Exclusive: 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' castoff Morgan McLeod talks (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/16/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's merged Solarrion tribe voted out Morgan McLeod during last week's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition.
Morgan, a 21-year-old former NFL cheerleader from San Jose, CA, was voted out of her Solarrion tribe at the season's eighth Tribal Council session, which marked the second time Solarrion had attended Tribal together.
Morgan was voted out of the game because none of the members in the majority alliance flipped to join her side. Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen appeared to be the only person willing to jump ship, but she and Morgan really disliked each other.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Morgan talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion of Morgan's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: The castaways all seemed to think you didn't do much around camp. Do you think that was accurate or not? Because you seemed to admit that was the case to Jeff Probst at Tribal Council but appeared to deny those accusations when people had voiced them earlier on in the game.
Morgan McLeod: I think that I got the bad rap of being like the only lazy person when in reality, [Jefra Bland] and [Alexis Maxwell] were right there with me, especially when we were on the Beauty tribe together. When we [became] new Aparri and merged, yeah, I'll admit, I wasn't the workhorse.
I maybe should've done some more, but for everyone to say I did NOTHING, that is a stretch, I personally think. Because I did -- I cooked rice a few times, I did get water after Kass yelled at me. So, you know, I think that it was just a little harsh.
Reality TV World: When you were at Tribal, you pledged you would've started working hard around camp if you didn't get voted off. Did you really mean that at the time or was that just? And even if you meant it, do you think you would have actually suddenly changed and followed through with it?
Morgan McLeod: I definitely think I would've done more to make it seem like I was making more of an effort to, you know, work harder and just be, I guess, a more social person -- to have people like me more. And I would've had to put on that charm and, you know, smile and make everyone feel great. And I admit, I wasn't doing that.
I really, the elements and the food and the no water, it just made me -- I was grouchy out there. I'll admit it. I had no sleep and it hurt my game. And so, if I ever had the chance to play again, I know now that I just have to suck it up and (laughs) be nicer and work a little harder.
Reality TV World: Tony Vlachos was quoted saying you did nothing but sleep and people couldn't tell whether you were a pillow or a person out there. (Laughs) But you're saying you don't feel like you slept enough?
Morgan McLeod: For Tony to say that I slept too much, that is coming from the person who slept probably 30 minutes a day because he was so paranoid. He was just up all the time in his little "spy shack." He was crazy! So, you know, we slept and, I mean, yeah, I slept as best as I could on that bamboo.
And I even think -- I mean, I might be wrong here -- but during the scene when Kass was yelling at me and I flipped her off, I think that there was someone laying behind me in those blankets. If you look back, there's like a large bulge under the blankets, so someone is laying there with me! I'm not sure who it was, and I can't even remember, but you know, I wasn't the only one.
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Reality TV World: So it sounds like what you did or did not do around camp was never a deliberate strategy on your part, correct? It was circumstance rather than a plan you entered the game with?
Morgan McLeod: Doing things around camp, I really, I mean, I don't think it was really like a strategy. I did help and you didn't really see that.
But my strategy wasn't to be like, you know, the workhorse and do everything for everyone -- no one wants to vote me out because they're like, "Who's going to cook the rice?! Who's going to get the firewood? Who's going to get the water?" That wasn't me, and I knew from the beginning that was never going to be me. So, I just played it as best as I could.
Reality TV World: Did your behavior lean more towards one extreme in that maybe you thought not doing much around camp could make other people view you as a goat, the perfect person to take to the end?
Morgan McLeod: At Tribal, that's where I was realizing that people were really mad at me. And it's funny because they never told me to my face much, besides Kass. And then when [Trish Hegarty] kind of went off on me, I was like, "Hmm, I didn't realize you thought that way about me, because we did yoga or pilates and we hung out every day."
But that's why I made that case at Tribal, like, "No one likes me anymore. Like, Tony, look at me. You are wasting your vote on me if you're going to vote me out. You can take me to the end," and I guess that's not what he wanted to do.
Reality TV World: So Tribal Council is when it dawned on you that your gameplay might actually be an effective strategy?
Morgan McLeod: Yeah, I did. That's why I kind of made that half-ass, "Well, I'll try. But come on, take me to the Final 3."
Reality TV World: Some viewers are wondering how Spencer Bledsoe happened to be the one that lucked out and got the hidden Immunity Idol clue during the Outback Reward trip. How did you guys decide who sat where when you arrived at the restaurant, or were all the napkins just in a pile you could grab from?
Morgan McLeod: I don't know. When we first walked in, we kind of sat at this little bar area and drank. And I immediately was thinking that, you know, maybe a clue is taped up under the table. So I was kind of feeling around, and then it was time to eat. So we all just sat down wherever we wanted to sit.
It was completely our choice, and again, I was feeling under the table kind of looking around. And Spencer got lucky, and we were completely oblivious -- completely. We had no idea. And when we got back at camp and we realized that there's this clue, [LJ McKanas] looked around and he was like, "Are you kidding me?! How did I not catch this?" We had no clue.
Reality TV World: What was your relationship with Jeremiah Wood like? It seemed to change over the course of the game. You had seemed to think you had Jeremiah wrapped around your finger at the beginning, but then that seemed to change when you decided to vote off Bryce Johnston.
Morgan McLeod: Yeah. Well at first, I thought that Jeremiah would pretty much do what he was told to do. We realized that he's not really like a strategic thinker and that I was going to take the initiative in making decisions.
So Bryce and I thought that we could reel him in, and unfortunately, he just got really scared. He was scared about what LJ was going to do to him, and he chose to vote with them and vote Bryce out. And once we merged, I think he realized that he was kind of in a position here, that now he had ties to the other tribe. And he really just apologized up and down to me and just begged for my forgiveness.
And so, I was like, "Okay, I forgive you. I understand this is a game and that I need sometimes to have people align with and be friendly with me." So we chose Alexis instead, and I really played that card like, "Come on, Alexis is going to flip. Jeremiah is cool and he is with us."
Reality TV World: What was your reaction to LJ's comments at the beginning of season, when you got voted out of the tribe immediately and he explained later on he thought you were a bigger threat than Alexis and Jefra because you were basically hotter in his eyes?
Morgan McLeod: Yeah, I thought that that was just ridiculous. I mean, when he voted me out, I was completely shocked. I thought 100% that it was never going to be me just based off of the fact I'm bigger than the two girls; I think I look sturdier than them for challenges and what not. And when he voted me out, I was completely shocked.
And then I realized when we got back to camp and I tried to talk to him, he just wanted nothing to do with me. So I kind of realized there was something else coming into play here. And then when I got to watch and see his little private interview, I realized, "Oh, he just had a grudge from the beginning and there was nothing I could do." So there must be some history of an ex-girlfriend or something that I reminded him of.
Reality TV World: What had your strategy been going into the season, and did it end up changing at all once the game began?
Morgan McLeod: Yeah, my strategy going into the game was to not align with the clicky, young, cute girls. I just thought that was going to remind the older people -- some people -- like, "Oh, it's high school all over again. Let's just get rid of them."
So I wanted to align with maybe someone that's older, the kind of people that aren't the best or aren't the worst, and just kind of slide right through. And I couldn't do that with this twist in the season, so I just kind of fought my way through and I made it to the jury. So, I can't regret anything.
Above is the concluding portion of Morgan's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.