‘Survivor’ Castaway Ciera: ‘Jeremy Has Too Many Little Minions Protecting Him’


"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

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Some people are physical threats, some people are strategic threats, some people are social threats. However, the reason most people gave for being afraid of Ciera Eastin during  pre-game interviews was because she voted out her own mother.

There has to be more than that to it, right?

I spoke with the notorious mother booter in the days following the end of her second chance and asked her why she’s so dangerous, why she never targeted Jeremy, and what the deal was with the mysterious pre-game call she got from Hayden…

Gordon Holmes: Let’s start off with the early days of Bayon. You’ve got the bros teaming up together and you end up with Kass. What were the first few rounds like for you out there?
Ciera Eastin: Everything was pretty good because we were winning. I never really saw where people’s loyalties really were. I thought I did pretty well, I thought I’d be more targeted early on. But, we’ll never know because we never lost. I thought I had good things going on. I had a relationship with Tasha in those early days. I was talking to Kass. Kass and Tasha had talked and mended and wanted to work together. And, they didn’t show this, but me and Andrew Savage really liked each other. We talked about working together. I felt pretty good about it.
Holmes: Why did you think you were going to be an early target?
Eastin: Obviously my first season I was a little bit of a wild card or a crazy person.
Holmes: A crazy wild card person.
Eastin: (Laughs) I didn’t know if people were going to hold that against me. And in pre-game there was a lot of talk of pre-game alliances. Not one person reached out to me. It made me extremely nervous, like people didn’t want to work with me. What the heck is going on? But, I didn’t have a conversation with one person.

Holmes: When I was at Bayon beach on day two, you, Stephen, and Kass were chatting and I overheard you saying something about Hayden calling you and warning you not to trust Vytas. What was that all about?
Eastin: And Monica. The advice Hayden gave me were those two people. With Vytas, I kind of already knew that going in because me and Vytas are good friends, but he had something to prove, I think. He and my mom had that incident where my mom helped Tina with the puzzle. And he got all mad. I think he wanted payback. So, I knew he wanted to vote me out and didn’t want to work with me even though he would’ve acted like it. I knew I wasn’t going to work with him. I had to convince people that I wasn’t going to work with Vytas.
Holmes: Why did Hayden warn you about Monica?
Eastin: Hayden lives down there, the California life. And I don’t know if he’d heard something personally or her pre-game alliance or what. It was a phone conversation we had in my hotel room three seconds before they took my phone away. So, I really didn’t get to get into it a whole lot. He also told me that Jeremy and Terry were people I could trust.
Holmes: Was he going off of instinct or things he had heard?
Eastin: I know he had met and was friends with Jeremy  and Terry. He said he talked to them and they were good stand-up guys and they were loyal. And then, with Monica I know he said to steer clear of her because she’s a wild card and she has something to prove.

Holmes: At the one reward you said if anyone goes to the end with Jeremy, they’re gonna lose. Why wasn’t Jeremy targeted?
Eastin: The conversations I had…Tasha was involved in those conversations. And Tasha is extremely close with Jeremy. I knew if I said that the thought would go through her head. At least, she’d know if she got to the end with Jeremy, that I wouldn’t vote for her. But also, I didn’t want to throw Jeremy’s name out because I knew she would tell him. I knew she wanted Joe gone. She was very vocal about that. So, I knew it would make her happy that I was on board with that. I knew there was no way she’d go against Jeremy. But, I’d tell other people, “Hey, I want to get Jeremy out.”
Holmes: Was there ever any movement on that front?
Eastin: No way. When I was out there, people were set up around him to protect him. When I would tell Joe, he’d tell Jeremy. Jeremy has too many little minions protecting him.

