Posts Tagged ‘brad culpepper’

‘Survivor: Game Changers’ Finalists Brad and Troyzan: “(We Did Not Know) That This Jury Was Not Going to Be Bitter”

May 26, 2017

‘Survivor: Game Changers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: We’ll have interviews with all six of the “Survivor: Game Changers” finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Game Changers”

Gordon Holmes: There’s nothing quite like having one of the biggest nights of your life and then having to get up at the crack of dawn the next morning to talk to the press.
Troyzan Robertson: Yeah, and some of those people I’ve blocked. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) I think I’m one of them!
Robertson: I just want you to know that I know that water is wet.
Holmes: (Laughs) Noted. Well, I hope you forgive me someday.
Robertson: You might get the unblock someday.

Holmes: With “One World” you were this big aggressive player and you didn’t get to the end. This time around you’re more subtle, you’re making moves behind the scenes and you did get to the end but you weren’t rewarded for it.
Robertson: In “One World” I had my back up against the wall. And if I’m backed up I’m going to get more aggressive. Normal-day Troyzan is the one you saw this year. I had to play a little bit under the radar. I saw big targets going home, especially men, and I thought, “I can’t do that.” I’m going to have to volunteer to sit out challenges. I’m going to act like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m the old guy…I’ll follow along. Then, I’ll make my moves subtly. I just had to be a lot more careful. I saw so many people make a big move or a medium move and then they’d go home at the next Tribal. And I knew I had to get to day 39 to give myself a chance. If you only get to day 38 you have zero chance.

Holmes: Brad, when the call was made to take Sarah to the end, was it a case of not knowing all she had done or did you think the jury was upset with her?
Brad Culpepper: I think it was a combination of a couple things. When you’re on the island you’re not privy to a lot of the conversations. I think Troyzan and I both thought that Cirie and Andrea were the drivers of a lot of the decisions that were being made. When you watch it on television you see that Sarah is doing a lot more of it. Also, Tai was universally liked. He was a provider, he was good in challenges, and he’s a great guy. We knew he didn’t have a lot of blood on his hands. And I don’t think Troy or I knew that this jury was not going to be bitter at all. I think it was the opposite. Blood was a medal. We’d never seen Zeke play before, so we thought he’d be angry at Sarah. So, as soon as he stood up and said, “Congratulations, you’ve got my support,” immediately it was like…”Ooo…that was a bad call by Troy and I.”
Robertson: (Laughs) Yeah.

Holmes: Troyzan, when you said you could beat anyone at final three, was it because you were expecting a bitter jury and you didn’t have any blood on your hands?
Robertson: Part of it was that. The jury would come in and they’d give us these looks. I was thinking these guys are pissed off. I don’t think they’re pissed off at me. I’m an old-school player and a lot of times a bitter jury will like a person like me. But, I also felt like if someone’s going to ask me if I think I’m going to win, I’m not going to say no. The jury would hopefully see that and think, “He’s pretty confident. I like that.” And I thought they liked me already. It was a little bit of a bluff as well.
Culpepper: And I’ll tell you this, Gordon…I was surprised that Troy was ignored at the final Tribal Council. I thought there was a lot of love for Troy. I wasn’t completely comfortable taking Troy to the end either. I was thinking, “Golly, he hasn’t stepped on any toes. He’s so nice around camp. He’s got a lot of friends. He’s a provider.” It was bad jury management on my part, obviously.

