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, Michaela talked about her Survivor: Game Changers experience. Below is the first half of her interview.
Reality TV World: When it comes to the advantage Cirie was holding, I'm wondering why Cirie decided to try to steal Sarah's vote to begin with. Why not just steal Tai's vote and vote twice for him?
Michaela Bradshaw: Well, it's because if Tai has an idol, then it doesn't matter how many votes you vote for him. If he feels like he's not safe and he plays the idol, then you just wasted an advantage. I think what Cirie was trying to do was make it so that Tai didn't know that she was going to do anything against him.
But I think it was dumb to pick Sarah as the person whose vote we were going to steal. We could've just stolen Brad's vote, or Troyzan's vote, you know?
Reality TV World: Right, I was going to suggest that, because it was risky to potentially piss Sarah off with such a move, and it eventually did clearly.
Michaela Bradshaw: Exactly. Exactly. Sarah was not the one. You don't spook Sarah because then she just flips everything upside down and Michaela was sent home. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Is it safe to say Cirie never let you read the steal-a-vote advantage yourself? Because I'm assuming you'd pick up on the fact it was nontransferable.
Michaela Bradshaw: Yeah! Cirie never read the advantage until Tribal Council. And the reason she didn't is because Sarah is so slick that Sarah had Cirie waiting all day for that advantage and then gave Cirie the advantage right before Tribal Council. So Cirie never even had a chance to look at it. The first time she opened it was when she opened it to read it out loud.
Reality TV World: Once Jeff Probst announced Cirie could not use the advantage, Sarah went over to Tai and whispered in his ear. What did you assume she had told him in that moment? And did you believe you got through to Sarah afterward when Cirie and yourself begged her to understand the move was for her benefit?
Michaela Bradshaw: Sarah whispered whom to vote for to Tai. And I specifically asked Tai after that happened, "What did she just tell you?" And Tai didn't say anything. He just made that "I'm scared" face, you know? And that should've been enough for me to know that this was going in the wrong direction.
But at that point in the game, I was exhausted mentally and physically. I hated drama. I hate extra stuff, and I just wanted everyone to be able to go back to camp and just, you know, hash it out there. But little did I know I was not getting another chance to go back to camp. So that's what that was, and chaos ensued.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you wish you had worked harder to persuade Sarah that Cirie and yourself were on her side, that you were still allies.
Michaela Bradshaw: Yeah, and it didn't even have to be persuasion, because honestly, I wasn't even trying to keep Sarah in the game. It would've been persuading everybody else like, "Do you realize that everybody takes their voting cues from Sarah?"
Because that would've been enough for people to be like, "Oh, well, maybe we need to move this thing around." But it was just a chaotic moment and I should've done more to fight for myself and I didn't, and that's why I got sent home!
Reality TV World: Why do you think Sarah stole Tai's vote when she finally decided to use the advantage and vote you out? What good did that do when she had already told Brad and Troyzan to vote for you as well? Because Tai probably would've went along with that.
Michaela Bradshaw: I think Sarah stole Tai's vote because he did not accept her proposition. That's why. It kind of made it feel like, "Alright, I'm going to take your vote, Tai, but you already know the plan, so now you just get to sit here."
Then it also makes it look like, again, that, "Okay, if I'm taking Tai's vote, then you don't have to worry, Michaela." So that's kind of what it looked like. So Sarah is smart and can think on her feet even when things are erratic and chaotic thinking. (Laughs).
Reality TV World: What "proposition" are you referring to exactly that Tai supposedly turned down, just to clarify?
Michaela Bradshaw: I believe that when Sarah got up and initially went over to Tai, I believe that she told Tai to vote for me. That's what I believe.
Reality TV World: Okay, and so you don't think Tai would vote for you?
Michaela Bradshaw: I don't think Tai wanted to because Tai and I had talked earlier about different things. And I don't think it made sense for Tai to vote for me to go home. I don't 100 percent know that, but that's just how I feel, just because I got sent home.
Reality TV World: Why do you think Sarah went after you instead of Cirie, who was responsible for what Sarah seemed to think was a betrayal? Do you think it's because Sarah felt like she got revenge by taking out you, Cirie's sidekick, since Cirie was trying to take out Sarah's sidekick, Tai?
Michaela Bradshaw: Yeah, I think that's exactly it, and I also think that, at this point in the game, one person winning immunity can get to the end of the game by solidifying a Final 3 spot for two people, which means it makes it even harder for a person, who's not one of those two, to get to the end of the game.
The point that we're at now, there are only two people who come close to winning immunity -- there's Brad and then there's me. You have that random [house of cards] thing that Aubry won, but other than that, it's me and it's Brad Culpepper.
So if I'm close with Cirie and I find a way to get that immunity necklace around my neck, then basically Cirie is safe too. And Sarah didn't want that because she felt like Cirie was trying to come after her and that I was trying to come after her.
Reality TV World: A lot of whispering took place at Tribal after Cirie and yourself tried to convince Sarah that you were still working with her. What information did you gather at the time to make you ultimately want to stick with the original plan in voting for Tai?
Michaela Bradshaw: I didn't gather any information. I did the wrong thing. I just sat there and tried to appeal to Sarah, just trying to get her to calm the heck down, and it wasn't working so I just sat down.
It got to the time that it was time to vote, and I didn't know who I was voting for! And I said, "I don't know who I'm voting for!" And that's when Sarah leaned over to me and said, "Vote for Tai." And I did vote that way, because again, I don't like all this extra stuff.
It didn't make sense to me, because it's like, with that extra vote, you just took Tai's vote, and now we're all going to vote for Tai? It didn't make sense numbers-wise. But I did it anyway. And, you know, I wish I would have had some seashells. It maybe would have helped me out. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So did you know whom Cirie was voting for in that moment? Because her vote for Aubry seemed to come out of left field.
Michaela Bradshaw: Yeah. Because here's the thing with Cirie too, the plan going into Tribal Council was, "Everybody, vote Aubry." It was the dumbest plan ever, (laughs) but Sarah had it out for Aubry just like Cirie had it out for Tai. And it was just a problem.
So, you know, Cirie thought, "Okay, I can try to blow up this whole spot and if it doesn't work, I can go back to the original plan." So when Cirie came and whispered in my ear, she whispered, "Okay, original plan," which was Aubry, which didn't make any sense. And that's why I didn't know how to vote.
But then, after all the up and down, Sarah comes back to me and says, "Vote Tai." And Sarah had been whispering with Cirie, so I was like, "Okay, maybe we're switching sides." It was just chaotic! I was confused just like y'all. (Laughs).
Reality TV World: Do you think Cirie was trying to prove her loyalty to Sarah by voting for Aubry, because I know Aubry was Sarah's target going into Tribal Council.
Michaela Bradshaw: No. No, I think Cirie felt like she messed up and she tried to go back. She thought that she could step backwards and be good, but once you step forward and get into a mess, you can't go back. You can't think about going backwards; you've got to double down, and she didn't double down. Everybody could've made a plan right then, just out in the open.
But, you know, these things happen. And Cirie really cares for Sarah! So, it just is what it is, but she tried to go back to the original plan. And that's just not how things work in Survivor.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Michaela's exclusive Survivor: Game Changers interview. And to begin reading what Andrea had to say post-elimination, click here.