“I know it looks like I just sat there and complained the whole time, but that's not it at all.”
Bradley Kleihege was voted out on Wednesday’s episode of Survivor: Ghost Island, but he says it’s not because he was annoying (even though that’s what it looked like).
“Dom will tell you that the reason he flipped on me was because he thought I was too big of a threat to take to the merge,” he told ET over the phone on Thursday. “If there was nothing more to me than what you see on TV, and I was just being annoying, he would have kept me to the end, 100 percent.”
“That's what Jeff [Probst] told me after I was voted out,” he continued. “Is that exactly what you saw on TV? No. But, I mean, that's what happened.”
Still, Bradley wasn’t expecting Domenick and Chelsea to flip on him so soon. His shock was hard to miss as Probst read the votes and snuffed his torch.
“I knew I couldn't trust Chelsea. I hadn't trusted her a day in the game, but I didn't think she was going to flip on me until after the merge. And I didn't really think Dom was going to either,” he confessed. “With that said, after we got back from the immunity challenge, the energy around camp was really not great, and put me a little on edge.”
“But I didn’t want to blow the lid off that tribal… I was just trying to tow the line, and hope that they weren’t flipping on me,” he said. “But yeah, they got me!”
While Bradley claimed there’s a lot more to his social game than viewers saw -- “I think I was truly playing a really fantastic game… I’m very, very close [with my fellow castaways]” -- he doesn’t have any regrets about his Survivor experience.
“I can play the coulda, woulda, shoulda game all day, and I've played it a million times since I got back. I've woken up every morning a little devastated since June that I did go out when I did,” he said. “There's an element of me trying to be a little more ridiculous and be entertainment, per se, play a character, because I've always wanted to be a Survivor villain.”
“I don't think I got a bad edit at all. I loved it. I said I wanted to be ridiculous and I wanted to be the villain, and I got everything I wanted to,” he added. “I was playing more of a character than a strategic player, [and] it's entertainment at the end of the day.”
“It was the coolest thing I've ever done,” Bradley concluded. “It was essentially getting to camp in paradise. It would have been nice to have some adult beverages and some food, but it was so cool. It was awesome.”
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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