Exclusive: Michelle Schubert talks 'Survivor' -- Gen X's rifts and animosity can fully be exploited
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/16/2016
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X merged the three tribes and then castaway Michelle Schubert was voted out of the game during the latest episode on CBS.
Michelle, a 28-year-old missionary recruiter from Yakima, WA, became the eighth castaway voted out of Season 33 of Survivor.
Michelle was sent packing following the merge on Night 23 at Tribal Council. She was eliminated from the newly-merged Vinaka tribe seemingly because her whole alliance was the target and she was likely the person without a hidden Immunity Idol.
During a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Michelle talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: After the three-tribe swap when you were on Vanua with Zeke, did you feel you fell to the bottom of that tribe immediately, maybe because you and [Ciandre "CeCe" Taylor] simply felt outnumbered by the guys, or did something happen to confirm in your mind you were next to go?
Michelle Schubert: No, that was just the fact of the matter. The fact of the matter was that I was at the bottom no matter what. There was really nothing I could do.
[David Wright] was afraid of me, [Zeke Smith] didn't trust me and [Chris Hammons] didn't like me. So, (laughs) it was just a terrible little cluster that we couldn't fix. My only hope had we lost one more time would've been to find an idol or something.
But I mean, it wouldn't have stopped me from scrambling. I would've tried to do anything I could, but I really do feel like the unclean leper outside of the city gates that nobody would go near and definitely not align with.
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Reality TV World: Oh she knew as well?!
Michelle Schubert: Yeah, everybody. The whole tribe knew on Day 1 that he had a relationship back home.
Reality TV World: That's surprising because when I interviewed Figgy this season, she said some pretty harsh things about Taylor, including how she would've let Taylor sink to the bottom of the ocean had they been on Titanic together. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: And Taylor announced he's expecting a son this month, which would indicate he had a pregnant woman back home while he was filmingSurvivor. People speculate Figgy didn't know about the baby, and that's what changed her opinion about him. Does this news change your own opinion of Taylor?
Michelle Schubert: It could be. You know, I really, really love both of them, separately, you know? And I understand where both of them are coming from. I feel bad for Figgy, you know, because there might've been parts of the equation that she didn't know about. There definitely were.
And I feel bad because, yeah, she didn't have all of the intel at the time that she was falling in love or falling in like, whatever you want to call it. But yeah, I feel bad for her, but I really do love both of them. I'll let them make their own decisions. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Were you shocked to find out Adam Klein had betrayed Taylor and Figgy by voting out Figgy?
Michelle Schubert: So when I saw that Figgy went, I had this anger against Adam, like, "Adam, I know you didn't like Figgy, but you liked me!" This is kind of my internal monologue here.
It was like, "You like me and you know that I had promised you if we keep playing the game together, we'd take out Figgy post-merge." I told him something like that, and meant it!
I really did like Adam and I understand he wanted to get Figgy out of the game, but I guess, I was feeling betrayed because the day of the tribe swap, he came to me -- or maybe I went to him, I don't know -- but I said, "Adam, if you get on a tribe with Figgy, please don't turn against her."
And he said, "No, no, no! I won't. I won't. Michelle, I promise I won't." And so, (laughs) I felt like a personal betrayal against that, and of course, now part of my alliance is gone. So I had this double emotional, like, real personal aversion to it, and then also a strategic aversion.
And when we met up at the merge, there were things that unfolded, that kind of explained to me more of his rationale. I wasn't upset at him really anymore. I kind of understood what he was saying and doing.
And I might've done the same thing, actually, with the information he had at the time. Some of it was incorrect information, but you know, you can only make decisions based on what you know at the time.
Reality TV World: Did you have any idea Michaela was gunning for you? Because that's apparently one of the major reasons Jay decided to take her out in last week's episode.
Michelle Schubert: Right! Right. The Michaela vote, you're right, part of the reason was because Jay knew that Michaela was gunning for me. Wait, how did you know that, by the way?
Reality TV World: Michaela told me that when I spoke to her.
Michelle Schubert: Okay, cool! Yeah, so, you're right. That is part of the reason, is that she didn't play her cards close enough to her heart. She laid them all out for people to see and, even though she had a good plan, she was throwing all of the people -- all of her friends' alliances -- under the bus with her plan and doing it very outspokenly.
And so, Jay was like, "Well, if you're trying to throw out Michelle early after the merge, I'm going to get you out before the merge." That was definitely part of his rationale.
And so, when I saw the merge votes coming up and I'm trying to count, "Who went home?! Who went home?! There's [Bret LaBelle], and oh, there's [Sunday Burquest]..." And then I see, "Oh, there's Jay. He's safe. [Will Wahl] is safe. [Sigh of relief]. Oh my goodness, it was Michaela!"
I had this whole internal speech going on, trying to figure out what and why, and Jay comes up to me and is like, "Don't worry, it's for your own good. She was throwing out your name, she was throwing out Taylor's name. We had to do what we had to do." I was absolutely fine with that. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Do you think Will, Jay and Taylor are dead men walking unless they can win Immunity Challenges going forward? What were you thinking at the time you left the game?
Michelle Schubert: I think that one of those people is, but (laughs) I think that at least another one of those, namely Jay, I think has it in him to find cracks and sneak into different places. I think he has it in him to find a way.
When I left the game, I think I felt like, "Uh oh, people are not liking Taylor. He'll either be taken to the end knowing he won't win or he'll go soon because people are certainly not on the Taylor train right now."
Reality TV World: Do you consider the Gen Xers to be tight? Meaning, even though some of them bonded with Adam, Zeke and Hannah Shapiro, do you think the millennials are just going to be at the bottom of whatever they have going?
Michelle Schubert: No. I don't think so. I think the Gen Xers had enough animosity, even within their own little group. It was very clear and plain to see for all of us that there were rifts that could be fully exploited.