‘Survivor’ Castaway Gonzalez – ‘(Brendan) Wanted to Target One of the Stronger Girls’


“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: How are you?
Stephanie Gonzalez: I am great! I’m sitting in a bubble bath.
Holmes: What? That is how you do exit press. Well done.
Gonzalez: That’s how you do it.

Holmes: Let’s talk about last night’s horrible fiasco. Immediately you have an easy target because Jacob is on the outs with your tribe. What was he doing that put him in that position?
Gonzalez: Jacob was on the outs because…I think it was a self-realization of how different he really was. He already knew he was going to be different because he’s a little more quirky, a little bit of a different personality, which I love by the way. I think he’s a cool guy. He got to camp and we realized he stood out. He realized it and thought he was in danger because he wasn’t a part of the conversations we were having. Everyone had some kind of fit…other than Donathan. But, he was a little more charismatic and in with the girls. It was easier for him. He’s gay and we love gay guys because they’re a part of us. We feel like we can talk to him. And Jacob didn’t have that flirty personality or leader, charismatic charm. He’s just this cute, goofy guy.
Holmes: And once he realized that, he started the idol hunting?
Gonzalez: Yeah, he was like, “Game on. I need to find an idol to stick around longer.”

Holmes: You were very vocal about the challenge puzzle. What happened there?
Gonzalez: It was a (expletive deleted) show. We all talked about different tasks we were going to be doing. The physical part, I don’t know that Jacob felt confident. So, he did the puzzle part. He said he’d been practicing puzzles. And he didn’t do so well. I think at one point we were uniformly instructing people what to do because they were having a meltdown.

Holmes: You lose the challenge, he goes to Ghost Island. And this wasn’t aired last night, but you said you went on a five-minute walk, and when you came back everything was different. Nobody would look you in the eye. What was the plan before the walk?
Gonzalez: The plan was to go with Donathan or Jenna. I spoke to Brendan about it. Me and Brendan were kind of working together on the low. Even me and Michael. What they didn’t show at Tribal was, when I was whispering I asked Brendan who he was voting for. Then I asked Michael because…there was no blindside…I knew what was going on. I spoke to Brendan and he told me one person and Michael told me another. And I knew he and Michael were the tightest next to Stephanie and Jenna. So, I spoke to Libby…who was a little more clueless about the game plan. I said, “Brendan said, ‘We’re not voting for me anymore,’ you’re going to vote for Donathan.” And she said, “It’s not you anymore? OK, Donathan.” So, that confirmed that they were voting for me.
Holmes: So, why you?
Gonzalez: Michael and I had a conversation before Tribal and I told him we have to keep the tribe strong. We already saw that the other tribe is strong. We need to level up. And Michael agreed. And I told him that I’m really good at puzzles and I was strong in the challenge. The more obvious person was Donathan. And Michael said, “You sound like you’re pleading your case. You’re sticking around. We need you.” At that point he hadn’t talked to everyone else. And when I wandered off they switched the vote. It was between Donathan and Jenna. But Donathan spoke to Brendan and me and Brendan fell for it. Donathan was tearing up and was emotional. He started bawling and Brendan said, “I don’t want to send the kid home.” So, he wanted to target one of the stronger girls. And guess who that was?
Holmes: Awww… When you were voted out you said, “One lion, seven sheep, sad.” My guess is that Brendan is the lion, right?
Gonzalez: Correct!

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Brendan.
Gonzalez: Chief.
Holmes: Stephanie?
Gonzalez: Rainbow.
Holmes: Laurel?
Gonzalez: Anonymous.
Holmes: Libby?
Gonzalez: Nair. (Laughs)
Holmes: Donathan?
Gonzalez: Exciting.
Holmes: Jacob?
Gonzalez: Soft.
Holmes: Michael?
Gonzalez: L.A.
Holmes: James?
Gonzalez: Calculating.
Holmes: Jenna?
Gonzalez: Hot dog.
Holmes: Hot dog?
Gonzalez: It’s her favorite food. I’ve never met anyone in my life who would choose a hot dog.
Holmes: A hot dog is good, but your favorite food?
Gonzalez: Right? What’s the best food?
Holmes: Garlic bread.
Gonzalez: (Laughs) Yeah.

Holmes: When you’re watching it last night and you’re seeing Jacob poor your rice supply into his dirty sock…what was your reaction?
Gonzalez: Honestly, everyone was freaking out because Jacob put rice in his sock. I had a viewing party and there were like 200 people there and everyone was like, “Oh my God! No way!” Women were cringing and covering their eyes. And I’m thinking, “Well, we have to boil water to cook rice.” I didn’t think it was a big deal.
Holmes: Blah…
Gonzalez: I knew he was looking for idols. I called him out on it. “Jacob, did you disappear for three hours?”

Holmes: Was there anything out there that we didn’t get to see that you wish we had?
Gonzalez: I wish they’d have shown more of the shelter building. Or, the talks with me, Brendan, and Michael. That was an instrumental part of my story. If they’d shown me helping them build the shelter…I was the dirtiest by a long shot. And it wasn’t because I was wearing a yellow dress, I was fil…thy.

Holmes: When you’re voted out first it’s probably because you’re a weirdo, you’re a jerk, or you’re a threat. Is it any solace that it was probably because you were a threat?
Gonzalez: Nothing will bring me inner peace, but if there is one way to be voted out first, it’s because you’re a threat. If I saw myself on TV and it was because people thought I was annoying? Or she’s dumb or a nuisance? I’d take it so personal.

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