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“I Will Stand Up for Myself” – An Interview with Survivor’s Tijuanaby David Bloomberg -- 12/05/2003
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Tijuana Bradley found herself in various precarious positions throughout her time on Survivor, first in the Morgan tribe and then as only one of two Morgans left on Balboa. Each time she managed to stick around – until she made a move against Burton and Jon, Sandra, and Christa stabbed her in the back. In this interview with RealityNewsOnline, Tijuana discusses her preparation for the show, many of the things that went on behind the scenes, and a great deal of strategy.
RealityNewsOnine: Hello, Tijuana, and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions from RealityNewsOnline! We’ll start at the beginning – how did you prepare to be on Survivor – did you watch the old shows, read up on strategy, etc.?
Tijuana: I, prior to learning about my potential opportunity, could not swim very well. I prepared first by learning how to swim. I trained at the YMCA with various friends and people I met while at the Y. I also continued fishing (a previous hobby), and I purchased a survivor handbook and learned how to do everything outdoors with limited supplies.
RNO: What was the biggest problem faced by Morgan tribe in the beginning that caused all of the challenge losses, and how did you pull it together to come back later?
Tijuana: I think we started off by not coming together as a tribe. As Ryan S. said on camera, we landed feet first on the island ready to work without coming together. At the time, though, we all had no clue what to expect. We didn't know if we'd have a challenge that day or what to expect. So our first goal was to build a shelter and find water. We all shared the same common goal but without the same common direction; we knew what we needed to do but we never agreed on how to get it done. Then right after our first loss we had dissension in the tribe when Nicole started creating lies that unfortunately for her we all found out about. Trust, deceit, and finger pointing became our primary concern when instead it should have been understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We all had a part in the Morgan problems, period. On the other hand, our optimism, drive, motivation, and tenacity paid off and it continued to help us propel in other challenges. The majority of us were not willing to give up.
RNO: We've heard varying accounts about tribal dynamics from the two Ryans, Andrew, and Lill, with Ryan S. and Lill saying they felt left out or rejected by the rest of the tribe (especially Andrew) and Andrew and Ryan O. saying those two brought it on themselves by doing a lot alone. What is your take on that situation?
Tijuana: I disagree with Lill about being left out. Initially that could have been her excuse but Lill and I had a heart to heart while swimming in the water and she told me she felt left out because of her age. I personally had no issue with Lill's age and I didn't know she felt left out. Thereafter I asked a few times if she wanted to come crab hunting with Darrah and I and she said no time and time again. Aside from that there wasn't any other time that we were in exclusive sub-groups. The cooking, collecting firewood, building the fire, shelter building and maintenance, etc. were all done in the heart of our living arrangements. We were all around each other. Furthermore, as a Survivor out there it is your job and no one else's to represent yourself to the fullest. We all had to do it. If they felt left out they should have done something about it besides complain. None of us had preconceived thoughts about each other, we were strangers before this experience. There would have been no other reason for them to be rejected.
RNO: What are your thoughts on the Outcast tribe and the return of Lill and Burton?
Tijuana: CBS told each and every one of us to have no expectations. For the show, it was a great twist and great for bringing in new fans of the show and great for ratings. I respect it as a viewer, for the success of the show, and for its creativity. Now, as a contestant on the show I didn't think it was fair. The Outcast tribe had the opportunity to think for nine days away from the dynamics of the game and contemplate what they did wrong in the game. For instance, Lill will admit she didn't know how to play the game in the beginning. She had the opportunity to fix her mistakes the second time around. Burton was portrayed as being cliquish and mean to Rupert. We didn't see him do that the second time around. He had a second chance. Coupled with the fact that the rest of us are still in the game dealing with the detriment to our minds, dealing with: conflict, lack of food, fatigue due to lack of sleep, physical challenges, psychological mind games with each other, the list can goes on and on. So, in my opinion it wasn't fair. I am not complaining but if I am asked the question I will give my honest opinion. Lastly, I will say that I was never told that this game was fair from CBS or anyone else. On the other hand, I did assume however that the sixteen of us all had access to the same opportunities.
RNO: After the merge and after Andrew was gone, you and Darrah cast your votes for Ryan O. - was this a strategic move on your part or did you really want him gone? Both strategic and I wanted him gone.
Tijuana: Myself, Ryno, Savage, and Osten had an alliance around day four and thereafter. The whole Morgan tribe knew about this alliance including Darrah. Once we lost Osten, Savage thought I might betray the alliance because of my close tie with Osten. Ryno insisted that Darrah take my place in the alliance. I, after the merge and after Savage left, found out about this. I confronted Ryno and he confessed that he had verbalized to Savage that he wanted to take me down because of his personal liking to Darrah. I told him that his actions voided my loyalty to him and that I would not support him if he tried to make alliances to help him stay in the game. That is why you see me put my coconuts in his trough and that is also why he wasn't surprised. I was very upfront with him about my frustration. Darrah on the other hand said to me she was voting for Ryno because everyone else was and she didn't want everyone to think that she wasn't supporting the majority.1 2 Next-->
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