Exclusive: 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' castoff J'Tia Taylor (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 03/13/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's third episode concluded with the Brains tribe eliminating J'Tia Taylor at Tribal Council during Wednesday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition.
J'Tia, a 31-year-old nuclear engineer from Chicago, IL, was voted out of her Brains tribe at the season's fourth Tribal Council session, which marked the third time this season the Brains tribe had to vote one of its own members out.
J'Tia was voted out of the game after her alliance members Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen and Latasha "Tasha" Fox turned on her and sided with Spencer Bledsoe instead in the hopes of winning future Immunity Challenges. Although the girls trusted J'Tia more, they felt they needed Spencer's strength and physicality to stay alive as a tribe.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, J'Tia talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the first half of her interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
J'Tia Taylor: I'm excited to tell my side of the story!
Reality TV World: It looked like you were out of your comfort zone during your entire time on Survivor, is that accurate?
J'Tia Taylor: Yes, the jungle is not my comfort zone. (Laughs) It's definitely not my comfort zone, I mean, I made the best out of it. It was an adventure, it was fabulous, I enjoyed it even when I was hating it. So, loved it.
Reality TV World: But I meant more so beyond just the jungle, like how physical the challenges were and things like.
J'Tia Taylor: Yes, the challenges were also out of my comfort zone. I don't usually throw buckets of water or dig down to get buoys out of the ocean. So yeah, everything was out of my comfort zone, and I had an idea that it was going to be out of my comfort zone, but nothing actually prepares you for that.
Reality TV World: Was that what you were looking for then? Because I'm trying to reconcile, if that was the case, what made you apply for the show and want to be on it in the first place?
J'Tia Taylor: I'm always up for an adventure. I never back down for anything. I really pride myself on being fearless and going for it and doing the best that I can.Survivor is an awesome show. I'm a fan, and who wouldn't want to go compete for a million dollars?
Reality TV World: Did you ever have any suspicion the Brawn tribe was trying to throw the Immunity Challenge?
J'Tia Taylor: Um, I didn't have time to think about the Brawn tribe. I was trying not to drown, so no, I didn't know that they were throwing the challenge. It was pretty amusing when I found out they were though.
Reality TV World: The consensus seemed to be that you panicked under pressure, do you think that's accurate to say or how do you feel about that?
J'Tia Taylor: Definitely panicked under pressure. I mean, I'm not used to not only having to do a challenge but having a physical aspect and then having somebody yelling at you and telling you how bad you're doing. So yes, that definitely, you know, made me panic a little bit. It was a side of myself I have never seen and I just couldn't deliver, and that made me feel even worse. It kind of compounded, so.
Reality TV World: How much rice did you actually throw in the fire? Because we haven't seen a lot of footage the last couple of episodes that showed your tribe really struggling with the food situation.
J'Tia Taylor: Okay, let me please clear this up! We, (laughs) it seemed like we were struggling with food, but actually, when we were struggling with food, it was the first three days. The first three days, we ate nothing but coconuts and bananas.
So actually, after I dumped out the rice, we were eating more than we were in the first three days. That's why we were so horrible at the very first challenge, because basically, we were dehydrated and [malnourished] -- basically, we could faint at any time.
So after I dumped out the rice, we had rice. We had rice before each challenge and we had a little bit of rice each day, but we actually also started using our survival skills. So we found some crabs; I boiled up the crabs. We found some casaba melons.
So we were actually eating better in those six days than we were in the first three days, so we weren't starving. And also, everybody out there signed up to, you know, be in the elements and maybe be hungry and that sort of thing. So, it's a show about starving in small part.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Garrett Adelstein, he said the reaction to you throwing the rice in the fire was much more significant than what we saw on TV and you almost got into the fistfight with Kass. Was that accurate, and can you talk about that a little bit?
J'Tia Taylor: So I don't think Garrett really had the pulse of the tribe, which is clearly why he got voted out in small part. Was there a reaction to me throwing the rice? Of course! I mean, it wasn't like, "Oh, J'Tia threw the rice in the fire, whatever."
Was there a fistfight? No. I think he's talking about me and Kass, and we both have big personalities and we're both not afraid to say what we mean. Fistfight? There was no fistfight. There was not going to be any fistfight. If there was, yes, I'll leave it at that.
Reality TV World: So exactly how bad were things between Garrett and Kass that made Kass still decide to keep you around and vote off Garrett after all of that went down?
J'Tia Taylor: Bad? Things weren't bad. I mean, it was just -- Garrett and [David Samson], I feel like both got voted off because they underestimated who they were with, and you know, they felt like they had to gun for each other. And really, Garrett, I don't think he really respected any of the women out there. I mean, he only basically talked to Spencer.
They had their little thing going on. So he really just underestimated Kass and he kind of got burned for it. He underestimated -- I basically made a really good argument that this would be a perfect time to vote him off because he thinks he's safe and he didn't bring his idol.
So he really just kind of got comfortable and it turned on him. And Kass, that was a great decision. I mean, if she went with the boys, she was definitely going to be third.
Reality TV World: So you just said Garrett didn't bring his hidden Immunity Idol. Does that mean you knew he had the idol?
J'Tia Taylor: I mean, everybody pretty much assumed that he had the idol. When we showed up to the beach, he was in his underwear, he was wet, and then we asked him, "Hey, what decision did you have to make when you got to the beach?" And he did not have -- he was like, "Oh, there was no decision."
And we saw [Morgan McLeod], she made up a great lie about, "Oh, I chose this and this and this for you." He just said, "Oh, there was no decision. I don't know what you're talking about." Like you can say that maybe to some other tribe or some other people, but you can't say that to the Brains and think that's just going to fly.
Reality TV World: Garrett didn't technically get voted out of the game with an idol because he left it hidden back at camp, so what were the rules on that? Was that idol still considered in-play and just still left there for someone else to use if they found it? Or would it be the same situation as if a player got voted out of the game with the idol in his or her pocket and therefore producers hid a new one?
J'Tia Taylor: Oh, you'll have to watch and see!
Reality TV World: Why wasn't there much talk about a hidden Immunity Idol after Garrett got voted out of the game? Was it a lack of clues that you guys had or you were just convinced Garrett had it? Viewers have seen the other tribes look for and find idols even without the clues.
J'Tia Taylor: I think that we all assumed he took it with him. I looked anyway because you never know, but there was so much other stuff going on, that you really didn't have time to get into that sort of thing.
Reality TV World: So did you personally ever look for an idol?
J'Tia Taylor: Oh I looked, don't get it twisted. I looked.
Above is the first half of J'Tia's exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.