'Survivor's' Brad Culpepper: 'Marissa clearly was a Bitter Betty out there'
Are you glad you went on "Survivor"? Was it harder than you thought it would be?
"I loved every minute of it. It was not hard at all. Playing close to 10 years in the NFL is very hard. That's my job, that's my life and the pressure that goes along with it is severe. Being a parent of teenagers is pressure-filled.
Playing 'Survivor' was a game to me, I had a great time. The weather was tremendous, the location was spectacular. ... There were bellyache laughs every day and every night on my tribe. We had such a good time. It was a tremendous experience."
How do you respond to Candice and Marissa saying things like you wouldn't let people have an opinion around camp or that you said a lot of ignorant things?
"I can't control what Marissa says and I'm assuming that's all from her because I never spent any time with Candice ... she's just going with second-hand stuff. Marissa clearly was a Bitter Betty out there. She pointed it all at me. Anybody could make fire, why would I tell somebody not to make fire? And not to fish? I never said don't fish. ... I would not be married to Monica for 22 years if I was mysogynistic or sexist or anything else like that so the accusations that were being made were totally false. I almost don't want to give credence to them by even answering."
But what about stuff like when you said in the premiere that you had a "five-guys alliance -- or four guys and a gay gay," for example. Do you regret that? That gay guy got you voted out.
"Yeah, I mean, there are a lot of conversations the whole time. I don't regret it. I liked Caleb a lot. Maybe I should've been more specific -- four straight guys, one gay guy. I don't know, it wasn't offensive.
I'm a very liberal person, I'm a Democrat. At no point did Caleb feel threatened by me. My mistake was not getting with Caleb before Tribal Council. He got scared and nervous during the Tribal Council and made a pretty shrewd move at the 11th hour but that wasn't his plan going in. If I was a tyrant and I was a jerk and boss and all the things Marissa was trying to say, there would've been a lot more plans to vote Brad Culpepper out and that was never the case. I never got a single vote until Caleb in the last hour said you know what, I don't feel comfortable with Brad, girls. And they had no standing, so they of course were gonna go with it.
If I was a jerk the way Marissa was trying to portray me, they would've voted me out a long time before what happened."
Were you surprised when your tribe turned on you at the last minute?
"Yeah, I think Vytas and Hayden were both surprised as well. I think the girls were too, look at their expressions. They were not expecting that. And while it may have been a shrewd move, let's see if it was a smart move or not. Time will tell.
Caleb was playing a very smart, under-the-radar game at that point. I took him for granted and I think everbody on my tribe took him for granted. When he made that move and I went to Redemption Island, I was clear to make out that hey, that guy in the funny boots over there? He is a player, do not sleep on him. I made that fully aware to everybody in Monica's tribe and of course everybody in my tribe witnessed it the night before. He went from somebody not on the radar to clearly on the radar and when you do that in this game, it can either help you or hurt you. Time will tell if that was a good move or not.
When you were eliminated, who did you think was in the best position in the game?
"I had no idea on Monica's tribe, which was some of the difficulties I had in regards to voting people off in my tribe. If I was playing regular Survivor, there's no way I would've voted John off, I wouldn't have even contemplated voting Caleb off. ... I would've ridden five guys all the way tot he end. But being it was my loved one on the other side, she was my no. 1 alliance. ... She was ahead of me. Decisions I was making on my side were trying not to hurt her.
When Rachel went out, Tyson immediately pointed at me and said, 'That football guy, I'm gonna come and get you.' ... I was getting all the vitriol at Redemption Island and I didn't like how that was affecting Monica potentially. ... I was worried that disconnecting people on her tribe was adversely going to affect her. ... If I was playing 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' with my brother, I would've been in an alliance with him, but he would've been behind me. With my father, my cousin, my girlfriend, they would've come in behind me. But I put my wife of 22 years ahead of me and I'm very happy with how things are right now. She seems to be very secure within her tribe. ... My no. 1 goal was to have her get a chance to play this game and unfortunately, it was at my expense. I had to make tough decisions on my end -- reserve my judgment on whether my moves were good or not good depending on how well she does."
Would you go back on "Survivor" if they asked you?
"Not in a blood vs. water format. I felt I was at a disadvantage because of the way I felt about Monica. I potentially would go back in a regular 'Survivor' setting. To get a full second-hand opinion of me and how I was on my island, ask people who were there when I got voted out. Not necessarily someone who spent three days with me and someone who spent zero time with me.
But I would potentially play an old-school "Survivor.' I wouldn't play with Monica again. Not that I don't love her to death, but it really hampered my ability to play the game as you would normally play 'Survivor.'"
"Survivor" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.