‘Survivor’ Castaway Taylor: ‘I Had to Do What Was Best for My Family’

'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: Alright, I assume you’re going to get this question a lot today, so let’s just get it out of the way.
Taylor Stocker: Let’s do it.
Holmes: You promised me you were going to fall out of a giant tree. Why didn’t that happen?
Stocker: (Laughs) I did not fall out of a giant tree. I did climb a lot of trees, I promise.

Holmes: We got Figgy’s take on what happened to your relationship. Now it’s your turn.
Stocker: We got back and one of the first things that happened was I found out I had a son on the way. From that, I had to do what was best for my family. I talked with Jess about it and ended things. I know she was super upset about it and really hurt about everything. I know she has her own opinions on some stuff that’s outside of the game about me. And she’s not happy with me at all. I respect that if she wants to hate on me and make a bunch of allegations, then she can say whatever she wants. I’m not going to let it affect me.
Holmes: Were you in a relationship with the mother when you were on the show or was it over?
Stocker: I went in and the situation was pretty confusing. I knew that I was going on “Survivor” so I was going to keep my options open and do what I think would help me get ahead in the game. I was kind of a free agent. I know Jess has her different opinions on that. But I definitely had a girlfriend prior to casting.
Holmes: With your situation the way it is now, it must’ve been rough watching this season.
Stocker: (Laughs) Yeah, there are some episodes that I didn’t watch. It was so cringing. You could compare it to having a relationship and having a ton of pictures, and it’s on your computer, and when it’s over you’re like, “What do I do with this stuff?” There were some scenes that I watch and I’m thinking, “What was I thinking there?” Not that Jess is a bad person, but just from a game purpose. “What was I doing?” Things didn’t end super-well there, but in the game it went well.
Holmes: Well, let’s not overlook that you’re about to be a father. Congratulations on that. When is the due date?
Stocker: She should be due pretty soon. I can’t reveal a date yet. But yeah, thanks so much.
Holmes: And I hear Vinaka is a wonderful name for a boy.
Stocker: (Laughs) I think we have a name picked out, but it’s a secret.
Holmes: It’s Probst, isn’t it?
Stocker: (Laughs) Yeah.

Holmes: So, Jay called Adam an (expletive deleted) last night and Zeke and Hannah are basically like, “Yup.”
Stocker: (Laughs)
Holmes: Is there a side of Adam we’re not seeing? Because he doesn’t seem that antagonistic to me.
Stocker: I don’t think Adam is an (expletive deleted), but in certain circumstances he comes across in a unique way. Like after Jess was voted out, Adam comes to me and it’s almost like he’s apologizing, but he’s really just telling me a lot of bad things. He’s telling me a lot of things that suck for me. That’s not an apology, Adam. “I totally screwed you.” It’s like he boasting about it or something. I think he’s meaning to talk strategy, but it could come across in a totally different way.
Holmes: Does it seem like he’s constantly in game mode and can’t discuss other things?
Stocker: Yeah. I would say that’s a trait of Adam, he’s always in game. He’s a superfan. He loves “Survivor.” His heart and soul is all about this game. He loves talking about it. If he’s not talking about strategy, then he’s talking about past strategy. The fandom is off the charts. But, he is one of those useful people to keep around. “In that vote in the year of 2001, what happened is…” He’s a funny guy. I love hanging around him.

Holmes: One of the things he should’ve taught you is how badly it tends to work out for people who are caught stealing food.
Stocker: (Laughs)
Holmes: Banana etiquette, man.
Stocker: He did tell me that, too. When I was stealing it and he was with me he said, “This is the type of stuff that gets you voted out.” I said, “I don’t care, Adam. I’m hungry.”

Holmes: Why was Jay comfortable not playing his idol last night?
Stocker: I don’t think he was confident. I think he flipped a coin. He flipped a shell. I think he had no idea what was going to happen. I think in his mind, playing it and being flushed would’ve been worse.
Holmes: Did you know he had it?
Stocker: I wish he had told me so we could’ve plotted some way to use it. If we could’ve tied the vote.
Holmes: With last night’s numbers you’d have to flip some folks. Who would’ve been the best target?
Stocker: Hannah. She’s one of those people where you might not need to tell her before Tribal. You just lean over and say, “Hey, you’re on the other side of the vote.” She’ll just vote whatever you say. It’s insane.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Mari.
Stocker: Gamer.
Holmes: Jay?
Stocker: Surfer brah.
Holmes: Will?
Stocker: Duh… (Laughs) Just put in duh. Or High school.
Holmes: Zeke?
Stocker: Beer.
Holmes: Hannah?
Stocker: Sporadic.
Holmes: Adam?
Stocker: Intelligent.
Holmes: Michaela?
Stocker: Wild.
Holmes: Michelle?
Stocker: Thoughful.
Holmes: Ken?
Stocker: Hawaii.
Holmes: Bret?
Stocker: New York.
Holmes: David?
Stocker: Family Guy.
Holmes: Chris?
Stocker: Viking.
Holmes: Jessica?
Stocker: Lawyer.
Holmes: Sunday?
Stocker: Church.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Figgy.
Stocker: (Laughs) I don’t even know what to say to that one. I will say…kind.

Holmes: Having a relationship fall apart is tough. Having it fall apart in front of a national audience has got to be worse. How’ve you handled the fan backlash from that situation?
Stocker: It’s not fun. There’s a pretty good mix of people that don’t like that combo of her and I and people that do. You get these crazy people who just feel like their voice should be heard. They’d probably never say those things to my face. But behind the screen they feel like they’re safe. It’s been quite a wild trip.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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