Exclusive: 'Survivor: Kaoh Rong' castoff Kyle Jason talks (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/11/2016
Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty's merged Dara tribe voted Kyle Jason out during the latest broadcast on CBS.
Jason, a 31-year-old bounty hunter from Detroit, MI, was voted out of his tribe on Night 32 at the game's eleventh Tribal Council session basically because he was on the outside of a five-person alliance and failed to win Individual Immunity. He therefore became the sixth member of Season 32's jury.
Jason's game went down the tubes once Tai Trang flipped on his former Brawn alliance, ultimately kicking the bounty hunter's closest ally, Scot Pollard, to the curb. Scot left the game with Jason's hidden Immunity Idol in his pocket.
During a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Jason talked about his Survivor experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: The vote at Tribal Council when Julia Sokolowski went home, was that a shock to you? I'm assuming you were convinced you'd be the target before her?
Kyle Jason: Oh, I would've bet my mortgage on it, that I was the target! So, it was nice. I was already playing on borrowed time and I got treated to a little more borrowed time. So, if I had the idol, I would've played it then. Because I was guaranteeing myself in my head, like, "This is yours!" I wrote a little message to my wife on the parchment and I was ready to pack it up and go! I assumed it was me, and it wasn't.
Reality TV World: Why was it such a shock to you? What had led you to believe you were getting voted out instead of Julia and then what do you think was responsible for the shift in your tribe?
Kyle Jason: Julia was close with [Michele Fitzgerald]. I didn't think Michele had it in her, I guess, to vote out Julia. To me, Michele turning on Julia like that didn't make sense to me at that time. When I ran everything through my head, the logical play was to get rid of me if you want to keep your alliance strong -- unless you wanted to make a move.
And we were trying very hard to make a move and get [Cydney Gillon] and Michele to come with us, and I just didn't see it truly biting the way I had hoped. Did they entertain it? Yeah, I truly believe they entertained it. I just don't think it took the way I was hoping it would, and it didn't. So, it turned out I was right about that. That's why I was assuming it would've been me.
Reality TV World: You were a couple of steps away from winning Individual Immunity. What happened? Did the pressure sort of get to you and you lost focus? And how frustrating was that for you?
Kyle Jason: It was very frustrating. You know, three steps, that's all I was. Three steps from the [finish] platform and I'm living on to another episode. It just didn't work out that way for me. That challenge -- I'm assuming everyone could tell how difficult that challenge really was.
It really took a long time of playing, and everyone's blocks fell time and time and time again. Nobody quit on that, really. Everyone, they get five, six, seven blocks up, and then they all fall and [the person] rushes back to start over and reset.
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It just happened that Cydney and I got right there, right at the end, and I was ahead of her. I was three steps away and the tension on the rope, I don't know if I just pulled it a little too much to stable it out, but the weight countered on me and it just happened quickly. It was devastating. I lost my whole game, I saw it go away on three steps.
Reality TV World: You and Scot were still really tight with Tai when he won that extra-vote advantage in a Reward Challenge, but Scot couldn't recall when he found out about it, like if Tai had told him during the game or he found out after being voted out. When did you find out? Because I thought you guys would have hounded Tai with questions right after he won that.
Kyle Jason: Tai wanted to keep that one very close to his chest, and he was very secretive about what his extra advantage was. He wasn't telling us and didn't tell us at all. The reason we didn't pressure him too much on that was simply for the fact of we didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable. We needed him at that time. We really needed him on our side.
You saw that once we lost him, it was devastating to our game. So, we didn't want to keep pushing and pushing, like, "You need to share your secrets with us." Did we want to know? Yes. But he didn't tell us at all, and the reason we didn't push it too much was because we were trying to hold on to the guy.
Reality TV World: Did you just figure it was a clue to another hidden Immunity Idol or something?
Kyle Jason: Yes, I completely assumed it was either a clue to an idol or he already had it. Either way, we were chalking it up to, "He's got two Immunity Idols."
Reality TV World: How would you describe your relationship with Cydney in the game? Because obviously there was a lot of animosity there after she flipped on Brawn, but then you'd give her credit for wanting to make big moves and shake things up. How did you view her?
Kyle Jason: I viewed her as a friend and as a threat. In the beginning, we were very close. We talked a lot of personal stuff. We shared things with each other that we didn't with others. We built a friendship, and that's what helped our alliance build so big. She got targeted by me strictly for business purposes, you know?
She turned on me. She knew too much of my bullsh-t pretty much that you're too big of a risk now to keep around because you know all my secrets and tricks. So why am I going to keep you there? That's the only reason why I was gunning for her. It was nothing personal; It was all business.
She just knew too much about me at that time that it would be dumb to purposely keep her around. But because of our friendship, that's why I tried to go back and work with her in the hopes she would remember that.
We're very close outside the game still. We talk. I have the utmost respect for her and her career and how hard she pushed in the game and pushes in real life, you know? We're still good and we were good in the game. There was never any hard feelings toward each other.
Reality TV World: How is your family? What has their reaction been watching the season back with you?
Kyle Jason: My family has been super supportive of it -- everyone from my mom down to my children. My wife is my biggest advocate and the biggest person on my side. They are very proud of me and loved the way I played.
They are very supportive and I can't thank them enough for pushing me to take this ride and go on this adventure and to play my game the way I want to and support me on the way I played. I couldn't have more support from my family and my friends, and it's been nice!
Reality TV World: That's great to hear. And lastly, how were you cast on Survivor? How did you end up on the show?
Kyle Jason: This was the first time I applied for Survivor. I've just been very busy in my life. I spent 11 years going back and forth in combat and then working as hard as I am in my company now. I only had one chance to truly apply and I got lucky, and they liked me.
To read the first half of Jason's exclusive Survivor interview with Reality TV World, click here.