London and Logan.
Once at the arts center, women were shown dressed up near tables of food. Brooke and Scott arrived in first place and ripped open their next clue, which required the teams to prepare six servings of kimchi by packing the food into ceramic jars and then burying them to begin the fermentation process.
The teams watched the local women as they combined ginger, salt, garlic, sugar, curry powder and fish sauce before spreading the recipe over each leaf of cabbage.
The second and third-place teams missed the beginning of the demonstration, so they had to wait for it to start again. Meanwhile, Brooke and Scott were arguing over whether they should keep the mixture of dump it and start over. The team, knowing Matt and Redmond were far behind them, decided to start over.
No one had their cabbages approved on the first try, but Tara and Joey completed the task in first place. London and Logan were behind them in second place, followed by Brooke and Scott.
The teams were then instructed to make their way by taxi to Seoul OGN E-Stadium. It was a three-way race to the stadium, as Matt and Redmond were still dragging in last place.
London and Logan ripped open their next clue in first place, followed by Brooke and Scott and then Tara and Joey.
It then became time for another Roadblock task which required the participating Racers to win a round of the video game "Street Fighter V" against a professional gamer, with the professional being given a handicap every ten rounds to help the Racers out. The clue added that the people who did not perform the previous Roadblock were the ones who had to play the video game.
As a result, London, Scott and Tara had to play the game, and both ladies were very inexperienced gamers. Tara said she hadn't played a video game in over 20 years, while London grew up playing with dolls and flowers instead. Because London had never played a game in her life, Logan wished he could have done it for her.
When the first 10 rounds were up, the professional gamers had to play with one hand behind their backs.
Meanwhile, Matt and Redmond arrived at the kimchi task and realized everyone else had already come and gone. The guys, however, tended to work well under pressure.
Back at the Roadblock task, London's opponent was blindfolded following another 10 rounds, and Tara also continued to struggle.
London finally won a game, and Scott defeated his opponent shortly afterwards. The two teams grabbed their next set of clues, which sent them to the Pit Stop -- the roof of Gavit Some on the islands of Sevit Some.
As London and Logan and Brooke and Scott ran for taxis, Tara's opponent was blindfolded, and Joey was really angry and frustrated that the kid hadn't let her win yet.
While Tara was working hard at the video game, Matt and Redmond finished their cabbage mixture and made their way over, remaining positive about their fate in the Race.
Tara was under a lot of stress and felt desperate to finish the job, but she got knocked out in her 27th round.
"This is my family depending on me right now," Tara told her challenger. "I'm going to have nightmares about you for the rest of my life."
Matt then arrived at the stadium and began playing the video game with confidence. Matt and Redmond were super pumped to see Tara and Joey were still there
Meanwhile, Brooke and Scott stepped on the Pit Stop mat and met The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan in first place. They were officially declared one of Season 29's Final 3 teams.
"I don't think anybody would've thought that we would've made it to the Final 3," Brooke said. "People underestimated us, and they were wrong!"
London and Logan were right on their heels and arrived at the Pit Stop in second place. Phil told them that they went from the "underdogs" to the "top dogs."
Back at the Roadblock task, Matt felt better about his chances once his opponent had to play the game one-handed. Tara's challenge at this point, however, was already playing one-handed and blindfolded.
"What's he proving? That he can't beat up someone's mom?" Joey vented from the sidelines before angrily calling Tara's opponent a "bastard."
But Tara eventually won a round, and so she and Joey headed to the Pit Stop in third place. As the pair struggled to nail down a taxi, Matt continued to play the video game, and it didn't take him long to win a round.
It was therefore seemingly a race to the Pit Stop, but Tara and Joey got there before the boys. After Tara and Joey learned they'd be racing to the finish line in the Final 3, Matt and Redmond arrived in last place and were sent packing.
As shown in a preview for what's to come on The Bachelorette's thirteenth season that aired following Monday night's premiere episode, an unidentified woman shows up on a date and informs Rachel that one of The Bachelorette star's bachelors is her lying and cheating boyfriend from back home.
"You still have the keys to my apartment you m-therf-cker," the woman is shown yelling in the preview, although the man's identity is not given away.
"You thought you deceived every single one of these people. You were in my bed weeks before [the show]. You were texting me."
The girl then adds, "I actually have from the [text] messages proof that the last time he was in my house, he was f-cking me."
Rachel appears to be standing on a basketball court as she browses through the girl's phone to see the messages for herself.
"It definitely shocked all of us that he has a girlfriend," one bachelor can be heard saying in a voiceover.
[Spoiler Warning: Please stop reading now if you don't wish to learn which one of Rachel's bachelors was caught and exposed by a woman from home].
According to Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone, the man who finds himself in a compromising position with a girl he jilted at home is DeMario Jackson, a 30-year-old executive recruiter from Century City, CA.
DeMario's girlfriend shows up on a basketball group date and calls him out, according to Carbone, and Rachel kicks DeMario to the curb as a result.
Rachel probably won't be surprised by DeMario's two-timing behavior given her pal from The Bachelor franchise, Whitney Fransway, warned her at the beginning of The Bachelorette season that Sarah Vendal -- also from Nick Viall's edition -- believed DeMario's intentions for going on the show were not pure.
"Sarah knows someone who knows someone who's cousin's friend is a former roommate with a guy who played basketball with DeMario," Carbone claims.
While Rachel seemed to take Whitney's words to heart in The Bachelorette premiere, she decided not to write DeMario off. Instead, Rachel wanted to get to know DeMario for herself and learn about him based on her own judgement and experiences.
The last time a suitor was confronted on The Bachelorette franchise was when a former Playboy model showed up to tell Desiree Hartsock that one of her bachelors, Brian Jarosinski, was dishonorable and had a girlfriend back home.
Below is the complete list of the 23 The Bachelorette bachelors who are still in the running for Rachel's final rose:
- Adam Gottschalk, a 27-year-old real estate agent from Dallas, TX
- Alex Bordyukov, a 28-year-old information systems supervisor from Grosse Pointe Park, MI
- Anthony Battle, a 26-year-old education software manager from Chicago, IL
- Blake Elarbee, a 31-year-old aspiring drummer from Marina del Rey, CA
- Brady Ervin, a 29-year-old male model from Miami, FL
- Bryan Abasolo, a 37-year-old chiropractor from Miami, FL
- Bryce Powers, a 30-year-old firefighter from Orlando, FL
- Dean Unglert, a 26-year-old startup recruiter from Venice, CA
- DeMario Jackson, a 30-year-old executive recruiter from Century City, CA
- Eric Bigger, a 29-year-old personal trainer from Los Angeles, CA
- Fred Johnson, a 27-year-old executive assistant from Dallas, TX
- Ignacio "Iggy" Rodriguez, a 30-year-old consulting firm CEO from Chicago, IL
- Jack Stone, a 32-year-old attorney from Dallas, TX
- Jamey Kocan, a 32-year-old sales account executive from Santa Monica, CA
- Jonathan Treece, a 31-year-old "tickle monster" from New Smyrna Beach, FL
- Josiah Graham, a 28-year-old prosecuting attorney from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Kenneth "Diggy" Moreland, a 31-year-old senior inventory analyst from Chicago, IL
- Kenny Layne, a 35-year-old professional wrestler from Las Vegas, NV
- Lee Garrett, a 30-year-old singer and songwriter from Nashville, TN
- Lucas Yancey, a 30-year-old "whaboom" from Santa Monica, CA
- Matthew "Matt" Munson, a 32-year-old construction sales representative from Meriden, CT
- Peter Kraus, a 31-year-old personal trainer and business owner from Madison, WI
- Will Gaskins, a 28-year-old sales manager from Miami, FL
Lucas is a 30-year-old from Santa Monica, CA, whose ABC-supplied job description is simply "whaboom." Fans had no idea what that meant until they watched The Bachelorette's Season 13 premiere -- and it made some viewers wish they hadn't watched it.
Lucas screamed an extremely enthusiastic "whaaaaabooooom" whenever possible, even when the outburst didn't match the situation. Lucas violently shakes his head and entire body while yelling his catchphrase, and Rachel seemed to find it hilarious.
Whaboom's competition, however, viewed his antics as the exact opposite. There have already been complaints from other suitors, especially Blake Elarbee, about Lucas' questionable motives for going on the show and his apparent lack of desire to seriously date and get to know Rachel.
Below is a list of 5 facts Reality TV World has compiled about Lucas "Whaboom" Yancey.
- He was born on June 4, 1986 and has a twin brother. He also apparently has a real job working in real estate as a private investor and developer. Lucas said he owns and manages many properties in Los Angeles as well as in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Lucas is originally from Woodside, CA, and calls himself an actor, writer, producer and stand-up comedian. He owns a company called YknotWorld Productions.
- The Bachelorette isn't Lucas' first reality TV experience. He appeared on WE tv's Ex Isle in 2016 with his ex-girlfriend, Brittney. And guess who was also on the reality show? Blake Elarbee!
When Lucas and Brittney decided to date other people, Blake was one of the contestants Brittney hit it off with, so the guys already have history dating the same girl! That's presumably why Blake had such strong feelings about Whaboom's intentions during The Bachelorette premiere.
- Lucas is also fluent in Spanish and appeared on a Spanish-language dating show called 12 Corazones Especial de Circo Entretenimiento, which translates to 12 Hearts Special Circus, on the Telemundo TV network several years.
"My first appearance on a #Telemundo TV show. The video footage will be out soon! Como estas tu hamburgesa?," he captioned a February 2013 Instagram photo showing him with longer hair and a moustache.
- Lucas graduated from UC Berkeley and majored in Legal studies with a focus in Business. While attending Berkeley, he and his team won 4 Rugby National Championships.
