By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
My picks will always be Gengar and Deoxys. Brando Meyer’s are Bulbasaur and Jirachi but there is more to him than Pokemon. The 23-year-old software developer from California not only found himself placing his Survivor life in Emily’s hands but he saw what might have been an advantage disappear on Survivor island.
John Powell: Brando, how are you doing today?
Brando Meyer: I’m doing really well! I had a lot of time from when I got voted out to when we got to see it to mentally prepare myself. At the end of the day though, the whole experience was amazing! I’m really happy with the fact that I even got to be out there in the first place!
John Powell: I’m going to reveal a little bit about my age here. So, I remember playing Pokemon on the Game Boy Advance. I have been a big gamer my entire life. My son got into Pokemon so I’m familiar with the show and continue playing the games. My favorites are Gengar and Deoxys.
Brando Meyer: Great choices!
John Powell: Thanks! Which are your favorite Pokemon?
Brando Meyer: My go to is always Bulbasaur! Bulbasaur doesn’t get enough love! (laughs) I really like Jirachi! I think Jirachi is the best out there!
John Powell: Well, there’s so many to choose from now. How was it like watching everything back?
Brando Meyer: Oh, it’s so much fun! It’s like a whole part of the experience that you don’t even really think about until it starts coming up. I think the best part for me has been not only seeing things that I didn’t know happened, like conversations between people, but also seeing things that I flat-out, just don’t remember. It’s been so long! There were conversations out there that I do not remember such as Emily confronting me about everything that I had told them. It was really interesting to watch that back.
John Powell: It really came down to Emily and which side she believed and was most loyal to. Why do you think you couldn’t sway her and how was it like to be under that investigation? She can be pretty fierce when she’s got a bone to chew.
Brando Meyer: Emily’s awesome! I felt like I was in a really good spot with her. We’ve all heard on the On Fire podcast where Jeff (Probst) talks about how Kendra went to Lulu for the first tribal. One of the things that she came back with was that she liked Emily and had a lot of conversations with Emily. And then, lo and behold, we end up on a swap with her! I’m like, great! I’m in a good spot!
I think the thing that primarily held Emily back was not only that she caught me lying to her, which was a dumb mistake, but also that I had a relationship with Bruce (Perreault) on the original Belo. Given the comments she made on the barge (at the start of the journey, show) I think she was afraid of working with Belo.
John Powell: We’re watching the episode last night and Kendra seemed a little bit unique and off-kilter? Not somebody that maybe I would want to work with. Why do you think they chose to keep her around and not you who was more centered?
Brando Meyer: I think part of it is Kendra is a really fun personality! Like Drew said it is really fun having her around camp! She’s always like making some noise and running around doing something but at the same I am the young Asian nerdy guy and I’m perceived as being super strategic. I mean, we did see in the episode that I was strategizing pretty hard…I think that’s something they’re threatened by. I think Emily was also potentially threatened by that. Kendra is more ‘What You See Is What You Get’.
John Powell: When people go on Survivor a lot of times they surprise themselves as their limits are tested. We saw how well you performed at Sweat and Savvy. Were you surprised too?
Brando Meyer: God, yeah! Thank you! That was shocking! I’m not going to lie. I did feel like I was going to die during the last half of the logs. I’m super grateful that Jake was there with me! He was powering through those things. There were 40 logs, maybe he probably took at least 25 of them. He took over half, for sure.
I was surprised by the fact that I was able to power through that. I was surprised by the fact that I couldn’t do Savvy afterwards. (laughs) There’s never been a Savvy where I’ve looked at it and I don’t know how to do that. I’ve always known how to do them. I felt like I got a little bit unlucky but it ended up okay in the long run.
John Powell: Something interesting happened with you at the merger when you got your buff. It was something we didn’t see. Can you explain a little bit of that to us?
Brando Meyer: So at the swap we grab our buffs off the tray from Jeff (Probst) and I’m opening mine. I’m like: ‘This feels a little weird. I know what a buff is supposed to feel like.’ When I open it there’s a piece of Survivor parchment with writing on it that is sewn into the buff! I rip it out really fast! I don’t want anyone to see it! I shove it in my pocket! I’m going to read this when I get back to camp, when I have an opportunity. Now is not the time.
I get back to camp pretty quickly. I get pulled to go for a walk, go for a confessional (by the producers). I mentioned like: ‘Is this for the advantage that I got?’ I handed it over without looking at it which was a mistake because they ended up keeping the advantage. Whatever it said they did not tell me.
My gut instinct is that it was something that was time sensitive that I had to look at it on the mat. Maybe I could have swapped my tribe? Maybe I could have swapped two people on a different tribe? Whatever it was, I think I missed my window and that’s why I didn’t get to keep it. There’s a pretty good chance that I could have saved myself had I just read it on the mat. It is what it is.
John Powell: What do you think about the tribal switch? Here was Lulu getting battered, being reduced in numbers and unable to win challenges. In the past, Ulong got decimated. There is a lot of talk that swaps like that punishes or puts the other players who are doing well at a disadvantage. What do you think about all of that?
Brando Meyer: We did see I went from a great position on original Belo to getting voted out at the first tribal council. If there was no swap that probably doesn’t happen or if we would’ve swapped to two tribes I think I stood a much better chance…I understand the idea. Three tribes, small numbers, you get a lot of drama, it’s really intense. I feel like it was a really good episode and really good tribal council. I wouldn’t trade it for that part but I do feel like I got a little bit unlucky with swap.
John Powell: We saw you extend an olive branch to Drew a couple of times. He rebuffed you both times. Why do you think he wouldn’t join forces with you? What was standing in the way?
Brando Meyer: I think honestly, him telling me that he didn’t want to be in an alliance was a slip-up on his part. I don’t think he actually intended on saying that straight to my face but when you’re hungry, when you’ve been out there and lack of sleep, stuff slips out. I was shocked. I’m not going to lie. I was shocked that he turned it down. At the same time I don’t blame him. The whole point of me doing that was I wanted him to vote for Kendra and not for me and then I was still going to vote him out anyways. I don’t blame him. I don’t fault him for it.
John Powell: Is there anything about your journey that you wish fans and viewers would have saw more of or saw at all?
Brando Meyer: There as a little bit episode three where Jake, Bruce and I are on the raft. We’re going fishing and I dropped a little bit of a pun. It was like: ‘Where do fish go to the bank? At the loan shark or something like that.’ I’m not going to lie. All day, every day I was rattling those off like it was nobody’s business. Maybe Emily just got tired of my puns. Who knows? I was surprised that those didn’t make the final cut.