‘Survivor’ Castaway J’Tia: ‘I Didn’t Care If They Didn’t Eat’


'Survivor: Cagayan' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to be for all sorts of “Survivor: Cagayan” back-stabbin’, torch-snuffin’ fun. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Blood vs. Water” competitor Ciera Eastin, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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If you Google “How to Cook Rice” you’ll get about 147,000,000 results.

I can’t speak for which method is the most tasty, but I’ll bet J’Tia Taylor’s will get you in the most trouble.

I spoke with “Survivor: Cagayan’s” most notorious chef the morning after she was voted out of the game and had a chance to ask her about the motivation behind her culinary disaster, her relationship with the Brainy Lady alliance, and why she never wants to be a good loser…

Gordon Holmes: You, Latasha, and Kass seemed pretty tight heading into last night’s vote. Were you blindsided?
J’Tia Taylor: It was not unexpected. I knew there was a chance. Anytime anyone goes to Tribal Council they should assume there’s a chance they can be voted out. Going in I did not think they would vote me out, but as it progressed and as Jeff spoke more I understood that he was leading them to consider the challenges. So, it was no surprise to me when I was voted out.

Holmes: You’re probably going to be remembered as the woman who threw the rice on the fire. And this has happened on “Survivor” before. Brandon Hantz did something similar. But, Brandon was an excitable, young man who wanted to make big TV moments, where you seemed like you’d be way more strategic. Help me understand what went into your decision.
Taylor: So, at this time everybody on my tribe basically told me that I was going home. I was already feeling dejected because I did not come through with the puzzle. I felt bad enough and they were kicking me when I was down. Then, I felt like Garrett, who was supposed to be in my alliance, we were supposed to vote Kass out next, turned on me. So, I figured I’d get him where it hurts and that was his stomach. He was always talking about how he was hungry. And, he was supposed to be watching me, so I figured it’d be a double whammy. And I really wasn’t too happy with everyone else, so  I didn’t care if they didn’t eat. And personally, I’d rather stay and starve than go home and eat. So, I threw out the rice.
Holmes: Latasha was in your corner at that point. Was there any concern for her?
Taylor: Latasha said I was going home as well. And as far as us not having any rice to eat, we actually had more food after I threw out the rice than before. We had bananas, I caught us some crabs, we got a little smarter about how we ate. And we still had some rice left over. But, nope. Didn’t feel bad.
Holmes: Do you ever have any over-the-top reactions to things in your everyday life?
Taylor: Like I just go into the cafeteria and dump out all the rice in anger?
Holmes: That’ll show ‘em!
Taylor: (Laughs) Yeah! You, Colonels…how dare you? But no.

Holmes: So many of the things we saw about you were negative. What were some of the positive things that we missed?
Taylor: It seemed like Tasha and Kass hated me. And it’s OK to say I was volatile because I was. I was really hurt. But we got along for the most part. Kass and Tasha, they told me things to my face, they were honest, we did each other’s hair for the challenges. I’m not going to say I enjoyed every minute of it, but I liked everybody I was out there with. I didn’t know they had so many problem with me or thought I was bossy, (Laughs) although I can imagine why they thought I was bossy. But, I am who I am.

Holmes: You’re very successful in your everyday life, and here you’re put into a situation where your value is based on how well you can put a flag on a board while blindfolded.  Was it frustrating to be unable to contribute?
Taylor: It was very frustrating, these are clearly not skills that I use in my everyday life. I thought the Brawn people were so successful because they had a history of competing under pressure. That really helped them come from behind and not panic. It was very frustrating. I’m not used to losing. I’m not a good loser, I don’t want to learn how to become a good loser, because I don’t intend on continuing to lose in real life.

Holmes: What has the reaction been like from “Survivor” fans?
Taylor: I don’t know, I only read the good comments.
Holmes: Smart, I have a filter on my computer that doesn’t let bad comments in.
Taylor: No, I don’t have that, I just ignore everybody. You guys with negative comments are wasting your time. Here…let me see… “J’Tia Angel, you’re a star, you make this season so much better just by being in it.” Here’s another one, “J’Tia, I still love you down to your bone marrow.”

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Garrett.
Taylor: Muscular.
Holmes: David?
Taylor: Crafty.
Holmes: Spencer?
Taylor: Deaf mute.
Holmes: Kass?
Taylor: Salty woman.
Holmes: Jeff Probst?
Taylor: Dot dot hmmm…
Holmes: (Laughs) And Latasha?
Taylor: Really athletic.

Holmes: You had an interesting ride out there. What’s your big takeaway from the experience?
Taylor: I want to say I had a big takeaway, but I can’t think of one. I’m trying to give you something, Gordon. I am who I am. I like who I am. That’s the takeaway. I like who I am, some people don’t. You’ve got to rock with how you are and that’s what I do.

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

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