Exclusive: Brice Johnston talks 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/06/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's second episode concluded with the Beauty tribe eliminating Brice Johnston from their tribe at Tribal Council during Wednesday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition.
Brice, a 27-year-old social worker from Philadelphia, PA, was voted out of his Beauty tribe at the season's third Tribal Council session after four tribemates formed an alliance against himself and Morgan McLeod. Brice and Morgan thought they had Jeremiah Wood on their side but it turned out Jeremiah had joined forces with the other group.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Brice talked about his short-lived Survivor experience. Below is the first half of Brice's interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Hey Brice, how are you doing?
Brice Johnston: I'm still beautiful!
Reality TV World: (Laughs) So were you completely surprised to be voted off, or had you already gone into Tribal Council worried that Jeremiah was pretty shaky and wasn't going to vote with Morgan and yourself?
Brice Johnston: I mean, I'm not dumb by any means, so I was going into Tribal Council thinking, "It's probably going to be me but I'm going to give it my best shot and still stick with the plan we had talked about."
Reality TV World: How did you feel specifically about Jefra Bland's vote going into Tribal? Last night's episode showed you saying you weren't worried because you trusted Jeremiah and Morgan, but it sounds like that was kind of just the editing or something?
Brice Johnston: I mean, there's a lot of scrambling before Tribal, and you can see who talks to who, and you can really get into people's body language. So I mean, I would be a dummy to say I went in thinking, "Oh, it's not going to be me!"
I was realistic about it and I thought, "It probably could be me or probably not, but I'm definitely going to try and, you know, keep my word." Because I'm from Philly, and in Philly, your word is everything. So I definitely kept my word, and you know, moved forward.
Reality TV World: Did you feel you were going to be the one voted off as soon as Jeff Probst revealed the three-way tie or did you feel it could still end up being Morgan? What was going through your mind at that point?
Brice Johnston: I kind of was shocked with the three-way tie. I kind of just, at that moment, I was shocked. And at that moment, I didn't realize that Jeremiah betrayed us, and so I looked at Morgan and Morgan gave me that look. And I'm like, "Oh, wait a minute, yeah he definitely didn't betray us." And then I kind of felt like, yeah, they're going gung ho for the cutest person on the island, of course.
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Reality TV World: So did you, Morgan or Jeremiah say anything before the re-vote took place, or how did that play out?
Brice Johnston: We just waited. We just waited and looked at each other. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Okay, so you didn't state a case as to why you should stay over Morgan or vice versa?
Brice Johnston: Not at that point in time.
Reality TV World: Why were you and Morgan so sure Jeremiah was in your alliance earlier on and not with LJ McKanas, Alexis Maxwell and Jefra?
Brice Johnston: You know, Jeremiah approached us with that alliance, so it wasn't like Morgan and I tried to bamboozle him. He approached us with it. So we kind of felt like, you know, Jeremiah was tired of LJ running [rampant] at the camp.
So we wanted to make Jeremiah feel like he could run the camp even though secretly they weren't running the camp -- Brice was running the camp, because Brice was doing everything.
So Jeremiah had approached us with that idea, so we just kind of felt like, "Okay, we'll go with it," because Morgan and I knew that we were on the bottom and it was those four against us two, so what do we have to lose but explore our options?
Reality TV World: Do you think Jeremiah had ever really considered himself a true part of your alliance with Morgan but then changed his mind and decided to flip and go with LJ and the two girls? Or do you think Jeremiah had always considered himself allied with LJ's group and was just stringing you and Morgan along the entire time?
Brice Johnston: Jeremiah is not that smart, so I don't think that he had the mental capacity to double trick us. I think he was really working with us and then kind of got cold feet, because you know, all he does is take pictures.
He doesn't (laughs) really do anything. So I think he got cold feet and he just wanted to go with what he felt more comfortable with -- those four instead of us three. But I definitely think he was considering it, absolutely.
Reality TV World: You were shown saying you felt Jefra felt way more comfortable with Jeremiah than LJ. What did you mean by that?
Brice Johnston: Because I had that country thing going, and you know, I just felt like they were more comfortable with people that were country. So I definitely felt she would have felt more comfortable with Jeremiah, because they both got those heavy country accents that you can barely understand what they're saying.
Reality TV World: What made you decide to try and vote off Alexis instead of Jefra? Was it because you thought Jefra would be easier to convince to vote with you versus Alexis, or what was the reasoning?
Brice Johnston: Definitely. It wasn't anything personal with Alexis. It was just numbers. She spent a lot of time with LJ and I just felt like that was one of LJ's numbers so we needed to get rid of the numbers for LJ. So it was, you know, Alexis. And Morgan felt like she had a good relationship with Jefra, so that's just kind of how that worked out.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode seemed to show Jefra telling Morgan that she would be okay helping you guys vote off LJ but she didn't want to vote Alexis off because they were good friends. Did you know that while you were out there, and if so -- I know it wouldn't have been ideal to lose LJ's strength -- but why not take Jefra up on her offer since she seemed willing to get rid of LJ?
Brice Johnston: Well, we didn't believe that Jefra would vote out LJ, and we kind of knew -- we just didn't believe that. And at that point in time, I'm thinking about the merge and I'm thinking about, "LJ has to go but it's not his time right now. We need him definitely for the challenges. He's great with the puzzles."
So we didn't want to take LJ out just now. He was one of those people that needed to stay around a little bit longer. So we wanted to take out somebody that he was working with so that we would have the numbers. That was kind of our thinking about it.
Reality TV World: So even though you had just seen the Brains kind of make the unusual move of voting out their strong guys first, you didn't want to follow suit?
Brice Johnston: Definitely not, no. We wanted to remain on top and win challenges until we got merged.
Reality TV World: Did you really believe LJ was going to try and vote Jeremiah off next after you, or did you just tell Jeremiah that to try and convince him to stay aligned with you?
Brice Johnston: I believed that because I knew LJ wants to be in control and I knew LJ saw me as a threat and I know he saw Jeremiah as a threat. Because, you know, well I had a dominating personality and Jeremiah just looks like he could do something -- looks like he could do something. So I know LJ was probably a little bit paranoid about that as well.
Reality TV World: Would you mind elaborating on how you think Jeremiah "looks" like he could do something?
Brice Johnston: I mean, plain and simple, he looks like he could do something. I don't think -- Jeremiah's not the brightest crayon in the crayon box, so.
Reality TV World: Okay. So, do you mean just mentally or physically as well?
Brice Johnston: Yeah, I think both. Look at the challenge last night, you know, I really think Jeremiah messed up that puzzle challenge. I think he was our downfall. Everyone was doing great until he got to that puzzle because he didn't know his left from his right. He got confused.
Reality TV World: I was going to ask about that. LJ and Jeremiah seemed to really struggle with the maze part of last night's challenge and that did seem to be the reason you guys lost, but I thought that'd result in more conversations about voting LJ off and we didn't see that. So it sounds like those discussions never took place because you still needed to keep his strength around?
Brice Johnston: Definitely. And you also have to remember Morgan and I were on the outs, and like I said last night, they did not want to talk strategy with us. They were like, "This is our alliance and that's what it is."
So they really didn't talk strategy with us. LJ had his horses on a tight rein. It was very hard for Morgan and I to do -- to have any type of conversation with anybody without, you know, Horse Master LJ catching wind.
Above is the first half of Brice's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.