‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Ciera: ‘Monica…Malign. Sorry, Mom’


"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

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Name: Ciera Eastin
Season: “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”
Finish: Fifth place
Why You Should Remember Her: Ciera became the only person in “Survivor” history to vote out a family member when she sent her mother Laura Morett packing.

Gordon Holmes: You have this huge advantage over most of these nineteen people you’re about to victimize. I’m of course talking about your XFINITY Power Rankings experience.
Ciera Eastin: My Power Rankings background is going to be pretty huge for me. I Power Ranked Kass, Spencer, Tasha, Woo…I analyzed their game pretty intensely.

Holmes: Another advantage is you’re one of the few people who has a mother who has played “Survivor.”
Eastin: My mom is so stoked. She’s incredibly pumped. She basically told me, if you don’t win, I’ll still love you. Thanks, Mom!
Holmes: As far as worst-case-scenarios go, that’s pretty solid. She played with Monica Padilla in Samoa.
Eastin: I think I maybe met her. I’ve never talked to her. I know she talks to my mom. My mom could’ve told her, “Ciera and you are tight.” I don’t know.
Holmes: You have your mom brokering a deal?
Eastin: She could have.
Holmes: That’d be the best, you’re getting on the plane and Laura’s like, “Have fun, and keep Monica till final five.”
Eastin: (Laughs) Mooooom, I don’t want to!
Holmes: Not that you shouldn’t.
Eastin: We’ll see.

Holmes: You were a “Blood vs. Water” contestant. You played with second, third, and fourth timers, now you yourself are a second timer. Did you learn anything from watching them?
Eastin: I feel like I have such a huge advantage being that I’ve played with second timers. I’ve played with three winners; Tyson (Apostol), Aras (Baskauskas), and Tina (Wesson). I’ve played with older players, Tina and Gervase (Peterson). I’ve played with more recent players, myself and Vytas. So, I feel like I’ve been well-rounded in the game and had some really great mentors. And I grew up with a mentor. My mom is Ms. “Survivor.” I learned so much my first season, I want to attack this second game with the same stride that I had at the end of my first season.
Holmes: When you drew rocks, that was a big deal. I think people know you’re smart and you’re not willing to settle. That seems like a good thing in life and a bad thing for a season of “Survivor.”
Eastin: I can’t really use the whole, dumb Ciera, I’ll do whatever you want me to do thing. I have this reputation as someone who does these crazy things. So, that’s going to be a challenge.
Holmes: But, it wasn’t crazy. You were coasting to a fourth-place finish and you risked going out immediately for a chance at the final three.
Eastin: It was smart.  So, I’m looked at more as a calculated player than someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. I’m going to have to break that somehow or get someone to believe that I want to work with them and let’s make these smart moves together.
Holmes: Does that make you an early target?
Eastin: If definitely makes me an early target. I’m hoping there are more annoying people here so I can slide by not being the most annoying. Maybe being helpful. And if I can’t, I’m going to have to pull some magic out of my hat. I think my struggle is going to be early in the game. It’s all about making it to the merge. And after the merge you have more freedom to make big moves for yourself. And just because I made big moves, you should really want to work with me because I’m really trustworthy.
Holmes: I think it was pretty clear that you were making the best move for your game. And as long as someone is working in the best interest of their own game, you can play with them.
Eastin: Yeah.  I think something I definitely have learned is the thing where, you can’t trust anybody, but you have to trust somebody. So many of these people who have won have had early alliances that were formed and made it to the end; “Boston” Rob (Mariano) and Natalie Tenerelli, Russell Hantz and Natalie White, Tyson and Gervase. Every season these people meet early and they stick together. I think you need someone like that. I’m hoping I have that natural selection with someone, then we pick our thirds and fourths and extras together.

Holmes: What’ve you been up to since your time on the show?
Eastin: I did my Power Rankings, that was really fun. I’ve been home with my kids and my husband and living life. Nothing really exciting. This is a highlight for me. I’m really fortunate that I’m not working a Monday to Friday job. I get to watch my kids grow…which is a full-time job.

Holmes: It’s not a surprise you’re back.
Eastin: I thought that. I thought they’d have me back, I just didn’t know when.
Holmes: Is it better or worse to be in this situation where there are 32 potential players and you had to be voted in?
Eastin: It makes it really sticky when we know who we could be potentially playing with before we go out. It does open it up for pre-game alliances. I honestly, and you’re probably going to hear this a lot and it’s a lie, I really tried to stay out of it. You just never know what’s going to happen. You don’t know the circumstances. Half the people that could’ve been able to play didn’t make it. If I made a big pre-game alliance with Brad Culpepper, and he’s gone? What a waste of energy. There’s just so many twists. And if you have to break a promise, that could come back to bite you in the butt.
Holmes: Sure…
Eastin: (Laughs) I obviously knew Vytas, but it wasn’t a thing where we talked beforehand. It wasn’t like, “You, me, final two.” It was more like, “You’re good with me, I’m good with you. Let’s see how it goes.” I’m hoping everybody did the same.
Holmes: Probably not.
Eastin: Probably not. But if they didn’t, when we get out there I can use it as an advantage. I can say, “I know these people have a pre-game alliance.”
Holmes: Oh, you know people have pre-game alliances?
Eastin: Well, I’m assuming they do. And even if I don’t, I’m going to say they do anyway.

