Exclusive: John Cody talks about 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'
By Reality TV World staff, 11/08/2013
Survivor: Blood vs. Water eliminated "loved one" and newbie player John Cody from the game after he lost the season's seventh Redemption Island duel just before the merge during Wednesday night's eighth episode of the CBS reality series' 27th edition.
John, a 30-year-old physician and army orthopedic surgery resident from Washington, D.C., lost the duel to returning player Laura Morett, a 43-year-old construction company co-owner from Salem, OR. For winning the duel, Laura M. got to re-enter the game just as the tribes were merging. She also beat out Rupert Boneham's wife Laura Boneham in the duel in order to advance in the game.
John was voted out of his tribe when members of his five-guy alliance turned on him. John's wife, veteran player Candice Cody, was eliminated from the game during a duel earlier in the season. Her tribe of returnees had voted her out on Day 1 and sent her to Redemption Island when host Jeff Probst announced the voting twist without prior warning.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, John talked about his Survivor: Blood vs. Water experience. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: So as soon as I saw what last night's Redemption Island challenge was, I immediately thought -- I don't know if it's a simple weight thing or not -- but that's the type of classic Survivor endurance challenge which normal-sized guys almost never seem to have a chance at and women or really small guys tend to win. What was your initial reaction when you saw what you had to do?
John Cody: When I first walked in, the No. 1 thought I had was, "Oh, they're going to do me like this, okay," you know. So it's tough because I knew going into the game that the one challenge I knew that I would probably have the hardest time winning would be that pole challenge. I know it well because Candice has done it twice.
So, you know, it's a simple matter of pounds per square inch. I have to put so many more pounds on the same size foothold as these other smaller players, and it just certainly -- I mean, I'm not going to be the kind of guy who says, "I had no chance of winning that challenge," but I certainly think my chances were slim.
And I thought it was a little frustrating having gone out there and done well for 12 days on Redemption Island and just biting my time waiting for the opportunity to get back into the game, thinking that getting back in the game, I had probably the better chance of any of the other people I was competing against to do things and go far just given how the game had played out. To not get that chance is definitely very frustrating.
Reality TV World: It seems like the last fewSurvivor seasons have featured many people managing to find hidden Immunity Idols without any clues, and you couldn't find it even though you had a couple of clues. (Laughs) What's up with that, and has anyone given you a hard time about it?
John Cody: Yeah, I mean, of course they're going to give me a hard time about it, but what you don't see is the island is huge. So there's that, first of all. Secondly, I wasn't looking that hard because I didn't want my alliance to see me as this big guy who is a doctor and is also going out looking for the hidden Immunity Idol.
I was trying to -- even though we had been sort of at the center of all of the drama the first few episodes -- I wanted to try and rein it in and be kind of under the radar as much as possible, and I didn't want to go looking for it.
But the other thing you don't see is that, you know, the tribe's beach is on a bay. And the only way to get over the path to the waterfall is this long, very conspicuous walk along the beach, where every single person in your tribe can watch.
So you go for a long walk over towards the waterfall, everyone knows you're going to be looking for the idol. So it would've been dumb for me to continue looking for it all the time. Now, I knew it was in one of two places based on the clues that I had. But the one time I went and looked, I looked, really, in the other place. I spent more time looking at the other place where it wasn't.
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So I was pretty certain that the idol was going to be located where [Tyson Apostol] found it, but I didn't end up having enough time to really -- I did search around that tree, but I didn't search enough and I didn't have enough time. So, then, I'm sitting there on Redemption Island and I know exactly where it is. I was not surprised at all to see that Tyson found it right where I knew it was.
Reality TV World: So you obviously had no idea when Brad Culpepper decided to vote you off. What's your relationship with him like now, and how had you seen that alliance playing out if you had stayed in the game? Had you planned on riding the five-guys alliance all the way to the end or eventually turning on Brad or someone else, or maybe you hadn't thought that far down the road yet?
John Cody: Well, only one person wins, so I knew that at some point, regardless of who my alliance was, I was going to have to turn on somebody. And it was going to have to be a little bit nasty if we stayed as couples because only three people get to the end.
So you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and I knew some eggs were going to have to be broken to get there. So yeah, I definitely thought far ahead. But my plan was, I knew from the beginning that people who were couples were going to be targets, and who was in that couple was going to kind of dictate who the biggest targets were.