Before The Bachelorette season even premiered on May 22, fans became acquainted with Eric when he introduced himself to Rachel on The Bachelor: After the Final Rose for Nick Viall's season.
Rachel's pals Jasmine Goode and Alexis Waters thought Eric made a great first impression on the special, but we have yet to see whether Rachel was really taken with him.
Eric is a 29-year-old personal trainer from Los Angeles, CA, but what else do we know about this handsome suitor?
Below is a list of 5 facts Reality TV World has compiled about Eric Bigger:
- Eric considers himself a motivational speaker, "difference maker," author, and "mentor coach." He is the CEO of EBiggsWay Training.
- The Bachelorette contestant obtained his Associate's degree from Howard Community College in 2008 and then a Bachelor's degree from Hampton University in Entrepreneurship years later.
- Eric comes from a big family, which includes an older sister Erica, a younger sister Lacey, and an adorable niece and nephew.
- The fitness and health enthusiast's top three movies are Blue Chips, Bad Boys and Equalizer.
- If Eric could be someone else for just one day, he said he would choose Tony Robbins because he hosts amazing seminars and impacts the masses.
As shown on The Bachelorette's May 22 premiere, Dean, a 26-year-old startup recruiter from Venice, CA, sweetly asked Rachel to build sandcastles with him outside of the Los Angeles mansion.
Dean definitely appeared to be one of the suitors who impressed Rachel, a 32-year-old attorney from Dallas, on Night 1 of filming.
Dean is clearly handsome, and he seems thoughtful, but what else do we know about him?
Below is a list of 5 facts Reality TV World has compiled about Dean Unglert:
- Dean has a black dog that appears to be part lab named Nala, whom he calls his "little nugget." He watched The Bachelorette premiere with Nala.
- He works as a lead recruiter for StartupTAP in Los Angeles. He's held this position for two years.
- The Bachelorette contestant enjoys golfing, rock climbing, surfing, and snowboarding. He appears to love anything that keeps him active and provides a rush.
- Dean received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management, General from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
- The 6'2" suitor has many tattoos -- his mom's initials on his chest, artwork on his back, a friend's initials on his back, the word "Righteous" on his inner lip, Latin on his hip, and Triforce on his inner arm.
Cirie, a 46-year-old four-time Survivor player and fan-favorite from Norwalk, CT, finished behind Aubry Bracco in fifth place, Tai Trang in fourth place, Troy "Troyzan" Robertson in third place, Brad Culpepper in second place, and finally Sarah Lacina, who won the $1 million grand prize.
Cirie's ouster was totally unexpected, as no one from her tribe even voted for her. Cirie was eliminated from the game after all of the other castaways either won Individual Immunity, played a hidden Immunity Idol or played a "Legacy Advantage," which also served as a safety net. Her exit was shocking and definitely a Survivor first in many regards.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Cirie talked about her Survivor: Game Changers experience. Below is the first half of her interview.
Reality TV World: Why did you vote for Sarah to win?
Cirie Fields: Because out of the three people that were sitting there, I thought she deserved it the most. She made a lot of moves, she flip-flopped back and forth, she was able to get back in and have people trust her enough that they'd want to go to the end with her.
Reality TV World: Are you surprised Brad didn't get more votes, and that Troyzan didn't at least get one?
Cirie Fields: No, not really. I'm surprised that Brad got all the votes that he did get. (Laughs) You know, I like Brad. I like Culpepper a lot; however, Brad didn't really get to know the people, you know what I mean? That's why he couldn't really answer the question [Michaela Bradshaw] posed to him about knowing anything about her.
Had he known his people and his audience, he would've known that they weren't going to be upset. He was banking on everyone being so mad at Sarah for her gameplay that they would automatically give [the money] to him, but that just wasn't so.
Reality TV World: Do you feel pretty much screwed over by the way idols and advantages were played at the Tribal Council when you went home? (Laughs)
Cirie Fields: You know what? I don't know. It's a weird feeling I have. I don't feel -- I guess maybe because I'm such a fan, I don't feel screwed over. (Laughs)
I feel like it happened, but it happened though! I'm more in awe of that happening on the show that I've loved for so long, that sometimes I forget that it happened to me and caused me not to win. But I thought it was amazing, actually!
Reality TV World: Given there were so many idols in the game at the point of your ouster, do you think there should've been a rule change that everyone must declare whether they are going to use an idol at the same time? Each person got to play his or her idol after seeing who played one moments before.
Cirie Fields: Yeah, at that time, I wasn't really thinking. I wasn't nervous and I hadn't slept well, so I don't think my mind was working at full capacity. I was just like, in shock, like a viewer!
In those moments, I felt like I was watching the television, and then reality kicked in and it was like, "Oh shoot. Wait a minute, [Jeff Probst], that means I'm out?" It was weird. I had mixed emotions. I didn't really think about the rules or technicality of everything that was going on.
Reality TV World: So I was also going to ask since you're a four-time player whether you thought the "Legacy Advantage" was too powerful of a prize. But based on what you're saying, it sounds like you appreciate all the twists and turns Survivor has to offer. (Laughs)
Cirie Fields: Yeah, you know, I'm a fan. So I love it. It's just like the players, when Jeff says you have to constantly change and move, the game is doing that. So it has to have these new things brought in, and I'm just flattered to be the one whom they were all used and introduced on at the same time! (Laughs)
Reality TV World: If you had taken Sarah out when you planned to at the Final 6, how were you hoping the rest of the game would play out? And whom were you hoping to go to the end with?
Cirie Fields: Well, I thought and I was hoping that because of how Brad treated Tai -- and now with Sarah gone, whom everyone was in love with -- Tai would have to fulfill and be obligated, almost by default because he wouldn't want to go back with Brad and those guys -- to come over to [Michaela Bradshaw], myself and Aubry. And then we can get rid of Brad and Troyzan and hash it out after that.
Reality TV World: You seemed pretty certain at least for a while you wanted to take Sarah to the end. Why was that? Because most of the castaways, including Andrea, seemed to think that would be a bad move since she played such an aggressive game. And now we know Sarah went on to win the whole thing.
Cirie Fields: Well, Sarah did play an outwardly aggressive game, but I feel like I played as well more behind the scenes because I couldn't be aggressive like she was. I couldn't show everybody the moves I was making. I had to kind of work behind the scenes, because if I sneezed, they were all on me, like, "Look, is she sneezing?!" (Laughs)
"Vote her out." And [they'd think], "Did she move? Vote her out?" And "I think she went to the left twice, vote her out."I had to not let anybody see me do anything and kind of get things done that I needed done through other people. So I would say that, and if I was able to get to the jury and speak to that, I think they would have appreciated it.
Reality TV World: So had you made it to the Final 3, do you think you could have beaten Brad? And Sarah?
Cirie Fields: I think I definitely would've beaten Brad, only because listen, Brad won five challenges, and I like Brad. Brad fished a lot, but again, Brad didn't really know his audience. I mean, he knew surface stuff, but he didn't really get down into knowing the players you spent 39 days with.
So knowing that and knowing the relationships Brad did not have, I would have been fine sitting next to Brad. Maybe I'm foolish in thinking I could beat Sarah, but I always felt like if you gave me a chance to get in front of the jury, then I can speak and win my case and have them vote for me.
Reality TV World: Do you think, because of the way Survivor has evolved in recent years, jury members find Individual Immunity Challenge wins less impressive? Ozzy Lusth seemed to be the only person really impressed by that. Or do you think Brad's wins didn't get a lot of hype because people almost expected he'd win since he's a professional athlete?
Cirie Fields: It was so funny. I think it was a little bit of both. Brad used to talk about how he was winning challenges once we got back to camp, and Michaela, I believe, said she wasn't impressed because she made the analogy that it was like Brad -- being the athlete that he is, and running around screaming and talking about how great he is and how he won -- performed at the Special Olympics.
Even though I was one of those Special Olympics people, it was just he went in as a 100 percent athlete. And I don't mean to say 100 percent, because I know Brad is older and I know he has some career injuries, but compared to the rest of us that were there, it made him at 100 percent and we were like little kids.
So it's like winning a basketball game against a five-year-old. You're going to give him praise for that? And I think that's why it didn't impact us the way it should have or the way it has in previous seasons, because that is a big deal -- to win five challenges back to back. And knowing you need to win to stay is a huge deal.
However, with everything else that went on and the fact he won against, like, me in challenges, it wasn't so impressive... Had he won those five against Ozzy and [Malcolm Freberg] and Tom Westman, I think everyone would've given him a standing ovation. But he's winning against Cirie, Aubry, Tai. And I'm not saying that Tai is not a great athlete, but we're not up to his caliber in athleticism.
To read more exclusive interviews with the Final 6 castaways, check Reality TV World's Survivor: Game Changers webpage.
Brad, a 47-year-old retired NFL player from Tampa, FL, finished as the runner-up on Season 34 behind Sarah, a 32-year-old police officer from Marion, IA. However, Brad defeated Troy "Troyzan" Robertson, a 55-year-old photographer from Miami, FL, in the Final 3.
Sarah appeared to receive seven votes to win, while Brad earned three votes. Troyzan walked away with zero jury votes. Tai Trang landed in fourth place, and behind him went Aubry Bracco in fifth place. In Wednesday night's finale, fan-favorite Cirie Fields was ousted from the Maku Maku tribe in sixth place.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Brad talked about his Survivor: Game Changers experience and victory. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: Could you confirm the fact you only got three votes, from Debbie Wanner, Ozzy Lusth and Sierra Dawn Thomas?
Brad Culpepper: Yes.
Reality TV World: Jeff Probst made it clear you made a million-dollar mistake by taking Sarah to the end with you instead of Tai. How frustrating was that to hear and do you think that's really the way it would have played out or that people were claiming they'd vote that was in hindsight?
