On Wednesday night’s new episode of “Survivor: One World,” Monica Culpepper was a victim ultimately being too strong for her own good. After a tribal swap took place, Colton Cumbie saw her as too much of a threat to his own manipulation, and (in his words) decided to “cut off the head of the snake.”
For Monica, the saddest part apparently in all of this is how Colton’s actions and words behind her back came as a surprise. As a part of a conference call with reporters Thursday, we had a chance to shoot a few questions in her direction about her relationship with this show’s controversial villain, as well as her hope to make it to the end with the other women.
Cartermatt.com – So first things first, was your exit really as much of a blindside as the episode showed?
Monica Culpepper – It was a huge [shock]. What you didn’t see as viewers was that I had a relationship with Colton that dates back to the second, third day of the game. He came over to the women’s tribe and said ‘I need my Momica,’ and he literally called me ‘Momica’ the entire show because he was struggling out there. He was homesick, he was questioning the game, he was unhappy being on a tribe with men. I spent a lot of time with him talking about him not compromising his integrity and talking with him about one day being a parent and him saying that he would never one day want his children to see him quit.
… I really spent a lot of time talking to him and pumping him up and keeping him in the game, so I felt like he and I had a relationship and a bond there that wouldn’t be broken and it obviously was.
You talk about trying to encourage Colton to be a good example out there, but then you obviously have seen everything he’s said in confessionals now. What do you think of him based on everything you’ve seen now?
It is one of the hardest things to see, because we as women were not privy to what went down in that tribal council the week before. It was very uncomfortable for me to watch the way he treated Leif, with his ‘go back to Oz or Munchkinland,’ because Leif is such a kind person and a nice man and father. That was hard to watch. Then the roasting that he did with Bill was just awful. I think the hardest part of the whole thing was that we switched tribes, the men knew the information about what kind of a player Colton was, and Jonas even went as far as to say that he would be [Colton’s] b–ch if he needed to, and the men still wanted to be led by him. That to me was just disappointing.
Obviously, you thought that Tarzan was going to be the one going home. So did you already have any sort of endgame designed for once you made it to the merge?
What you also didn’t realize is that I didn’t start out in that fast alliance of five, but through my hard work and time and effort, there was a switch. Chelsea, Kim, Sabrina, myself [and] Christina were a group. If you remember the second tribal council Jeff asked those women ‘if you knew what you know now, would you be in a different alliance?’, all of those women said yes. I wanted the women to stay strong, and my thought was that hopefully Colton was [with me], and Alicia was going to stay with the women — then, hopefully we’ll get back to that merge. I had envisioned that I was going to pull a Colby and win five immunities in a row. I felt great out there, and wanted to ride with the women until the end.
Based on some of Monica’s comments, do you have an even stronger opinion of how Colton is playing this game? As always, check back this weekend for a first-look preview at the upcoming episode.