Holmes: Brad, I know you felt really bad about what they showed between you and Tai last night. And I know a lot of people had a negative impression of you coming into this game based on “Blood vs. Water.” We’ve spoken on several occasions. I think you’re a nice guy. Most of this cast thinks you’re a nice guy. How important was it for you to clear the air on those moments?
Culpepper: Jeff asked me some kind of question and I had to say, “Before I answer what you asked me, I need everyone to know that I love Tai.” We had a very complicated relationship and they caught the tail end of my frustration. Tai and I were together for a long time and then we were split up because everyone was scrambling. He was instructed to vote for Sierra and I was instructed to vote Tai. We’re both trying to get a lifeline. After that vote, I went back to Tai and I said I had nothing against him and I still wanted to play with him. He agreed, but he still went against me. I was really trying to repair our relationship. He told me he had two idols, I said, “Let me hold onto one and if I win immunity I’ll give it back.” And I would’ve. I would not have voted him out. Then he goes away to think about it. And he’d say, “Let’s do it.” Then he’d say, “No, I can’t.” So, that was back and forth for three hours. So, by the end I was tired of him being wishy-washy that I said, “Tai, do this, we can build a relationship.” And that’s what they aired, they caught the tail end of my frustration. I’m not saying I was right, I was hungry, I was sleepy, maybe I need a Snickers. Even the comment I made to Troy about “Even if he gives me that thing, I’ll use it to vote him out.” That really wasn’t my intention, that was frustration. Tai and I watched it together. We were holding hands. And it looked awful, but we know how we are.

Holmes: Troyzan, Sarah had some really nice things to say about you. But…she also requested that I get some clarification on this whole “Green Monster” situation.
Robertson: (Laughs)
Holmes: I apologize in advance. But at this point I don’t think I’d be doing my job if I didn’t ask.
Robertson: It is a never-ending story. I don’t know how it started. I decided to get these Under Armour, green, they’re not even underwear, they’re compression shorts. I’m thinking, it’ll be great if I can get away with wearing these things because they’ll be great for my thighs. It’ll be good in water challenges so I can swim. But, I didn’t realize how green they were on TV. It started with Tony in Mana, I was standing behind him, he whipped around and says, “Jesus Christ, those things are so bright.” And then Aubry was the one who came up with the name “The Green Monsters,” and then somehow that turned into “The Green Monster.” Then Malcolm made your exit interview crazy comment. You know what? I just roll with it. They were hoping it would get a hashtag.
Holmes: There are worse things to be known for Troyzan.
Robertson: (Laughs) Yeah! But then it got to the point that people were asking, “Why is it green? Is something infected?” I wish I would have worn purple so I would’ve had a purple monster.

Holmes: Brad, what’s the conversation like with Monica when you come home with two more jury votes than she got?
Culpepper: Monica is the best “Survivor” player in the house. That is not an argument. She may argue the other way around. But I 100% believe that. She’s never going to play again, but if she did she would win. I’m never going to play again, but if I did I could never win. She’s a much better player than me.
Holmes: Where do you guys rank amongst the “Survivor” married couples?
Culpepper: How are you rating us? If you’re rating who loves each other the most, we win. Rob and Amber would be #1 as far as players. So, maybe we’d be below them.
Robertson: Do I get a vote? Cause I’d vote for the Culpeppers.
Culpepper: (Laughs) That’s why I brought him to the end.

Holmes: Troyzan you played with Monica in “One World,” but you two didn’t have much of a relationship before this. What’s the relationship like now?
Robertson: Brad has become like a brother.
Culpepper: 100%
Robertson: You get super close out there and I knew Brad going in. But when you start playing, I felt like I was playing “Blood vs. Water” with my brother. He’s the only person in my “Survivor” career that I trusted 100%. That’s rare. I’d never trust someone that much in the game. I wouldn’t even have to talk to him. I’d just give him a look. It was that easy.
Culpepper: If you said to me you could go to the end and win without Troyzan or go to the end with Troyzan and maybe not win? I’d choose the latter. We had a great time out there.
Robertson: And believe me, Brad could join the monster clan with his striped monster. (Laughs)
Culpepper: (Laughs) Monster junior.
Holmes: (Laughs) This is my job.

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

‘Survivor’ Brad: “I’ve Never Played Real ‘Survivor,’ I Had to Play with My Loved One Which Is Totally Different”

February 14, 2017

Brad Culpepper (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: The good folks at XFINITY sent me deep into the Fijian wilderness to bring you an exclusive look at “Survivor: Game Changers.” While I was there I conducted interviews with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and the entire 20-person 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: Brad Culpepper
Age: 47
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Previously Played On:
“Survivor: Blood vs. Water” – Finished 15th
Best Known For: Being cursed out by Marissa Peterson

