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Survivor: One World - Exclusive Interview with Monica Culpepper

Posted on 03/15/2012 by Gina in Survivor and Cast Interviews

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Monica Culpepper from Survivor: One World


by Gina Scarpa


The tribes were in for a shock last night on Survivor: One World when Jeff Probst told them to drop their buffs. The Salani and Manono tribes, originally divided by gender, were mixed up and one ended up being comprised of more physically dominant players than the other. Manono went on to lose both the reward and the immunity challenge and then, with Colton leading the way, voted arguably their strongest player out of the game. We talked to Monica today in an exclusive interview to find out more about her thoughts on the tribes, Colton's power, and whether voting her out was a smart move.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What made you want to try out for Survivor?
A. Monica: People have said, "At 41, why go out for Survivor?" People look back in life and are more disappointed by the things they didn't do than by the things they did do. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to do something outside of my comfort zone.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Immediately, it seemed like you, Christina, and Nina were on the outs with the Salani tribe? What went wrong?
A. Monica: Perhaps it could be age. It was just fascinating to see how quickly that alliance happened. I mean, the game hadn't started and it seemed like everyone knew their names and they were in an alliance. It was disappointing to see but I thought, "I am going to do what I do best," and that was outwork everybody. I was going to work and work and work my way in.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What was the biggest issue with the women in the beginning of the game?
A. Monica: The biggest issue with us was that Sabrina found the idol and she found that on day 2. It wasn't a women's idol, it was a men's idol. Immediately, the five people in that alliance spent all day long collaborating on the beach as to who they were going to give that idol to. Another big problem was that Colton was living with us. The first couple nights, he stayed with us and that was a huge distraction but a smart move on his part. Time was spent on Colton and the idol distraction that we weren't meeting the needs of the tribe.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Watching the episodes back, what surprised you the most?
A. Monica: I would say the fourth tribal council and basically the entire episode. It was really uncomfortable to see Leif and how he was treated, and the oompa loompa and Oz comments. That was difficult and it hurt me. He's such a kind person and I felt for him and his family. The roasting that Bill got in that tribal council was very difficult to watch. I didn't like the way that was going. Unfortunately, the women were not privy to any of that information and I would've played the game differently had I known.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Why does Colton have so much power? It's surprising how much the men are willing to follow him, especially given his behavior and his treatment of others.
A. Monica: Colton has so much power because he has the idol and I guess the men are fearful they are the next ones to go so they are willing to play with him and be led by him.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: It's clear that the new Manono tribe doesn't have as many big, physical players as the new Salani tribe. That being said, did it make any sense at all to vote you out?
A. Monica: No, it didn't make any sense to vote me out and I was very sad that they did. Alicia went against the women's alliance and Colton and I had a relationship in the beginning of the game. I was there for him when he was struggling and when he was very homesick. I was most complimented by Jeff's comment at the end when he said, "You've admitted you're the weakest tribe, and now you've voted off, arguably, your strongest player." It seemed very believable to me that Tarzan was the weakest link.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: How do you feel about your Survivor experience?
A. Monica: It was an honor to get chosen and I'm thankful to be a part of the Survivor family and that in itself is truly special to me but watching last night made me see just how happy I am with my station in life.


Survivor: One World airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.


(Image courtesy of CBS)


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