Brad Culpepper: It's hard to tell. That's what I was so hesitant for Jeff to even do anything like that, because the perception when you're watching a TV, you know, you're seeing different conversations that you're not privy to on the island. It kind of alters your opinion on certain things. It's probably not a true representation, but Monday-morning quarterbacking is a lot easier than Sunday.
Reality TV World: Given how confident you were at the end of the season, were you surprised you only got three votes? Were you anticipating to receive a vote from anyone else in particular?
Brad Culpepper: Well, the perception you have on the island is a lot different than when you watch the TV show. So, I'm not privy to a lot of conversations that are happening outside of my ears. And quite frankly, while I was on the island, I thought Cirie and [Andrea Boehlke] were really kind of controlling that side of things.
And maybe they were and Sarah got awarded that [credit] by proxy being that they were out and she was in there. And also, I had never seen [Zeke Smith] play before. If I had seen him before, I would have realized he was sort of a cutthroat player, and he doesn't really care that someone stabbed him in the back.
All he cared about was good gameplay and respected that. Tai was universally liked by everyone because he didn't really step on anyone's toes other than mine. (Laughs)
But, you know, he was great around camp and he was very good at challenges, so I thought there would be a lot more good will towards Tai than there would be Sarah, because I knew Sarah had a lot of blood on her hands.
But I didn't realize that would be rewarded. I thought there would be more bitter feelings. But watching Zeke play, he clearly was going to reward that, but I didn't know him when the game started.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I was going to ask you if you think you underestimated Sarah's gameplay or just expected a very bitter jury.
Brad Culpepper: No, no. I underestimated her gameplay for sure. She played tremendously. Watching it unfold on TV, I was very impressed with her game and she did an awesome job and deserved to win. So, again, when you're on the island, you don't really see that. So I expected a more bitter jury and I was definitely impressed with her gameplay.
Reality TV World: There is this school of thought that given you're already a wealthy athlete, a jury wouldn't want to reward you the money at the end. Do you think that played a role in Sarah's victory? Was that a concern for you out there towards the end? We didn't see much talk about that.
Brad Culpepper: No, I mean, at the beginning of the game, I was using that a little bit, saying, "Look, you want to get to the end with me because a jury is going to be hesitant [to give me the money]," especially talking to really good players and they're worried about their resume being too good and someone underneath potentially has a better chance.
And my plan when [Tony Vlachos] got out and [Sandra Diaz-Twine] got out, had I been with them, I'd say, "Look, you'd like to sit with me at the end because I'm in the same stratosphere as far as whether money is going to matter when rewarding the victor."
But I don't think that had anything to do with it. I think they were just trying to award the player who best played the game. So I don't know if that had something to do with the decision making.
Reality TV World: If Tai had given you one of his idols to hold on to, would you still have voted him out at the first opportunity? We saw you telling Troyzan that, but obviously you promised Tai Final 3 if he actually followed through with that.
Brad Culpepper: No, no, and this is what was frustrating about the show last night. You were seeing the tail end of frustration with me and Tai. We had a very complicated relationship, and it's Survivor, so they're going to only show the dramatic portions of conversations.
But first of all, Tai and I were together. We got underneath, we were on the bottom, everybody is scrambling to secure a vote to save your life. And while the opposition told me to vote for Tai and the opposition told Tai to vote for Sierra, we were disconnected.
And so I was trying to reconnect with Tai. I said, "Look, you've gone against me three times in a row. Let's reconnect, but I'm not really going to trust you unless you give me one of your idols to hold."
And I 100% was going to hold onto it if I won the [Individual Immunity Challenge]. I was going to give it back to him and say, "Okay, I trust you completely now. Let's keep going." So he was just waffling. Early on in the conversation it was, "Okay, I'll do it." And then he'd come back five minutes later and say, "No, I can't do it."
And I was like, "Why can't you?! Tai, you've got to do this. We've got to have some kind of coordination. We've got to get back on the same page." So it was back and forth for, I'd say, three to four hours.
What you were seeing was the tail end of that, and my conversation with Troyzan was at the very end, like, "God dang, I can't get Tai to commit one way or the other. Gosh, if he even gives it to me I swear I would [vote him out]."
So that was more frustration when I said I would vote him out. I was really planning on not doing that, but it was lost in translation, the way they edited it, so. But no, I wasn't planning to -- I would have been much more loyal to Tai had he done that for me.
Reality TV World: How would you explain your relationship with Sarah up to the Final 6? She always seemed to be a swing vote or a flipper, yet Sierra was pretty convinced Sarah was her loyal best friend -- even after Debbie went home -- so where did you stand with her?
Brad Culpepper: We connected pretty good. I mean, we were together early but then she of course took Debbie out of the game, and that startled all of us. But we still had a connection. She was like, "Look, I thought Debbie was a Wild Card. She had another agenda."
So I felt pretty good about Sarah. And that was good on her part! That's why she won the game, because she created relationships with everybody and everybody was buying in even if they were not with her.
Reality TV World: When Aubry went home, why did she become the target instead of Sarah, who was once again put in a powerful swing-vote position between Troyzan and yourself vs. Tai and Cirie.
Brad Culpepper: I can't really remember. Right then, you're trying to secure relationships. It was a matter of, "Aubry is here; she has battled back." Again, it's perception. And what you've got to understand too is that just because someone is not onscreen, like Aubry or Troy, it doesn't mean it's like Westworld and they're frozen in time.
People are working relentlessly trying to cultivate relationships and trying to talk strategy. So Aubry had very much been a part of the game, and at that point, it was like, "Well, she hasn't made anybody angry. She's been on the bottom the entire game, and boy, if she makes it to the end, she'd probably garner a lot of votes." She's a very good player, and I think that's what the thought process was then.
To begin reading what Sarah had to tell Reality TV World about her victory in an exclusive interview, click here, or click here to read our interview with Cirie. Check back with us soon for more interviews with Survivor: Game Changers' Final 6 castaways.
Sarah, a 32-year-old police officer from Marion, IA, was shown winning Season 34 of Survivor with the majority of jury votes.
Sarah defeated Brad Culpepper, a 47-year-old retired NFL player from Tampa, FL, and Troy "Troyzan" Robertson, a 55-year-old photographer from Miami, FL, in the Final 3. Brad appeared to receive three votes to win, while Troyzan earned zero.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Sarah talked about her Survivor: Game Changers experience and victory. Below is the first half of her interview.
Reality TV World: One jury vote wasn't revealed when Jeff Probst announced the winner. Could you confirm that was also for you, that Brad only got three votes?
Sarah Lacina: Yes, it was 7-3.
Reality TV World: So Brad received votes from Ozzy Lusth, Debbie Wanner and Sierra Dawn Thomas right?
Sarah Lacina: Yes.
Reality TV World: Why did you decide against voting for Troyzan when four people were left in the game and potentially doing a fire-making challenge? There didn't seem to be a big downside in choosing to do that because if Tai Trang was the vote, he'd compete against Troyzan to make fire, and if you were the vote, you'd have a chance to win fire and stay. So I'm assuming you really wanted Troyzan in the Final 3 with you instead of Tai?
Sarah Lacina: Well, I think there was a huge downside in doing that. Anyone who can make fire to save their life and go to the Final 3 puts a big notch in their belt.
And so, if I'm going to give these boys an opportunity to do that, if I'm sitting on the jury and I just watched them go through this intense fire-making to save themselves in the game, that gives them another notch on their resume.
And I didn't want anyone to be able to get anymore, you know, to be able to add anything to their resume. And at that point, had I definitely wanted to go to the end with Tai, obviously that would be an option.
But if Tai won, now he's got three idols -- two of which he played for other people -- he's won immunity, he made fire, he sat out of the merge feast, I mean, I don't want him to be able to add another thing to his list. And so, I was definitely not interested in riding those chickens out at all.
Reality TV World: Were you shocked Brad took you to the end instead Tai? It was obviously a surprise to viewers given we later found out he would have won the whole game had he brought Tai and Troyzan to the Final 3.
Sarah Lacina: Yeah, so, I remember sitting in one of my interviews going, "How is my name off the chopping block? How are we debating between Troyzan and Tai right now, and I'm not being debated on?" What didn't get shown is that I ruined my word so bad with these guys that I had to go to, like, material items.
And I wear this bracelet that I wear every single day, and that I obviously wore out there and I wore on my first season, and so I offered it up as a sign of, "Here, if I'm lying to you guys and the vote doesn't go the way I'm saying it's going to go, then take my bracelet and throw it into the ocean. That's the only thing I can offer up right now if you don't believe what comes out of my mouth."
So we do that, and in fact we did that at the [Michaela Bradshaw] vote out, and then that solidified some trust with them and me. Well, I really needed to seal the deal that they would take me to the end, and so myself, Brad and Troyzan actually all exchanged items.
I actually had Brad's wedding ring and obviously we can all see how much he loves his wife. And so for the simple fact I had Brad Culpepper's wedding ring, and if he votes me out, he knows that wedding ring is going to the bottom of the ocean.
It was a move I had to make to solidify that they would not vote me out. And so, in that aspect, I'm not surprised that he kept me, because you guys didn't know that that had happened.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised you were able to play your "Legacy Advantage" after everyone else played their hidden Immunity Idols? It seemed like such a huge advantage to be able to put it in play at that point.
Sarah Lacina: Well, you could only play it at six, so I'd be foolish to not play it, like how embarrassing would it have been if I hadn't played it?! I would've gone home! (Laughs)
So I was going to play it. I didn't need to go home with a piece of paper that read, "This is the 'Legacy Advantage' this season." I wanted to go home with a different piece of paper that had a bunch of zeros on it, you know?
