‘Survivor’ Castaway Jason: ‘I’m Proud of the Way I Acted and So Is My Family’

Kyle Jason (CBS)

Kyle Jason (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: Last night’s Tribal made no sense to me based on what happened before the vote. So, to start…what was the mood like at camp before heading out?
Kyle Jason: It 100% felt like they were all out to get me. I was prepared for it. I saw it coming my way. It wasn’t a secret. They had iced me out for the last three days. I was an island of one, man. They did not hold back on making sure that I knew that. I couldn’t see any of the fractures except for Tai coming to me and making a play for Michele. But, I knew he didn’t have the numbers. I watched all day long Cydney talking to Michele, then talking to Aubry, then talking to Michele…she was the middle man in that, passing the notes. You can’t fool the numbers, dude. There wasn’t much I could do about it.
Holmes: What was your plan for Tribal?
Jason: I was going to make a big scene and go back to my preaching days. But, I didn’t because they started making their own fractures. I really wanted them to keep talking and fighting amongst themselves. But, when it came down to it, I knew they were still very tight on it. They weren’t budging. Those girls were aligned and you always know where Joe is going. There was no hope for me.

Holmes: In reality, as you well know, Tribal is like two hours long. How much of that time was spent with them fighting each other?
Jason: It was at least an hour with Tai and Michele going at it. Tai coming out with that “small alliance within the big alliance” really put people off. It really made Aubry think, “What are you doing? Why are you putting your foot in your mouth again? You need to stop.” I think it made his intentions kind of clear of what he was trying to do. I think it backfired and really put the girls together. We’re not going to let you dictate to us.

Holmes: Why the Joe vote?
Jason: Because I deserve to be there and Joe doesn’t. I knew where the votes were going and I wasn’t going to get in line with Tai and do what he told me. When it came down to it, I thought I was playing the game and Joe wasn’t.

Holmes: Cydney was turned off by Tai telling her what to do. She had a similar reaction to Nick. What’s it like to discuss strategy with Cydney?
Jason: Everyday life with Cydney is actually very pleasant. She’s a super fun person to hang out with. But, when you talk strategy with her, you’d better come correct. She’s only going to respond to you if you talk to her in a certain way. She wants to be talked to with respect. She wants to be talked to as a teammate, not being told. If you talk to her in a way that’s, “This is what you need to do.” You’ve already turned her off. You need to value her input. She will strategize with you all day long. When she made the play against us, which was a smart move for her, I give her all the credit for that, Nick turned her off with the way he was. If you don’t make her part of it, she won’t be a part of it.

Holmes: What was your plan for final three before Scot was voted out?
Jason: It really depended on how paranoid Tai got. If he stayed strong, I’d not want to be in the end with him and Scot. If he got paranoid, I’d want to keep him around because he’d keep making dumb decisions. Otherwise, I’d want to be with Scot and Julia. If it’s a final two, I’d want to be in the end with Scot, I felt I could beat him. Why not take this awesome friendship and bond and sit there on day 39 together?
Holmes: At that point, you and Scot had wrecked the camp, which is a tough thing to come back from on “Survivor.” If you’d been sitting with someone else, how would you have countered that move to the jury?
Jason: What did I really do to wreck the camp at the end of the day? I didn’t put the fire out.
Holmes: And the ax and the machete?
Jason: I was there. If we watch it on film, Scot’s the one putting them in there.
Holmes: So there’s a plausible deniability.
Jason: I was just walking with him. (Laughs)
Holmes: Hmm…
Jason: (Laughs) I set myself up for deniability. Yes, I was part of it, but I didn’t necessarily do it all. That’s what I was aiming for. But if I stood there with Julia at a final two or Aubry, I’m working on my resume. From day one, nobody went to as many Tribals as us. Scot and I went to the most Tribals. We were constantly having our back put against the wall and having to kill our own. And I was able to survive them all. I was able to build the team that I wanted. Jenny was part of the team and I was the who said she’s got to go. I said, “I’m with you, Cyd. It’s you and me till the end.” And I helped Cydney out when nobody would when everybody had heat problems. I stayed and gave her treatment. I felt like I’d built a strong resume and my ability to talk the way I do at Tribal, I felt that I could really, truly sell that to people and get the vote my way for a win.

Holmes: There’s been a lot of heat on you and Scot. People accusing you two of bullying Alecia. What’s your take on that situation?
Jason: I think “bully” is the most overused word this season. I think it’s very easy to portray me as a bully because I’m a brash person. I don’t sugar-coat (expletive deleted). I tell it exactly how I see it. I come from a different lifestyle. I have years in the service. We talk and act a different way. I’ve got years of working for Blackwater. We’re not the type of people that will hug you and make it better even though you’re not doing a good enough job. I’m OK with the way I was portrayed. I love my story. I have no problems with how I’m perceived on the TV. When people call me a bully online, you’ve got to look at how people are saying it. A lot of people that say it have worse things to say about me than I ever said on the show.
Holmes: So, was your relationship with Alecia accurately portrayed?
Jason: From day one, not even the first hour on the beach, the first thing she said to us was that she was offended that she wasn’t on the beauty tribe. That’s not going to win you friends over here on the brawn tribe. Just be happy you’re here. She fought with us about everything. She was very closed off. And it’s OK to be closed off, but when you’re trying to build relationships or even just try to be cordial with somebody, you can’t have all of these walls up. As much as America likes to sit there and say that I was stereotyping her, she was stereotyping me. “He’s the big guy with tattoos, he must be mean. He won’t tell me I’m doing a great job.” But if you’re not doing a great job, I’m not going to tell you that. When she says, “I was doing my best,” I come from a world where even doing your best will sometimes get you killed. She was not all peaches and cream. She had a lot of things to say about me that would make people think the other way. Now, I wish Alecia the best in life and I hope she grows up and realizes we’re not all terrible people as she likes to think. But when it comes to gameplay, I can sit there and say I’m proud of the way I played and I’m proud of the way I acted and so is my family.

Holmes: OK, word association time. Let’s start with Scot.
Jason: Friend.
Holmes: Darnell?
Jason: Funny.
Holmes: Jennifer?
Jason: (Laughs) Spastic.
Holmes: Joe?
Jason: Old.
Holmes: Aubry?
Jason: Strategic.
Holmes: Cydney?
Jason: Strong.
Holmes: Nick?
Jason: Funny as (expletive deleted).
Holmes: Neal?
Jason: Goofy.
Holmes: Debbie?
Jason: Crazy.
Holmes: Alecia?
Jason: Blondie. (Laughs)
Holmes: Julia?
Jason: Sweet.
Holmes: Michele?
Jason: Jersey.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Tai.
Jason: Chicken.

Holmes: Did your daughters get a chance to see their dad running around the animal reserve?
Jason: Alina, my oldest, loved watching the monkeys attack me. And they were very impressed to see their dad get freaked out by something…because it doesn’t happen much. And Chloe was very pumped about the elephant. It was a very special moment.

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