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Survivor: Caramoan Interview — Julia Landauer Says Being Called Vanilla Wasn’t Fair

March 28, 2013 05:17 PM by Ryan Haidet

Julia Landauer may go down in Survivor history as one of the most invisible castaways ever.  Her time on Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites was barely featured before the newly formed Bikal tribe booted her out of the game.  In an exit interview with reporters, Julia dished her thoughts on being labeled as vanilla, talked about her disappointment with the tribal swap and revealed what her plan would have been had she actually made it to the merge.

Question: Did you know you were going to be voted out or was your elimination a blindside?

Julia Landauer: I was aware that it was probably going to be me.  When Matt went home, it seemed like Michael was meshing a lot better no matter what I was trying to do.  Corinne clearly wanted to keep him and I was getting vibes that Phillip he wasn’t really going to be true to his word, so I started scrambling at the end but I was not confident I was gonna make it.

Question: How disappointing is it that you just missed out making the merge?

Julia Landauer: Hugely disappointed! …  I didn’t think I would have as much bad luck as I had.  I also didn’t think I would have been as alienated.  It might have just been a bad collection of people.  At the same time, I can’t really complain because at 20 years old I was able to go out in the Philippines and make it almost three weeks.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience — maybe twice-in-a-lifetime if I’m lucky.  It was so worthwhile.

Question: What was your plan post-merge?

Julia Landauer: Had they kept me around and voted Michael out I would have stayed with that group because I wasn’t close to Eddie and Reynold at all.  I had lied to them in terms of voting.  I wasn’t as close with Sherri so my best bet would have been to stay with Phillip and Dawn. …  I was ready to be on my toes, but also was assuming that I would try to stick with the Favorites.

Question: Is it frustrating for you to make it that deep into the game without viewers really getting to know anything about you?

Julia Landauer: Yeah.  It’s very frustrating.  I was there for three weeks almost.  I was a little disappointed with how little screen time I got and how people forgot I was on the show.  At the same time, it provided a nice opportunity for me to show my humor on Twitter and Facebook.  I had a lot of fun with my supporters and fans and people who don’t like me so much. …  I did the best I could with it.

Question: What didn’t we get to see that you wish would have been on screen?

Julia Landauer: Michael, Matt and I — especially Michael and I — did a lot of strategizing.  It wasn’t all Sherri running the show, in my opinion.  I also was a huge contributor around camp and I think that’s something that my tribe appreciated.  Eddie said this in Tribal, but I was really strong in challenges.  The swimming ones were a little harder, but I was definitely contributing a lot in challenges.  I feel like my cut didn’t do me any justice for the things I was doing.  I was laying low and I wasn’t planning on a tribe swap where I’d have to be desperate to stay in the game.  I wish some of the more strategic stuff could have been shown.  Once I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I just tried to have as much fun with it as I could.

Question: Was it really fair for Cochran to label you as vanilla?

Julia Landauer: I didn’t think that was fair and I also thought the extent to which he made it clear he thought I was vanilla was kind of redundant, kind of beating a dead horse.  It was interesting coming from him because he’s a super Survivor nerd, he’s very smart, but he doesn’t have the most engaging presence either.  I don’t know if he was just proud of himself for making the analogies and just running with it, but I was surprised that came out.  That’s not my personality at all, not that there’s any video proof because so little was shown.  But that’s part of the game.  I signed up for it and took it with pride.

Question: Were you surprised to watch the show and hear people like Dawn say they didn’t think you were even playing the game?

Julia Landauer: I was definitely surprised.  I think maybe part of it was that I am one of the youngest people out there.  Maybe this will make me a little more self-aware.  Maybe if I would have voiced a little more of my strategic thinking, it would have been more clear.  I’m surprised at how aggressive the Favorites were at taking me down verbally.

Question: When Brandon Hantz had his meltdown, did your tribe think it was the first sign that things would start turning out positively for Gota?

Julia Landauer: Yeah, we did.  We were really excited.  They clearly had some unrest with their tribe and we had just gotten rid of our weakest player, Laura, and so we were just feeling really confident.  We were ready to go kill, crush and destroy.  But our plan was never put to action just because we had the swap.  Some people were happy, but some of us were disappointed that there was a swap.  We felt like we could have been bringing a new kind of game to the table.

Question: If everybody was so irritated with Phillip, why didn’t a serious plan emerge to vote him out of the game?

Julia Landauer: From the get go, Corinne was saying that as much as she wanted to she wasn’t going to flip on her alliance.  She thought that would only throw herself under the bus post-merge.  At that point, Michael and I were kind of fighting for our own lives and part of me was a little concerned if I went to Michael and had this plan that he would immediately go to Phillip and use it as ammunition against me.  So I wasn’t willing to do that.  While Michael was my ally, he was also my biggest competition in that episode.  I was hesitant and didn’t go to him because I thought there was a pretty good chance that would backfire.

Question: Did all the time you’ve spent sitting in a hot race car prepare you for the heat in the Philippines?

Julia Landauer: Yes!  I think all of my race car driving did help me ‘cause I actually had a much easier time with the physical aspect than I was expecting to.  When you race a car in the summer it gets to be 130 degrees in the car and we’re fully dressed up in suits and helmets with little air.  So the heat (in the Philippines) was tolerable. …  I was quite proud that racing would come in handy like that.

Question: Do you think Danica Patrick could hold up well on the island?

Julia Landauer: Yeah!  She would probably have a totally different social game, but that would be fun.  All race car drivers playing Survivor?  That would be intense.

What are your thoughts on Julia’s comments?  Do you think she was a boring player or were you sad to see her go?  Now that we’re approaching the merge, which player do you think is currently in the best position?  Sound off and leave a comment below!

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Photo Credit: CBS

Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor |

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