Gordon Holmes: So, what’ve you been up to since “Blood vs. Water”?
Brad Culpepper: Well, I played 1/22 of “Second Chance.” And I’ve been a dad since then. Of course I got sued because I was on “Blood vs. Water.”
Holmes: And that’s been worked out?
Culpepper: Worked out? (Expletive deleted) no, the judge threw it out. I won that. It was (expletive deleted). My oldest son got a full scholarship and is playing quarterback at Syracuse. That’s the hat I’m going to be wearing this season.
Holmes: Congratulations.
Culpepper: Thank you. My other one is going to be a junior, he’s been recruited by a bunch of places. But I’ve just been being busy being a dad. Now I’m trying to follow into Monica’s wake.
Holmes: She made a run for it last time
Culpepper: She sure did. As difficult as it is for me…and we can get into that scenario as if you want. I wouldn’t change anything because she got a full run at it. She stayed the full 39 days and played awesome.
Holmes: Did she give you any advice?
Culpepper: She did. I live with a Survivor, so we talk “Survivor” all the time. She said, “You need to wake up every single morning thinking you’re going home. And at the end of the day, don’t be the guy on the bottom. Don’t ever get complacent.” And quite frankly, when I got voted out, one of my alliance turned at Tribal Council. He didn’t go in there thinking he was voting me out, and if I had been more cognizant of his worries and made sure he was confident that he wasn’t going home, I’d wouldn’t have gotten voted out. I’m going to be more dogged on thinking I need to reassure who I’m with that I have their back.

Holmes: The theme this season is Game Changers. How did you change the game?
Culpepper: I don’t know. It’s 19 Game Changers and Brad.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Culpepper: I almost made the jury. Does that count? I’d say this; our whole season was a bit of a Game Changer. “Blood vs. Water” was all Culpepper from beginning to end with myself and Monica. When you’re playing with your wife, it’s harder than playing with your brother or your boyfriend that you’ve had for two weeks. The dynamics that I had to go through so as not to upset my wife’s tribe and yet try to propel myself was a whole other kind of concept. The game has morphed from where it was to where it is now and that whole “Blood vs. Water” concept added a whole new layer. And I was a big part of that. And, I eliminated the Codys so Monica could get to the end.

Holmes: What do you think of the cast so far?
Culpepper: A lot of alpha people, which is OK. I think it’s a situation where, even though I’m an A personality, I don’t know that I’m out-of-the-box the threat that everyone else is. There are so many people who have won, who have won twice, that are named Ozzy, that are named Malcolm…there are so many guys and girls who are big-time players. And if I was one of them, I don’t know if I’d necessarily be worried about me. Which is good because I’m going to play that card. And I’m definitely going to play the card that, “You guys have forgotten more about ‘Survivor’ than I know.” I don’t think that, I’ve never played real “Survivor,” I had to play with my loved one which is totally different. It’s a little bit intimidating, but I can play indian for a little while. I couldn’t do that in “Blood vs. Water.” I had to be a chief. I was the oldest one there and everyone else was in their twenties. I’m not trying to be the chief here, but eventually I’ll have to be.

Holmes: Is there anyone you’re looking forward to working with?
Culpepper: There is nobody I would rule out. My biggest thing is; I’m going to reach out to people who wouldn’t think I would reach out to them. I think it’s obvious that I’d work with athletic male types. That’s not going to be the first person I’ll approach. I’d go to a Crazy Debbie or a Sandra or a Cirie. I’d go to a Michaela…a Varner. I’d say to Varner, “Hey, I know you make your decisions so fast. You don’t know me. Don’t judge me based on what you’ve seen and what you think I’m all about. Judge me on the next three days and see what kind of person I am. And if you want to play with me, I’ll play all day long.” If you’d have asked me before “Blood vs. Water,” “You’re going to get voted out and Monica is going to go to the end with two people, who do you think they will be?” The last people I would have said are Tyson and Gervase. In hindsight, I know both of those guys. Gervase is great, Tyson is one of the funniest guys I know. I’m kind of a little bit like both of those guys, so I see why Monica gravitated to them. I think for me to get to the end, I’m going to end up with two people I never expected to be with. Talk about a Sandra, who can Sandra sit next to and really win? I’m going to convince her that she can sit with me and win. If she goes with Ciera who has never won, there’s going to be a sympathy thing. Where with me? I’ve got a million dollars. I’m not the Jeremy effect of, “I’ve got a pregnant wife.” I don’t think it’ll come down to that, but that’s how I’ll sell it to her.