Holmes: Did you know they were calling you “The Witches Coven” out there?
Eastin: No! I had no clue until I watched the episode. It’s pretty funny.
Holmes: I’m sure they meant that in the nicest way. You ended up partnered with Abi who can be…challenging…for people to handle. What was your experience like?
Eastin: Abi is extremely loyal and a little bit of a liability to have. But, as long as you’re on Abi’s good side you’re fine. If you cater to Abi, she’s fine and will be loyal to you. But if you do something Abi doesn’t like, you’ll have to do major damage control. She does go a little berserk…even if you do the smallest thing. Like one time I had a conversation that did not involve her. It didn’t even involve gameplay, I think it was about my family, and she thought I was going against her. She flat out called me out on it in front of a whole group of people. I had to be like, “Oh Abi, we were talking about our kids. That’s it.”

Holmes: My wife is not a “Survivor” fan, but she’ll occasionally ask what’s going on. When people were targeting you, I had a tough time explaining what exactly it is that makes you so dangerous. How would you describe it?
Eastin: I guess I would say that I am likable. Stephen said it very well when he said I have an innocent way about me. Especially out there I try to be a little bit more naïve. I act like I don’t know what’s going on when really I do. I think I’m a little underestimated. And I didn’t think I’d have that in my favor in this season because everybody got to see my first season. But, because we were winning early on, I got to develop really good relationships. I think if we’d lost early I could have had trouble. I’d say my biggest strength is socially. I love reading people. I come off extremely genuine. A lot of the time I am very genuine. And, I think I’m underestimated. And then finding the cracks and things like that, I really listen to what people are saying and watch what they’re doing. I don’t share a lot. I only share what I think is necessary. I’m good at leaving things out. Obviously I’m not a challenge beast, but I like to pretend like I am.

Holmes: If you get idol’d out, that’s got to suck. But in your instance, you were on the bottom and managed to swing the votes. So in a way, it’s kind of a victory. Does that make it any easier?
Eastin: It was nice watching the episode. I felt like it was a waste of an idol because he went home right after. But watching it back I like that I was viewed as making moves. I was a threat to people. That’s reassuring to me. It was a second chance and I did what I could. It was disappointing because it felt like I was making waves. When Wigles went home I pulled in Stephen and Jeremy and Spencer. The next week I pulled Spencer and Tasha and Joe in to vote Stephen. We all did what we were supposed to do. So, for me, I did it. I did get people to vote the way I wanted them to.

Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Kimmi.
Eastin: Does it have to be one word?
Holmes: Because you’re a super fave, you get as many words as you’d like.
Eastin: Aww…Kimmi is hard-working.
Holmes: Jeremy?
Eastin: All-American, maybe a little overly confident.
Holmes: Savage?
Eastin: Oh, I don’t want to be mean to anyone. I’d say Savage is emotional.
Holmes: Joe?
Eastin: Not the most strategic player, but extremely talented.
Holmes: Spencer?
Eastin: Spencer is so very smart. He’s like a little brother.
Holmes: Kass?
Eastin: Kass is incredible. She’s an amazing person. An amazing mom. Very entertaining.
Holmes: Stephen?
Eastin: He over analyzes, but he’s definitely my friend.
Holmes: Wentworth?
Eastin: Bad ass.
Holmes: She’s a rock star.
Eastin: Totally.
Holmes: Wiglesworth?
Eastin: Old school.
Holmes: Monica Padilla?
Eastin: Monica is hard…Monica is…underestimated.
Holmes: Terry?
Eastin: He’s just like a dad. He reminds me of my dad.
Holmes: Woo?
Eastin: He’s free-spirited.
Holmes: Tasha?
Eastin: Tasha is passive, she’s kind of dry.
Holmes: Keith?
Eastin: Tuk tuk!
Holmes: Let’s finish with Abi.
Eastin: Complicated, but fierce.

Holmes: What are our plans for the third chance?
Eastin: I just want to win! Bring me back until I win! I’ve learned something both times I’ve played. I’d definitely play again. “Second Chance” was way harder than my first season. All of the tribe swaps and the weather? It made it very difficult. But I had so much fun. I really want to come back.
Holmes: Alright, I’ll pull some strings and get you a season with no swaps and little condos on the beach.
Eastin: That’s be awesome. Do it.

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

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