Survivor Marissa: Brad to Blame for Tribe Trouble

by LISA HIRSCH 11:40 AM PDT, October 10, 2013
Photo: CBS

Wednesday night's episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains saw the biggest upset so far this season, as Caleb boldly and publicly orchestrated the ouster of the Tadhana Tribe's ringleader Brad. Now, ET is catching up with former Tadhana member Marissa, who may have lost her Redemption Island Duel, but not her frustration with Brad. Read on to hear her explain why she thinks Brad is responsible for Tadhana's troubles, and her dish about her surprisingly close bond with Redemption cohort Candice.

ETonline: I know you were only with the tribe for a few days, but if you had to say one person was at fault, who do you think is at fault for all the trouble on the Tadhana tribe?

Marissa: [Laughs] Of course I would blame who I thought was the ringleader, Brad. Just because he was in charge of making decisions. And at the duels, he'd be like, "Oh no, I'm not in charge," and then you see his confessionals, and he's like, "Oh yeah, I am leading this pack." Yeah, I would definitely put the blame on him and his reasoning, which I haven't quite figured out yet, his choices and his strategy for making it far in the game.

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ETonline: Yeah, it seems like his strategy is kind of all over the place.

Marissa: Yeah, it definitely does. I think he's thinking too far ahead, making choices as if him and his wife are already at the merge, instead of trying to make choices to get to the merge in the first place.

ETonline: Do you think your tribe could have been more successful if someone else had stepped up as leader?

Marissa: Oh, see, I'm not sure, because it's kind of the dynamic [where] I feel like nobody else stepped up because I'm not sure if Brad would have allowed that. Because even I would try to put in my input and other people would too and he would just be like, "No, that's not how we're going to do things, that's not how it's going to be." So I don't know if anybody would have had the chance. I mean, you [saw] when John [didn't] agree with voting Rachel out and he tried to voice his opinion, and then what [happened] to him. It's like, "Nope, you're going to be gone." And I feel like the same thing happened to me. When I voiced my opinion, [saying], "You know, I don't think it's cool that you would try to throw a challenge for your wife," it looks like the same thing happened to me. So it kinda would have been hard for someone else to step up. But you see, Caleb did that last night, and when did he step up? At the Tribal. He didn't step up when he was at camp to give Brad enough time to cover his tracks, but stepped up at the right time.

ETonline: Exactly. I was actually going to ask you, what did you think of Caleb's move? And were you glad that someone finally went up against Brad?

Marissa: Yeah, I think it was awesome. And you see Hayden saying, "I think we should keep him, because he is a good person to keep." And that's what Monica was pointing out, she didn't understand why Candice and I were verbally attacking her husband, because he is a good team player, like he does stuff around the tribe. And he might do that, and he likes being like "the breadwinner" and doing all this stuff, but you can still be a sour apple but still help out a lot. You can still not have the best interests of the tribe at heart, but still look like you're helping out a lot.

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ETonline: Going back to your tribe being so mad when Gervase was celebrating, do you think it's just hard for people out there to separate their feelings from the fact that it is a game? And theoretically, when your team wins, even if you're playing Monopoly at home with family, you would be happy, and that's a normal feeling.

Marissa: Right and that's one thing that I thought would work out in me and Gervase's favor. Because we did realize, this is a game and if both of us are playing our best, and there's two of us in the end, one person is going to have to write the other person's name down or something like that. And some of the others, I felt like, they weren't thinking about it like that. ... Me and Gervase were coming out there to compete, so that's what I ready for. I was ready to compete, so when he was gloating after he won, that just happens sometimes when you play against certain teams.

ETonline: Being at Redemption, was it awkward being there with a married couple?

Marissa: No, and people have been thinking I was the third wheel, but to be honest, John was the third wheel. Because me and Candice had a great relationship, a great thing going on. I feel like I was like, the male role model. I would go out during the day and fish for hours and until the sun was coming down, so we could have something besides rice and coconuts to eat. Then Candice would boil the water and we would take turns doing stuff. And I would be the big spoon, when we were sleeping at night, she would just grab my arm and drape it around her. So when John got there, it was like, okay somebody is interrupting our little Redemption honeymoon! Luckily I only had to share Candice for one night.

Survivor airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.