‘Survivor’ Castaway Jefra: Tony Is a ‘Wannabe Russell Hantz’


'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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I’m not sure where I heard it from first (probably “Survivor” Hall of Famer” Rob Cesternino), but it’s said that it’s smart to make your big moves when there is an odd number of players left. That way, instead of having to sway two votes, you only have to sway one.

This strategy has paid off this season with Tony only having to sway Woo to get rid of LJ at final nine and now Jefra and final seven. Kudos to Tony for being caught up on his “Rob Has a Podcast.”

I spoke with the victim of Tony’s latest maneuver and the last beauty standing the morning after her elimination. We had a chance to talk about the most recent of this season’s many blindsides, her plan for the Final Tribal, and her margarita intake…

Gordon Holmes: I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot this season, but tell me about last night’s blindside.
Jefra Bland: It was obviously a shock to me. I didn’t expect to be voted out or I would have saved my money from the quesadilla to bid on the advantage. Looking back now I’m not surprised at all that Tony turned on me. At the time, I was very surprised.
Holmes: Was there a discussion beforehand with your alliance where you guys could bid for food and Tony was going to make a go for the advantage?
Bland: No, there was never a discussion with Tony. And then he tried to play that card last night which was interesting. He was like, “I sacrificed for the tribe.” Well, no one asked him to do that. Nobody asked you to starve. So don’t throw it back on us. Obviously being a huge fan of the show, I told myself if I ever made it to the “Survivor” auction I would not bid on food. But when you’re there and you’re in the moment and you’re hungry and you feel safe…I thought Tony and I had made amends. I didn’t think Spencer would go to Tony and play it up like that.
Holmes: You went to the Outback reward, so you had two margaritas during your time out there.
Bland: (Laughs) I did.
Holmes: That’s how I’d play “Survivor.” Constant margaritas.

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Holmes: You had talked with Latasha, Spencer, and Jeremiah about flipping on Tony. Can you be that mad when you were considering turning on him?
Bland: I was upset when I was blindsided, but that’s the game. That’s why I love this show and have watched it for 28 seasons. I thought I’d made amends with Tony. I thought we’d worked through our differences. I really thought I was going to be OK.

Holmes: If Spencer had been sent home last night, was your plan a final three with Kass and Trish?
Bland: Yes. That was the final three. Trish had promised final three with a lot of people. She’d promised it with me and LJ, with me and Tony, with Woo and Tony. So, to know exactly who would have been in the final three would have changed. But, my plan was to go against Kass, who wouldn’t get any jury votes because of her big move, and Trish.
Holmes: Did you know Trish had promised final three to so many people?
Bland: I didn’t at the time.

Holmes: So Tony has…correct my math if I’m wrong…about 47 idols. Did you guys know he had more than one?
Bland: No, I don’t think anyone suspected that. He told us that the one he found was a regular idol.
Holmes: We’re seeing Tony running around being paranoid, making schemes, constructing a spy shack. With all of that aside, is Tony a likable guy?
Bland: That’s the only Tony that I know. I think that’s probably how he is in his everyday life. On the go, everything’s a big deal, very high strung.
Holmes: When you’re watching it at home, what’s going through your mind as Tony’s watching you through his pile of sticks?
Bland: We ended up catching him spying on us and following us to the well. That’s why we called him out on it that day when we were all in the water last episode. We said, “We know you’re following people to the well.” It took us some time to catch on, but we did catch on. He said he’d stop and said he was playing devil’s advocate or double agent. Just typical Tony talk.

Holmes: If you had gotten to the final three with Kass and Trish, how would you have presented yourself to the jury?
Bland: I would’ve stressed the fact that I played a social game and I played a better physical game than Kass and Trish. I was always one of the last people standing where Kass and Trish couldn’t hold a candle. I’d also stress the fact that I was a big part of getting Kass to flip with us. Kass and I had multiple conversations about it. And, I had stirred some drama up between her and Sarah intentionally to get her over to our side. I’d have highlighted things like that.
Holmes: We didn’t get to see many of your strategic moves. Was there anything else like the Kass move that we missed?
Bland: Back when we were on the Beauty tribe, I was with Alexis who was with LJ. Brice and Morgan were together. But the first Tribal Council, that was all Alexis and I.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. We’ll start with LJ.
Bland: Trustworthy.
Holmes: Morgan?
Bland: Aloof. (Laughs)
Holmes: Tony?
Bland: Grr…backstabbing, betraying, untrustworthy, wannabe Russell Hantz.
Holmes: (Laughs) Sorry. Trish?
Bland: She’s sweet. She’s a sweetheart.
Holmes: Kass?
Bland: Chaos.
Holmes: Latasha?
Bland: She’s a beast. She’s killing those challenges.
Holmes: Spencer?
Bland: Smart.
Holmes: Woo?
Bland: His nickname on our tribe was Weasel Woo.

Holmes: People don’t leave “Survivor” the same way they went in. Did you learn any lessons out there?
Bland: I’m a super big people person. I love to please everybody. I’m a peace keeper. I learned that it’s OK to have chaos and take care of yourself. I was so concerned with keeping my alliance, but it’s OK to be selfish sometimes and look out for your best interests.

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

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