‘Survivor’ Castaway Bradley – ‘I Keep Having This Dream Where I Win the Final Immunity Challenge’

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: The good folks at XFINITY sent me deep into the Fijian wilderness to bring you an exclusive look at “Survivor: Ghost Island.” While I was there I conducted interviews with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and the entire cast. I also captured exclusive photos and other behind-the-scenes tidbits. So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Name: Bradley Kleihege
Age: 26
Hometown: Haslett, Michigan
Current residence: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Law student

Gordon Holmes: So, all of the reporters out here are buddies. We compare notes. I heard you rustled some feathers with your interviews the other day.
Bradley Kleihege: I wanted to make a big impression with the press. I understand that the press is different than the people I’m playing with.
Holmes: We’re the worst.
Kleihege: No, the press are not bad people. But, I wanted to come out guns blazing and that’s kind of the way I want to handle confessionals too. I don’t plan to hold back. But, I plan to not be an (expletive deleted), super cocky around camp. Which I think I can do. Because in my daily life I’m not like that.
Holmes: Well, how much of the cockiness is the real you? In your real life are you wanting to say these things but you hold back?
Kleihege: It’s like what they tell you in casting, “Be yourself, but be bigger.” I think I will do very well. But, maybe I should be nicer to the press.
Holmes: It reminds me of Spencer from Cagayan, where during his pre-game interviews, everyone thought he was a jerk. But, in real life he’s a pretty good kid.
Kleihege: That’s what I’m hoping for. Spencer took my spot, I’m tired of talking about Spencer. The way they worked in the Blood vs. Water cast, they bumped the 27 cast to 28. I was supposed to be on 28, Spencer had been cast for 27. So, I got the axe.
Holmes: Well, he didn’t win.
Kleihege: Yeah, that’s what I wrote on my Dalton Ross thing, “Dear Spencer, thanks for taking my spot so I could mature a bit. Now I’m going to win.”
Holmes: Honestly, as far as the press goes; be as mean to Andrea Boehlke, Dalton Ross and Josh Wigler as you want. Those guys deserve it. But be cool to Erin Cebula.
Kleihege: (Laughs) OK. I came in thinking today, you’re my last interview and it was all guns blazing yesterday. I’ll tone it down today. And that’s definitely me in the confessionals. And I do think I’m going to do well. I keep having this dream where I win the final immunity challenge.
Holmes: Here’s the thing, you can be an (expletive deleted). (Expletive deleted) have won “Survivor.” But you’ve got to be my (expletive deleted). Richard Hatch is probably a perfect example. He was a pompous jerk, but to Rudy he’s his pompous jerk. He’s still a friend he can rely on.

Holmes: Thirty-nine days is a long time to not be yourself. Especially if you’re under stress and starving.
Kleihege: Absolutely, that’s what goes into trying to figure out what I’m going to say because I’m not going to tell people that I’m a law student. What am I going to talk about? What do I know enough about that I can (expletive deleted) them for so long? I’m going to say that I’m a geography student. I have more geography credits than I do political science. It was my undergrad major. I’ve been reading up on the formation of the Fijian islands. I’ve talked with Jeff a lot about it. One of Spencer’s problems the second time around is that he’s in the financial industry. Nobody wants to give a young banker a million dollars just like nobody wants to give a young lawyer a million dollars.
Holmes: I’d totally give a geography major a million dollars. It doesn’t sound like a very lucrative field.
Kleihege: Right? My concern is that I’m well spoken. I use words that people on “Survivor” don’t often use. That’s all Jeff ever tells me. I had to find something that was academic. I can’t play off being stupid. I’m not stupid, and I want to surround myself with smart people. Let’s get rid of the people who don’t know what’s going on.
Holmes: Is there anything else you’re going to keep from people?
Kleihege: I don’t think so. I think it’ll be an asset that I grew up in Michigan but now live in LA. There are always people from LA out here. We’ll have a familiarity, we can talk about places we’ve been. Michigan is in the Midwest, I think Midwestern people are generally trustworthy. It gives you a good vibe. You can’t have too many things you’re going to lie about because then it’ll be too much.

Holmes: Some people put limits on lying, cheating, stealing…I’m assuming you’re not one of those people.
Kleihege: No. After 36 seasons, people understand that you come out to play the game. If everyone comes out and acts like Ken from 33? Nobody wants to watch that. Everybody wants to watch the person who’s willing to take the gloves off and be ruthless. Outside of the game, I have all of the morals in the world. You can count on me and I’m not going to lie to you. Even before it was super popular to have the opinion that you should play with the gloves off and people though you should be honorable, I thought that was ridiculous. Let’s say there’s a “Heroes vs. Villains 2” season. I’m playing to be on the villain tribe. But I read a couple of articles with Malcolm where he said he wanted to be the villain and everyone loved him. I don’t think I’m going to have that problem. I’m not the all-American Ivy League football player.

Holmes: You’re in the dark as far as twists and themes. Any guesses?
Kleihege: If I had to guess, I’d say at final four the winning player will pick who goes to the end and the other two will make fire to see who is the last member of the final three.
Holmes: Any guesses that Jeff hasn’t already told you?
Kleihege: (Laughs) I can’t pick a theme out. How would you ever guess “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”? It could be anything. I think a geographic divide would be cool. It drove me crazy that there were no spoilers online.

