Michaela, a 25-year-old in vacation club sales from Fort Worth, TX, became the seventh castaway voted out of Season 33 of Survivor on Night 20 at the game's seventh Tribal Council session. The new Ikabula tribe, featuring a mix of Gen Xers and millennials, had to vote one of their own members off after they lost the Immunity Challenge to the opposing Vanua and Takali tribes.
Instead of taking advantage of an easy vote -- one of the two Gen Xers on the tribe -- Justin "Jay" Starrett convinced his alliance of millennials to turn on Michaela so she wouldn't be a threat to them come the merge. Michaela appeared blindsided, pissed off and disappointed.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Michaela talked about her Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Previews show the merge is coming in the next episode. Was your tribe anticipating the merge happening so soon?
Michaela Bradshaw: Yes! We knew it. It was like, "We can't stay on this island too long. It's time to go. We're running out of rice!" So, we were expecting it to happen and that's why it was devastating for us to lose that last challenge, because we were like, "This whole idea that we planned is gone!" And so, it was just a devastating thing.
Reality TV World: You made it clear you wanted Jessica "Figgy" Figueroa gone, and that's part of the reason you didn't help her tribe in the Immunity Challenge that played out during last week's episode. Was that move personal or strategic? And did you dislike Taylor Stocker just as much as you did Figgy?
Michaela Bradshaw: No, I didn't have anything against Taylor. The thing was, he seemed like he didn't like me. And it's probably because he was in love with Figgy, and Figgy and I weren't friends on that island.
So, whatever, I think that is what that is, but I just knew that that couple was not for me, and I don't need two votes that could go against me at any time. So, that was a strategic thing, but it was also like, "Okay, it's time for you to go, Figgy," too. It was personally satisfying, but it was strategic. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: We didn't see a conversation unfold between Jay, Will Wahl, Bret LaBelle and Sunday Burquest about voting you out. Do you think that actually happened or that Bret and Sunday determined they should vote you out on their own? Because you'd think they'd just vote for each other if they were clueless about Jay's plan.
Michaela Bradshaw: Oh no, there was a conversation definitely. From my understanding, Jay and Will went to Bret and they just said, "Okay, the three of us, let's vote Michaela." And we were all supposed to vote somebody... like me and Hannah thought everybody was going to be voting for the same person, and then if Will, Bret and Jay voted me, that would be enough to send me home.
What happened was, when Hannah mentioned splitting the vote, then they had to go to Sunday and say, "Sunday, we need you to vote Michaela. Michaela is going home." So there was definitely conversation.
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I just wasn't aware of it because we spent that last day -- the first hour after we lost was literally spent in silence. And then, you know, people kind of walked off, did whatever, and then we spent the rest of the day trying to enjoy the time.
So we were in the water, we went to the end of the reef, like, we were just trying to enjoy each other, because we knew somebody was going home. So that was not an organic thing. Somebody pointed at me and it sprouted.
Reality TV World: Hannah was convinced Bret was a police officer, and Jay agreed with her. What did you think while you were on the island, and what was your reaction when his occupation was confirmed for you watching this season back?
Michaela Bradshaw: I honestly did not care about Bret's occupation. I thought he was hilarious, I thought he was fun to be around, and if you're a police officer, then (laughs) good for you! I literally didn't care. I didn't understand everyone's preoccupation with it.
But I realized when Hannah was interrogating Bret, "Okay, you are not a funeral director. You're not answering these questions correctly." (Laughs) So we were all on the same accord with that, but it wasn't a big deal to me.
Reality TV World: You'll probably go down in Survivorhistory for that challenge when your bikini top came off. Lucy Huang said she pulled it off you, but the editing made it look like you took it off yourself to escape. So could you clarify what went down?
Michaela Bradshaw: Yeah, so it's a combination of the two. So basically, what happened was Lucy was holding on to the back of my bikini, the part that goes around your back, and then she grabbed at the top -- the part that goes around your neck -- and ripped it, like my bathing suit actually broke.
So, then I realized, "I'm trying to get away from her and the only thing holding me back is her grabbing on this little string that goes around my back." And I'm like, "F-ck this! I'm not going to let some string hold me back!" So I just took it off! And then that freed me up and I went and got the buoy and then we won.
Reality TV World: Taylor just announced he's expecting a son and is going to become a dad THIS month. That indicates there was a pregnant woman in his life when he was romancing Figgy on Survivor. What's your reaction to that? Are you surprised?
Michaela Bradshaw: I'm not surprised because I knew on the island, I heard Taylor tell someone that he had a girlfriend. He was talking to Jay, which is why I was like, "This little couple is so silly!"
Because this dude has a lady back home and they're over here talking about how they're in love. But, you know, I stay out of people's business, whatever. So coming back and hearing that he's expecting, I guess that means that "FigTayls" was only made for TV.
Reality TV World: It seemed like Figgy had no idea out there about this girl Taylor had back home.
Reality TV World: In a general sense, do you think being too trusting or loyal was your downfall in the game? Do you have any regrets?
Michaela Bradshaw: Definitely. I think that I'm very -- I think that being too trusting was something that turned around and bit me. I've got to realize where I am. But I think the way it came across is great. That's how I am in real life and that's how I was portrayed on TV. So do I regret it? No. That's Michaela. But if I get the chance to do this again, will I adjust? Yes.
Check Reality TV World's Survivorpage for more from our exclusive interview with Michaela.