Holmes: Speaking of Ciera, you and her have been on the same tribe before. What’s your relationship with her like now?
Culpepper: I went home the night she was supposed to go home. I’ve watched her play, she seems very devious. She should have gone home. She upped her game after that, but up until that point she was a little bit milquetoast. I’m immediately going to go to her and say, “You think I’m bitter towards you, I’m not. Let’s bury any kind of hatchet. You’re a different person, I’m a different person and it’s a different game.” I would try to build an alliance with her, but then again, she seems very slippery.

Holmes: Monica played with Troyzan. Is there any kind of relationship there?
Culpepper: A little bit. They didn’t play much together. I’ve met him at finales and stuff like that. We’re friendly. I like Troy. I would definitely team up with Troy. He seems pretty straight. But, she never was on a tribe with him.
Holmes: They were on the same beach.
Culpepper: Yeah, but they might’ve only said a couple of words to each other. And she was gone after 15 days.

Holmes: Alright, you and I arrive on the beach and I’m looking to send you packing. I’m going to give you the arguments I’m going to give to other people. You need to defend against it.
Culpepper: Sure.
Holmes: Culpepper voted out John Cody who was totally loyal to him. Looks and physique and personality aside, I don’t want to be the next John Cody.
Culpepper: (Laughs) It was a different game. My number one loyalty was my wife. John Cody was not connected to her tribe. And at that point, everyone was coming back from Redemption Island and they were blaming me for voting their loved ones off. It was at that point that I was worried that I was going to get Monica voted off. I had to vote off someone who would not effect my number one. John Cody’s wife was at Redemption Island, so he was the only one not connected to my wife. I couldn’t vote out someone whose loved one would send Monica to Redemption, because then I’d have to take her place. It was a tough move and I never would have made it if I was playing by myself.

Holmes: Culpepper played in the NFL. That’s a higher level of competition than most people can imagine. It’s been a while, but I don’t want to face that kind of guy in individual immunity challenges.
Culpepper: I’m 47 years old. I’m the least of your worries in challenges. I’m probably fifth or sixth or seventh on the totem pole. You’ve got a lot bigger problems than me. You want me to show you my knee, my lower back, my shoulder, I’m tough and I’ll give it 100%, but I’m not 30. There are plenty of other challenge beasts out here.

Holmes: Brad Culpepper played in the NFL, he’s a lawyer. He doesn’t need the money.
Culpepper: Why would you want to send me packing? I don’t need the money, you do. You want to be sitting next to me at the finals and be able to throw that out there. Jeremy did it. He needed the money. There isn’t going to be any sympathy for me. Nobody is going to say, “Let’s give Culpepper another million dollars.”

Holmes: Anytime there is a returning-player season, there is talk of pre-game alliances. Are you a part of any? Have you heard of any rumors?
Culpepper: Not really. I heard more on “Second Chance.”
Holmes: Yeah, there was a rumor about a get-together at the Culpepper house.
Culpepper: That was (expletive deleted). It made me furious. I didn’t hear about it until afterwards. There’s no (expletive deleted)…find one person that came to my house. Nobody did. Not one (expletive deleted) person.
Holmes: Nobody admitted to being at this event. What I kept hearing was, “Brad had all of these people over to his house, but he didn’t invite me.”
Culpepper: Correct! Did you ever find anyone who was there?
Holmes: I don’t believe so.
Culpepper: Because there’s no (expletive deleted) way! If Varner tries to bring something like that up, I’ll say, “I don’t know who started that. Nobody came to my (expletive deleted) house.” I don’t do Twitter, I don’t do Facebook, I do nothing. Ciera texted me, but I don’t know how much I trust her. I nod at people, I’m a friendly guy. I’ll break the rules and try to talk to people, but it’s all just, “Hey, can’t wait to see you on the beach.”

