Exclusive: Leif Manson talks about 'Survivor: One World' (Part 2)
By Reality TV World staff, 04/20/2012
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 why he thought the men didn't get along well, what the girls were doing to keep the men in the palm of their hands, whether he thought he was at a disadvantage going into the game as a little person, and how he felt Troy "Troyzan" Robertson's aggressive and outspoken behavior was going to affect his position in the game down the road.
Below is the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Leif. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: From talking to the other men that were voted off before you, it seems like the men never really got along that well. Why do you think that was?
Leif Manson: I know there was definitely a whole bunch of other things that the girls were doing with the guys, like putting all these little hints and whispers in our ears and turning us against each other. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: (Laughs)
Leif Manson: Because I know a lot of what I've been seeing is definitely true.
Reality TV World: Kim Spradlin really seems to be running the show out there, based on what we've seen. Was that your take while you were out there -- like what was your general impression of Kim?
Leif Manson: I know Kim and I had like a slight -- not like a full-fledged alliance -- but I know her and I definitely would talk a lot and had different ideas on who to vote. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you were the first little person to compete on Survivor. Had you had any concerns about that before the show started?
Leif Manson: I know I definitely, just seeing all my other teammates that first day, it definitely went through my mind that I really had to prove something. I really had to pull it out for myself big time. I had to prove to them that I'm not just going to lay down and just do whatever. I was going to work extremely hard and prove to them that I'm meant to be here and I had something to prove to myself.
Reality TV World: Did the producers ever express any concerns about your ability to compete on the program, or did you ever ask them why they had never had a little person on the show before? Was it just because no one had ever applied, or was there more to it than that?
Leif Manson: That was definitely -- I mean, that was definitely a surprise. I'm not sure if any other little people had ever applied for Survivor, but that was definitely what made it huge from Day 1 of ever seeing the show. I mean, I just kind of felt like I was destined to be on Survivor one day (laughs) -- to be the first little person to really prove to people out there that I can do anything that they can do.
Reality TV World: In your final words, you said "this has always been one of the No. 1 things" you had always wanted to do. Were you referring toSurvivor specifically there, or did you just mean something more general like camping out on a tropical island?
Leif Manson: Well, I know I had always wanted to be on Survivor from the first episode. (Laughs) And also growing up outside in the woods, I just wanted to get that real million-dollar experience, you know? (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Also in your final words, you said the "whole guys and girls thing" was "definitely an interesting thing." What did you mean by that? Could you elaborate on that a little more?
Leif Manson: I know just at first going into the game and how they played things, where we were pretty much just right next door to each other and it was a guys, girls game, that was something definitely I had never seen or heard about before. So it was definitely a huge game-changer to do something that had never been done before on Survivor. It was definitely weird. (Laughs) It was hard.
Reality TV World: One of the guys I talked to earlier in the season said you probably struggled with the men versus women format the most out of all the guys because you seemed to be more sympathetic to the women and stuff like that.
Leif Manson: To see those girls just freezing their butts off, because they had their little place right on the point there of our beach, and when that wind would get blowing, they would just freeze. I would always be very concerned and was always trying to give them firewood and try to help them out as much as possible, because I've got a bigger heart. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed Greg "Tarzan" Smith and the women upset over the way Troyzan was acting. What was your own take on that? Do you think Troyzan's behavior made him an even bigger target and do you think he was kind of being a bad sport about things, or do you think he was behaving like you would expect him to act?
Leif Manson: I mean, he was definitely being singled out by all the women and that was just giving him more and more strength to just pull out all the stops and to prove to them that he wasn't going anywhere.
Reality TV World: When did you learn Troyzan had found that hidden Immunity Idol he had played on last week's episode -- had he told you about it like he had Jay Byars?
Leif Manson: I know he had actually told me during a -- he had hinted during that immunity -- during the whole voting off when we were about to go to the vote. He looked me in the eyes and then he looked down in his pocket and he showed me. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Were you surprised Jay told Kim about Troyzan's plan during last week's episode to get people to go after Kim after he had found the idol, or is that what you had come to expect from Jay by that point in the game?
Leif Manson: I was -- I thought Jay was going to be at least a little bit more strong of a -- more strategic of a player. I was like him too. He was just playing a lot with his heart and he wasn't really thinking fully about the game at that moment I think. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: What's your general opinion of Kat Edorsson? We haven't seen a lot of her on the show lately.
Leif Manson: Well, what I have seen from the show has definitely painted a different picture about her, but I know she is kind of -- I'm not sure.
I know she had mentioned [something] about her big surgery scar from having open-heart surgery, and I know, coming from a medical background, I know her and I definitely -- I just straight out asked her and we definitely got to talking and becoming a little bit more like friends and an alliance with her with all that. It was nice. I definitely saw a different side of her than I had seen before.
Reality TV World: How about Sabrina Thompson? We saw a lot of her early on, but she's kind of faded into the background it seems recently. What did you think of her while you were out there?
Leif Manson: Sabrina was definitely -- her and I had a lot in common. She is an amazing person. Being a teacher that comes from New York and her struggle with everyday life, I know her and I would go and just have a little pray session everyday just to take our minds out of the game for a moment.
Reality TV World: I was going to ask about Kat and Sabrina. Do you think they are the kind of people who would be content letting Kim and Chelsea Meissner run the show until the end?
Leif Manson: It's really hard to tell. It's hard to tell.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor: One World? How did you end up on the show?
Leif Manson: I know it was like a funny thing. I first tried out for Survivor about a year ago, didn't hear anything back, and then my friends said that they're having an audition for The Amazing Race. And on the application, it said, "Have you ever applied for Survivor?" And I said yes. So that got the huge ball rolling on it. So, (laughs) yeah. It's funny how things work out.
Above is the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Leif. Click here to read the first half.