Exclusive: 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' castoff J'Tia Taylor talks (Part 2)
By Reality TV World staff, 03/19/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's third episode concluded with the Brains tribe eliminating J'Tia Taylor at Tribal Council during last week'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 out one of its own members.
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, J'Tia recently talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion of her interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: You seemed to give Spencer plenty of alone time with Kass and Tasha once you got back to camp after the Immunity Challenge. Was that accurate, and if so, what was the thinking behind that? Was that because you had believed the girls' comments about how they were definitely voting off Spencer next?
J'Tia Taylor: No, I didn't believe any comments. I mean, like I said, I always knew there was a chance that I would be voted off. So, no, I didn't leave them alone on purpose.
Reality TV World: Based on the previews we saw for the next episode, it looks like there a tribal merge or swap coming. Do you think Kass and Tasha would still have made the same decision to keep Spencer if they'd known the twist was coming basically the following day?
J'Tia Taylor: No, I think that had they known it was coming the very next day -- which they always give you so much information in Survivor about what's coming up -- I think (laughs) they would've kept me.
But I felt like they thought there were more challenges coming and they wanted to win challenges, so they went with Spencer. I mean, I have to give it to Spencer. He did awesome in that last challenge. Nobody can deny that. So, I totally understand the thinking.
Reality TV World: Okay, so you do think Kass at some point planned to keep you around longer than she did? Meaning, she didn't plan to keep you around just until they could vote Garrett Adelstein out first?
J'Tia Taylor: No, I think Tasha and Kass, going into Tribal Council, intended to keep me. I think as the discussion was steered towards challenges, they started thinking about challenges and they went with somebody who could help them with challenges.
Reality TV World: Well I was going to ask you about that Tribal Council. Some viewers feel Survivor host Jeff Probst almost seemed to be campaigning for Kass and Tasha to keep Spencer. Did you feel that way at all, or what are your thoughts on that?
J'Tia Taylor: Yes! I do feel like he kept steering people to think about challenges, aka Spencer. I can understand why he felt that way. I think Jeff likes Spencer. I think he definitely likes Spencer more than he liked me.
So, I think that had something to do with it, but you know, that's the way the cookie crumbles. Maybe he would've liked me more had I not thrown out the rice. And, you know, I did it, I paid the piper. He didn't like me, he steered it away. I got voted out.
Reality TV World: What was Spencer's relationship with Kass, Tasha and yourself like? I know you guys ended up on opposite sides of your Brains tribe's alliances, but beyond that, we didn't see a lot of whether you all actually liked him as a person and got along with him and what not.
J'Tia Taylor: I like Spencer as a person, but basically, Spencer did not talk to any of us. Well, I guess he talked to Kass a little bit, but he didn't talk to -- from what I saw -- anybody until Garrett got voted out. So, I mean, I have no problem with Spencer. I think he had to do what he had to do, and that's it!
Reality TV World: Given your tribe was performing poorly in challenges, did you ever hear Tasha or Kass make any comments about making a mistake in voting out either Garrett or David Samson?
J'Tia Taylor: I did not hear that, no.
Reality TV World: When I talked to David, he said some pretty harsh things about you -- that you were "so bad and so bossy and so incapable and so lazy -- other than with her mouth." (Laughs) I just want to give you a chance to address that.
J'Tia Taylor: I think David is awesome. He's cool with me. If that's what he wants to say, cool.
Reality TV World: Do you have any regrets about your time in the game? Like on Day 1 for instance, it came across to your tribemates like you were bullying people around when building the shelter.
J'Tia Taylor: Not a one! I don't do regrets. I move forward with my life and don't dwell on the past. I am who I am, I like who I am, and that's all there is to it.
Reality TV World: Why do you think the Brains tribe struggled so much?
J'Tia Taylor: I think the Brains tribe struggled because there were a lot of leaders and no followers. I've been saying, "Anybody who gets out of the Brains tribe is going [far] because, I mean, we're some thinkers. We have that." But we didn't have any followers and we really never gelled as a team.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you found out about the season's three-tribe twist and you were going to be on the Brains tribe?
J'Tia Taylor: I thought I was in trouble. I was the youngest female in my tribe. Usually, that puts a target on your back. I also thought, "Well, you know, what are our guys going to do?" And that kind of confirmed it when I saw the season come out.
And you know, the Brawn tribe and the Beauty tribe, they had fire the first day. It was basically the girls kind of running our camp, and you know, doing that sort of thing. So, yeah. I didn't think it was the best tribe to be on.
Reality TV World: What was your strategy going into Survivor and did it have to change at all once you found out about the twist and you landed on the Brains tribe?
J'Tia Taylor: Yeah, if you see my before [interview], I said I was going to blend in and do this -- and all that went out the window when I hit the beach. I was flying by the seat of my pants once I got there. I was, like, "Okay, none of this is going to work. I don't know." I was basically just scrambling minute by minute, hour by hour, person by person.
So all of that went out the window when you're on the Brains tribe. I knew you couldn't play it the way you usually play it. Like if I was on a tribe with some of the Beauty members, I could've let the boys build the shelter for me and just looked pretty and bat my eyes -- not saying that's all they did -- but, you know, I could've sat out some challenges because we already won one, you know?
Reality TV World: Which leads me to my next question. Do you think being on the Brains tribe made you an automatic target? Because right from Day 1, you couldn't hide the fact you were probably going to be a smart and/or strategic player. That was right out in the open and kind of pulled out from beneath you.
J'Tia Taylor: Yes. I mean, usually, to be honest, in my personal life, I don't lead with my Brains. I'm not saying, "Hi, I'm smart and you should listen to me!" You know, I'm kind of quiet about it, you know, but there was no hiding it here. So, it was just not the best situation to be in. But this isSurvivor. You've got to go with what your dealt and it gets tough.
Reality TV World: Would you be interested in playingSurvivor again if you had the chance, or was one time enough for you?
J'Tia Taylor: Oh, no. Of course! I'd go out and play. Any time they called, I'd go. I'd make it happen.
Reality TV World: How did you end up on Survivor? How were you cast on the show?
J'Tia Taylor: I sent in a video and they called me back to my surprise.
Reality TV World: Was it your first time applying for the show?
J'Tia Taylor: Ah, yes! It was my first time applying. Like, you know, you see it and you're like, "Oh, whatever! They'll never pick me. I'm just a nuclear engineer slash model." And I was like, "Okay, now that I think about it, yeah! I could've sent in a video a long time ago!"
Above is the concluding portion of J'Tia's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.