October 18, 2013 08:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
Although Candice Cody says she’s never been a fan of Redemption Island as a viewer, the three-time castaway says she loved it having the opportunity to benefit from the game-changing twist on Survivor: Blood Vs. Water. On top of that, Candice admits that while she was upset to see her husband get voted out of the game, she was happy to have him at her side on Redemption Island. I had the chance to chat with Candice as she explained why she was such an early target in the game, how she feels about Brad Culpepper today and why she actually doesn’t think the Redemption Island twist is a great addition to the game.
Question: Jeff Probst said in pre-game interviews that you and John were alternates for this season and you arrived on location very late after RC and her father were cut for medical reasons. Do you think that put you at a disadvantage?
Candice Cody: Yeah. I was nervous coming in late, less than 24 hours before the show started, but I thought,give me the obligatory three days before we hit Tribal Council and I’ll be good. I’ll let people know what happened and why I showed up late. But the first 30 seconds to vote somebody off was hard. I think it was just an easy vote to target me.
Question: When Probst announced both teams were voting somebody off immediately, did you have a gut feeling you were in trouble because you had arrived at the location at the last minute?
Candice Cody: I was definitely nervous. I thought having three days to get in would be fine, but having 30 seconds to barely say hello to people I thought was very dangerous. Looking back, I was standing on the very end of the line of people and I think that made it easier for people to say my name and not feel bad about it. I think standing in the middle would have been different. I think coming in late definitely put me at a disadvantage and not having the chance to explain what happened and why I showed up late. Yeah, it was a bummer.
Question: Do you think it had anything to do with the professions you and your husband hold in the medical industry making others perceive that you didn’t need the money?
Candice Cody: I think it definitely could have been. That’s the tough part of a returning-player season where people know your background. I think in its purest form, Survivor having 20 strangers coming out and playing the game together, there’s some anonymity you can have. Like Jeff Kent, the baseball player guy. One girl recognized him, but if he had come out and people had known how much money he makes, he probably wouldn’t have made it as far. That being said, with John and I as residents, we are not basking in tons of money. But I think people knowing your background is definitely in the back of peoples’ minds.
Question: That being said, is it worth sacrificing that anonymity of playing with strangers to be able to have your husband there?
Candice Cody: Absolutely. Once you play the game, you don’t have a clean slate. It’s still fun to come back and play. I love it. It was an amazing experience to be able to play with my husband and give him the opportunity. To experience it together, it’s something money can’t buy. I loved it.
Question: Did you feel any relief to see your husband join you on Redemption Island even though it meant he had been voted out?
Candice Cody: I definitely did not want to see John at Redemption Island. I wanted him to be in the game. That was my first reaction. The next morning, I enjoyed the fact that we had time to stay there together. We went fishing together where he went out and caught one. Then I went out and caught three. He’s like, “Ugh, I’ve gotta go back out.” We wound up eating seven fish that night. So we had a good time together. It was nice to provide for each other and to really just be there just us. It was a nice experience.
Question: You’ve mentioned that you had only seen John cry once prior to Survivor. What was it like being in a game like this with him and to see how emotional he became?
Candice Cody: It was tough. My husband is a put-together, tough guy. To see how much it affected him seeing me hurt, or put at a disadvantage, was touching. I felt bad because I wanted to be able to tell him, “Don’t worry about me. I’m good. I’m all right. I’m not mad at you. I’m not worried.” But we didn’t have the opportunity. So I made sure, the first chance I got when I saw him at the first Redemption Island duel, I gave him a wink to let him know not to worry about me.
Question: If John does continue winning on Redemption Island and gets the chance to return to the competition, what do you think he should do strategically?
Candice Cody: As people get voted out, the game starts shifting. You’ve got people who still have loved ones in the game and you’ve got people who don’t have a partner. When you go back in the game, you have to look at the numbers. If it’s close as far as the number of people with a loved one compared with singles out there, you gotta go with what you are. If he’s a single coming back in and can possibly band the singles together to get rid of the couples, he should do that.
Question: Did spending time with Brad on Redemption Island change your opinion of him at all?
Candice Cody: Brad is not a bad guy. He’s just a very loud, boisterous guy who doesn’t leave a lot of room for anyone else to have an opinion. With some of the loved ones, they were trying to be careful in the game and not be too loud and make as much of a scene, so they didn’t really stand up to him. But on Redemption Island, you have nothing to lose at that point. Especially after John got voted out, I thought I’ve got nothing to lose. Only one Cody can make it out of Redemption Island. One of us is going to have to keep our nose clean. Nobody had any bad feelings about John, so I thought I’d take one for the team and speak out.
Question: Have you and John forgiven Brad?
Candice Cody: I reached out and texted Brad last week. We chatted a little bit. It’s a game. We were both playing as hard as we could in different ways. It’s a difficult situation. We’re fine. I think John texts back and forth with Brad as well. So, no hard feelings with Brad.
Question: A lot of fans have been against the twist of Redemption Island since its inception in season 22. As a fan of the show, before you used Redemption Island as a potential game-saving opportunity, what were your thoughts on the twist?
Candice Cody: I was never a fan of it. I feel like it takes some of the finality of getting your torch snuffed. So, as a fan, I was not in favor of it. As someone who benefited from being able to have a second chance from Redemption Island, I was a fan of it in this instance.
What are your thoughts on what Candice had to say? Would you have voted her out early? Do you think her husband has a chance of returning to the game from Redemption Island? Sound off and leave a comment below!
Photos courtesy of CBS.