Holmes: A fifth of the cast is from Kaoh Rong.
Culpepper: Doesn’t bother me. It’d bother me if I was them. You look at Tai and Caleb, Tai was in tears when Caleb left. He got to the final three with Aubry. I don’t know if I’d be that jazzed if I was them because you immediately want to split up couples. I think it puts a target on Tai’s back. Crazy Debbie, maybe not. She’s someone I’d go up to and buy what she’s selling even though I think she’s full of (expletive deleted). I’d buy her juggling, I’d buy her being a model, I’d buy her being a pilot. I’d say, “You live your life, baby. I get you. Me and you, we’re real similar. I’m a pro football player, lawyer, Eagle scout. We’re the same.”

Holmes: What about these two unknown quantities from season 33?
Culpepper: I think Michaela is very pretty. Just seeing her at Ponderosa, I think she’s one of the prettiest girls they’ve ever had on “Survivor.” I don’t know her at all and maybe she’s hell on wheels, but she seems very approachable. I would go to her because I wouldn’t want her to think, “He voted out Marissa.” Everyone voted out Marissa! It was nine to (expletive deleted) one! Don’t blame me! And Zeke, don’t know him, seems like a friendly guy. We sat across from each other at lunch and we made small talk. He seemed nice. Jeff introduced them to us and brought up a name when he introduced them to us. He said, “Guys, I want you to meet Zeke and Michaela. They are holdovers from last season just like Russell was.” I was like, “Why the (expletive deleted) did he mention that name?” I’d be so mad if I was Zeke and he brings up Russell’s name in connection with being held over. I immediately started thinking, why’d they bring up Russell’s name? So, neither one of them won, and just like Russell, they’re back. All things being equal, if it’s a first-day vote out, I might vote for Zeke.

Holmes: So, you chatted briefly with Zeke during lockdown. Who else have you been trying to communicate with?
Culpepper: I’ve been doing it the whole time. Can’t hurt to smile at everybody. I’m an open book. I’ll work with anyone. It’s OK if someone pre-chooses to not like me, so I can write them off. But, I’m going to the beach with open eyes and open arms. Now, I’m sure after five hours I’ll be thinking something else. Now, maybe everyone has been pre-gaming and has alliances, but I don’t want to do that. Tyson didn’t do it. There was some pre-gaming that season and it boxed people in. It boxed Monica in with Colton and it was horrible. Best thing that ever happened was him quitting. She was boxed in with him and she did not want to be with him, but he’d done so much pre-gaming that it was bad. Tyson did minimal if any pre-gaming. It gives you the freedom to find yourself a better scenario.
Holmes: There are just too many variables to commit yourself to someone before the game starts.
Culpepper: Exactly. And I just want to dispel the notion that I’m a misogynist. If I can be married to Monica for 25 years, I can’t be any kind of (expletive deleted) misogynist. I’m as left a liberal Democrat as there is. The perception is that I’m a bro-down guy. It just happened that way. But, that’s not what I’m looking for. My best friend out there was Vytas, and he’s a quirky guy. California Vytas!

Holmes: I have a deck of cards here. Each player except for Zeke and Michaela, because you don’t know them, are in here. I’ll hand you three cards at random. You tell me who you’re voting out first, who you’re working with but eventually eliminating, and who you’re taking to the end.

Round One: JT, Ozzy, and Tony
Culpepper: I’ll work with Ozzy, but I won’t take him to the end. Wait, I can’t go to the end with JT. This is hard. I’d align with any of these guys but I don’t want to take them to the end… Alright, I’ll take Tony to the end because I can beat him… You gave me hard ones!
Holmes: It’s random!
Culpepper: OK, I’ll work with Ozzy and won’t take him to the end. He can catch me fish. Tony goes first and I take JT to the end. I can make a better move than JT.

Round Two: Ciera, Malcolm, and Andrea
Culpepper: I’ll align with Malcolm, but I won’t take him to the end. Wait… I’ll take Ciera to the end because I can beat her. I’ll vote out Malcolm first to prove that I’m not a bro-down guy. And I can work with Andrea.
Holmes: What the argument to beat Ciera?
Culpepper: I’m smarter than her. I know her. I know how she thinks.