And so, it was kind of a no-brainer to play it, because it's not like I could use it at five or anything like that. It's telling me, "You can only use it right now." So you have to play it regardless. We saw [Ken McNickle] do it on his season too, and he didn't need to.
Reality TV World: So even though you were going to play it no matter what, did you also suspect votes were coming your way? Because Aubry, Tai and Cirie ended up voting for you.
Sarah Lacina: No, but the only reason I wasn't worried was because I knew I was safe. In fact, that was a lesson I learned -- so if I ever play again, I know this -- that when you have immunity or an idol and things like that and you feel safe, you are not on point like you are the rest of the time when you're fighting for your life.
Because you feel safe and then you stop paying attention to certain things. I had no idea they were voting me out. And I was on to everything up until then. I just felt so safe that I didn't care. It was like, "Whoa, Sarah, you really have to pay attention at all times -- even though you are safe." Nope, I didn't see [the votes] coming at all.
Reality TV World: Do you give Sierra Dawn Thomas any credit for your win because of that "Legacy Advantage?" Are you going to be giving her a nice Christmas gift this year or something? (Laughs)
Sarah Lacina: (Laughs) Yeah! I mean, I think we see now how instrumental that was in me winning, because had she not given that to me, I would've gone home at six. So, absolutely, I can't thank her enough.
But at the same time, I had to work hard to get that. And you see though, I don't get her vote. So I can't give her that much credit in me winning because she didn't vote for me to win! But the move in itself is what helped me win.
Reality TV World: Ozzy Lusth pointed out at the Final Tribal Council that you can win the game of Survivor without, he claimed, stooping as low as you had. Do you think that could've been true in your case or did you feel every move you made and word you said was necessary to advance? Do you feel you went overboard at all on your aggressive gameplay?
Sarah Lacina: No! Not at all. Because you see people leaving the game and they say -- they don't know that I was the one who turned on them. You see them say, "I thought that I was her No. 1."
And so, getting people to trust you that much was so key to winning. No offense to Ozzy, but that's his opinion and he's played four times and never won. (Laughs) So maybe he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised Zeke Smith and Michaela were gunning so hard for you to win during their jury comments? And do you think their persuasion played a role in your victory?
Sarah Lacina: Zeke I was not, but Michaela I was surprised. Michaela gets a bad rap out there and she really is fun and cool, and I really enjoy her. And she was able to get out of the game and appreciate the fact she was asked back again.
But Zeke, I was not surprised. Zeke told me the day before he got voted out, "Sarah, don't lose this game trying to save me. I'm not going to hold you to any deal that we've made. If you have to vote me out, you have my permission."
So he literally gave me permission and then he told me, "And I will advocate for you to win because you're playing such a great game." And so I was not shocked to see Zeke react that way, but it was above and beyond -- what he did for me, you know? He was extremely instrumental in me winning.
Because I think for a jury member to say, "You guys, this is a Game Changers season. I know she hurt you. I know she hurt you. I know she hurt you. She hurt us all! But we were brought back on a game-changing season and it would be a dishonor to the game to not reward extremely aggressive gameplay." And so yeah, I think I definitely owe Zeke a lot.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of our exclusive Survivor: Game Changers interview with Sarah, as well as our interviews with the other Final 6 castaways. To read our interview with Brad, click here, or click here to read our interview with Cirie.
Becca, a 26-year-old rock climbing instructor from Boulder, CO, and Floyd, a 21-year-old college drum major from Boulder, CO, were ousted from the around-the-world competition in the tenth leg because Floyd appeared to come down with heat exhaustion and dehydration while attempting to complete a Roadblock task in Vietnam.
Because of Floyd's condition, the team was not able to complete the leg and arrive at the Pit Stop at Hang Mua Peak. Instead, The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan met them at the task Floyd had just finished to deliver the bad news of their ouster.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World via email, Becca talked about her The Amazing Race experience. Below is what she had to say.
Reality TV World: It was hard watching last night's episode when Floyd kept getting rejected at the shrimp trap Roadblock because he gave it everything he had. Was it heat exhaustion and dehydration? How did you feel about the whole incident?
Becca Droz: Floyd had to work so hard to bring the shrimp traps back and forth in such high heat and humidity, he essentially had heat stroke. In the moment, I blamed myself for getting tunnel vision in my thirst for first. We hastily decided Floyd would do the Roadblock.
I felt sad and confused as I watched teams come and go. I was in disbelief that our Amazing Race journey was coming to an end when it felt so clear to me that we could win. Now that the secret is out of the box, I have felt a huge sense of relief and acceptance with how things went down in 'Nam.
Reality TV World: How hot was it that day? And how long do you think you were waiting for Floyd to finish the bicycling Roadblock task?
Becca Droz: It must have been over 90 percent humidity and over 90 degrees. I was waiting for over three hours.
Reality TV World: It must have been devastating to go out before the Final 4. But in a twisted way, do you think it's actually better to get eliminated after Floyd gave every last ounce of energy he had -- rather than get sent home because you made a mistake or just finished a leg in last place because you got stuck in traffic or something? I'd think your situation would be a little easier to swallow.
Becca Droz: At the time it did feel devastating. I was a wreck for a couple of days after the Philimination. You can see the bags under my eyes and the tension in my face as I hold back tears in the daytime interview on YouTube.
Since the airing, however, I have come to peace with the way it went, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Our mistakes will continue to teach us how to be better people and make better decisions in the future.
Reality TV World: At one point, you were shown saying you wished you had done the shrimp trap Roadblock task instead since Floyd was struggling with it. Watching last night's episode back, do you think you could've conquered that task? When taking into account your strengths and weaknesses, do you think you would have excelled at it or no?
Becca Droz: I thrive in physical challenge. While the shrimp trap Roadblock would have certainly been tough, I have no doubt that I would have excelled at it.
Reality TV World: The show made it seem like, at first, it was all teams against Vanck Zhu and Ashton Theiss, and then more recently, all teams against Tara Carr and Joey Covino. Can you talk about that? Exactly which teams were in your alliance?
Becca Droz: As you can see in the show, I was quite adamant about trying to convince teams to target Mom and Dad, but by the time others clued in to how much of a threat they were they stayed ahead of the pack. They were a strong team in a very secret kind of way and that made me nervous. While The Boys [Matt Ladley and Redmond Ramos], were clearly a strong team, their strength was very external.
Tara and Joey felt unpredictable to me and I didn't trust them in the game. I never felt that I was in clear alliances with any team, but we were most friendly with The Boys, Team LoLo [London Kaye and Logan Bauer] -- and Escott.
Reality TV World: Did you have any hard feelings toward Tara and Joey for previously U-Turning you, at least at first? Do you think they viewed you as the biggest threat or do you think they U-Turned you for another reason?
Becca Droz: I did not have hard feelings towards Tara and Joey for U-Turning us. I totally understood their decision. We would have done the same to them if we had had the chance. They claimed that they U-Turned us to give their friends, [Michael Rado] and [Liz Espey], a "fighting chance," but I believe they didn't want to admit that they were threatened by us. ;)
Reality TV World: You saw Tara and Joey's reaction to Brooke Camhi and Scott Flanary having U-Turned Liz and Michael. They said it didn't make sense from a game perspective and it was a heartless move. What was your reaction to that?
Becca Droz: I am grateful that Mike and Liz were U-Turned, it kept us in the game for another few legs of memorable adventures! At some point, all but three teams need to be eliminated, it's the game, so I don't think it was a heartless move. It is fascinating to watch the contrasting elements of how all teams interact differently under similar situations and stress.
Reality TV World: What's your perspective on Brooke and Scott's dynamic? Because I kind of feel like it was the exact opposite of what Floyd and yourself had.
Becca Droz: I find Brooke and Scott (#TeamDrama)'s dynamic entertaining to watch, actually it's quite absurd. I am so glad that Floyd and I were able to work together and elevate each other.
Reality TV World: You selected Floyd after the initial suitcase challenge. Why was that? What did you see in Floyd within such a short period of time, because I know decisions were made based on first impressions.
Becca Droz: I could tell by Floyd's high-waisted fanny pack and high socks that he was a nerd and that was a good balance for me. He had a kind smile and seemed like a good guy. I had no idea that he lived in Boulder or freestyled or juggled or that he would be the best possible Amazing Race partner for me.
Reality TV World: Why did you initially apply to be on The Amazing Race and was it your first time applying?
Becca Droz: It was clear from the first episode I saw when I was 11-years-old that this Race was everything I wanted to experience in life. I watched religiously all the way until I graduated high school, taking mental notes on Amazing Race strategy. From day one, I believed that my eldest brother, David, would be my perfect partner and that together, we could, without a doubt, win The Amazing Race.
When I was 22, we submitted our first audition video. We submitted our second audition video the following year. Three years later, still working on application video No. 3, I got a call from casting.
Reality TV World: I feel like if I asked you whether you would be up to race with Floyd again, you would yell, "Heck yes!" Am I right?
Becca Droz: "Team Fun" is ready for All Stars.
Reality TV World: Which of the four teams that remain did you view as the strongest team, and why?
Becca Droz: Da Boyyyyyyyzzz.
Reality TV World: At the time you left the Race, which team were you hoping would win The Amazing Race? And which team did you think was most deserving to win?
Becca Droz: We were rooting for Da Boys to win The Amazing Race. I felt that they were most deserving to win because we respected the way they played the game and we loved competing with them. We loved hanging out with The Boys! Matt and Redmond stayed positive, played an honest and independent game and helped others when they could.
To read what Becca's partner, Floyd Pierce, had to say about his The Amazing Race experience, click here.
Sarah, a 32-year-old police officer from Marion, IA, was shown winning Season 34 of Survivor with six jury votes, (probably with seven because one vote was not unveiled by Survivor host Jeff Probst during the live reunion show).
