Survivor: Game Changers – Michaela Bradshaw interview: About that crazy Tribal Council


Michaela Bradshaw interviewMichaela Bradshaw brought a lot to Survivor: Game Changers, and not just the coffee cup or the coconut pieces that she had at Tribal Council. She played hard in the challenges, had a really fantastic alliance with Cirie, and she was a refreshingly honest player both in the game and confessionals.

It was a shock to see her leave the game last night in seventh place, especially in the capacity that she did with her getting taken out by the votes of just three people in Brad, Troyzan, and Sarah (who also used her advantage, even if she didn’t need to play it in retrospect).

What in the world happened? This is one of many interesting topics discussed in the exit interview today.

CarterMatt – You made it a lot further this time than Millennials vs. Gen X. You gotta feel good about that.

Michaela Bradshaw – I do! I didn’t realize I made it to day 35. I was excited and proud of myself for that. Not a millionaire, but proud.

Was being at Tribal Council as crazy as watching it play out on TV? I’m still trying to figure out what the hell happened.

It was crazier! The whole day Cirie was all excited about the advantage, but she didn’t get the advantage until right before Tribal Council. She didn’t have the chance to read it, which is why she didn’t know that this wasn’t an advantage she couldn’t use. I told her ‘that’s not the route we should go. I think this is the time to vote someone else,’ but she was convinced.

We get to Tribal, and she pulls out this advantage. Everything goes up in flames. Sarah feels like Cirie has turned against her, and in Sarah’s mind, if Cirie had turned against her, then I have turned against her. This opens up the door for other people who felt like they were on the bottom to use Sarah and her extra vote to get back in the majority. It was just pure chaos.

At this point, I’m not big on whispering, especially when everybody’s breath stinks. I’m not a fan of that part of the game. I’m the type of person who just wants to stick things out as a group, but that’s not how Survivor is played at this point. I’m sure the name before the vote changed a few times. Cirie whispered Aubry in my ear, Sarah whispered Tai. Sarah whispered something to Tai, which I think was Michaela. All of these different things happened.

I saw all of those Tai votes coming through, so I started to think he was done. Then, I saw a Michaela vote and I knew I was going home.

One of the things that you said in there to me that was really interesting is when you mentioned the way Survivor is played ‘at this point.’ Do you think that if this was a mid-tier season that is a little more old-school, like a Fiji or maybe a Gabon, that you could win? You’re a very loyal player.

Yeah! I’m loyal to a fault. Think about it. You become more of who you are the more tired and hungry you get. It becomes harder to pretend to be someone else. For me, I’m not manipulative or sneaky or backstabbing. I am very honest and upfront. I get mentally exhausted dealing with the way this game is played. That doesn’t mean that I don’t try, but I go about it in a different way. I 100% believe that I’m a better fit for an older season of Survivor, just like I have older friends. I don’t have any 26-year old friends. I don’t hang with people my age; I hang out with old people (laughs).

But, you know what? I tried to overcome that without losing myself, and I’m proud of how I played.

How tough was it for you going through two seasons back to back? Zeke said that you guys had a couple of weeks between seasons, so effectively you’ve been gone from your life for several months by the time you were voted off.

It was very emotional more than physical. You saw some of that emotion at the Zeke vote, which is why I cried. Zeke and I had that connection in that we left our homes in March, and we came back in the middle of July. You don’t have a job, you don’t know what your income is looking like. I didn’t have a place to stay. You don’t know what your relationships are like. You put everything on the line for this game, and you know that there is only a one in twenty shot that it will be worth it financially.

It’s a lot of pressure and drama, and It was difficult to readjust. I just got my life back on track in March! It’s an opportunity cost at the end of the day. We chose to have this crazy experience, and at the end of the day I’m glad I did it.

I’m going to go back to when you were working with Sandra, because the idea of you and Sandra working together was so entertaining. Is she someone you wanted to go far in the game with?

I was so happy when Sandra got voted out. I love Sandra — that woman gave me life during the game. I was so glad she was on my tribe and she was a person I could talk to and confide in.

But, at the very beginning of the game, she was not Team Michaela. She told me point-blank when I tried to pull on her the ‘I don’t know what to do, help me out’ [act] ‘Michaela, I’m going to tell you like it is. Sandra don’t play for anyone but Sandra. If you want me to vote with you, then just make sure that nobody is going to vote against you. I’ll vote where the numbers are. If the numbers are against you I’ll vote against you.’

As long as I could be in the numbers with Sandra, our alliance worked! But, the moment that the numbers would swing against me, Sandra would put the nail in the coffin. I needed her in the first half of the game, but I was very happy they sent her home because I couldn’t trust her going into the merge.

You alluded to this a little earlier, but do you blame Cirie at all for going home because of how everything went with the advantage?

No, I don’t blame her. If she would have known that her mistake would have cost me my game, she wouldn’t have done that. In her mind, she had this elaborate scheme and that this was going to be her big move in front of the jury. It just turned out wrong. It was just another notch on Sarah’s belt. She knows how to manipulative. She knows how to make you feel like she’s extending all of this trust to you, but she also knows how to cover her bases out there at the same. She’s a good dirty cop in the game (laughs).

What was your relationship like with Sarah out there for most of the season?

Sarah started talking to me a couple of votes after the merge. Sarah was genuine to an extent. She’s genuinely with you until she feels like that it’s not the right move, then she’ll flip in a split-second over [to the other side]. That concerned me about Sarah, and it concerned me how volatile she was; but, with the way Survivor is played right now, that’s the way to be. Kudos to her.

Sarah’s a great person. She had all of those people on the jury feeling like they were her best friend. The fact that Sierra gave her that advantage is proof that Sarah was playing those people. Think about this — Sarah, to this day, is wearing Zeke’s jacket. Every night! She turns up to Tribal Council in Zeke’s jacket, even though she put Zeke on the jury. It’s THAT type of stuff. She’s good. If Tony was her mentor, she learned well.

Who did you want to go to the end of the game with?

I wanted to go to the end of the game with Cirie and anyone but Sarah.

Even Brad?

I didn’t really like Brad [enough to want him at the end], but I would’ve been able to articulate a case against Brad. Cirie and anyone other than Sarah. I [wanted to go] with Cirie, myself, and Tai because it would have been great to have three people of color at the end of this crazy game. Cirie was #1. I would’ve been flexible with anyone else.

Are you open to a third time now? After playing these two seasons back to back, do you want to do more?

Yeah, I actually just got back from doing season 35 — just kidding (laughs).

New twist — you’re going to be on every season from now on.

Nah, I feel like I need a break from Survivor. I’m back in regular life and having a great time. But if I feel like I can make some adjustments and get four days further, I’m down. I love to live a life of adventure, and Survivor has brought some of my favorite things, adventure and travel and finances, together.

Further Survivor coverage

To receive some additional news right now on the season, including other exit interviews and a full review of last night’s episode, head over to the link here. (Photo: CBS.)


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