‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ interview: Hayden Moss and Laura Morett

Meet Hayden -This has been a long day of interviewing “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” contestants, but we are finally at the end here courtesy of two people who had their shot of re-entering the game, only to see the moment slip away courtesy of balancing an urn during the final Redemption Island duel of the season: Hayden Moss and Laura Morett. In the case of one of them, we had a former “Big Brother” winner who came very close to winning this time, as well. Meanwhile, when it comes to the other we had one of the most dominant Redemption Island players ever, next to maybe Ozzy Lusth (she’s about tied with Matt Elrod).

We touched on a few assorted topics with these two at the end of the day of conference calls, and they had a few candid, interesting opinions to share about their time out playing.

CarterMatt – Laura, we’ll start the conversation off with this: What was your secret to all of the winning at Redemption Island? Were you like stacking a house of cards and doing puzzles back at home or something beforehand?

Laura Morett – You go into these challenges, but you have to fearless, even when stacking the house of cards. I never thought for a second ‘oh I better be careful of that.’ It was go in and get it done as fast as I could, and then it moved on. It wasn’t until after the challenges were over that I [started to feel like] ‘oh if I had knocked that over, I could have been out.’

But the hard part was that I didn’t want my confidence to come across as arrogant, but NFL, NBA players, they don’t walk in saying ‘I hope I win.’ They walk in saying ‘you’re going to get hurt, we’re going to dominate.’ That’s what I wanted to do … The severity of the impact of what could have happened afterwards. And, my daughter was sitting over there, and I felt like I needed to get back to her. Of course, little did I know that she was like ‘God mom, will you just lose?’. (Laughs.)

So what was your game plan if you had made it back into the game? Were you going to go with Ciera to Monica and basically tell her that you and Ciera could split the vote in the end, and she would have a chance?

That was exactly it. I’d say [to Monica] that we’d split the vote, and we should go all girls, ‘let’s do this.’ But I also had the idea in the back of my mind that I had to win the next challenge, or I would be gone next. We didn’t know for sure if Gervase or Tyson had the idol. There were so many different ways to play it, and I honestly didn’t think about approaching Gervase because I was pretty confident that he wasn’t going to go anywhere and was happy with second or third position.

But it was frustrating because people were coming from Redemption Island, and Hayden can testify to this, and they were like ‘Monica’s not budging.’ It was kind of like being in a padded room and shouting ‘Monica! Go to the light!’. Honestly, that was everyone’s biggest hope in the game, that Monica would do something.

Hayden, I’m curious what you were thinking when you went into Redemption Island for that last time and saw that challenge. I mean, you’re great at challenges in that you won a ton of them in ‘Big Brother,’ but that sort of balancing challenge wasn’t really suited for a big guy.

Hayden – First of all, I thought I had a chance at it, and I was pretty dang solid for most of it. What happened is that I had a drop of sweat in me eye, and I was just trying to [get it out] when it came crumbling down. I knew it was going to be tough, since it’s Redemption Island and Laura crushes everything out there. I thought the odds were not in my favor, but I felt like I could pull it out.

And Laura, Laura didn’t even pull it out. It was Tina! She was probably the biggest underdog.

Laura – And honestly, Hayden and Tina were not moving at all. I could see them out of my peripheral vision. And I was dancing around on top of that box, thinking what they were doing differently. It wasn’t until after I watched the challenge that I realized that sweat dripped in Hayden’s eye, but it was 120 degrees out there, and it sucks that a drip of sweat threw Hayden off. I just know that Tina was pretty close to dropping hers, and had that not happened with Hayden, he probably would have made his way back in.

And Hayden, this is a same sort of ‘what’s your secret’ question, but do you have any sense as to what makes you so good in these games at being able to make moves, but not have anyone angry at you for it? Even after pushing to draw rocks, nobody was mad at you.

Hayden – I don’t know. I think some of it is the social game, and you’re either born with it or you’re not born with it. I’m able to make friends and get people to like me for whatever reason that is. Maybe Laura could answer that better than I could.

Laura – Well, there’s no handbook to how to play the game. A lot of it is luck. Like Tyson not drawing that rock, complete luck. There was strategy involved, physicality in it. It is the best game ever.

Hayden – It’s the best game because anyone can win it. An old lady can win it, a young meathead stud can win it, It’s a crazy game, and it’s not easy.

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Photo: CBS

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