Sarah defeated Brad Culpepper, a 47-year-old retired NFL player from Tampa, FL, and Troy "Troyzan" Robertson, a 55-year-old photographer from Miami, FL, in the season's final jury voting results.
Jeff revealed that Brad received three jury votes to win, while Troyan received zero votes. Sarah was shown receiving votes from Michaela Bradshaw and Zeke Smith. Brad was shown earning votes from Ozzy Lusth and Debbie Wanner.
"Nobody wants to go out and make their family, friends and profession look bad. And so, the first time I played [on Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty], that weighed heavily on me. And in order to come out and be successful, I had to let that go," Sarah said in tears after her victory was announced on the live reunion show.
"I was given the right of way by everybody and I just came out guns blazing because the gates were open for me to do whatever I had to do knowing that they know who I am. And they kind of beat me down for not being more like that the first time. So it was really nice to have their blessing to come out and play this way even though I hurt a lot of people. It's not easy to watch back. I'm very proud of the game I played, but I'm not proud of the way I treated people."
Sarah also said her game was inspired by former Survivor winner Tony Vlachos, a fellow police officer who played "masterfully" in her opinion.
If Brad had entered the Final 3 with Troyzan and Tai Trang, he would have won the game with votes from Hali Ford, Debbie, Zeke, Sierra Dawn Thomas, and Andrea Boehlke. The vote would have been five for Brad and five for Tai, but if that was the case, Troyzan would have gone to the jury and cast the final vote for the winner -- which obviously would've gone to Brad.
Tai, a 52-year-old gardener from San Francisco, CA, finished in fourth place. Aubry Bracco, a 30-year-old from Cambridge, MA, claimed fifth place. And last but not least, Cirie Fields, a 46-year-old from Norwalk, CT, placed sixth.
The finale broadcast of Survivor: Game Changers began on Night 35 after Michaela was sent packing.
Sarah was confused and didn't know whom to trust after Cirie had attempted to play her steal-a-vote advantage. Cirie was upset Sarah had voted Michaela out, but Sarah explained to the cameras she made the decision because Michaela was Cirie's right-hand man and she felt like Cirie had betrayed her.
Sarah asked whom the "rat" was that Cirie was trying to expose at Tribal Council, and Cirie opted to come clean -- announcing to the entire tribe that Tai was gunning for Sarah and so she was doing everything in her power to help Sarah.
Sarah, who had been tight allies with Tai -- and initially believed him over Cirie -- confronted Tai and demanded he tell her the truth. That's when Tai, instead of lying, admitted that he considered Sarah the biggest threat at that point. Sarah then realized Tai was trying to vote her out, which is exactly what Cirie had warned her about.
Sarah wanted nothing to do with Tai in that moment, and Tai seemed to immediately realize he had made a mistake by being so honest. Tai was caught in a web of lies.
In order to try to secure a buddy in this game with mutual trust, since Sarah was no longer an option, Tai told Brad that he had two hidden Immunity Idols in his possession. Tai said he trusted Brad going forward and wanted Brad to trust him in return. However, Tai had burned him before by voting out Sierra Dawn Thomas among other betrayals, so he wondered if he could believe what Tai was pitching him.
On Day 36, the Final 6 castaways competed in an Individual Immunity Challenge in which they had to run through a maze and ultimately solve a 41-piece compass puzzle. The winner would also receive Reward in the form of chicken parm with meat sauce garlic bread and key lime pie being delivered to camp.
Brad won Individual Immunity for the third time this season. He got to choose one person to join him for the Reward, and he picked his best buddy Troyzan, saying he hadn't enjoyed a Reward in quite a long time. Brad then got to select one other person to join him, and he chose Sarah.
No one knew about Sarah's "Legacy Advantage," so she was sitting pretty at the next Tribal Council session. Because of her falling out with Cirie and Tai, Sarah believed her only options to go to the end were with Brad and Troyzan.
When the threesome were enjoying their Reward, they discussed making Tai play one of his idols and voting out Aubry, who is a smart player and would be able to plead her case well to the jury at the Final Tribal Council.
Brad then told Tai that he needed "a leap of faith" from him since Tai had already betrayed him so many times. Brad asked -- or rather demanded -- that Tai give him one of his hidden Immunity Idols to hold in order to ensure there was trust and loyalty between them.
Brad promised Tai they would go to the Final 3 together if he held up his end of the bargain, and Tai felt he had lost control of his destiny in the game. When Tai vented to Brad about that possibility, Brad didn't deny that Tai had lost control. He made Tai feel worse about the decisions he had made.
Brad, however, had no intention of taking Tai to the Final 3. He told Troyzan they must vote him out as soon as possible.
Tai then cried to Aubry about how Brad was bullying him over the idol. During their conversation, Cirie joined in and tried to make peace with Tai. Cirie promised Tai she wouldn't screw him over again and they needed to work together to take out Troyzan and Sarah -- one of Brad's three.
Tai didn't want to follow Brad's demands, but he also didn't trust Cirie. Tai had an emotional breakdown 10 minutes before Tribal Council, and Aubry couldn't believe that her game was in Tai's hands again after their experience together on Survivor: Kaoh Rong.
At Tribal Council that night, Sarah told Jeff it felt like five people against Tai. While everyone was lying to each other, Sarah said Tai was getting all the heat because he wasn't taking responsibility for his actions.
Before Jeff read the votes, Tai decided to play one of his hidden Immunity Idols for himself, as well as his second idol for Aubry, who was absolutely thrilled. Sarah then played her secret "Legacy Advantage," which served as immunity for her, and then Troyzan shockingly played his hidden Immunity Idol.
Because of this shocking turn of events, Cirie was the only person who could receive votes, so no matter what happened, she'd be the castaway going home. Jeff announced it was a historic Tribal Council with the most idols ever played, the most people declared safe, and because of the fact no one actually voted for Cirie, the person eliminated.
Cirie was voted out simply because there was no other choice, so there was no reason to re-vote. She became the 15th person voted out of Survivor: Game Changers and the eighth member of this season's jury.
"This has been one of the most grand experiences of my life. It changed me. I would have never done any of this stuff if I didn't get off that couch 11 years ago," Cirie told Jeff before her torch was snuffed.
"I never would have met so many different people. I never would have had so many amazing experiences. It is bitter sweet, but I'm going out in grand style because it's never happened before. It makes this experience even more grand for me."
Tai, Cirie and Aubry had all voted for Sarah, while Sarah and Troyzan voted for Tai. Brad had voted for Aubry.
On Day 37, the remaining five castaways gathered for another Individual Immunity Challenge in which they had to each move three small balls through a series of metal obstacles with a paddle.
No surprise here -- Brad won his fourth Individual Immunity Challenge of the season and guaranteed himself a spot in the Final 4. Knowing she was on the chopping block, Aubry was ready to fight and make a pitch to stay, because Brad, Troyzan and Sarah had already decided Aubry must go.
Once everyone returned to camp after the challenge, Aubry spoke to Sarah and Tai about how they would only have a 50 percent chance to make it to the end if they voted her out, reason being Brad was going to take Troyzan with him to the Final 3 no matter what.
Aubry explained that if the pair took out Troyzan with her, however, there would be two open spots with Brad in the Final 3. Brad would have no obvious choice of castaway to take with him. Sarah once again found herself in the middle, in a swing-vote position.
Sarah thought it was vital to work with Tai on this, so she reminded him privately about how she had his back throughout the entire game. Tai then told Sarah that Aubry needed to go because she was a great player and he couldn't beat her in the end. Brad also told Tai that he would control who goes to the Final 3 and Tai would go with him as long as he voted as instructed going forward.
Tai and Brad wanted the same thing, Aubry gone, but Tai hated how Brad spoke to him. Tai thought Brad had no respect for him, so he appeared to change his mind at the last minute, telling Sarah to flip on Brad and vote out his buddy Troyzan.
At Tribal Council that night, Aubry admitted she was on the chopping block. She also revealed her thoughts on everyone voting for Troyzan as to make Brad's potential Final 3 decision more difficult.
Jeff eventually read the votes, and three castaways had voted for Aubry while only one person voted for Troyzan. It was the first time Troyzan had received a vote.
"I decided to not be cagey and go for broke at Tribal, but Survivor has taught me that you can't control everything, and I gave it my best shot and I took everything that I could from the experience," Aubry said in tears in her final words. "I'm so excited to be on the jury. I'm so freaking excited to watch these psychopaths."
On Day 38, the four remaining castaways met Jeff again for the final Individual Immunity Challenge of the season, which required each player to race through an obstacle course and down a waterslide and then solve a lighthouse puzzle. The winner would guarantee him or herself a spot at the Final 3 Tribal Council session, while the next person voted out would be the 17th eliminated castaway and the final person of Season 34's jury.
Tai was the only person with a shot to catch up to Brad in the challenge, but Brad pulled out another win -- his fifth Individual Immunity win overall. Because Tai has betrayed him many times throughout the game and done him wrong the most, Brad told the cameras Tai was going home next and Sarah would join himself and Troyzan in the Final 3.
Brad thought he could beat every single person left in the game, so he wasn't really concerned about the decision he was about to make. Not only did he win five challenges and carry allies to the end, but he also has experience as a trial attorney and thought he could plead his case wonderfully to the jury.
Tai figured Brad would vote him out because of his many betrayals, so he talked to Sarah about forcing a 2-2 tie in which Sarah and Troyzan would compete against each other in a fire-making challenge at Tribal.
Sarah had to choose whether to work with Tai again -- and potentially take out Troyzan -- or simply trust that Brad and Troyzan would take her to the end. Sarah knew she was risking her fate in the game either way, and she said her choice was all about whom she could beat in the end.
