Exclusive: 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' castoff Brice Johnston talks (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/12/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's second episode concluded with the Beauty tribe eliminating Brice Johnston at Tribal Council during last week's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition.
Brice, a 27-year-old social worker from Philadelphia, PA, was voted out of his Beauty tribe at the season's third Tribal Council session after four tribemates formed an alliance against himself and Morgan McLeod. Brice and Morgan thought they had Jeremiah Wood on their side but it turned out Jeremiah had joined forces with the other group.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Brice recently talked about his short-lived Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion of Brice's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: The premiere showed LJ McKanas voting Morgan out on Day 1 after all the castaways were divided into their tribes. At the time, he considered her a big threat because she could potentially manipulate guys with her looks. Later, we saw how Jeremiah Wood was starting to fall for her and Morgan thought she had him wrapped around her finger. What do you think changed in LJ's mind? Since he controlled the vote, why did he want you out before her?
Brice Johnston: Because I think as time went on and LJ really got to see the players, LJ really got to see the triple threat that I was, and that I can play a social game, and that I was actually physical, that people liked me, and that I pulled my weight around camp. And I think that really started to scare and rattle LJ.
Reality TV World: In terms of the social threat part of what you just said, could you elaborate on that? It left some viewers a little confused because obviously building alliances is considered a key part of the social game, and being the first person voted out of your tribe doesn't seem to be a reflection on a strong social game.
Brice Johnston: In a tribe with three people who are from the country and you're the only gay guy there, it's hard for you to actually connect. But I got along great with my tribe.
We laughed every night and I knew that I could work with other people from the looks I would be getting at challenges, so you know, it just was that LJ could see that and no one on my tribe had a personality like I did. It was just very clear and evident, so I just knew that they definitely wanted me out because they knew the type of threat that I could be.
Reality TV World: LJ was shown saying he felt you "seemed" like you were "going to be tough towards the end of the game." Is that what you think LJ meant by that then, that once the merge came or something...?
Brice Johnston: Absolutely. I would've had way more options than LJ, you know, because LJ was seen as the leader of our tribe. No one knows the ins and outs of how we operate, and once people actually get to see and know me, they will like me way better than LJ.
Reality TV World: We saw LJ's alliance split the vote because they were worried Morgan or yourself may have found the hidden Immunity Idol, but we didn't see you or Morgan express concern that someone else might have found it. Why was that? Did you guys not have that concern, or was it just a situation where that didn't make it into the edited episode?
Brice Johnston: I mean, I had that concern, but you know, no one wanted to hear me out because I wasn't in the alliance that mattered. So I definitely did have that concern going in.
Reality TV World: How close were you with Morgan? Did she ever reveal that she had found the clue to the idol?
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Brice Johnston: Morgan and I never had that conversation just because, I mean, on Day 1, episode 1, when we walk up on Morgan on the beach, we thought, "What else could she possibly be doing?"
And I honestly didn't want any part of the idol at that point in time, because I felt like I already had a target on my back and I don't need that ammunition of, "Brice has the idol. Let's get him out even quicker." So we never really had that conversation, but I knew Morgan was looking for the idol.
Reality TV World: So you guys didn't believe her fake explanation of what decision she had to make once she arrived at camp alone?
Brice Johnston: I mean, I just thought it was pretty obvious, like, "What are you doing coming out of the water looking like Pamela Anderson on Baywatch all hot and sexy?" I knew what was going on, but I just played it just to make her feel more comfortable.
Reality TV World: Did you have any idea LJ might've found the hidden Immunity Idol? And did you ever consider doing what he did, exploring the same area Morgan had been caught looking around in?
Brice Johnston: I did not. Like I said before, I didn't want that target on my back of the idol. I was pretty comfortable that I could play a good social game and kind of win people's votes over, so I [was] really hesitant on trying to find that hidden Immunity Idol because, you know watching Survivor, if you've got the idol, it's a target on your back.
Reality TV World: Did you have any idea LJ had found it?
Brice Johnston: I had some idea that LJ possibly had the idol.
Reality TV World: LJ was shown complaining that he and Jeremiah were the ones doing most of the work around camp, but he seemed to direct that complaint against the three girls and maybe he just accidentally omitted you. So what was your reaction to that? Were the three girls really doing nothing around camp? What was going on there?
Brice Johnston: I was doing the most work around camp, period. LJ and Jeremiah may have maintained the fire, but I was absolutely doing the most work around camp as far as getting water, getting rice, making sure everyone was comfortable, and yes, the girls didn't do anything.
I mean, my whole view on it was, "If you're not doing anything, you don't need anything." But, you know, LJ wanted to make sure he catered to his alliance.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised when Jeremiah told you that LJ and his allies were planning to vote for you, and did that play any significant role in your belief that Jeremiah was with you or not with you?
Brice Johnston: It wasn't a surprise to me. I knew that they probably would target me, so I was prepared for that. I was surprised when Jeremiah had approached us about, you know, forming our own alliance. That was surprising to me, and I thought, you know, "This is my way of kind of staying in the game longer."
Reality TV World: Counting yourself and the two guys from the Brains tribe, I think it's the first time ever in Survivor three guys have been the first three people voted out of the game. What are your thoughts on that? Because it is very unusual.
Brice Johnston: It's just a great season of Survivor. You got newbies back so it's like you never know what to expect. I think [Garrett Adelstein], you know, was a great player. I mean, he kind of shot himself in the foot, but you know, Garrett was a great player. He was very strategic, just wanting to get it all out there. So I mean, just great, big personalities, and that makes for a great season of Survivor.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you found out about the season's three-tribe twist and that you were on the Beauty tribe? Do you think that ultimately ended up hurting your gameplay in any way?
Brice Johnston: I definitely think it ended up hurting my gameplay. Had I been on a bigger tribe, I would've been able to maneuver a lot more. Being a fan of the show, I love it when they break it up into three different tribes because it's like nobody is safe. Everyone has to start playing from the door.
So I was excited about that, but I definitely think it ultimately hurt me. Had I been on a bigger tribe, I would've been able to talk to way more people. It would've been less country folk. So I would've been able to, you know, you would've been able to see my social game come out a lot more.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on Survivor? How did you end up on the show?
Brice Johnston: I actually sent in -- you know how CBS does sometimes, at Survivor, they send in a little blooper at the bottom that says, "Send in your Survivorvideo?" So I got my iPhone and recorded this three-minute video and I tried to send it to CBS from my email, but it listed that the file was too big.
So I was like stressing out over it and I just gave up. So I only sent them 45 seconds of my three-minute clip, and from there, they actually called me back.
Reality TV World: Wow, was that your first time applying?
Brice Johnston: Actually, I tried out the year before. I went to an open casting call in Atlantic City and I waited in line for four hours and I got in front of the camera and I just kind of froze.
I don't know, I froze. And actually [Gervase Peterson] from Season 1 and Blood vs. Water was there kind of cheering on the crowd, and he said to me, "Well at least you know what they're looking for now. Definitely try again." And I definitely did, and I'm on Season 28!
Above is the concluding portion of Brice's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.