jtia taylor survivor cagayan 'Survivor: Cagayan's' J'Tia Taylor: The Brains tribe is all leaders, no followersThe Brains tribe is really struggling on “Survivor: Cagayan,” with J’Tia Taylor as the latest casualty of their inability to win challenges. But she tells Zap2it that she understands why Kass and Tasha voted her out and kept Spencer.

Zap2it: You had quite the wild “Survivor” experience — are you glad you went on the show?
J’Tia Taylor: Yes. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This was the experience of a lifetime. To get out there, to give it your all, give it your best shot and to even just have the opportunity. You know how many people want to be there? And I actually got picked, I got cast. It’s fantastic.

What did you think of the brains/beauty/brawn twist?
I thought it would be interesting, but I also thought that the brains were in trouble. It’s an athletic show, so I thought we were in a little bit of trouble, especially when I saw our guys. I particularly thought I was in trouble because I was the youngest female on the tribe and usually those are the ones who get targeted.

You sort of answered this, but we were going to ask if the twist inherently hurt the Brain tribe, because we thought it did.
It so did. Not only in the challenges, but when I saw that as soon as they got to camp … on the other two tribes the guys made fire, that really surprised me. We tried to make fire, it was actually the girls taking over the lead of the camp moreso than the guys and that was a little disheartening.

Why do you think your tribe had such a hard time gelling?
I think all of us are used to being leaders. It was clash of the titans. It was just a free-for-all, a mental brawl, a strategic brawl. We’re used to being leaders and sometimes that doesn’t make really good followers. If you’re on the brains tribe, you want to be the mastermind, you don’t want to be the person behind the mastermind. We were a team of individuals and that really hurt when we got to the challenges.

Talk about the rice incident. That was crazy.
So, the rice incident. Basically, we got back from the challenge and I was already feeling pretty dejected. I felt like I stepped up for the puzzle because this was my go-big-or-go-home moment, I really wanted to pull it out for our team and I couldn’t do it. I was already feeling very bad and then Garrett, who I’m supposed to be in an alliance with and we’re supposed to vote off the last person who is not in our alliance, decides to have a public forum. Not only is it embarrassing, but it basically threw away what we were supposed to do. So then I decided OK, if I’m going home, let me hurt the person who hurt me most and everybody else, since they all said I was going home. Garrett was talking that he wanted to eat, so I dumped out the rice.

Were you surprised that Kass and Tasha kept Spencer over you?
No. Whenever I went into Tribal Council I always went with the argument in my mind and knowing that I could very well go home. I’m not mad at them, I understand their decision. When I went in, I felt they were going to keep me, but as the conversation progressed, it seemed like the tide was turning. I understand, I’m not oblivious to what was going on. They wanted to win challenges. I was trying to make the point that you need loyalty and that we’re not always going to be in this tribe, and they went with another way of thinking.

Would you go back on “Survivor” if asked? We think you would be a really fun person to bring back.
I would totally go on “Survivor” … [but] before I went back on “Survivor,” I would join a team where I had to do something under pressure, because that was one thing that I was really not ready for. I can do a puzzle, I still hold to that. What I cannot do is swim 200 yards, go over a big fence, pull something back and then do a puzzle while somebody is yelling at me. I would really work on that.

“Survivor: Cagayan” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."