Quick Note: I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Blood vs. Water” competitors before the game began. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each pairing in the days leading up to the September 18th season premiere. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for those interviews, behind-the-scenes exclusives, and more…
Name: Candice Cody (formerly Candice Woodcock)
Relationship to Significant Castaway: John’s Wife
Previous Seasons: “Survivor: Cook Islands” – fifth jury member and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villians” – fifth jury member
Current Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Physician, Anesthesiology Resident
Name: John Cody
Relationship to Significant Castaway: Candice’s Husband
Current Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Physician: Army Orthopedic Surgery Resident
Personal Claim to Fame: Being a West Point grad, graduating from Georgetown Medical School and training at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for my Orthopedic Surgery residency.
Pet Peeves: Slow thinkers, talkers, and movers, people who eat paper, illogical, irrational and inflexible people, excuses, mouth breathers.
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Gordon Holmes: Alright, who’s this guy?
Candice Cody: John is basically an all-around great guy.
John Cody: It’s pretty true. (Laughs)
Candice: (Laughs) I was going to say something nice, but now I’ve changed my mind.
Gordon: Perfect. Give me the dirt.
Candice: He’s great. He’s a talker, he’s very social. He’s like the good in our relationship, and I’m like the dark, evil heart. He’s a sweetie.
Gordon: He’s the angel on one shoulder…
John: And she’s the devil. It’s true. Candice fancies herself to be very edgy and mean, but she’s actually a sweetheart. She loves to talk like she’s hard as nails, but she has a soft side.
Candice: We’re talking about you. John is very athletic. He went to West Point and he played basketball there. He still plays competitive basketball three or four days a week. He lifts weights. Sports and athletics are a big part of our life. He’s very smart.
Gordon: Where’s the dirt?
Candice: He doesn’t have dirt. I want someone to dig some up about him.
John: Don’t ask any of my buddies about the time I was in Thailand.
John: Just kidding, I was never in Thailand.
Gordon: Likely story.
Gordon: When did you two start dating?
Candice: We met the week of the “Cook Islands” premiere.
Gordon: So you’ve seen both of her seasons?
Gordon: What could she have done better out there?
John: I think the first time she was set up much better to win the game. Everybody remembers the mutiny, but when you think about what she was doing, she was making a move to win the game. She could have stayed with her alliance to the final five, but she wouldn’t have won. In “Heroes vs. Villains” she was never in a majority.
Candice: I was dead in the water.
John: She fought and clawed and scratched her way to the final eight, both times.
Gordon: Didn’t “Heroes vs. Villains” screw up your wedding or something like that?
John: We were supposed to be married when “Heroes vs. Villains” was filmed. We had our invitations stuffed, stamped, and ready to be sent out.
Gordon: Is this a sore spot? Did I cause trouble?
John: No, no, no. (Laughs) But we talked about it and we said, “In 30 years we’re not going to care if we got married in 2009 or 2010, but we might care if we missed out on the opportunity to win a million dollars.”
Gordon: What is it like when you guys fight?
Candice: It’s more like me being bitchy to him and then him getting tired of it and being like, “Shut up!” And then I shut up because it’s really hard to ruffle his feathers, but when they’re ruffled you’re like “Whoa…(expletive deleted). OK…I’ll back off.”
John: Candice is into details, she looks for fine details and I’m more of a big picture guy. So, I’ll brush off some details and that tends to be the source of our frustration with each other. But we try to be as constructive as possible.
Gordon: As I’m sure she’s told you, “Survivor” is a stressful game. Can you two be a calming force for each other?
Candice: Our lives are 24 hours stress all the time. I work in the operating room. He has to be cool under pressure when he’s operating as well. That’s our jobs. Our call schedules are always opposite. So we operate under stress. I think we’re at an advantage in a game like this based on how our daily lives are.
Gordon: If there are any twists, what do you think they will be?
Candice: I have two guesses; one that we start off with returnees on one side and family members on the other. It’d force family members to have their own game. And then the drama of hoping your family member made it through the vote and is at the next challenge. And, the other option would be to start off playing together, which would be nice because we could hang out together. But it’d be a distraction because you’d be with the person you’re comfortable with instead of going out and getting to know everybody else.
John: If the couples are together it creates a completely different dynamic for alliance building. You might really like a returning player, but you can’t stand their loved one. So, playing individual games on different sides it should make the merge more interesting. As a fan, the merge has been lacking. The numbers dictate what happens.
Gordon: What strategies have you two been discussing?
John: We’ve tried to work through all the scenarios. We’ve tried to work out hand signals. Like “I’m in danger.” We’ve talked about throwing challenges to save our loved one. We don’t like that idea.
Candice: That’s always a bad idea.
John: We’re going to have to wait and see how it falls out. But we know we’re a good team and we’re always acting in each other’s best interest.
Candice: We’re always going to be looking for that idol. We’re always going to be on. We’re always thinking about numbers. I thought twice was going to be the last time for me. I’m pretty sure the third time is going to be the last time. Leave everything on the table. We’re going to play hard. We jumped through a lot of hoops in our careers to be here.
John: One of my favorite quotes is, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” It was on a poster in my room growing up. I always try to live by that.
Gordon: It’s a bit of a shock to everyone that you’re here. As people are scrambling to deal with this development, what do you think they remember about you from your season?
Candice: I think, and I’m not sure if this is the right perception or not, but I think everyone thinks of the mutiny. But, that’s kind of old news now. The most recent thing was “Heroes vs. Villains.” I think people think of me as someone who flipped on her tribe twice. Which, I think is not that big of a deal to me. Everyone who’s a returning players knows the name of the game is deception.
Gordon: That might be an angle to take, “Yeah, I flipped twice and look where it got me.”
Candice: Yeah. I’ve thought about that. I got me voted out in the same position both times.
Gordon: What are your thoughts on this cast?
Candice: Half of the cast I know who they are the other half I don’t.
John: There’s a good mix. A lot of these people come from pretty far back. Aras and Tina and Gervase, it’s been a while since they were on. It’s not like their gameplay is fresh in everyone’s minds.
Gordon: Anyone stick out as potential alliance partners?
Candice: We haven’t picked anyone out yet. It’s especially dangerous this season because you think you know something about the returning player, but the family member might not be someone you want to deal with.
Gordon: Anyone make you nervous?
Candice: I’m always wary of Rupert. We were butting heads in “Heroes vs. Villains” and he took the game personally. Still after the game, even at the finale.
John: He was a little sore.
Candice: Sour grapes. So, I’m a little wary of that. Whether he feels that way or not, I don’t know.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
Don’t miss the special 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET.