Exclusive: Leif Manson talks about 'Survivor: One World' (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 04/19/2012
Leif Manson, a 27-year-old phlebotomist from San Diego, CA, was eliminated from Survivor: One World's merged Tikiano tribe during Wednesday night's tenth episode of the CBS reality series' 24th edition.
Leif was voted out of his tribe at the season's tenth Tribal Council session, the fourth session for the mixed-gender tribe since the merge, after he was just another male victim on the all-female alliance's list.
On Thursday, Leif talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: One World experience -- including whether he was surprised to be voted out of the game when he was, how he had envisioned the vote would turn out and why he was really disappointed at the outcome, why he believed the women had split their votes between himself and Greg "Tarzan" Smith at the Tribal Council session, and what he realized his one major regret was after playing his dream game.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Leif. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be voted off or not? In your final words, you said it felt like it was "coming sooner or later." Was it your vote-off that you were referring to?
Leif Manson: I kind of had a feeling like I was trying to the best of my ability to just pull out whatever I could to try to stay in the game as long as possible. It was definitely getting harder and harder and harder as we were going along, and I knew as soon as I got back to camp, and it seemed that [Troy "Troyzan" Robertson] had won immunity, that was definitely a huge sign right there about that. That definitely just sent a big chill up my spine.
Reality TV World: So were you pretty convinced at that point it was either yourself or Tarzan?
Leif Manson: Yeah, yeah. And I know I had talked to [Kim Spradlin] to try to get some kind of reasoning, and I just talked to everybody to try to figure something out -- something else out -- and it just wasn't happening. (Laughs) It just wasn't happening with those girls.
Reality TV World: Troyzan and yourself were the only two people to vote for Kim at Tribal Council. Did that surprise you -- like had you gone into Tribal thinking there was a chance that [Christina Cha] and [Alicia Rosa] might flip and you guys could vote Kim out, or were you pretty certain that wasn't going to happen by the time you got to Tribal?
Leif Manson: I was definitely -- because I knew Troy had been doing his thing. I, myself, had been doing my thing. And I know I had kind of deep down felt like I was going to get the votes at least to try and vote Kim out, because I know Kim had told me that she had this special list. So, I definitely had some ammo on her to tell the rest of the girls that, "This is this list. We need to get her out."
Reality TV World: A list of what order people were going out next in, you mean?
Leif Manson: Yeah, yeah.
Reality TV World: So what was that list? Did she tell you what the order was? (Laughs)
Leif Manson: Got to keep that a surprise. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So based upon that then, it sounds like you actually thought there was a chance that Christina and Alicia might be flipping, right? Because it almost seemed like based upon what they showed at Tribal, Kim and [Chelsea Meissner] might have been a little worried about that too. From what they were saying at the session, they did seem a little nervous I guess.
Leif Manson: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Because I know that I had definitely gotten wind that it was either going to be Tarzan or myself, so I definitely had to kick on the afterburners and try to pull something out.
Reality TV World: So why do you think Christina and Alicia decided not to flip? It seems pretty clear that they are the outside members of that girls' alliance, so do you think they are just happy finishing fifth and sixth, or do you think they believe they have some type of sub-alliance with some of the other women?
Leif Manson: It was hard, because I know Alicia and I had an alliance earlier on in the game, and I know a lot of those alliances just kept falling apart and going elsewhere. So it was hard, but I mean, it was at least good to know that she didn't at least vote me. So, (laughs).
Reality TV World: While last night's episode didn't show the reasoning, the women decided to split their votes between Tarzan and yourself seemingly because they thought Troyzan might have found the hidden Immunity Idol again and possibly have given it to you and negated your votes. Was that your take on it or do you have some other explanation as to why they did that?
Leif Manson: No, yeah. That was exactly what Troyzan and I were planning on doing.
Reality TV World: Tarzan actually voted for you at Tribal. Was that because he knew the women were going to be splitting their votes and he wanted to make sure you went home instead of him, or was there some other reason that you're aware of for that?
Leif Manson: I know that he, yeah, started forming a completely different alliance elsewhere. So, (laughs). He's a very smart man and he wasn't going to be going out like that I guess. (Laughs) So, he beat me to that in a sense.
Reality TV World: Who did he begin forming his alliance with?
Leif Manson: Um, I don't know. You're going to have to just find out. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: In your final words, you said you didn't have any regrets. Did you really mean that at the time, and looking back now, do you still feel that way?
Leif Manson: Ugh, no. (Laughs) My one regret is not voting for Tarzan, because then that would have at least tied us up and then we would all have had to re-vote.
Reality TV World: What do you think would have happened then? Do you think Troyzan would have voted to keep you instead of Tarzan?
Leif Manson: Most likely. Most likely.
Reality TV World: Do you think the game would have played out any differently for you if Colton Cumbie hadn't been evacuated?
Leif Manson: Him and I definitely had a kind of solid pact going on, and I mean, he was -- that was definitely what he was really, really good at -- was manipulation, and things definitely, definitely would have been different -- definitely would have been different.
Reality TV World: What do you think was the key mistake that resulted in the women being in such control of the game? Do you think it was right after the merge, when the men didn't stick together and [Jonas Otsuji] was voted off?
Leif Manson: That was definitely a huge turning point when I heard that Jonas was on the chopping block. I know I did a lot of scrambling. I felt for him knowing that he was going to be next, and I was really trying hard to get all the guys onboard and vote differently.
Above is the first half of our exclusive interview with Leif. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.