April 06, 2012 10:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
Only 10 contestants are left standing on Survivor: One World after Michael Jefferson was voted out of the merged Tikiano tribe. His demise came at the hands of Kim Spradlin who twisted together a lie by telling Troy Robertson that Michael was targeting him. In a one-on-one interview I had with Michael on Thursday afternoon, he admitted that Kim made a brilliant move but wouldn’t label her as a “puppetmaster.” He said that Troy never asked him about Kim’s accusations and also revealed he wanted to take Tarzan and Alicia to the final three. Read on for the full interview! Enjoy!
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: Was your elimination a true blindside or did you have any knowledge it was coming?
Michael Jefferson: It was a true blindside. I never felt safe at Tribal Councils. I always felt like I was going home, but with the (new) Salani tribe members, I really thought I was safe. I thought I was safe for several more vote offs.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: Were you actually ever talking about targeting Troy like Kim accused you of doing behind your back?
Michael Jefferson: Never. I knew that he didn’t like me out there. He did refuse to work with me, just didn’t want to associate with me. I didn’t know that the story was that I hated him.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: Did Troy ever come ask you about the situation to see if what Kim was saying was true?
Michael Jefferson: Never. He never came and asked me because he refused to associate with me. He never wanted to work with me so I think Kim knew she could start a lie and it would never get back to me. He just never wanted to come talk to me.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: Is Kim the puppetmaster of the game?
Michael Jefferson: I don’t think she’s the puppetmaster, I think she’s taking advantage of the situation. Things can change so quick on Survivor that she took advantage of the situation to make it so now the girls have the numbers. It was a brilliant move. She knew that Troy and I didn’t associate so she took advantage of the situation. Obviously that can’t happen again because she’s used that card once, but it was smart.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: Jonas brought up that you were more of a threat than he was at the Tribal Council prior to your ouster. Were you concerned when he brought that up?
Michael Jefferson: Yeah. Up until that point I was doing well in challenges, but I don’t think there was a spotlight on me. I was continually trying to win for my tribe but when he put the spotlight back on me, I think it was brought to everyone’s attention, “Hey wait. Maybe Mike is winning. He’s doing pretty well so he might be able to beat us along down the road so let’s get rid of him now.”
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: Was it difficult having to go to Ponderosa to face Jonas just a few days after he said that?
Michael Jefferson: Not at all. The game is weird. When you’re in the game you’re really not yourself. In the real world, I enjoy people. I like making people laugh. Out there it was really hard to. Just driving to Ponderosa, Jonas thought I was going to be mad at him but he handed me a beer, I gave him a hug and it was time for some fun.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: What do you think about the future of Troy and Jay in the game? Do they have a shot?
Michael Jefferson: They do have a shot. They have to take their numbers and convince Tarzan and possibly one of the weaker girls and then they could vote out, technically, whoever they want.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: What was your plan to make it to the end?
Michael Jefferson: I put Matt ahead of me. Him and I were really close in an alliance and I didn’t want to be the target, the leader. So I put him above me, which would give me at least one cushion vote-out — which it did, but it happened too soon. After that happened I had to scramble and I basically just started bits of drama here and there just to survive each vote-out. I had nobody after he was gone. It just went so quick from being the strong-guy alliance to nothing.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: Who would you wanted to go to the final three with?
Michael Jefferson: If it was me, I would honestly say Tarzan and Alicia. I played much better at challenges and I really don’t think they would get any votes.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: What is your take on Tarzan?
Michael Jefferson: I can’t say it enough, he’s an extremely intelligent guy. He could win Jeopardy. It’s just people skills I think he lacks a little bit. He speaks up when he’s not really supposed to speak up and talk about things that are not normally talked about in group settings. But that’s Tarzan. That’s who he is.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: At the very beginning of the game you stole some items from the women. Is that something the women held over your head as your time in the game progressed?
Michael Jefferson: It was never brought up because nobody ever knew I did it. I got away scotch clean. There was not one guy or one girl that knew that it was me. Once we had all the stuff it was forgotten and we built the shelter. It was never brought up again.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: So nobody at the original Salani asked who actually stole their things?
Michael Jefferson: It was never brought up. I had told somebody before, I admitted to stealing one pan. But that was just like in one ear, out the other. It was never brought up. It was never used against me.
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: How were you selected to be on the show?
Michael Jefferson: I applied three years in a row. I just wanted to be on and once I got the callback I just worked my hardest to talk my way into it. Being a people person, that really helped. If it’s something you really want, you can make it happen. I made it happen.
What are your thoughts on what Michael had to say? Are you surprised he and Troy didn’t get along at all? Do you think he ever had a shot at winning the game? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Images courtesy of CBS.