Survivor: Worlds Apart's merged Merica tribe eliminated Tyler Fredrickson from the game during Wednesday night's eleventh episode of the CBS reality competition's 30th season.
Tyler, a 33-year-old ex-talent agent assistant from Los Angeles, CA, was the twelfth person voted out of the game and therefore became the season's fifth jury member. His Merica tribe got him out on Night 32 at the season's twelfth Tribal Council session.
Tyler was hoping his alliance would target Dan Foley to flush out his Survivor auction advantage, but instead, both Carolyn Rivera and Sierra Dawn Thomas turned on him and voted him out along with outsider Mike Holloway. Tyler and Carolyn, both former White Collar players, were the closest of allies all season long.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Tyler talked about his experience on the show. Below is the first portion. Check back with us soon for two more parts.
Reality TV World: I think the first obvious question is, were you blindsided and also shocked that Carolyn voted for you?
Tyler Fredrickson: Yeah. (Laughs) Yes and yes. I was completely blindsided. I didn't actually know that she voted for me at the time. I was sort of in a daze. When I was walking off, I was like, "So there's no votes for Dan?! There's supposed to be two or three. What could've happened?"
Had I known, I would've blown it up! I would've blown it up. I would've outed, I mean, if I had any inkling that they were coming for me, I would've completely outed [Dan's] advantage, I would've completely outed [Carolyn's] idol, I would've shared all the dirty laundry.
I had been sitting there quiet with a stupid smirk on my face for 32 days waiting -- passive, quiet, just biting my tongue -- until I could finally strike and make a move. And what happened? My entire alliance of four -- who were completely and utterly and single-handedly useless -- but also maintaining that we are going to the end together, and I was completely fine with that.
I tried to put that group together and control that group, because I felt like I could beat any one of those other three. And then they flipped. They flip, there was not a breath of it that was coming. I mean, yes, should I have known I was a target and there were signs all pointing to me for days and the Tribal prior? Yes, maybe.
But one of the crazy things is, how do you get ahead in this game? You have to trust people and then you have to know when to make your move. And for me, my move would've come that Tribal had Carolyn not won immunity. I would've gunned for her, and I think I could've gotten her, because [Rodney Lavoie Jr.] and [Will Sims II] were both furious with her.
Reality TV World: Oh wow. I think viewers assumed you had plans to take Carolyn to the Final 3 with you.
Tyler Fredrickson: I didn't. It was me, Will and Rodney. Everyone wants Will and Rodney at the end.
Reality TV World: Based on how it looked on TV, you didn't view Rodney as a threat other than his wild antics potentially hurting your game. Is that accurate? Because some of the castaways I've talked to so far this season admitted Rodney was actually the best gameplayer and strategist out there but they just didn't know it at the time.
Tyler Fredrickson: Yeah, I don't know. I think you're going to start dealing with more and more people and you're going to get Rodney's point of view eventually. It's like, the next five or six people getting voted off are all going to have different opinions of Rodney, because they're mainly Blue Collar people and they're all people who have worked with Rodney.
I'll be really interested to see what they have to say. A lot of people on the jury didn't really interact with Rodney as much. And then watching the edit, they're kind of being influenced by a lot of that. Rodney is a big personality. He's a smart dude; He's incredibly funny. He's very witty but he's not very strategic. He doesn't have a strategic mind.
And that's exactly why I wanted to work with him, because he'd come back and he'd explode. First it's like, "Carolyn's not giving me her Reward, bro," and he'd freak out. It would just be a matter of, "Okay, so do we use this information now to go after Carolyn or do we say, 'Dude, hang in there. We've still got the numbers. Remember what Mike did. Remember what Dan has said about you? Remember.'"
We'd kind of reiterate over and over again that there's other pressing needs that could get us further in this game than just reacting on impulse. Rodney is all about impulse, and honestly, that's better TV, right?
The blowups, Dan's crying on the beach reading his letter and Rodney's like, "Bro, you almost didn't get your letter, bro. Mike's flipped his lid... That's incredible, that's crazy." That's so over-the-top. There's nothing subtle about it, right?
We all know exactly what he's doing, but when you're watching at home and you're seeing it for the first time, and you watch the season and it pretty much has zero strategy in a episode, you're going, "Wow. That's pretty good! That dude is working it."
I think there's something there that's like, "Well, yeah, he's working it. But is it actually something that is propelling his alliance forward? Is it getting him votes? Are people really earning his respect?"
A lot of people you're talking to are now watching the show back, but I don't think a single one of them felt that way when they were out there. And, you know, I don't know if he's got jury votes. I certainly didn't feel like he would've [gotten any]. That's why I wanted him to go to the end with me.
Reality TV World: From a strategic standpoint, everyone viewed you as a threat and Carolyn mentioned you had the power to blow her game up since you were the only person with knowledge of her hidden Immunity Idol. But Dan also had that two-vote advantage she knew about. Putting yourself in her shoes, did she make the right choice to get you out instead of Dan?
Tyler Fredrickson: I don't know because Dan's got two votes and if those two votes go toward Carolyn, she's gone. I mean, yes she's got an idol and that gets her further. But eventually, those coming toward Carolyn, those votes are going to be [against] her one vote in any direction. We were a double vote. We were always a double vote. We worked very well together.
I knew that we were a double vote because she'd come to me all the time, like, "Oh, we've got to get out [Jenn Brown]," or, "We've got to get out [Hali Ford]!" But then she'd always vote with me and she'd always vote with our alliance.
So, it was very easy to see that I had a really good grasp on Carolyn. We worked really well together. We trusted each other. We were each other's outlet. We talked a lot about our family. There was a real trust.
I was really close with her. So, you know, did she make the right decision by getting rid of me and furthering herself in the game? Well, you know, she gets another three days out there. If she plays her idol successfully, she'll get another three days. That's getting her closer and closer to the end.
The thing is, you just don't know how that advantage is going to play out, and what I was trying to do -- yes, she knew what it was because I told her -- but I was trying to make that advantage out to be something really scary, something monstrous. You know, by not knowing, it's even more intimidating than if you actually see it or actually know what it is.
You know, when there's like a scary monster coming but you don't really know what it's like, it's more scary than if you actually saw it. And so, that was my strategy, was to build this up amongst Will and [Sierra Dawn Thomas] and Rodney. I was saying, "We don't know what it is, but it's coming!"
And I'd say, "Carolyn, you keep me with you and you keep our alliance strong, we could continue to move forward and guarantee ourselves Final 4." I don't know if she's going to get Final 4 right now.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for two more portions of Tyler's exclusive interview.