With that said, Brad, Troyzan and Sarah all voted out Tai.
"Would I like to be in the Final 3 and possibly win? I mean, I do a lot. I made a couple of big moves socially. People liked me. This is a really tough game but I bounce back and just grow stronger," Tai said following his ouster.
The following day, on Day 39, Sarah, Brad and Troyzan enjoyed a final feast before the Final Tribal Council session. Sarah was prepared to be honest with the jury in the hope of winning the game, but both Brad and Troyzan were already confident they would win the game.
At the Final Tribal Council, the last three castaways standings were confronted by the jury -- Hali, Ozzy, Debbie, Zeke, Sierra, Andrea, Michaela, Cirie, Aubry and finally Tai.
Given this is a Game Changers season in which there were a lot of "firsts" such as Sarah played the steal-a-vote advantage correctly, Jeff declared the final tribal was going to be about the game's three important aspects: Outwit, outplay and outlast.
Jeff explained that in order to "outwit," one must have social game, emotional intelligences and alliances. To "outplay," a castaway must appropriately respond to conditions put on him or her by the game, including twists and swaps. And to "outlast," a player must put people on the jury who still respect his or her ability to outwit and outplay his or her two opponents in the Final 3.
Zeke complimented Sarah on outwitting others by building amazing relationships. He said he gave Sarah his jacket, which she wore after putting him on the jury, and Sierra gave her the "Legacy Advantage" without knowing Sarah was controlling the game as well as her elimination fate. Zeke said he was Sarah's "champion" and he wished her the best.
Andrea told Sarah that she had some brilliant game moves and convinced everyone that she was their best friend, however, she felt "kind of gross." Andrea cried, asking Sarah if she knew the effect she'd have on people's feelings and emotions with her aggressive gameplay. Andrea wanted to feel good about whom she was voting for at the end of the day.
Sarah explained her personal relationships were "100 percent real" from the bottom of her heart, but Ozzy wondered whether they could trust what she was saying, even now. Ozzy said there is a way to win the game without going as low as she went. Ozzy said it's extremely hard to win Individual Immunity Challenges one after the next to stick around, and so he was Brad's "champion."
Cirie pointed out that Sierra was the brains of Brad and Troyzan's operation, but Brad explained that after a swap, he maintained friendships on the two tribes, prompting J.T. Thomas to reveal that Sierra was his tribe's vote target. Brad was then able to switch the vote to Malcolm, eliminating a huge threat in the game who could've taken them all out.
Michaela asked Brad how much he knew about her considering this game is all about social relationships. Andrea said Brad was lacking in that category.
Sarah, however, was so good at putting on appearances that she was everybody's best friend. Andrea asked Sarah how she achieved that, and Sarah explained that as a police officer, she often plays roles -- such as a drug dealer or a prostitute -- and she's able to separate who she really is from the situation.
Sarah was therefore able to lie and backstab with no problem. With that said, Debbie announced, "I have zero respect for you and your gameplay."
Michaela replied to Debbie's comment, saying that Sarah sent her packing but she didn't take it personally. Michaela said she understood why Sarah took her out -- because she was the only person who could beat Brad. Upon hearing that statement, Brad had a confused and shocked look on his face.
Troyzan told the jury he established a personal relationship with each person. Ozzy told Troyzan there's a difference between being a passenger and a driver. Troyzan said he made suggestions but didn't make direct voting decisions once he was inside his alliance. He said he was more sneaky about the strategy. Aubry pointed out that it sounded like Sandra Diaz-Twine with less of the sass.
Sierra said Troyzan was a part of the votes; he just did it in a more subtle way.
Andrea acknowledged that Brad never tried to get close to people on the bottom, like Michaela and Tai. Brad said he was like "oil and water" with Michaela, but Tai called Brad out for speaking to him in a controlling, condescending manner. Brad's social game was clearly in question.
Debbie noted that Brad isn't a warm and cuddly person but that she loved him anyway. Zeke then argued that Sarah was driving this ship all along. Zeke said Sarah always knew how to vote because she was always directing the vote.
Ozzy said the "outplay" portion of the game went to Brad because he provided for the tribe and won challenges he needed to. Ozzy said Brad was in control of his own destiny in this game and he played to win from the start.
Sarah argued that Brad is a professional athlete and she could only rely on the tools she had in the "outplay" department. Sarah therefore found a way to make Sierra "will" her advantage to her, and she also paid attention to detail, like when she found Michael's secret advantage at a Reward Challenge -- and then turned around and used it against her, which Michaela called "brilliant."
After Brad and Sarah each gave one last argument for why they should win the game, Troyzan just thanked the jury for being a part of his dream and his amazing journey on the show. Troyzan realized he wasn't going to win, but he was so happy just to have had the chance to play again.
With the two-hour finale of Survivor: Game Changers set to air May 24 at 8PM ET/PT, followed by the live reunion special, Probst has teased what viewers can expect to see unfold on television.
"Hmm... let's see... how many times have I said, 'This season is called Game Changers and it lives up to the name!' Well, I'm gonna say it one more time. I promise. More game-changing moments still to come," Probst teased to Entertainment Weekly.
The castaways still in the running for $1 million and the title of "Sole Survivor" are Aubry Bracco, Tai Trang, Brad Culpepper, Sarah Lacina, Troy "Troyzan" Robertson and Cirie Fields.
Probst has given credit where credit is due for each of the finale contenders. While some luck is definitely involved, it inarguably takes some level of skill and determination to make it to the Final 6 in any season.
Probst called Bracco "one of the smartest" players of all time, according to The Hollywood Reporter, adding that she has "once again put herself within striking distance of the end, much like the first time she played Survivor."
"Aubry has had to work hard every step of the way," Probst said. "[She] must continue to play the way she has for the past 35 days: moment by moment, and look for an opening."
Going into the Survivor: Game Changers finale, Trang has two hidden Immunity Idols in his possession; however, he doesn't have a clear alliance.
"Still a very popular player amongst fans, Tai has once again struggled this season with his emotions," Probst explained.
"If you play Survivor with any degree of a conscience, it will be brutalized. Tai is at a crossroads and needs to get it together. With two idols, he has the most power in the game and he has shown in the past that he is willing to be risky in how he plays them. Now it comes down to what decision he makes, and does he time it right."
The castaways seem to have mixed feelings on Culpepper in the game, but he's been a clear target in the last several episodes.
"Culpepper came out very strong, but seems to be waning a bit in these last days," Probst told The Reporter.
"I think he is seen as a threat and people want him out. Plus, his relationship with Troyzan is no secret, and that's another strike against him as having two votes with only six people left is a giant advantage. The pressure is on him to find a way to stay in the game."
Lacina has been playing a pretty cutthroat game so far, as she's not afraid to blindside, lie and betray allies, following in the footsteps of her buddy and fellow police officer Tony Vlachos.
"Sarah has played an aggressive game from start to finish," Probst said.
"The last Tribal Council has left things very up in the air regarding who Sarah can trust and who trusts Sarah. Her relationship with Cirie is in question as is her relationship with Tai. She has the Legacy Advantage, which guarantees her safety at the next Tribal Council, but after that? It's going to get bloody."
Fields attempted to play a steal-the-vote advantage she was holding for Lacina in the penultimate episode, but it backfired because the rules didn't allow her to actually play it.
Fields therefore divulged her plan to take away Lacina's vote without knowing she was powerless to actually make that move. Fields' motive was to keep Lacina safe, but the police officer saw it as a betrayal since no explanation had been provided prior to that moment.
However, Fields is a very likeable player with a fantastic social game.
"It has been another amazing season of nuanced game play by Cirie. There's a reason she is a fan favorite," Probst noted.
"She attempted a very big move last Tribal, and it backfired. Now [her sidekick Michaela Bradshaw] is gone, and she has some explaining to do to Sarah. Cirie's strength is her ability to maneuver within alliances; her weakness is she does not do well in challenges, so she rarely controls her own fate. And the biggest obstacle Cirie faces is nobody wants to go up against her in the end."
And then there is Robertson, who has an idol in his pocket but has played a more quiet, under-the-radar game than his opponents.
"Nobody wanted a second shot at playing Survivor more than Troyzan," Probst told The Reporter.
"He waited a long time for this shot and he has put himself in a very good position. He has what appears to be a tight partnership with Culpepper, and he has held onto his idol for nearly the entire game. Two keys. Of anyone left, he has the best odds of getting to the end."
Floyd, a 21-year-old college drum major from Boulder, CO, and Becca, a 26-year-old rock climbing instructor from Boulder, CO, were ousted from the around-the-world competition in the tenth leg because Floyd appeared to come down with heat exhaustion and dehydration while attempting to complete a Roadblock task in Vietnam.
Because of Floyd's condition, the team was not able to complete the leg and arrive at the Pit Stop at Hang Mua Peak. Instead, The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan met them at the task Floyd had just finished to deliver the bad news of their ouster.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World via email, Floyd talked about his The Amazing Race experience. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: It was hard watching last night's episode when you kept getting rejected at the shrimp trap Roadblock because you gave it everything you had. What did your condition turn out to be? Did the medic say you suffered heat exhaustion and dehydration?
Floyd Pierce: Yep! I was having a heatstroke, and they basically brought all hands on deck to bring my body temperature down. After drinking water and using cold towels, they had me sit in an air conditioned van for a little while. What was really intense was I became a little delirious, and even slightly hallucinated.
Reality TV World: How hot was it that day? And how long did you spend bicycling that giant load around until you finally completed the Roadblock task?
Floyd Pierce: I don't know exactly how it was, at least 90 degrees for sure. It was also incredibly humid. I estimate that I spent about three-and-a-half hours lugging that bicycle around.
