'Survivor: Blood vs. Water's' Candice Cody would take out Brad Culpepper if she 'got another crack at him'
Are you glad you returned to "Survivor," even if you got sent to Redemption Island right away?
"Yeah. I mean, that was the really tough break to have 30 seconds into the game. I showed up less than 24 hours before the game was going to start. Everyone else had been there for four or five days, counting up their numbers and figuring out who they wanted to work with. It was a tough break. But I was glad to have the opportunity to come out and play and ... to have the experience with my husband is beyond, it's out of this world. Overall, I'm happy I did it. It was a totally different experience than my past two seasons and I loved it."
That was actually our next question -- we read that you were a last-minute replacement, do you think that had to do with why you were voted out right off the bat?
"I think that definitely had a lot to do with it. I was nervous coming in behind the power curve, but I know myself and I felt very confident -- give me the first three days before we have to go to a Tribal Council and I'll work my way in and I;ll be fine. ... But that twist of having to vote someone out in the first 30 seconds, I just never had a chance to explain to these people why I showed up at the last second. I think it was definitely a part of it."
Tell us about Brad -- you didn't actually get to interact with him much, why the bad feelings toward him?
"First it started with Monica voting for me, then when Marissa comes to Redemption Island and is talking about how she didn't really get to have her 'Survivor' experience. She wasn't allowed to do the fire, she wasn't allowed to do certain things because that wasn't a job that Brad had decided that she could do. He told her to go weave palm fronds, which I suppose is a task fit for a lady. She was very frustrated by that.
Then Rachel comes and tells us similar things. Brad wouldn't let other people have an opinion ... and then she told me there were two votes cast against John that night and they would be gunning for him next. ... Once John got voted out, he confirmed to me that it was definitely Brad. You cut my baby, I cut you, so. There's only so much effect that you can have on the game from Redemption Island, so from a strategy standpoint, the Culpeppers were dead to me. ... Whether what I said about him or to him had any effect on his game or whether he'd already shot himself in the foot with his tribe, I don't know. But it was part strategy of trying to get rid of a Culpepper and part hurt feelings.
That's the crazy part about this season. You bring your loved ones and get them involved and it's not a game anymore -- you kind of become a crazy person instead of thinking strategy. It brings everything to the surface. It was heated and I intended to have him take some heat, but I don't have any personal problems with him at all. It's a game. I was just trying to get rid of him in the game. But outside the game, I think he's a nice guy. He's a family guy. But if I got another crack at him, I'd definitely take him out [ laughs]."
What was the hardest challenge for you at Redemption Island?
"I think the hardest challenge was definitely the last one, the one that I lost. I had the correct piece but it wouldn't fit down, so I took that piece back and it ended up being the right one, I just really had to slam it down to get it to fit, so I lost a lot of time on that. ... [Then] twice Brad called it and said he had finished the puzzle and then they come back and say wait, Brad's puzzle is not right. So my mind's already out of the game and then you have to turn it back on and get back into it ... and the whole other tribe is cheering for Brad and giving him hints. It was emotionally-charged. There was so much going on with that challenge."
When you were eliminated, who did you think was in the strongest position in the game?
"Um, I thought that the people on Galang were in a good position because they had never gone to Tribal Council. Never seeing Tribal COuncil. in the first 11 days of the game is amazing. ... I tseemed to me that Kat maybe looked .... uncomfortable in the arena maybe Laura Boneham. But I thought everybody else was sitting pretty."
Would you go back on "Survivor" if they asked you?
"You gotta say yes. It's a crazy game, it gets in your blood. It's been part of my life for the past seven years and it's given me some great experiences and some life lessons and some self-reflection. Every single time I've gone I've learned something and I've grown, so absolutely."
"Survivor: Blood vs. Water" airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.