‘Survivor: Game Changers’ spotlight: Brad Culpepper’s redemption attempt a.k.a. how to not be a Mega Man villain
In a world where there are many “Survivor” returning players … there is also Brad Culpepper. He’s loud. People shoot the bird at him. He likes it when things are thrown in fires. He played football. He’s a lawyer now. He likes tattoos that say things. His shirt looks kind of like a Mega Man costume after he gets powers from defeating a final boss.
Unfortunately, Brad Culpepper the first time around was the boss you fight a quarter of the way into the game who you thought was way harder than he actually was. Like any good Mega Man boss, you just have to find his weakness and then hit him with it relentlessly, and Brad’s weakness is … Brad.
Past performance – 15h place (“Blood vs. Water”).
Historical perspective – Brad’s iconic for his ability to get people ridiculously mad at Redemption Island, and then have them fester said anger until they are mad at things he didn’t do, or things that were blown out of proportion. He was so much Mr. I’m a Leader that he became Mr. I’m a Scapegoat. It’s what happens when you turn into a hurricane of bluster. Brad’s a game-changer if the game is “don’t be controlling” — he REALLY went against the grain there.
LIST OF THINGS THAT BRAD CULPEPPER MAY BE BLAMED FOR IF HE LASTS LONG ENOUGH THIS SEASON:
-The Moon Landing being staged.
-The Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead.
-The entire season of “Survivor: Thailand.”
F U BRAD CULPEPPER … says Candice. The most famous thing about his first season is something that he didn’t actually say. We won’t say F U to Brad … at least not yet. Sure, putting a 15th-place finisher on a season with Cirie Fields and Tony Vlachos is kind of like eating Pizza Hut while your buddy’s got a slice of Grimaldi’s from Brooklyn, but like all game-players, viewers need a common enemy.
Brad probably doesn’t want to be the enemy. He wants to be your buddy, your hero! This is the Brad Culpepper redemption story! In his head.
Strengths – First, this. He’s really good at this.
Brad is Noah for all “Survivor” bros. He rounds them up, and takes him on his lifeboat inflated by ego and testosterone. He’s an asset in challenges, especially if that challenge is pretending to punch people. He’s a little like Dwight Schrute meets a character from “Reno 911!” in that way.
The funny thing is that all the things that made him such an easy “get rid of me” now target the first time around should help him back it far the second time. Who would EVER give this guy a million bucks at the end? If you can keep him in mind and play into his “be a good person and America will love you” this time mindset, there’s a shot that you can take him far. This at least helps Brad achieve his true ceiling, which is a ton of screen time and the third-place prize. If Monica can find a way to “Quantum Leap” into someone else’s body, maybe he gets one vote!
Weaknesses – This.
Also, having a supreme chill-pill shortage. He’ll not only grind your gears, he’s THROW THEM IN THE FIRE. He doesn’t know how to be quiet, and he doesn’t know how to NOT be a leader. The only benefit to him being on “Second Chance” rather than this season would’ve been seeing what happened if him and Andrew Savage were on the same season. Either they would become BFFs or their entire brains would have spontaneously exploded.
Prediction – We’ve had a lot of fun here with Brad, mostly because it’s FUN to have a lot of fun with Brad. He’s such a kooky, big “Survivor” character of the guy who is extremely intimidating when you see him on the street so you never actually talk to him. We’ve interviewed Brad before, and he was a pretty nice guy who owned up to his mistakes in the game.
Here’s the rub: We feel like if we were to go get some beer and wings with Brad (not that we think he would, with those muscles he probably has a PROTEIN AND NO FRIED FOOD EVER diet), we’d probably have a decent time. He’s like a buff, male Abi-Maria — his on-island and off-island personas may be very different. When he is out there, his inner Mega Man villain comes out and he doesn’t know how to contain it. It’s too much to ask him to THROW THAT PERSONALITY INTO THE FIRE and be some sort of quiet pseudo-Brad. He can’t keep that up for 39 days.
Maybe he’ll be aligned with good people and won’t tick anyone off. Maybe America will like him more. The one thing that’s not going to happen is him winning this game. For one, everyone’s going to assume he’s loading. Also, there’s no way he’ll be humble enough on the jury.
(Correction: Maybe Brad wins if it’s a final two and he gets there with Troyzan.)
How are you feeling about Brad entering this season of “Survivor”? Share in the comments, and head over here to get some further news when it comes to the show, including further spotlights! (Photo: CBS.)
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