March 15, 2012 02:28 PM by Ryan Haidet
Monica Culpepper, one of my favorites this season, is the latest victim to fall to Colton Cumbie’s wrath on Survivor: One World. While it was obvious to viewers that Monica was the next to go, she was truly stunned by the vote. In an exit interview with reporters today, Monica admits that she was completely blindsided by her elimination — especially because it came from Colton’s hand. She said her relationship with Colton was so solid — he called her Momica — that she believed he was truly on her side, especially after she gave him a pep talk early in the game. In this extensive discussion, Monica admitted hanging out with Colton outside of the game “will be tough” and also revealed that Tarzan always talked in circles. She also expressed her disappointment in the way Jonas is following Colton around. What else did she have to say? Read on to find out!
Question: Did you have any clue you were going to be voted off?
Monica Culpepper: It was totally a blindside. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I wasn’t expecting it for a few reasons. Number one, you all didn’t see that I had a relationship with Colton that had started in the second/third day of the game. He came over to the women’s tribe and said, “I need my Momica.” He called me Momica the whole show because he really was struggling out there. He was homesick, he was questioning the game, he was unhappy being on a tribe with men and I spent a lot of time with him talking about not jeopardizing his integrity and talking with him about one day being a parent and he would never want his children to see him quit or not give his best or work hard. I really spent a lot of time taking him in, pumping him up and keeping him in the game, so I felt like he and I had a relationship and a bond there that wouldn’t be broken. It obviously was.
Question: Tell us about that moment when you knew you were getting voted off and you gave Colton that glare. What was going through your mind?
Monica Culpepper: I thought, you know what, Colton, you are not a loyal friend. What you all had not seen at this point is Colton did not call me Monica on the show, he called me Momica. Day three Colton came over to our tribe crying and said, “I need Momica. I am homesick, I am questioning the game, I am so unhappy out here, it is men vs. women, this is a death sentence to me, it’s been my life-long dream to be on Survivor and I’m not fitting in.” I spent days with him saying, “Colton, you gotta be tough, you gotta pull yourself up by the boot straps. You can’t quit. One day you’re gonna be a parent. Your children are gonna watch the show and you never want to let them down.” I was a loyal friend to him and I looked at him to say, “Wow, buddy. You used me.” And that was hard.
Question: Watching Colton on the show now, what is that like? What is your opinion of him now?
Monica Culpepper: It’s been one of the hardest things to see because we women were not privy to what went down in that Tribal Council the week before. It was very uncomfortable for me to watch the way he treated Leif with his “Go back to Oz or Munchkinland, wherever your from.” Leif is such a kind person and such a nice man and father. That was hard to watch. Then the roasting that he did with Bill was just awful. I think the hardest part of the whole thing was, here we switched tribes, the men knew the information of what kind of player Colton was and Jonas even goes as far to say he would be Colton’s bitch if he needed to. The men still wanted to be led by him and that, to me, was just disappointing. … I was equally blown away that Tarzan, being a plastic surgeon and the life experiences he has, still wants to be led by him. Leif, is I think, scared to death because he thinks he’s next if he isn’t. Then, Jonas. I just can’t say anything other than disappointing. …
Question: Can you ever picture yourself hanging out with Colton outside of the game?
Monica Culpepper: That will be hard. When I see Colton again, a lot of time will have passed, a lot of water will be under the bridge, and I can only hope that he’s been able to see how he’s portrayed and how other people see him and how he is. I’m a parent. I spend a lot of time teaching my kids the Golden Rule — treat others the way you want to be treated. Hopefully, Colton has a minute to see it. It’s unfortunate he has to see it on such a huge stage, but hopefully he’ll change. Time will tell.
Question: Did Tarzan talk in circles the whole time you were with him?
Monica Culpepper: Tarzan talked in circles the entire time. It was funny. My kids said, “Mom, what was he really like?” And I said Don Quixote. … Just totally out of touch the entire show.
Question: Did anybody have a problem with that or was he there simply to be laughed at?
Monica Culpepper: I guess he was comic relief. I guess in the last few seasons of Survivor there’s been this drag-the-goat-to-the-end mentality and I guess that’s the philosophy with the men. No one will ever give him the million dollars. I’m gonna go to the final three and drag Tarzan with me. Now I go from a 33 percent chance winning to a 66 percent chance winning, because Survivor is a game of numbers. What you saw last night was what happened at all times. If somebody said walk left, Tarzan swam.
Question: In a previous interview you mention that you didn’t necessarily want to win the whole game, but wanted to team up with a worthy person, get to the final three and then make a pitch for them to win. Can you describe your thought process there?
Monica Culpepper: For me, going on the show, just through my life experiences, my driving force wasn’t, “Man, I want to win Survivor and win the million dollars because it’s gonna change my life.” My driving force to go on Survivor was let me do something for me. Too many mothers in this world, it’s all about the children, it’s all about your husband, it’s all about everybody else. You become very unselfish. In all honesty, I supported my husband through college and pro stadiums for years — 12 years. I wanted him to come to the loved-ones visit with stars in his eye son the Survivor stage and cheer for me. So for me, my win in the game was making it to the loved-ones visit. … It’s really easy to sit here and be a Monday-morning quarterback for all of us, but maybe this game would have made some twists and turns and would have been an opportune time for me to shed some light and give some praise to somebody else and pitch them for the win. A win for me would have been getting my husband there on the loved-ones visit.
Question: How did you get on the show?
Monica Culpepper: People had always told my husband with his NFL experience, being an Eagle Scout and growing up on an island in the Gulf of Mexico that he’d be fabulous on Survivor. One thing led to another, the next thing we knew, they contacted and kind of switched the gears toward me. My husband and my kids said, “Monica, this is an awesome opportunity.” As a mother, you always become second and your children and your husband’s needs become first. My husband and my kids said, “Mom, go do this. Go do this for you. Let’s see what kind of grit you have.” To be honest, I’m truly thankful that I feel like I was captured like me. Just a hard-working, strong, kind, empathetic team player. It was a great experience.
What are your thoughts on Colton after reading what Monica had to say? Are you happy or sad she was cut loose so early? Do you think she simply didn’t play a good enough game? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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