Exclusive: Jefra Bland talks 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/07/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's post-merge Solarrion tribe voted out Jefra Bland during last week's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition.
Jefra, a 22-year-old former Miss Kentucky Teen USA from Campbellsville, KY, was voted out of her Solarrion tribe at the season's eleventh Tribal Council session, which marked the fifth time Solarrion had attended Tribal together.
Jefra, who was in the majority alliance of five, got voted out of the game via a 4-3 vote against Spencer Bledsoe when Tony Vlachos and his closest ally Yung "Woo" Hwang chose to flip on the five-person alliance -- which was also comprised of Trish Hegarty and Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen. Tony didn't trust Jefra thanks to a seed Spencer had planted in his head. He also wanted to prevent the women from forming an all-female alliance. Therefore, Tony, Woo, Spencer and Latasha "Tasha" Fox voted for Jefra.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Jefra talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion of her interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Was your plan to go to the Final 3 with Kass and Trish?
Jefra Bland: Yeah, Kass or Trish, or -- even if I thought I could swing it -- somehow get Woo in there. I would've been willing to flip from Trish to get Woo to the finals because I felt like I could beat Woo over Trish.
Reality TV World: So your ideal Final 3 would've been Kass and Woo with you.
Jefra Bland: Yes.
Reality TV World: So was there really a possible all-female alliance in the works between Tasha, Trish, Kass and yourself or not? I mean, was Tony right in being worried that you girls would take him and Woo out next if Spencer had been voted out?
Jefra Bland: Definitely not. There was never really an all-girl alliance. [Tasha] did approach us and mentioned it at one point, but it was so brief. We shut her down instantly because we knew that Tony's paranoia would be running so thick if he saw us even communicating with her. We were trying to prevent it from ever coming [down] to what happened -- exactly what happened.
So when she approached us about the all-girl alliance, we were like, "No, we're not interested," kind of thing. We shut her down real quick. There was never an all-girl alliance. That was strictly paranoia in Tony's head.
Reality TV World: Did you have any idea Tony had found the special idol, or what did you think the status of that idol was? Did you think there was a chance anyone had found it?
Jefra Bland: I didn't. I didn't think he found the special idol. I wasn't sure if anyone had. We had all looked for it, because the clue that we got at the merge said that it was near camp. So we had, I mean, torn camp apart looking for that thing, and no one had claimed to find it.
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So I really didn't think that Tony had found it. I thought that when Tony played his idol last Tribal and was like, "Oh, my bag of tricks," I assumed he just had another regular immunity idol.
Reality TV World: This week's episode showed Tony telling you guys he had found an idol with the advantage he had won at the auction. Did it surprise you when he pulled that out? It seemed like everyone thought the advantage was going to come into play during the Individual Immunity Challenge -- not a clue to a hidden idol.
Jefra Bland: Yes, it did surprise me that it was a clue to an idol, because even [Jeff Probst] had said, like, "This is an advantage." So, we just thought it would be something in the challenge. We weren't really thinking, like, "advantage in the game."
And Tony had led us to believe that when he read the clue, it was for an advantage in a challenge. So when he came back and he's like, "Oh, by the way, I found another immunity idol, that's what it really was," we were just like, "Oh, great! Now how are we going to get the guy out?" You know?
Reality TV World: Sure, and I assume that's why you're saying you didn't think you would've been able to get Tony out at the next Tribal Council -- because you'd have to wait until the idols weren't playable anymore.
Jefra Bland: Sure.
Reality TV World: Kass told you guys that she was pretty sure Spencer had an idol last week and she was obviously right. Did you believe she was right at the time and there weren't surprised when Spencer played his or had you been skeptical that she was correct?
Jefra Bland: I believed her. I really did. She's good about reading people and she's played with Spencer from the beginning. So she's been able to be around him multiple times when they've gone to Tribal and be aware of his body language.
And normally, Spencer is like a nervous kid. He's on pins and needles before Tribal, and he was so cool, calm and collected, you know, beforehand, that we believed her. I was totally confident with her accusation.
Reality TV World: There seems to be a really weird, and sort of uncomfortable, dynamic between Spencer and Kass since Kass flipped on him. Could you talk about that?
Jefra Bland: Yeah, the tension between Spencer and Kass is so thick, you could cut it with a razor blade. I mean, obviously once Kass flipped over to our alliance and went with us -- the Tony alliance -- Spencer was very bitter, very angry, and he basically thought that's what was going to cost him the game at this point. So there was not a lot of, like, happy times between Spencer, Tasha and Kass.
Reality TV World: Yeah, Spencer seemed very curt with Kass pretty regularly. He didn't seem to have much patience with her.
Jefra Bland: Yeah, neither of them were very well-respected in the other one's opinion. Neither of them were really friends.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised that Kass flipped, that she actually went through with it?
Jefra Bland: You know, I feel like it wasn't probably the smartest move for her gameplay, but I'm so thankful that she did, because she saved my butt for it and I was the one on the chopping block. I mean, my name was written down five times that night, and had she not flipped, I would've been going home instead of [Sarah Lacina].
Reality TV World: Do you think you still would've decided to try and form that alliance with Spencer, Tasha and Jeremiah Wood if you hadn't won the Reward Challenge and received that letter from your Mom?
Jefra Bland: Yes, definitely. I was to that point of being done with Tony that I was definitely already thinking about a time I could make a move and flip on him.
Reality TV World: So even though the show made it look like the letter from your Mom was a sign that flipping was meant to be, you think you would've found another sign basically if that hadn't come along? (Laughs)
Jefra Bland: I probably would've went straight to Jeremiah being original Beauties together and having that bond and trying to work something up with him.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you found out about the season's Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty format? And did it make you change your initial strategy at all?
Jefra Bland: Not at all. Obviously I was deemed on the Beauty tribe from the whole "Miss Kentucky" title, but that's not something that affects me in my normal, everyday life anyway, or how I live life. So I wasn't going to let it affect how I was planning to play the game so to speak either.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor? How did you end up on the show?
Jefra Bland: I submitted a video about myself, a quick two-minute tape of me being me showing some of my more outdoorsy qualities. I grew up, you know, I'm from Kentucky. So obviously I'm kind of a country girl so to speak. I grew up hunting and fishing and working on the farm with my dad, so I spent a lot of time on my video and sent it in and the ball kind of rolled from there!
Above is the concluding portion of Jefra's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.