Holmes: Does it concern you that you’re one of only two from your season while Cagayan has four and San Juan del Sur has three?
Eastin: I think it is a concern. You can even tell walking around people kind of giving each other looks and glances. You can see where the bonds are already made. It’s either going to be a hard thing to overcome or it’s going to be easy because there’s such a lack of trust. I think you have to expose the bad history.
Holmes: Who’s making faces at each other?
Eastin: Definitely the “Blood vs. Water 2” people. Jeremy and Keith and Kelley are all sharing the same crossword book. They’re giggling.
Holmes: Do you think they’re writing notes in the crossword puzzle?
Eastin: I thought that!
Holmes: They totally did that in “Ocean’s Eleven!”
Eastin: (Gasps) I’m going to have to get a hold of that. Mission number one.
Holmes: I’ll distract them.
Eastin: But yeah, they’re friendly. The Cagayan people are extremely cold to each other, which I think is a strategy. They’re very aware of where they’re sitting. And with Vytas, I’m trying to be friendly. Smile, but not overly friendly. Find a balance.
Holmes: If there are twists, what do you think they will be.
Eastin: Ugh…there will be twists. Because we’re all second-time players, they’re going to totally screw with us. I hope it’s not Redemption Island. I hate that. When you’re gone, just go. Don’t haunt me.

Holmes: Describe your day one.
Eastin: Day one I want to be looking for hidden immunity idols. It’s a little risky, but it’s unexpected because everyone’s in the mix meeting people. If I’m kind of keeping my eyes open, normally you can find them in more monumental spots.  And I’ll figure out who I mesh with. In my season, there were people like Katie (Collins) where I just knew.
Holmes: Dude, Katie is the best.
Eastin: She’s like the best, smartest person on Earth.

Holmes: What do you think of Cambodia?
Eastin: It’s so hot. The rain has been refreshing. They’re quick little twenty minute rains. And then it’s hot as (expletive deleted) again.
Holmes: How hot?
Eastin: As (expletive deleted).
Holmes: Wait, Abi-Maria is right behind us.
Eastin: We need to be quiet.
Holmes: Right.
Eastin: Don’t give away my game. She’s probably wondering why I was screaming (expletive deleted).

Holmes: Alright, we’re going to play “Align or Malign.” In my hand I have nineteen cards featuring your competitors. You’ll go through them and tell me who you’ll align with and who you’ll malign. Trick is, you only get eight aligns.
Eastin: OK.
Holmes: You’re the first person to play this game.
Eastin: Ooo…so  I have to set the bar high.
Holmes: That’s right. Don’t (expletive deleted) up the rest of my day.
Eastin: (Laughs)

Eastin: I have Vytas…but he’s such an in-betweener for me.
Holmes: One or the other.
Eastin: Malign. Cause I think he knows me too well and I think he’s going to be after me eventually. I have to cut him before he cuts me.

Eastin: Shirin…align. I think I can beat her in the end. She confessed that she was a millionaire at the end of her season.

Eastin: Tasha…align. I think she’s smart. I think she’s a good competitor and I think I can beat her in the end. I don’t think she’d do enough strategically or socially.

Eastin: Andrew…malign. He already kind of annoys me. He thinks he’s funny when he’s not.

Eastin: Peih-Gee…align. I like her. She’s one of those people where she seems trustworthy and she hasn’t played in a while, so I think I could outsmart her.

Eastin: Abi…malign. She’s crazy. She’s crazy cat. She’s already bizarre. Really cute, really fun. I don’t think I could live with her for 39 days. And she seems like a loose cannon.

Eastin: Kelly…she’s one of these people where she needs to go early or she needs to be my number one. She gives me crazy vibes. I feel like I need to align because you need to keep your enemies closer.

Eastin: Joe…malign. He’s way too likable. He just had a big season. I want him gone early. And if there’s a fan favorite, I don’t want him getting it.

Eastin: Kelley…she’s from the Pacific Northwest so I want to align with her. Same concept, I think I’d really get along with her. She could be my Katie.

Eastin: Jeff…malign. No, get rid of him. Same thing with Andrew. They are trying to be funnier than they are. And I don’t think they’re strategically smart to the game because they haven’t played in a long time.

Eastin: Monica…malign. Sorry, mom.
Holmes: (Laughs) First you vote her out, then you malign her buddy.
Eastin: (Laughs) She seems conniving. Like a flip-flopper.

Eastin: Kass…align. It’s similar to Kelly Wiglesworth because she’s one of those people you need to be best friends with or she needs to go early.

Eastin: Kimmi…malign. She doesn’t seem like she’s going to make it. Her head is in the clouds.

Eastin: I have all these good people left!
Holmes: You knew what nineteen names were in there.
Eastin: Unfair!
Holmes: You have nobody to blame but yourself.

Eastin: Stephen…align. He played with Tyson. He actually married Tyson and Rachel (Foulger). I feel like I can use that relationship. I can say, “Hey, Tyson told me I can trust you.” Even though Tyson never told me that.

Eastin: Keith, no…malign. Nothing special about him. I don’t think we’ll click.

Eastin: Woo…I’d bet a lot of people would want to align because the mistake he made taking Tony (Vlachos) to the end, I don’t think he’ll make that mistake again. I wouldn’t want to give him the second chance. Malign.

Eastin: Terry…malign. He was huge in challenges. I think he’ll be surprised that maybe he won’t be that great this time. And I think a lot of people will want to be in an alliance with him. I think he’ll be like an Aras where he thinks he’s going to win, but he’s really not.

Eastin: Spencer is my last align. We’re coming in on a similar boat. Recent seasons with big reputations on the line. And he’s younger than I am, so I think I can manipulate him. “They’re going to be gunning for us, let’s stick together.”

Eastin: Jeremy…malign. I don’t have a reason why. There’s nothing hugely special about him. He does seem a little sneaky. On the island he wouldn’t have a lot to say, but in his interviews he would. I don’t like that. Own it wherever you go.


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

Survivor: Second Chance” will kick off with a special 90-minute premiere on Wednesday, September 23rd at 8 p.m. ET.

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