Exclusive: 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' castoff Spencer Bledsoe talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 05/23/2014
Spencer Bledsoe, a 21-year-old student from Chicago, IL, finished Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty in fourth place.
Spencer lost to third-place finisher Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen, runner-up Yung "Woo" Hwang and winner Tony Vlachos. He was voted out of his Solarrion tribe at the game's Final 4 Tribal Council because everyone believed him to be the biggest threat. Spencer began the game on the Brains tribe.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Spencer talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and also for more interviews with the season Final 4 castaways.
Reality TV World: Sorry things didn't work out better for you, Spencer.
Spencer Bledsoe: Yeah, no, I'm sorry too. But it was a good finale. I think it went really well all things considered.
Reality TV World: In a last-ditch effort to stay in the game, you told the jury that you would promise to take Tony to the end as long as he kept you around during that vote. You also said the jury would have every right not to vote for you if you ended up dishonoring that promise.
Spencer Bledsoe: Right.
Reality TV World: Were you being truthful there? Would you have actually followed through with that?
Spencer Bledsoe: No, no. On the 0-100 scale of sincerity, I was about a zero. I was trying to say something that would save me. I was throwing anything I could out there. But at the end of the day, if I have a choice to go to the end with Tony vs. Kass, I'm going to the end with Kass -- every time.
Reality TV World: Was that because you thought you could only beat Kass or did you/did you not think you had a shot to beat Tony?
Spencer Bledsoe: Well, I definitely felt like Tony played the better game, so I felt like if I were on the jury, I would vote for Tony over me. And so, thinking that way, I was definitely scared that Tony would beat me, and that's the main reason. I felt like I had very good odds against Kass, and I felt like against Tony, it was kind of a toss-up. I think it would've been really close.
Reality TV World: It seems pretty obvious you had cast your vote for Tony to win based upon what you knew about him during the game. But what about his gameplay surprised you the most when you watched the season unfold on TV and did he impress you even more or less at that point?
Spencer Bledsoe: Hmm. I guess what surprised me was I got to see a little bit more of how reactionary and emotional he could be watching it back. You know, I perceived him at the time as very well-thought-out, a guy who -- everything he did -- was well-thought-out.
Reality TV World: A lot less haphazard?
Spencer Bledsoe: Yeah, and I think a lot of it, I didn't realize, was not-so-much planning but was instincts and him just going off of his gut and reading people, which he's very good at doing.
So I don't think it necessarily put my opinion of him higher or lower. I think it just kind of changed it, where before, I thought his good play was a result of one thing. And now, I think it might be a result of another thing. But either way, I think it was good play.
Reality TV World: What made you decide to address the jury on Tony's behalf at the final Tribal? Was it because you felt you were watching him drown? Did you feel the jury was leaning more towards Woo winning at that point and you just didn't want to let that happen?
Spencer Bledsoe: Yeah, no, it was more of the latter. I definitely felt like Woo had a sizeable chance of winning. I thought Tony was the favorite but I thought Woo had a shot. And so, you know, if Woo was going to have a shot and I had any chance at influencing it -- even in a small way -- I was just going to do that.
Because for me, the top priority if I'm not going to win, was just, as a fan, seeing the best ending to the story that I could think of. And I thought that was Tony winning. So, the argument can be made that it's not really my place as a member of the jury to speak to other jury members and sway them, but from my perspective, I just really wanted to see the right guy win. And I think he did.
Reality TV World: So had you planned to address the jury on Tony's behalf before Tribal even began, or was it a last-minute decision based on the way things seemed to be playing out and how bitter the jurors seemed to come across?
Spencer Bledsoe: Well, no, I had plans on addressing them either way. I knew that they were bitter just from interacting with them at Ponderosa. And the thing is, everyone knows exactly what they're going to say -- not word for word, obviously -- but they know what is their question or speech is going to be going into the final Tribal Council. So I knew.
That said, I think the reason you saw me come across a bit strong and as passionate as I was, was a result of me seeing other people speak. I saw that people were a little more bitter than I thought, and I got a little more concerned than I was previously that, "Wow, Woo actually has a real shot here." So that kind of put a fire under my butt in that regard.