Round Three: Debbie, Caleb, and Sierra
Culpepper: I’ll take Caleb to the end. He’s not going to make a big move, he’s going to ride my coattails. I’ll vote Sierra out first. And I’ll work with Crazy Debbie.
Holmes: Why Sierra first?
Culpepper: It’s because of the cards you gave me. I really want to work with Crazy Debbie.

Round Four: Jeff, Hali, and Troyzan
Culpepper: I’d get rid of Jeff because he doesn’t like me. I’d try to convince him, but I can tell that he doesn’t like me. I can’t take Troyzan to the end, but I’ll ride him to the end and then cut him. And I’ll take Hali to the end because I know I can beat her. She’s not going to be the lynchpin to cutting Troyzan, I am. She’s going to go along with it.

Round Five: Cirie, Sandra, and Aubry
Culpepper: This is a hard one too. I don’t want to go to the end with any of these people, but I’m going to take Sandra to the end because she’s going to do her thing of not being the person who is voted off. She isn’t going to make any moves. Aubry’s tired. I’ll send her home first. She just got done doing this. And I’ll work with Cirie.

Holmes: Alright, two left. Work with one and boot the other.

Round Six: Tai and Sarah.
Culpepper: Tai…he seemed a little flighty. And Sarah’s a cop, she’s solid, I think I can trust her. So, keep Sarah and boot Tai.

Don’t miss the two-hour season premiere of “Survivor: Game Changers,” Wednesday March 8, 2017 at 8 p.m. ET.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Brad – ‘The Screaming Was Worse Than You Saw on TV’

October 24, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6541379645042428112″ program_type=”series” cid=”45576771592″]

There are three measures of “Survivor” success; winning the million-dollar prize, winning the $100,000 fan-favorite vote, and getting a last-name nickname from host Jeff Probst.

Brad Culpepper managed to land one of those achievements on his first day.

I spoke to Culpepper the morning after his Redemption Island elimination and had a chance to ask him about Caleb’s stratagem, Candice’s demeanor, and accusations of sexism…

Holmes: How is it going?
Culpepper: Good, but I’d rather be out of on that island.
Holmes: I was at your camp, it was a beautiful location.
Culpepper: You were there when I pulled that snake out?
Holmes: I was.
Culpepper: God! Nobody even remembers that! I wish someone would have gotten a camera shot of that. You at least witnessed that.
Holmes: I did. I can verify that for future generations.

Holmes: Let’s talk about your first night on Redemption Island. It looked like you came in there and were very apologetic, but they were shutting you down. Did the Codys ever come around?
Culpepper: Yes. Candice was very cold most of that night. I’ve got teenagers so I’ve had difficult conversations. I tried to diffuse it the best I could. John warmed up pretty quickly. He and I got along pretty well. I explained to him that if we were playing regular “Survivor” he would have been my #1 and we would’ve gone to the end five guys strong. But, Monica is my #1. I explained that to John and he understood. Candice probably did too, but she was angry. The next day she warmed up and we hugged it out. There was less animosity at Redemption Island with her than was portrayed. With other people the screaming was worse than you saw on TV.
Holmes: Speaking of those blow-ups. Were you worried that you were going to mess up Monica’s game over at Galang?
Culpepper: Well look at Tyson, he stands up and says, “Mr. football guy, I’m going to get you.” I’m thinking, “Oh my God, I might be ruining Monica’s alliance.” I didn’t know who she’s aligned with, they hadn’t voted anyone out. I have no idea what’s happening over there. I’m assuming she’s with connected people over there, because once players become disconnected they’ll become their own faction. At that point, I was trying to make it to the merge with Monica so I vote out John who’s not connected or a guy like Caleb. But the fact remains, I’m worried about voting off someone who has a loved one on Monica’s tribe who’s going to say, “To heck with Monica, her husband voted my loved one off, I’m going to get rid of her.” And I’d already told my five guys, “If Monica gets voted out, I’m taking her spot. Treat her as best you can.”

