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Gordon Holmes: Were there any signs that tipped you off that you might have been in trouble?
Bradley Kleihege: Absolutely. I didn’t think I was going home, but I didn’t feel 100% whatsoever. I didn’t trust Chelsea at all. She’d been after me since day two. Luckily she told Kellyn and Kellyn came right back to me. So, I didn’t trust her. I thought I was close with Dom, but after we lost the immunity challenge I knew something was up. The problem was; I didn’t have any actionable intelligence to go off of that something was actually up. And so, do I make a big deal about it and Tribal and maybe that will save me? But, I thought in that situation the risk that nothing was up and I was just being paranoid, would then throw myself out in a way. So, you’d hear me say, “We’re one big happy family, everybody is getting along.” No, we weren’t at all. That’s what I had to go with because I didn’t have enough information and I though the risk of blowing it up was too high. I didn’t think I’d be in trouble until the merge. I knew at the merge, from a Naviti standpoint, that Chelsea or I would have to go. I knew she didn’t like me in the game at all. She thought I was completely untrustworthy. I wasn’t expecting it at that point.
Holmes: They made it look like you were voted out because you were annoying Domenick. But, ever since Redemption Island, we know that it’s smart to take annoying people to the end. Was there something else behind the vote that we didn’t see?
Kleihege: If you ask Dom or anyone else, my edit made it look like I was a lot less of threat. At that point I was not a final Tribal goat. I was perceived as a big threat in the game because I had so effectively been voting off the Malolos when I was at Malolo. And so, Dom and I got along for the most part. When we were originally at Naviti, most of the people wanted to get rid of him. Dom and I were pretty close, and a couple of times I said to him, “You’ve got to chill out. People want you out because you’re going nuts.” And he was going nuts. He wasn’t fitting in with anybody. I perceived it as, I was trying to tell him what was going on, and he perceived it as me talking down to him. That’s what he was referring to.
Holmes: You mentioned that you and Chelsea weren’t getting along. What was the catalyst for that?
Kleihege: I have hung out with Chelsea multiple times since we’ve gotten back. She’s a really great person, but in the game, she was her edit. She was quiet, fake, irrelevant. I played every day with Chelsea. And because there’s nothing else to do, we’d talk. And every day I’d say, “Nope, still haven’t had a real conversation with Chelsea.” She just wouldn’t give you her real stuff. It took me until day seventeen. We were talking about camping in the mountains because she’s from Utah and I lived there for a while. We both love camping. And I walked over to one of the producers and I said, “It took seventeen days and we finally had a real conversation.”
Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Libby.
Kleihege: Hang on…I have these written down.
Kleihege: I didn’t think of Brendan.
Kleihege: Um…boring…I guess.
Kleihege: Larger than life.
Kleihege: A “Survivor” producer’s dream come true.
Kleihege: So congenial. Morgan is amazing.
Kleihege: She’s just like no (expletive deleted) given.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Domenick.
Holmes: Why is Donathan awful?
Kleihege: He was being built up by Jeff and some of the other contestants. In the beginning you have that water challenge where he pulled the lever. There were people on Naviti who were congratulating him. What you didn’t see was he sat there for 20 minutes telling everyone he wasn’t going to get in the water. Jeff practically berated him until he got in the water and pulled the lever. So, he becomes this big hero. But I don’t think a hero would have gotten out of the water. I think a hero would have been there with James in the water trying to encourage him. Instead, he whined that he couldn’t do it. So, I think that started to get into his head so you had someone who was so sure he could do things his own way to the point of fault, really. I was the one who cooked the rice and he would start doing stuff to the rice. And I’d be like, “Hey, I’m doing this.” And he’d say, “I can cook rice it I want to, so I’m going to do whatever I want.” It was just really insufferable. And you just don’t see that. There are a couple of people who are getting really unrealistic edits. And Donathan is 100% one of them.
Holmes: Who else is getting an unrealistic edit?
Kleihege: I think Chris is getting a softer version of himself.
Holmes: He was more abrasive?
Kleihege: Yes…maybe more ridiculous.
Holmes: (Laughs) More ridiculous? I don’t buy that.
Kleihege: He looks a little more bearable and harmless that he was in real life.
Holmes: The tribe sent Kellyn to Ghost Island becausethey didn’t want everyone knowing Ghost Island’s secrets. Was the real reason that she was on your side and you were hoping she’d score and advantage?
Kleihege: Oh 100% she was on my side. We sent her because then I’d know what happened and the two of us would be able to figure out how to play it.
Holmes: And finally, do you want to give us a Yelp review for Malolo beach?
Kleihege: (Laughs) It got so windy at night that we all froze to death. It was awful. My complaining, there was a strategic bend to it. I wasn’t complaining to complain. My strategy didn’t work, but I was trying to say, “It’s not your fault that you’ve been losing. The other place is like the Four Seasons.” They couldn’t sleep. It was so cold and windy. It was me being frustrated with the producers that it was so uneven. I was trying to complain to the producers. I’d say, “Don’t feel bad, this is why you’re losing.” And the ants are so annoying. They were always all over you. It was kind of ridiculous. It’s not as nice as Naviti, but it’s still paradise.