Exclusive: Julia Landauer talks 'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/02/2013
Julia Landauer, a 21-year-old racecar driver from Stanford, CA, was eliminated from Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' newly-shuffled Bikal tribe during Wednesday night's seventh episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Julia was voted out of her tribe at the season's seventh Tribal Council, the second time in a row the new Bikal tribe had an elimination vote. The "Favorites" on her tribe were just picking off the "Fans" one by one, and now, only one remains.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Julia talked about her Survivor experience and quiet edit. Below is the concluding portion of Julia's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: We didn't get to see much of you this season, and last night's episode showed John Cochran saying that calling you "vanilla" would be a disservice to vanilla...
Julia Landauer: I know right?! You like that monologue?! I got a kick out of it.
Reality TV World: And Cochran was also shown saying something like -- I'm paraphrasing here -- it'd be a disservice to vanilla because some people actually seek out vanilla-flavored products. And Phillip Sheppard was the only castaway who seemed to be clamoring for you. What is your take on that?
Julia Landauer: I mean, I was interested -- I said this a couple times, you know, [Cochran] went on and on. You're beating a dead horse, move on buddy. You're not impressing anyone by this stupid monologue.
I know that's part of Survivor. Cochran, he didn't have a prominent presence around camp either, so it was interesting having that conversation, but he was really great and professional, I'll give him that. But he was kind of quiet. I don't know, it was interesting and unfortunate that people watching didn't get to see more because there's definitely more to me. But you know, it's tough.
At that point, you're going through -- At that point, [Michael Snow] and I were in such a long losing streak, you know, we were pretty beaten down but trying to make the best of it. I don't know, I'm surprised that his critique was that bad, but there's nothing that I felt I could do differently and still be authentic and not alienate people.
Reality TV World: Last week, we also saw Corinne Kaplan call you "boring."
Reality TV World: I noticed at 21-years-old, you were tied with Brandon Hantz for the youngest castaway on this season. Do you think that played any role in why you were so quiet, or is that kind of your normal personality even when you're hanging around with other people the same age as you?
Julia Landauer: Yeah, no. Brandon's a couple months older than me, and so I was "the" youngest. And I was on a much older tribe. Our average age was like 37 or something and that's almost double my lifetime right?! So it definitely was harder throwing in the elements like that. In the beginning, I unfortunately had this awful sunburn. I had this bubble on my face... it was awful.
So that kind of hurt me in the beginning. I was trying to play under the radar and not be the obnoxious person that pisses everyone off and then gets voted off very quickly. But you know, I wasn't going to be anywhere near Corinne on her level -- obnoxious commentary. (Laughs) And I was really sulking a lot.
It was the most different situation I've been in. I've been a student my whole life and a racer so it was different. I think it would be really, really interesting, I think, to see if I played even two years later. I think I did some little things that, in racing, we call "lucky mistakes." And I think that's true.
Even Brandon's my age, but he's played before. So he knows how it works. He's arguably a different type of personality than I am (laughs), and I don't know, I felt definitely like I jumped in the deep end with it. And I would definitely go and do it again, so. I definitely do think that worked a little bit against me, but at the same time, I got to be on Survivor -- which is really, really great.
Reality TV World: Do you have any explanation of why Phillip seemed so interested in you? Cochran said he wasn't sure why.
Julia Landauer: Well he told me -- I mean, I asked him outright why he thought that, and he said, "People who do extraordinary things" -- he must've thought there was some kind of sparkle in my eye about that, you know, racecar driver but he didn't know Stanford student.
I was a go-getter. If you looked at it, you could see that I was a go-getter. I had battled an incredible uphill battle at such a young age, and you know, clearly I'm smart and I think he saw that. And I definitely always really related well to an older crowd, maybe not that old, but I was always with people seven, eight years older than me.
And so I don't know if it's also maturity, but again, it'd be hard to try to understand the inner-workings of Phillip's mind. I was maybe not considered a huge physical threat, and maybe he thought he could just really use me as a double agent that he was saying. But again, I feeling downstrucken, who knows.
Reality TV World: So there's been a lot of discussion this season about whether Phillip was really the leader of the "Favorites" or whether the rest of the "Favorites" were just letting Phillip think he was the leader. And now there's also a third school of thought that they started out letting him think he was the leader but it kind of backfired and he actually became the real leader. (Laughs) What are your thoughts on that? What did you believe while you were out there and has your thinking changed since you've watched the show on TV?
Julia Landauer: Yeah, I mean, with Phillip being the leader, he has such a strong presence and he will shut you down if he doesn't agree with you. He basically said, "F-U, I'm going to go do what I have to." He even said in the episode, you know, that he's got to do what his gut tells him is right. Other people do what their gut tells them is right. It was just kind of like his way is the highway. There was no other way.
And that's incredibly arrogant, and I think people started to see that you have to take a bully down. Phillip is a bully and I'm surprised people didn't gang up against him for the blindside. So I don't know. It was interesting becauseSurvivor doesn't correlate with the real world in that sense, you know? People take a bully down, and no one was taking the bully down there. So it was weird to me.
Reality TV World: What had yourself and Michael been thinking was going to happen once the tribes merged? Like were you guys kind of resigned to your fate and expecting the eight "Favorites" would all reunite and just pick off the four remaining fans, or did you guys think some of the "Favorites" were ready to turn on each other and the "Fans" still had a chance of making it to the end?
Julia Landauer: Well, I think [Matt Bischoff], Michael and I were all disappointed when we found out we were all on the same tribe, because our alliance was clearly at risk at that point. But I think for the next day or two, we really tried to figure out, "Are there any cracks?" And I think we all found that there weren't.
Michael and I had discussed that we were going to be a really tight alliance until it came to one of us or the other one and then each player for themselves. So, we kind of knew we would -- especially by the time Matt was voted off, we knew that we were fighting our lives, especially since no one even wanted to try to blindside Phillip. It was very clear that for whatever reason, they were staying true to their alliance.
Reality TV World: Did you think that might change once the tribes merged or did you think whichever one of you didn't go sooner would go later in the next couple of Tribal Councils?
Julia Landauer: Yeah, I think it would be interesting to see. We were all a little skeptical how it was going to play out and, you know, we were all a little worried, especially because Gota -- who knows what kind of new alliances were going on at the Gota [camp].
But post-merge, it'd be a totally new game, so I think obviously Michael and I really wanted to make it. I think we really both thought it could've gone either way -- either it'd be really great for the person who made it or it's just going to be they're next on the block.
Reality TV World: Since this is a "Fans versus Favorites" season, how familiar were you with the show prior to competing?
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor? How did you end up on the show?
Julia Landauer: Just like everyone else, I sent a video in and it was really interesting because for me, I think racing is so similar toSurvivor in a lot of ways -- highest highs, lowest lows, total mental game but also physical. I thought it would be such a cool way to test my skills and I had a blast doing it.
It was so cool to go through the challenges and see like the iconic challenges like hitting the plaque so you could jump off the platform or building the blocks, which I wasn't ready for. But it was so cool to see it.
And it was a really nerve-wracking process and I feel incredibly luck that at such a young age, you know, I could finish up my quarter at Stanford early and then go out for a summer of Survivor. I mean, what more could a 20-year-old at the time want?
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Julia talked about her Survivor experience and quiet edit. Above is the concluding portion of Julia's interview. Click here to read the first half.