For this season, regular contributor Jacob Derwin is bringing you a brand new weekly (-ish) feature called Alternative Reality. Each week, Jacob will be interviewing stars of non-Survivor reality-tv shows and getting their thoughts on the season. From Big Brother to King of the Nerds to The Amazing Race and more!
This week Jacob talks to Audrey Middleton from Big Brother 17.
Audrey Middleton was a contestant on Big Brother 17, which aired last year on CBS. Audrey was a superfan known for playing ORGs (Online Reality Games) before entering the Big Brother house; she is also the first and only transgender houseguest in Big Brother US history, something she revealed to her castmates on night one. She was known for her intense gameplay, making multiple deals and lies in the early weeks, until she eventually got called out and nominated. In a Big Brother first, she refused to attend the Veto Meeting where she was named as the replacement nominee and received a penalty vote as a result. She was evicted in Week 4. We talked on the phone about episode five of Survivor: Millennials vs. Generation X.
Jacob Derwin: All right! Let’s start at the top of the episode. We have Jessica being consoled by Ken and David considering what he just did with his idol. What did you think of his idol play at tribal the week before?
Audrey Middleton: I thought it was exciting! I love the kind of intense pace of Survivor; how much more intensely paced it is than Big Brother. I love idol play. I don’t know – I mean – I think David is an eager player and I appreciate his confessional about how it’s like chess, and you have to think moves ahead. It’s true, but I don’t know, did he play it prematurely? I didn’t end up mattering because he ended up finding another idol, but I think David has to be more cautious before he gets a kind of a reputation.
JD: What kind of reputation do you mean?
AM: I feel like in past seasons there have been people who have been notorious for finding idols, and so then people always keep a really sharp eye on those individuals. And because he found it so soon and played it so soon, I think that definitely puts a spotlight on him. Especially in a tribe swap because I’m sure it was something that was discussed. And everyone knows that in Survivor when an idol is played, another one goes active.
JD: Absolutely. Let’s talk a little bit about Jessica and the Legacy Advantage. At the beginning of the episode, she tells Ken, not David who just saved her, but Ken, who voted for her, that she would give him the advantage if she is voted out. What did you think about that exchange?
AM: It seemed liked she used it to leverage trust. It’s like, why would I trust you again? You don’t need her at that point.
JD: Yeah, I feel like it almost gives Ken a reason to vote her out. Moving on from there, we have the shuffle to three tribes instead of just two. What do you think of the new tribe layouts?
AM: I definitely think it is rough for the tribe that has to restart (Ika Bula), but at the same time, it can kind of be like one of those team building exercises, so it can ultimately make them closer.
JD: Yeah! Huh, I didn’t think about that.
AM: I am totally rooting for Zeke. I know that they’re at a disadvantage on his tribe, but I like how quickly he was able to adapt and find common ground with Chris and really work that social game hard.
JD: It was really impressive and almost unexpected to see those two linking up.
AM: Right, very unexpected. And I also thought Takali – it kind of seems like Adam is really eager to flip and shake the game up, which I admire too. He’s a Survivor fan, and that’s always exciting from a viewer’s perspective to see something like that go down.
JD: I feel kind of bad for Adam right now. He’s double third-wheeling between the “power couple” and Ken and Jessica who seem pretty close. It’s kind of this awkward in the middle situation. Hopefully, he can use that to his advantage.
JD: What did you think of the challenge?
AM: Michaela totally dominated.
AM: She is just constantly going to surprise people in this game. I really, really admire her as a character. I think she could be in the WNBA.
JD: Yeah seriously. I think she got all but one of the buoys in the basket in a row?
AM: Yeah, she was doing great. And then Vanua sucked because no one really knew how to swim.
JD: Nobody knew how to swim, and some people didn’t know how to get out of the water either. Vanua ends up losing and is going to tribal. Pre-tribal, what were you expecting?
AM: They were building it up as if David was going to potentially play his idol. And as a viewer I was like, uh, I don’t know how smart that’s gonna be. I mean, I’m a little bit confused how close he is with CeCe. I know he’s had some rapport with Chris, but Chris has also had some trust issues with David at Tribals in the earlier episodes. So, I’m glad he didn’t play his idol because that would have been a little too impulsive and who knows what’s coming up on Survivor? He might need it later on. I think Michelle almost blew it, talking to CeCe. That could have made her a target, for sure.
JD: Michelle’s an interesting character to me. After the first episode, I would have told you that she’s in the running to win. And now, I don’t know if she has that… I guess “finesse” is the word.
AM: Right, I agree. I think her boot could be around… I think it will come before Zeke’s.
For the rest of our interview, including Audrey’s winner picks and thoughts on the next player voted out, check out our Next Time On… Survivor article on Tuesday.