Exclusive: Julia Landauer talks 'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/28/2013
Julia Landauer, a 21-year-old racecar driver from Stanford, CA, was eliminated from Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' newly-shuffled Bikal tribe during Wednesday night's seventh episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Julia was voted out of her tribe at the season's seventh Tribal Council, the second time in a row the new Bikal tribe had an elimination vote. The "Favorites" on her tribe were just picking off the "Fans" one by one, and now, only one remains.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Julia talked about Survivor experience and quiet edit. Below is the first half of Julia's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: So it seemed pretty clear that you and Michael Snow went into that Tribal Council expecting that one of you two was going to be going home. But were you surprised they voted you off and kept Michael, or had you already known that too?
Julia Landauer: I was not surprised. By the time the tribes swapped, I was a little worried. We were on the weaker tribe with my entire alliance and I know that Michael is a very dangerous player and a threat. And so after [Matt Bischoff] got voted off, I was definitely a little worried.
And even though [Phillip Sheppard] had "taken me under his wing," I was getting mixed signals from him and I was not feeling comfortable even before we had the Immunity Challenge. And I was pretty convinced that if we lost, it would be me -- hence why I said, "Go big or go home," and try to blindside Phillip. It didn't quite work but I was definitely very worried and I did the best thing I thought I could.
Reality TV World: When I talked with Matt last week, he said that he felt the tribal shuffle had basically screwed him, because he went from being part of the controlling alliance of the "Fans" tribe to being at a 4-3 disadvantage after the shuffle. Do you feel the same way?
Julia Landauer: Oh 100% percent, you know, although not very much of me was shown this season. No, I was definitely really contributing to deciding who was voted off or not on the "Fans" tribe. And it was very clear that you know we went from being in charge to not, and it looked like it was going to be very hard to crack the "Favorites."
Everyone was saying they weren't going to turn on their alliance, and even if that was the case, I knew my chances were slim that my attempt to blindside Phillip would work. It was just a really bad situation, you know? We went from the losing tribe of "Fans" to the losing tribe of new Bikal with like oldest man, oldest woman, smallest man, smallest woman. Everything was just working against us, so it was tough.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed you talking to Dawn Meehan about why everyone didn't just vote Phillip out of the game. But we really didn't get to see whether she gave you an answer. Did she ever actually answer your question, and if so, what was it?
Julia Landauer: At first she gave me a little glimmer of hope, which is not fair. (Laughs) She had just been complaining about Phillip, like she went to town. And clearly everyone was frustrated, so I took that as my opportunity to say, "Okay let's" -- When there's an emotional component so very there, I thought it was a good time to try to make some moves.
But she said, "I'll talk to other people. I'll let you know what we're doing before Tribal." And when she said that though, it was pretty clear she was not going to turn. But the way I looked at it, [John Cochran] was under Phillip's wing, so he wasn't going to be the one [for me] to approach.
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[Corinne Kaplan] made it very clear that she was not going to flip on her alliance, no matter how much she wanted to, until at least the merge.
And then that left Dawn, and again, it was kind of picking the lesser of all evils. I wanted to make that move. I would go back and do it again. And together -- they [were] a really interesting mix out there, you know, a new re-allocation of power, so could've been good. We'll have to wait and see.
Reality TV World: What we did see was Dawn running back to Phillip and telling him about your conversation with her.
Reality TV World: Did that surprise you, or was that kind of consistent with what you had come to expect from Dawn?
Julia Landauer: I mean, that's consistent. I wasn't surprised. I knew I was taking a slightly large risk or chance with telling her, but you know, I wonder how much she actually seriously weighed the option. If she could show the state of her Gota tribe, she Cochran and Corinne could kind of bring on the "Fans" and get rid of Phillip.
That's a huge power they have, those people should be scared. I don't know, it could've worked out really well. It may not have, so she made her decision. And I don't know how much actual thinking about it she did. But it seemed like she kind of immediately reverted back to tattletaling. That's kind of what she does.
Reality TV World: Phillip obviously didn't react well to hearing that. Do you think that played a significant role in why you ended up being voted off instead of Michael, or do you think there were other reasons? And if so, what were those reasons?
Julia Landauer: You know, I'm not sure. As I said, the whole reason -- one of the reasons I was comfortable taking that risk in trying to blindside him was because I did not feel like I was going to be the one they were going to save. Corinne was really gunning [to keep] Michael.
Phillip was being really inconsistent with me. I wasn't really close with Corinne. Dawn was almost I thought like treating me more like a daughter than a competitor, which was a weird vibe. So I wasn't feeling like I was anywhere near secure, but I don't even want to attempt to understand the inner-workings of Phillip's brain.
But it's not like I felt like I was in a good place and I thought -- got all cocky and said, "Okay, let's make some more big moves." I did that because I thought that was probably my only saving grace, and it wasn't so I had no saving graces, I don't think.
Reality TV World: You mentioned earlier how Corinne had made it clear that she wasn't going to flip on her alliance no matter how much she really wanted to. Did she ever explain why she was so insistent on not flipping on them?
Julia Landauer: No, I think she was thinking a little bit about her past season, kind of seeing on this season that before the merge, it's too early to flip and that that makes you a really big target right away. And she was thinking back to her old season in Gabon, so she might've been trying to protect herself because she knows she has a big mouth.
I'm not entirely sure, but she said -- and not only to me, but Michael and Matt -- that she couldn't do that. She couldn't flip on the "Favorites." What would they think when the merge came?
Above is the first half of Julia's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.