So I aligned immediately with Brad and [Vytas Baskauskas] because I thought they were both smart guys, they were bigger guys, and they're coupled people were also pretty strong. And as a group, they'd be considered intimidating than maybe some of the smaller couples.
So I thought that if the three of us in particular -- I liked the five-guy alliance, and if I could've ridden that all the way to the end that'd be great, but if you have five guys and all of your "loved ones," that's 10 people. That's not really an alliance; That's just a whole tribe.
So you have to have a sub-alliance, and my sub-alliance was Brad and Vytas, and they ended up turning on me really early because I don't think they saw the same benefits of keeping stronger couples around that early in the game. And for some reason, I think they didn't want to win challenges, which was odd to me.
Reality TV World: This was Candice's third time playing Survivor and she came into the game with a bit of a reputation of having betrayed her alliances during her first two seasons. And you two were also burdened with being last-minute alternate replacements for "RC" Roberta Saint-Amour and her dad, and we all know that some returning players talk with one another and make pre-game alliances. So were you surprised the other returnees voted Candice out as soon as they got a chance on Day 1 or not really?
John Cody: We knew that we were going to be at a disadvantage in that regard, so yeah. With the chance there's a vote-off in the first five minutes of the game, I knew that wasn't going to go well. I felt once Candice's name had been written down twice, I was just thinking, "This is not going to be good."
On the beach, I'm sure they were all saying names, and if Candice's name got out there twice, it could have very easily gotten out there three times, four times, five, you know, to be on the partridge.
So once I heard her name twice, I was like, "Ugh, this is bad." When they mentioned the vote-off, I wasn't really thinking about what's going to go on in their tribe. I was thinking who I was going to vote out.
And, you know, I was thinking about that and then I'm standing on the beach and we're going through who we're going to vote out and all that kind of stuff -- that's all I was thinking of -- and then my mind immediately turned to, "Oh my God, what if they vote out Candice?" And it happened. I didn't see it coming, but in retrospect, I guess I'm not surprised given the situation.
Reality TV World: Which of the factors I mentioned do you think was the main reason Candice's tribe targeted her? Any thoughts?
John Cody: I think it's hard because you have to look at each individual person's motivations. I think aside from -- I mean, everybody inSurvivor -- everyone thinksSurvivor is this honorable game, that you get to the end by just being nice, but it's not a nice game.
And the moves that Candice made, she made with the intention of going to the end of the game and winning. What she did wasn't, like, so bad that other people have never done that stuff before.
Reality TV World: I agree.
John Cody: So I mean, for people to label Candice as this betrayer, I mean, Candice is in real life -- and to the people she's close with -- is one of the single most loyal people I've ever met in my life. She will fight to the tooth and nail for people that are with her. She jumped tribes to get out of -- everyone's saying that [Tina Wesson] made kind of a bad move to tell [Monica Culpepper] that she was in fifth place.
That's essentially what the tribe that Candice was on with [Yul Kwon], [Ozzy Lusth], [Becky Lee] and [Sundra Oakley], they were essentially telling Candice she was in fifth place, and she was like, "I don't like that!" So she switched to her original alliance where she was going to do much better.
In Heroes vs. Villains, everybody on her tribe was not -- I mean, they did not want to play with her at all, and the whole time, she would've gone home if [they] didn't win all those tribe challenges. And then when the merge happened, the one person whom she had been tight with the whole time, [Amanda Kimmel], lied to her about something really stupid and Candice found out about it.
So [Candice] was like, "I have no ties to this other tribe, none of them like me, none of them want to work with me, the one person I was with just lied to my face, so like, now what do I do?"
I think anybody, any reasonable player, would've done the same thing that she did. But it's all about perception, and people have this perception of her. So some people probably voted her out for that, but you know, I don't know that it was the nail in the coffin when we showed up late, but it certainly didn't help matters.
Reality TV World: After you lost the duel, you said Survivorwas one of the hardest experiences you've ever gone through. Could you elaborate on that a little bit more, and would you be interested in doing it again with or without Candice?
John Cody: I would be interested in playing Survivor with or without Candice. I think I would prefer to avoid all of the emotions, less crying on the beach in my underwear, by not having my wife out there. But I think I would definitely love the opportunity to play again. I left a lot on the table out there. And it was hard, but I loved it. I would definitely do it again if given the opportunity. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.