Survivor Cagayan – Interview With LJ McKanas
LJ McKanas definitely had a lot of Survivor fans crushing on him. In fact I told him that there were a lot of Reality Raving’s readers that thought he was a hottie. The horse trainer from the beauty tribe thought he was in a solid alliance with Tony, however Tony became paranoid about how much of a threat he was and made a successful move to get him eliminated from the game.
Surprisingly, LJ, who had played an immunity idol for him was surprisingly zen about it revealing that at some stage he had been planning to make a move on Tony he had just left it too late.
Here in this interview we talk about whether he was thinking of making a move on Tony, how Tony was getting away with his lies and how to combat being targeted because he is an alpha male.
Reality Ravings: You and Trish was tight, did she ever come and tell you that Tony was wanting to have you voted out?
LJ: Trish is a loyal person and she was tight with Tony as they were on the Brawn tribe together. She never even came to me back and to call me a liar so at least I could have justified where I stood in Tony’s eyes as I knew I could make a fairly decent move at that point. [RR’s note: Tony was telling Trish that LJ wanted Woo out].
RR: Were you thinking of making a move on Tony at that point?
LJ: Of course I was. In my perspective Tony was the only one playing the game at that point. He was my biggest enemy so I had to keep him as close as possible. We had a pack to get to the final six together and I invested in it. I used an immunity idol when I didn’t have to, to purchase his loyalty and purchase the power of the plan we had ahead. I tried to get him into the mindset that I’m was going to be somebody that was going to be with him until the final six. I am also a player of Survivor and I am playing for $1 million so of course I had my own thoughts and I also had a conversation with Kass about making a move when the time was right with Jeremiah or Spencer or whoever is left. I also had Jefra on my side. We just did not think that at this time in the game that it was the proper time to make that move.
RR: How is Tony getting away with the moves that he is getting away with? As he is lying and manipulative? Did you see through it at all?
LJ: He is very smart and very on edge. I don’t know if this is how he is in the real world but he was never sleeping, he was always thinking and his mind was always turning. One thing he is good at is he is a very good talker. He is a very good liar. I read people very well and I would sit there and let him talk as he wanted to talk and talk and talk. I was just let him trip up once, let him backtrack or skip a beat but he never ever did. I think we all bonded a group and as players that love the game and are playing the game. I think we all got to the point where we were comfortable where we were. We got to the point that we were going to pick these people off one at a time and we were all comfortable with that. The fact that Tony saw his name a couple of times and he understood that he could not hide behind LJ anymore. When he was seen as a bigger threat he knew it was time to make a move as I was no longer his bullet as such.
RR: In the modern game of Survivor if you are an alpha male you are more likely to be targeted at some point either at the beginning or just before or after the merge. So weaker players like Jefra who is a bit of a non-threat is still there. Did you have a strategy to try and combat this?
LJ: I break the game down into three phases, the beginning game. The beginning game is you try as hard as you possibly can and you just be as valuable as you possible so people don’t want to get rid of you. So they don’t go home based on a vote. If we don’t have to vote and we continue to win, you can make it to the merge. While I am ensuring my value in the game I need to solidify some alliances. It is really difficult as I was put on a team with young kids. They were 21 year old girls and Jeremiah. I was on a team with gossipy people so it was very difficult to try to solidify an alliance. I knew if I could do that and get to the merge I knew I had a different kind of game I could play. I needed to charm my way into working with new alliances and I knew it was going to be difficult for me once I got to the merge to continue. Just based on the perception that physical people are threats in the game. When you clearly watch the challenges and most are balance and mental stuff. Being a physical threat is really obsolete in this game but it weighs a lot. Towards the end of the game I knew I had to step up and win immunity challenges.
RR: Were you cast on the show or did you apply for the show?
LJ: I applied for the show. As a kid I was always deprived of camping and the boy scouts we just didn’t have the money. I loved nature and I played in the dirt and I was always around horses. When the show came on and I was in college and I was like this is camping and boy scouts for adults. I want to do this. It was three or four years that I remembered to apply and it was past the date. Then I moved onto the real world and forgot about it and got into horses. Then I caught the date by a couple of days and sent the tape in whilst I was working with horses and they called me back.
RR: When you started playing the game was it the same as you imagined or was there something that really shocked you?
LJ: When you see it on TV and everything happens so quickly you think that would be cool to do. Once you get there you have all these things you want to say but no one knows what to say and now you have to build a fire. Where do we start? The best part of the whole thing was how real it actually was. You have to start a fire, you have to go to the bathroom in the woods, there is nothing to brush your teeth, there is no toilet paper. Are there water-coolers after the challenges but they are not there.
RR: Would you go on another reality TV show?
LJ: I am not sure if I would. If they were going to have a show where they were going to find LJ the Kentucky Derby winner for the USA and it was everybody was showing me their horses then that would be good. I would go on Survivor again.
Survivor Cagayan on Thursday nights at 8.30pm on GO.