‘Survivor’ Castaway Julia: ‘My Nickname Should Be…’Thrilla Vanilla”


Julia Landauer (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Another Quick Note: This week’s exit interview was delayed due to some scheduling conflicts. Special thanks to Julia and CBS for making this work out.

Gordon Holmes: OK, since we’re doing this late, I’ll let you pick the question you’re sick of answering and I promise not to ask it.
Julia Landauer: (Laughs) OK…you know what? I’m OK with whatever you’ve got.
Holmes: That’s the spirit.

Holmes: Obviously you knew it was you or Michael going home. Did you think it was a chance it wouldn’t be you?
Landauer: I thought there was a very slim chance it would be Michael. I was getting vibes throughout the day that Phillip may or may not keep his word about taking me under his wing. I wasn’t feeling great about that, so I tried to suck up. But if not, I tried to make a move and I knew that if it didn’t work there’d be a 99.9% chance that I was going home. But, I thought that was better than risking going out completely under the radar.
Holmes: So, what we saw with you and Dawn, that was after you thought Phillip wasn’t going to keep his word?
Landauer: Yes. If I had felt confident that Phillip was going to take me with him, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Dawn, but I was not feeling good about that.
Holmes: What was Phillip doing that had you doubting him?
Landauer: I saw him very purposefully take Michael aside in front of me. He wasn’t talking with me very much. That was pretty unsettling.
Holmes: Are you bummed that you can’t use “Stealth R Us Intern” on any future resumes?
Landauer: It’s unfortunate, but I asked Twitter what my nickname should be, and my favorite was “Thrilla Vanilla.”

Holmes: Speaking of, what goes through your mind when you see Cochran, who I assume you were on good terms with out there, call you “Vanilla”?
Landauer: Not only did he call me “Vanilla,” but he went on for days. I was impressed he could keep going for that long. It sucked, there’s nothing fun about that. I thought we’d gotten along OK on the island. He’s a great “Survivor” player, but he’s not the most engaging person in person either. I was surprised that it came from him, I could understand it from Corinne or maybe Phillip.
Holmes: You’re a race car driver, which takes some serious muscle. When you see Cochran at the reunion, are you going to take his lunch money?
Landauer: That’s a mystery that we’ll all have to wait for, won’t we?
Holmes: Playing close to the vest.
Landauer: I can’t have him come prepared, can I?
Holmes: Smart. Actually, I’m a little disappointed that you two didn’t bond over your horrific sunburns.
Landauer: Seriously! But we did bond, we bonded over sunburns. We bonded over the Beatles, we sang the Beatles. It was really dorky.
Holmes: Sounds like it.
Landauer: That’s why it was surprising that he was so aggressive with his “Vanilla.” I wonder if he was really proud that he came up with that. It seemed very rehearsed.

Holmes: The week before, you approached Michael and Matt in the woods and proposed voting for Dawn. Matt claims you never tried to get a fourth vote to send Dawn home. Is that accurate, or did he miss it?
Landauer: I was looking around, but it became pretty clear that there were no cracks in the favorites.

Holmes: I’m not a huge fan of swaps because it can punish people who have been playing good games. I think you fall into the category because it seemed like you were close with the majority at Gota.
Landauer: You’re right, if we hadn’t had the swap, Eddie and Reynold were next on the chopping block. We could have come into the merge with a very cool, solid alliance from day one. The game would’ve been completely different, but there are so many things that could’ve made the game completely different, that it’s not fair to speculate on that.
Holmes: Michael Skupin was telling me that his tribe had a set plan in case of a tribe swap. Had Gota discussed what to do if that happened?
Landauer: I was not under the impression that we’d prepared for a swap. We thought it was a possibility that something could happen. But we were going to try to get as much information as possible from the other tribe and try to come back to Gota. But, being newbies it was probably hard for us to get out stuff together and take that really strategic approach that the favorites have because they’ve played before.

Holmes: We didn’t get to see very much of you in the early going. Was there anything we missed that you wished they would’ve shown?
Landauer: Yeah, but not really big moves because I don’t think of pre-merge as a big-move time. I did a lot of talking with Michael and Matt about who to vote off and I don’t think I got a fair representation of being in control or at least partially in control of the Gota tribe, which I was. I wish that would have been shown. And hard work around camp. In general we’re not seeing a lot of camp life this season. People question why I stayed around so long, but your contributions around camp are a determining factor.

Holmes: Alright, word association. Let’s start with Corinne.
Landauer: Mean.
Holmes: Dawn?
Landauer: Weird.
Holmes: Phillip?
Landauer: Outrageous.
Holmes: Micheal?
Landauer: Savvy.
Holmes: Reynold?
Landauer: A tool.
Holmes: Sherri?
Landauer: Quiet.
Holmes: Shamar?
Landauer: Too much.
Holmes: And let’s finish with Cochran.
Landauer: Sunburned vanilla.

Holmes: “Weird” for Dawn?
Landauer: I’d seen her in her first season and she wasn’t quite matching up with that. Also, she would get really emotional at times and then really cutthroat at other times. I just found that combination kind of weird.

Holmes: When you were being vetted for Stealth R Us, Phillip said he was drawn to people who lead extraordinary lives. Did you take a lot from this “Survivor” experience or was it just another chapter in an extraordinary life?
Landauer: I think this experience forced me to grow up in a way I haven’t had to yet. I have very limited real world experience, I’ve been a student my whole life and a race car driver. I don’t have a lot of experience with people who aren’t trustworthy. I think “Survivor” forced me to get tougher and have a stiff upper lip. You know, just get tougher skin. I think “Survivor” will make me a little stronger in being able to approach the real world.

Any questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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