Reality TV World: When your load first got rejected, it was because you thought you could drop the majority of traps off and then go back for the rest. Did you happen to misread the clue's instructions or was the clue not specific in telling you that?
Floyd Pierce: It definitely wasn't the clue's fault. What happened was, when I thought I was in sight of the fisherman's village, my bike fell again and some traps fell off. I figured I might as well go drop off the rest and then come back for those.
It was then that I was told that I had to keep all of them with me, and I noticed a lot more had fallen off than I originally believed. Watching the episode, I was shocked to see that some fell off at the very beginning! Looking back, I should have taken more time to tie the skinnier traps tighter -- I kind of just hung them on.
Reality TV World: It must have been devastating to go out before the Final 4. We heard Becca talk about the situation a lot in last night's episode, but how did you feel about it?
Floyd Pierce: After recovering from my heatstroke, I was pretty depressed. I felt like I let Becca down, and even though we smiled through it, it took about a week for me to mostly get over it. Now, I'm happy that I got to share this moment with the world, as I am choosing to learn and grow from this failure rather than letting it bog me down.
Reality TV World: Do you think in a twisted way it's actually better to get eliminated the way you did considering you put all physical effort possible into it rather than getting sent home because you made a mistake or just finished a leg in last place because you got stuck in traffic or something? I'd think your situation would be a little easier to swallow.
Floyd Pierce: It's definitely better than getting eliminated from a lost passport, haha. In all seriousness, it was nice to go out that way, but I would still prefer that it never happened.
Reality TV World: At one point, Becca was shown saying she wished she had done the shrimp trap Roadblock task instead since you were struggling with it. Considering Matt Ladley flew through it, what exactly did the task require in order to be successful, and -- given Becca's strengths or weaknesses -- do you think she would have excelled at it or no?
Floyd Pierce: The two skills that were most important for that challenge were balance and bicycle skills. I know that Becca is a much better and more frequent bicyclist than I am, and Matt has great balance as a snowboarder and general professional athlete. Matt's a gangster, and while Becca admits it was a hard challenge, I'm sure she would've done a better job.
Reality TV World: The show made it seem like, at first, it was all teams against Vanck Zhu and Ashton Theiss, and then more recently, all teams against Tara Carr and Joey Covino. Can you talk about that? Exactly which teams were in your alliance?
Floyd Pierce: "Team Fun" didn't really have an alliance with anyone. We loved Matt and [Redmond Ramos], mainly because we were at the top with them a lot.
The Tara and Joey situation is very similar to Vanck and Ashton -- there were several times when we saw how smart and strong both of those teams were, yet they kept their strengths and strategy incredibly secret. For instance, we learned Tara could speak multiple languages but she deliberately didn't tell anyone. Things like that scared us, we were all still strangers after all.
Reality TV World: One of the more hilarious storylines this season is Brooke Camhi and Scott Flanary's relationship. What's your take on how they raced together? And given you're all about having fun and being positive and optimistic, how do you think you would've handled Brooke as your partner? (Laughs)
Floyd Pierce: I love Brooke and Scott! Everyone handles stress in different ways, and it just happens their method was more extreme than most people's. I think at the time we viewed them as a mid-level team. They were quite dramatic, but every now and then there would be a challenge they would absolutely crush, so clearly something was working.
Brooke and I would've been just fine as a team. While we handle the Race in different ways, I would not be worried about working with her. I've hung with her outside of the show and love her, so I bet we would've been able to be a special duo.
Reality TV World: Becca selected you after the initial suitcase challenge. If you had finished the challenge in first place and had your pick of anyone just based on first impressions, whom do you think you would've selected and why? (Your answer doesn't necessarily mean it would've been a good partnership or better than what you had with Becca).
Floyd Pierce: The two people I was between was Matt and [London Kaye]. I gravitated towards Matt because he looked young like me, so I figured we could bond over that. London smiled at me as I came back with my suitcase, so I thought she looked like a happy, positive person. However, neither of those two could have formed "Team Fun."
Reality TV World: Why did you initially apply to be on The Amazing Race and was it your first time applying?
Floyd Pierce: Who doesn't want to be on The Amazing Race? I watched the show when I was young, and I eagerly awaited until by 21st birthday to apply. I was super lucky because as soon as I turned 21, I applied for the show and immediately got casted.
Reality TV World: I feel like if I asked Becca whether she'd be up to race with you again, she would yell, "Heck yes!" But the way things ended for you was really rough. Would you react the same way if given another opportunity to compete on The Amazing Race?
Floyd Pierce: Are you kidding? Of course I would do it again!! Getting heatstroke has only inspired me to push myself harder and overcome that. I will not be intimidated by that failure.
Reality TV World: At the time you left the Race, which team were you hoping would win The Amazing Race? And which team did you think was most deserving to win?
Floyd Pierce: Matt and Redmond for both of those! We became great friends with them, and they are great guys who were running an incredible race.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for our exclusive interview with Floyd's The Amazing Race partner Becca Droz.
After Andrea Boehlke went home, the Maku Maku tribe voted out Michaela at Tribal Council on Night 35 of the game. Michaela became the fourteenth person voted out of Game Changers and the season's seventh jury member after she received four out seven votes from Brad Culpepper, Troy "Troyzan" Robertson, Sarah Lacina and Tai Trang.
Michaela and Aubry Bracco had voted for Tai, while Cirie Fields voted to oust Aubry from Survivor: Game Changers. Michaela said before her exit that she didn't think it made any sense for the tribe to vote her out at this point in time.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, the day after Michaela's elimination aired, Michaela talked about her Survivor: Game Changers experience. Below is the concluding portion of her interview.
Reality TV World: At the time you left the game, what did you predict would happen next? Did you think Sarah and Cirie would work things out or that their friendship/alliance was done?
Michaela Bradshaw: I predicted the exact vote order that happened in the game! (Laughs) We'll just leave it at that.
Reality TV World: Ironically, the steal-a-vote advantage is what got you eliminated because of how things unfolded, and that advantage was supposed to be yours -- it was placed on the dock you were sitting on when you were not picked to compete in a previous Reward Challenge. What's your reaction to that?
Michaela Bradshaw: I think it's poetic! I think God was teaching me a lesson. You know, I'm young and I'm fiery and I've been told multiple times by my mentors, like, "Michaela, the same fire that, when in a fireplace, can warm a family and make you comfortable is the same fire that can go out of control and burn a house down."
And it's something that I need to work on. I had an amazing opportunity with that advantage, but because I was focusing on the negatives of the situation instead of the positives, I ended up missing one thing that could've saved my life in the game. But because it didn't save my life, it sealed my fate in this game. So, I'm not mad about it. I just used it as a very expensive learning tool. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: When you first realized you had missed that advantage, was it really frustrating?
Michaela Bradshaw: Sarah actually told me on the island. She said she took it from under where I was sitting. She told me exactly what it was, and you know, I'm just not a bitter person. I was just like, "Oh, that's smart for you." But I never thought it would come back to bite me as hard as it did.
I was excited to watch that episode though because I wanted to see exactly where [the advantage] was. And it was literally right behind my ankle; it's ridiculous... [I was] tired, hungry, mad, you know.
Reality TV World: There was an interesting scene in last night's episode in which you told Brad to go fishing, and he told the cameras he wasn't going to give in to your "diva demands." So it seemed like you had a problem with Brad specifically. What was all that about?
Michaela Bradshaw: Brad and I never got along that whole game. It was kind of like the tension between myself and Sierra was between me and Brad too. And it wasn't from me to them; it was from them to me from the moment I swapped into their tribe. To this day, I don't know what was behind it.
I hope they'll come out and tell me at the finale, but I don't know. So, the thing though was that Brad didn't really talk to me at all on the island. And when that [Andrea Boehlke] vote was going down, it was supposed to be Brad, but I knew there was this movement brewing to vote out Andrea.
And while this movement is brewing, Brad disappears and now people are worried he's off looking for an idol, which makes you want to get rid of him even more. But I didn't want Brad to go home because I was starving, and Brad is the one person that can catch fish.
So that's why I went and found Brad, and you know, I can't trust Brad, so I can't say, "Hey, Brad, we really want to vote out Andrea and if you just calm down and be useful right now, then you can just vote Andrea too. And then we'll all be here together, and you can go fish."
All I could really say was, "Yo, it would be really great if you could go fishing." I just spent time telling people, "Wait, if we vote off Brad then there is not going to be any food!" Right?
So I didn't articulate that as tactfully as I should have, but it just really surprised me when he came out with his "blackmail" accusation, like, that's the best thing you can think of, that I'm trying to blackmail you to go fishing?" Like, get out of here.
Reality TV World: Looking back, do you think it was the right move to take out Andrea when it ultimately decreased your alliance's numbers and Brad was an easy target? Because Andrea probably would've voted with Cirie and yourself, and now that your gone, Cirie unfortunately blew a 5 to 3 numbers advantage in the last two Tribal Councils.
Michaela Bradshaw: Yeah, I do think it was a good thing, the reason being that Andrea and Aubry were a pair, and you haven't seen Aubry talk to me, like at all, this entire season even though Aubry and I had been on every single tribe together.
So what does that mean? Something was up between me and Aubry. Aubry voted for me and she's been running from me since, like, Day 1 for some reason. So I can't trust -- if Andrea's No. 1 is Aubry, then I can't really trust that part of our alliance either. So one of them needed to go.
Had Andrea came to me and said, "I want to vote Sarah," I would've been down with that! But Andrea didn't come to me and talk strategy. She talked strategy with Aubry, and Aubry would go to Cirie, and then Cirie would come to me. So that's too long of a chain for me to be trying to play with. And that's why I don't think the Andrea vote was a bad vote.
Reality TV World: You said in your final words it was a compliment to get voted out because it meant people thought they couldn't beat you in the end, but some people are arguing you were still in the game at this point because some tribe members viewed you as a goat to take to the end. What would you say to those critics?
Michaela Bradshaw: I would say to the critics, first of all, look back at [Tasha Fox]'s speech in Second Chance when she was looked at as a goat. What she said in response to [Joe Anglim] was, "I work in corporate America, and I know what I need to do as a black woman to advance." She got herself to the Final 3 playing the same game that she has to play every day in her real life.
And that's the type of game that was forced upon me in Game Changers. I had to be quiet, I had to do what I was told, I had to not be too smart but not be too dumb. Don't be too fast, but don't be too slow. I had to minimize myself to make other people feel comfortable.
And the only way I can prove that I knew what was going on is somehow, my name keeps coming up and I keep getting votes, but I know that I'm not going home. And how do I know that I'm not going home?
Because I'm eating snacks at Tribal Council. I'm going to sit in my seat, clap my hands, and I'm going to be an entertaining jester while you're over here trying to figure out what's happening. And that's the way I had to play. I couldn't let people know what I know.
But I feel like if I would've gotten to the end of that game, I would've been able to articulate the type of game I played, the reason I had to play that game connected to real life with issues certain people in America have to deal with, and then, let it be up to the jury at that point. So my game was to be underestimated, and I feel like I did that, but not to the point I would have been cast as a goat at the end.
Reality TV World: Earlier in the season, some people said some really harsh things about you, like how you were annoying and they couldn't stand to be around you. Did it surprise you how vocal your fellow castaways were about their problems with you? Did you realize your dynamic with them was that bad while you were out there?
Michaela Bradshaw: Yeah, but I also realized how easy it was at the beginning for people to be like, "Michaela has a bad attitude. Yeah Michaela is lazy," What, she's lazy? Cue a clip of me picking up firewood and bringing it to the camp. "Oh Michaela is a baby and she doesn't do anything." Cue a clip of me assisting my team in winning challenges.
I think it became very obvious that, yo, these things people are saying that make Michaela bad to be around, that stuff is not really true. So where are you getting it from? And I love that the editing was able to show that, because you know, I'm lazy and I'm eating all the sugar. You said that, but actually, I didn't!
So all of these people that had all of this negative stuff to say about me, it was just a matter of time in the game until the editing showed that actually you were wrong, dodo birds. That's not even Michaela yet you have this little thing against me. I hope at the finale people get a chance to air out whatever that [frustration] was, because I'm still, a year later, trying to figure it out.
Reality TV World: At the time you left the game, did you assume the jury was going to be bitter? Because Cirie apparently thought that since she wanted to keep Sarah around to the end. Cirie thought Sarah had betrayed and lied to enough people that they wouldn't reward her with $1 million.
Michaela Bradshaw: I viewed that as a horrible idea and I said that to Cirie. Most of the time, she was convinced. So again, the same people that might've thought I was a goat were the people who were like, "Oh, let me take Sarah to the end," and you know, we'll see.
But yeah, do I think the jury was bitter? Yes! I think people's feelings were hurt because a lot of people think highly of themselves and were just waiting and itching for the chance to play this game again.
However, I think at that final Tribal Council when all the people are talking, and you put someone like me on the jury, for certain people, that is horrible jury management. The same articulation I would use to let people see what I did in the game, those are the same words I would use to help people understand, "You can't be mad because someone played this game better than you."
In a season called Game Changers, you don't be a bitter jury. You award the money to the person who played the best game, and the best game just so happens to include you being on the jury this time. So, you know, that's just how I feel about that. Bitter jury? We'll see! It's going to be fireworks [in the finale]. Everything is going to be so cool.
To read the first half of Reality TV World's exclusive Survivor: Game Changers interview with Michaela Bradshaw, click here.
Maku Maku eliminated and seemingly blindsided Andrea at Tribal Council on Night 33 of the game with six out of eight votes from Michaela Bradshaw, Sarah Lacina, Cirie Fields, Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang, and Troy "Troyzan" Robertson. Andrea became the thirteenth person voted out of the game and the season's sixth jury member.
Andrea and her close ally, Aubry Bracco, had voted for Brad since he's a big physical threat, thinking that Sarah, Cirie and Michaela were with them.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, the day after Andrea's elimination aired, Andrea talked about her Survivor: Game Changers experience. Below is the concluding portion of what she had to say.
Reality TV World: When you were watching the Tribal Council unfold in which Michaela Bradshaw went home from the jury, what was going through your mind after Cirie Fields learned she could not play Sarah Lacina's advantage? There was so much whispering going on, and I'm sure the jury's perspective was unique.
Andrea Boehlke: Yeah, I was very confused, because I didn't know the dynamic back at camp. It was kind of hard to say what was happening. It looked like Cirie tried -- we thought Cirie tried to take out Sarah because she stole her vote. Why would you ever think Cirie is taking Sarah's advantage to save Sarah? It's so weird! So we were very, very confused.
And then when Sarah took [Tai Trang]'s vote instead of Cirie's, it was very shocking, and Michaela was the last person that I thought was going to be leaving. So it made for a very juicy Tribal Council for sure.
Reality TV World: Zeke Smith and yourself had a very interesting storyline this season. You were both great friends and allies, and then you turned on each other. You seemed angry and bitter at times, while Zeke wasn't thrilled to work with you towards the end of his days on the show. So what happened with Zeke after you got voted out? Were you quickly able to patch things up?
Andrea Boehlke: We patched things up right away. We realized it's a game. Zeke is a huge fan of Survivor and he's a great guy. We realized that in the game, we just started butting heads. I think we're also pretty similar. We both wanted to take control, and we both like being the center of attention. (Laughs)
I mean, I speak for both of us because I think it's kind of great, but we both just wanted to make some big moves. When you have two people like that, it's not going to go well. And looking back, we were able to laugh about it. It was maybe a bumpy road, but we're on good terms right now.
Reality TV World: Zeke had said in one of his interviews after getting voted out of the show that part of the reason he attempted to orchestrate your vote off was because you two had been friends for years before competing on this season together and he was a little hurt and disappointed that after Jeff Varner outed him as transgender, you didn't comfort him. What's your reaction to that? Do you wish you had handled that situation differently after the fact?
Andrea Boehlke: I was very surprised that Zeke felt that way, because in my mind, I was there for him. You saw how emotional I got at that Tribal Council, and I had his back. I guess I didn't show it as much as I felt it, and I feel bad that Zeke felt I wasn't there for him. Because in my mind, I was 100 percent there for him.
So, I was a little hurt that he said those things in his exit press, because that was not my reality. But if that's how he felt, I can't accuse him of making that up, you know what I'm saying? So yeah, I was just surprised because I thought I had his back and I thought that [he felt] I had his back.
Reality TV World: If Zeke's first Millennials vs Gen X season aired on TV before you guys started filming Game Changers -- as they were filmed back to back -- and Varner realized Zeke was not open, proud and loud about his gender change on his first season, do you think the whole outing situation never would have happened?
Andrea Boehlke: I think so. I think it's really difficult for any of us to get inside Jeff Varner's head. I don't really know what he was thinking.
Reality TV World: Hali Ford, Debbie Wanner and Sierra Dawn Thomas all agreed that the cruel backlash Jeff Varner has received since the Zeke incident aired is too harsh and unnecessary. I guess he's even received death threats. Given your tight friendship with Zeke and knowing how much that disclosure hurt him, what's your response to the reaction Varner has been getting?
Andrea Boehlke: I don't think anyone should ever receive death threats. That's absurd. Obviously Varner is hurting from all of this, you know, as well. So, I think it's just unacceptable. But that's just the world we live in! No one should ever receive death threats is basically what it comes down to. I would never wish that upon anyone no matter what they said.
Reality TV World: At the time you got voted out of the game, what was your knowledge of idols and who had them? Were you shocked to find out Tai had two in his possession?
Andrea Boehlke: I was really bad with knowing who had idols this season. I stepped over the "Legacy Advantage" at the marooning and then Troyzan found his idol right in front of me. So, I do not have a good relationship with idols at all. I had no idea that Tai found two, but I think we all suspected that if anyone had them, it would've been Tai.
Reality TV World: Looking back on your game this season, do you have any regrets or wish you had done anything differently?
Andrea Boehlke: I think what I tried to do this season was try to not be so paranoid and try to chill a little bit, but I almost think that ended up hurting me. And I could've been checking in with people more.
There were times I had to go talk to somebody and I would force myself to sit down and chill so people wouldn't think I was freaking out. But now I'm thinking people got nervous about me because I wasn't checking in as much.
Reality TV World: What did you think about Sarah's decision to take out Michaela? It seemed like she wanted to take out Cirie's sidekick as revenge for Cirie attempting to eliminate her own sidekick in Tai. What do you think?
Andrea Boehlke: I think it was a really good move because Michaela is really good at challenges and she was right there with Cirie. So I thought it was a pretty brilliant move to take out Cirie's sidekick.
Reality TV World: Once Michaela got voted out of the tribe and sent to Ponderosa, what did you predict would happen next at that time? Did you think Sarah and Cirie would team up again, or that their relationship was over?
Andrea Boehlke: I thought Sarah and Cirie's relationship was over because of [the steal-a-vote advantage]. Because it looked like Cirie was trying to take Sarah's advantage and then that failed. So I thought for sure those two were going to be done working with each other.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you were asked to play Survivor again, and would you be up for another season if given the opportunity?
Andrea Boehlke: I was stoked to be asked again because I really didn't think that I would be, and it was such an honor to be asked to come back for a third time. I'm never going to shut the door completely on Survivor, but for now, I'm going to chill. I'll take a few years off.
To read the first half of Reality TV World's exclusive Survivor: Game Changers interview with Andrea Boehlke, click here.
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