Holmes: At one point Candice accused you of being sexist. What’s your response to that?
Culpepper: Because I talked to my wife about what to do with the clue? That’s sexist?
Holmes: There was talk of you shushing women on Tadhana.
Culpepper: I don’t want to even acknowledge that. I don’t even know what shushing is. That was coming from Marissa and Marissa was very angry. Candice, all of her information was coming from other sources. You would have to ask the people on my tribe who spent some time with me. And as for burning the clue, she was trying to rip the clue, which wasn’t shown on television, to get rid of it. But it was folded up and was hard to rip. I told her to burn the clue and someone took that as me telling her what to do. I promise you, Monica is not the type to be married to a sexist man. And I’m very liberal. The shushing thing was absurd.

Holmes: Caleb said he knew you were tossing his name around.
Culpepper: I wasn’t telling him that. Vytas and I spent all afternoon talking about this. But at the end of the day, Vytas was convincing me that Monica was fine, that she was probably with Aras. And Caleb would be an asset to us after the merge because he was unconnected. And I was like, “Alright.” I wasn’t going to vote Caleb out and Vytas explained that to him. I should have said, “There was some conversation, but we are tight, we are strong. We’re not voting against you.” Because there was no talk going into that Tribal about voting me out. He changed his mind at the last minute. It was a very shrewd move, but I don’t know if it was smart or not because he was so under the radar. I went to Redemption Island and said, “That guy with the cowboy boots? Don’t sleep on him.” And everyone on Monica’s tribe now knows that.

Holmes: My big concern going into this season was that if I knew I was safe, I’d consider throwing a challenge to keep my loved one safe. On day one you and Marissa had a bit of an argument over that strategy.
Culpepper: Don’t misread what I said, I never said I’d throw a challenge. Marissa kept saying “This guy will throw a challenge.” That’s not what I said. I said I’d feel bad about her not having a tarp. There’s a difference. And it’s true. We lost every challenge and it wasn’t because of us throwing anything. Every section I was in we were winning. I knocked…
Holmes: Gervase.
Culpepper: Gervase in the sumo thing. We had a big lead in the spoke puzzle. We had a lead in the jigsaw and the skeeball. Every portion I had was a lead going in. We never threw a challenge. Or, I wasn’t a part of any of that. But I was happy that Monica got the fishing gear and the scones. I really wanted to win so I could get a feel for what was going on in their tribe. Had they been able to vote someone out, I’d have had a better feel for who she was with.

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with John.
Culpepper: Solid, strong, and trusting.
Holmes: Ciera?
Culpepper: Lucky.
Holmes: Caleb?
Culpepper: Nervous.
Holmes: Hayden?
Culpepper: Solid, strong, trustworthy.
Holmes: Katie?
Culpepper: Lucky.
Holmes: Vytas?
Culpepper: Thinker, smart.
Holmes: Marissa?
Culpepper: Who?
Holmes: Rachel?
Culpepper: She got screwed. She didn’t get an opportunity to play her game. She’s smart and she’s shrewd. I think she could’ve been a good “Survivor” player and through no fault of her own she got jettisoned.
Holmes: That almost sounds like Monica during “One World.”
Culpepper: Monica never got a chance. In “One World” there was an alliance within five minutes of landing on that beach. So Monica said to me, “Brad, do not have what happened to me happen to you. When you land get an alliance quick.” And while the edit makes it seem like I was sprinting from one guy to the next, that was four days of me talking to people who were wanting to play the game. The girls were not interested in talking about strategy or the game and the guys were all, “I’m in.” And because Monica was not in the original alliance she never got a chance. She was underneath and then was there a mix-up she was immediately targeted by Colton and she was out of the game.

Holmes: Both you and Monica referred to your gameplay as being her “Shield.” Do you feel like you were successful in that aspect?
Culpepper: My #1 priority was giving Monica a chance to play. My #2 priority was to not be the reason why she was voted out. And as the game was progressing it was clear to me that her tribe thought I was some terrible ogre even though they never spent time with me. My real tribemates talked glowingly of me when I went to Redemption Island. They all said, “We miss you, you cooked and cleaned and all that stuff.”  So, judge my gameplay on how well Monica does. Because at this point she is playing the game. She never got a chance to play in 24 (“One World”) and here in 27 (“Blood vs. Water”) she’s playing full speed ahead. She’s playing the game as well as anyone and I’m very proud of her.

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

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