Exclusive: 'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' eliminee Alexis Maxwell talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 03/27/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's fifth episode concluded with the new Aparri tribe voting Alexis Maxwell out of their tribe at Tribal Council.
Alexis, a 21-year-old student from Addison, IL, was voted out of her Aparri tribe at the season's sixth Tribal Council session during Wednesday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition. Alexis was blindsided to discover her tribemates had unanimously decided to vote her out when she thought the obvious next target was Jeremiah Wood.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Alexis talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: So it seemed like you were blindsided and had completely gone into Tribal expected Jeremiah was going to be voted off. Was that actually the case?
Alexis Maxwell: Yeah, I really, really thought he was going home. The whole Tribal Council, I was sitting there thinking about how proud I was of myself because I made it to the merge, because I knew the merge was the next day. And I was thinking about all my post-merge plans and how I would be in such a good spot, and I was just really proud of myself.
And then all of a sudden, it just came crashing down. Then from there, it was like an out-of-body experience. It was just very painful and I still felt it when I watched it again last night. It was heart breaking.
Reality TV World: What were your post-merge plans and what kind of spot do you think you would have been in?
Alexis Maxwell: Well I never would have flipped, because that leaves five people that will not vote for you in the end for the million. So you lose the game if you flip, so I wasn't going to do that. But I also knew that [Jefra Bland] and [LJ McKanas] wouldn't vote for me, so I don't think that the other five knew Solana would've targeted me at all. So I think I would've been in a great spot as far as that goes.
And then, I was on the bottom in the new Aparri tribe, obviously. So I was planning on waiting until the new Solana had only one or two members left and then taking the other bottom member of new Aparri and moving -- connecting with the new Solana members to take out the rest of them.
But you can't think that far in advance, but that's what I was daydreaming about and fantasizing about at Tribal, right before I got blindsided.
Reality TV World: Why had you been so confident Jeremiah was going to be the one voted off? What had led you to believe that?
Alexis Maxwell: I just think, in my head, I was so sure that it was common sense and that [Tony Vlachos] pulled him aside, and he's the only person that talked to anybody on their tribe, so they think that they have him. I thought that I made good arguments against him and for myself.
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I also didn't think that I had any threat about me. I didn't think I was threatening in any capacity. And I guess I was wrong about that! But I should've known better. As a fan, I should have known that it wouldn't have been as straightforward as I had imagined it.
Reality TV World: I was going to ask you about that. Why do you think they decided to keep Jeremiah over you? And what exactly made them see you as such a threat -- or at least more of a threat than him?
Alexis Maxwell: I think just the fact that -- well, we disclosed way too much information as the Beauty tribe. And I think the fact that Jeremiah went back and forth against LJ and Jefra and myself at one point worked in his favor, because it showed that I was so concretely with Jefra and LJ and that he was willing to go against them. So, I think it made them feel as though I was the bigger risk to take to the merge.
Reality TV World: We didn't see any mention of Morgan as a possible vote target. Everybody seemed to zero in on Jeremiah and yourself. Why was that? How did Morgan McLeod manage to kind of get off scot-free.
Alexis Maxwell: Well, Morgan was never connected with anybody from new Solana, so they really didn't foresee a risk in her flipping because she was never with them. [Sarah Lacina], there was talk of Sarah, but really only Sarah, myself and Jeremiah had connections on the other side.
Reality TV World: Sarah was all by herself in your new tribe and seemed to be the obvious person in the most danger after the tribal swap. So why didn't the three Brains and three Beauties all just target her? Why didn't we ever see at least yourself, Jeremiah and Morgan trying to sway her as a critical fourth vote or anything like that?
Alexis Maxwell: Yeah, that was my selling point when I first approached the Brains. My whole idea was that, "We cannot let Sarah get to the merge because she has so many options and so many connections on the other team that it would be so risky to bring her to the merge."
But everything changed when [Cliff Robinson] and [Lindsey Ogle] went home, because she lost numbers and my numbers remained. So the fact that LJ didn't go home actually hurt me and helped her. [I became] a bigger risk to bring than her.
Reality TV World: Why did the Beauty members have so much trouble staying together after the merge? The episode seemed to show all of you immediately turning on one another there.
Alexis Maxwell: I think that we all believed that we were the only ones doing that. So none of us knew that all of us had approached the Brains. But I definitely didn't feel secure with Jeremiah or Morgan, and I wanted to protect myself. But I guess the abrupt and kind of aggressive way that I went about it definitely worked against me. (Laughs) But I thought it was helping me at the time! (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Spencer Bledsoe was shown saying he thought you were a little "phony" and playing dumber than you are, which is I guess a pet-peeve he has with girls. What are your thoughts on that?
Alexis Maxwell: Well I definitely was saying dumb things out there, but part of that was my lack of brain activity because I was exhausted and hungry. And part of that was me not wanting to seem threatening or very intelligent out there, because why would you want to seem very smart in Survivor? It just adds a target. But good for him that he didn't buy into my bullsh-t. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: On that note, were you happy to find out about your placement on the Beauty tribe when Jeff Probst announced the season's twist? Did you feel it was an advantage or a disadvantage?
Alexis Maxwell: I felt that it definitely was an advantage, because I believed that it was the least threatening label. Because if you're labeled as a Brain, then you're a strategic [player]. If you're a Brawn, then you're a challenge threat, but there's really nothing a Beauty can bring to the table.
So, I was happy about that label because I didn't have a target on my back, but I mean, if it was the game of life, I wouldn't have put myself on that tribe. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: You cared so much about playing the game that you broke down crying after you were voted off. So what was your reaction when you saw that Lindsey chose to quit the game given you were so passionate about wanting to playSurvivor. Did it bother you to see someone else just kind of throw that opportunity away?
Alexis Maxwell: Yeah, it did. It bothered all of us. And it's interesting because we're such a stark contrast from each other, but part of the reason I was crying was because, as a fan, I recognize that there's so many people that would die to play this game. And I felt like I let them down. I felt like I blew an opportunity and didn't play well.
So, I didn't quit but I felt like probably the same as if I did quit. I just felt like I let them down and I blew it, so I couldn't even fathom the fact that someone quit. It's just an opportunity of a lifetime and I don't think that it should be taken lightly.
Reality TV World: You seemed happy when you arrived at the challenge and saw Cliff and Lindsey gone. What was your initial thought when you found out she had quit and did it change at all when you learned the details of the situation later on? Had you envisioned Lindsey's situation must've been a lot more dire than it seemed to come across?
Alexis Maxwell: Well when I first saw the tribe, I really couldn't understand what I was looking at. Because 1.) they're missing their most giant human. And 2.) there were less people than I expected to be there. So my brain was just going crazy trying to figure out what I was looking at.
And then when Jeff told us she quit, I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that we were down two people in one night, and it was just fascinating to me. But yeah, it wasn't until we got back to our beach that we kind of had time to think about the fact that she quit and think about what that really meant for us and meant for the game.
Above is the first half of Alexis' exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.