CBS LOCAL- CBS aired Season 34, Episodes 13 and 14 of Survivor: Game Changers this past Wednesday and we had the chance to interview the show’s most recent castoff, Michaela Bradshaw. Here’s her unique perspective (as told to CBS Local’s Adam Bloom) on what she believes sealed her fate and whether or not she’d be interested in another trip to the island down the line.
Related: Check out Andrea Boehlke’s post-elimination interview here.
Episode 14 Castoff: Michaela Bradshaw
AB: You were really a fun player to watch and I was rooting for you. You did a great job in the challenges – the last immunity challenge you were so close with the puzzle and you could see the emotion on your face when you thought you had won. When Culpepper won – did you think there was a chance you’d be voted off?
MB: So going into the merge, my thought was – Michaela don’t come in 2nd– because when you start coming in 2nd you make the person that came in first feel like you’re the one to beat. So I just wanted that necklace so that I could know 100% that I would be safe because we are getting close to the end – day 35. When Brad did that huge celebration thing – saying “You all got to pick somebody else today” I was wondering why Brad was so convinced he was going home and that made me feel that I wasn’t as far into the loop as I thought or Brad was so far out of the loop that you don’t even know what was going on in his mind. I just wanted to win – win something – I’m just not really a loser. (laughs)
AB: At the Tribal council – that was something else – there was so much whispering going on at the very end there- can you share anything you remember being said right before the vote?
MB: I remember not wanting Cirie to play that advantage – and then when it turned out she couldn’t play the advantage – I was like oh snap here we go. Everyone is whispering- I remember specifically Sarah going to Tai – and then I straight up asked Tai – what did she just tell you? And he didn’t answer me. So now I’m thinking what is going on – everyone is whispering – then Cirie dragged me in and told Sarah to ask Michaela what I was going to do – and then I was like Oh snap. I’m not really into the drama piece. If survivor was just challenges and strategy without the extremes- social/manipulation part that would be cool – but the whole whispering and going behind people’s back – that stuff is what drains me. I wasn’t into the super whispering during that tribal council and that was my mistake. I think most names got tossed out and Sarah was in change because you had two people that were on the bottom and they would vote with Sarah and her extra vote and that put them in the majority and somehow the vote ended up going on to me. I thought it was going to go on Cirie and somebody had look at Cirie and say she was not a threat so I was guilty by association – so they voted for me.
AB: Do you enjoy watching the show each week? Where do you watch it?
MB: I do like watching it. I don’t watch a lot of TV at all – I actually don’t own a TV so I have to go to someone else’s house- I watch with a couple of friends or my mom. I do enjoy watching it because I can see conversations that I was not privy to. This was a strange game for me- I went through a long portion of this game without having many real allies and most people didn’t strategize with me. It was really interesting to see that feeling that I felt that someone was against me or I felt that something was going this way and yep – that was what was happening.
AB: It didn’t seem like people were looking for immunity idols the last few weeks – is that editing or were people not really looking for the idols?
MB: No- people were not looking for idols. I believe when we found Brad and those coconuts- I think he was looking for idols at that point. I saw him on the mountain and there were no coconuts on the mountain -and he took off running and then he found a little coconut patch and had coconuts in his hand. Other than that one moment – no one was looking for idols and the assumption was people already had them or they were not there because this is Gamechangers season and maybe they took the idols. But we know now that Tai and Troyzan have them.
AB: When Zeke was voted out of Survivor you became very emotional even though you wrote his name down – was curious about that moment?
MB: I’m not a manipulative backstabbing type person and in this game there were very few people at the merge who would strategize with me and wanted to be friendly. I was kind of written off by a lot of people. Zeke and Cirie were two people that did not treat me like that. Neither did Hali. But particularly Zeke and Cirie were two people who actually would have conversations with me and open the door for me so for me to turn my back on one person who was actually being nice to me in that game hurt me to my core because I didn’t want to do it. But at the same time I could recognize that we shared this bond that we were stuck on this island back to back which is something that nobody else out there has experienced and that’s a mental toll on you by itself. So we shared this one common theme in our background and Zeke is one of my true friends at this point and now I am going to turn my back on him and now only have one friend and that just hurt me. I didn’t want to do it but I did it because I felt like it was the best thing to do if the goal is to win a million dollars. It was just hard for me.
AB: What is your favorite thing about the game of Survivor?
MB: It’s like a love/hate. It amplifies the dynamic that exists in our society so what this game did for me – the same challenges that I face in the real world as a young professional person – I felt in that game. It took the opportunity to win a million dollars to help me push past different barriers that I experience in my regular life and I feel like there is a lot of growth that can come out of that situation. So the fact that Survivor puts your weaknesses, your struggles and you strengths all in front of you and gives you the opportunity in a strange environment to play around with certain things and actually make yourself a little better if you apply it the right way – that’s the thing that I like. It’s real.
AB: You hinted wanting to be on a third time – I assume you’d love that opportunity. Would you do anything different?
MB: My main purpose in doing Survivor is to win the money. If I felt I could make adjustments to get four more days and have a shot at that million dollars then definitely. When can you win a million dollars in 39 days otherwise. You could work 40 years and still not have a million dollars in the bank.
Tune in on Wednesday, May 24, at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS to see episode 15 of Survivor: Game Changers, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.