Survivor: Blood vs. Water crowned Tyson Apostol the winner of its $1 million grand prize during the live portion of Sunday night's finale broadcast on CBS from CBS Television City in Los Angeles, CA.
Tyson, a 34-year-old former pro cyclist and shop manager from Provo, UT, previously competed on Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. He was the ninth castaway voted out of Tocantins and the sixth person -- and the second "villain" -- to be voted out of Heroes vs. Villains.
In an exclusive interview on Monday, Tyson talked to Reality TV World about his Survivor: Blood vs. Water experience and victory. Below is the concluding portion of his interview. Click here to read the first half. Also, check out our Survivor show page for more interviews with the season's finale castaways.
Reality TV World: Gervase seemed really confident all season he could beat you, saying that he was behind a lot of your alliance's strategy and the moves you made. He insisted it was intentional that you got the heat for everything and was perceived as the head. What's your response to that? Do you agree with that or would you say Gervase actually rode your coattails?
Tyson Apostol: No, I don't think Gervase rode my coattails. I do think we were partners in crime for a lot of it. I think, for the most part, I came up with the ideas and sometimes I would bring two or three options to him and we'd talk them over.
But, you know, it was a lot of middle of the night talks with me and Gervase, sitting there saying, "What's our best move? Is it this or this? What do we want to do?" And so, he wasn't a coattail rider. I wouldn't say that at all about him.
Reality TV World: What about Monica?
Tyson Apostol: Monica? No. She wasn't a coattail rider either. I think she, at that point in the game, she made the right choices for her. I don't think that she made the wrong choices. Had she flipped on me and Gervase, she would've been the next one voted out. They weren't going to keep her, you know?
They would keep her if they were smart because she would be easier to beat in the finale, but they didn't like her enough to keep her around for that reason. And so, if [Hayden Moss] and [Ciera Eastin] convinced Monica to flip, one of us would've gone out -- Gervase or myself -- and then the next week, the other one. And then, somebody would come in from Redemption Island and then they would've voted Monica out.
Reality TV World: Gervase had said he was just waiting for the opportune moment to betray you and vote you out of the game, but before he knew it, he was backed into the wall and lost that chance. Did that surprise you? Had you ever been worried he or Monica might turn on you?
Tyson Apostol: Um, I mean, you definitely have to -- you can't trust me 100%, and so I definitely -- there were moments when I was like, "Ahh, maybe." But I always made sure to check-in with them, and Gervase, there was only one time in the season where I even had any doubts at all, and that was when he was being really friendly with Hayden.
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And Monica, you know, I think her emotions kind of got to her and stuff, but I think once you could get her in check, she was great. She just took a little reining in from time to time and some confirmation that we really were with her. I think when we gave her that, everything worked out splendid.
Reality TV World: Could you talk a little bit about your relationship with Monica? It seemed like you guys got along for the most part but you were often shown calling her annoying and saying she talked too much. Were you kind of just putting on a good face in front of her all the time for the sake of your alliance or what was your take on her I guess?
Tyson Apostol: ... As much as she was with people, and that was something I was open about. I mean, I think everybody else in that season, for the most part, would say that and it's nothing personal. Monica is just, she had a level of paranoia that was unsurpassed this season, and you know, there's people that play the game like that. And she played it like that and got to the end as well.
So, the paranoia though is kind of a nuisance to people because it's not fun to deal with. And so, that's what really made it hard, was for her to second guess everything, you know? "Are you sure, are you sure, are you sure, are you sure?" It came to a point where it was like, "Do you not believe me?" So that was the bulk of it.
Reality TV World: Why do you think it took so long for Ciera to realize she was fourth in your alliance with Monica and Gervase? Because she obviously had a couple of chances to flip, especially when Hayden and Caleb Bankston were coming after you.
Tyson Apostol: I made her feel like she was going to be one, two and three with me and Monica. I had a talk with her and asked her who she thought she could beat in the end out of me, Monica and Gervase, and she said me and Monica.
And I said, "Okay, let's go to the Final 3 with us." And she was fine with it and she was excited about it. And then I think that's when they made her realize that she was fourth, when she finally snapped out of it and was like, "Tyson's not taking me to the end."
Reality TV World: So were you ever sincere about that? Did you ever plan to take Ciera to the end instead of Gervase -- along with Monica?
Reality TV World: Was that because you thought she would win or what was the reasoning behind that?
Tyson Apostol: Yeah, I thought she'd have a good chance at beating me because she's a young mom and she would've had a mother on the jury and then she would've had other mothers on the jury that would've appealed to her as well -- or that she would appeal to. So I felt like it was a no-brainer.
Reality TV World: Did it surprise you that Vytas Baskauskas held the grudge of his vote-off against you and denied you a unanimous win? And do you understand where he was coming from or do you think he was being a little ridiculous?
Tyson Apostol: I think it was a little ridiculous. When I kind of tried to talk to him and he kind of hushed me, I was going to tell him that he was going to come across as a bitter juror, but he hushed me and I just bit my tongue. I was like, "Well, your mistake bro. You'll learn from it after everybody makes fun of you for it."
But, you know, it is a classic Vytas move and he still gave me credit for my game. He just decided, one time, to keep his word. Isn't that ironic that throughout the game he has no problem lying, cheating and manipulating, but the one time he doesn't want to vote for somebody is because he promised he wouldn't?
Reality TV World: What had you gone into that jury questioning expecting? Had you gone in confident you were going to win and expecting it may be a unanimous vote or?
Tyson Apostol: No, I didn't really expect it to be unanimous or close to that. I thought -- I actually thought that before Tribal Council started, I thought, "It's going to be a pretty close game between Gervase and me," and then after Tribal Council, I thought, "I have this, but I don't know by how much."
I still thought Gervase would get a couple votes and Monica would get one or two, and so I thought it would be a lot closer -- more of a nail-biter for me. But when I saw my name come out for the second time, I was pretty sure I was going to have the rest of the votes.
Reality TV World: When I talked to your girlfriend Rachel Foulger earlier this season, she mentioned you guys have been together for five years now and an engagement is definitely the next step for the two of you. Do you have any comment on that?
Tyson Apostol: Well, if she said that, I better do it or I will be in trouble.
Reality TV World: How did Rachel come to be on the show with you? Was it something where you immediately wanted her as your "loved one" or did the producers select her from a list you gave them? How did that come about?
Tyson Apostol: Producers told me to bring her. She was who they wanted and I was just an after-thought. I showed them!
Reality TV World: (Laughs) Well it all worked out for you in the end!
Above is the concluding portion of Tyson's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half. Also, check out our Survivor show page for more interviews with the season's finale castaways.