Michaela Bradshaw left Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X the same way she came into the game — all out. The 25-year-old vacation saleswoman from Fort Worth, Texas, never held back, and that was the case when she was blindsided by Jay at Tribal Council.
She shrieked. She stared. She cursed. She forgot her shoes. She did it all after being voted out by her tribe in one of the show’s most dramatic exits ever. But how does she feel now after watching it all play back on TV? We asked her when she called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) Thursday morning, and here are a few highlights from the interview.
On what she thought when she saw her name pop up on votes at Tribal Council:
“I had this feeling. I was wondering, who are Bret and Sunday voting for? Because logic would say, if our plan is right they vote for each other. And so when I saw my name pop up I was like, ‘What are they thinking? Why are they writing my name down?’ When I saw it twice, I was like, ‘Alright, either someone was telling them to vote me to keep them from playing an idol or something’s wrong.’ And then when I saw the third vote, I was like, ‘Jay!’ Because I knew it had to be Jay and Will, and if one of them voted, then the other one did too. And then the fourth one came out and I was like, ‘You guys made a mistake.’
“It was devastating for me. And I definitely felt super-betrayed, particularly by Jay. But I can understand why they did it. But geez, that was not my plan going into that Tribal Council. At three votes, I was like ‘Bro, we’ve been talking this whole time, and I just broke it down for you how we can go straight to the end together if we just stick together. I showed you how this works.’ It was baffling to me from a personal standpoint, because on that island you start to think of people as your friends, and Ikabula was a really chill place, and that’s why I fought so hard not to go to Tribal Council. I really loved Bret and Sunday. I really loved everyone that was there. That was my chilliest tribe. So I took it personal with Jay. I didn’t mind anybody else’s vote but Jay, I took it personal because that was my friend.”
On how she felt after she walked out of Tribal Council:
“I was devastated and angry. My anger was from a place of, I was out here for a million dollars. I didn’t come out there for an experience. I didn’t come out there to have fun. I came out there because I have this burning desire to leave a legacy and I’ve never failed in a legitimate way in my 25 years of life to possibly make a million dollars in two months. So that was my sole focus, and having it ripped away made me so upset. But when it’s over, it’s over. And I don’t believe in just holding onto a negative emotion, so it probably took me about 45 minutes to calm down, and then I was like, ‘FOOD!’
“So I ate some food, and it’s cool how your mind kinda just breathes. And the cool thing about Ponderosa is I hadn’t met anyone there but Mari and Figgy so I got to meet other people, and that was cool so there was still a little knife in the back of my heart but I bandaged it up.”
On her status with Jay now:
“Me and Jay are cool. We’ve talked on the phone. He actually texted me last night after the episode aired and we’re cool. Like, I get it. In the same sense that I was thinking for the team, like, ‘We can blast to four.’ His mind was, ‘Even if we blast to four, I can’t beat her. So it’s better to get rid of her now.’ And so I get it. The thing I didn’t understand in my mind playing that game is that no one was playing the game for me to win. They were playing the game for them to win. And sometimes you want a person like me as far away from your plans as possible.”
On if she thought about revealing on her way out that Jay had a hidden immunity idol:
“You must be reading my mind. I did! That was more something I thought about after I had already walked out of eyesight. Like, I wanted to turn around and be like, ‘Jay got an idol and Will knows about it!’ But in the moment I was just so shocked and so devastated and upset, specifically at Jay. And there was so much disappointment towards him that I wasn’t really thinking about anyone else. And just the way I operate in regular life too, I don’t go around throwing salt in other people’s plans. I play for my team, and Jay was my team, so it would be hard for me as a person to go in a span of 30 seconds to a minute and go from ‘Let’s win this thing together’ to ‘Okay, I’m going to go blow up your game because you took away mine.’ That’s just not me. That’s just not my style. So we’ll see what happens with that whole idol thing. All I know is one idol cannot be played for two people, so we’ll see.”
On competing without her top in the water wrestling challenge:
“What happened with the top was, when you have a bikini, you have the part that goes around your back and the part that goes around your neck. Lucy was holding the part that goes around my back and she ripped the part that went around my neck. So the top of my bikini was broke and I realized that the way she had a hold on me was from the bottom and I was like, ‘Dang, well, if you’re going to break my swimsuit, that’s one of my favorite swimsuits. If you’re gonna break my swimsuit, well, then I’m going to win anyway.’ And so I just took it off because I thought it was foolish to be held back by a string.”
On how her time at Ponderosa with Figgy was:
“Ummm, Figgy. [Laughs] There’s a long boat ride to Ponderosa that takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and so I made up in my mind that the game is one thing and real life is another thing. And since I had just gotten voted out of the game, I’m going to be 100 percent Michaela. Everybody gets a fresh start. I was just nice to Figgy, and she was nice to me. And that’s just what it was. We just kind of acted like the game didn’t exist.”
You can hear the entire Michaela interview —including her thoughts on Hannah and her newfound popularity — on the EW Morning Live podcast below, along with director/executive producer Greg Nicotero’s breakdown of the latest Walking Dead episode. You can also subscribe for free and take it on the go with you right here. And for more EW Morning Live podcast updates, follow @EWMLPodcast.