Reality TV World: Do you think Tony still would've won the game even without your jury speech? Do you think it was a big factor?
Spencer Bledsoe: I do. I think that it might've been maybe one vote different, but I think ultimately, he would've probably pulled it out either way.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Kass earlier today, she told me your speech about Tony actually turned her off to the point she almost cast her vote for Woo just to spite you. (Laughs) Does that surprise you?
Spencer Bledsoe: (Laughs) A lot of what Kass did throughout the game was to spite people, so that doesn't surprise me.
Reality TV World: You had referred to Woo as "a dog" during the final Tribal, saying he did what a good dog would do and he was just loyal to Tony the entire time without making moves or decisions of his own.
Spencer Bledsoe: Yeah.
Reality TV World: And surprisingly, when I talked to Kass earlier today, she told me that she actually thought you were kind of Tony's dog and it was ironic you thought Woo was. She suggested you basically ate up everything Tony told you and you were a huge fan of his and had pandered to him. What's your reaction to that?
Spencer Bledsoe: Well, I mean, (laughs) my reaction to that is that she's right that I'm a huge fan and she's wrong that I was a dog of any sort. I was a huge fan of Tony. I loved playing with the guy because I admired him and I thought he was a great player, and I still think he was a great player. I think he was the best player on our season by far.
As far as me being his dog, I think that's a little bit silly, because I tried at multiple points to turn on Tony. I made many pitches to Kass to turn on Tony. I tried to get [Jefra Bland] onboard to turn on Tony, so I don't think the dog analogy really makes sense.
Whereas what I was saying with Woo was that Woo basically never even thought about turning on Tony, because that was how far his loyalty ran. And my loyalty -- there was no loyalty to Tony. It's just that when he came to me with an idea that was going to save me from going home, I was going to do it. And I don't think that constitutes being Tony's dog.
Reality TV World: You said Tony had played the game with "a ferocity Survivorrarely sees," which sounds like you placed Tony in the camp of best players of all time. Is that really what you think? And if so, who would you compare him to or what previous player's level do you think he had reached?
Spencer Bledsoe: Comparison is kind of tough. It's really hard to compare him to anyone. If I had to, I would say he's a Russell Hantz who's likable. He's a Russell Hantz, who aside from a couple people, people really liked Tony out there.
And I do think he's definitely one of the better winners. I'm not going to say he's in the discussion for best player ever, but I think he's certainly up there. I was -- I remain very impressed with his game.
Reality TV World: Do you think Tony's gameplay would work again if he came back or do you think he'd have the Russell Hantz-curse of people being onto him right away?
Spencer Bledsoe: I think he'd probably have a lot of trouble if he came back. I think it would be an uphill battle just because he wouldn't be able to play the same game, you know?
He would not be able to go and build spy-shacks, and come on, how could you believe anything the guy says now after he's broken [promises] swearing on his dead father. So that's obviously not going to work again. So he would have to adapt.
Reality TV World: Given your such a Survivorfan, a lot of viewers are surprised you didn't seem to be more skeptical that Tony's special powers idol could be used at the Final 4 and the idea that, assuming there was a Final 3, producers would just come up with an idol that would guarantee someone a spot in front of the jury. Could you talk about that a little bit? Was that just not shown?
Spencer Bledsoe: Yeah, no. That was definitely -- I messed up, you know? I definitely [believed] him. He convinced me and duped me, and I believed him -- for the most part -- about his idol. So I did not feel confident about it when I thought it was going to be a Final 3, but when I thought it was going to be a Final 2, that actually made me feel a little bit more confident in believing him.
Because I did know that there was no way producers would make an idol that guarantees you a spot at final Tribal Council, but I thought it was possible that there would be one that would guarantee you a spot in the Final 3 if it was a Final 2. So he definitely duped me with that. There's no other way to describe it.
Above is the first half of Spencer's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and also for more interviews with the season Final 4 castaways.