Phillip Sheppard, a 54-year-old in software sales from Santa Monica, CA, was voted out of his Enil Edam tribe during Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' Wednesday night episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Phillip was voted out of the game at the season's tenth Tribal Council, the third time the new Enil Edam tribe had an elimination vote, after the minority alliance he was not a part of all utilized individual immunity.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Phillip talked about his experience on the show and the chaotic Tribal Council session that played out during last night's broadcast. Below is the first half of Phillip's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Did you have any suspicion that Malcolm Freberg and/or Reynold Toepfer might have also found the other hidden Immunity Idol or what did you and the rest of your alliance think had happened to it?
She kept saying, "They're going to get me! They're going to vote for me! They're going to vote for me!" And I was trying to convince them to get off of [believing it was] themselves, because I felt I was going to be the one. I thought Malcolm was going to target me if he had a chance. And I thought in fact they would have a double idol and nobody would believe me, so yeah, I did think that.
Reality TV World: So if you had suspected that, had you come up with a plan to address that? Was that the plan you executed when you told your alliance to stick with your original voting plan anyways?
Phillip Sheppard: Yes, I did try to come up with a plan. But as I said to you, I was part of an alliance who wasn't prepared to listen to me. I would've wanted to have an alternate plan, like, "Hey, if he comes out with a double idol, let's vote for [Sherri Biethman]," or, "Let's do this," or, "Let's vote [Erik Reichenbach] out," or whatever. But nobody wanted to entertain that possibility, and I was very, very frustrated.
I was surprised they didn't show that, because there are points when I'm actually arguing quite vehemently that, "I think they have two idols, guys! Guys, think. They might have two! I think Malcolm may in fact have another idol! I mean, we know he was looking all around when we were here the first few days with [Corinne Kaplan]. I think he's acting too confident. He's not even trying to develop relationships or be strategic with any of us. I think he has an idol." I'm talking like that and nobody's listening to me.
Reality TV World: Obviously it was a really crazy Tribal Council, so I have a few questions I want to ask you about what was unfolding there. First, what did you whisper to Brenda immediately after Malcolm did reveal his idol? Had you already decided that sticking with the original plan to split the votes was what you wanted to do at that point, or did you whisper something to her about maybe voting for Andrea or Dawn?
Reality TV World: We know you came up with the idea of sticking with the original voting plan, but I guess I'm trying to understand is was that what you had envisioned from the very beginning at Tribal, or did you go through a few different ideas once you were on the spot? Because we later saw Brenda telling Dawn to vote for Andrea. Did you have any role in that?
Phillip Sheppard: I was very upset with Andrea because she was my ace ally and I felt like prior to us going to Tribal, I tried to get her to consider the possibility that there were in fact two idols, and she dismissed it and poo-pooed it. And so at that moment, I did say to Brenda, I said, "Well, we either need to consider Andrea or Sherri."
Reality TV World: So when Dawn asked Brenda whom she should vote for and Brenda replied, "Andrea," it sounds like then that was based upon a prior comment you had made?
Phillip Sheppard: I don't remember it, to be honest. I don't remember for sure. But if you remember, it was very chaotic and they were all whispering amongst themselves. Dawn could've said that to Brenda. Brenda, you know, I don't know how the order of that was. I don't want to take credit for something, I mean, unless I know for sure. So, I don't know.
Reality TV World: One thing we did see was there was a point right before Malcolm revealed that he, [Edward "Eddie" Fox] and Reynold were all going to be voting for you when Dawn was shown asking Brenda how she should vote at that point and Andrea was shown replying that they were all going to vote for you because she felt they had to. Were you aware of that -- that Andrea was actually putting your name out there as well?
Phillip Sheppard: No, that's not the order. You're mistaken there. That didn't occur. That conversation didn't occur until Malcolm had already revealed that he had two idols.
Reality TV World: So you're saying the editing showed it out of order then...
Phillip Sheppard: We all were whispering like that. It is an edited version of the show.
Reality TV World: Sure, okay. So then it didn't surprise you? You think Andrea was just following [Malcolm, Reynold and Eddie's] lead and it wasn't like she was turning on you, basically.
Phillip Sheppard: No, I mean, no. I don't think so. Dawn had opportunities to get me out of the game if she was going to turncoat. Erik was probably more of a threat to do something like that. As you saw, he cast the vote for me even when he didn't have to.
Reality TV World: Dawn seemed to tell Brenda that the reason you guys couldn't vote for Andrea was because given Andrea was sitting in the middle of the row, there was no way for Dawn to tell Cochran, Sherri and Erik to vote for Andrea without Andrea overhearing it. At least that's how the show made it look last night.
Reality TV World: Do you believe that Dawn was telling the truth there and that's why she didn't want to tell them to vote for Andrea, or do you think there was another reason, like maybe she wanted to keep Andrea around? What are your thoughts on that?
Phillip Sheppard: I think she would've voted Andrea out if she could've, because the person that would've been most logical to me would've been Sherri at that point. We could've either voted Erik out or Sherri out at that point. I don't think, you see, we knew that we didn't own Erik's vote. And I believe Dawn also knew that she was cultivating a relationship with Brenda, but she didn't know if she had it yet.
Reality TV World: So what made you decide not to vote for Sherri then, and instead, advice everybody to just go with the original plan [to split the vote between Eddie and Malcolm]?
Phillip Sheppard: Again, because then the "three amigos" [Eddie, Reynold and Malcolm] would've heard that and they possibly would've kept the idols. And I had no guarantee that everybody in that instance would do what I said just because I said it.
Above is the first half of Phillip's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.