Holmes: I’ll give you two “Survivor” situations. You tell me which one you would rather.
Kleihege: OK.
Holmes: Align with a Hillary supporter or a Trump supporter?
Kleihege: A Hillary supporter.
Holmes: Steal a vote or eliminate a juror?
Kleihege: That’s interesting, I don’t think either will make a difference. I guess steal a vote. It’s got to work one of these times.
Holmes: Endurance challenge or word puzzle?
Kleihege: Endurance challenge, I’ve run several marathons.
Holmes: Align with a racist or a sexist?
Kleihege: Oh God…that’s tough…I guess a sexist. I don’t want to hang out with either.
Holmes: Voted out first or before the final Tribal?
Kleihege: Final Tribal.
Holmes: Align with an adulterer or a tax cheat?
Kleihege: I’m a lawyer, so a tax cheat. (Laughs) I’d give him advice.
Holmes: Lose the family challenge or win and decide who to take.
Kleihege: Lose the family challenge. I have no intention of winning that. I picked my brother, and we’re not super close.
Holmes: Caught stealing food or idol hunting?
Kleihege: I feel like the one thing the show doesn’t show much is that everyone hunts for the idol constantly. I wouldn’t steal food.
Holmes: Align with a super fan or someone who doesn’t watch the show?
Kleihege: Super fan.
Holmes: Dance challenge or karaoke challenge?
Kleihege: Oh…good God. I’d fail at both. I guess karaoke challenge.

Holmes: What kind of first impression do you think you make?
Kleihege: I’ve been trying to relax. I don’t want to come off as too intense. Probably funny…fairly smart. I’ve been reading a lot at Ponderosa. I look at somebody, and if you’re a ten, maybe you’re not that remarkable in other ways because you’re a pretty person and this is “Survivor.” You look at someone like myself, we’re not going to get modeling contracts. That immediately raises the red flag of; you’re here for a reason, it’s not just your looks. What do they think you’re going to bring? In casting, I had a plaid shirt on. And they said, your plaid shirt makes you look like a rich kid. Nobody’s going to give you a million dollars.

NOTE: The cast members do not know each other’s names at this point. I showed Bradley a picture of each of the competitors and asked him to share his first impressions.

LIBBY

Kleihege: Definitely the most attractive girl here. She also seems nice. We were taking a cast photo and she put her hand on my leg. I’m definitely down with that.

ANGELA

Kleihege: Up until yesterday, she looked grumpy. Almost angry to be here. Then yesterday she started to smile more. I generally like older people more than people my age. Everyone here looks so young and she doesn’t, which is great. I’d like to align with her.

CHELSEA

Kleihege: She’s cool. She seems nice.

JENNA

Kleihege: Seems cool too. Not a huge read on her.

GONZALEZ

Kleihege: This girl was at finals with me, she was reading a book on how to be a strong, assertive leader in front of all of us. Major red flag. I’m very skeptical of her.

STEPHANIE

Kleihege: Oh God, she’s very smiley. The last few days I’ve been trying to get her to not sit next to me. One of the handlers was like, “Dude, you two have got to stop.” Because I’ll sit down at dinner and she’ll sit right next to me. I get a good vibe from her, but let’s spread out. You can read her face like a book.

MORGAN

Kleihege: Not a strong read, seems nice.

LAUREL

Kleihege: She seems pretty laid back. She’s someone that would not be a pain to spend 39 days on a beach with.

KELLYN

Kleihege: She’s interesting…if there’s one person that I don’t think fits in it’s her. She seems quieter, she doesn’t interact with people. She seems smart.

DESIREE

Kleihege: Seems cool. She likes to laugh at stupid things, which is probably good if you have to spend time on a beach with someone.

BRENDAN

Kleihege: I’d assume the oldest guy in the group. I think we could work together. My guess is he’s ex-military. He holds himself very assuredly. He might have trouble without food. He doesn’t have any body fat.

CHRIS

Kleihege: He’s interesting, I was at casting with him. I’ve gotten nothing from him. He kind of struts around. He thinks he’s very cool. During the cast photo he said, “Everyone put your hands under your biceps, it will make them look bigger.”
Holmes: I’m going to steal that.
Kleihege: What makes me leery of him is I think he’s a football player, and he has a lot of charm. I think people are naturally drawn to him. So, if we align it could be a JT and Stephen situation. His nickname at casting was “Beach Jesus.” Because he’s the tannest white kid I’ve ever seen in my life and he has that big gold cross that he wears.

SEBASTIAN

Kleihege: This kid was sniffing a Sharpie at the airport. He kind of looks like those stray dogs you see in a third-world country. But, my interactions with him have been cool. He wears a lot of fishing shirts. I don’t fish, but I like to sail. We’ve got that boating culture. It would be an unlikely alliance, but I’d be down for it.

WENDELL

Kleihege: Seems cool, we got in trouble for talking during the cast picture. He’s quiet, he’s been doing a lot of logic puzzles. I think I’m good at puzzles, but I’m never going to volunteer. People place value on physical strength, but the puzzle is the only thing that matters. It puts a huge target on you.

 

JACOB

Kleihege: (Laughs) He’s interesting. If anyone is a high schooler, it’s him. He seems immature. He’s really excited to be here. He seems like a great dane puppy.

JAMES

Kleihege: I get a good read from him. He’s intelligent. He’s been reading a lot. He holds himself very high and confidently. He’s not smiling with everybody. I’d rather be with him than against him.

MICHAEL

Kleihege: He was at casting. His nickname was “Swoopy hair.”

DONATHAN

Kleihege: He’s quiet. He’s the best at following the no-talking rule. He covers his mouth with his hands when he talks to the handlers, which is weird.
Holmes: That’s smart. Allie Pohevitz knew all of her cast’s names because she could read lips.
Kleihege: Really? I know some people’s names. I know Chelsea, we sat next to each other on the plane and we had to fill out our immigration papers.

DOMENICK

Kleihege: Seems cool. He seems a little older. He might be my guy.

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Ghost Island” – Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 8 pm ET.

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

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