QUICK NOTE: We’ll have interviews with all six of the “Survivor: Game Changers” finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.
Gordon Holmes: There’s nothing quite like having one of the biggest nights of your life and then having to get up at the crack of dawn the next morning to talk to the press.
Troyzan Robertson: Yeah, and some of those people I’ve blocked. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) I think I’m one of them!
Robertson: I just want you to know that I know that water is wet.
Holmes: (Laughs) Noted. Well, I hope you forgive me someday.
Robertson: You might get the unblock someday.
Holmes: With “One World” you were this big aggressive player and you didn’t get to the end. This time around you’re more subtle, you’re making moves behind the scenes and you did get to the end but you weren’t rewarded for it.
Robertson: In “One World” I had my back up against the wall. And if I’m backed up I’m going to get more aggressive. Normal-day Troyzan is the one you saw this year. I had to play a little bit under the radar. I saw big targets going home, especially men, and I thought, “I can’t do that.” I’m going to have to volunteer to sit out challenges. I’m going to act like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m the old guy…I’ll follow along. Then, I’ll make my moves subtly. I just had to be a lot more careful. I saw so many people make a big move or a medium move and then they’d go home at the next Tribal. And I knew I had to get to day 39 to give myself a chance. If you only get to day 38 you have zero chance.
Holmes: Brad, when the call was made to take Sarah to the end, was it a case of not knowing all she had done or did you think the jury was upset with her?
Brad Culpepper: I think it was a combination of a couple things. When you’re on the island you’re not privy to a lot of the conversations. I think Troyzan and I both thought that Cirie and Andrea were the drivers of a lot of the decisions that were being made. When you watch it on television you see that Sarah is doing a lot more of it. Also, Tai was universally liked. He was a provider, he was good in challenges, and he’s a great guy. We knew he didn’t have a lot of blood on his hands. And I don’t think Troy or I knew that this jury was not going to be bitter at all. I think it was the opposite. Blood was a medal. We’d never seen Zeke play before, so we thought he’d be angry at Sarah. So, as soon as he stood up and said, “Congratulations, you’ve got my support,” immediately it was like…”Ooo…that was a bad call by Troy and I.”
Robertson: (Laughs) Yeah.
Holmes: Troyzan, when you said you could beat anyone at final three, was it because you were expecting a bitter jury and you didn’t have any blood on your hands?
Robertson: Part of it was that. The jury would come in and they’d give us these looks. I was thinking these guys are pissed off. I don’t think they’re pissed off at me. I’m an old-school player and a lot of times a bitter jury will like a person like me. But, I also felt like if someone’s going to ask me if I think I’m going to win, I’m not going to say no. The jury would hopefully see that and think, “He’s pretty confident. I like that.” And I thought they liked me already. It was a little bit of a bluff as well.
Culpepper: And I’ll tell you this, Gordon…I was surprised that Troy was ignored at the final Tribal Council. I thought there was a lot of love for Troy. I wasn’t completely comfortable taking Troy to the end either. I was thinking, “Golly, he hasn’t stepped on any toes. He’s so nice around camp. He’s got a lot of friends. He’s a provider.” It was bad jury management on my part, obviously.
Holmes: Brad, I know you felt really bad about what they showed between you and Tai last night. And I know a lot of people had a negative impression of you coming into this game based on “Blood vs. Water.” We’ve spoken on several occasions. I think you’re a nice guy. Most of this cast thinks you’re a nice guy. How important was it for you to clear the air on those moments?
Culpepper: Jeff asked me some kind of question and I had to say, “Before I answer what you asked me, I need everyone to know that I love Tai.” We had a very complicated relationship and they caught the tail end of my frustration. Tai and I were together for a long time and then we were split up because everyone was scrambling. He was instructed to vote for Sierra and I was instructed to vote Tai. We’re both trying to get a lifeline. After that vote, I went back to Tai and I said I had nothing against him and I still wanted to play with him. He agreed, but he still went against me. I was really trying to repair our relationship. He told me he had two idols, I said, “Let me hold onto one and if I win immunity I’ll give it back.” And I would’ve. I would not have voted him out. Then he goes away to think about it. And he’d say, “Let’s do it.” Then he’d say, “No, I can’t.” So, that was back and forth for three hours. So, by the end I was tired of him being wishy-washy that I said, “Tai, do this, we can build a relationship.” And that’s what they aired, they caught the tail end of my frustration. I’m not saying I was right, I was hungry, I was sleepy, maybe I need a Snickers. Even the comment I made to Troy about “Even if he gives me that thing, I’ll use it to vote him out.” That really wasn’t my intention, that was frustration. Tai and I watched it together. We were holding hands. And it looked awful, but we know how we are.
Holmes: Troyzan, Sarah had some really nice things to say about you. But…she also requested that I get some clarification on this whole “Green Monster” situation.
Holmes: I apologize in advance. But at this point I don’t think I’d be doing my job if I didn’t ask.
Robertson: It is a never-ending story. I don’t know how it started. I decided to get these Under Armour, green, they’re not even underwear, they’re compression shorts. I’m thinking, it’ll be great if I can get away with wearing these things because they’ll be great for my thighs. It’ll be good in water challenges so I can swim. But, I didn’t realize how green they were on TV. It started with Tony in Mana, I was standing behind him, he whipped around and says, “Jesus Christ, those things are so bright.” And then Aubry was the one who came up with the name “The Green Monsters,” and then somehow that turned into “The Green Monster.” Then Malcolm made your exit interview crazy comment. You know what? I just roll with it. They were hoping it would get a hashtag.
Holmes: There are worse things to be known for Troyzan.
Robertson: (Laughs) Yeah! But then it got to the point that people were asking, “Why is it green? Is something infected?” I wish I would have worn purple so I would’ve had a purple monster.
Holmes: Brad, what’s the conversation like with Monica when you come home with two more jury votes than she got?
Culpepper: Monica is the best “Survivor” player in the house. That is not an argument. She may argue the other way around. But I 100% believe that. She’s never going to play again, but if she did she would win. I’m never going to play again, but if I did I could never win. She’s a much better player than me.
Holmes: Where do you guys rank amongst the “Survivor” married couples?
Culpepper: How are you rating us? If you’re rating who loves each other the most, we win. Rob and Amber would be #1 as far as players. So, maybe we’d be below them.
Robertson: Do I get a vote? Cause I’d vote for the Culpeppers.
Culpepper: (Laughs) That’s why I brought him to the end.
Holmes: Troyzan you played with Monica in “One World,” but you two didn’t have much of a relationship before this. What’s the relationship like now?
Robertson: Brad has become like a brother.
Robertson: You get super close out there and I knew Brad going in. But when you start playing, I felt like I was playing “Blood vs. Water” with my brother. He’s the only person in my “Survivor” career that I trusted 100%. That’s rare. I’d never trust someone that much in the game. I wouldn’t even have to talk to him. I’d just give him a look. It was that easy.
Culpepper: If you said to me you could go to the end and win without Troyzan or go to the end with Troyzan and maybe not win? I’d choose the latter. We had a great time out there.
Robertson: And believe me, Brad could join the monster clan with his striped monster. (Laughs)
Culpepper: (Laughs) Monster junior.
Holmes: (Laughs) This is my job.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes